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As San Diego Unified promotes its upcoming expansion of preschool, it’s doing something unexpected: closing preschools.
As our Mario Koran reports, “three of the district’s 12 child development centers, preschools intended for parents who work or attend school, are closing this week. The district is also closing one preschool that’s open to all families who meet strict income requirements.”
Some parents and teachers are understandably confused by this strategy.
“We’re afraid for these families and we’re scared about what’s happening to these programs,” says one teacher. For its part, the district isn’t explaining what’s going on, but a spokesperson did say the closures aren’t related to the Preschool for All initiative.
Money Comes, and Money … Doesn’t
The feds are pumping $1 billion into a $2.1 billion plan to extend the trolley by 11 miles into the UCSD area, providing access at last to residents of neighborhoods like Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and University City. And, of course, there was a big check for politicians to brag about. Just don’t try to cash it unless you go to a really big bank with really big counters and really big pens. (City News Service/@toddgloria)
• According to a new city audit, the Union-Tribune reports, “San Diego housing officials failed to collect millions of dollars from builders who borrowed public money to develop low-income apartments.” The problem seems to lie with commission staffers who didn’t check the accuracy of financial statements from developers.
• Speaking of billions and billions, Forbes estimates that the Chargers are now worth more than $2 billion, the U-T reports, up from $1.5 billion a year ago. That’s still fairly chump change in the NFL, where the team only ranks 21st in terms of value. The Dallas Cowboys, estimated to be worth $4.2 billion, are once again at the top.
Airbnb Wins a Round Thanks to Beach Access
The state Coastal Commission is standing up for Airbnb fans by ordering an Oxnard homeowners association to stop cracking down on Airbnb-style short-term rentals. “The commission believes such restrictions limit the amount of overnight lodging options on the coast and limit public access to the beach,” the Ventura County Star reports.
San Diego’s been embroiled in its own long-running battle over Airbnb, and the city has also run into issues with the Coastal Commission.
The commission declared Councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s suggestion — that visitors only be allowed to rent homes in residential areas if they stay at least 21 nights — to be too restrictive in a letter ahead of a planning commission vote late last year. That vote led city staffers to go back to the drawing board on short-term rental regulations. New proposed regulations are expected to be released in coming months.
A Pushy Pollster, But Why?
U-T columnist Logan Jenkins digs into an unusual phone survey about the race between high-profile local Rep. Darrell Issa and his challenger, Doug Applegate, a Democrat who put a bit of a scare into Issa in June’s surprisingly close primary vote.
A pollster — well, make that “pollster” — called a North County resident and listed good things about Issa and bad things about Applegate. So was it a classic “push poll” that’s designed to move votes instead of gauge public opinion?
Jenkins isn’t sure. “This appears to have been a ‘message-testing’ poll that floated just enough opposition research to make it at times resemble push polling.”
In Kearny Mesa, Dreams of a Little Asia
Foodies know that the Convoy District in the industrial neighborhood of Kearny Mesa — known as home to car dealers, TV stations and adult bookstores — is an unusual hotspot for Asian cuisine like Korean barbecue and dim sum. Now, KPBS reports, businesspeople want to spruce up the neighborhood and promote it as a kind of “Asiatown,” a la San Diego’s own Little Italy.
The challenge: Kearny Mesa is about as pedestrian- and bike-friendly as an airport runway, and endless traffic makes it a burden for drivers too.
The Domino Effect, Quake-Style
“UC San Diego has found evidence that large earthquakes can quickly produce powerful and potentially dangerous aftershocks on nearby faults, an insight that could aid experts planning for how to deal with seismic hazards in California,” the U-T reports.
This may seem obvious — of course earthquakes create aftershocks — but the twist is that the jolts occur on nearby faults and may go unnoticed amid all the shaking after a big one.
As we’ve explained, San Diego has a fairly uneventful history on the earthquake front, with only a single fatality (of a hoarder in 1986) ever linked to a quake here. A quake in 1862, possibly magnitude 6.0, cracked the Point Loma lighthouse and convinced some wary locals to sleep in their corrals instead of their homes to avoid being buried by an aftershock.
North County Report: Judge Bucks Measure B Foes
VOSD’s weekly North County Report, our roundup of news about our region’s northern stretches, leads off with a judge’s ruling against foes of Measure B, which asks voters to approve the 1,700-home Lilac Hills Ranch project near Valley Center.
Supporters of the measure wanted to strike language in the anti-B ballot statement regarding the building of an elementary school to handle the new kids in the area. The developer has reached an agreement to build a school, so the judge decided the statement needs a rewrite.
Also in the North County Report: The apparent snuffing of a bid to make Oceanside more friendly to medical pot, violence in an Oceanside neighborhood and the closure of a longtime bookstore/gift shop in Leucadia.
Quick News Hits: Electric Blues
• Officials are touting San Diego’s role in helping immigrants become citizens through non-government efforts. (KPBS)
• An Amazon bookstore — yes, a physical one that you can walk into and everything — has opened at the UTC mall. There are some twists on the traditional bookstore, however. (U-T)
• The powder-blue outfits of the Chargers are going into semi-retirement this fall: The team will only wear the uniforms for a select number of home games this season, as players turn to other color schemes — white jerseys and white pants, white jerseys and navy blue pants, and royal blue jerseys and royal blue pants — for other games. (U-T)
As a person who infamously wore a powder-blue suit to an Escondido newspaper job interview in 1992 — blame my mother’s sartorial advice — I can only say I’m glad the Bolts have found a way, if only partially, to power down the powder blue. There are only so many reminders of poor fashion choices that a guy can handle.
Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to Housing Commission staffers as city staffers. Housing Commission staffers are not part of city staff.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past 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.