A few months ago, San Diego’s leaders secretly debated the future of redevelopment and decided to stick the state with the bill — one the could equal hundreds of millions in local school funding.

They could have made downtown share the bill. Instead, downtown got the benefits. State leaders signed off on the deal. Now, our reporting shows how it all went down behind the scenes.

“The other way would have defeated the purpose of what we were trying to do, which was secure funding for San Diego,” said Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a prime mover behind the bill. “What we did, and I’ve said this from day one, is we went and fought for San Diego. We fought for our region somewhat to the expense of other regions of California.”

So that’s why I don’t hear “Kumbaya” playing.

As City Hall reporter Liam Dillon explains, “the choice, made in the hours before the state passed its budget in October, epitomizes the conflict central to new Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide.”


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Speaking of redevelopment, a surprise came Thursday: state Senator Christine Kehoe told us that she’ll support the governor’s bid to kill state support for redevelopment. She voted for the downtown redevelopment deal and touts her support for urban renewal in San Diego while she served as a councilwoman. But she thinks redevelopment types need to look for funding locally and offered a zinger of sorts for the folks who want to bring the Chargers downtown: “If we have to choose between funding our schools or funding a downtown stadium, I support our schools.”

Schools before football? Crazy talk.

In Chula Vista, Everything (Almost) Must Go:

Tree trimming? Almost eliminated except for that one guy. Graffiti abatement? Same thing. Senior center? Open just four hours a day. Libraries (one of which served as a kind of second home for a nerdy kid and future Morning Report writer)? Shut at least two days a week.

Things are bad in Chula Vista and about to get worse, investigative reporter Will Carless finds. He reports on what he heard from the city manager and police chief in his latest post on woes in the county’s second city.

And in a third post, he hears from the city’s finance director about pensions for employees and how cuts may help Chula Vista save some money.

Shhh! Layoffs Looming:

San Diego schools are allowing individual campuses to play a bigger role in determining how money is spent. Parents, teachers and community members are supposed to be in the loop, at least in theory. So how did things work out in the planning process?

Not well for librarians and nurses and those who teach the gifted kids. Schools want to fund only about half of librarians (and only a bit more than a third of teachers for the highly gifted) but a full 82 percent of vice principals. “Vice principals, counselors and office staff were the winners, if there are any winners in budget cuts,” education reporter Emily Alpert writes. “Maybe it’s better to say they were lesser losers. They’re still being cut.”

C Street Freezeout:

I try to stay away from C Street when I’m driving downtown — where it’s hard enough to avoid going the wrong way down one-way streets — because it’s tough to figure out where cars don’t belong and trolleys do. And besides, it’s pretty dumpy down there. As the U-T reports, it will stay that way: a $100 million improvement plan is dead and won’t be revived until 2017 or later.

Aguirre Off the Hook:

Good news for former City Attorney Michael Aguirre: the state bar has dropped seven — that’s right, seven — investigations into him. (U-T)

How a Nuñez Got His Sentence Cut:

San Diego Explained looks at the case of the former state Assembly speaker’s son and how he got a reprieve, of sorts, from the former governor.

Texty, Texty:

Three Encinitas-area parents are upset about a school textbook that they think paints Islam in too positive of a light (Del Mar Times). One of the parents is the San Diego director of “Act! for America,” an organization that fights “the rising tide of Islamofascism” and is “dedicated to stopping Islamic jihad, terror and intimidation.” Last year the Mission Viejo chapter of the group itemized its complaints, passage by passage, with the same textbook.

Our education reporter wonders: What do you think of textbooks in your kids’ schools? Have they included errors? Are they useful or a waste of space?

Kissy, Kissy:

A new book about “The Science of Kissing” quotes UCSD neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran’s theories about why lips get us going. He “suggests that once our ancestors were primed to seek red for a food reward, they were probably going to check out the source of this color wherever it occurred — including on parts of the female anatomy. Eventually, red likely served as a flashy signal to help facilitate another essential and enjoyable behavior besides eating: sex.”

There’s more to this, but I’ve already given myself a case of the vapors so let’s move on.

Well at Least It Wasn’t Intercepted:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notices that the Super Bowl commercial featuring excerpts of TV icons preparing for the big game includes a sitcom mainstay dressed as a fan of the Chargers. Who’s wearing a Bolts jersey? Why it’s Marcia Brady, who gets whacked in the nose by a football.

And Then Someone Foreclosed on the Street Name:

A post on our site yesterday about Chula Vista included a shot of a street sign (also called a street name blade) in the Eastlake neighborhood showing that the photo was taken at the intersection of Little Lake Street and Mount Bullion Drive.

What? Really? That second street sounds positively Daddy Warbucks-ish. So I looked up Mount Bullion. It’s not technically a modern-day ode to great wealth of the golden kind (or even to beef bullion) but instead is a place in Northern California, as are the names of neighboring streets.

Whatever the case, I’ve now been inspired to move to a street with a platinum-plated name like Botoxia Boulevard or Valet Valley Lane.

Now it’s your turn to play, but you can’t make stuff up like I just did. What’s the most pretentious-sounding street name in San Diego? (La Jollans? This one’s for you.) Email me and let me know. To make it easier, check out this street name list on the San Diego Unified website.

According to a 1964 article in the San Diego Journal of History, if only we had named our streets after figures from classical history and mythology, we could’ve had names like Xantippe Ave., a Xuthus Ct., or a Ygdrasil Blvd.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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