Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Roundtable: Nathan Fletcher Turns Democrat, Julian Fire Stays Volunteer, Governor Touts School Formula, Disney Idea es Muerto

Fletcher Dem
Roundtable: Nathan Fletcher Turns Democrat, Julian Fire Stays Volunteer, Governor Touts School Formula, Disney Idea es Muerto
Roundtable: Nathan Fletcher, Julian Fire, Governor's School finance Plan, Disney Trademark ideaHOSTMark SauerGUESTSScott Lewis, CEO, Voice of San Diego Tony Perry, LA Times Bureau Chief Kyla Calvert, KPBS Education Reporter John Rossman, KPBS/Fronteras Social Media Editor


Nathan Fletcher Turns Blue

A year after giving up on the Republican Party and becoming an Independent, Nathan Fletcher announced this week that he has gone all-in and become a Democrat.

Scott Lewis wrote this week that Fletcher credits his decision to a politician he met in Myanmar who told him it was unprincipled not to belong to any political party and a Marine friend who pointedly asked him why he had been a Republican in the first place. And when he watched Bill Clinton’s speech at the 2012 Democratic convention, Fletcher says he could find nothing to disagree with.

Some prominent Democrats, like Assembly candidate Lorena Gonzalez, tweeted words of welcome.

Fletcher says he is happy in his current leadership role at Qualcomm and with teaching at UCSD. But should he want to return to public office, it may be easier as a Democrat than as an Independent.


Julian Fire Dept. Resists Siren Call Of County Money

The prospect of more money for station operations and vehicle maintenance, plus two full-time professional firefighters, better training and better coordination with neighboring agencies was tempting to Julian’s all-volunteer fire department.

But in the end, writes LA Times San Diego Bureau Chief Tony Perry, the strings attached were too burdensome to the board and three dozen firefighters of the proud Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, started years ago with used equipment and funding from bake sales.

Accepting the county's offer would have meant the district and its board would be dissolved and authority ceded to the County Board of Supervisors.

The role of the Julian district is crucial, not only to the area and its 1,500 residents, but to San Diego County as a whole. Each fire season, Julian-Cuyamaca is right in the line of fire heading west, as it was in the big fires of 2003 and 2007.

The debate on the offer was fierce. In the end, the district’s board was deadlocked, which meant no.

Governor Wants New School Funding Plan

Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to re-shape school financing with money from Proposition 30 starting in the fall of 2013 is generating debate.

The plan calls for increased funding to all school districts, but with additional dollars per student going to into urban districts with large numbers of poor students (those eligible for subsidized lunches) and English learners. Districts and charter schools will also get new funds to implement the formula.

Brown's plan prompted an LA Times columnist to dub the governor "Robin Hood".

Brown has characterized the current formula for school funding as a civil rights issue that produces a divided society. Under the new formula, which would be fully phased in by the 2019-2020 school year, San Diego Unified would see a larger percentage increase in funds per student than Chula Vista. All schools in Imperial County would receive additional funds.

No district would actually lose funds. But better-off districts still trying to recover from the 2008-2009 state cuts may not be happy with the new formula.

Disney Trademark Idea Es Muerto

Disney DDLM

When the Fronteras Desk got wind of Disney Enterprises’ plan to trademark the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, John Rosman and Monica Uribe quickly posted and tweeted the news.

The story went viral, which caused outrage, which gave rise to an online petition, which caused Disney to announce it was changing the name of the feature and forgetting the whole thing ever happened.

Latinos, however, may have better memories.

The Walt Disney Company planned to trademark the phrase around the release of a Pixar animated feature for "education and entertainment services." These included "fruit-based snack foods" and "fruit preserves."

It would have been interesting to see how well Dia de Los Muertos grape jelly sold.