This week, we’re examining where the four major rivals stand on boosting education in San Diego. First up: Councilman Carl DeMaio. He stands out because he’s not trying to stand out when it comes to improving schools.
In fact, he doesn’t offer a dedicated plan to fix education. In his mind, the mayor has other things to worry about.
DeMaio can’t be accused of pandering. “But if you’re looking for a candidate that’s going to prioritize increasing city involvement in K-12 public education, DeMaio isn’t your guy,” our Liam Dillon writes.
Look for the next installment later today.
• DeMaio took his turn in KPBS’ round of mayoral interviews, saying another issue — same-sex marriage — deserves a lower priority as mayor because there are bigger issues facing the city. And Rep. Bob Filner called fellow candidate Nathan Fletcher’s independent switch a “Hail Mary pass.”
KPBS, by the way, has been using our handy election scoreboard that offers a quick and easy-to-understand summary of where the candidates stand on major issues.
• Also in mayoral politics, the latest edition of VOSD Radio examines the results of our look into how DeMaio made his money and tries to figure out if it’s time to panic about the school district’s finances.
Departing Union VP Unleashes a Bomb
Camille Zombro, the former head of the San Diego teachers union who’s now departing from her position as vice president, warns teachers in an open letter that their leadership is betraying them.
“For the first time in five years, I believe our union leadership may be on the verge of accepting deep wage and benefit cuts, allowing massive layoffs, or possibly even both — and unless we as union members come together and act NOW, I fear that this possibility will become an inevitability,” she writes.
Zombro, voted out of her position as part of a switch in direction at the union, accuses some fellow officials of collaborating with the district and calls for a rebellion in the union ranks.
“The extraordinary and personal letter offers a no-holds-barred glimpse inside the turmoil within the San Diego Education Association,” our Will Carless writes.
We’ve got good background on the union’s internal struggles and what that means for education as a whole at San Diego Unified.
Home Prices Rise
Housing prices have been increasing and should continue to rise upwards in the coming months, says our Rich Toscano.
A Mistaken Fact Check on Our Part
Last week, our San Diego Fact Check feature gave Rep. Bob Filner a “misleading” verdict for repeating a claim about spearheading of the effort to revitalize the Gaslamp Quarter, something we’d already checked months ago. But our staff made a mistake.
The piece was based on a new video containing clips of Filner speaking. But the maker of the video tells us that the clips were old, meaning we can’t prove that Filner is actually repeating the claims we’d already fact checked.
“[W]e failed to prove that Filner made that second claim after our original fact check,” our Keegan Kyle writes.
In Letters, Pro-Fletcher and Anti-Prop. B
In letters, Benjamin Katz, CEO of the software company JSX, has a Democratic background but says he’s endorsing a newly minted independent, Nathan Fletcher, for mayor.
“Nathan Fletcher wants us to work together to move forward and to build a better city,” Katz writes. “As for Carl DeMaio, I can not for the life of me figure out what he really wants — but it’s clearly not to help San Diego.”
Also in letters, Mission Beach political activist Linda Perine says Prop. B, the pension reform initiative, is a “train wreck of over-promise and under-deliver … It will blow a multi-million-dollar hole in the city budget for years going forward, causing more brownouts, closed libraries and rec centers, more potholes, more service cuts at every level.”
Quick News Hits
• “Best of the Week,” our look at the most popular stories on our site, shows that city politics and education are capturing the most interest from our readers.
• Last year, a travel website named a gigantic and, um, revealing Marilyn Monroe statue as the worst piece of public art in the world, outranking even Carlsbad’s own widely mocked “Cardiff Kook” sculpture. Now, the garish 26-foot-tall Marilyn statue is slated to arrive today in Palm Springs, where it will go on display after horrifying and titillating passersby in Chicago.
What’s Marilyn got to do with San Diego? Well, the statue was created by an sculptor named Seward Johnson, who’s Public Enemy No. 1 among local artists here. Yes, he’s the guy behind “Unconditional Surrender,” the 25-foot-tall waterfront statue of the famous V-J Day kissing couple.
In related news, a woman last month smacked her Mercedes into another “Unconditional Statue” by Johnson in Sarasota, Fla. The statue ended up horizontal on the ground. (Don’t miss the photos in the local paper.)
The driver said it was an accident, not an act of art criticism. Likely story.