Protesters at the April 9, 2019 San Diego Unified school board meeting / Photo by Megan Wood

The Sweetwater Union High School District has launched its own investigation into Kevin Beiser, a San Diego Unified trustee who is also a math teacher at Castle Park Middle school.

Beiser took a leave of absence from the classroom immediately after four men accused him of assault and harassment, and has yet to return (the district is on summer break).

Andrew Keatts reports that an outside firm hired by the district began interviewing the accusers last week.

The allegations against Beiser prompted activists, prominent officials and his own San Diego Unified colleagues to call on him to resign his elected position. 

San Diego Unified Trustee John Lee Evans said that the board stands by that position.

Cybersecurity Still an Overlooked Concern at the Border

There’s been a larger focus on cybersecurity at the federal level over the past year, but recent incidents show the United States is still vulnerable to attacks.

The recent hack of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection subcontractor exposed the faces and license plates of thousands of travelers at the U.S.-Mexico border as well as a complex surveillance network operated by federal officials.

In the latest Border Report, Maya Srikrishnan reports these high-profile incidents are pushing the issue of cross-border cybersecurity to the forefront.

  • Multiple news outlets are reporting on the dangers migrants face while waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases to be heard and the labor union that represents U.S. asylum officers is asking the federal government to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Big Week for State Gov News

It might be a slow work week but there’s a lot going on as Sacramento lawmakers continue debating big bills, and some high-profile laws passed last year go into effect.

  • The gas tax is here. Monday marked the first day of California’s new gas tax. “The gas tax will increase to 47.3 cents a gallon July 1, according to the state Board of Equalization, and continue to increase indefinitely starting next year to keep up with the California Consumer Price Index,” reports NBC Los Angeles.
  • New police body camera rules have kicked in. Also on July 1: Police must now release body camera footage of critical incidents within 45 days. The law creates standard practices for the release of body camera footage, and has caveats that would allow an agency to prevent or delay releasing footage.
  • CALmatters has an exhaustive rundown on the fight over AB 5, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill to limit when businesses can classify workers as independent contractors – a high-impact measure that would impact everything from ride-share companies to hair salons to trucking to journalism.
  • The Associated Press fact-checked claims about a bill written by Assemblyman Todd Gloria written to improve responses to public health crises, following San Diego’s hepatitis A disaster. We were the first to report that although the bill does not mention vaccines, vaccine opponents have seized on the bill.

Another Setback for the Starlight Bowl

Early Monday morning, a eucalyptus tree fell on the long-blighted Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park, striking and piercing the roof of the historic amphitheater.

The fallen tree marked the latest setback for the blighted theater built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. 

A park and recreation department spokesman said city crews spent much of Monday cutting up the remnants of the roughly 100-year-old sugar gum eucalyptus that fell on the theater and cut down another eucalyptus nearby as a precaution. City crews are now assessing the building and potential repairs.

Steve Stopper of Save Starlight, a nonprofit that hopes to revitalize the theater, said Monday that his group has been working for months to try to open the venue’s concession stand and amphitheater. Stopper said he looked forward to an update from the city later this week on the extent of the damage and how it will affect those plans.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Sara Libby.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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