Keeping a lid

— The San Diego Unified School District board last week shot down by a 3-2 vote a proposal by boardmember Frances Zimmerman to televise the board's meetings, despite editorial endorsement of the idea by the Union-Tribune, a persistent Zimmerman critic. Opined the U-T: "What better way to bolster public involvement than to make people more aware of what is happening during school-board meetings? The democratic process, to be sure, is disorderly at times. But that is no reason to bar television cameras from board proceedings, especially when most of those meetings are held during the day when most parents are working." That didn't convince board member Sue Braun, a staunch backer of Superintendent Alan Bersin and a U-T favorite, who dashed off a memo to Zimmerman, "In my opinion, the Union-Trib wants TV as a money- and time-saving situation for themselves, a selfish motivation. It would be less costly for them to have someone watch a video, or watch meetings while they are doing other work, than actually attend meetings." Besides, Braun added, "The public seems to go a little nuts before the camera." At televised county supervisors meetings she had witnessed, Braun said, "People were coming in droves just to make a statement for the camera; perhaps some board members encouraged this." ... There still are tickets left for the Christmas Eve Chargers game, according to a quarter-page apparent house ad buried in last week's Union-Tribune sports pages. It touted "exciting NFL action" and prominently featured the U-T logo at the bottom.

No more Gore The election was so close it had to hurt: this October 18, records show, Padres owner John Moores, linked to a federal grand-jury investigation of city councilwoman Valerie Stallings's stock dealings in a Moores-controlled company, gave a cool $60,000 to the Democratic National Committee's soft-money "Non-Federal Unincorporated Association Account." In June, Moores gave $5000 to the DNC Services Corporation. Other Moores beneficiaries this fall included Republican congressional candidate Darrell Issa, who locked up an easy November victory by winning the March primary ($426); Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman ($1000); Bob Kerrey for U.S. Senate ($1000); and Susan Davis for Congress ($1000) ... During the late stages of San Diego's mayoral campaign, the Padres announced that they had severed their relationship with Tom Shepard, campaign consultant to mayoral candidate Ron Roberts, ostensibly because Roberts had begun bashing his longtime friend Moores. But that was then. A press release last week from Stoorza Communications, the outfit whose offices Shepard works out of, lists the "San Diego Padres Baseball Club" as a client, along with Chevron, Los Angeles International Airport, Pardee Construction, and Waste Management, among others.

Modern Maturity Yes, that was Lynn Schenk, chief of staff to Governor Gray Davis, slipping into a sparkling white Corvette with hubby C. Hugh Friedman after last week's Lawyers Club lunch at downtown's Wyndham Hotel ... A Del Mar woman has been sentenced to 180 days in L.A. County Jail and three years' probation for embezzling more than $80,000 from a Presbyterian church in Pasadena. Yvonne Roath, 53, pleaded no contest in October to stealing the money while she was the church's day-care director, reports the L.A. Times. Shortly before her arrest last year, she moved to the beach to work for Del Mar public schools ... Robert Weitzel, the ex-UCSD psychiatric resident convicted of second-degree felony manslaughter and negligent homicide in the deaths of five elderly patients under his care in a Utah hospital, has won a round in his bid for a new trial. Last week a judge ruled that prosecutors had failed to disclose potentially "exculpatory" testimony about the medical profession's general "standard of care," the Deseret News reports ... Navy captain Margaret Klee, chief executive officer for the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in San Diego, is becoming chief information officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District ... North County Plaza in Carlsbad is on the block with an asking price of $24.6 million, reports Real Estate Alert.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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