San Diego cops are starting to wear cameras that record them on the job when they deal with the public, but we’re not likely to get to watch much of the video that gets recorded. That’s the word from Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who spoke at a forum this week moderated by our own Lisa Halverstadt.

The forum was sponsored by journalists, who tend to support public access to as much as they can get their hands on. But several advocates on the panel said they understand the value of privacy for those caught on camera, at least in general.

So where are the exceptions to the you-can’t-see-it rules? Sounds like Zimmerman will make the call. As Halverstadt reports, “the department might release the footage if it faced a crisis like the one police are experiencing in Ferguson, Mo., where massive protests erupted after an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by an officer.”

Speaking of video, you can watch clips of the forum here.

School District Gets into Rental Business

The San Diego school district has gotten some flak for patching budget holes by selling property instead of simply adjusting to having less money. Now, VOSD contributor Lyle Moran reports, “San Diego Unified is seeking development proposals for so-called ‘joint occupancy’ projects, where district properties would feature nonprofit or private uses, such as housing, while the district maintains ownership and its own uses. The projects would ideally bring in revenue from long-term leases, and create uses that have the backing of the community.”

The Sweetwater Candidates on the Issues

Voters in the Sweetwater school district, which runs the high and middle schools in the South Bay, are filling not one, not two but five seats on their school board. We’ve talked to most of the candidates (some didn’t respond) and report their positions on the issues.

Among the hot topics: Transparency and big issues on the agenda.

Election: Almost There

• Have you already sent in your mail ballot? If so, you are dead to me. How dare you be so well-organized, making the rest of us look bad? Especially those of us who can’t find a stamp and end up having to cast a provisional ballot at the polls. But never mind.

Whether you cast a mail ballot or not, Inewsource lets you see how your neighbors are doing on that front. By precinct, at least.

How Homeless Are Left in the Cold

CityBeat looks at how two homeless people are having trouble getting the services they need from a system designed to help people like them thanks to “an overall lack of resources amid a push to put an end to chronic homelessness.”

Old MacDonald Had a… Big Water Subsidy

Every once in a while, we hear about how something we use every day should cost more in order to make people realize how valuable and potentially scarce it is. Gasoline, for instance, or parking spaces.

Now, there’s talk about how water should be more expensive in drought-stricken California. As a columnist writes in the NY Times, “the proliferation of limits on water use will not solve the problem because regulations do nothing to address the main driver of the nation’s wanton consumption of water: its price… The signals today are way off. Water is far too cheap across most American cities and towns.”

But it’s even cheaper in farm country: “Farmers in California’s Imperial Irrigation District pay $20 per acre-foot, less than a tenth of what it can cost in San Diego.”

When S.D. Cops Wore Miniskirts

This week’s CityBeat features a weedhead tramp. So it’s just another week? No wait, to make things more specific, it highlights a “weedhead, tramp.” That’s the description with the mug shots of a woman who was arrested by the San Diego police in 1944: “Her booking photo shows a pretty young woman sporting a jaunty striped top with a herringbone blazer and fashionably dark lipstick. She gives the camera a wary glance.”

The mug shots are part of an exhibit created by the San Diego Police Historical Association in a part of Seaport Village that used to be the city police station. The San Diego Police Museum is actually headquartered at a little-known location in the College Area where it offers glimpses into a not-always-forward-looking past, including the time in the 1970s when female officers had to wear Star Trek-style miniskirts.

The museum wants to move to Balboa Park, but finding a new home there won’t be easy, CityBeat says. So the museum will remain where it is for now. So will the photos of the lady in the herringbone blazer, whose story — like those lurking in so many mug shots — is a mysterious gap waiting to be filled by our imaginations.

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:

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.

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

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.