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The San Diego Police Department can’t seem to catch a break: this week brought news that yet another cop is facing an accusation of wrongdoing, this time an officer accused of felony DUI. The police chief says the number of officers under fire is “unprecedented” and linked the accusations of various crimes (including rape, stalking and excessive force) to growing stress and lack of oversight.
Kristina Davis at the U-T has a list of police officers currently under investigation.
“I want to personally apologize to every citizen of the city of San Diego,” Police Chief Bill Lansdowne said, “as this behavior is not expected, nor condoned, by me or anyone in the San Diego Police Department.”
He said the department will review its policies regarding the use of force, expand ethics training, create a hotline and expand the 14-person Internal Affairs Unit.
School Bus Service on Tightrope
As Emily Alpert puts it, busing in San Diego schools is “revered, resented and routine“: it helps integrate schools and transport kids to magnet schools with special programs. Yesterday, the school board moved closer toward a decision to kill busing except when it’s required by law.
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“Every dollar we use on transportation is a dollar we can’t use to restore a teacher or a nurse or a counselor,” a school board member declared. But the busing cuts may hit poor kids the most: critics say they’ll be deprived of the opportunity to find better school options across town.
City Attorneys and City at Odds over Deal
The city and the union that represents its attorneys are deadlocked on a major deal to change how the city pays for the retirement health care of its employees. “The deadlock … means that the city attorneys are at risk of receiving lower benefits than what the city’s white-collar, fire and lifeguard unions have accepted,” Liam Dillon reports.
In other city legal news, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is undecided about whether he’ll run for a second term.
KPBS Dumps Mozart & Co., Trims ‘These Days’
KPBS’s radio station is dumping its nighttime classical music feed and embracing more news programming in an attempt to boost its bona fides as a source of information across TV, radio and the internet. However, among other changes, KPBS is also cutting its two-hour daily “These Days” public-affairs program in half, leaving the station with only an hour of local programming outside of its regular news reports.
Over on the TV side of things, KPBS expects its long-delayed evening news program will finally debut in September.
Two Donors Bankroll School Governance Reform
Two prominent donors — Qualcomm cofounder Irwin Jacobs and a company owned by businessman and philanthropist Rod Dammeyer — remain the main financial forces behind an effort to change how San Diego schools are run. Their proposal would expand the school board from five to nine members and have the additional four members be appointed rather than elected.
SD Homes Not as Underwater As Some Places
A new report says 26 percent of San Diego homes with a mortgage are “underwater” — they owe more than their homes are worth.
That puts us at 18th on a list of big cities, well behind No. 1 — Phoenix, with 68 percent underwater.
Is Chula Vista Cop-Poor?
A local taxpayers advocate told a TV station that Chula Vista has the lowest number of cops per capita in the county. San Diego Fact check finds the claim is true. But fewer police officers doesn’t automatically translate into more crime: Chula Vista’s crime rate is lower than San Diego’s.
No Obama for Them (or Us)
It came down to three finalists, and San Diego’s High Tech High — next door to us at Liberty Station — didn’t win. It won’t play host to a commencement speech by President Obama; a Memphis school got the honor instead. That means Obama will continue to be the only president since Herbert Hoover who hasn’t visited San Diego while in office. But another as-yet-unnamed White House official will speak instead. Let’s hear it for Hillary or Joe!
Anti-Rape Protest in the Works
Local activists are planning a “SlutWalk” anti-rape event for next month. The first march happened in Toronto to protest a police official’s reported comment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” in order to prevent rape. “Time to stop teaching ‘Don’t get raped’ and start teaching ‘Don’t Rape,’” a local activist site says.
Eight Ways to Get Nauseous
A new ride called the Octotron at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park is making waves among amusement park ride enthusiasts: MSNBC.com says “it features individual cars that circle around a ground-hugging undulating track. However, instead of spinning in flat circles, each two-person car spins forward and backwards with riders controlling just how much head-over-heels (or heels-over-head) motion they can stand.” A theme park reviewer says he’s “never felt so sick in my life.” (How delightful!)
MSNBC.com summarizes the Octotron this way: it’s “like the mutant love child of a Tilt-A-Whirl and a tea-cup ride.”
I knew it was going to be trouble when those two rides started dating.
Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.