An incident that took place at Lincoln High School last week is drawing attention to several difficult issues afflicting the community in and around the school. After a school yard play-fight turned into a confrontation with a school police officer, a student ended up on the receiving end of a taser gun and the officer received several injuries to his head and body.
“The entire situation underscores a deep disconnect between parents, students, teachers and district leaders,” Mario Koran and Rachel Evans write.
The public is already well aware of troubles at Lincoln, which are enough to keep many neighborhood parents from sending their children there. But this latest incident touches other sensitive issues as well; the student accused of attacking the officer is the son of local rapper Tiny Doo, who was targeted for criminal charges related to his rap lyrics in 2015. The encounter between the officer and the student was captured on camera, but the district attorney refuses to release any video that’s part of a criminal investigation. And the officer involved has a history of using force against students.
It’s a storm of societal ills all brewing into a troubling recipe. “Lincoln High has grown to symbolize the intractable problems with high-poverty schools,” Koran and Evans write.
The Learning Curve: The Power of School Police
Some people may be alarmed to learn that school officers are patrolling school children armed as though they are facing street criminals. “If school police in California seem heavily armed to you, it’s not your imagination,” Koran writes in an explanation of how San Diego Unified’s police force works. School police play different roles all over the country, but in California “school police are real police,” Koran writes. That means the school district has a designated police staff, with their own training, their own surveillance technology and their own arsenal. Even trustees who serve on the school board are surprised to learn when school police are found carrying assault rifles or purchasing “mine-resistant” military-grade vehicles, and that’s because “the [school police] department doesn’t need the school board’s permission to get them.”
Chollas Creek Refresh: San Diego Explained
Chollas Creek is a waterway flowing through the Diamond District neighborhoods in San Diego’s southeastern community. The water has long been polluted and the creek itself wanted for beautification since it flows near busy businesses with lots of foot traffic. Now, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is stepping in and advancing the restoration of the creek and adding some public art to the mix. Kinsee Morlan joined NBC 7’s Monica Dean to tour the ongoing construction and show off some of the art concepts in our most recent San Diego Explained.
Lets Grow Better Dirt
Richard Winkler, co-director of Victory Gardens San Diego, is excited about the possibility of turning San Diego’s unused land into agricultural spaces, which became more likely recently when the City Council announced its support for the idea. While urban agriculture may have you dreaming of vegetable gardens and chicken coops, Winkler has a different sparkle in his eye. “Growing healthy soil is an affordable, practical, shovel-ready way to meet many of the goals for greenhouse-gas reductions.” Winkler imagines using much of the agriculture space simply for growing and nurturing the kind of soil that would be needed to have healthy land capable of producing stuff you’d serve at dinner. “Let’s get some biology into our geology,” Winkler writes.
District 1 Dance Heats Up
A shake-up struck on Thursday in the District 1 race for City Council when the city clerk tweeted out a routine notification that someone had taken out the papers required to run for office. “Another potential candidate for District 1 has taken out papers as of 4pm today: Bruce D. Lightner.” Lightner is probably a name familiar to those in District 1: It’s the name of the district’s current representative and Board President, Sherri Lightner.
Her husband, Bruce Lightner, is a registered Republican and is said to take these sorts of things very seriously. In an email announcement, he committed to sticking with the initiatives and commitments his wife has stood for. He’s been known to be an active participant in political discussions on Twitter and in 2012 called District 1 candidate Ray Ellis an “unprincipled charlatan.” His entrance into the race may make an outright win in June very difficult for any candidate, setting up a November runoff in which the electorate could be much different.
Cabs Fight Back With Huge Button
The Union-Tribune has an inside look at how local taxi cab companies are working to compete with their tech-savvy ridesharing competitors. This includes ideas like having a giant yellow button a business can push (think of a Staples “easy” button) that will automatically dispatch a cab to the button’s location. They are also launching smart-phone technology and bringing down prices for people who use it. Those savings are “ultimately extracted from drivers’ earnings,” the Union-Tribune notes. “Drivers like $3 over $2, and they like $2 over $0,” said the president of Yellow Cab San Diego.
• Out Ashly McGlone was on KPBS Thursday talking about the sad state of affairs in San Diego’s schools after they spent a cool billion dollars and still saw school conditions worsen.
• Lori Saldaña, candidate for mayor, joined Cory Briggs to support his downtown plan and to join the Chargers in dreaming for a new stadium located downtown. (NBC 7)
• There’s trouble ahead for Southern California P.F. Chang’s restaurants as more workers come forward alleging sexual harassment. (LA Times)
• The bounty for information on whoever shot those pretty green parrots in Ocean Beach just keeps going up: $5,000 now. (NBC 7)
• California may raise the age to purchase cigarettes to 21. A proposed bill has already passed the state Assembly. (L.A. Times)
• Whoops! Yesterday’s Morning Report provided the wrong link to a database of gifts given to politicians throughout California. Here you go. (Sac Bee)
Prefer Not to Party
If you are a “no party preference” registered voter and selected the option to vote by mail when you registered, the Registrar of Voters wants you to know you have to specifically request a ballot if you want to vote in the June primary election. And if you are one of the independent voters looking to cast your vote for Donald Trump or Jill Stein, tough luck! The Republicans and the Green Party don’t care about your opinion if you’re not in their club.