Our investigation into sexual misconduct in local public schools has shed light not only on how schools and districts handle horrific cases, but also the extent to which some will go to keep these records secret.
In a new story, Ashly McGlone and Kayla Jimenez detail our two-year effort (and counting) to secure records on a Coronado teacher accused of molestation.
VOSD is still in court fighting Coronado Unified for records the district withheld about that teacher and coach, Randall Burgess, and other school employees accused of sexual misconduct.
It turns out Coronado Unified identified records on Burgess it planned to release to VOSD, but decided against it when Burgess threatened to sue.
Meanwhile, McGlone checked in on a teacher who agreed to resign from Chula Vista High School after an investigation there determined he engaged in “severe and pervasive” harassment of students. Inquiries into Anthony Atienza’s conduct by the Chula Vista Police Department and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing have both closed without either agency taking any action against Atienza. He’s continued to work with children since leaving his teaching position, as a volunteer on a recent theater production and as the leader of a local youth singing group.
Border Issues Are Still Disrupting California Tourism
Until recently, tourism officials believed homelessness was the top issue facing the state’s visitor industry.
But Barb Newton, CEO of the California Travel Association, said she’s hearing from members of her organization that national travel policies and how people view California is now the top tourism concern.
Newton was speaking at a hearing about binational tourism held by the California Legislature’s Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation in National City last week, where many government and tourism leaders emphasized San Diego’s special relationship with Baja California, as Maya Srikrishnan reports in the latest week’s Border Report.
It wasn’t all gloomy. Baja California’s secretary of tourism said he’s hoping the idea of a binational trolley that takes riders to destinations in both countries can start to gain some traction.
City Attorney’s Approach to Gun Restraining Orders Could Be a Model for Other States
In the wake of several mass shootings, many journalists have taken note of City Attorney Mara Elliott’s role leading the state in obtaining gun violence restraining orders – which allow the government to temporarily confiscate weapons from someone who shows the potential for violence. The latest journalist to highlight Elliott’s record is the L.A. Times’ George Skelton. Two bills in the Legislature would expand the laws. “Other states should start by following Mara Elliott’s red flag,” Skelton writes.
Cities Across Region Forming Utility
San Diego, seven other suburban cities and unincorporated areas of the county are looking to form their own government-run utility to provide energy to the region.
The agency, known as a “community choice” energy agency, or CCA, would buy energy for residents and compete with San Diego Gas & Electricity, though that company would continue to own power lines.
San Diego has been studying the idea for several years. Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave the project his green light last fall.
The Union-Tribune reports that San Diego invited Chula Vista, La Mesa, Santee, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach and San Diego County’s government to join the power-buying collective. San Diego set a deadline of Oct. 1 for each jurisdiction to decide whether they want to participate. City councils in La Mesa and Chula Vista are expected to take up the issue Tuesday. Chula Vista had once thought about forming its own community choice agency years ago but decided not to amid pressure from SDG&E. Solana Beach already has its own CCA, the first in the county, but could likely lessen administrative costs and, in turn, lower rates by teaming up with larger cities.
(Disclosure: Mitch Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president for government affairs, sits on Voice of San Diego’s board of directors.)
In Other News
- Twelve Marines accused of human smuggling remain in custody at Camp Pendleton. While authorities continue to withhold details of the case, a Marine spokesman described the arrests as a “public display for the entire unit to see.” (Union-Tribune)
- Another horse died at the Del Mar Racetrack, bringing the total deaths so far this season to four. (KPBS)
- KOGO announced a new afternoon radio talk show host, after Carl DeMaio left the station to pursue a congressional bid. (Times of San Diego)
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.