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If members of the San Diego teachers union go along with a deal to give up expected across-the-board pay hikes, hundreds of teachers and other employees will get their jobs back. But this is a temporary reprieve: the district’s projected deficits for the next two years remain in place.

How come? Our reporter Will Carless offers an explainer of what’s going on: “The deficit the district was projecting before the deal was made is still there — even with the deal in place. That’s because everything the district ‘saves’ from not paying the raises or rolling back the furloughs will be spent bringing back classroom teachers. The money’s not really being saved, it’s just being spent on bringing teachers back, instead of on raises and rolling back furloughs.”

Remember that the raises the teachers had to give up were for everyone across the board. There’s no actual full freeze on raises. Many teachers will continue to get raises as they get more experience and education.

Why Current Public Employee Pensions Are Untouchable

If you’re a municipal employee in the state of California, your earned pension is yours forever. It can’t be taken away. The city may crumble, but you’re still owed your pension.  

How did that happen? We spotted an article in the Iowa Law Review that explains how the law came to be. It goes back to 1917, a state Supreme Court decision about benefits for a police widow, and three words.

We created a we-read-a-55-page-law-review-article-so-you-don’t-have-to club but you could go straight to the law review if you’d like, it’s fascinating.

Fact Check TV: A Presidential Error

Former President Bill Clinton went on TV recently and touted San Diego’s status as a global center for the biotech industry. UCSD, he said, is so picky that its acceptance rate is as low as Harvard and Yale.

That would be pretty amazing for a public school, especially once that managed to accept the likes of me back in the day. Maybe I should develop even more Triton pride? Well, it turns out the claim is false, as Fact Check TV notes. Check our full story for more details about what the Man from Hope might have really been referring to.

VOSD Radio on Balboa Park’s Future

VOSD Radio examines the much-debated plans to give a makeover to Balboa Park (no Botox required). Plus a councilman gets named Goat of the Week while a union president makes an appearance as Hero of the Week.

Most Read Stories of the Week

The tentative un-layoff of all laid-off teachers in the San Diego school district was the most-read post on our site over the past week. A story about the not-final deal to bring the teachers back to work led our list of the most popular stories, followed by a presidential Fact Check and a story titled Filner Goes Bananas” whose headline drew barbs.  

Quick News Hits

• More than 40 years after it was enacted, current interpretations of the Endangered Species Act are getting a bruising from Republicans in Congress who think it’s been used as a cudgel against construction. Case in point, according to local Rep. Brian Bilbray: the long-delayed plans to build an elementary school in Mira Mesa because of vernal pools that appear after heavy spring rains and become home to shrimp.

We’re not talking calamari here, the U-T reports. The shrimp is actually useful. “One of their most important functions is providing protein, in the form of tiny invertebrates, for amphibians and migrating birds.”

• Elected officials do suffer their share of stress, what with the continual barrage of guff from voters and the press. But the pay is often good, the benefits often great, and the perks can be quite handy. Just ask local leaders who get free parking passes from the airport, which trusts them to only use them for official business.

The U-T received a list of 81 VIPs who get the passes.

• Federal prosecutors allege that a local Border Patrol spokesman — one who appeared on TV news — was actually a smuggler of human beings, the AP reports. Raul Villarreal and his brother Fidel, who also worked for the Border Patrol, stand accused of smuggling hundreds of migrants in Border Patrol cars. They’ve pleaded not guilty.

• More than 20 years on, the fate of the Mt. Soledad cross remains undecided. The Supreme Court yesterday declined to take up an appeal court ruling, meaning the cross remains unconstitutional, the U-T says. “The decision likely means the fate of the cross will eventually land back in federal court in San Diego,” the paper says, because the appeal court said there might be a way to fix constitutional issues and still leave the cross where it is.   

• The popular Business Insider website, which devotes a lot of time to things that aren’t business-y or insider-y, offers a list at the “9 Of The Most Infuriating Blown Calls In Sports History.” It fails to include the one that sticks in the mind of every Chargers fan of a certain age.

I’m talking, of course, about the Immaculate Deception debacle from a Chargers-Raiders game back in 1978, when the football went loose, a Raider made a fumble on purpose and the Bolts lost the game by a point. (It’s also known as the Holy Roller.)

T.J. Simers of the LA Times remembered it in 1990: “It’s Kenny Stabler rolling right and Woody Lowe tugging at his jersey and Stabler fumbling the ball forward. Watch the bouncing ball, it’s batted forward by Pete Banaszak, and then nudged by Dave Casper before Casper falls on it in the end zone for the ‘immaculate deception.’ The Holy Roller. Final play of the game, and final score: Raiders 21, Chargers 20.”

“It was a sack, it was a fumble, it was terrible,” Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts told Simers. “Every time I see referee Jerry Markbreit, I remind him of it.”

The incident even has its own Wikipedia page. Even if you re-edit the page, though, history will stay the same. Unfortunately, that’s the way the ball bounces.      

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

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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