The Morning Report
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Qualcomm Stadium goes through quite a beating every year. So around this time each spring, a 6,000-person clean-up crew jumps into action, every one of them a Jehovah’s Witness.
Giving the place a scrub-down is how they work off the bill for the convention they’ll hold there the following week.
Our Liam Dillon was on hand to watch: “The stream of Witnesses flowing into the stadium last week carried with them mops, buckets, 24-packs of microfiber auto cloths, push brooms, regular brooms, rakes, 409, paper towels, dustpans, rags, SOS pads, dish detergent, vacuum cleaners, Windex, power washers, latex gloves, barbecue-grade spatulas for scraping gum, Hefty garbage bags, leaf blowers and bottled water. The children brought their own mini brooms.” Sam Hodgson’s photos tell even more of the tale.
They don’t just clean. The Witnesses have built and renovated offices before the stadium hosted Super Bowls, “When the city needed its party room re-carpeted, they were there again,” Dillon writes. “When the groundskeepers needed a new place to stay, they were there a third time.”
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“We’ve been here for so many years,” one Witness said. “This is pretty much our house.”
Teachers Yelp over Raise-Cut Idea
Scott Barnett is a member of a school board that tends to favor labor (although it’s been annoying the teachers union lately with its warnings of possible layoffs). In light of the views of his colleagues, he could have chosen to keep quiet about his money-saving idea that involves big sacrifices for teachers, especially the veteran ones who aren’t at risk of losing their jobs.
But he decided to float it yesterday anyway: Barnett called for teachers to give up raises to prevent job cuts. The teachers union fired back, bashing “needless concessions.”
Barnett also wants teachers to freeze the automatic “step and column” raises that they get as they spend more years on the job or get extra education. Automatic raises, of course, aren’t common in many other lines of work.
FBI Raids ‘Suicide Kit’ Merchant
The FBI raided the home of a 91-year-old East County woman who’s been in the news in recent weeks over her business that sells kits designed to assist people who want to kill themselves, the U-T reports. It’s not clear what the FBI is investigating.
Checking an SDSU Graduation Claim
San Diego State “leads the country in the increase of our graduation rates,” declared the president of SDSU, who’s leaving office. That would be an impressive achievement if it’s true. San Diego Fact Check finds that it is, but SDSU’s improving graduation rate still has a way to go before it’s as high as many other campuses.
The Plunge Gets Dunked
The historically awesome Mission Beach Plunge has been closed due to a standoff between the city and the leaseholder, the U-T reports.
Timken Cops an Attitude
The Timken Museum of Art is home to my favorite art collection in town and my least favorite building, a flat modernist structure that’s several centuries out of sync with the rest of Balboa Park. There was a fight over the museum building’s construction, and a Balboa Park advocacy group just honored one of the naysayers who tried to kill the project.
The museum’s Twitter feed got snarky: “Committee of 100 is honoring someone… who protested building the Timken. Are we still fighting that battle?”
No, the battle is over. But the whining about the building (see above) is forever.
Gay College Major, Big Flag and High-Heel Race
San Diego State will offer a major in lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender studies (also known as queer studies) as of this fall, making it only the second undergraduate university with such a major, Gay San Diego reports. SDSU has offered a minor in the studies program since 2009.
Meanwhile, merchants in the Hillcrest neighborhood are preparing to put up a 65-foot rainbow flag representing the gay community. It’ll be similar to the giant flag that’s a landmark in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.
Next month, merchants will hold an “Amazing High Heel Race” to raise funds. Every heel has to be at least 3 inches high, and there are a few specific rules: no hair-pulling or wig-snatching, for instance. (Spoilsports!) SDGLN.com says prizes will give given in categories such as Highest Heel, Fiercest Heel and (for high-heel newbies) Biggest Blister.
As for that last one: I’ll be a shoo-in, just as long as I can find a shoe to fit in.
Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.