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A judge last year told the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California they were charging San Diego too much to deliver water from the Colorado River, and that they owe us hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. The district has decided to just keep charging us the same rates anyway, in hopes that another judge will decide in their favor on appeal, Ry Rivard reports.
“That means, if Metropolitan loses its appeal, it could owe San Diego hundreds of millions more,” Rivard writes. With at least $30 million already sunk in lawsuit costs, and a notoriously combative relationship between Metropolitan and San Diego’s water authority, there appears “almost zero chance” the case will settle out of court, Rivard reports.
On top of the contested rates, Metropolitan “is considering changing how it charges all of its customers in Southern California.” Surprise, surprise: San Diego is fighting those plans too.
Students Talk Gender Bias
Hoover High School’s Academy of Information Technology sounds like the kind of program you would want to be in if you were a career-minded young person. Boys and girls from the school learn about website design, coding and other technologically-focused skills, but in reality most of the students are boys. Rachel Evans found male and female students had up joined with different motivations, and that many associated technology work with males.
“The disproportionate involvement of men in technology stretches to the top of the industry,” Evans writes. If women are to help fill an unquenchable thirst for technology labor, “something will have to change.”
• Our latest episode of “Good Schools For All” focuses on Hoover High as well, zeroing in on the so-called restorative justice approach to discipline, which seeks to curb the usage of suspension as a punishment. Hoover’s principal and dean of students also join us to talk test scores and the importance of a “looped in” culture at school.
Opinion: Respecting Victims in Court
Gil Cabrera, candidate for city attorney, thinks it’s time to end an era of “slut-shaming” that he says has marred the office of city attorney in recent years. He points to how the city attorney’s office attempted to discredit accusers of convicted police officer Anthony Arevelos and former Mayor Bob Filner by digging into their sexual history. “Attacking a victim is not only reprehensible, but also not a necessary or even wise legal strategy,” Cabrera writes. “This is something … the city attorney should never condone, encourage or support.”
Still No Help on Homeless Funding
San Diego is still getting “totally screwed” (in the words of my editor Sara Libby) on how much money we receive in federal funding for the homeless per capita. A new report shows San Diego somewhere near the bottom of a list of per-homeless funding, receiving a fraction ($1,711) of what other California cities receive like Oakland ($5,618), Sacramento ($6,696) and Glendale ($7,136). We previously noticed how the formula used to calculate funding handicaps San Diego. But the clouds may yet part for us: A bill recently passed by the House of Representatives contains an amendment from Rep. Scott Peters aimed at getting San Diego its “fair share.”
How SANDAG Wags the Dog
If a governing body like SANDAG wants to get a $200 billion, 35-year spending plan approved around these parts, its path to success isn’t totally obvious. After SANDAG’s proposed plan lost in the courtroom and was widely criticized by environmentalists, it apparently felt the need to dump half a million taxpayer bucks into public relations folks who would watch Twitter like a hawk, fiddle around on Facebook and craft a careful narrative to pitch the local news media.
“SANDAG staffers also successfully pitched the same opinion piece to several newspapers in the county, naming different public officials and civic leaders as the authors,” KPBS reports. The result remains to be seen; SANDAG still approved its own plan in October and legal challenges to it are awaiting the California Supreme Court.
Petition Targets Petition E-sigs
With the cost of signature-gathering efforts going up, one may wonder if the days of the “Michael Jordan Of Signature Gathering” are only getting started. But signature-gatherers beware: The internet is coming to compete with you, according to Times of San Diego. A state ballot initiative has been approved to collect signatures, about collecting signatures. Proponents want California to come up with a way to collect signatures online, so people can have all our craziest ballot initiatives brought directly to their home computer. It’s like Uber, but for ballot-box legislating.
• Our Republican mayor doesn’t think climate change is a hoax, and this makes him extraordinary among his party. (Energy & Environment)
• Some Californians are eagerly awaiting new guidelines from the state that will could make it easier to get new bike lanes installed in local neighborhoods. (LA Times)
• I know, you desperately want to let your rotting food waste compost down into something useful. You dream of a magical place where your decomposing food can be converted into environmentally exciting things like “biogas.” Your dreams are big and are hard to achieve in San Diego. (KPBS)
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.