If management experience was the key selling point in this month’s primary election, the mere presence of candidate Bonnie Dumanis would have put an end to this soap opera long ago.
Dumanis is the only one of the major candidates with experience running a large bureaucracy. She’s built her candidacy around that, as well as a plan to get the mayor significantly more involved in city schools.
In our most recent Reader’s Guide, Dumanis and her plan for the city are put under the microscope for closer inspection. She has put forth a sweeping plan for major school reform that involves a dramatic shift of power to the mayor’s office.
The three other candidates in the race have outlined a clear picture of their policy positions. Many of the finer points in a Dumanis administration remain a mystery.
A full rundown of all election coverage has been pulled together on our Election Central page, where Reader’s Guides to all four candidates and in-depth policy breakdowns can be found. U-T San Diego has also put together a rundown of where the candidates stand on the major issues.
When Policy Backfires: Curfew Sweeps Put Police in Hot Water
San Diego police began conducting curfew sweeps four years ago to the praise of elected leaders across the city. When concerns were raised that the wide-net policy would get good kids tangled up in the criminal justice system, Police Chief Boyd Long assured the public that only the bad ones would be arrested.
It looks like he was wrong.
The latest tale in this ongoing saga involves the 14-year-old son of Allison Rapzlaff and seven other teenagers who were arrested while waiting for a ride outside a movie theater in Mira Mesa. The story is just the latest that raise questions about the claimed effectiveness and implementation of a policy based on a hunch about juvenile crime.
Reporter Keegan Kyle has documented the effects of this policy extensively. His recent Reader’s Guide provides some statistical analysis and statewide context for the issue. With the school year ending in two weeks, we’ve got our work cut out for us this summer.
One School Nailed by Layoffs
Teacher layoffs at city schools will claim 26 of the 27 teachers at one school in City Heights, Fay Elementary.
“That leaves one teacher who will be a familiar face to our students next year,” writes a group of teachers there who, in a letter to us, implore the union and district to find a speedy solution to the financial problems.
The school’s been the site of a major turnaround. Nine years ago, Fay Elementary was struggling Jackson Elementary.
“We have created a totally new environment full of smiles, learning, creativity, good character and overall positivity. We know all the kids and their stories and they trust us,” they write. “This is going to be what is ripped away from the students when they come to school next year.”
• Likewise, music program advocates at Point Loma High School are worried about what the money crunch means for their beloved projects.
• Amidst all the hubbub about layoffs, the school district’s new CFO is set to be paid more than the old one, reports U-T San Diego.
San Diego Children’s Choir Takes On an Opera Giant
This Sunday, the San Diego Children’s Choir will open with its first performance of the 20th century opera “Noye’s Fludde”, a story of Noah and his ark.
When it does, the kids playing Noah and Mrs. Noah will have just met. Despite lots of practicing, the logistics of trying to pull 250 kids from around the county together for a big production like this mean that major details are still falling in line just days ahead of the performance.
Luckily, the two main characters hit it off, reports Allie Daugherty.
“(Lorent) Najbauer said afterward he’s thankful (Jackie M.) Hayes is spunky enough to play the role properly,” she writes. “Mrs. Noah is a fitful character, and the duo has a face slap to perfect in the coming days.”
We’re following the choir as it brings this major undertaking to the stage. Check out the previous pieces here.
The Mayor’s Race: Bloomberg Jumps In + Fact Check TV
• New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a fellow independent, has endorsed Nathan Fletcher’s bid for mayor. (Sacramento Bee)
• In letters, community activist Dale Peterson explains how he went from all-in on Carl DeMaio to all-in on Fletcher.
• If you’ve been paying attention to the mayor’s race, or maybe just checking your mail, you’ve likely heard competing claims: Fletcher tried to raise taxes by $1 billion. Nathan Fletcher tried to cut taxes by $1 billion.
Our latest installment of Fact Check TV gets to the bottom of what those claims mean.
Fix San Diego: More Cops, More Investigating Blackouts
• The president of the San Diego Police Officers Association wrote an opinion piece explaining his organization’s belief that hiring more police officers will be an important task for the new mayor.
• One reader has demanded we get Rob Davis to sniff out the mysterious power outages plaguing the county. It might be time to put our man on the case.
Stories from Around the County
• When questioned at a community forum, City Council candidate Mat Kostrinsky denied working for a union. That denial, the U-T finds, is false. Kostrinsky, who’s gone to lengths to say he’s not a “labor guy,” did indeed work for SEIU. He claims his comment was set up by political rival Scott Sherman.
• The controversial Encinitas artwork known as the “Surfing Madonna” is back in the headlines. The North County Times reports that artist Mark Patterson is on the hunt for a new venue to display the religious icon that was barred from display on public lands in March.
Until he finds a new location, Patterson plans to keep scoping out new spots and waiting for his lucky break. Sorry, that last joke just wrote itself.