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San Diego Education Association, the teachers’ union that represents 8,000 members, recently got a new president. Lindsay Burningham is taking over for Bill Freeman, and she was elected in part thanks to her moderate approach to resolving conflict, writes Mario Koran.

Earlier this year, a court case questioned the way teachers are granted “tenure,” fueling the debate over how teachers are evaluated and removed. In an interview with Burningham, Koran asks her about that case and other hot education topics like teacher pay and evaluations.

“I think we’ve talked teaching evaluations in a circle and into the ground,” Burningham said. “It’s not just the pay that attracts teachers or keeps them in the profession. It’s the respect and resources they have at the schools they teach.”

Police Department’s Minority Report

One of the pressure points in the tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., is the disparity between that police department’s racial makeup and the population of the city itself. Lisa Halverstadt dug into the numbers from the San Diego Police Department and discovered that some minorities are more thoroughly represented in the department than others.

“The agency had about 8 percent fewer Asian American officers and 9 percent fewer Hispanic officers than the percentages reflected in the 2010 U.S. Census for San Diego,” she writes. But the population of black officers was nearly equal to black San Diegans’ representation in the 2010 census.

• In an op-ed for U-T San Diego, Renee Galente and Omar Passons write that addressing racial profiling by police is critical to building trust with SDPD. We’ve been tracking the department’s failure to collection racial profiling data and its promise to fix that problem.

Some San Diegans marched in support of the protests in Ferguson on Thursday (NBC 7).

Failed Convention Center Expansion Plan: San Diego Explained

Once upon a time, city leaders came together and miraculously reached an agreement on a new project to expand the Convention Center. But then, the courts popped that balloon by ruling the project’s financing scheme was illegal. So, what went wrong? Scott Lewis appeared on NBC 7 San Diego to walk through the origins and explain what’s next for the Convention Center in our most recent San Diego Explained.

To Sign or Not To Sign

Efforts to collect signatures to qualify local ballot measures are always bringing out the best in people. This time, opponents on either side of the effort to force a minimum wage increase onto the ballot are arguing about math, U-T San Diego reports.

Both sides demonize each other and will try to rope you into the fight during your next trip the grocery store. The signature-gathering campaign held its official kick-off event on Thursday. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement he supports the campaign to block the wage increase. (KPBS)

Big Death Penalty Ruling Appealed

Last month, a ruling by a California judge said the state’s death penalty process was unconstitutional because of how long death row inmates wait for their execution day. The decision’s potential impact got national attention. But on Thursday, Attorney General Kamala Harris said she would appeal the judge’s ruling, despite her personal beliefs against the death penalty. “I am appealing the court’s decision because it is not supported by the law,” Harris said, adding that the long wait time ensures death-row inmates’ cases receive thorough review. (NBC 7)

News Nibbles

• The drought isn’t just making the water levels go down (to the tune of 63 trillion gallons). Scripps researchers have found that it’s actually making the ground go up. (L.A. Times)

• California cities that have a history of “racially polarized voting” may now be forced to elect their local city representatives by district instead of holding a city-wide vote to elect district representatives.

• Bob Filner is still working out his legal battles, and a lawsuit filed by another accuser laid out her complaints against Filner in stark detail. (U-T)

• Single-use plastic bags will soon be banned in Encinitas. (U-T)

• With no opposing candidates willing to register, three San Diego County cities decided to skip their elections and appoint the only candidates who were running. (inewsource)

• San Diego-area law enforcement agencies are increasingly using the social website Nextdoor to communicate with residents of specific neighborhoods. But the Sheriff’s Department hasn’t been interested in joining the party. (KPBS)

• A bill awaiting the governor’s signature — written by San Diego legislator Marty Block — will allow community colleges in California to have bachelor’s degree programs. (L.A. Times)

• KPBS breaks down what information we need before we’ll know whether ZMapp, the experimental Ebola-fighting drug made in San Diego, is actually effective for humans.

Velella Velella On Your Sandy Shores

If you’re walking on San Diego beaches and you come across a jelly-esque bright blue … thing, you can safely take notice of it. They are called Vellella velella, NBC 7 reports, and while they do sting, the sting can’t typically be felt. So far, they’ve mostly been washing up on Del Mar beaches. “It’s a friendly jelly fish,” said one beachgoer.

Seth Hall is a local writer and friendly technologist. You can email him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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