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Formal opposition to the Chargers’ plan to put a convadium downtown is finally coalescing behind one catchy name: “No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First.” Alright, the name of the committee isn’t fancy, but Scott Lewis reports it may have teeth. It includes well-known architect Rob Quiqley. April Boling, a political treasurer and taxpayer advocate, will be among the group’s principals, and activist attorney Wayne Raffesberger tells Lewis the group will “be backed by a very broad coalition of groups, including non-profits, neighborhood associations, property owners, tourism industry folks, urban planners, business groups, architects, taxpayers groups, etc.” So basically, everybody?

A lot of local politicians have been walking sideways away from the Chargers’ stadium proposal these days. But U.S. Rep. Scott Peters was on the airwaves Thursday throwing his support behind the idea, arguing that its inevitable presence on the ballot November means we should try to make the best of it.

Poway Unified Needs Supe Replacement

Poway Unified School District is publicly hunting for an interim superintendent even though the one they already have is merely on leave “as a matter of standard protocol,” according to board officials. Ashly McGlone reports that Superintendent John Collins has been on paid leave since April 25 pending an audit of his contract.

The board decided to start looking for an interim superintendent at the same private meeting where the agenda listed “employee discipline, dismissal, release” as an item for discussion. Collins led the district into national headlines when he borrowed $105 million at the cost to the district of $1 billion over 40 years (we may have covered that a little bit).  If terminated without cause, Collins could continue to be paid for another 12 months, under his contract.

Sherman’s Mojo Not So Simple

Parents of students at Sherman Elementary in Sherman Heights all expect their kids to be bilingual by the fifth grade. And for good reason: The school promises that specific outcome when parents tour the school, while also extracting promises for high parental involvement. “This year, at Sherman, 84 percent of students reclassified” from being considered English-learners to being considered fluent in English, reports Mario Koran.

But state laws, such as the one implemented by Prop 227 requiring English-only teaching, make it difficult for other schools to replicate Sherman’s success. If voters pass a November ballot initiative repealing much of Prop 227, it could make it easier for districts to open a school like Sherman, Koran writes.

The Learning Curve: New Arrivals Feel the Pinch

New Arrival Centers are programs inside San Diego Unified that are used to welcome newly immigrated students into the school system. The centers focus on getting non-English speakers up and running into a new school environment by giving additional language support and covering basic skills. But Mario Koran and Rachel Evans report on how change is coming to the program, with administrators set to announce next week an accelerated timeline for students to get through the program.

“It’s likely students will move sooner into regular classes that count toward graduation, because they’ll spend half as long learning basic English before they’re placed in regular classes,” Koran and Evans write. Parents and teachers who largely disagree with the acceleration are feeling left out of the process, similar to how they felt when Superintendent Cindy Marten made sweeping changes to how English-learning support teachers worked two years ago.

On the latest episode of Good Schools for All, we got Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Karen Janney to come tell us how making changes to the school calendar helped boost student attendance and make everyone happier. “Before 2007, we had families on up to three different schedules,” Janney says, which meant havoc inside families struggling to keep up.

The new book “Grit and Hope” by Barbara Davenport documents the experience of five students trying to get into college through the Reality Changers program, a local effort started to help local kids become the first in their families to go to college. The program provides help with school work and life skills. We’ve got a short excerpt of the book, which is available for purchase on Friday.

Gun Control Advocates Score in Court

A San Diego legal case arguing for loosened restrictions on who can be issued a permit to carry a concealed gun was handed a defeat on Thursday when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against it. Justices ruled 7-4 that California counties can restrict issuing permits to only those who can prove they need it for a good cause. One dissenting justice noted that such rules, coupled with California’s prohibition on openly carrying guns, amounted to “a total ban on the right of an ordinary citizen to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.” (L.A. Times)

New Laws Take Hold

Terminally ill patients in California are now legally permitted to request a lethal dosage of drugs from a doctor, effective Thursday. A patient is required to be mentally competent and have an expectation of living no longer than six months. (Fox 5)

However, if you’re looking to kill yourself more slowly, you can still do that by smoking cigarettes. But you’ll now have to be 21 years old to buy tobacco or nicotine products in California, also effective Thursday. (NBC 7)

News Nibbles

Want to know how your neighborhood voted in the June 7 primary? inewsource compiled data for the major candidate races and made it into a pretty map for you.

 A Navy admiral pleaded guilty in San Diego in connection with his role in the infamous “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal. (Associated Press)

Fresh off the claims of cataclysmic weather in Southern California brought on by El Niño, El Niño is over and it’s just going to be hot and dry like it was before. (Times of San Diego)

The remaining contents of San Diego’s old central library will be auctioned off to the highest bidders on Friday morning. (San Diego Reader)

Snoop Dogg took the Padres mound on Wednesday to throw the first pitch. Someone forgot to tell him you’re supposed to throw the ball across, or at least near, home plate. (Union-Tribune)

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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