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Bernie Rhinerson, the chief of staff for San Diego schools, is the media’s go-to guy when it comes to getting information about public education in our fair city. He’s known for being unflappable and, like any good p.r. person, forthcoming up to a point.

Now, he’s getting ready to retire. Will a VOSD exit interview, lubricated with a bottle of wine, get him to open up?

Well, it seems even that’s not enough to get Rhinerson to say anything bad about anyone or anything. Decide for yourself: we’ve got the transcript of our Q&A with Rhinerson here.

• We’ve also transcribed Scott Lewis’ public interview with Cindy Marten, the principal who will take over San Diego Unified School District as superintendent next month. Be warned, it’s quite long. We’ve made various observations about the discussion but decided to post the whole thing for anyone who really wants to dig in.

• Thursday, at the new Stone Brewing and World Bistro in Liberty Station, Voice of San Diego member and local lawyer Omar Passons is holding his next “Craft Beer Debate” this time on education. Richard Barrera, the new head of the Labor Council and member of school board, plus the new leader of the charter school opening in the downtown library and three others will hold forth in a “House of Commons style free for all” at 6 p.m.

Wooing Doctors to Community Clinics

Obamacare is expected to add 30 million patients to the rolls of those with health insurance. But there’s a big problem: there’s a huge shortage of primary care doctors, and they’re in especially short supply in low-income urban and rural areas, including several in San Diego County.

In a new story, we examine a plan to bring young doctors to the community clinics that serve poor people with the goal of making them feel so at home that they stick around.

Balboa Park Advocates Appeal Anti-Renovation Ruling

Cue the “not dead yet” clip: The committee behind the proposed renovation of Balboa Park is appealing a judge’s ruling that killed the project in its present form, U-T San Diego reports.

The U-T notes that it’s not clear what the City Council, let alone the mayor (no fan of the project), would do if an appeal succeeds. And who would pay for the project if its benefactor, Irwin Jacobs, refuses to get involved?

Want to talk about the appeal? Drop by The Plaza, our newly redesigned website’s chatterbox section, and give us a piece of your mind.

Opinion: Fix Prison Realignment

In letters, graduate student Natalie Diaz writes about the state’s efforts to shift prisoners to local jails: “The overcrowding of our state prison system is so bad, it can qualify as cruel and unusual punishment. Something must be done to remedy this situation. But is funneling offenders from one system to another going to solve the problem? That fact, unfortunately, remains to be seen.”

Get Your Reddit On

One of the major influences on the new design of VOSD’s website is Reddit. If you haven’t been to Reddit, here are a few of my favorite sections (known as subreddits): San Diego, Today I Learned (random factoids), IAmA (Q&As with all kinds of folks) and AskReddit (questions answered by Reddit users at large). And if you’re a map geek, don’t miss Mapporn, which is entirely safe for work.

Quick News Hits

• The U-T editorial board has been a major critic of the port, and the newspaper’s reporters have been giving special attention to the Unified Port of San Diego’s financial woes. In a new story, the paper examines how the port’s public art program, known for producing a humdinger or two along with some acclaimed works, nearly got killed off but seems to have survived with less money.

• A new report finds that the people who use the Food Bank are mostly Latino and mostly extremely poor (two-thirds of those who are employed have household incomes under $17,000), KPBS reports.

• The U-T notes that the downtown library is in its last few days. The cozy, musty and fossilized E Street building will shut for good next Sunday.

But, in an unfortunate twist that will leave some library users in the lurch, there’s still months to go before the planned late September opening of the new downtown library. For the rest of the summer, materials in the downtown library won’t be available to be checked out or examined. The library system is working with other area libraries to increase access to materials.

The U-T also has a feature profiling the “treasures” of the museum. Check the photo of rare works from the Wangenheim room.

• The LA Times discovers that our mayor is “confrontational.” (Who knew?) The story rounds up a usual suspect or two to comment.

• San Diego turns up in 2nd place in a real-estate website’s ranking of the most canine-friendly cities in the country. We score well because we’re big on dog parks, dog sitters, dog-friendly restaurants (if the pooches stay on the patio) and, of course, dog surfing.

Dogs play fetch, right? Somebody get me the rules of Major League Baseball. Do the Padres have to be, you know, human? Asking for a friend.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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