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In 2012, San Diegans approved Proposition B, putting an end to pensions for most new city workers. Among the opposition to that measure was City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, whose seat is up for grabs in the June election. All of the candidates vying to replace her agree: We should probably bring back pensions for at least some of those city employees. “A shortage of 911 dispatchers has prompted new discussions about the wisdom of austerity,” Ry Rivard writes. “Candidates in liberal District 9 believe offering pensions may help solve the dispatcher problem.”

Any Council member who wants to turn over Proposition B has an uphill fight in front of them, since it would require a public vote. But it all may be beside the point, Rivard notes, if Proposition B gets thrown out as the result of an ongoing court battle. The measure has already lost its first challenge. “If that ruling is upheld, it could cost the city a ton of money, restart the pension system and generally cause pandemonium,” Rivard reports.

• Meanwhile, NBC 7 reports that the program manager for the 911 dispatch center resigned Thursday. Mayor Kevin Faulconer declined an interview request with NBC, but earlier this week he promised $652,000 to the dispatch program to help alleviate problems. The Union-Tribune editorial board thinks his actions are right on, Councilman David Alvarez, on the other hand: not so much.

Education on the Ballot

A bunch of seats on the County Board of Education are in play this year, which is unusual. There’s been some drama and controversy over the board’s approach to charter schools, so on our most recent episode of the Good Schools for All podcast, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn tried to pull incumbent Gregg Robinson and candidate Mark Powell into a direct debate. Only Robinson took us up on the invite, but we got Powell on the phone to explain himself.

San Diego Unified Trustee John Lee Evans is facing his own challenger on the June ballot. KPBS profiles both men.

The Union-Tribune editorial board is calling for San Diego Unified board member Kevin Beiser to answer for illegal behavior we recently uncovered.

Slow Focus on Homeless

According to one report, homelessness is down by a fraction of one percent, yet the number of people sleeping on the streets is up 19 percent. A lot of new efforts and programs are under way that could be causing those seemingly conflicting numbers, such as an increased focus on veterans and the move away from temporary homeless facilities to year-round permanent funding of one specific campus. Lisa Halverstadt and NBC 7’s Monica Dean discuss the homeless numbers and what is being done about them in our most recent San Diego Explained.

In 2015, some big west coast cities partnered to study homelessness and how to effectively combat it. San Diego was notably absent from that group, with Mayor Faulconer quietly declining to take part in the conference. Halverstadt now writes that Faulconer has come around and is now signing letters calling on Congress to prioritize homeless aid.

Finders Keepers

The ACLU hit the newspapers and airwaves Thursday with a new report showing how the practice of “asset forfeiture,” where police just take your stuff with impunity and don’t give it back, is disproportionately impacting poor people and minorities. The ACLU “found that almost half of the seizures by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in California involve people with Latino surnames,” reports the Union-Tribune. The DEA claims the large number of Latinos targeted is because of their war on drug cartels.

Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and Sheriff Bill Gore put out a joint statement blasting the report and the idea that police target minorities.

A recent op-ed we published by an ACLU official showcased the plight of working people from San Diego who had money unjustly taken from them.

Federal lawmakers proposed a bill on Thursday that would tighten up the rules on asset forfeiture and give people a better chance to get their stuff back. (Union-Tribune)

News Nibbles

Sharp Grossmont has apologized for surreptitiously recording videos of women who were undergoing birthing procedures. (inewsource)

Local pro golfer Phil Mickelson may be in some hot water with the Security and Exchange Commission over insider trading. (ESPN)

• The chairman of the company that owns the Union-Tribune may try to buy the company that is trying to buy the company that owns the Union-Tribune. It’s OK, everyone has to read that sentence at least twice. (Politico)

The death penalty: Should we abolish it in California? Or should we carry it out more often? Or both? You have until November to make up your mind. (New York Times)

After accidentally releasing thousands of student records to a parent, Poway Unified School District thinks it might be time to review their policy on handling student data. (KPBS)

When it comes to students, a lot more of them are living lives that span the U.S/Mexico border. (KPBS)

The state Senate approved a whole bucket load of gun control laws on Thursday. (L.A. Times)

The Bern returns to San Diego this weekend.

Grab your tomatoes, or whatever instruments you use to beat up people who throw tomatoes: Donald Trump is also coming to town.

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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