San Diego schools have a surprising new superintendent, an educator who’s never risen higher than principal. So what’s Cindy Marten’s record at the school she ran for the several few years? We decided to take a look.

Our analysis finds so-so numbers on the student performance front. At the same time, many educators think the available statistics aren’t a helpful gauge of her accomplishments in the first place. One local education activist thinks they’re useless in evaluating Marten.

So how did Marten’s become so popular? Our story explains: “The district’s new superintendent has spent the last few years dazzling the board, other principals and parents not with statistics but on a host of fronts that aren’t so easily measured.”

VOSD Radio looks at the San Diego school district’s limp record on real-estate deals and other hot topics in the local news world.

Auditor’s No. 2 Takes New Job

The city auditor’s office is losing its second-in-command, who is under investigation, we report. Assistant City Auditor Chris Constantin is heading to the California city of Chino. For more on the investigation, check out our story from last week.

Fact Check TV: What Cops Cost

Fact Check TV analyzes a series of claims made by San Diego police officers as they push for an across-the-board raise. As we reported earlier, the claims run the gamut from true and mostly true to misleading. Our original post prompted plenty of discussion from readers: Check the comments (more than two dozen) here, including complaints about one of our verdicts and attacks on the supposed “greed” of cops.   

Filner vs. Goldsmith, Round CXVII

Mayor Filner is asking local and state prosecutors to investigate a campaign mailer that features a strange variation on the city seal, CityBeat reports. We’ve fact-checked the flier, which attacked a candidate in last month’s sole City Council race.

The seal “varies slightly from the city seal — details on a center shield are missing, as is a depiction of a bell above — but the wording on the seals is identical, including the city’s motto, ‘Semper Vigilans’ (Latin for ‘Always Vigilant’). The mailer resembled an official city notice and included the words ‘urgent’ and ‘open immediately,’” CityBeat reports.

Filner writes that the seal is a “bastardized” version of the real one. “Needless to say,” he writes in his letter, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith can’t be trusted to investigate because his campaign treasurer is working with the people who funded the mailer.

• Filner has endorsed Myrtle Cole, who was attacked in the flier, in her bid to win a run-off City Council election in the district that covers much of southeastern San Diego. (U-T San Diego)

• Our look at the city attorney’s biggest “letdowns” attracted the most readers on our site last week. Here’s the full Top 10 list.

 Quick News Hits

• “The operator of the shuttered San Onfore nuclear power plant submitted a draft plan to federal regulators Monday that could help pave the way to restart one of the twin reactors by summer,” the AP reports. Understand the backstory with our video explainer.

• The Carmel Valley News looks at the debate over how much traffic the One Paseo development will bring to the northern San Diego neighborhood. For background, read our story here.

• The U-T has a nifty graphic explaining the physical upgrades to the baseball stadium downtown.

• The budget cuts due to sequestration might not bump up the waits at the border crossing after all, the U-T reports.

• It’s no April Fool’s Day joke: Mayor Bob Filner, whose wide grin is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter and the Cheshire Cat, will win an award this week from something called the American Laughing Championship.

“We saw pictures of him on Google and couldn’t believe what a crazy smile he has,” the championship’s organizer told KPBS. “We said, ‘this guy is an extremely smiley mayor like no one we’ve seen before.’ Then we looked him up and saw controversies about him telling jokes at events.”

That’s for sure. Among other things, he’s offended people (perhaps including some easily offended people) by ribbing the city’s movers and shakers. Turns out that while smiles aren’t always contagious, grimaces can spread like wildfire.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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