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Remember our former mayor Bob Filner? People thought he could never again run for public office as part of his plea agreement. But that seems to not be the case. Now, we have a few more elected officials with convictions on their records. And guess what? They can run again, and at least one is doing just that.
In a new story, we explore how voters in the Sweetwater school district — which runs middle and high schools in the South Bay — may get a chance to vote at least one convicted ex-board member back into office.
One former school board member who pleaded guilty in the sprawling corruption scandal has filed to run, and another one says she’ll do so. Both were kicked out of office because of their convictions.
Schools Chief Embraces White House Program
San Diego Unified has taken up President Obama on his challenge: The district is one of 60 that’s agreed to focus on improving education for minorities, especially black and Latino boys.
As we explain in a new story, the initiative, known as My Brother’s Keeper, is largely symbolic. There’s no extra money coming to the city’s schools, whose black and Latino students aren’t keeping up with their white and Asian peers. And the district doesn’t appear to be doing much that it wasn’t already planning to do.
We’re Watching You, National Media!
The national media has been parachuting in to San Diego in search of what’s shaping up to be one of the most competitive races in all of Congress. But, as we’ve pointed out, out-of-town reporters have gotten a couple things wrong about Carl DeMaio, who wants voters to oust Rep. Scott Peters.
Going forward, “they might make factual errors, miss important context about the city or get spun too hard by the multimillion-dollar campaigns on both sides. That’s why we’re inaugurating You Don’t Know SD,” writes VOSD reporter Liam Dillon in a new story. This new feature will provide helpful background for national reporters and sound the alarm when they screw up. You’re on notice, news people!
Filner Victim Has No Regrets
Irene McCormack, the mayoral communications director who stood up against Filner’s alleged sexual harassment, talked to KPBS about her stressful battle to get justice.
“I did this for other women, other women and other men, who have been at the sharpest edge of an arrow, the target of somebody who’s abusing power,” she said. “And it’s an awful place to be in. I really hope I can help people understand that you can fight back. You just have to be surrounded by good folks that you believe in and they will help you.”
Um, About That Wooing …
City taxpayers are essentially giving $1.5 million to a medical company so it’ll stick around and not flee San Diego with its hundreds of jobs. CityBeat wondered whether the company, Illumina, had really heard from suitors both close (Poway) and far (Memphis) that wanted to woo it away from our fair city.
Uh-oh: There’s no evidence that either city was working on Illumina.
For Once, a Non-Dense Land-Use Fight
“Residents clashing with property owners over future density in community plan,” says the U-T about a fight over land use in Ocean Beach. Well, not exactly.
The debate isn’t actually over cramming more people into OB. Instead, it’s a more arcane discussion of the right of property owners to build more “intense” housing. Buildings with more intensity, just like people, are more in your face.
Developer-friendly types “say exceptions should be considered case-by-case, while the language supported by residents and Faulconer recommends the city avoid exceptions to the greatest extent possible under the law,” the U-T says. That’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who’s weighed in.
Scissorhands, Meet the Symphony
VOSD’s weekly Culture Report is chock full of details about this week’s art events, including a San Diego Symphony concert at the waterfront featuring the music of “Edward Scissorhands,” “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Other tidbits in the Culture Report: Mary Poppins (on a sugar detox, apparently), a music series called Stay Strange (OK, if you insist) and the value of mentally ill animals (pro-tip: Don’t share your anti-depressants with your pooch like my friend did).
Editorial: Strippers Have Rights Too
In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times slams the San Diego Police Department and says its bizarrely brazen raids against two strip joints are no joke: “Police violating the U.S. Constitution under the guise of regulatory enforcement should never be tolerated, no matter the victim or the circumstances.
The Times doesn’t buy the police position that they were just following the law. “There’s a big difference between a site inspection and the detention and forced photo sessions of semi-naked workers.
Quick News Hits:
• KPBS explores the dispute over whether to allow hunting in a chunk of wilderness in the South Bay.
• UCSD is out with an internal report that says it needs to make some improvements in how it reports crime, the U-T reports.
Like many universities, UCSD has its own police force. Nationwide, sexual assaults of college students and security on campus have been hot topics this year. Earlier this month, the New York Times published a stunning story of an alleged rape victim in New York state who wishes she’d never come forward.
• Nerds are descending on San Diego once again as part of their annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con. Among the highlights: appearances by Adam West and Burt Ward.
Holy C-list celebrities, Batman!
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.