Earlier this week, we told you about the avalanche of issues that still face Lincoln High, San Diego’s perennial problem campus. But district officials swear that things are looking up, and they hope a new principal will finally turn things around.

But who? Our education reporter Mario Koran checked in with Mel Collins, a former Lincoln High principal who’s now retired.

Collins points to several big needs. Among them: a principal who’s there for the long term (at least six years), a principal who doesn’t just listen to the same familiar voices and a principal who gets out of his or her office. And he offers this advice, which seems like a fit for every school everywhere: “Staff the school with the right people — not teachers who are just there collecting a paycheck. Someone with some heart and stamina. You gotta have a feel for it.”

He also advises officials to admit error. As Koran reports, “despite years of upheaval, restructures and lagging performance, neither district officials, principals, nor school board members have acknowledged approaches that haven’t worked.”

Dumanis Is Cagey Over Early Departure

Here’s the latest hot local political rumor: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will resign before her term is up so a favored deputy can be appointed to finish her term and, presumably, win the 2018 election as an incumbent.

Gee, this sounds pretty outlandish unless Dumanis has a legitimate reason to quit early. Surely she’ll quash this rumor immediately. Or … not. As the Union-Tribune reports, Dumanis “acknowledged Monday that there has been talk about the possibility of her stepping down from office before her term ends, but she said she hasn’t made any decisions about her political future.”

She then, confusingly, Dumanis that “speaking hypothetically” she would indeed support the favored deputy’s appointment “if she wanted the job.”

Politics Roundup: Issa, Hunter Still on Trump Train

As the national GOP lurches into a civil war, nearly one-fifth of all Republican governors and members of Congress have abandoned their presidential nominee, saying they don’t stand with him. Top female GOP politicians have been especially likely to dump Trump.

But our two local Republican congressmen, who happen to be among Trump’s most high-profile supporters, don’t seem to be doubting the Donald. Reps. Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter (the younger) appear to still be Trump supporters, although they’ve made statements (either by Twitter or via a spokesman) criticizing his now infamous comments about sexually assaulting women.

A spokesman for Hunter, however, stepped in it by telling a reporter that Trump wasn’t running for office at the time. “In that regard there was no real consequence but that’s definitely not the case when running for president.” (U-T)

• Up in North County, County Supervisor Dave Roberts — the sole Democrat on the board — is facing the battle of his life as his Republican rival, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, attacks him over accusations against him by former staffers.

U-T columnist Logan Jenkins checks out the race and finds that Roberts is attacking Gaspar for engaging in politics — going after him over what he himself describes as “misdeeds” that he apologized for. “It’s a pivot,” Jenkins writes, “right out of the campaign crisis playbook.” Gaspar has weaknesses of her own, such as her coziness with developers, Jenkins writes.

As for the county supervisors as a whole, Jenkins writes, “they routinely preen over their collective achievements, vote in lockstep 90 percent of the time, reflexively declare how proud they are of themselves and the county they rule.”

For more on the D3 race, Maya Srikrishnan has singled out the candidates’ views on homelessness, Gaspar’s view and Roberts’ non-view on Measure A and their feelings on housing policy.

Opinion: Double-Check That Minnesota Stadium Deal

In their bid to get voters to support Measure C, the Chargers have been touting the supposed success of a new football stadium in Minnesota. In fact, writes retired newspaper reporter Tim O’Reiley in a VOSD commentary, “the Vikings went in the exact opposite direction of [Chargers owner Dean] Spanos to get the job done. Had Spanos followed their template, Measure C might have emerged as something semi-plausible instead of the taxpayer nightmare now on the ballot.”

He also notes that while the Minnesota stadium is likely to get to host big deals like the Super Bowl, its schedule “lists only five non-football events in the coming year, including a high school soccer tournament, monster trucks and the Minneapolis Holiday Boutique. Between a Vikings game next Jan. 1 and the X Games in July, the calendar is blank.”

Well, at least that will cut down on traffic congestion.

Culture Report: They Don’t Want to Buy a Vowel

This week’s VOSD Culture Report leads off with a new co-working space in Barrio Logan that’s called thChrch. Yes, they’re vowel-free, even though it’s pronounced “The Church.”

The space is home to Chicanista Boutique, “just one of several small businesses and art galleries that have opened on Logan Avenue between Chicano Park and 26th Street over the past few years,” reports our Kinsee Morlan. “The renaissance has residents and community activists concerned about gentrification and the displacement of the neighborhood’s longtime residents and businesses.”

Morlan has been monitoring the conflict through the first series of our Culturecast podcast.

So what about the negative feelings? “We are Latina women, so when people get worried about gentrification, I call it gente-fication,” says one of the women behind Chicanista Boutique. “In Spanish, the word gente is people, so we are the people, Latin people, coming in a Latin area to maintain the culture.”

Also in the Culture Report: A chat with the guy behind a resurrected campaign to rid San Diego State of its Aztec mascot (he jokes that a replacement could be the “red Solo cup,” a nod to the university’s rather sudsy reputation), Russian ballet stars, the origin story of that dog mural in downtown La Mesa, new places to eat in North Park and the final season for the San Diego Symphony’s music director/conductor.

Quick News Hits: Drama at Denny’s!

• Inewsource finds that local workers are owed millions in back pay and in reimbursement for wage theft, but enforcement of the law by the state Labor Commissioner’s Office has been spotty: An analysis of wage complaints over five years finds that “workers collected what they were owed in only about 30 percent of cases that the commission verified.”

A database shows that some businesses owe as much as $3.2 million in unpaid back wages.

• “The port district hopes its new master plan, expected to be completed by the end of 2018, will greatly speed up development projects — from hotels to boat launches — as the agency looks to the next 50 years,” the U-T reports.

• The Twitter account @TheSanDiegoScanner, which live-tweets local police radio traffic, offered this scintillating update on Monday night: “RP [reporting party] advising about getting bad vibes from all the employees at Denny’s.”

Well, Denny’s really should have expected this after introducing their new Moons Over My Attitude™ meal.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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