Public schools typically start up after Labor Day, but the San Diego Unified school district has something else in mind: getting kids in their seats in August.

How’s that going over? Not as well as the district might hope. Parents are complaining about a switch in the schedule, and a survey — which many parents wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take — shows that they’re divided. Meanwhile, a committee assigned to figure out scheduling issues is getting criticized because it’s stacked with non-parents.

There are pros and cons to having an earlier or later start date. VOSD contributor Christie Ritter lays them out in her story and explains the district’s position. There’s another twist: The district wants to eventually eliminate year-round calendars.

Today, the school board is scheduled to make a decision on the calendars of the next two years.

Meet Oceanside’s Dr. No on Transit Plan

A lot of politicians sit on the board of a a coalition of local governments known as SANDAG. They may be of different political stripes, but a vote last week showed that they all want to avoid going too far in favor of environmentally friendlier transportation — anything but cars. By an overwhelming vote last week, the board decided to appeal a court’s ruling that bounced the coalition’s huge plan for the region’s transportation future.

Basically, the board doesn’t want to go as far to move the region away from cars as the court wants. But there was one exception: Oceanside Councilman Chuck Lowery.

“My thinking is, let’s take the money we would spend on yet another legal exercise, and fix the plan to come into compliance with state guidelines,” he says in a Q-and-A with VOSD. And it turns out he’s on board with the idea of doing less than planned to support cars: “I’d prefer we use all avenues available instead of pour $1.6 billion into widening roadways.”

Politics Roundup: More DA Drama

• “The postelection shuffle in the office of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis didn’t just result in political dissenters losing management positions — it also brought promotions for supporters,” the U-T reports. The DA’s office says any talk of favoritism for Dumanis supporters is “offensive.”

• As expected, the City Council is going to wait until Councilman-elect Chris Cate takes office before deciding on its choice to be the council president. In what passes for City Hall intrigue, there’s been gossip that the current council president, Todd Gloria, might be exchanged for Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.

• Up for some academic reading and got $5? UC San Diego economist Jeffrey Clemens helped put together a new study on the effects of minimum wage increases. “… we find that binding minimum wage increases had significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers,” it reads.

Baby, You Can Drive My Millennial

In the dreams of some environmentalists, urban residents flock to tall, dense apartments and free themselves from the yoke of needing a car to get around. Young people would presumably be most willing to abandon the age-old dreams of a house with a picket fence and a two-car garage.

Well, funny thing: Young people seem to have not gotten the memo. New research suggests that “young people today drive to work as often as they did in 1980, if not more…,” in many top metro areas, CityLab reports. “The data also show that in seven metros, younger Americans drive to work at greater shares today than they did three decades ago.”

The biggest rise since 1980 occurred in … ominous-sounding drum-roll please… San Diego. That’s actually bizarre considering all the local public transit options that are available now compared to 1980. Perhaps they just aren’t meeting the needs of the young.

• In a story earlier this year, we looked at a report that says it’s not just expensive to live here but expensive to own a car here too, at least compared to how much people make.

Quick News Hits: Zapped

• Second verse, same as the first? Rep. Duncan D. Hunter is pushing a plan to save the Mt. Soledad cross that would transfer the land below it to the association that maintains the cross. But courts may not be sympathetic to a move that sounds similar, if not identical, to a previous one. (NBC 7)

• Legally, how stoned does a person need to be to become too stoned to drive? It’s not an easy question to answer, the U-T discovers: “Measuring impairment from cannabis, it turns out, is difficult and scientifically complex.”

San Diego State will be in the Poinsettia Bowl, which — if you’re scoring at home — is held here but is not the Holiday Bowl.

• Influential local pastor Jim Garlow, who was a major player in the passage of the anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8, is getting attention for saying this on the radio in a discussion about his appearance at a Vatican summit: “All the people who advocate for so-called same-sex marriage ought to have to live in homes in which the plumbers who built them, or the electricians who built them, didn’t understand the difference between the male and female end of piping or plumbing or of electrical as well, and see how that home works out for them.”

• A website called Medical Daily is out with the a list of the seven weirdest medicine-related stories of the year. One of them has a San Diego connection. A local doctor treated a 42-year-old electrician who was electrocuted: “the current struck the optic nerve and caused star-shaped cataracts to manifest in both of his eyes.” The electrician had surgery and recovered much of his vision.

• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a report that suggests global warming isn’t responsible for California’s big drought. In fact, as the Associated Press puts it, the report authors say “160 runs of computer models show heat-trapping gases should slightly increase winter rain in parts of California, not decrease.”

I would make a joke about trapped gasses, but the Morning Report is too delicate and refined for that kind of sophomoric humor.

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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