It’s nice to have things you can rely on. Like this phenomenon Mario Koran noticed: Write about Teach for America, the program that places new graduates into two-year teaching jobs and that set up shop in San Diego last year, and you’ll inevitably get hit with a barrage of complaints about the program – some legitimate, some not.
So, he decided to rank the most common gripes about TFA, from the most valid (TFA teachers don’t stick around long!) to the most ridiculous (Anything funded by corporations is bad!).
The big takeaway: “Many of the problems the organization is blamed for are actually a limitation of the education system, not TFA itself.”
Looks like TFA itself was amused.
Zapf vs. Harris on Belmont Park Lease
The City Council has headed back to the drawing board on its lease for Belmont Park, the amusement park in Mission Bay.
The Council shot down a proposed lease in September. Now that it’s re-examining a deal, a split has emerged between two Council members: Lorie Zapf, who will represent the district when her new term starts, and Ed Harris, who represents the district until Zapf takes over in December.
Zapf wants to make modest changes to the deal; Harris wants a lot more – like requiring Pacifica, the company leasing Belmont Park, to pay more rent, pay for trash collection in Mission Beach during summer months and remove all beach concessions.
Zapf and Harris’ different plans “emphasize once again that the city as a whole is figuring out on the fly how to get the most out of the property it leases to private companies,” Andrew Keatts writes.
• Speaking of Harris, he plans to run for the state Assembly seat currently held by Speaker Toni Atkins. Atkins will be termed out in 2016. (OB Rag)
SeaWorld’s Black Wednesday, the Sequel
First there was Black Wednesday, then there was … Blacker Wednesday?
OK, not quite as catchy, but Wednesday did reveal more grim news for SeaWorld in the wake of “Blackfish,” just as it did last quarter: “The company reported Wednesday that earnings were down 28 percent in the third quarter, sinking company stock prices,” Lisa Halverstadt reports. SeaWorld “suggested negative media attention in California partly inspired the decline.”
SeaWorld’s CEO still seemed convinced that the company would soon turn things around – a forecast Halverstadt doesn’t totally buy.
“The company has weathered months of bad news and it’ll likely require more than a glossy new ad campaign to overcome it,” she writes.
New Cash and a Pivot on Homelessness
The city’s aggressive new push to tackle homelessness will come with up to $70 million, the U-T reports.
Included in that is “$30 million available over the next three years to encourage construction of private housing projects that provide units for homeless people” and roughly $40 million to convert two old buildings into housing.
The city’s efforts all seem geared toward what’s called the “housing first” model of responding to homelessness, which Kelly Bennett explored for us last year.
The U-T also points out that under Mayor Kevin Faulconer, homelessness efforts are making a big shift. He’s investing more in treatment and jobs programs and less on keeping temporary shelters open year-round, as Mayor Bob Filner did.
Quick News Hits
• Next City has an update on the Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad that includes details on new technologies that could reduce the huge amount of energy desal requires.
They also point out a silver lining to the steep cost of desalination: “Maybe that price will make consumers and water districts alike see conservation and recycled wastewater in a new light.”
• The Port of San Diego says it has “reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its ships and facilities by 42 percent between 2006 and 2012.” (U-T)
• The U-T’s Steve Greenhut talked with Pete Peterson, who lost the secretary of state race. He offered his take on what California Republicans must to do win in the future: Make reforms aimed at government efficiency. Sound familiar?
• The Columbia Journalism Review uses a local Fox 5 segment on Props. 45 and 46 as an example of how not to cover an election. Their verdict: The segment relies on “viewpoints that range from uninformed to ideologically slanted.”
An embarrassing ding, sure, but not as bad as the time Stephen Colbert noticed how incredibly sexist their old sports anchor could be.