Turns out a tough analysis of dysfunctional management at Poway Unified School District that we got after a public records battle was a lot tougher before we got it.

Superintendent John Collins decided to take a red pen to a $40,000 consultant’s report about district tech problems.

VOSD’s Ashly McGlone uncovered the superintendent’s significant edits, but only after we threatened the district with litigation. As she reports, “words like ‘arrogance’ were replaced with ‘overconfidence.’ ‘Dysfunction’ became ‘issues.’ ‘Extreme and even chaotic’ decision-making became just ‘problematic’ and ‘reckless and wasteful decision-making’ became ‘uncontrolled and inefficient,’ while other descriptors like ‘short-sighted’ and longer passages were scrubbed entirely, district records show.”

The superintendent’s told us this about the report: “The result has helped us to celebrate the outstanding work we do and formulate new goals and organizational structures to continuously improve upon our successes.”

A tech staffer went to a meeting with Collins and said the chief wanted to avoid “calling anybody out for the problems that were discovered.”

City Attorney Sneers at Carson Stadium Plan

The U-T notes what the LAT saw a little while ago too: San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is talking tough about the Chargers’ proposal to build a stadium in Carson. There, the Chargers used a loophole to get around environmental laws by gathering signatures and then forcing the happily compliant Carson City Council to decide whether to put the project on the ballot for an up-or-down vote or go ahead and give the project the green light.

It’s a route that a mall developer is using in Carlsbad as we explained recently.

Goldsmith appears to be threatening the team and Carson with an argument that they didn’t gather those signatures legally. The city of Carson would not have been allowed to help at all. It’s hard to tell but Goldsmith seems to be saying he’s suspicious it did.

Many fans have asked why a similar route was not taken in San Diego and why the city is instead trying to rush through a full environmental impact study to comply. The answer is simple: The Chargers didn’t want it and the team’s support gathering those signatures would be crucial.

There have been murmurs that legislators will close this loophole at some point. But like the developer in Carlsbad, others might give the route a shot.

State News: L.A. Olympics, Again?

• L.A. is very close to becoming the city that the U.S. Olympic Committee will suggest as the host for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston already bowed out because of the risk of unknown expenses, but the L.A. mayor “has promised to sign a standard International Olympic Committee contract that makes the city financially responsible if unforeseen costs exceed revenues,” the L.A. Times reports.

We’ll know if L.A. is chosen as the host for the Olympics in 2 years. If things go like they did back in 1984, we could be the host of at least one event.

• California’s economy has come “roaring back,” the L.A. Times reports, leaving many other states in the dust. But things are starting to look iffy, and the newspaper’s analysis notes that the state “tends to fall harder than the rest of the nation during recessions and climb higher during expansions.”

• The state’s gigantic public employee pension system wants to reduce the risk that things could go really south the next time the economy falls apart. The solution it’s considering: Moving toward safer investments and away from riskier ones.

Sounds smart, right? The hitch is that safer investments may produce lower returns. Pensions are considered to be guaranteed, so the money to pay them will have to come from taxpayers if investments don’t make enough money. (L.A. Times)

• Our Scott Lewis and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez had a light-hearted Twitter exchange after she humorously endorsed building gigantic border walls if they are built with union labor.

Quick News Hits: Swiftly Making Up

• Our story about the tumult at the School of Creative and Performing Arts — a mess that pits the school board president against a now-ex principal — was the most popular on the VOSD site last week. Check out the full Top 10 list here.

Shark! And not a happy one either.

• The dumpy Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley is finally going to get a facelift. A renovation will begin next year and cost $80 million, S.D. Business Journal reports. For background, you might check our review of all the big things that might be coming to Mission Valley in what looks like a major growth spurt.

• The U-T/L.A. Times has an update on the war between UCSD and USC over funding for Alzheimer’s research.

• As San Diego faces its own kerfuffle over restrooms to serve the homeless, the L.A. Times looks at the lack of them in San Francisco, where public pee is more than an affront to the nose. Urine-related deterioration may have contributed to the collapse of a three-story light pole that totaled a car and nearly killed a man and his son.

• Yes, that was Taylor Swift at the ballpark on Saturday night, snarling downtown traffic and drawing just about every empowered woman in town. (Well, at least those on Twitter.)

Attendees say she gave Mayor Kevin Faulconer a shout-out, but the real news was that singer Avril Lavigne appeared on stage with Swift. Their Twitter feud appears to be over, so everybody can relax. They’re fine!

Swift is on tour in honor of her “1989” album, named after the year she was born. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go play “Shake It Off” until it exorcises this unfortunate reminder of the passage of time.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.


Partner Voices is a paid promotion that showcases the work of local nonprofits and volunteer opportunities in the community.

Students Need Uniforms

It is O’Farrell Charter School’s first official day back from summer. The school prides itself on four things: its collaborative staff, innovative learning techniques, college prep courses, and diverse extracurricular courses (like this choir class). O’Farrell Charter also requires its students to wear uniforms. The staff believes uniforms create a safe learning environment and sense of unity on campus.

However, many O’Farrell students come from low-income homes, and their parents can’t afford to buy school uniforms. That’s why we need your help funding a student’s uniform. Mail a check with the memo “Uniforms” to O’Farrell Charter School, 6130 Skyline Drive, San Diego, CA 92114.

Here are some numbers to give you a better idea of the costs:

  • Shirts: $12
  • Pants: $12 to $25
  • Jackets and coats: $15 to $35

Here’s what O’Farrell Charter was up to this summer.

Read more Partner Voices stories here and learn about all the great work local nonprofits are doing in our community.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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