San Diego’s Redistricting Commission has rejected proposals from firms who had hoped to help it redraw the city’s political boundaries, saying they didn’t meet all the necessary qualifications.

Instead, the commission, which will draw the map to include a ninth council district in the city, appears ready to choose another firm that also doesn’t meet its qualifications.

Complicating matters further, the final firm, city-controlled Data Processing Corp., is also putting in a bid of $40 million to handle the city’s information technology going forward. That contract will be decided by the City Council — the same council which would have its district borders redrawn by the firm, should it win the redistricting business contract, too. Messy.

City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf has asked City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to examine any potential conflicts.

Meanwhile, partisanship over redistricting — half Henny-Penny, half The Boy Who Cried Wolf — continues as people attack and defend the Redistricting Commission’s chief of staff, Midori Wong, and as the public makes demands of the commission in public hearings.

Matt Hall at the Union-Tribune has a overview of the redistricting process and short bios of the redistricting commissioners.

Community Policing Diminishes

As we reported this week, police in San Diego have backed away from problem-oriented policing, cutting back on community storefronts, front desk hours and employees specifically designated toward outreach.

We have a stark data visualization that shows another way to look at: The difference is reflected in the city’s applications for the Goldstein Award, which promotes community-involved policing to address chronic issues. San Diego’s participation in the award has dropped from dozens of projects submitted between 1993 to 2003 to just two since 2003.

It could be that San Diego’s police are doing fewer community policing projects that would qualify for the award but it could also be that, even though it was previously a nationally recognized leader in community policing, the force now simply now carries on without fanfare.

• As part of his effort to get to the bottom of how policing has changed in San Diego, Keegan Kyle, who covers the public safety beat for VOSD, is trying to find out if police officers attend as many community meetings as they used to.

Mayor Sanders says “you’ll see our police officers at every community meeting” and an assistant police chief says they go to as many as they can. What do you see in your neighborhood? Are the police showing up at your community meetings?

Oh, I Like Free Trash

A vote yesterday before the City Council went the mayor’s way. The council failed to vote down his plans to stop free trash pickup to more than 14,000 households on private streets in San Diego. The plan takes effect July 1.

Our partner NBC San Diego has a video that explains the backstory.

• Liam “Bulldog” Dillon has lately been worrying a related hambone. He’s trying to get the Mayor’s Office to agree that if it’s unfair for the city to give people on private streets no-fee trash collection (which is the mayor’s position), then it is also unfair that people who live in single-family homes don’t pay for trash pickup while those who live in apartment complexes and condos on public streets do.

A 1919 ordinance, known as the People’s Ordinance, restricts the city from charging for trash on public streets. It costs the city $34 million a year.

Read Liam’s exchange with one of the mayor’s spokespeople to get the full flavor of the situation.

• Elsewhere, Sanders goes down with another Fact-Check “false.” Kelly Bennett has caught him out on his claims that his administration has cut the arts funding each year and that arts and culture are responsible for 20,000 jobs. Nope and, well, dubious. Keegan Kyle illustrates it with trend lines the same colors as the flag of Ireland.

• Eight people have so far filed statements of intention to run as a candidate for mayor to replace Sanders when his term is up.

Fact Check TV

Don’t miss this one: our video for fact checks about firefighter deaths and city pay raises.

What Do You Know About Birthing Babies? And Tests?

Web editor Dagny Salas is prepping her questions for Karen Perdion, director of the nurse-midwifery service at UC San Diego Medical Center, for our weekly Q&A. What would you like to find out about midwifes and midwifery? Send your questions to

In like mode, education reporter Emily Alpert wants to know how you and your kids feel about taking the state test that decides how schools are graded under No Child Left Behind. Does it change what happens at class or at home? Send your answers to

President Obama and San Diego

If a school wants a visit from a sitting president, you could stuff the ballot box (which is allowed). But it’s better to be a bold, innovative school with cool buildings, hiring “bonanzas” and project-based learning.

High Tech High International made it to the next round of a competition to figure out which school gets President Obama to speak at its commencement. Emily Alpert explains what makes High Tech High International so special.

The way Randy Dotinga sees it, Obama has to come. Otherwise, he’d be the first sitting president since FDR who didn’t visit San Diego at least once.

• Two San Diego men continue to challenge President Obama’s right to be president. They claim he was born in another country, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and recent release of his long-form birth certificate. They have already lost several suits and have been sanctioned and fined by courts.

Sweet Love Between Writers

VOSD Senior Writer Rob Davis wrote a sweet story of love for The New York Times about a couple of Asian-American playwrights who were married in the garden of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

A Staycation Every Weekend

US News & World Report says San Diego is the third-best vacation spot in the country, topped only by San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Apparently the public doesn’t agree with the editors about all of the rankings. More readers have marked Los Angeles, at number 17, as not belonging on the list than have marked it as belonging. Lots of fingers slipped in SF and SD.

Grant Barrett, engagement editor for or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.

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