Integration and school busing have long been virtual conjoined twins in the world of education, promising a dream world where all kids get equal education.

Thanks to integration and busing, specialized schools like magnets have flourished. But they’ve also created flash points of anger and frustration. Consider one of the most famous photos in newspaper history: it shows a white man attacking a black man with an American flag at a busing protest in 1970s Boston.

San Diego didn’t escape the national trend toward busing kids away from their local schools in order to help restore ethnic balance. An anti-segregation lawsuit prompted busing here, although it was voluntary. Now, the local school district is prepared to slash school bus service to the lowest level required by law. The big question: Can it do that while continuing to follow court rules regarding integration?

Emily Alpert explores the various issues raised by the potential busing cuts, finding debate over how busing can serve students.

City’s Chicken Law Lays an Egg

Now here’s an idea: Buy a few chickens, stick ’em in the back yard and voila: fresh eggs! Straight from the, um, whatever eggs come out of.

Sounds great, except your neighbors might raise a stink about the smell and the noise and who knows what else. (Permanent feline distraction?) In San Diego, frustrated complainers may have the law on their side: the city forbids residents from keeping chickens near their homes. 

That’s pretty common. “Many cities nationwide restrict urban chickens, usually for health reasons,” Adrian Florido reports. “But some cities like Los Angeles have long allowed them, while others, such as Seattle, have more recently loosened their laws, recognizing that chickens can help maintain gardens and produce local food — fresh eggs.”

Now, fans of homegrown food are pushing San Diego to revise its laws, which aren’t enforced unless someone complains.

Labor Group Slapped with Fine

A committee connected to the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council spent $74,000 in a failed bid to defeat a Republican candidate for City Council last election but never filed campaign disclosures until state ethics officials asked questions, the Union-Tribune reports. The fine for this error and another omission — “minor infractions,” the labor council calls them — was $5,000.

If failing to report a $74,000 expenditure is “minor,” then perhaps we can get some bids about what might be a major oversight. $100,000? Half a million?

Police Quietly Disbanded Anticorruption Unit

If you missed it, check our story from Friday evening about the police chief’s quiet decision to disband the department’s anticorruption unit when he took the helm.  With a number of police officers accused of serious crimes, some officers told us the decision has contributed to the diminishing of the department’s culture of self-policing.

The Bus to Nowhere

The crazy quilt of public transportation agencies around San Diego creates hassles for all kinds of people from the disabled who need special care to my own brother, who must ride a bus for an hour and a half to travel from Chula Vista to Normal Heights — about 15 minutes by car. As KPBS notes, there are plenty of people who have another problem: They can’t even get where they want to go on public transit. According to the story, a report says “in the San Diego area, 83 percent of local residents have access to transit but only 29 percent of the jobs are transit accessible.”

What People Are Reading

Our most read articles from last week include what the city of San Diego’s Chargers consultant is doing, the DA’s role in the SEDC embezzlement case and the major changes at KPBS.

Where Home Prices Still Look Bubbly

In a column exploring that age-old question of rent vs. buy, New York Times writer David Leonhardt lists San Diego as one of the metro areas “where prices still look bubbly.”

He doesn’t expect another crash. “But any potential homebuyers should know that real estate exuberance — irrational exuberance, it seems — has survived in at least a few places,” he says.

Meanwhile, do San Diegans still even believe in homeownership? That’s the question the U-T poses. Sounds like the answer is Yes.

From BlackBerry to Botox

A San Diego plastic surgeon is scoffing at the idea that young people are developing more wrinkles — and needing more Botox — because they’re squinting at cell phones and other devices. Dr. Munish Batra tells NBC San Diego that he’s seen no convincing signs of such a problem, although “there are people in their late 20s who do have premature signs of aging, where Botox can be useful.”

Attention young people: wrinkles actually make folks look intelligent, distinguished and sexy. Repeat this every day until you believe it. Or at least until I do.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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1 Comment

  1. Fundamentally, busing was effective. As the federal government and the courts increasingly pushed local school districts to desegregate, the practice of school segregation declined significantly. These attempts, however, were met with vehement and often racist opposition that influenced political discussion for decades.

    Kind regards,

    Dr. Katz

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