The Morning Report
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Not long ago, we introduced San Diego to Stan “Data” Dobbs, the new chief financial officer of the San Diego Unified School District. Our Q-and-A created a firestorm and resulted in a parade of apologies from Dobbs and his bosses.
One of the things Dobbs had said was that the district had “hundreds of excess employees” who were “literally lying around.”
Thursday night, reporter Will Carless checked back in with Dobbs, who clarified that contention. What he says he and the district are trying to achieve is make sure schools really have the right ratio of teachers to students. It’s not happening now and the results may mean there’s inequity from school to school.
But nobody is lying around, Dobbs said.
• This week, Carless and NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia explained how far the school district is from coming to a conclusion on how it should assess a school’s performance. Newly designated superintendent Cindy Marten, went back and forth with me Tuesday about this issue as well.
Police Protest Every Liquor License App
Earlier this week, we ran another Q-and-A, with Jacob McKean, the owner of Modern Times Beer. He’s opening a brewery in Point Loma that police have delayed and he claimed that police put a hold on every single new alcohol license. You see, police are notified whenever a business has applied to sell alcohol and have the option to protest it./p>
We decided to fact check that claim. Do police really protest every application? Pretty much.
Top Comments of the Week
In our top comments of the week, we have some folks up in arms about the school district’s sale of land in Mission Beach, a restriction on beer sales to 22-ounce bottles at some establishments and why some neighborhoods need good street lights.
One Bankers Hill resident admits that he feels bad but drives through Balboa Park regularly and that the mayor’s new plan to temporarily close the Cabrillo Bridge on weekends is probably appropriate.
New Balboa Park Plan Goes to Council
On that Balboa Park plan, KPBS says the City Council will weigh whether to include some money for it on Monday. It may be more complicated than it looks but, if they are to meet the mayor’s goal of rerouting traffic by Memorial Day, they have to work fast.
Here’s background to the plan and the reactions we gathered.
Council President Todd Gloria gave the mayor’s plan a thumbs up with some caveats.
What We Learned This Week
Community plans have competition: We’ve explained in depth how the city’s community planning process works. But the child of the agency that represented redevelopment for downtown San Diego now has a new idea: It would like to do community plans for specific 300-acre areas. The plans would be faster to finish and projects that conformed to them would be easier to build.
Our investigator is leaving and we’re hiring: Will Carless, our lead investigative reporter for quite some time, has now quit Voice of San Diego three times. The first time, he went to India. The second time, he took his family to Indonesia to live. And now, he’s moving to Uruguay. But not for a couple months and, yes, we’ll squeeze as much as we can from him.
The Chargers got a jolt this week and that’s leading our Sports Report.
New Main Library Delayed
The new downtown library will be delayed two months in opening. Scheduled for July 27, it will now open Sept. 28. Though the city puts a nice spin on it, this is kind of a problem because the old library is closing in June. The charter school will open in time for the school year. (U-T San Diego)
Quick News Hits
• “This weekend, the San Diego Women’s Chorus and Black Storytellers of San Diego will fill University Christian Church in Hillcrest with an inspired mix of sung and spoken text on equality,” writes our Libby Weber.
• Lot of folks said “that was quick” this week when the United States Olympic Committee let it be known that the Olympic Charter did not allow two countries like Mexico and the United States to jointly bid on hosting the Games. Had it quashed a young idea so soon? The U-T sees a way it can still happen.
• The U-T’s Gary Robbins says the National Weather Service is going to begin furloughing forecasters in San Diego, which might be a tad worrisome with fire season.
• The New York Times says the Amtrak San Diego-San Luis Obispo route is possibly on the chopping block.
• The California Supreme Court will, Monday, release a ruling on whether cities and counties can ban marijuana dispensaries, which the U-T’s Greg Moran says has huge implications. The city of San Diego has a de facto ban in place as it has determined it does not have zoning that allows them anywhere. Whether it’s enforced is a big question.
• Have you heard about the Bitcoin? It’s a currency derived from a mathematical formula and it has, itself, become something of a nauseating investment vehicle. Here’s an excellent explainer of how it works. San Diego may get the first Bitcoin ATM, according to Fox 5.
Quote of the Week
“If you really want to take a better look at this neighborhood, come here at night. You’ll see it better” — Encanto resident Frank Gomez on the lack of street lights in his neighborhood.
Correction: The delay for the new library opening is only two months not three months as this piece originally said.
I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!).