The Poway Unified school board faced the public last night to explain why it had taken out the back-loaded loan that has it facing national scrutiny.

District officials maintained they had been forthright with the public and said the 2011 loan needs to be seen in context of a much larger construction undertaking that involved other, less expensive loans. 

Some residents’ anger matched that of television pundits. However, for the most part, residents engaged in a quiet conversation at the meeting.

“[T]he enduring impression from it was of a community reeling from both the import of last year’s deal and the spotlight that has been shone upon it,” Will Carless writes.

“What several people asked the board were practical questions: What can we do now? Can this deal be undone, and what can we do to help?” he says.

“The short answer to all those questions would appear to be: Nothing.”

Our coverage of the Poway district’s big financial gamble drew the national media’s attention to the bond measure and prompted local outcry too.

More Poway Insights

• “I can’t decide if this is an incredibly irresponsible act or a brilliant plan.”

That’s the intro that kicked off a discussion on whether inflation and growth in property value will save the district’s bacon on Professor Piggington’s Econo-Almanac for the Landed Poor (the website of our real estate/economy guru Rich Toscano).

• Not caught up on all this Poway hubbub? The latest VOSD Radio podcast, Editor Andrew Donohue and CEO Scott Lewis break down the key points.

Fact Check TV: Filner’s Wild Accusation

Fact Check TV checks Rep. Bob Filner’s claim that the partner of his mayoral rival was behind the massive water-gun fight that damaged Balboa Park’s lily pond. The finding: It’s false.

• The Mayor’s Office estimates the damage from the late-night water gun fight that went rogue at Balboa Park’s lily pond at more than $19,000. Park boosters have raised $13,000 in donations for repairs.

The fixes should be finished by Wednesday. City workers “have cleared all damaged plants, dirt, mud and debris. Staff have also temporarily repaired the pond’s plumbing system and refilled the pond with water. The water was treated to protect the fish and turtles inside,” NBC San Diego reports.

San Onofre Shut Down Forces Job Losses

The power company that runs the shut-down San Onofre nuclear power plant will cut 730 workers there because of rising costs. The plant hasn’t been in operation since January and the company said the reactor that forced the shutdown won’t be operational for some time. (NBC 7 San Diego)

For a big-picture look at the troubles facing San Onofre, don’t miss our Rob Davis’ story from last month.

Seau’s Autopsy

Former Chargers star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, didn’t have alcohol or illegal drugs in his system, newly released autopsy results show. He didn’t appear to have brain damage either. (U-T)

Seau’s shocking death, from a .357 magnum revolver bullet, raised questions about whether he — like other players — suffered from brain damage due to injuries on the field.

For background on the debate over the NFL and brain trauma, check our Reader’s Guide.

One Voice at a Time: The City Attorney

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was the guest last week in the latest chat during our One Voice at a Time conversation series. See the photos and the highlights, including Goldsmith’s comment about how the water-gun fight could have been worse: “They could have been using real guns.”

Top of the Charts

Our graphic mapping where parolees live in the county was the most popular article on our site last week, followed by our look at the political brouhaha that erupted following the lily pond damage. Check out the full top-10 story list to see what else readers were reading.  

Quick News Hits

• Arco always seems to have some of the cheapest gas in town. But it may soon disappear: British Petroleum is looking to sell its Arcos in California, Nevada and Arizona, and an economics professor tells 10News that it’s likely gas prices will go up as a result of the loss of the traditionally lower-priced Arco stations.  

• Also in consumer news: You may have seen signs at your local Rite Aid drugstore asking for applications of people willing to work during a labor dispute. The chain is preparing for a possible strike by many of its SoCal workers, who have authorized one. A federal mediator is now involved in talks. (Press-Enterprise) 

Map Week: Getting Windy with It

This week, the Morning Report continues going gonzo over geography. On tap today: a trio of maps that look at things from unusual perspectives.

First, an elaborately illustrated 1896 “Map of California for Cyclers,” courtesy of Turns out bike lanes are hardly new: the map reveals that Golden State cyclists had plenty of “bicycle roads,” but lots of them were in poor condition. (Click on the icons at the bottom of the map to zoom in and make it fill out your screen.)

Second, courtesy of the Library of Congress, an 1876 “bird’s-eye view” map of San Diego, complete with houses, ships, a pier and other fun stuff (including a lasso-wielding cowboy in the foreground). Download the “zoomable” version for a closer look and check out the streets we still know today: Front, Union, State, Ash and more.

Look closely and you’ll also find City Hall, various churches, the telegraph offices, a seminary, the courthouse and (some things never change) the City Brewery, among other sites of interest.

Finally, a site called has a great animated map that offers a near-live depiction of the winds across the United States. If you’re scoring at home, we’re at the lower left corner.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

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

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