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The latest twist at Lincoln High School: Its controversial principal, Dr. Esther Omogbehin, has agreed to move on.

Lincoln has had a tough few years as it’s struggled to rebuild the community pride it had before closing for renovations in 2003. These days, “it’s expensive, it’s clunky, it’s ineffective – it’s a symbol of everything that’s wrong with a large urban school district,” says VOSD’s Mario Koran. But the two years under Omogbehin have been especially tense.

Here’s how Dr. O said things played out: “Because of relentless pressure, (school board Trustee Marne Foster) asked me if I thought it would be best if I went on to a different path instead of having to interface with these weak teachers, these empty vessels that make the most noise and bully other people.”

Calling your teachers “weak” and “empty vessels” probably won’t do much to temper the fight, either.

Until San Diego Unified can find a permanent replacement, Mira Mesa High Vice Principal John Ross will serve as Lincoln’s interim principal, Superintendent Cindy Marten told us.

Police Curb Some Troubling Tactics

The San Diego Police Department has taken heat from community members for two practices: forcing folks to sit on the curb while officers question them, and asking people whether they’re on probation or parole.

Lei-Chala Wilson, head of the local NAACP chapter, told us why citizens feel dehumanized by such tactics: “You get stopped maybe for a traffic ticket and they take you out your car, and they’re doing further investigation and they’re not sure what reason, but they’re sitting you on the curb. So everybody can see you sitting on the curb.”

The department is making moves to respond to these concerns. Officers were told this month to scale back use of both practices. Community advocates are holding back any cheers, though – Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, policy director for the ACLU, told us: “Changing words on a paper have to be met with changing behavior. That’s when we’ll really know.”

The Dollars and Sense of Building a New Stadium

When U-T San Diego put a host of economists on the spot, most of them said funding a new Chargers Stadium with public dollars was a bad idea. Five of them saw things differently.

Their reasons, though, weren’t tied to economics, Liam Dillon points out.

Turning the San Diego Opera Ship Around

This week’s Culture Report offered a little hope that the swift action by new San Diego Opera board president Carol Lazier might keep the institution from joining a disturbing trend. The closing date has been pushed back (yet again) to May 19, so Lazier and husband James Merritt have a little time. So far, they’ve poured about $1 million into the effort, and have met with organizations in other cities to try to find another solution.

The arts and cultures roundup suggests plenty of things to hold your attention while we wait to see how this plays out. Actually, this one’s still a long way off, but I’m most stoked about Steve Martin’s musical coming to the Old Globe in September, as our writer Alex Zaragoza highlights. Bonus: That’s not even the only time you’ll see banjos mentioned.

Quick News Hits

• A prisoner busted for robbery escaped from the downtown San Diego jail as he was being booked on Monday, but he was nabbed again Tuesday. Angelo Paschall joins a long line of San Diego jailbreakers. (U-T)

• So far in the race for district attorney, challenger Bob Brewer is wiping the fundraising floor with current DA Bonnie Dumanis when it comes to fellow members of the legal community. (inewsource)

• Two deaths in Denver have given San Diego city officials the heeby-jeebies. They’re considering changing our regulations on weed-laced edibles. (NBC 7)

• America’s Finest City couldn’t settle for Earth Day. No, no – we got ourselves a whole Earth Week. (City News Service)

• The U.S. Department of Labor is temporarily exempting fast food restaurants on Navy and Marine bases from new minimum wage rules to keep the junk food spots from closing. Eat up, troops. (KPBS)


Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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