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The former principal of San Diego’s Lincoln High, a long-struggling campus that’s faced leadership woes, is blaming school board President Marne Foster for her ouster. Her perspective could shine more light on Foster’s influence over personnel decisions and the superintendent’s response, but the full story is mighty complicated since the principal herself was polarizing.
VOSD’s Mario Koran looks into the play-by-play in a new article that also explains why Foster’s role in the decision to remove the principal is strange: “School board members are encouraged to have contact with the schools they represent. But a firewall is supposed to separate trustees from the decisions impacting day-to-day operations in schools. The change at Lincoln is another instance in which that firewall wasn’t so clear.”
Opinion: Many Reasons to Love Transit Plan
In a VOSD commentary, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and Jack Dale, a Santee councilman, come out in strong favor of the controversial regional transit plan for the coming decades. Dismissing concerns that it’s not aggressive enough regarding public transit and environmental protections, they write it “calls for a $204 billion investment in our transportation system between now and 2050.”
“Adding transportation choice has its benefits,” they write, “an efficient system will support an average of 53,000 more jobs a year, and it will result in an average annual increase of $13.4 billion in gross regional product.”
• The governor has signed what the L.A. Times calls a “pared-down climate change measure that will increase renewable energy generation and make buildings more energy efficient.” One interesting note about the bill: It will still keep utilities from counting the power produced by rooftop solar panels toward renewable goals.
• A couple weeks ago, Andrew Keatts revealed how SANDAG’s regional plan could undercut the city’s bold Climate Action Plan. CityBeat digs into how that tension’s affecting Councilman Todd Gloria, normally a favorite of environmentalists, who is being urged to vote against the SANDAG plan.
Politics Roundup: Obama’s S.D.-Bound
• The president is headed to San Diego this weekend, apparently for some R&R. We’ve played host to every president since Benjamin Harrison during their terms of office. Check our look at S.D. presidential visits for some nifty anecdotes about trips by chief executives to our fair city. And don’t miss one of the best quotes ever by a local woman who caught a glimpse of some unusual items being loaded onto Air Force One at the airport in 1963.
• The L.A. Times digs into the political drama at the NFL over which team (or teams) may end up calling Hell-A home. What do we know about which way things are leaning? Not a whole lot, although it seems that NFL honchos are impressed by how much the Chargers have tried to get a stadium deal here.
• The City Council has “unanimously adopted an ordinance designed to let the public know earlier who is funding referendum campaigns, but it will require similar state legislation to prove effective,” Times of SD reports. Councilman Todd Gloria has been spearheading the effort after several local initiatives derailed liberal efforts on issues like a higher minimum wage.
• Hillcrest is still working on its parking issues that force some visitors to park a block or two away from where they want to go.
That may not sound like a big problem, especially considering that convenient paid parking is almost always available. But merchants want a fix, which may come through angled parking that allows more cars to fit at the curb. The challenge: At least 70 percent of residents (including renters, often dismissed as second-class residents) on a street must approve them, the Reader says.
Board Member Recall Talk in Poway Schools
Longtime Poway Unified board member trustee Andy Patapow is facing a recall effort, reports San Diego Rostra. Patapow’s role in the ultra-pricey capital appreciation bond sale of 2011 (which socked some property taxpayers with a mammoth future bill) meals received from the bond underwriting firm and his refusal to fire staff or consultants responsible for the bond were all cited as reasons for his removal.
Patapow recently stood alone in his support of a staff proposal to rehire the previous bond consultants for an upcoming bond sale.
Recalls of any sort — the removal of an elected official before his or her term is up — have been rare in the county, but they’re far from unheard-of and have occasionally evicted school board members. Patapow’s foes will need to gather enough signature to force a recall measure onto the ballot.
Governor Praised for Getting Personal
• A Slate writer praises Gov. Jerry Brown’s remarkably personal message regarding his decision to support physician-assisted suicide. As Brown wrote in a signing message, “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
Meanwhile, there’s a discussion brewing about how to categorize the deaths of the terminally ill who commit suicide. They apparently won’t be referred to as suicides under the new law; if they are, life insurance might not pay out. (L.A. Times)
• With gun rights and gun control once again in the news, Slate points to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s ranking of states based on their firearm laws. California gets A-minus grades on control of handguns and long guns. Our surrounding states get Fs and a couple D-pluses.
Briggs Here, Briggs There, Briggs Everywhere
The North County Report, our weekly look at all things roughly north of Route 56, finds that attorney/government nemesis Cory Briggs — “San Diego’s most disruptive lawyer” — is making life miserable for elected officials again. This time, he’s targeting the approval of a luxury hotel at the beach in Oceanside.
The city says his San Diegans for Open Government is a “carpetbagger” organization and questions whether it has any actual members in Oceanside.
Also in the North County Report: Another lawsuit that hinges on video of alleged police misconduct, fossils are found in Carlsbad and more news about the robots — yes, robots — touted by the developer trying to build a huge housing project in the Valley Center area. A former county supervisor had this to say: “Did they use a robot to deliver this huge load of bull manure?”
Quick News Hits: Dance Dance Revolution
• Yet another local transgender teen — the fourth this year — has committed suicide. (The Advocate/10News)
• A new report warns that 22,000 local homes are especially vulnerable to potential flooding if the El Niño whacks our region with lots of rain this winter. The especially risky areas tend to be along rivers and creeks. As NBC 7 notes, “the 1997-98 El Niño storm, considered one of the strongest, caused $804 million in economic loss across California. The 1982-83 El Niño resulted in $2.04 billion in economic losses across the state and more than 6,500 homes were destroyed.”
Of course, just about everything that’s bad in some way is good in another. The report notes that a warmer winter could be better for our health and our heating bills.
• A San Diego cop’s dance routine is getting a lot of attention and a lot of online snark. As a public service, I’ll spare you my interpretive dance in honor of autumn. But these pumpkin-spice-colored tights are staying until the end of the month.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.