San Diego’s school board unanimously recognized the parents group, UPforEd, as “important partners” in the effort to engage all parents in district issues. This has caused a bit of a problem with the district’s teachers union, the San Diego Education Association. The labor group is worried that the group is not just simply focused on “improving schools.”

“They were soliciting signatures from parents to attempt to convert some of our district schools to charters,” SDEA President Bill Freeman said. UPforEd’s executive director formerly worked for the California Charter Schools Association.

How Aguirre Won

As the mayoral primary election fades, Lisa Halverstadt looked back on the performance of Mike Aguirre and what he got out of his candidacy. He received “just 4 percent of the vote”, Halverstadt wrote, “but he may have come away with another sort of win.”

The man who, as city attorney, once famously urged the evacuation of the entire city of San Diego had earned himself a reputation for being strident and unpredictable. But Aguirre’s straight-talk rhetoric and affable nature during the campaign may have helped to heal his image with city insiders, if not voters. “He has made himself a more serious voice in public policy in San Diego,” said political consultant John Hoy, who worked to unseat Aguirre in 2008.

San Diego Explained: The Run-off

Now that the race for mayor is down to only two candidates, it’s a new (and short) ballgame. With voters distracted by holidays, the remaining candidates will have only a very short time to make their case to voters. Our Scott Lewis talked with NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia about where we go from here in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Race Reflections

• One thing became clear about the ongoing race yesterday: the candidates agreed to attend no more than six mayoral debates.

• Speaking of looking back, TJ Zane, president of the Lincoln Club, posted his defense of “going negative” during election campaigning on his Facebook wall, which generated some fascinating conversation.

• Citybeat posted an obituary for Nathan Flecther’s mayoral hopes, bemoaning the news that Fletcher may not be up for actively campaigning for David Alvarez.

• By the most recent official count of ballots, Kevin Faulconer won 43.13 percent of the vote, followed by 26.08 percent for Alvarez and 24.27 percent for Fletcher, who has already conceded the race.

Chalking It Up

Remember that chalk guy, who made national news after he was arrested and prosecuted by the San Diego city attorney’s office for drawing on a sidewalk outside of a bank?

Well, “chalk man” Jeff Olson was ultimately acquitted on 13 counts of misdemeanor vandalism. The prosecutor in the case “asked 12 potential jurors if they thought the case against Olson was a poor use of taxpayer money,” reported the U-T.  “At least six hands shot up.”

Jan Goldsmith has since  “emphasized to his staff that all prosecutions of protesters must go to him for approval,” wrote the U-T.

News Nibbles

• An investigation into the Navy’s ship-supply contracts has resulted in action against a seventh member of the Navy, this one a San Diego-based captain.

• Balboa Park has finally created an annual pass that gets members unlimited access to many of the park’s institutions.

• The Port of San Diego is mulling the idea of raising parking fees at the downtown waterfront, and maybe even adding Sunday enforcement.

• Senator Barbara Boxer has signaled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission might be withholding documents from her that pertain to the San Onofre nuclear power station.

• Booze won’t be banned on the Coaster train for at least another year, if it happens at all.

• Unlike the federal healthcare problems, Covered California says enrollment is progressing nicely for customers of the new healthcare plans, except for customers who are Spanish-speaking.

• The cost of water for residences and businesses will go up over the next two years.

The Bovine Difference

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pouring money into grants for innovators who are trying to develop the “condom of the future,” the New York Times reported. Among 812 applications, 11 grants were awarded, one to a San Diego company, appropriately called Apex Medical Technologies. Their idea? An “ultrasensitive reconstituted collagen condom,” made from cow tendons or fish skin. Mark McGlothin, Apex’s president, thinks he can make condoms thinner and stronger.

“They’re unbelievably strong,” said Mr. McGlothlin, “I could yank all day and not break this thing.”

Eddie Vedder Disses the U-T

Pearl Jam played to a packed house in San Diego Thursday. The U-T has a photo gallery featuring lead singer Eddie Vedder, who used to live in San Diego. But the paper might not highlight what Vedder had to say about it. On stage, the star said he looked at the newspaper’s motto “The World’s Greatest Country, America’s Finest City” and, well, didn’t like it. It’s unclear what the actual words were but here are a couple versions.

If it makes the U-T feel any better, we’d be super stoked if Vedder even knew about us.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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