La Costa Canyon High School
La Costa Canyon High School / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The teacher at North County’s La Costa Canyon High School was 46, and his student was early in her senior year. That’s when, in her words, a sexually intimate relationship began at his house after a school football game. Around the same time, another teacher saw the two of them together and told school officials he suspected they were a couple.

It took six years for the teacher to be put on leave in 2016 and ultimately resign.

What took so long? Our reporter Ashly McGlone explores the disturbing saga in a new VOSD story. “The story of how their connection developed gives insight into how these kinds of abusive sexual relationships can grow in schools. It also shows how such relationships can slip through the cracks even when school districts investigate them by the book.”

Indeed, “records obtained from the school district show his interactions with female students at La Costa Canyon High were on the district’s radar long before he resigned.”

• “A former music teacher at an Escondido private school is facing multiple felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor student off campus,” NBC 7 reports. The accused 46-year-old female teacher worked at Escondido Adventist Academy.

Politics Report: Top Dems Draw Fire From Left

Few congressmen are more liberal than Rep. Juan Vargas, who represents much of the South Bay. So why is he getting attacked by the super PAC known as Real Justice? Because he suggested voters support interim District Attorney Summer Stephan in her bid to get her job permanently.

“This DA is about as much as a reformer as Jeff Sessions,” declared Shaun King, a writer/activist with a large national audience on social media who’s been focusing on our DA race. He supports Stephan’s rival in the race, Genevieve Jones-Wright.

This week’s VOSD Politics Report has more details about this infighting on the left and notes that another Democrat, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, is also getting attacked for supporting Stephan.

Infighting is a theme in this edition of the Politics Report, which explains how the 4th District county supervisor race is getting expensive as local labor factions battle for dominance.

Also: San Diego got tens of millions of dollars in state money to improve public transit, but we got much less overall than we should have based purely upon our population — 8 percent of all the state’s residents.

Our Scott Lewis moderated a debate Sunday between Jones-Wright and Stephan. Apparently it was pretty intense. At one point, Stephan acknowledged she was so troubled by her opponent’s campaign, she doesn’t believe district attorney should be an elected position.

She later clarified on Twitter: “My point at its heart was that being District Attorney should not be a political position- rather it should be about protecting victims of crime and guarding public safety without regard to party politics,” she wrote.

Caravan of Asylum-Seekers Arrives in Tijuana

The president has stoked fears of a caravan of people, mostly from Central America that made its way through Mexico. It arrived in Tijuana Sunday and organizers held press events.

We had a photographer there and Maya Srikrishnan promised an update in today’s Border Report. None of them were able to turn themselves into U.S. authorities to plead for asylum.

The group, now down to about 80, according to Tijuana-based reporter Erin Siegal McIntyre, slept outside hoping for another chance today.

Strippers Aim to Uncover Outlandish Fees

In a couple months, strippers in San Diego will need to pay an annual fee to the city of nearly $400, while club operators will face hits of more than $5,300. Now, strippers and operators are lobbying for lower fees.

Their argument, according to the U-T, is that the fees “encourage women to shift toward unregulated web sites where they’re more vulnerable to prostitution and human trafficking.” And those activities don’t add to city coffers through sales taxes.

But San Diego Police argue that the fees are needed to pay for cops to keep a close eye on strip joints.

Gondolas May Be Gonzo, But the Idea’s Getting Around

County Supervisor Ron Roberts got plenty of ribbing when he suggested that a gondola system be erected to transport tourists and locals from downtown to Balboa Park. Now, there’s talk that L.A. is yodeling about the idea too.

A company has proposed linking L.A.’s Union Station — the beautiful if technology-challenged downtown train station — to Dodger Stadium. That way Los Angelenos could take the subway (yes, there’s a subway, and it’s awesome) to the game.

The mayor of L.A., whose possible bid for the presidency may make him especially boondoggle-averse, likes the idea, the L.A. Times reports. And why not? The plan is for it to be funded without taxpayer money.

The future of that city’s grand gondola dreams — and ours — both remain up in the air.

Quick News Hits: Directionally Dysfunctional

“The California State University system has upheld the findings of a state investigator who says that a San Diego State University lecturer committed discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of color against one of his students in 2017,” the U-T reports. Among other things, the lecturer reportedly called the female student a “white savior.”

I’m looking for an apartment because I’m being booted by gentrification. (The owners of the Normal Heights duplex where I’ve lived since 2004 are remodeling, so I have to scoot.)

My home search took me to Hillcrest, where I toured the Park East Apartments. They’re actually west of Balboa Park.

Their sister property apparently used to be called Park West Apartments. It’s actually north of the park. Now it’s called Park View.

Other neighborhoods aren’t much better. There’s no university next to University Heights, South Park isn’t south of the park and the name of Normal Heights has nothing to do with being normal. Lucky for me. Otherwise I would surely have violated some sort of municipal code.

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 ( Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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