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Politifest is going to be something. Besides our keynote speakers for the day, the panels and debates are now coming together. Yesterday, we confirmed what could be one of the fiercest debates of the day: the city of San Diego’s Measure K. Former state Sen. Steve Peace and labor leader Mickey Kasparian will face off against Councilman Chris Cate and Republican consultant Ryan Clumpner.
Not sure what Measure K is? Refer to our guide for San Diego measures.
Politifest is free for teachers and students and others who want to come but can’t swing it (all you have to do is apply). And it’s a great deal, just $25, for Voice of San Diego members. Nonmembers get a one-year membership with the $40 fee. Space is limited so please RSVP.
A 2014 audit found the San Diego Police Department was holding onto roughly 2,400 rape kits that San Diego Police without testing them to see if a positive match could be identified. After the statewide audit, two other California police departments implemented policies requiring tests for rape kits.
But not San Diego. Kelly Davis reports on how SDPD is standing firm on their policy of only spending resources on testing rape kits when an investigation indicates that rape kit testing may turn up useful evidence.
Better DNA samples may be collected in other ways, SDPD argues, or the investigation may not turn up evidence of a crime, which makes the rape kit testing ineligible to be uploaded to a federal database for comparison against other records. A rape kit may also not be tested due to the victim being noted as “uncooperative,” Davis reports, a term that is also used when victims decline prosecute a named attacker. Rape kits labeled uncooperative make up the largest part of the untested kits “involving roughly 40 percent,” Davis writes.
Students Get A New Test
It’s test results time. California dumped its old standardized tests for schools, but we now have the second year of results from the new test. Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn explain the change and highlight some of the top and and lowest performers in the county in this week’s Good Schools for All podcast. Steve Green, senior director for assessment, accountability and evaluation at the San Diego County Office of Education joined in early to help them understand the basics of what the test measures and doesn’t. They also explain how you can look up your school’s results. (Hint: here)
Developers Come Together to Re-Do Harbor Island
The port was going to choose between two developers for the future of Harbor Island. But port commissioners chose both and now NBC 7 reports they’re going to work together. Our Andrew Keatts previously explained how the port is letting developers determine the long-term master plan for this and another major part of the waterfront: Seaport Village. Here’s the San Diego Explained version if you prefer video.
Water Confusion: San Diego Explained
Recent water restrictions across California have been changed to allow residents to increase the water they use on their lawns. But the original restrictions were confusing and hardly enforced, and how the new relaxed restrictions apply depends on where you live. In our most recent San Diego Explained, Ry Rivard and NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez peel back all the layers of confusion created by the restriction whiplash, not the least of which is how some water users who restricted their use still faced high water bills after water agencies raised rates due to… lower usage!
What Sex Education?
High school senior Ana Little-Saña follows up on our reporting about schools with low quality or inadequate sex education with her own perspective on how sex education looks from inside her own school. “As a senior in high school, I have yet to learn the state-mandated HIV and sexually transmitted infections education and prevention program, and my school does not offer any type of sexual education,” she writes. “While some might consider this simply problematic, I find it dangerous.” School districts are required to teach HIV prevention at least once in middle school and once in high school.
Mt. Soledad Cross Lawsuit Final
For 25 years San Diegans have been arguing about the Mt. Soledad memorial that features a huge cross, and those arguments have played out in courtroom and legislative battles. On Thursday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals resolved the argument permanently, settling all claims and closing the case, the Union-Tribune reports. The cross will remain, since the land underneath the memorial was sold to a private group in 2015, which rendered moot the primary legal argument that the cross did not belong on public land.
Popular Statewide Ballot Measures
A new statewide poll by public media organizations in California indicates overwhelming support for statewide ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana, passing new restrictions on guns and ammunition, and making changes to sentencing laws to allow for more parole options. “Eighty percent of Democrats said they would vote for the [recreational marijuana] proposition in November, while 53 percent of Republicans said they would vote for it,” California Counts writes. (KPBS)
Study: Stadium Is Bad Investment, No Not That One
According to a new report by the think-tank Brookings, “Academic studies consistently find no discernible positive relationship between sports facility construction and local economic development, income growth or job creation.” But Brookings wasn’t studying the issue in relation to a new proposed football stadium in the downtown neighborhood of any particular city. They were, however, looking at Petco Park. The study concludes San Diego issued $223 million in bonds to fund the baseball stadium and that “there are no [economic] benefits.” (Union-Tribune)
• Point Loma residents are breathing a sigh of quiet relief after the FAA announced it will move a proposed new flight path out of San Diego’s airport further away from the peninsula. (Union-Tribune)
• California leaders decided the state’s climate law has been such a success we’re going to push it up a notch and extend it to 2030. (KPBS)
• San Diego’s leadership is once again faced with some tough decisions to make over how to pay for public pensions. (Union-Tribune)
• Leopard sharks are known to congregate in the shallow waters at La Jolla Shores where people swim and surf; dozens of the sharks were videoed congregating there on Thursday. (NBC 7)
• About a million dollars worth of rhinoceros horns were set ablaze at San Diego Zoo on Thursday to draw attention to the illegal poaching of the animals for their horns. (Union-Tribune)
• NBC 7 has the story of a Syrian family of six who is settling in San Diego and whose children will be able to receive schooling and medical care for the first time.
• Congressman Duncan Hunter, who famously vaped from his committee chair in congress, is now fighting for the rights of tobacco companies to donate tobacco products to military members. (Union-Tribune)
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.