School board trustees were unanimous on Tuesday when they appointed Sharon Whitehurst-Payne to fill a seat left vacant by the board’s previous unanimously-selected president, Marne Foster. Whitehurst-Payne will fill the role of board member through 2016 while voters decide who will take the position permanently. Mario Koran writes how any other competitor for the seat now faces an uphill battle.

With their selection, “the board has preserved the power structure that existed before Foster stepped down — one that is uniformly tilted toward labor,” Koran reports. Whitehurst-Payne’s nearest competitor for the appointment was LaShae Collins, who is also running in the election for the board seat, and who hails from Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s office. Weber’s positions on teacher tenure and teacher evaluations “has given the [teachers] union cause for concern” about Collins, Koran reports.

Mayor Not (Yet) Backing Down After Chargers Call Shot

As Scott Lewis wrote Tuesday night, there were a few things to watch for after Chargers officials announced they were going to aim for a stadium downtown and were supportive of the so-called Citizens Plan. One of them is whether the mayor will still try to place a measure on the ballot that would expand the Convention Center and raise the hotel-room tax to pay for it. He pledged to do that in his State of the City speech but it would be in direct conflict with the Chargers vision.

Wednesday night, the mayor’s spokesman told Lewis that he may still try for the June ballot even though the deadline is fast approaching.

• San Diego Comic-Con, for its part, would prefer the Chargers stop name-dropping the Con when discussing the possibility of a downtown mixed-use stadium and convention center. They still prefer an expansion to the existing convention center that is physically attached. They’ve been consistent on that.

• Comic-Con is still wrestling over a trademark dispute with the Salt Lake Comic Con, although the sides are inching closer to a deal according to the Union-Tribune. There are a lot of comic book-themed cons around the country, many of them different from San Diego’s.

North County Report: Measure A Too Close

We still have no certainty on the fate of Measure A, a Carlsbad initiative that drew a huge number of Carlsbadians to the polls on Tuesday. The question: whether to fast-track a new shopping mall in that city, bypassing California’s tough environmental review process. Early in the vote count, the answer appeared to be a resounding “yes,” but “no” votes have mounted a steady comeback and are now in the lead, Ruarri Serpa writes.

“Defeat at the ballot box wouldn’t necessarily spell the end” of the mall effort, Serpa notes. After all, if the developer’s attempt to get around state environmental laws fails, they can always just suck it up and actually try to get a permit to build it.

• In a letter for Coast News, analyst Vince Vasquez breaks down what he observed about the Measure A race, noting higher turnout in the neighborhoods surrounding the development site in question, which were more likely to oppose the plan.

What Type of Gerrymandering Is Best

Should voting districts in San Diego be assembled to keep neighborhoods unified, or should they try to balance the political power of parties to ensure a policy outcome reflective of the city’s voter registration? Political consultant Ryan Clumpner thinks the maps should be drawn based on interests, not on political party. “Community-based interests are what drive the vast majority of civic debate,” Clumpner writes in a commentary.

Clumpner was responding to Vlad Kogan’s commentary from last week which predicted Democrats would lose a majority on the City Council because they were focused on communities of color and LGBT populations getting representation on the City Council rather than trying to reflect the partisan politics of the city in the makeup of the Council seats.

City Police Still Leaving

Despite a recent deal to boost the pay of police officers and get them raises, San Diego is still losing police faster than it can hire them, City News reports. The department has only 1,838 of the 2,036 officer it has budgeted for. Another 100 officers are in academy or training. In the competition with other police departments and federal agencies, San Diego has struggled for years. “The police department has lost 102 officers since the beginning of the fiscal year July 1,” City News reports.

News Nibbles

• Voice of San Diego’s Mario Koran received some kind words from the New York Times on Wednesday.

• NBC 7 investigates the location of improperly-made guard rails in San Diego that, if hit by a car, “sometimes pierces through a vehicle like a spear.

• The New York Times picks up on how the personal records of millions of California school children will soon be released to a nonprofit organization as part of a lawsuit. (You can still opt your kid out.)

• Unions have pulled their support from Rep. Scott Peters, citing his position on a looming trade deal. It hasn’t hurt his chances of re-election. (inewsource)

• This woman in Vista is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a youth football league. (Union-Tribune)

• “East County’s largest school district inappropriately used at least $27,000 in bond money to pay a public-relations firm,” Times of San Diego reports.

• If you’re from a beach area you’re probably familiar with the green wild parrots who fly around those neighborhoods. They’re quite beautiful. People are shooting them dead. (KPBS)

• Something called Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is coming to San Diego. Reddit rates this right up there with the potential arrival of Google Fiber. Must be an East Coast thing.

Local Congressman Leads Again

How shocked are you to learn that the guy who famously whipped out a vaping pen during a congressional hearing and let loose with great billowing clouds of vapor is among the first congressmen to endorse Donald Trump for president? It’s our very own Rep. Duncan Hunter, of course. (Politico)

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Sharon Whitehurst-Payne.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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