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The wait to cross the border from Mexico is so long that many drivers half expect to be fossilized by the time they get home. But there’s hope on the horizon.

As we explain in a new story, a logjam appears to finally be breaking. Congress has approved $216 million to finish a renovation project at the San Ysidro port of entry, and construction has begun on a pedestrian bridge to the Tijuana airport. Our story examines the status of various projects.

• San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC 7, takes a look at the reasons why all those children from Central America are fleeing to the U.S.

Why the Planning Chief Won’t Be Planning

The city’s planning director won’t be choosing the company that drafts the future for the neighborhoods of Bay Park and Linda Vista. (The city wants to allow developers to build more homes and taller buildings around trolley stations. The idea is to allow more people to walk to public transit instead of having to drive to it.)

As we report, Bill Fulton has a conflict of interest because a company he used to partially own is a finalist for the job.

Teacher Shuffle Could Leave Some Students in Lurch

The San Diego Unified school district is shuffling its teacher corps by moving some educators into regular classroom roles from their positions as helpers for kids who are learning English. A total of “46 teachers will make the move, and schools will have to pick up their previous duties. And it will mean more than just a little extra paperwork for principals,” reports Mario Koran in a new story.

Koran explains how schools are dealing with the shuffle and what it will mean for efforts to help kids who are trying to learn English. “This is a big mistake,” says one parent. “The district doesn’t know what it’s gotten itself into — and all because of lack of money.”

Tri-City Hospital’s Endless Chaos Continues

We don’t often find an excuse to use the word “tumult” around here, but it’s the best way to describe the last several years at North County’s Tri-City Medical Center. The public hospital, which serves Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista, has endured a never-ending series of lawsuits, internal battles, external battles and general weirdness. (Yes, weirdness. At one point, a board member was forbidden from the hospital’s main building unless she needed emergency care.)

Now, the hospital is suing its former CEO and the current chair of its elected board, saying they had a conflict of interest in a deal for the construction of a medical office at the hospital, The Coast News reports. The ex-CEO and the current board chairwoman deny the accusations.

Choice Nears for New Padres Chief

The U-T says eight candidates are in the running for general manager of the Padres, who are having one of their worst seasons ever this year. Many of the hopefuls are in their 30s and 40s, including a major league executive who’d like to be the first female general manager of a team in baseball history.

• Sports writers continue to criticize the All-Star game and Fox broadcasters for not making note of superstar Tony Gwynn’s death.

Quick News Hits: Dam Rising

• KPBS reports on how the dam at the San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside has been raised by 117 feet. It’s now 337 feet tall, allowing for more water storage. Well, when there’s actually water falling from the sky, that is.

• “A San Diego City Council committee is considering banning edible marijuana products like cookies and brownies as well as the by-products of the plant such as hash oil,” NBC 7 reports. There’s concern about the safety of the products, which offer an alternative for people with permission to buy medical marijuana who don’t want to smoke.

• The son of slain American drug agent Enrique Camarena, who was tortured and killed in 1985, will become a Superior Court judge. Camarena’s son, also named Enrique, and three others were appointed as local judges by Gov. Jerry Brown this week, the L.A. Times reports.

The elder Camarena was working undercover in Mexico when he was murdered. His 40-year-old son, who’s now older than his father was when he died, is a local prosecutor.

• A beer blogger at the Reader reports that he’s aware of 48 — yes, 48 — new brewery projects in the county, including seven he’s just heard of in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Miramar and the Midway district.

At this rate, we’ll end up with a brewery on every corner and a craft beer snob in every house. Oh wait, I think we’re halfway there!

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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