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The two candidates for mayor are anything but twins, but they agree on a lot when it comes to open government: They’re against new fees on public records, in favor of open-meeting laws and want to make sure that city-related organizations have to follow them.

Bonus: Carl DeMaio explains how he’s both upholding his pledge to make his calendar public while also not indicating in it what he’s doing for vast swaths of time.

We’ve compiled their positions along with details about how they plan to go about making government transparent. And we’ve identified a couple possible hitches.

Cabrillo Bridge? Yuck, Said Early Critics

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue was an architect a century ago, and thought Balboa Park — preparing for a big exposition — could use a grand bridge over a canyon.

This was a completely unacceptable encroachment on the natural area, said a prestigious landscape architect firm run by brothers named Olmsted. Their father was the famous designer of Central Park and more.

The firm quit, and the bridge went forward. We know it as Cabrillo Bridge.

This tale is just one snippet of the latest part in our series of stories examining the not-always-tranquil history of Balboa Park.

Previously: the park’s early days and some overall background. Next: how the temporary buildings at the park became permanent.

School Construction Bond Advances

The San Diego school district wants voters in November to approve a $2.8 billion bond measure that would boost their property taxes by $60 a year for every $100,000 of assessed value, NBC San Diego reports. The property tax increase would last for 30 years.

The district wants to spend $649 million on school repairs, $355 million on technology and $19 million on facilities to serve disabled kids.

For background, check our previous coverage: We’ve explored how the district initially planned to ask for much less money and how officials say the construction bond will save teacher jobs, even though it’s a construction bond.

Letters: U-T Drama, Grantville and Schools

• Several readers have told me that they’ve tried to cancel their U-T subscriptions this week after the paper’s worst-president-ever editorial about Barack Obama. But some had trouble getting through on phone lines and weren’t allowed to cancel online.

Letter writer Judy Copeland says she recently succeeded.

Development plans for the Grantville neighborhood are moving forward without input from neighbors, writes Mary Thom of San Diego.  

• Mark Powell, a San Diego school board candidate, is appalled by our graphic showing the teacher-student ratio in the school district, which he says reveals “the lack of leadership and the destruction of trust” in the district.

Powell, who refers to himself in the third person, warns: “Watch out for the shell game, because this board is once again gambling with our children’s education though misguided leadership and poor decisions.”

Progress on AIDS

As an international AIDS conference continues in Washington D.C., KPBS devoted its midday public affairs show yesterday to the fight against AIDS in San Diego.

For background, check my 2011 interview with UCSD’s Dr. Douglas Richman, a researcher and physician who’s been fighting AIDS for some 30 years.  

This is what he told me about the difference that powerful AIDS medications have made over the past 20 years: “The vast majority of people are just getting older along with their doctor. We deal with the things that people have to deal with as they get older, like diet, weight, exercise. I spend more time on those things than almost anything else.”

He added: “I have patients who complain about getting old. I tell them that there’s only one other alternative.”

Also last year, I examined how AIDS affected the world of gay politics in San Diego: It killed leaders but also created unity and opportunity. We now have several openly gay elected officials, but we had no prominent ones before 1992.

More on Sally Ride

Fred Sainz, a former spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders who now works for the Human Rights Campaign gay advocacy group, talked to the San Francisco Chronicle about the astronaut Sally Ride and her decision to not publicly come out as a lesbian until after her death: “On one hand, I wish Americans would have been able to experience this while she was alive, so we could ask her questions and use her as a role model to that Mom and Pop in Nebraska. But, on the other hand, Sally Ride may have gotten this absolutely right.

For more about Ride, one of the most high-profile San Diegans,  check our guide to what we’re learning about her.  

Quick News Hits

• Sam Hodgson has posted a series of photos of construction on the $185 million downtown library.

• A church in the North County city of Vista is allowing homeless people to park overnight, the NC Times reports. The parking lot is touted as a safe place, although people who park there must apply for long-term shelter and try to find housing.  

• The World Baseball Classic dropped by San Diego back in 2006, but it won’t make a return appearance in 2013. Instead, the semi-finals and finals will be held in San Francisco, with earlier venues in Florida and Arizona.  

• We’ve gotten used to layoffs and outsourcing here in the land of journalism, but now comes news that “robot writers” and even “robot writers” are becoming more common.

Rest assured that the Morning Report will never be written by a r bleep blorp bloop. [$BEGIN Insert usual column-ending attempt at humor. Subset program A54. #END. 10101111]

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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