Transit officers swarm a trolley platform in La Mesa in 2015, checking for unticketed passengers. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

We finally got some updates on what schools will do this fall. San Diego Unified School District officials unveiled the plan this week. But in their effort to provide answers, they raised a lot more questions.

There are proposals to require masks, temperature screenings and plastic separators in classrooms. Anyone, seemingly, can choose to opt out of physical attendance — even teachers. Effectively, little is the same as school used to be. VOSD host Scott Lewis called it “a historic moment for public education.”

Questions loom not only about the physical functions of school, but how long this next reality might last. Superintendent Cindy Marten says the district only has enough money to open schools for half the year; anything beyond that will depend on what the state and federal governments do, she said.

Lewis and cohosts Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby stewed on these questions — and one really important one: Will the cool kids wear masks?

How Criminal Justice Issues Are Playing Out in the Mayor’s Race

This week, the Democratic Party called on its members to reject contributions from police unions.

One of the people who already received the San Diego Police Officers Association endorsement was Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who’s running for mayor of San Diego against City Councilwoman Barbara Bry.

As criminal justice is taking up more space on the political stage, it’s getting new attention in the mayor’s race.

The political value of such endorsements, Keatts said, isn’t from individuals giving money to campaigns. The true value comes from union donations to political action committees supporting a certain candidate.

Plus: Keatts spoke to Assemblywoman Shirley Weber about a claim made by Bry that she supported an Assembly bill on police use of force before Gloria did. Weber, per usual, did not mince words about how things went down.

MTS Fees Hit Hard

In a single week last June, officers for Metropolitan Transit System wrote nearly 1,500 citations for riders who evaded paying the $2.50 ticket fare.

VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt found that 86 percent of those tickets are still unpaid and unresolved — and virtually all of those unpaid tickets were referred to debt collectors.

Halverstadt joined the podcast this week to talk about how those ballooning costs affect poor families and where the fees really start to stack up.

See You at Happy Hour

Our next virtual event is coming up on Wednesday, June 24. Lewis will host a happy hour, featuring VOSD producer Adriana Heldiz and reporters Will Huntsberry and Lisa Halverstadt.

You can join that event by becoming a member of VOSD today.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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