Perhaps the drought has made our region a little oversensitive to issues of water insecurity, or perhaps we are just a bunch of eager problem-solvers. Either way, the reality is that our region is now awash with huge plans to generate, move and store sources of water to shore up the water security of Southern California. Ry Rivard reports on how this leads to a strange problem: water agencies opposing plans to help the state get through future droughts.

Water agencies can see the large number of water plans across California and are predicting ratepayers will eventually demand a stop to costly new projects. “Water agencies with their own projects want to be sure they’re not the last one standing before ratepayer support dries up,” Rivard reports.

All these water projects tend to result in their intended effect: getting more water into our region. But one recent report says we may be headed toward facing a problem of having too much water if many desired projects get done.

In a related note, all of the sudden a lot of people are a lot less excited about desalination plants. (Union-Tribune)

The New York Times has some “good news” (and some pretty photos) about the California drought.

The Learning Curve: Keeping Teachers at Needy Schools

We’ve been writing a lot recently about teacher layoffs coming to San Diego Unified, and how the layoffs disproportionately hit poorer schools the hardest. That’s because there’s a lot of new teachers at poorer schools who are exposed to layoffs due to their shorter employment. Mario Koran notes that, while there are many reasons why experienced teachers move to more affluent schools, nobody has figured out how to fix the problem.

It’s not as easy as just offering more money. “Evidence suggests financial incentives haven’t led to great results elsewhere,” Koran reports. Some local schools have been able to hang on to experienced teachers by offering a more collaborative environment, by offering perks like childcare or simply by nature of having a likable principal. But good principals often can’t stay put either, Koran writes. “They’re often promoted to larger schools or management positions.”

Bond Measure Footnotes: San Diego Explained

Bond measures to help schools build and maintain facilities often pass with a promise that bond money won’t be used to pay the salaries of teachers and administrators. But for the last decade, school districts up and down California have been using bond money to pay salaries for staff who have jobs related to projects funded by the bond. Ashly McGlone and NBC 7’s Monica Dean find that bit of fine print and show how much bond money is going to salaries in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Rep. Hunter Under Federal Investigation

Buried under a mountain of reporting about campaign fund misuse, Rep. Duncan Hunter is now under investigation by the Justice Department, Politico reports. The House Ethics Committee is holding off on an investigation of its own in deference to the Justice Department’s. The Union-Tribune’s Morgan Cook, who’s broken several of the Hunter finance stories, notes the variety of personal expenses Hunter paid for using campaign money, including airfare for his pet rabbit, video games for his kids and oral surgery.

San Diego Unified Sends an Immigration Message

Santa Clara County is suing to stop President Trump’s executive order that would withhold federal money from so-called sanctuary cities and jurisdictions.

The San Diego Unified Board signed on to an amicus brief on Thursday in support of Santa Clara’s law suit. School Board President Richard Barrera argues students should be afraid of deportations when they go to school, and neither “should school administrators be forced to choose between critical funding and violating students’ rights,” he says in an ACLU press release about the brief.

Schools are in a tough spot in regards to protecting students from deportation efforts, Mario Koran has reported. Though it makes sense to assure parents and families that they’re welcome at school, “Any municipality or school that guarantees people that ICE can’t get to them in that location is giving people false hope,” an immigration attorney told Koran.

KPBS looks into what President Trump’s budget proposals would mean for kids who eat school lunch.

Lightning Round

Both sides of the short-term vacation rental debate made their arguments on Thursday, the day before the issue is going to a San Diego City Council committee to get on track for a final decision on how the units will be regulated. (Union-Tribune)

San Diego County’s grand jury finds San Diegans are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to replace trash bins busted up by collection vehicles and recommends the city provide free replacements instead. (10News)

Carlsbad’s Encina power plant will stay open despite previous plans, which means its cooling process “that traps fish, seals, sea lions, turtles and other creatures” and kills them will remain in operation possibly through 2018. (Union-Tribune)

Did the recent massive spill of sewage into the Tijuana River have direct consequences for your business? The county wants to hear from you. (Union-Tribune)

Former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson says he doesn’t regret backing Prop. 187, the failed 1994 measure that sought to cut immigrants off from health care and public education. Wilson said he’d back the measure again.

Before Trump will have more border walls, San Diego will have a bunch of fake ones competing to become the new walls. (L.A. Times)

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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