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This week, San Diego Unified announced it will open up preschool enrollment to the public. Previously, the district offered preschool for free, but only to those who met certain low-income qualifications.
The free program is absurdly hard to qualify for. The old requirements to qualify for the program were aimed at serving only the very poorest San Diegans.
We asked Mario Koran to break down the news that the district will open up the preschool doors, for a price. Though it’s described as preschool for all, it’s not clear it’s much cheaper than other private options.
• Demand for teachers continues to rise, while at the same time, older teachers are retiring. That means we need to be bringing a steady flow of new teachers into the profession, but that is proving to be very difficult. On the most recent episode of Good Schools For All, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk with University of San Diego professor Heather Lattimer about what it means when interest in the teaching profession plummets among young people.
Lilac Hills Vote: San Diego Explained
November voters will have to decide whether to allow developers to build Lilac Hills Ranch, a much larger residential community than the county zoning allows. The project’s developer put the initiative to voters after County Supervisor Bill Horn recused himself from the vote it would have required. Since then, the proposal has changed a bit, mostly in ways that reduce the responsibility of the developer. Maya Srikrishnan and NBC 7’s Monica Dean go through the broad strokes of the new plan in our most recent San Diego Explained.
A Techie’s Plea: Build Homes to Compete with the Bay Area
Ph.D. student Alexander Bakst is studying computer science at UC San Diego and dreaming of spending a long life in San Diego. Most of his friends, however, are all taking jobs in Silicon Valley, which he laments as a place of “soul-sucking commutes, bank-draining rents” and terrible burritos.
“If San Diego really wants to be a tech hub that attracts and retains computer engineers in addition to the current biotech industry, it needs to plan ahead,” Bakst writes. That means building more housing of all types, and locating more jobs into the dense neighborhoods that don’t require cars to move around in. “San Diego is supposed to be a smart and innovative city,” Bakst notes.
Stadium Choices: Measure C and Measure D
Measure C, also on the November ballot, is the Chargers’ proposal to build a stadium downtown and use it as convention space as well. Chargers owner Dean Spanos penned an op-ed in the Union-Tribune on Thursday pleading for voters to support Measure C, which would solidify “$350 million of hotel room tax” money from public coffers “for integrating the convention center,” Spanos writes. Under existing interpretations of law, Measure C would need a two-thirds majority vote to become law.
On the opposing side, a collective of community leaders including Councilman Chris Cate published their case against Measure C. The group highlights the economic importance of large conventions who have rejected the Chargers proposal of convention space separated from the existing facility, and warn that San Diegans could end up having to cut public services in order to pay for the stadium.
Proponents of Attorney Cory Briggs’ Citizens Plan to increase hotel taxes (and give the hoteliers an option to fund a new stadium) can’t get city attorneys to agree their ballot measure only requires a simple majority vote to pass. The city keeps issuing memos saying the measure will need a two-thirds majority to become law. This will all end in court if voters approve Measure D in November by anything less than a two-thirds majority. (Union-Tribune)
End-of-Life Act Facing Challenge
We recently wrote about Betsy Davis, a woman suffering with the terminal illness ALS. Davis’ sister, Kelly Davis, wrote about a farewell gathering the family organized prior to Betsy choosing to ingest a lethal amount of drugs as legally prescribed by a doctor.
The law that cleared the path for the aid-in-dying law in California is now under legal threat. A court case in Riverside County could result in a judge putting the law on hold. “If he does, it could be years before the law goes back into effect, if ever, causing needless suffering for untold terminally ill people,” writes the LA Times.
• Month-to-month tracking of homeless people in San Diego is showing another big jump in homelessness in August.
• Hot on the heels of the Poseidon water desalination plant in Carlsbad, Tijuana wants one of their own but with about twice the capacity. (Union-Tribune)
• The San Vicente reservoir is re-opening for water sports and fishing. (Times of San Diego)
• Another season of horse racing at the Del Mar race track has already claimed the lives at least 12, and some say 19, horses. (NBC 7)
• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis didn’t have much praise for a recent courtroom sketch drawn of her testifying at the trial of Jose Susumo Azano Matsura. (NBC 7)