An audit of a California database of people suspected of being gang members has confirmed some of its critics’ worst fears. It’s full of erroneous information, unjustified listings, messy practices and conflicted administration. Sara Libby reports that the database includes 42 individuals who were younger than one year of age and loose criteria for inclusion in the database that could implicate entire neighborhoods. The audit was prompted by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber.

“I was not shocked at all,” Weber said of the audit’s findings. “My own son was threatened to be put on the gang list, and he hadn’t done anything.”

Law enforcement officials have said that being listed in the CalGang database doesn’t really mean anything, but it sure meant something for Aaron Harvey who was threatened with life in prison for appearing in Facebook photos with gang members suspected in a shooting. Weber said the database could still be useful if managed better.

Story Goes Out to the World

Kelly Davis’ personal story about her sister’s decision to end her life has been picked up nationally, in part because of a story by the Associated Press. Very few Voice of San Diego stories have been shared so widely.

San Diego’s Podcast-polooza

If you’ve listened to a really good show recently and it didn’t have any visual component to it, there’s an increasing likelihood you were enjoying that show via podcast instead of over the radio. Podcasts were born in the age of the personal music device during the tech boom of the early 2000s, but have blown up in recent years — highlighted by the show Serial, which became a mainstream hit. Kinsee Morlan went digging for podcasts being produced locally in San Diego and has compiled a very thorough list. The subjects range from sports, to tech, to 1950s-style storytelling.

Voice of San Diego has a podcast or four that you might enjoy. We’ve also started a podcast network where members can share resources. Want to get into podcasts? Start by getting them through your iTunes app. Here are the most popular podcasts right now.

The Learning Curve: English-Learners Try Out Common Core

Common Core education standards may be scary for a lot of people, but it has cause particular worry for parents of those students who are learning English. Mario Koran writes about this critical time for English-learning students who are finding themselves in classrooms where having the answer isn’t enough when you are expected to explain how you arrived at the answer. “Students will be expected to talk a lot more,” Koran reports. “More group discussion will be built into class.”

• We are talking school superintendents and how hard it is to hang on to them in our newest episode of Good Schools for All. Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn rounded up stats on superintendent turnover and discussed recent major drama in that department. Lewis also interviewed Luis Ibarra, the head of Escondido Union School District, who has had some tough calls of his own.

Seaport Village: San Diego Explained

Someday there are going to be big changes to Seaport Village, the downtown tourist destination on the waterfront. The Port has zeroed in on one vision for the area that proposes a bevy of private and public benefits. To come up with that vision, the port commission asked developers to lead the way. Andrew Keatts and NBC 7’s Monica Dean break down the new vision for the waterfront — specifically Seaport Village and Harbor Island — and who is putting it together in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Starlight Reborn

You may remember our recent coverage of the Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl and the unfortunate fate which has befallen it. Weeds now grow tall in the aisles where audiences once sat to laugh at comedies and enjoy orchestras. KPBS reports on an effort to clean-up the Starlight that is taking place on Saturday. Organizers hope to generate momentum behind an effort to restore the theater’s grandeur.

e-Learning For Your Ballot

In November’s Bananas Ballot, we’ve been warning you to brace for a huge amount of documents that will be sent out to voters to explain all the new proposed laws. If you’re not interested in receiving 200-plus pages of printed ballot materials, it turns out you can opt yourself out of that delivery by filling out an online form, KPBS reports. Instead of getting your guide in the mail, you’ll get your e-guide in your e-mail.

Felonious Train Track Walking

North County Transit District is trying to get a handle on a rising problem where their trains have to perform emergency braking procedures because there are people walking across the tracks. The problem is especially prevalent in places like Del Mar, where beach goers must cross the track to get to any section of the beach. NCTD’s current solution is to step up enforcement of what they call trespassing. That means hundreds of dollars in fines and possible jail time if you are caught walking near or over train tracks, they explained to KPBS.

News Nibbles

• San Diego’s got a hometown favorite in the running for the Olympic men’s track and field 800-meter race. Charles Jock went to school at Mission Bay High and has won  a world championship and an NCAA title in his event. Live coverage starts Friday at 5:30 a.m. on NBC Olympics. (KPBS)

• A new study funded by hoteliers claims a new downtown Chargers stadium and convention center would cost San Diegans $67 million annually and would bring in only $2.3 million in additional revenue for hotels. (Union-Tribune)

• Former San Diego politico Peter Navarro was on KPBS talking about his economic reasons for supporting Donald Trump and why he is “comfortable” with Trump’s proposal to ban the immigration of Muslims.

• Long rumored, a hotel associated with Stone Brewing’s Escondido location will become reality in 2018. (NBC 7)

OB Tree Drama

On Thursday afternoon, city staff announced a big tree in Ocean Beach, planned for a controversial removal, must come down, and they would be start cutting the tree down immediately. They oddly announced the precise time they would begin work: on Friday at 7 a.m., in case you needed to know when to come stop them from doing it, I guess.

Two hours later, the tree got yet another reprieve, as the city sent out notice acknowledging the need to work with community and defer tree removal to a “future date.”

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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