We’re taking a closer look at the list of San Diego schools that are slated to lose the highest percentages of teachers to layoffs.

As our Mario Koran reports, “the highest concentration of layoffs are in southeastern San Diego neighborhoods, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of town. At Fulton K-8 in Encanto, where roughly 90 percent of students qualify for subsidized lunch, more than half the school’s teachers are facing layoffs.”

Why is this? “Because teachers are placed in schools based on seniority, the more senior teachers generally seek more affluent schools with better test scores, and poorer schools see more layoffs.”

We put the 20, the percent of educators they may lose and their poverty percentages into one jarring graphic.

Many teachers will not end up being laid off. The district will replace the ones who are with more senior teachers from other schools. The disruption can be awful for schools trying to build community and rapport between principals and educators.

Legal Marijuana Tool Against Illegal Shops

Cities like San Diego have devoted plenty of manpower to shutting down illegal marijuana dispensaries. But now, some are discovering that a solution has been lurking within them all along: Allow more legal pot shops.

As our Maya Srikrishnan reports, “the most effective way to crack down on illegal dispensaries might be to help legal marijuana businesses thrive.”

The little city of Lemon Grove is about to test this approach. Voters approved allowing the storefronts. Now, the city will have to make room for them. As the industry becomes more mainstream, the thinking goes, buyers will prefer the better quality at the legal shops.

GOP Touts Faulconer as No Sanctuary Supporter, But …

Speaking of graphics, the San Diego County Republican Party posted one on Facebook touting San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s declaration that San Diego is not a sanctuary city.

It came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions warning to cities that they cooperate with immigration enforcement or pay a price.

The post generated hundreds of comments, including some from people who seem to believe that all Latinos are unauthorized immigrants.

Faulconer can say San Diego isn’t a sanctuary city because, as we explored, the term has no meaning. San Diego has similar policies as proud sanctuary cities. The mayor even recently took the step of assuring the City Council he would not let San Diego police be deputized by federal authorities to enforce immigration laws.

All that makes San Diego look like a supposed sanctuary city. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are present in local jails and booking facilities. And an ICE official told me the agency has a strong relationship with local law enforcement.

Sessions cited only one law he is demanding cities comply with: 8 USC 1373, which merely prohibits local law enforcement from restricting the sharing of immigration status with federal officers. It’s hard to see how any city does not comply with that.

— Scott Lewis

U-T Hammers SoccerCity Petitioners

If you’ve bought groceries in San Diego lately, chances are good that you’ve come across a petition gatherer urging you to support a soccer stadium in our fair city. Stadium boosters need to collect more than 71,000 signatures within a few months in order to force the City Council to approve the SoccerCity development or put it before voters.

The pitch may seem pretty simple. But when the U-T talked to petition gatherers, it found that many were spouting nonsense and lies.

Among the misinformation, according to the U-T: “It’s a soccer project. But the massive development that accompanies it is either downplayed or denied.”

Sea-Level Rise on the Mind

KPBS summarizes the findings of a new report: “More than half of Southern California’s beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100 as the sea level rises.”

As we’ve reported, the mayor of Imperial Beach is worried about “rising sea levels that could eventually impact 30 percent of the city’s properties, 40 percent of its roads, an elementary school and more.”

Imperial Beach and La Jolla Shores would be the most threatened of local beaches, the report believes.

Heaven’s Gate Is Neither Gone Nor Forgotten

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide. The mansion where it happened is gone, and a whole generation has grown up without remembering the shock of first hearing about a cult’s horrific end in Rancho Santa Fe. But the original Heaven’s Gate website remains online, a time capsule into the time of GeoCities and AOL.

A few years ago, the website Gizmodo explored the cult’s unusual cyber-afterlife. The story, which is worth another visit, begins this way: “Every month, the bills get paid on time. The emails get answered, and any orders filled. Which, for HeavensGate.com, is positively extraordinary. ”

A couple Heaven’s Gate believers were still running the site as of 2014: “They refer to themselves simply as ‘Telah’ and ‘we.’”

Culture Report: South of the 8, on Stage

This week’s VOSD Culture Report leads off with a look at “South of the 8,” a spoken-word performance by residents of the often-neglected southeastern San Diego neighborhoods. It’s part of an effort by the La Jolla Playhouse to reach beyond its usual audience.

Also in the Culture Report: A local filmmaker dies of cancer at the age of 29, a blogger puts Lyft drivers in the spotlight, and a new restaurant devotes all its profits to charity.

Quick News Hits: Getting a Leg Up on Humanity

• A committee of the San Diego Association of Governments is looking at seven firms that want to investigate the coalition of local government agencies over the transit tax scandal that we uncovered, KPBS reports. It’s not clear which firms are involved.

• The Washington Post has some disturbing news about spiders: Annually, they “eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined.” And each year, they eat more than the equivalent of the weight of all 7 billion humans on the planet.

If the spiders rise up, we should be OK in San Diego, right? Sure, we have spiders around, and the county health folks warn us about the poisonous Black Widow, Brown Widow and Desert Recluse. But how many species can there be here, really?

Try 54 kinds of spider — in just one place. That’s the word from a 2010 report about spiders hanging out at the Cabrillo National Monument. To make local matters more unfriendly for aracnophobes, the San Diego Zoo has its very own Arachnid Rescue Center that’s full of tarantulas in distress, all the victims of wildlife trafficking.

Eek! I’m gonna head into my bedroom closet to protect myself from the Arachnoid Apocalypse. No spider will find me h… uh oh.

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 is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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