San Diego’s school board decided Tuesday to hire an independent investigator to probe a fundraiser the president of the board held for her family and a request for $250,000 from the district the father of her son says she was behind. Whomever is hired will be barred from seeking work in the near future from the district to help ensure their independence.

Superintendent Cindy Marten also released a long memo and dozens of documents about what happened at the School for Creative and Performing Arts where Foster’s son was enrolled. The principal had been removed and alleged it was because of petty personal complaints from Foster.

Mario Koran looked through the whole document dump and explains what we learned and what questions remain.

National City’s Grand Bayfront Compromise

National City is best known for its car lots and its indoor mall, but there’s another side to the low-profile South Bay suburb: Its marine terminal is the landing spot for countless imported cars. In fact, more cars go through there than anywhere else in the country.

This isn’t considered a good thing by all people — some folks want better access to the waterfront. Now, “National City’s waterfront park space and vehicle import volumes could both double under a ‘balanced’ land use plan supported by city and Port of San Diego officials,” reports VOSD’s Ashly McGlone.

The port district chairman declares this to be a “grand bargain,” and it does sound like the various sides — the port, the city, an auto importer — have worked out their differences: “National City residents and Port officials are feeling good about inching closer to that vision of energizing the small slice of the coastal South Bay near the terminal.”

Politics News: Dems as Enablers?

Mayor Kevin Faulconer is breezing to a second term, with not a single prominent Democrat making noise about running to kick him out of office next year. This has produced some carping (but no candidates) in the local progressive community, and U-T columnist Logan Jenkins looks even further ahead. He thinks Faulconer could be on the road to become governor (a not-unknown phenomenon for bland-adjacent, moderate-ish San Diego GOP mayors), and Dems could be enabling him by letting him win without a fight.

• A non-profit outfit called Juma Ventures is closing up shop and will stop matching college coaches with first-generation students. What’s this got to do with politics? Well, it’s blaming a fuss over vendors at the football stadium in Mission Valley.

• NK Towing, one of the companies implicated in shady campaign donation schemes, is paying back motorists for illegal towing after a KUSI expose. (U-T)

Environment Roundup: Bee Drama

• Bees gotta buzz, and they’ve gotta eat and drink too. That’s the problem: The California drought is cutting down on a variety of plants and trees, including crops. That’s cutting down on food for bees, and beekeepers are turning to commercial bee food (not as good as the real natural thing) or moving their buzzy business out of the state.

“That raises concerns among farmers who rely on those bees to pollinate the 400-plus crops grown in California’s Central Valley,” NPR reports. “It’s especially important to have them here in the spring, when the region’s 900,000-plus acres of almonds bloom.” Almonds, of course, have become a drought villain, although growers have been trying to shift blame.

• Here’s an interactive map of California’s state reservoirs, via KQED. You can track how well (or not well) they’re doing in terms of water availability and capacity.

• NBC 7 has a special report about the potential for a wild and wet winter.

Culture Report: Meeting of the Minds!

VOSD’s newest Meeting of the Minds event is tomorrow night, Thursday Oct. 1., at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. Scott Lewis will be the emcee for a new topic for MoM: Science and research. And yes, there’s art too.

Kinsee Morlan previews the event in this week’s edition of VOSD’s Culture Report. Be there at 6 p.m., but make sure to reserve a ticket first here. A cocktail comes with entry.

Also in the new-and-expanded Culture Report: cupcake-shaped cars, the Fern Street Circus and the demise of the library’s Film Forum series as currently curated. A Reader writer looked into this and (poor man!) somehow managed to be annoyed that library staff didn’t lickety-split respond to him within 3 hours. In a word: Shhhh, you!

Plus: the architectural disappointment of the Kensington Commons housing development. The Orchids & Onions awards people aren’t going to do their usual (and often-delicious) thing and slap it with a well-deserved Onion. Instead, they’re using it as the catalyst for a wider discussion about how communities can prevent rogue buildings from being built in the first place.

Quick News Hits: Talkin’ About Their Degeneration

• Finally, San Diego is managing to score really well in a national ranking: Out of the 25 largest cities in the country, we apparently have the lowest murder rate. You’re less likely to be murdered here than any of the other cities. Another border city, El Paso, is almost as safe as we are on this front.

• The CEO of Tribune Publishing, which owns the U-T and the LA Times, stepped in it big-time this week when he said this about young people: “I don’t think they’re going to completely unplug and just go to Google News when they want to find out the answer to a question, and then know nothing else other than what they see on Facebook.” The Internet pounced, mocking his suggestion that today’s whippersnappers will embrace print.

Now, there’s a not-very-clarifying clarification. Meanwhile, L.A. Weekly says buyouts in the company, a possible precursor to layoffs, are on hold for a few days. Also: a couple Wall Street analysts aren’t impressed by Tribune Publishing’s performance.

• The Who has rescheduled their cancelled San Diego concert for next May. Singer Roger Daltrey got sick and couldn’t make the scheduled event earlier this month, the first in the band’s The Who Hits 50 tour.

Until then, we can work on our own Abbott & Costello routine: Who. What? Who. Who? Who! When? May. May Who? Exactly. What?

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 ( 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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