We’ve been visiting campuses in the San Diego school district this week to help you better understand the crisis that threatens to the jobs of hundreds of teachers. At Central Elementary School in City Heights, we find that a popular math program — one that actually inspired a kindergartner to yell out “Yay! Math time!” — will be sliced by the cuts.

“This is what I wish people could see, because then it wouldn’t be about whether teachers are paid too much, or whether schools are failing. People would just see that there are programs like this that are working,” says Cindy Marten, the school’s principal.

We also meet kindergarten teacher Cindy Robinson, a veteran who’s not in danger of being laid off and is willing to give up a promised raise so her colleagues can keep their jobs. “I don’t care. My dad was a teacher, I know what making little as a teacher means,” she said. “I’m willing to sacrifice for the kids.”

A fourth-grader named Leilani, meanwhile, has an idea about how to keep teachers around: “Maybe we could bake some cookies?”

Here’s my daily lesson for Leilani: a fresh batch of cookies is always in order!

Fletcher on the Things He Doesn’t Know

Assemblyman and failed mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher tells us he doesn’t know lots of things, like why he refused to say whom he supports for president, what’ll happen to the coalition he formed, whom he’ll endorse for mayor and what he plans to do next.

But Fletcher is clear on some matters, like the accusations from an opponent that told her he wasn’t going to run and later tried to push her out of the race.

Neither happened, Fletcher says in a Q&A interview, the second one we’ve posted this week with a mayoral candidate. The other was with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, whose annoyance with how the whole thing went was on display. 

Fletcher provides some hindsight, saying he would have switched to independent earlier if he had to do it all over again.

Fletcher said “I don’t know” about 10 times.

DeMaio Roads Plan Denied

Councilman Carl DeMaio is a wunderkind when it comes to grand proposals, but it takes two to tango — or more when it comes to the City Council. Yesterday, a council committee unanimously told him to go pound sand: it rejected a roads improvement plan he wanted to put on the next ballot.

DeMaio says he’ll wait until he becomes mayor to put the plan into effect.

White Influx in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights

A new analysis finds that one zip code in San Diego — 92113 — ranks 21st on a list of areas of the country that have had the highest rate of influx of white residents from 2000-2010.  Our story has more details.  

The percentage isn’t a pure indication of gentrification, a term for the revitalization of a working-class neighborhood that draws wealthier residents while driving out poorer renters. But it does show how the ethnic makeup of zip code — home to neighborhoods like Logan Heights and Barrio Logan — is rapidly evolving.  

Member Report Went Out: Did You Get It?

Our CEO Scott Lewis wrote about bias in journalism, the U-T, The New York Times and a pot-smoker confronted by Mitt Romney.

It was all in the weekly Member Report. Did you get one? If not, you’re likely not a member. No worries. But we depend on members to keep this service going. If you become one, we’ll keep you in the Member Report loop.

• Also, don’t forget next week’s launch of a new event series: “One Voice at a Time.” Lewis and a San Diego thinker will see where a conversation can take them.

Wednesday, June 20, the first voice we get to hear is former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. Come to Bird’s Surf Shed at 6:30 p.m. She is also selling some of her political art. Yes, art. To help Voice of San Diego. Come see it.

After Frye, who should be the next guest on “One Voice at a Time?”

Election Results Update

• “If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve,” a famous guy named Sherman once supposedly declared. It looks like another Sherman, a Republican candidate for the City Council’s seventh district, will be elected and serve. Scott Sherman remains at just above 50 percent in the latest vote totals, and his chances of staying that way appear high. If he holds on, he’ll win and avoid a runoff with rival Mat Kostrinsky, a Democrat.  

Here’s our reader’s guide on Sherman.

• Attorney Gary Kreep, a leading force behind the “birther” movement questioning the president’s citizenship, slipped ahead of rival Garland Peed in the race for a judgeship. It’s wicked close: He’s got 50.03 percent of the vote with more vote-counting to come.

• There’s no nail-biting in the congressional race in the newly drawn 52nd district: the top two vote-getters, Rep. Brian Bilbray and former Councilman Scott Peters, will face off. It’s expected to be a close race, so I decided to add up all the votes from the Democrat and Republican candidates in the primary. The GOP rivals managed 48.93 percent, while the Dems got 46.29 percent. Now that’s close. 

Quick News Hits

• An activist in the Sherman Heights neighborhood thinks the defacing of a decades-old mural might be a sign of a neighborhood rivalry at work, KPBS reports: she believes “the mural — with its themes of Latino unity — may no longer hold the symbolic importance that has led so many previous generations to respect it.”

Meanwhile, a tile mosaic of hundreds of photos of City Heights from the last 10 years is now on display, KPBS reports.

• Here’s a switcheroo you don’t hear about too often: Immigrants from the United States are moving to Tijuana. The expats are “younger, hipper and speak Spanish,” reports Tijuana Metropolitana. “They love the culture and don’t live in the city simply because of the cheap rent. They are reinventing the face of Tijuana, once a mecca for American retirees moving to the city for its affordability.”

The story looks at the experiences of writers and a photographer.

• A San Diego freelance writer faced a tough choice: pay $8,976 a year for paltry health insurance from the state, pay at least $31,226  a year for good insurance (that’s not a misprint) or go six months with no coverage to become eligible for a much-cheaper plan that’s part of Obamacare.

What’d I do? Yup, the writer is your illustrious-in-his-own-mind Morning Report scribe. My new first-person story for Kaiser Health News, a wonky nonprofit news outfit (imagine!), reveals what I did and why.

• Keep the eyes on the side of your head peeled: works of art by Picasso keep getting snapped up by thieves.

First, a $30,000 Picasso went missing from a home in Northern California’s Marin County last month (from the home of an imprisoned former Ukrainian prime minister) and only turned up the other day leaning against a fence. Now, La Jolla residents want to find a $5,000 Picasso lithograph was stolen from their home last Thursday.  

In a related story, countless paintings of dogs playing poker remain undisturbed on local walls.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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