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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
What we learned this week and the Coffee Collection.
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San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne could get out while the getting’s good, or at least better than it might be down the line.
He just had to oversee $16 million in cutbacks to the police department, and the city’s financial future doesn’t look promising. Lansdowne is 65 and could easily retire.
But as he tells us in this weekend’s Q&A feature, he’s “never been more involved or happier in a job.”
“I think we’re at a critical juncture in this department,” he says. “It’s going to be a tough 18 months to two years, and the department’s going to need someone to manage that. I have absolutely no intention of going somewhere else.”
In other news:
I talked to this lady about her great-great grandpa, her grandmother, and her sentimental attachment to the president’s belongings. (By the way, she’s not a descendent of Grant’s namesake son, who built the U.S. Grant Hotel.)
And yes, in case you’re wondering, of course she knows who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb. The answer is nobody: Grant and his wife are entombed, and both are above ground. Now you know.
Unfortunately, the site doesn’t say how many people near you are too lazy to find the census form where it fell underneath the couch. (My neighborhood has at least one of those people. So does my house.)
What We Learned This Week
A Big Abortion Brouhaha Is Brewing: San Diego schools are considering whether to allow pregnant girls to leave school to get abortions — without any adults telling their parents. If you listen closely, you can already hear people on both sides clearing their throats in preparation for shouting at each other. Everybody else should be stocking up on earplugs.
The County Supes Aren’t Identical After All: The five county supervisors, all white Republicans, like to vote alike. But they split this week, turning down a mammoth housing development north of Escondido.
Must Be that New Math: No, the Fact Check truth-o-meter says, San Diego schools haven’t lost 25 percent of their revenue.
We’ve Lost a “Loud-Mouthed, Pushy Little Broad”: Midge Costanza, who used those words to describe herself, was a hero to liberals, gays and women, not to mention one of the most influential women in the Carter White House. She died this week at 77.
The Coffee Collection: Stories to Enjoy Over a Cup of Java:
A Q&A with Bill Lerach: He said the payments to clients of his law firm that landed him in prison were standard practice. He gave us his take on a scathing new book about his efforts and what he thinks should happen to capitalism.
Sidewalk Solutions: Thanks to a non-profit group, the most pedestrian-unfriendly neighborhood in San Diego is getting safer.
Curfew! Gesundheit: San Diego cops are cracking down on curfew violations, rounding up dozens of teenagers in effort to keep kids away from crime.
D Is for Doomed?: Many of San Diego’s ninth graders seem to be destined for academic disaster: 11 percent of them have grade averages of D or lower, much more than those in the next two grades. What’s being done to help these kids during a crucial year?
Quote of the Week: “I keep telling them education is the way out. It’s kind of hard to tell them that when you can’t go to the library on a Saturday afternoon.” — Regina Burton, a homeless mother who tried to visit the downtown San Diego library last weekend to read a textbook for a class she’s taking. It’s now closed on Saturdays due to budget cuts; all branch libraries are shut on Mondays too.
— RANDY DOTINGA