The uproar over the Poway school district’s ultra-expensive construction loan shows no signs of letting up, and now County Treasurer/Tax Collector Dan McAllister is weighing in with a call for reform of the way schools borrow money.

McAllister has released an eight-point plan to limit Poway-type loans, and he wants local state legislators to get behind it. “We’re here to help the process along and bring a little bit of sense and sanity to this issue,” he said. “It seems there are a lot of situations now that have gone riding afar from the original intent of what was provided as a vehicle to do financings.”

Among other things, he wants school districts to get approval for the loans from local officials and be more transparent with constituents about exactly what they’re getting themselves into. He also thinks all of these kinds of loans should be able to be refinanced; that’s not an option for the Poway loan.

Meanwhile, U-T columnist Logan Jenkins notes that “while no one can say the bond deal was the result of shady backroom dealing, it was not conceived and executed with appropriately hysterical fanfare… What we have is a legal crime against humanity, a form of intergenerational assault that is awfully familiar.”

In other Poway bond news, a research analyst with the Nuveen Asset Management company has posted a report that says the media “misses the fundamental nature of the bond.” The report analyzes what might happen if property values in the area where taxpayers have to pay off the bond don’t rise much over time.

What You Can’t Do on Election Day

Frustrated by the two candidates for mayor? Join the club. But we’ll never know exactly how big that club — call it the Anyone But These Two Guys Association — actually is. That’s because it’s impossible for write-in candidates to run for mayor.

Wait, didn’t a woman named Donna Frye come within inches, or at least a few unfilled ballot bubbles, from becoming mayor not too long ago? Hers was a write-in campaign.

Yup, you’re not imagining things. But as our Andrew Donohue explains, she can’t launch a write-in campaign again, and neither can anyone else.  

Arts Report: Balboa Park History Review

The latest piece in our ongoing series examining the controversy-spotted history of Balboa Park takes us to the 1960s, when the prospect of a modernist building in the middle of the park drove some people bananas. But the enthusiasm behind it — not to mention millions of dollars — won the day.  

The building, which houses the wonderful Timken museum, has become accepted over time. Still, some folks, like your Morning Report scribe, think it doesn’t fit in.

In this week’s Arts Report, our Kelly Bennett recaps her story about the birth of the Timken building and provides a 1915 postcard showing the building it replaced. (Check out the Sunday-best clothes on those folks! Very snazzy. And is it just me or do a few of those people look mighty long-legged?)

The Arts Report also links to various stories about local arts and culture, including a look at a documentary about a homeless-teen-turned-artist, an update on the mural restoration work at Chicano Park, and a profile of a new second-hand record store (Groovy Records) in Hillcrest.

Letters: Bad Mayor, Redevelopment, Workers Comp

In letters, former City Attorney Michael Aguirre bashes lame-duck Mayor Jerry Sanders, citing several incidents and actions — including one from almost 30 years ago — to make his case.

Also: Tom Mullaney, a director at Friends of San Diego, responds to our column about redevelopment and the possibility of an infrastructure bond with a list of four things to remember about redevelopment. And Paul Dores of Sabre Spring calls for open talks on the future of the state’s workers compensation system.

Quick News Hits

• Our Rob Davis appeared on KPBS radio to talk about his stories examining a federal agency’s unexplained killings of thousands of wild animals in San Diego County over the last several years.

A representative of the Wildlife Services agency would only appear on the radio show on the condition that KPBS not ask him about Davis’s coverage. He also incorrectly said the agency has given Davis all the records he’s asked for. That claim is false.

• The U-T’s Logan Jenkins examines how two local political races have been impacted by political consultant Tom Shepard’s decision to work for the Democrat in the mayoral race.

• Remember Luis Acle? He’s the former president of the San Diego school board who spent much of his time out of town or even out of the country, raising questions about his geographical fitness for his job. He often went to Arizona, where he owns property. Now, he’s a teacher in the Yuma area and running as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.  

• Morning Report Map Week update: There isn’t room for links to maps today. But I’ll throw in a few extra on Thursday, space permitting.

• Now here’s a shocker: Ultra-fattening treats were a big hit at the Del Mar fair. A total of “60,000 deep-fried Oreos, 180,000 Belly Buster burgers and more than 250,000 pieces of bacon — including 5,000 of the chocolate-covered variety — were doled out,” the North County Times reports.

That’s terrible news for those of us who are deeply concerned about the obesity epidemic. If you happened to stash a deep-fried Oreo in your freezer to eat later, please get rid of it, pronto!

I’ll be happy to help with its, um, disposal. Public service, you know.

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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