The Morning Report
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Blazing heat ignited fires throughout San Diego County Wednesday, some of which destroyed homes and property. Officials have said the fires are unusual in that they’ve started with intensity a lot earlier than previous fire seasons. Unfortunately, the National Weather Service said Wednesday that a heat warning would remain in effect until late Thursday. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.
• We rounded up a list of official sources you can follow to get updates.
• KPBS is maintaining a map of the fires along with their continuing coverage.
• The San Diego County Office of Education has a list of schools closed Thursday.
• The U-T rounded up some of the most amazing photos of the fires taken by locals.
• One of the most striking images from these fires came in a video of a “fire tornado.”
• Mayor Kevin Faulconer emailed city employees Wednesday night to thank responders and to emphasize: “The City of San Diego will be open and continue to provide service to residents. ”
• Dolphins play in the ocean against a back drop of a wildfire: Welcome to San Diego.
SDPD’s Long Complaint List
Charges of police officer misconduct have plagued the San Diego Police Department in recent years and have drawn a lot of public ire. Liam Dillon pulled together nine ongoing cases that the department has yet to fully resolve, from well-known ones like officer Anthony Arevalos to a lesser known case where an officer is counter-suing the city for investigating “racy posters” he had posted at work. Among the biggest unanswered questions are what federal criminal investigators and Department of Justice examiners will conclude from their separate probes into the department.
The School District’s Senior Moments
For teachers in San Diego Unified, seniority rules. Most opportunities that pop up inside the district are governed by rules that require a teacher’s seniority to be a key factor in decision-making. But Mario Koran reports that, despite agreement that the system needs to change, the district isn’t pushing very hard for any new solutions.
The latest contract proposal from the district to the teachers union requests “more flexibility in where it places teachers,” but that’s all we know about the negotiation. We also know a recent program intended to tempt top-paid teachers out of their jobs means that a big game of musical chairs is around the corner; more than 400 teachers took the deal to retire early.
While the common refrain is that the November race for the 52nd Congressional District will be between front-runners Scott Peters and Carl DeMaio, Scott Lewis reports on two other Republicans running for the seat, one a doctor and one with military credentials. Fred Simon, a surgeon, is “most fired up about the Affordable Care Act and health care reform, which he pledges to repeal,” Lewis writes. Jorgensen, a former Marine, has staked out fiscally and socially conservative position that he said brings the Republican Party back to its “grass roots.”
• On whether he should have known he was under-funding San Diego’s pension system, Dick Murphy said recently, “maybe if we had given it some thought …” (CityBeat)
• Only 28 percent of for-sale homes in San Diego are affordable to people with middle-class incomes.
• Two former Qualcomm managers have been criminally charged with insider trading.
• San Diego will begin to evaluate the condition of buildings and equipment in San Diego’s public parks. See you in a few years.
• Aside from the delayed roll-out of a new bike-sharing program, San Diego is also holding on to “roughly 200 new bike rack stations,” which sit in storage, the U-T reports.
Bad Timing, Bad Times
That family who was rescued at sea with a young child appeared on public radio’s “This American Life” with some interesting things to say. Among them, one reason not to trust your satellite phone. The family’s satellite phone company “mailed us a new SIM card, and then they deactivated them a week after they mailed them.” That minute the company deactivated the card happened to be the minute the family was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, their boat taking on water, using the phone to reach out for help.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.