San Diego Police Department officers haven’t received a base-pay raise in years, due to factors like the pension crisis and other budget problems. Recently, the police union has been raising the alarm over officers quitting to take similar jobs at other departments for much higher pay. Officers who defect to the county “will be making $93,000 for a top-step deputy, nearly $18,000 more than us,” said one union spokesman.

Lisa Halverstadt looked deeper into those numbers and found them to be spot-on, once you look ahead to 2017. Both new officers and veteran officers will find fatter paychecks by joining the county police force, unless the city does something before then to level the playing field. “Sheriff’s Department newcomers with experience elsewhere also receive $5,000 hiring bonuses,” Halverstadt writes, further tempting experienced officers away.

Teachers Need Learning, Too

As the debate continues to rage over what makes a good teacher, and how to evaluate them, or when to fire them, some people are focusing on how to make better teachers out of the ones we already have. “There’s no formal training to help new teachers understand the context of a particular school and how to best teach the students who attend,” Mario Koran reports. Teachers are left floundering, “throwing balls” when they don’t even know where the hoops are. So while schools scramble to bring teachers up to speed on Common Core standards, teachers get no training on meeting the needs of their own students.

• For example, it might be helpful to teach teachers how to interact with students who are homeless. San Diego Unified is seeing a large increase in the number of those students, KPBS reports.

Linkage Fee Dispute Reaches Deal

Remember the linkage fee battle? It resulted from one of several recent City Council actions that was successfully challenged by signature-gathering efforts. Opponents of the fee called it a “jobs tax” and the Council opted to toss the plan instead of take it to the ballot, sending both sides back to the negotiating table.

The negotiations have resulted in tentative deal that was forwarded to the full Council for consideration Wednesday. The deal calls for a doubling of the fee, which is paid by developers constructing new projects. But a sunset provision that would potentially end the increase in 2017 is  likely to stir up debate, KPBS reports.

News Nibbles

• The two candidates for City Council in District 6 are fixated on each other’s attendance records at the polls over the last few elections. (U-T)

• People are increasingly identifying as having “No Party Preference” when they register to vote in California. (KPBS)

• Outliers Collective is the first legally licensed pot shop to open in the county, located in El Cajon near Gillespie Field. (Fox 5)

• Noting a number of local politicians who are openly gay, The Advocate says San Diego “has in recent years become a major force in LGBT activism.”

• San Diego, a city constantly being placed at the top of many illustrious lists, is also the fourth on a list of cities the Department of Homeland Security is watching for terrorism. (Fox 5)

• The for-profit San Diego College is one of 20 institutions singled out in a new report on colleges whose students have very high rates of default on their student loans. (L.A. Times)

Skydive, Minus Sky

I’ve been skydiving three times, and I while I often recommend it, I understand that not everyone can wrap their head around the idea of jumping out of an airplane in-flight. The operator of a local skydiving operation feels the pain of those folks, too, so he’s opening up an indoor skydiving facility downtown. Don your goggles and jumpsuit and a giant fan will push you up into the air at 60 mph or higher, depending on what you and your fellow “divers” want. “Proficient fliers could rev up the wind to 180 mph and float 30 feet into the air with seven other buddies,” the U-T reports.

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

Seth Hall

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

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