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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
The governor’s plan to shake up education money, a health care boost for the undocumented and what we learned this week.
As expected, Mayor Bob Filner has vetoed the City Council’s picks for the commission of the Unified Port of San Diego.
It appears Filner didn’t realize he even had the power to do that the day the City Council was making its decision. But in his memo issued late Friday, he echoed Councilwoman Marti Emerald’s reasoning the day of the vote.
The move provoked scornful statements from some City Council members. The U-T has them.
Gloria promised a vote to override the veto, but it’s unclear if he can muster the support. He’ll need the same five votes he got before and one more.
Governor Wants to Re-Imagine School Funding
Gov. Jerry Brown won big with Proposition 30, a huge cash injection for California schools. Now he wants to dramatically change the way schools are funded, reports Will Carless.
Under Brown’s plan, which still needs approval from the legislature, money would be disbursed among school districts according to a completely new formula (more on that in a minute). … Districts will have much greater control over their spending, and districts with the most high-need students will get larger shares of the new money.
Health Care Funds for the Undocumented
The California Endowment has pledged $225 million to help implement health care reform in the state, and the foundation says a chunk of that will go toward exploring health care options for undocumented immigrants, Megan Burks reports over at Speak City Heights.
That could eventually help balance the scales for multi-status families like Norma Navarro’s in City Heights. Navarro and her daughter are undocumented; her son is a citizen and has access to Medi-Cal.
Poway Under Its Own Microscope
Poway Unified’s big investigation of itself (performed by an outside company) will finally be revealed at its board meeting Tuesday.
What We Learned This Week
Bob Filner Is Still Focused on Neighborhoods: Mayor Filner put neighborhoods first in his big State of the City speech this week. We made this word cloud to visualize the frequency of certain words he uttered, and “neighborhoods” and “communities” came out on top.
Whether Filner can accomplish the sweeping neighborhood-centric agenda he outlined will depend on his own personality and the budget, Lisa Halverstadt wrote in a post-game analysis of the speech.
Bus Rapid Transit Is Already Here — Sort of: SANDAG has made a future bus rapid transit line a centerpiece of its big transit blueprint. Bob Filner has shouted out such a system when talking about density and planning.
Andy Keatts went on a ride-along this week with commuters who use a similar service that already exists: the express commuter bus that brings residents from outer suburbs into downtown each day.
• Not everyone agrees bus rapid transit is the way of the future, though. In our Comments of the Week, Sara Kent argues we should be focused on light rail instead: “Not only does the public prefer riding trains to buses, but BRT v. LRT initial investments plus long-term maintenance are comparable (Buses must be replaced, roads require more expensive maintenance than rail lines).”
Birds Died on Taxpayers’ Dime: Despite assurances from the county and Wildlife Services that local taxpayers weren’t helping foot the bill for bird killings at country clubs, new documents suggest otherwise.
Our former senior reporter Rob Davis sifted through new documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and found: “In total, records show that Wildlife Services has caught and killed 2,608 coots under the county’s contract since 2005. A Wildlife Services spokeswoman, Carol Bannerman, confirmed to VOSD that ‘[t]he work is completed under the county’s contract.’”
Wildlife Services is continuing to withhold other documents that would help us understand the entire scope of the killings.
Quick News Hits
• That Bronwyn Ingram is engaged to Bob Filner (she said yes “after meditating with a monk at a Buddhist temple in Vietnam”) is perhaps the least interesting thing about her. In a new San Diego Magazine profile, Hailey Persinger reveals the ways Ingram could be a much higher-profile first lady than the city has had in a long time.
• The aging sculptures along Park Boulevard will stay up, the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture decided Friday.
• In this age of fiscal uncertainty, winning a “Distinguished Budget Award” sounds like quite an honor, right? Not so much, writes former VOSD reporter Keegan Kyle in the Orange County Register. The “award,” which in 2011 was bestowed on Del Mar, Carlsbad and San Diego County, among others, “measures good looks more than substance,” and municipalities pay a steep fee to be evaluated by the company that doles them out.
Quote of the Week
“When I first got the call to say a few words at a mayoral State of the City address, I was honored. You could almost say it was a dream come true.” — Nathan Fletcher, poking fun at himself before introducing Mayor Bob Filner during the State of the City address.
Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0526.
Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.
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