Repairing deteriorating roofs and parking lots isn’t nearly as fun as building flashy new sports facilities and buying computers and iPads.

But as VOSD’s Scott Lewis writes, Proposition Z was sold by San Diego Unified School District as a way to fix those aforementioned un-flashy things. The bond was pitched, and passed by voters in 2012, as a way to finally — finally — tackle years of deferred maintenance, major repairs and safety concerns like asbestos.

“But since then, the district has decided that it had more important uses for the money,” Lewis writes.

Prop Z money has paid for things like air conditioning in every classroom. It’s made sure kids have new computers, smart screens in classrooms and places to play sports. The district’s facilities chief and Scott Barnett, the former school bond trustee and a big backer of the bond, defend the district’s use of the money. In a written statement, Barnett explained that major repairs aren’t as easy to sell as other, more noticeable projects.

“There are never press conferences or ribbon-cuttings for new roofs or parking-lot repaving,” Barnett says.

Air conditioning and new computers are good, but the buildings are still bad, and at some point someone’s going to have to address the non-press-worthy problems.

San Diego Decides: The D9 Divide, Lawmaker Lie Detectors, Rihanna and More

One of our new podcasts is cranking out new elections content for your earbuds. Episode 2 of San Diego Decides is packed with local politics. Hosts Sara Libby and Ry Rivard cover the race for mayor, the race for city attorney and the race for the District 9 City Council seat.

KPBS reporter Megan Burks joins the show to talk about the dynamics of District 9, which includes the neighborhoods of City Heights and Kensington, two drastically different places when it comes to demographics.

The podcast also includes clips from an interview with mayoral candidate Ed Harris, the first of a recurring segment on some of this year’s wildest ballot proposals (there’s one, for example, that would require candidates and lawmakers to take regular lie detector tests), Libby on Rihanna’s new album and more.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

Quick News Hits

• Citing a possible media monopoly in Southern California, a judge blocked Tribune Publishing’s bid for the Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise. Tribune Publishing, which owns The San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times among other publications, put in the top bid to buy the newspapers. (U-T) And now the two papers will go to the next bidder, Digital First Media.

One news industry observer, Joshua Benton from Harvard’s Nieman Lab, was unimpressed with the Department of Justice. “Congrats, feds, for making sure @ocregister and @PEcom_news got sold to the chain that will gut it more,” he tweeted. A U-T reporter noted said the feds also seemed oblivious to other aspects of the industry.

• A so-called “Stingray” device enables law enforcement officers and others to secretly track cell phone data. NBC 7 San Diego requested public records that show how often the San Diego Police Department has used the tracking device and in what circumstances the department has used it.

The first-ever “Identify the Missing” event in San Diego invited people searching for missing friends and family members to meet with sheriff’s deputies, give DNA samples to a member of the California Department of Justice and provide details and more information to a national missing persons organization. (U-T)

• A segment of a new, four-lane highway along the U.S.-Mexico border opened over the weekend. (CW6 San Diego)

San Diego Social Media Moments

Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station in Point Loma is celebrating its soft opening Monday. This short video is meant to get ya’ll pumped.

The annual San Diego Cake Show happened in Del Mar over the weekend. I went to the event’s Facebook page looking for deliciousness. Instead, I found this: A creepy clown selfie.

This video of a dude rollerblading in a T. rex costume at a San Diego skatepark is hard not to want to watch.

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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