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Morning Report: Principal Goes from Elementary to District Chief

Morning Report: Principal Goes from Elementary to District Chief

Morning Report: Principal Goes from Elementary to District Chief

Thursday, February 28, 2013

High Profile Principal Will Now Run Troubled District

Principal Cindy Marten has gotten a lot of attention while leading City Heights
for the San Diego Unified School District.
It was a swift hire for a district that has often spent months stuck in transitions
while cycling through chief administrators over the last decade. Bill Kowba, the
that he would be gone at the end of June.
Kowba now has several months to bring Marten up to speed on the internal challenges
Management has committed to address financial problems without laying off teachers
but also while honoring planned across-the-board salary increases, and adding days
back on to the school calendar.
Marten will also be the boss of a new chief financial officer, whose recent remarks
of the school board.
Voice of San Diego has spent a lot of time with Marten. In 2011, we joined NBC 7
on a week-long effort to explain financial problems at San Diego Unified and the
havoc they’d wreak on schools with less senior teachers. Central Elementary was
at the center of our story. Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue gave Marten the hero
on Voice of San Diego’s weekly radio show.
when it actually faced those layoffs implemented by the district, they were later
on Marten.

Fact Check: Presto-Change-O at Balboa Park

The city has been arguing for more than a year about the big plan to drastically
remake the western part of Balboa Park. Now, Mayor Bob Filner says he has a simple
solution to rid most of the Plaza de Panama of those pesky cars: drop a handful
of traffic cones and voila! Car-free! Yay!
The promenading, presumably, would begin immediately. (Note to self: learn how to
his claim misleading. It’s much more complicated and it was worth explaining why.
plan to transform the park for only $500,000.

Once Homeless, Our Correspondent Tells of New Home

Thanks to the generosity of a middle-aged homeless woman named Liz Hirsch, we’ve
life on the San Diego streets over the past few months. Now, Hirsch has a home at
a house for homeless woman over the age of 50.
she writes of rules that make sense, possible survivor guilt and a new way of looking
at the world: “Now I am starting to feel like I’m not in survival mode as much.
I can think of what to do next.”
* We held a great discussion last week about the challenges facing efforts to help
the homeless. If you’d like to learn about the topics that were discussed, watch
highlights each of the speakers.
its closing date. (CityBeat)

Unbuckled! Happy Sidewalks Reappear

Two of our readers report that decrepit and dangerous city sidewalks have been repaired

Reconsidering Managed Competition

Mayor Filner is moving ahead with his re-examination of how the city handles “managed
competition,” a kind of outsourcing that can lead to city employees continuing to

City News Roundup

* “After five years and $4.75 million in attorneys’ fees, the city of San Diego
convince a judge that a Texas-based oil company deliberately dragged its feet in
cleaning up the soil and groundwater pollution it caused in Mission Valley.” (Mission
Valley News)
several more of the candidates for the District Four council race.
* Jack McGrory, a former city manager of San Diego, has bought a Borrego Springs
by the late publisher David Copley. He also now co-owns the former La Casa del Zorro
hotel there. (U-T)
* “Coming off like Calvin Coolidge high on crystal meth…,” the U-T’s Logan Jenkins
“a local politician pronounced himself shocked…” Whom is he talking about? Just

Say Aloha to a Great Junket

County pension officials went to a conference in Hawaii, California Watch reports
“The conference website supplies board members hoping to shore up support for their
expenses-paid trip a ‘2013 Attendance Justification Tool Kit.’ The site also includes
‘7 Tips for Building Your Case for Attending the Annual Conference,’ which suggests
that trustees emphasize how the conference could help them ‘build a networking list’
and identify ways to help ‘save your fund money.'”

We’re Pretty Darned Awesome, Aren’t We?

the high hopes and bright future of a local business: U-T San Diego. In particular,
the 1,800-word story raves about the newspaper company’s in-house cable station.
“What the young staff lacks in experience, they make up for in ideas and drive,”
the story says, with the news director putting it this way: “we’re innovating the
(television news) business.”
The station, which has been in operation for months, will get its first ratings
report next month: “Some preliminary figures indicate U-T TV is attracting measurable
amounts of viewers, although far less than the affiliate stations.”

RIP, the Reader’s ‘Matthew Alice’

There’s sad news for any local readers who long for newspaper writing with heart
and wit. Local writer and editor Linda Nevin, who spent more than two decades writing
Just about every week, in a sly but never snarky style, Matthew Alice answered questions
about quirky science, urban legends and (best of all) San Diego strangeness.: What
those cameras (not the red-light ones) on stoplights?
Nevin fessed up to readers about her real identity last year (I was delighted to
stumble upon her secret a few years ago) and retired from writing the column.
I never got to meet her, nor the ever-colorful “Grandma” and rambunctious “elves”
that populated the Matthew Alice world. But they’ll always be with those of us who
loved her warmth, her way with words and her devotion to this often-weird and often-wonderful
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a

Mark Cafferty, President & CEO at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation,
will address San Diego’s vulnerability to Texas job raiders at a breakfast forum

Do you enjoy reading the Morning Report?
Support Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit, member-based news organization.
We Are a Member-Based News Organization. JOIN US

Thursday, February 28, 2013  

Mark Cafferty, President & CEO at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, will address San Diego’s vulnerability to Texas job raiders at a breakfast forum at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. RSVP here.

Principal Cindy Marten Named SD Unified Superintendent

A Quick Fix for Balboa Park: Fact Check

What Works, What’s Needed on SD Homelessness: Video

From Stumbling to Strolling With The Stumblr

Managed Competition Goes Under the Microscope

InvestigationsFact CheckPoliticsEducationLand UseEconomyCultureCommentary


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