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Congratulations to team “Mostly True,” which won our inaugural trivia night at the Whistle Stop bar. The place was packed. Seems people like trivia night so we’ll do it again. It was part of our donations drive. We’re not quite on track to hit our goal so if you read this regularly, please consider donating to help Voice of San Diego survive and thrive.
After months of criticizing our reporting as being based on unjustified conclusions or unreliable data, San Diego Unified School District has finally responded to a public records request that confirms under-performing high school students left for charter schools and it may have assisted the district’s much touted graduation rate. Mario Koran reports on how 581 students left a traditional San Diego Unified high school during the 2015-2016 school year and landed at a charter school.
The data shows Lincoln High or Morse High were the top schools students fled, although schools in Point Loma and Scripps Ranch also lost students. We don’t know why all of those students left their schools, but Koran reminds us that struggling students told us the district encouraged them to leave for a charter.
The big winner of this migration of students appears to be the nonprofit Altus Schools. 475 students, or 82 percent, chose to enroll in one of three Altus charter schools, Koran writes.
In our most recent episode of Good Schools For All, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk through what the current state of the art is when it comes to teaching English to young children. Recent reports have shown how English learners lag significantly behind their peers, often taking five to seven years to become proficient in English.
Over at The Kept Faith, the sports podcast every true San Diegan craves, the team is talking about the San Diego Gulls and the thrill of having a minor-league hockey team that has achieved popularity and some success. They also cannot help themselves but to continue to talk about baseball.
District Attorney Succession: San Diego Explained
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has decided to quit her job before her term expires because, she says, she can’t possibly stay in her current role while she explores the possibility of running for a different elected office (like she did in 2012). That leaves a temporary DA position to fill, a job the County Board of Supervisors will have to take up. Andrew Keatts and NBC 7’s Monica Dean note how there is one leading candidate for the role, Summer Stephan.
Stay tuned. We had quite an interview with Stephan for this week’s podcast. It’ll post sometime today.
Health Care Clears House Hurdle
Thursday was another landmark day in modern politics as the House of Representatives managed to whip together a successful vote on a bill that would again overhaul the way healthcare works in the United States. In the days prior, it was clear Rep. Darrel Issa’s support for the bill would be important if it was to pass, but he wasn’t forthcoming with his plans on how to vote. After the bill passed the House, it became clear Issa’s vote in favor was important enough to land him in the front row of the group assembled behind President Trump at his press conference to announce the victory.
The bill now faces another gauntlet in the Senate.
The long-running battle between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California involves a lot of litigation but also some retail politicking, like when the head of Metropolitan visited Valley Center this week. As the Valley Roadrunner put it, the “general manager of the largest water district in the state, possibly in the country, maybe the world, came to the little Valley Center Municipal Water District board room to defend his agency.”
A deal to share the pain of any future shortages of water in the Colorado River could be derailed because of internal Arizona politics, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Last year, we laid out of the politics of the deal, which would involve California, Nevada and Arizona. There are also international politics involved because the United States and Mexico have yet to reach a new deal on how to share the river.
When “Zero Kill” Means Sometimes Kill
While the County Board of Supervisors mulls the question of whether to privatize the county’s animal services division, KPBS reports on how critics have objected to how the county uses the term “zero kill” when describing its shelters where orphaned animals are kept. In writing, the county claims that any “adoptable animal” will not be killed. In reality, documents obtained by KPBS show animals being euthanized who had “nothing in their vet visit logs to indicate any behavioral problems.”
• How to fix the declining number of police officers in the San Diego Police Department? Officers say: approve more overtime. (NBC 7)
• The city of San Diego is preparing to spend nearly $500 million over the next year in infrastructure projects. (Times of San Diego)
• One lawsuit challenging San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District 2 percent tax on hotel guests is probably going to get dismissed by the judge, in favor of the hoteliers, but the lawyers who brought the suit say they want to hurry to the appeals court. (Union-Tribune)
• The San Diego Reader takes on a fascinating play-by-play of how competition between two gas stations played out in City Council hearings and was ultimately won by using “backhanded” methods of independent traffic analysis.
• One woman injured by wild baseball bat flung into the seats during a game at Petco Park on Thursday.
• The Union-Tribune points out that Qualcomm’s naming rights to the stadium formerly known as Jack Murphy will expire in June. What to do with the Q? One thought: I would suggest not asking the internet to vote on a new name, unless you want to overwhelmingly be told to call the stadium Stady McStadiumFace.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org follow him on Twitter: @loteck.