South Bay voters are gearing up to put the pay-to-play Sweetwater scandal behind them at the voting booth. To help voters and community members get to know the Sweetwater Union High School District board candidates, we’re hosting a forum Thursday. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will sit down with candidates running to represent Chula Vista’s Castle Park and San Diego’s San Ysidro neighborhoods for a candid conversation.

This year’s unprecedented election will usher in five new school board members, who will turn around and hire a new superintendent next year to oversee South Bay’s high schools and middle schools. Register here to attend the event.


When San Diego voters were considering Proposition A in 2012, the state passed a law to give them something more to think about. Prop. A would prohibit the city from ever requiring project labor agreements on major construction efforts. The state passed a law to withhold state funding from any project in a city that passed a law like that.

Voters approved it anyway. And?

“As designed, the city is facing the possibility that it’s no longer eligible for state funds for things like roads, bridges and sewer projects,” VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports. It all has to do with a standoff between the city on one side and the pro-union state legislature and the governor on the other.

A giant water/sewage waste project — one that’s the result of a rare kumbaya moment between environmentalists, business groups, Democrats and Republicans — could become impossible. The only fix is for somebody to give in or for the state Supreme Court to get involved.

Project labor agreements have been controversial for some time. In 2010, we teamed up with NBC to offer a simple explanation of how they work.

In Poway, a Big Borrow Sparks Heated Race

Remember the Poway school district’s $1 billion loan that will crunch taxpayers in a few decades? The district, which serves much of northern San Diego in addition to the city of Poway, is now reaping what it sowed in a hot school board race. “As the election nears, the bond fiasco has been at the center of several campaigns and voters are being reminded of it through signs, mailers and social media,” the U-T reports.

One incumbent says he shouldn’t only be judged on his vote for the loan. No sale, says a challenger: “The bond issue is essentially one of the primary reasons the two incumbents seeking re-election have to go.” The teachers union, however, likes the status quo.

Quick News Hits: Virgin Dumps SeaWorld

• “About two dozen property owners whose homes or businesses were damaged in May’s Poinsettia Fire are suing the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, alleging the company should be held responsible for the destruction because authorities believe the fire started on the resort property.” (U-T)

• L.A. may be making us look bad on the water-saving front: The mayor of the nation’s second-largest city ordered the municipal government to cut its fresh water use by 20 percent by 2017. This will mean a big switch to drought-resistant landscaping. (L.A. Times)

• “Animal rights activists claimed a victory Tuesday after Virgin America airline announced that it had cut ties with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment amid criticism over the treatment of killer whales at aquatic parks,” the L.A. Times reports.

The airline was a bit cagey about why it won’t allow frequent fliers to use points to go to SeaWorld, but it’s clear that it’s concerned about marine mammals.

• Hmm. El Niño weather conditions often spell good news for California on the wet-weather front – although flooding is a possibility. Now it looks like we may have two El Niños in a row, one in the same year as a “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” of high pressure has been keeping California dry. Slate warns that “if it happens, it would virtually guarantee a new global heat record in 2015 and could help usher in a decade or more of accelerated warming.”

• More than 10,000 Californians will lose Obamacare coverage because they’re undocumented immigrants. They’re not eligible.

Culture Report: Ancient Music History (Circa 1990)

One way to know you’re getting up there is when radio stations start treating the music from your youth like a form of classic rock. It first began with the oldies stations that played ’50s music in the ’70s and ’80s. Now, the oldies stations are called alternative rock stations and they embrace the ancient history of the ’80s and ’90s.

Feeling old yet? Check this out: a new film is titled “It’s Gonna Blow: San Diego’s Music Underground, 1986-1996.” This week’s edition of the VOSD Culture Report says it “narrates our city’s roots in the hardcore and punk music scene in all its violent, thrashing glory.”

In addition to describing the film and taking swipes at Jewel (I’ll allow it) and Blink-182 (hey now!), the Culture Report links to news about murals in a mall, art on billboards, a lecture series on local history and San Diego’s haunted houses.

Speaking of scary sights, let us consider the powder-blue uniforms that the Chargers will wear next Sunday. They remind me of the horrific powder-blue suit that I wore to a job interview in 1992. People who saw it still remember it to this day. Or at least they do when the nightmares come. Spooky!

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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

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