City Councilmen Scott Sherman and David Alvarez / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman doesn’t seem like he’s enjoying his experience these days very much so Lisa Halverstadt checked in with him.

Sure enough, he unleashed on his colleagues and the way the Council does its business.

Sherman’s had a rough week, to be sure. First, Council President Myrtle Cole removed him from his chairmanship of the city’s Smart Growth and Land Use committee, where he had hoped to lead the attack on the city’s housing crisis. Cole appointed fellow Democrat, Georgette Gómez, to the seat instead.

Then, Sherman watched as his joint proposal to regulate short-term rentals failed this week, after Councilman David Alvarez suddenly reversed his position and voted against it. In both cases, Sherman sees the hand of union power at work.

“They’re the puppet-master,” Sherman said, adding that Council President Cole is “their puppet.”

The story features a deadpan response from a union leader and Cole.

 To understand why Sherman is so bitter about the housing committee stuff, remember Sherman and Alvarez had been burnishing their odd couple image trying to lead a movement to address housing costs. Even the New York Times took notice.

Repeated failures by the City Council to regulate vacation rentals have apparently inspired Mayor Faulconer to do something about the issue. He’ll start with “reaching out to well-meaning folks on both sides.”

The Learning Curve: San Diego’s Segregated Schools

San Diego Unified is home to eight of California’s schools that are most segregated by race and class. While the district had previously announced plans to put a good school in every neighborhood, Mario Koran reports they also have cut in half the number of students who have access to school buses, which are the main tool used to integrate schools. Critics of charter schools argue that charter schools are driving segregation.

A recent story by KPCC looked into widely used data on segregated schools and found the eight most segregated schools in San Diego were split: four were public schools and four were charters.

Segregated schools are known to put students of color at a disadvantage, with less effective teaching and less college preparation. “None of these trends are new, and there’s no local movement afoot to change them,” Koran writes.

The San Diego Unified School District wants to do a land-swap, offloading a total of three current sites in return for an office building and auditorium close to a freeway. (Union-Tribune)

NCTD: San Diego Explained

If you’ve taken a bus or trolley in San Diego, you’re probably familiar with the Metropolitan Transit System that operates those services. But if you’ve take transit to further-flung locations in the county, you might have taken the Sprinter, the Breeze or the Coaster. Those are operated by a lesser known organization: the North County Transit District. Andrew Keatts and NBC 7’s Monica Dean sum up how NCTD operates in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Kasparian Accused Again

On Wednesday a female county government employee filed another lawsuit against labor leader Micky Kasparian, joining other women who have filed lawsuits against him in 2016 and 2017. The Union-Tribune’s Joshua Stewart reports the woman says Kasparian groped her on four occasions, attempted to get her to participate in group sex, and pinned her down on a couch. “I felt like I was being raped,” the woman said in a deposition.

Around this time last year, other women came forward with their stories of being attacked or retaliated against by Kasparian while working with him.

Kasparian told the Union-Tribune there are “no truth or facts” to the new claims, and that he is planning defamation lawsuits against his accusers. Meanwhile, the charges he is facing have caused a huge rift among San Diego’s labor unions.

Counting Border Crossing Deaths

AZCentral investigates migrant deaths along the Mexico border in four states, and reports how the number of migrant deaths are being vastly under-reported by the Border Patrol in some cases. The investigation “found anywhere from 25 percent to nearly 300 percent more migrant deaths over five years,” AZcentral reports.

In southern California, information gathered from local medical examiners, counties and law enforcement showed there were 60 percent more deaths than the Border Patrol reported for the years 2012 to 2016. Official deaths were reported at a count of 63 by the Border Patrol, but reporters were able to attribute 102 deaths to border crossings.

“The lack of a full accounting of border deaths diminishes the full impact of the humanitarian crisis,” AZcentral writes.

Firefighter Falls

People across California are mourning the death of San Diego fire engineer Cory Iverson after he was killed battling the Thomas fire that has burned in Ventura and Santa Barbara. The Union-Tribune reports investigators are still looking into what happened to the 32 year-old, who leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Lightning Round

Ten women have now accused a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy of sexual misconduct. (NBC 7)

Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t want to release details of a meeting he had with Edison’s top executive for two hours, one month before a key meeting in Warsaw that helped put ratepayers on the hook for billions related to the San Onofre power plant shutdown. (Union-Tribune)

These rare affordable housing units in Pacific Beach will continue to charge only $550 per month after the site was bought by a charity. (Union-Tribune)

If you’re feeling a disturbance in the Force, that’s because the next installment of “Star Wars” is debuting in theaters this weekend. The Union-Tribune takes a look at all the important ways San Diegans are represented in “The Last Jedi.”

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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