We finally have one important piece of the Poway puzzle: The The district paid $130,000 for an investigation into its billion-dollar bond deal.

The report praised the officials who put the deal together. The district still won’t say why the company that performed the probe was chosen, or what it was asked to investigate.

Spotlight: District 4

Liam Dillon is about to set up shop in District 4, exploring what’s important to voters there, and sitting down with candidates.

The Limits of Open Government

Count Donna Frye among the public records advocates who want to see the probes of City Auditor Eduardo Luna released.

Frye heads the city’s new open government department, so her opinion matters here, right? Not really, Liam Dillon reports.

What We Learned This Week

San Diego Unified Has a New Superintendent: Will Carless was the first to report that Cindy Marten will take the helm at San Diego Unified, following the unexpected departure of Bill Kowba.

• Our Scott Lewis notes that in ascending to her new role, Marten will have the ability to shape her own staff in a way she never had as principal. How she wields that power could define her success at the district.

Businessman Candidate Has Business Problems: District 4 Council Candidate Barry Pollard has touted his experience as a businessman during the campaign. But his business license was pulled by the city last year because of unpaid fees. He also “owes the state $7,311 in back taxes, penalties and accrued interest.”

Auditor Probe Is Still Under Wraps — for Now: The city has not released two investigative reports into allegations against City Auditor Eduardo Luna and his top deputy. Public records experts say the city should release them.

The city insists it will release the docs — on its own timetable. Audit Committee Chairman Kevin Faulconer says that could happen “by the end of March.”

Sidewalks Are Getting Fixed: Liam Dillon checked in on the progress of a few submissions to The Stumblr, and found that some of the broken sidewalks featured are no longer broken. The city says The Stumblr has helped make officials aware of problems.

There’s No Quick-Fix for Balboa Park: Overhauling Balboa Park may not require $40 million, like the Plaza de Panama plan that was recently shut down. But it also won’t be as simple as a finger-snap. Lisa Halverstadt evaluated Mayor Bob Filner’s claim that the plaza could be cleared of parking with just “six traffic cones,” and deemed it misleading.

Active Voice Is a Go: Our new blog, Active Voice, featuring outside contributors offering perspective on sports, culture, food and education, launched this week.

Already, Active Voice posts have tackled the curriculum vs. class size debate, the politics of composting the value of Padres third baseman Chase Headley and what it’s like to perform while stifling your own laughter.

Quick News Hits

• The state Board of Equalization voted on a tax increase that will bring gas taxes from 36 cents per gallon to 39.5 cents per gallon, reports U-T San Diego. The price increase will kick in July 1. We broke down the taxes that make up your gas bill in this Fact Check.

• A local arborist is on a mission to map every tree in San Diego. (10 News)

Quote of the Week

“I took a nap. A nap. That’s when you just lie down in the middle of the afternoon and no one can see you and it’s private.” — Liz Hirsch, on the simple joys of finding permanent housing.

Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at sara.libby@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

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Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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