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A couple weeks ago at a party, my husband and I started to really hit it off with a few new friends.
This might not sound all that significant, but if you’re anything like me, finding new friends as an adult is kind of like that time Marge Simpson found a Chanel suit at an outlet mall – rare, unbelievable, almost too good to be true.
You guys should march with us at Pride, New Friend said. Sure, sounds fun! I told him. But it all fell apart immediately. He was marching with a local politician. I can’t be part of a politician’s entourage, I explained, because, uh, journalism.
Because, uh, journalism is sometimes an excuse that works to my advantage. I can glide past signature-gatherers at the grocery store just by giving them a shrug and a “I’d love to but I’m a journalist.” (I would not love to.)
Other times, it’s not so fun. Every year, I am forced to be the office asshole when some company or important person inevitably sends us a basket of Christmas treats.
“You know, we really shouldn’t accept gifts … ” I tell reporters half-heartedly, as I watch their faces fall.
Accepting gifts from people you cover or might cover in the future, and supporting politicians or causes are both pretty clear lines that journalists shouldn’t cross. But others aren’t as clear. Some journalists don’t vote at all, in order to remain as neutral as possible. I’m not one of them, though I understand where they’re coming from.
And there’s the fact that journalists are, you know, people. It means they have families and friendships and all kinds of relationships that can create real conflicts, or the appearance of one. If you have a friend who starts to get involved in politics, do you suddenly turn down their invites, lest some operative accuse you of bias?
Right now as I write this, the Pride parade is making its way through Hillcrest. I bet they’re having an amazing time. I could’ve gone to watch it all unfold, instead of marching, but I have a deadline to make. So instead I’m here at my kitchen table, writing this newsletter, because, uh, journalism.
What VOSD Learned This Week
John Collins had a mixed tenure as superintendent of Poway Unified – the district posted high test scores, and teachers sang the praises of a collaborative environment, but the district invited national scrutiny with a costly capital appreciation bond, and Collins’ contract and other actions came under fire over the past year.
Now, Collins is out, and VOSD’s Ashly McGlone was the first to reveal why: District officials believe he took more than $300,000 in improper pay. McGlone also broke down three big unanswered questions about the mess.
The Port has decided to take a step forward on one developer’s vision for a new Seaport Village, which Andy Keatts and I discussed on the VOSD podcast this week. Earlier in the week, Andy reported on tensions over the Port’s decision to let developers take the lead on reimagining two crucial pieces of the waterfront; and what issues the Port must juggle as it moves forward.
The Navy, Coronado and Imperial Beach are locked in a fight over who gets the privilege of dealing with the sewage produced by the Navy’s new multimillion-dollar campus.
No one is quite sure whether the Chargers’ proposal for a new stadium will need a simple majority or a two-thirds majority when voters weigh in in November.
What I’m Reading
• The stories behind some of the funniest moments from “Seinfeld” seem to share a common trait: The writers, TV executives and others involved were convinced they’d flop. (Guardian)
• One congresswoman is trying to force police to take online harassment and abuse seriously. She’s getting a lot of online harassment and abuse for it, naturally. (Elle)
• I know things in the U.S. are pretty crazy right now. But, uh, the Philippines’ new president appears to have legally sanctioned murder. (Wall Street Journal)
• A widow talks about negotiating for and receiving a settlement after her husband was killed by police officers: “Yeah, things are better because we have a house, but they’re also worse because he’s not here. We’re living an oxymoron.” (Marshall Project)
• I felt as if there was a boulder on my chest while I read this account of how Cleveland officials conspired to emerge from the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice without indicting anyone involved. (GQ)
• You guys, I am SO excited for the Olympics. I bought a Team USA shirt. I’ve spent the last two weekends watching track trials, and was jumping and screaming so loudly I probably spooked the neighbors when my girl Allyson Felix pulled off an epic 400-meter comeback win. But everyone knows women’s gymnastics is the best part of any Summer Olympics. This piece explains how Martha Karolyi quietly built U.S.A. Gymnastics into a powerhouse. (Vice)
Line of the Week
“Has a dead horse been beaten enough yet?” – Republican delegate Annie Dickerson on the party platform’s repeated condemnations of same-sex marriage.