The San Diego school board last night voted to send final layoff notices to one of every five teachers in the school district.

While the layoffs aren’t completely finalized, the move takes San Diego Unified one major step closer to instituting widespread layoffs as talk of insolvency continues to swirl.

In total, 1,534 teachers, counselors and nurses are slated to go to cover a deficit of between $80 million and $122 million. Nearly all of those are teachers: About 1,400 of the district’s 7,000 teachers are up for layoffs.

For some quick background check out our reader’s guide on insolvency and this graphic illustrating the impact of a 2010 labor deal on the district’s deficits.

• The school board is counting on unions to give back a series of promised pay increases that come into effect this year to stave off the layoffs.

But, in a rare interview with us, the teachers union’s president says no way.

He says, yes, he’s taking the union in a different direction by actually talking to the district. But, contrary to his new political enemies’ claims, he says he’s not giving up pay and benefits.

The district’s financial problems aren’t his responsibility, he says.  

Little Info Released on SDPD Misconduct Plan

Last year, the chief of the San Diego Police Department announced that he would take several steps to restore its reputation after multiple allegations of officer misconduct. Among other things, he announced the creation of a hotline call with complaints about cops. But city leaders and the public have no idea what are callers are saying.

Chief Bill Lansdowne has ignored requests from the City Council seeking more details. He said the calls need to be confidential.  

Filner and Fletcher Are Buds

Guess who’s getting along like gangbusters? Nathan Fletcher and Bob Filner, who sound about ready to make a buddy movie after spending so much time together on the mayoral campaign trail.

They recently had dinner together, accompanied by the women in their lives, and have become fast friends.

“We almost have a standup comedy routine,” Filner said. “I said at one thing, ‘Nathan you forgot to tell this story.’ And he said, ‘Oh yeah let me tell it.’ I said, ‘No, I’m going to tell it.’”

So adorable.

There’s more: If elected, they each say they’d like to find work at City Hall for the other.

Huh. Maybe they should include each other in their jobs plans.

Anti-DeMaio Documentary on Ice

Last year, downtown business leader Fred Maas promised that he’d go after his archfoe, Councilman Carl DeMaio, in a full-length investigative documentary.

I can just imagine what it might be called: “Carl & Me.” “An Inconvenient Councilman.” “Fahrenheit 202 C Street.”

So where is the documentary that’s going to blow the lid off the mayoral race? Nowhere. Maas said it’s in the works, but there’s no word from him about when we might see it.   

From Normal Heights to Downtown, a Reader’s Guide

The San Diego City Council’s District 3 has a whole new look but will stick with the same old councilman: incumbent Todd Gloria is unopposed, meaning he’ll get to keep his job for another term.

Our reporter Kelly Bennett recently spent a week soaking up the flavor of District 3, and she’s written a reader’s guide to get you up to speed on the issues facing local residents. They include aging infrastructure, historic preservation, homelessness, transportation and public safety.

Letters: Parking at the Park, Bad U-T and More

In letters, Sam Ollinger of City Heights ponders the future of Balboa Park: “If the goal is get more human activity into the park, let’s stop supporting efforts to turn the park into an asphalt jungle.” (Memo to the zoo: how about an Asphalt Jungle Exhibit featuring Mustangs, Cougars, Impalas and more?)

Bob Davis of the College Area says he’s sick of the U-T after its mayoral endorsement, and Anthony Wagner lays out his vision for the future of Allied Gardens and Grantville.

More Details on Our New Mag

As you may have heard, we’re now producing a monthly magazine that highlights our best work. Voice of San Diego Monthly is available free to donors who give at least $500 and on demand to anyone who wants to pay per-issue at

The magazine, funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, marks the beginning of a new era at Voice of San Diego. We’re focusing on building a community of supporters who believe in investigative journalism and its power to improve the quality of life for all of us who live here.

For more about our new efforts, read our post about the magazine, the grant and the events we’ll be offering soon. And if you’re not a member yet, raise your voice and join us.   

Quick News Hits

• The weekly Arts Report summarizes the latest happenings in the arts and culture world, including links to stories about a Michael Jackson impersonator who’s got a one-woman show, summer festivals to look forward to, “Hands on a Hardbody” and a local young woman who could become the next American Idol.

• The U-T tracks how the opinions of the mayoral candidates about a new stadium have evolved over time.

• It might be only a neighborhood, but San Ysidro is starting to sound like Nepotism City. The U-T finds that the neighborhood’s elementary school district — it’s not covered by San Diego Unified — employs several children of education officials.   

• The sheriff’s department won’t let CityBeat examine reports about its treatment of Occupy San Diego protesters last October. Protesters said they were held for hours in buses without restroom facilities. The reason: the department says it couldn’t be candid if it had to release the reports publicly.

• Local labor leader Lorena Gonzalez is sick of getting ask if her support for a certain Democratic congressman running for mayor is flagging.

The other day, she tweeted this mash note to the congressman: “I love Bob Filner. I love Bob Filner.I love Bob Filner.I love Bob Filner.I love Bob Filner.I love Bob Filner.I love Bob Filner.”

Get a room, you two! And I won’t tell Filner’s new BFF Nathan Fletcher if you don’t.  

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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