Officially at least, we’re not likely to know much about the drama that will unfold as the San Diego school district and its educators negotiate their next contract. But we have a pretty good idea about the issues that will be high on the agenda: Teacher evaluations, their wages and health care and class sizes.
Mario Koran also offers a bonus collective bargaining primer.
Bumble Bee Tuna Doesn’t Sheath Its Sting
Bumble Bee Tuna is kicking off a new era as the San Diego-based company moves into a new headquarters. In a Q-and-A interview, we talk with CEO Chris Lischewski, who firmly defends the seafood giant against its critics.
How much of a fighter is Lischewski? Just check what he did when Greenpeace protested the grand opening of the new headquarters next to the baseball stadium downtown.
“The PR firm was telling me to ignore it, but it’s not my nature. We were just about to have Mayor (Kevin) Faulconer come in, and ex-Mayor (Jerry) Sanders. And I said, you know what? We’ve got to show the world we stand up for what we do.” So out came a Bumble Bee banner protesting Greenpeace.
A Wildfire Photo Above All the Rest
• The wildfires around the county were mostly or fully contained as of yesterday, and all evacuation orders were lifted. Here’s a stunning number: the fires on Camp Pendleton burned an estimated 18 percent of the base as of yesterday.
In the big picture, however, the acreage burned was much, much less than in the 2003 and 2007 wildfires.
• The most remarkable photo out of the wildfires was taken by a photographer with the European Pressphoto Agency. He captured a long time-exposure sunrise shot in the San Marcos hills — a landscape of burned ground, flames still on the move, and city lights in the background.
• For another stunning photo, check this one that’s apparently taken from a house well south of the San Marcos fire. It has that end-of-days look as flames ravage hillsides that are familiar to anyone who’s ever driven down Highway 78.
And check the U-T’s roundup of fire photography.
Here’s more fire coverage:
• The U-T explores the lessons of the much-larger and deadlier fires of 2003 and 2007: This time around, “the way the fires were fought, the ways evacuations were ordered and the way information was dispensed — indeed the very way county residents have prepared themselves and their property — made a huge difference.”
As the paper notes, many other things were different last week too, from the higher availability of resources in a slow time of year for fires to the season, when brush is a bit more moist than in the late summer and early fall.
• The governor went on ABC This Week and discussed the fires. He said humanity was on a collision course with nature.
Election Roundup: The DA’s Fuzzy Math
• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis likes to say that 94 percent of her office’s felony cases end in convictions. But that’s a stretch, the U-T finds.
Only 71 percent of felony cases end in felony convictions. The rest end in misdemeanor convictions… or no convictions at all because the defendants are shuttled into diversion programs. Even a prosecutor acknowledges that “we include that as a felony conviction, but they go to a program and are not sentenced.”
• An association of deputy sheriffs is supporting County Supervisor Bill Horn’s bid to stay in office for yet another term. But who’s supporting the association? Inewsource has the answer: “A handful of development companies and real estate interests have contributed at least $100,000 to the deputy sheriff’s PAC at the same time the PAC has run the pro-Horn advertising campaign. It’s all legal because California law permits it to accept contributions from any source.”
Big Brother Has His Eye on Your License Plate
You may have heard about how cops in the county are tracking license plates, giving them unprecedented access to the movements of thousands of people. Now, the LA Times reports, there’s a debate about where this kind of information ends up: “such databases are also being built by private firms, which can sell access to anyone willing to pay, such as lenders, repo workers and private investigators. That is raising worries among privacy advocates and lawmakers, who say the fast-growing industry is not only ripe for conflicts of interest but downright invasive.”
Proposed state legislation would forbid law enforcement agencies from sharing information about our locations with private entities.
Quick News Hits
• Public art has quite a checkered past in San Diego. Remember the nixed plan to put a sculpture of boats crashing into each other near the airport? And our tacky waterfront “Kiss” statue?
Harumph. There’s good news, though: The art at the new downtown public library is pretty nifty, even if its appeal might take a second to soak in.
Yesterday, a couple walked to the elevators, and the woman caught a glimpse of a holographic melange of dolls and toys. “Oh my God,” she exclaimed, “what is that?” “Art,” the man replied.
The exchange seemed so profound that I nearly performed an interpretive dance to mark the moment.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president-elect of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.