San Diego’s new push to roll out the Common Core education standard found funding, but now the problem is finding time to train the teachers. Mario Koran talked to teachers and administrators who were all worried about getting the new curriculum into classrooms with enough time to have success on the new Smarter Balanced assessments that accompany Common Core.

And it’s not only the new curriculum that’s got district officials worried. The new test will be computerized, and no one is certain if all the students will be ready to operate a computer by the time test day arrives.

That’s the Question

As we get ever deeper into the issue of racial profiling by San Diego’s law enforcement organizations, one complaint is that officers too often ask the person they’ve stopped if they are on probation. The question seems to pop up predominantly in minority neighborhoods, Megan Burks reported, and is sometimes the first question an officer will ask. “We don’t have a stop-and-frisk problem. We have an, ‘Are you on probation or parole?’ problem,” said Lei-Chala Wilson, president of the local NAACP. Police ask the question to discover whether a person has already waived their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches, which is common for those on parole or probation.

• San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne also asked for funding to start testing body cameras that would be attached to police officers.

Illegal Donations: San Diego Explained

In case you hadn’t heard, something of a scandal has been uncovered in local San Diego politics, all about foreign money making its way, illegally, to local political campaigns. While some questions remain unanswered, Scott Lewis and NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia took to the whiteboard to explain what we do know in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Voices Aplenty

• John Gennaro has his eye on the continuing saga of Mike Dee, the Padres’ new team president. Dee’s efforts to swap out members of the Padres organization with members of the Miami Dolphins organization, of which Dee was previously the CEO, continue to draw the ire of some Padres fans.

• We’re also pleased to unveil a new member in our Active Voice cast. Blair Giesen is a serial entrepreneur and founder of, and will be contributing his examinations of the local tech startup scene. “I have met some of the most amazing programmers in the world, and they are here in San Diego building products and platforms that make life easier,” Giesen wrote.

• A letter we published recently advocated for dense urban development in order to make tighter, walkable communities. The letter ignited dozens of comments and, now, a response from the letter’s author, Walter Chambers. “Low density developments are essentially government subsidies,” Chambers wrote. “Land Use in low density areas is so financially unproductive that it is impossible to build and maintain the infrastructure needed for them to exist.”


10 News uncovered a special email address former Mayor Bob Filner was using during his time in office: The account was known only to a few insiders and the now-uncovered emails show Filner communicating about city business using the account, including his trip to Paris, his sexual harassment awareness training, and meetings with lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes who is now accused of funneling money illegally from Mexico to local politicians.

Wild Idea May Have Legs

There’s a push to get a proposal on the November ballot that would make possession of any illegal drug for personal use a misdemeanor, which would mean a lot fewer incarcerations for that crime. The controversial idea is sure to have many supporters, but two of the most surprising backers are San Diego Police Chief Bill Landsdowne and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

One political strategist who is working on the bill, says there is “surprising unanimity between the political right and left on this one.” And polling suggests that the majority of Californians want the change. “If they can get it to the ballot, it will pass,” said Barry Krisberg, an adviser to the supporters of the bill.

News Nibbles

• San Diego County will sell naming rights to the facilities inside its parks (but not to the parks themselves).

• San Diego’s bicycle sharing program is still coming, it’ll just be here later than planned.

• Here’s what California’s drought looks like from the edge of space.

• ‘Batkid’ returns, this time in Carlsbad.

• San Diego-area company Taylor Guitars was presented with the Award for Corporate Excellence by Secretary of State John Kerry.

• If you get a lot of forwarded emails, you may have read that radiation from Japan’s Fukishima power plant is supposedly finding its way to west coast beaches. Tired of relying on rumors, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has started an effort to get ongoing, independent tests of water up and down the Pacific coast. San Diego’s waters are among the first tested. There’s nothing in the water to report.

My Drug of Choice

A popular program spearheaded by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is teaching prison inmates how to become dangerous… bakers. Armed with dough and sweetening agents, inmates are taught the wicked, tempting ways of the bakery, including pastries and something called “bread art.” One man serving time for selling drugs says the program has already set him up for a chance at a job in La Jolla once he is released.

If he’ll perfect the baking of a warm, gooey cinnamon roll (and put raisins in it), he can count me as a regular who’ll need his regular fix.

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

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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