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A group of kids are preparing an opera of biblical proportions.

This is the sort of thing that, when done by adults, requires hundreds of professional employees at the San Diego Opera. The San Diego Children’s Choir wants to be more inclusive, so it’s going big as it prepares for the June 3 debut at Symphony Hall of “Noye’s Fludde.” That’s just fancy old English for “Noah’s flood.”

Kelly Bennett and her arts team have been embedded with the Children’s Choir. Check out Bennett’s first piece introducing the work and explaining what the team will be looking for as she documents the big undertaking.

Watch Tuesday morning for the next installment, when Opera General Director Ian Campbell offers up his advice for the kids.

What We Learned This Week

City Schools’ Financial Alert System Went Up a Level: People in and around education have become accustomed to an annual budget dance. San Diego Unified makes doomsday projections for layoffs. Slowly over time those numbers get whittled away to the point where there few people, if any, actually lose their jobs.

On Tuesday, we learned that the music had stopped when the school board voted to layoff one out of every five teachers. That jolted the region’s top labor leader, Lorena Gonzalez, into action. She took the unusual step of publicly prodding the teachers union to forgo raises in order to spare teacher jobs.

To have Gonzalez advocating such a step speaks to the seriousness of the district’s financial troubles. School board member Richard Barrera joined me on VOSD Radio on Friday and, among other things, said the district is on the edge of solvency. Next up: the teachers union will survey its members to gauge their appetite for givebacks.

Mayor’s Race Heads into Its Final Stretch: That means that Carl DeMaio is already preparing for November, Bonnie Dumanis is saying she’s pulled off big comebacks before, Bob Filner really is different than the rest of them, and Nathan Fletcher is steering clear of returning Mitt Romney’s love .

Also: Filner and Fletcher have genuinely become friends.

The Mayor Still Has a Foul Mouth: One of Jerry Sanders’ most enduring legacies may end up being his foul mouth. (Remember this?) This time, in announcing increase revenues and restored city services, he said of mayoral candidate DeMaio’s campaign, “It’s all bullshit.” Fletcher quickly turned the diatribe into an ad — even though Sanders has actually endorsed Bonnie Dumanis.

There Are Complaints of Bullying on the Police Review Board: Current and former board members of a public group set up to watchdog police activities have complained of “prejudice, fear and intimidation,” according to a new grand jury report. (U-T San Diego) The report says police internal affairs officers exert undue influence on the Citizens’ Review Board, including being able to attend closed meetings in which the group’s decisions are discussed.

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In Other Stories from Friday

• The New York Times’ admiration for San Diego’s craft beer movement continues. “Beer, it seems, has become as much a part of the San Diego identity as surf and sun,” the Gray Lady said in a travel piece.

• The first City Heights debate for the new City Council District 9 took place this week, hosted by an ambitious group of high schoolers from the City Heights Youth Council. I got the chance to help them out a little and was impressive by the tricks up their sleeves: They surprised both candidates at the end with big, blown-up pledges to support the construction of a skate park, free bus passes for kids and more. The candidates signed the pledges.

The debate leads our weekly roundup of news from the Speak City Heights collaborative.

• Conversation has been cranking on our site this week with all the talk about city schools and the mayor’s race. Each week, we round up five of the top comments that catch our eyes. Here’s a good one from this week’s selection: “While ballot box budgeting isn’t ideal, I think it important to acknowledge that for DECADES the thing San Diego skimps on to try to provide demanded services on a low tax base are roads, storm drains, sewage treatment, etc.”

Quote of the Week

“He probably takes credit for my weight loss. He probably takes credit for the weeds I pulled in the backyard last week. It’s all bullshit,” Mayor Jerry Sanders, responding to a question about Carl DeMaio.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow me on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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