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If you visit a school in the San Diego Unified district, you’re supposed to make yourself known. It’s all part of the district’s focus on safety in an era of school shootings.
“But while the requirement exists, enforcement varies widely from school to school,” our Rachel Evans reports.
Indeed it does. She was able to stroll onto the San Diego High campus with no one blinking an eye. At Lincoln High, she spotted a security guard near the entrance, but he didn’t spot her: His back was turned. Then she found her way to a back gate that was open and unattended.
Evans had a similar experience at Morse High too. A principal, meanwhile, acknowledges that visitors could bypass the office and get into her middle school.
Parents say they’ve seen different types of security arrangements depending on the school.
The district’s police chief says schools got a security upgrade after a 2012-2013 report, “including the rollout of 4,500 handheld radios to sites, installation and upgrades of video surveillance, new fencing, new locks on classroom doors and additional ways to keep students safe and secure during lockdowns.”
• Students told the San Diego school board this week that they’re being bullied for being Muslim. NBC 7 says hundreds of local Muslims supported them at a board meeting this week, holding “Protect Our Kids” signs.
“I told my teacher I didn’t feel safe. I told her I want to be safe, but she didn’t react to that,” said a sixth-grade student who recalled being punched by boys and ended up in the E.R.
Big Insurance Gaps in San Diego
Obamacare has been a godsend for people like me who couldn’t get affordable health insurance because no one would cover them. But a new report, summarized in the U-T (via L.A. Times), says the most widespread Covered Care plans are no guarantee that patients will actually find doctors willing to see them. And those in San Diego County are facing the biggest challenges among the regions analyzed.
Here, researchers found, 8 percent of “secret shoppers” with Covered Care plans were told to scram when they tried to get care from doctors compared to less than 1 percent of those who said they had other types of coverage. (I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself.)
Also in San Diego County, 42 percent of doctors were in the wrong categories in directories. And overall, “more than 70% of the callers were unable to get a slot with their first-choice physician, even for weeks or months in advance.”
Airport Wants to Be Friendlier to Drivers
At Lindbergh Field, the upgraded Terminal Two continues to be a pleasure to visit. Terminal One (Southwest) is still crowded, light on food options and generally a pain in the neck, although a colleague says it’s convenient, and we shouldn’t be eating in airports anyway unless it’s during a layover. What a grump.
The airport wants to give Terminal One a facelift too, someday. But first, it’s going to close parking in Terminal Two (it’ll open up parking elsewhere for the time being) and build a $128 million parking structure instead of, say, making it easier to get there via public transit. Remember, this is the project the airport could only get the OK to build after it agreed to encourage people not to use it.
An airport official says: “Our customer surveys tell us two things: Our wifi at the airport is not good, and our close-in parking is not much better.”
• What a bunch of clowns at the airport. Heard that joke before? It’s new to USA Today, the latest media outlet to notice that a circus troupe is hanging out at Lindbergh Field
An Online Review, the FBI and DeMaio
Time to break out a perennial headline: Drama has broken out in Hillcrest. Someone apparently left a negative review on the Facebook page of a local skin treatment center, setting off claims of cyber-bullying, harassment (on both sides) and threats amid a dispute over how Hillcrest businesses deal with homeless people.
Former politician Carl DeMaio is in the mix, as is his husband, who reportedly wrote and posted this to the reviewer: “What you are doing is completely unethical and will be dealt with.” And someone has apparently contacted the FBI. (S.D. Reader)
Opinion: Make Bike Program Easier
In a VOSD commentary, Carla Blackmar, an L.A.-based city planner and San Diego native, urges big fixes to the city’s bike-borrow program: it’s “moribund because of underuse and will surely die unless some major overhauls are made.” (The program, Decobike, allows members to pay a fee and use any bike at stations around the city.)
She makes suggestions and writes: “This is a transportation option that honors the great city we are fortunate to have inherited. Let’s invest in making it work.”
Quick News Hits: Baby You Can’t Drive Your Car
• The U-T checks in with runner and San Diego High alum Meb Keflezighi, “the ageless master of America’s most accomplished set of long-distance lungs and limbs,” who’s heading to the Olympics while worrying about safety in Rio.
• This just in, post-Comic Con: Trash pickup powers, activate!
• Cyclists like to talk about how drivers never follow the law. Drivers like to complain about lawless cyclists. Pedestrians are just annoyed by everybody. This we know.
Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, there are now dozens of YouTube videos of Southern California drivers behaving badly. A new one, No. 59, includes many clips of annoying motorists being annoying here in San Diego, especially in downtown.
To borrow a phrase: Hey! I’m walkin’/drivin’/cyclin’/skateboardin’/hoverboardin’ here!
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also a board member and ex-national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.