SeaWorld has taken two different (some might say conflicting) approaches to the explosive “Blackfish” documentary: It says everything’s doing great and customers aren’t being scared away, and it’s also launched an aggressive campaign to counter the claims made in the documentary.

This week, they played up that first approach big-time, telling shareholders and financial analysts in a conference call that far from seeing a drop-off, business has picked up since 2012. Their summary didn’t delve into specific parks, but Lisa Halverstadt looked at some of SeaWorld San Diego’s rent payments to the city – which are tied to revenue – and found the numbers mostly back up those claims.

What You Need to Know About Shelley Zimmerman

Shelley Zimmerman has held just about every job within the San Diego Police Department you could think of: Undercover high school student, mayoral bodyguard, Internal Affairs, Vice. And now she’s added one more: chief.

Liam Dillon dug into Zimmerman’s history with the department and identified five interesting pieces of her background, including her close friendship with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and why members of the City Council think she’ll be better at her predecessor Bill Lansdowne at speaking up when he department needs something.

Common Core Outrage Doesn’t Add Up

Some choice tweets and blog posts about the way basic math problems are being hashed out under the new Common Core standards suggest kids are being forced to reinvent the wheel.

But our education blogger Christie Ritter pored through some of the practice tests and found it’s not really as scary as all that: “There’s a lot that teachers and parents still don’t know about the rollout of Common Core, but I’m all for teaching strategies that my kids will be able to put to use, rather than theories that scare them off of math and ultimately out of STEM careers.”

What We Learned This Week

San Diego taxpayers have a stake in SeaWorld’s success, thanks to the park’s lease agreement with the city.

• Otay Mesa has a new community plan.

• Before there was “21 Jump Street,” there was Shelley Zimmerman at Patrick Henry High.

• San Diego Unified is staring down a budget deficit, and has two main strategies to tackle it.

Quick News Hits

• The Student Success Fee that stirred controversy among some San Diego State students was approved Friday by both CSU Chancellor Timothy White and SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.

The $200 fee will be implemented over a four-year period starting next semester and will go toward hiring 80 tenure-track professors and bolstering class sections.

• In this week’s Sports Report, John Gennaro isn’t buying the hype that SDSU will go further than usual in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

• Bob Filner gave up part of his pension in an agreement with the judge and prosecutors after he pleaded in his sexual harassment case. But the U-T has discovered that the retirement system is not willing to lower his payments yet.

• Kevin Faulconer is starting to become pundits’ favorite example of why California Republicans are making a comeback. Here’s the latest example.

• Left-y blog ThinkProgress says Carl DeMaio’s not as environmentally friendly as he thinks he is.

Quote of the Week, Part I

Balboa Park’s worthy institutions and volunteers do not deserve to be scapegoated. Neither should the public be accused of failure to engage in a planning process that changed direction with little public explanation, and generally appeared opaque and insular.” – Nancy Carol Carter, on the collapse of Balboa Park Celebration Inc.

Quote of the Week, Part II

“People are disappointed, even angry, about BPCI’s failure. They deserve to be. I am trying to give a full and accurate accounting of what went wrong and why. BPCI can be faulted for many things. But ‘blaming the public’ is not one of them.” – Gerry Braun, media outreach coordinator for Balboa Park Celebration Inc.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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