For months, Ashly McGlone has been reporting on how San Diego County schools spent millions in taxpayer funds for new FieldTurf fields, only to have them promptly fall apart.
The turf company then demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars from schools to upgrade their defective fields, but some of those aren’t doing well either. The latest solution: a thousand gallons of glue, reports McGlone.
“During a weeklong process, crews vacuum up all the crumb rubber and sand infill cushioning between the grass blades, pour on the glue, then re-apply the infill in layers,” McGlone writes.
San Diego Unified School District e-mails obtained by McGlone show that at both Patrick Henry High School, which purchased a FieldTurf field in 2012 for $504,000, and Serra High School, which purchased its field in 2012 for $528,000, FieldTurf hopes glue will fix the problem.
“There are no safety or health issues related to any FieldTurf fields, or related to any process the Company uses to address a potential issue with any field,” FieldTurf said in a statement.
Mapping Schools With the Highest Risk of Lead Exposure …
Water testing is under way across San Diego Unified district campuses after higher than allowable levels of lead in drinking water were found at one campus.
In this week’s Learning Curve, VOSD’s Mario Koran maps out San Diego schools by age and by the conditions of campus facilities to highlight which schools might have the highest risks.
As Koran explains, older schools aren’t a solid indicator of whether a school is more likely to be at risk of lead exposure. Older buildings might have paint or plumbing fixtures that contain lead, but also looking at the facilities condition of a school can also tell us that maybe a school’s lead fixtures are corroding.
The highest concentration of schools in poor shape is in southeastern San Diego, according to the maps.
“So, it turns out San Diego has good reason to start testing for lead in the southeastern corner of the district,” writes Koran. “But not because that’s where the oldest buildings are – more so, because that’s where old buildings are in the worst shape.”
… and the First Lead Test Results Are in
San Diego Unified School District said Thursday that water samples from 15 of its schools showed no alarming levels of lead, the Union-Tribune reports. The district is planning to test all its schools for the brain-damaging metal after one school, Emerson Bandini Elementary, was found to have leaded water coming out of three of its taps, a sign of aging infrastructure.
While the results were reassuring for San Diego Unified students, there still were sinks or fountains at five of the 15 schools that produced detectable amounts of lead. In total, nine taps produced water that exceeded the amount of the metal allowed in bottled water, a sign of some possible corrosion of pipes or fixtures.
Explained: City Arts Funding
Roughly 150 arts and culture nonprofits get thousdans in funding from the city’s hotel tax each year.
Recently San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture made some tweaks to how it funds programs, with the intention of attracting more diverse arts groups to apply for its funding program.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, VOSD’s Kinsee Morlan and NBC7’s Monica Dean break down how the changes to how the city funds arts could bring more cultural nonprofits into the fold.
• Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed budget cuts arts funding, eliminates more than 60 jobs and changes reserve policies so the city can continue spending more on infrastructure and homelessness. (Union-Tribune)
Opinion: San Diego and Tijuana Mayors Need Stronger Stances on Border Policies
Both San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum have made public statements on the important connections between the two cities across the border.
But, writes Cueva Bar owner Osvaldo Blackaller, neither leader has taken a strong stance against actual policies that could impact the economy and securities of both cities.
Blackaller said at his restaurant, they’re already worried about some of the economic impacts of the Trump administration’s trade and border policies – like the cost of goods, such as avocados, imported from Mexico, or stricter and costlier E-verify requirements.
“While San Diego and Tijuana are two of the most closely interdependent cities on our border, our mayors are deciding not to take a strong enough stance,” he writes. ”They are failing the families and businesses of San Diego and Tijuana who elected them to stand up for the policies that protect our binational livelihoods.”
Quick News Hits
• All I need to tell you about this piece on Rep. Duncan Hunter’s internet use is that he’s known on bodybuilding and vape enthusiast online forums as “uberjaeger.” (Fusion)
• The latest episode from The Kept Faith, the local sports podcast and member of the VOSD Podcast Network, talks about what’s in store for the Padres this season. Guests include The Mighty 1090’s John Gennaro and David Jay from Madfriars.com.
• Border Patrol might loosen its hiring requirements and eliminate its polygraph exam, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2013, the Center for Investigative Reporting found that during these polygraph exams, some border patrol applicants admitted to astonishing crimes, including kidnapping and rape.
• The San Diego City Council adopted a new burglar alarm policy that would hike fines for false alarms in hopes that reducing them will free up police for more important tasks. (Union-Tribune)