Residents near Hoover High school sued when the San Diego Unified School District put up lights at the school’s stadium, claiming the district never told voters it would spend money from a 2008 bond this way. It’s anybody’s guess where the money will come from to pay the penalty, but that’s only part of the problem for the district.
Will Carless explores the bigger worry, which is whether this complaint could apply to many other decisions on how bond money was spent or will be with the $2.8 billion tax hike voters approved in 2012, Proposition Z.
• On a related note, the Huffington Post explained the multi-layered energy efficiency program being used in construction of new San Diego schools. Included in the new construction costs were earmarks for job training programs for sustainable construction practices funded in partnership with several local trade unions.
Skateboarding Gets an Official Home in City Heights
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, especially when that wheel has a vocal lobbying effort attached to it. Since 2010, local skateboarding advocates in City Heights have been asking for a new facility — even going so far as to get political signatures on a promise note. Now those efforts are paying off.
The new ramps at the Central Avenue Mini Park are not the full-scale skatepark requested by the community (the mayor did not include funding for that in his budget), but it is a start. Councilwoman Marti Emerald is currently working on a plan to secure space for a larger facility.
The Collateral Damage of Robo-Grading
San Diego public school teacher and Active Voice contributor Oscar Ramos makes an interesting case against the use of new software that allows for the “robo-grading” of student essays. He argues that the grading process has a host of secondary benefits that will be lost by even the most-sophisticated computer program, hindering the learning process and basic written communication skills. Certainly an interesting read, as long as we’re still doing that kind of thing.
VOSD Radio: The Expansion Plan
Host Will Carless was joined by Andrew Keatts this week on VOSD Radio for a discussion about Councilman Todd Gloria’s role in the dramatic change to a city report about a North Park school expansion that led to its rejection and a lawsuit, which the city lost.
Also discussed were the troubling metrics for measuring the success of San Diego schools and the city’s bold attempt to blame San Diegans for the sorry state of our sidewalks.
VOSD Radio airs on AM 600 KOGO on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Subscribe to the podcast here.
Most Popular of the Week
Our most read posts of the week were lead by an especially strange controversy caused by the off-color comment from Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel about Dodger’s pitcher Zack Greinke, comparing the clinically unstable pitcher to Dustin Hoffman’s “Rain Man” character. The recent court decision against City Councilman Todd Gloria, the mysterious retirement of SDSU women’s basketball coach Beth Burns and shady business at a local farmers market all made the the list as well.
Reader Commentary: What Say You, GOP?
Alex Roth is a former spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders and he’s not a fan of the current Filner administration. His criticisms run deep, but he’s even more frustrated by the local GOPs polarizing inability to play nice with the Democratic party.
Roth’s op-ed is a stunning condemnation of the ideological warfare that he believes is ruining the once-noble political pursuits of the Republican Party.
Stories Outside VOSD
• The L.A. Times made the startling discovery of a military explosive that was found on Cardiff State Beach, leading to the closure of a stretch of Encinitas coastline for several hours while bomb squads secured the area.
• The Department of Homeland Security is exploring the potential of a crossing fee for both U.S. international borders, according to KPBS. No word yet on whether that’s even legal or possible.
• The end of community redevelopment agencies has created another round of conflict in Sacramento as dozens of lawsuits and jurisdictions fight over where remaining funds will end up. State controllers have already discovered hundreds of millions of dollars in misappropriated funds since the initial decision in 2011, reports the AP.
• Sequestration is back in the news, this time due to longer waits at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field while air traffic controllers are kept on furlough, reducing the number of planes that can take off and land at the airport. KPBS reports that nearly 20 percent of flights were delayed as of yesterday afternoon, although airport officials deny a direct correlation.
Either way, it might be a good idea to pack a couple extra paperbacks on your next trip.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed a story about redevelopment. It was reported and written by the Associated Press.