There’s a big gap between free preschool and paid private preschool: One costs nothing and the other runs $700 to $1,500 a month. But you have to be extremely poor to qualify for free preschool and even a tiny bit of extra income can push a family over the limit and make it no longer eligible for free preschool via a state program. Say, a 10-cents-per-hour raise.

Indeed, “the bar to qualify for free preschool is so high under the current system that parents can be forced to choose between preschool and accepting a pay raise,” writes our Mario Koran. “In some cases, a family of four, where mom and dad are both working full time earning minimum wage, already make too much to qualify.”

As the minimum wage goes up, more parents may find themselves stuck.

• As local politicians continue to grapple with the local housing crisis, a new report says county apartment rents are jumping at the low end, smacking those with the least money to spend. “Eleven percent of new construction since 2014 has been at the low-end, but high-end has accounted for 64 percent of building — leading to more competition for cheaper places,” the U-T reports.

• A while back, we revealed how the feds were shorting San Diego when it comes to funds to help the homeless. Now, local leaders are letting the public know that they’re pushing for a change. (U-T)

Dumanis, Filner, Vargas to Testify?

The campaign finance trial of a Mexican businessman is taking a turn toward the local power structure: An attorney for defendant José Susumo Azano Matsura is subpoenaing several big shots of past and present: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, disgraced ex-Mayor Bob Filner, Rep. Juan Vargas, U-T publisher and editor Jeff Light and former U-T publisher Doug Manchester. (KPBS)

As we’ve reported, Dumanis has some unusual ties to this businessman.

Politics Roundup: Killer Ballots to Stay

• Yes, your mailbox (and your mail carrier) will still be begging for relief this fall: The City Council decided that voters will get two ballot pamphlets of 100+ pages each instead of just being able to read them online or at libraries. (City News Service/KPBS) This does not include the book coming from the state.

• “Faced with intense opposition from religious colleges in California, a state Senator said Wednesday he has decided to amend a bill by dropping a provision that would have allowed gay and transgender students to more easily sue private universities for discrimination if they are disciplined for violating church teachings.”

Under a revised bill, though, universities would still need to report when they kick out students for violating morality rules.

The issue could have been a dicey one for local legislator Lorena Gonzalez, whose Assembly committee would have dealt with the issue. (L.A. Times)

Body Cam Footage Policy Rapped

As CityBeat reports, the ACLU isn’t happy with the much-touted new policy regarding the release of video of officer-involved shootings. The ACLU said it didn’t get to help draft the policy other than expressing general views at a meeting; law enforcement gave the impression that the policy was based on public input from many groups.

• A wrongful death suit regarding a suicide in the local jail system is staying alive in federal court, and another lawsuit in another suicide has been filed. (Courthouse News Service)

North County Report: Trump Town USA?

This week’s VOSD North County Report notes that Republicans in the northern stretches of the county are friendlier to Donald Trump than those elsewhere. Trump’s even gotten some high-profile endorsements from the likes of Reps. Darrell Issa and Duncan D. Hunter, even as politicians in the city of San Diego run from him.

Plus: Housing news, City Council challengers in Escondido, and a lawsuit by the city of San Diego targeting Palomar College (!) over a possible campus in Rancho Bernardo.

Quick News Hits: Tattoo for the Stewed?

• A pepper tree on Mission Gorge Road that was planted by a widow’s husband in 1959 will get to stay. (Reader)

Scripps Pier is 100, and lots of pretty photos are being displayed in honor of its centennial.

• UCSD researchers have developed a kind of do-it-yourself breathalyzer: It’s a temporary “tattoo” — a sensor attached to the skin — that measure your blood-alcohol level from the sweat on your wrist.

However, there’s an even easier way to figure out if you’re drunk. Just ask yourself: Did you just get an actual permanent tattoo? If the answer is “yes,” then maybe you are.

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 ( Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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