The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Think the Occupy movement is a quirk of our modern age? Or that pensions and the right to have several of them at once is a symptom of our current financial debacle? Think again.
As Randy Dotinga points out in a fun flashback: It’s been done.
Dotinga revisits the bizarre saga of John Sehon, who broke in to City Hall and declared himself mayor, after allegations of pension double-dipping and over the objections of an opinionated conservative local paper. Unbelievable, right?
Minds Came, Minds Met
If you weren’t at our latest Meeting of the Minds event or following the #mindsmeet hashtag, feel free to use our latest play-by-play to keep up at the water cooler. Our fourth event in the series was hosted by the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, a fitting location for the night’s subject: the park itself.
The presenters covered a wide range of park history, including the process behind four new sculptures and a firsthand account of daily life while living inside the park. We also learned that San Diego’s centerpiece has one of only12 carousels left in the United States that still let carousel riders grab the brass ring. Put it on the to-do list!
More on DeMaio’s Performance
Vlad Kogan, an Ohio State political science professor, said we missed an important point:
The reference point should not be the percent of registered voters, but rather the percent of actual voters (e.g., those who actually vote).
Read more from Kogan and others on independent voters in San Diego here.
Schools All Over the State Are Gambling With Risky Bonds
The Los Angeles Times published a major investigation yesterday using state data to examine the borrowing habits of schools across the entire state of California. They concluded that 20 percent of state school districts used risky capital appreciation bonds to borrow against their own future.
More than $2.8 billion in CABs were borrowed across the state, costing taxpayers an impressive $13.1 billion over the next 40 years. Reporter Will Carless wrote our original coverage of the CAB debacle at Poway Unified School District and he went through the Times investigation to pick out some highlights for San Diego readers. Make sure to take a look at the statewide interactive database for information about every school district that used CAB loans.
Reader Letters: A Fond Farewell to Diane Sinor
Old Globe Theater Historian Darlene Gould Davies has an obituary for longtime San Diego theater performer Diane Sullivan Sinor. Together, Diane and her columnist husband John Sinor were popular public figures for more than four decades. She passed away on Nov. 5 at the age of 83.
And on a lighter note, we sincerely hope that all critiques of VOSD grammar mistakes can be as colorful as the mock trial submitted by Richard Tibbitts this week. According to Tibbitts, reporter Kelly Bennett managed to slip the noose, but regular Morning Report contributor Randy Dotinga must pay dearly for his crimes. This is obviously a work of pure fiction, because the last recorded moment when Dotinga “maintained a stubborn silence” actually predates the modern legal system.
Quick News Hits
• The New York Times highlighted La Jolla Cove earlier this week for the growing stench on its bluffs. The smell has intensified in the years since the bluffs were closed to people, allowing birds to nest and fully relax, resulting in mounds of noxious guano. A letter to the editor published yesterday points out that the acrid smell is the smell of preserved coastal habitat for a vulnerable population of seabirds.
• The San Diego Reader reports a web of confusion in the mayor’s office, as the city gears up to transition from current Mayor Jerry Sanders to Mayor-elect Bob Filner. The Reader obtained email communications showing that major changes in office staff and scheduling difficulties have complicated the process.
• Poway Unified Superintendent John Collins is one of the highest paid officials in California’s 25 largest school districts, reports the U-T. Collins’ pay is only $9,000 less than Los Angeles Superintendent John Deasy, a district with a budget 23 times larger.
• Demolition crews started taking down an old building to make way for Horton Plaza Park, according to KPBS. The building, which once housed a Robinsons-May department store, is scheduled to become downtown’s newest green space, opening in spring of 2014.