Here’s a roundup of a few opinions in our pages and elsewhere.
• Our community contributor Bey-Ling Sha attended this week’s recent San Diego Unified school board meeting during which teacher layoffs were being decided. She described it as so farcical that it made her want to laugh and cry.
Education reporter Emily Alpert called a second meeting of the school board that same day “bizarre” and gives the back-and-forth of the will-they or won’t-they layoff discussions. School board member Scott Barnett is quoted as wondering, “What are we smoking up here? This is crazy.”
• Bey-Ling also wrote this week about the complexity of school choice in San Diego, especially when it comes to actually getting children to the building each day.
Many parents choose the local neighborhood school for their child. This choice is a real choice if the parents have considered other options, but also if they have the opportunity to take advantage of those options. On the other hand, many parents “choose” the local neighborhood school for their child, but this is a choice with quote marks if, say, the parents actually prefer an out-of-neighborhood school, but have no means of getting their child to that school.
• Commenter Allen Hemphill writes that libraries are “a ‘Chargers Stadium’ for books used by the effete crowd of higher-priced jeans and fewer tattoos” and that they “are simply entertainment for the Chablis and Brie crowd, who wish to sponge off the taxpayer every bit as much as do the Charger fans.” He said more or less the same thing on another story.
Hemphill’s view is at odds with another common perception that libraries are a place for the homeless, voiced in this case by William Sweeney, who asks, “It’s the transients I feel for. With the libraries closed, where are they going to wash up and hang around?”
On our Fact Check about the popularity of San Diego libraries, there’s some repeated concern over the prediction that library usage is expected to continue after peaking at its highest usage numbers ever. As Brenda Ryan remarks in the comments,
Only in San Diego would Hizzoner say that a library that’s hardly ever open is losing popularity and circulation is down. Really?! That’s almost as ridiculous as the Police Chief stating that revenue collection is down in the PD – really? Could it be that the positions that collect revenue were cut in 2009? It’s not about the money folks!
• Jeff Light, editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, now has a Facebook page where he’s answering questions from the public. So far the tone is ombudsman-like, as most of the questions and comments are about fairness, bias, and editorial choices.
In one post he lays out the basic standards the U-T tries to follow and says “we are in the midst of refining some of our standards.”
The U-T has been expanding its presence on Facebook overall, including making new pages for different areas of coverage (check the “likes” on the side of that link to see a whole host of U-T-created pages).
Correction: This post originally described two school board meetings as if they were one. However, one was a Tuesday morning meeting of the San Diego Unified school board and the other was a Tuesday evening meeting of the San Diego Unified school board. We regret the error.
Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: email@example.com or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.