Last fall, the San Diego school district touted its $2.8 billion money-borrowing plan as a panacea for decrepit buildings. Prop. Z was even called “the “San Diego Neighborhood Schools Classroom Safety and Repair Measure of 2012.″

So what does “classroom safety and repair” have to do with swimming pools? The district plans to use bond money to build as many 10 of them to serve local high schools and the public.

My story explains how the district is able to do this — it has to do with fine print — and gets perspective from attorneys about whether a lawsuit is possible.

Getting the Word Out about Insurance Options

As of Jan. 1, Americans will need to have health insurance or face a penalty that’s small at first (if they’re poor) but will grow over time. As we report via Speak City Heights in a new story, a local non-profit will spend $500,000 to help people — especially the poor and Latinos — understand the changes that are coming.

Chalk Case Deliberations Continue

The trial of a San Diego man accused of writing anti-bank slogans on the sidewalk in chalk — the jury deliberations continue today — continues to get national attention. Following on the heels of local news outlets, the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, the Los Angeles Times and more are covering the story, drawing hundreds of negative comments.

On Saturday, activists protested by drawing chalk slogans outside the downtown Hall of Justice, 10News reports.

The Reader, meanwhile, reports on the previous case of an Occupy protester who landed in jail for three days after making a statement via chalk at the Civic Center plaza. And it finds that in 2011, a group of anti-abortion activists wrote slogans in chalk outside abortion clinics with no police interference.

The Reader also has a new quote from the mayor about the case: “I think it’s a stupid case and is costing us money. If these are the types of cases the City Attorney is prosecuting then I am not sure he needs as much money in his budget as he says he does.”

• Clarification: During editing of Friday’s Morning Report, we added a link to a tweet from CityBeat’s Kelly Davis responding to an insulting tweet from Jeff Olson, the defendant facing jail time for chalk protests.

Olson’s tweet was not visible since he’d deleted it. It had accused Davis of being jealous of another reporter for getting the scoop on the case.

Filner’s Transparency Woes

Journalists have been complaining throughout Mayor Bob Filner’s term about how it’s impossible to get information about any issue, even minor non-controversial ones, from his office.

Now, his communication director has quit. (She joins a growing list of high-level workers who have abandoned ship, including former Councilwoman Donna Frye, who was briefly the city’s open government czar, and a top aide who just left in a high-profile huff.)

How bad have things gotten on the communications front? Consider this Saturday tweet from U-T reporter Kristina Davis: “SD lifeguards on scanner saying they aren’t allowed to give a media interview about the weather and crowds, pending mayor’s approval. Sheesh.”

• The U-T rustles up some Filner allies to ask what they think about his “belligerent” behavior. Some say it’s hurting him, but not all: One defends him, saying it’s just hard to find good help (i.e., staff) these days.

S.D.’s First Gay Marriage Since 2008 Expected Today

This afternoon, two men from Chula Vista are expected to be the first gay couple to get married in the county since Prop. 8 banned such unions in 2008, the U-T reports. The couple also plans to finish the process of adopting their three children today.

The Los Angeles Times says that no county clerk’s office workers have objected to having to perform gay marriages; 24 did in 2008.

Meanwhile, CNBC commentator Herb Greenberg writes in a new column about how his teenage son came out as gay to his parents and then, instantly, in a column in the Torrey Pines High (San Diego) student newspaper in 2005.

“What Andrew was doing took courage; we knew that. We didn’t know how much until we saw what he had written,” Greenberg writes. “It was hard not to be proud.”

She Can’t Even Buy a Vowel

Last week, the Morning Report reported that a local legislator (Assemblywoman Marie Waldron) goes by the Twitter handle @ConservtveWoman while @conservativewoman is available.

That would be amusing if it was true. But it’s not. CityBeat, the source of that information, got it wrong. In fact, the vowel-friendly handle is not available because it’s too long to meet Twitter requirements.

Srry abt tht.

One Meeting Over ‘Project from Hell,’ Five Cops

Last week, I told you about a botched and over-budget sewer line project in Normal Heights that disrupted a section of the neighborhood for months and accidentally cut off water and electricity to local residents.

The Reader has a report about last week’s community meeting about the mess. How’d it go? Not well. The city may have expected that, since five cops — all reported to be on overtime — showed up.

Residents complained of unjust parking tickets and cars towed without warning. To make matters worse, the construction appears to have disrupted the already unstable soil in the area, which is notorious for causing home foundations and sidewalks to crumble. (We published a story about the Dirt that Ate Normal Heights earlier this year.)

The city is working to respond to some, but not all, claims of damage. “What we really want is an apology,” one resident said. “What we’re getting is ‘okey-dokey,’ and you know what that really means.”

Well, not actually. But I can imagine.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.

Randy Dotinga

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

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.