Marne Foster, the embattled San Diego school board member, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to thousands of dollars in a unreported gift and will resign as of Sunday. The former president of the school board won’t face further charges from local prosecutors related to allegations that have chased her since 2014.

But there’s more to the story, as VOSD’s Mario Koran reports. “Her defense attorney and the prosecution acknowledged that high-profile allegations made against her had played an important role in her resignation. They both said the public issues she’d faced in the media, which also led to an investigation into her conduct by the school district, were part of negotiations that eventually led to the plea agreement.”

Foster won’t be back in office anytime soon. As part of a plea agreement, she can’t run for four years. She’ll also be on probation and have to pay back the cost of the gift; it’s not clear why the donor gave her several thousand dollars to pay for her son to go to drama camp on the East Coast.

We Have Too Much Water, and It’s Costing Us

How ’bout that drought? Well, here’s some news you didn’t see coming: San Diego has too much drinkable water. So much, in fact, that it’s going to cost us a quarter-million dollars to pull excess water out of a reservoir and treat it — again — so we can drink it.

How the heck did that happen? Our Ry Rivard explains the factors that brought us to this unhappy state of affairs: “stubborn water politics, pipeline physics, unexpectedly low demand and the restrictive terms of a contract” with the company that pulls the salt out of seawater.

Part of the problem is the fact that regional water authorities can’t seem to turn off the spigot and stop sending water to the county so we can use the water we have.

Then there’s the fact that we’re conserving water, even if we’re having trouble meeting state goals. That’s a good thing, at least in theory, but local water officials don’t want us to get used to the idea. In fact, they think we should be able to use more water.

City Attorney Hopefuls Talk Body Cameras

When should the footage from body cameras on San Diego cops become public? We asked the candidates for city attorney to tell us their views.

You can check out their opinions here. As VOSD’s Andrew Keatts puts it, “the five primary candidates — four of whom are Democrats — fall along a spectrum from releasing the video as much as possible, to hardly any video release at all.”

Taxpayers on Hook for $667K in Filner Suit

The (taxpayer) hits just keep on coming: An executive assistant to former Mayor Filner will get a $667,000 settlement from the city over his alleged sexual harassment; two more cases are pending and expected to cost a few hundred thousand dollars. (U-T)

Filner’s chief of staff recounted her troubling memories of the executive assistant’s experiences in a new memoir.

“A veteran investigator with the District Attorney’s Office bit a female prosecutor on her buttock at a Gaslamp nightclub hard enough to leave a bruise and was given a 20 day suspension and job transfer, but no other sanction.” (U-T)

Goodbye to LD

Liam Dillon, our senior reporter and assistant editor, has taken a job in Sacramento covering policy and politics for the Los Angeles Times. He’ll be leaving later this month. Dillon has been at VOSD for the last six and a half years, which means he’s covered four different mayors and countless scandals in town. Stay tuned for information about our going-away party for him on Monday evening.

Quick News Hits: Whole Foods, Whole-Er Home Prices?

The city is trying to work harder to reach its “zero waste” goal through are recycling, the U-T reports. But as we’ve pointed out in our coverage, “zero waste” seems to be a pipe dream.

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are now covered by the city’s “Living Wage” law, which sets standards for city contracts. (KPBS)

There’s more bad news for Southern California Gas Co., owned by Sempra Energy (parent company of SDG&E), over the massive L.A.-area gas leak. It’s facing misdemeanor criminal charges. (AP)

This is some stone-cold trolling, U-T! The paper, noting that the city’s new logo cost part of a $48,000 contract and took five months to develop, contracted with artists online and paid them $5 each (yes, $5) to develop logos of their own. Which one’s the best? Which one cost the most? If you answer each question differently, we have a problem.

Research suggests that homes near Starbucks and Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s stores gain value more quickly than other homes, Lifehacker reports. It’s tricky to figure out which comes first — a neighborhood on the move, complete with rising prices, or upscale stores and restaurants. But an economist with Zillow, which ran the numbers, says “the stores have become an amenity in their own right — a signal to the home-buying public that the neighborhood they’re located in is desirable, perhaps up-and-coming, and definitely improving.”

Chargers star Eric Weddle has a shaved his famous scraggly beard. All right. One more big hairy mess on the field to go!

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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