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— Controversial city-schools administrator Anthony Alvarado is in line for a lucrative new contract, according to sources at the San Diego Unified School District. Alvarado, the ex?New Yorker and right-hand man to Superintendent Alan Bersin, is the muse behind the district's so-called "Blueprint for Student Success" reform effort. He currently makes $150,000 a year and is said to be up for a four-year extension with a generous raise in salary, perks, and bonuses. Last April, Alvarado's existing contract was temporarily extended through this month, in what many saw as an effort by Bersin and his allies on the board to avoid bringing the more lucrative permanent extension up before November's hard-fought school-board election. Alvarado critic Fran Zimmerman won that battle against Bersin favorite Julie Dubick, but there are still three safe votes on the board to give Alvarado his new deal. Alvarado, who early in his tenure commuted weekly back and forth to his New York base -- thanks to the financial support of local-business fat cats -- is said to have become a more-or-less permanent San Diego resident. This June, records show, he filed for divorce in San Diego Superior Court against his wife of 26 years, Ellen J. Kirshbaum, an educator who lives in Brooklyn. In an August reply filed here, Kirshbaum said that, beginning in March of last year, Alvarado had been "maintaining an apartment in Manhattan with his mistress" and successfully argued to have the divorce heard in New York courts. According to a September brief filed by Kirshbaum's attorney, the case involves "serious issues of wasteful dissipation of marital assets." Alvarado's attorney argued that intervention of New York courts might result in "a life of 'holy deadlock'" for the couple.This August, Elaine Fink, Alvarado's close professional associate at the New York school district he ran, moved here and was quickly named executive director of the newly created "Educational Leadership Development Academy" at the University of San Diego. That venture is supposed to train principals for work at San Diego Unified, where Fink now maintains an office.

Global warmings Normally, a university puts out a puffy news release when one of its alumni achieves high office, but not in the case of Tami Bass, who was appointed to the Nevada state parole board in September 1999 by Governor Kenny Guinn. It seems attorney Bass, who got her degree from the University of San Diego's law school, is a bit behind on her student-loan payments here. According to court records, the university filed suit against Bass in September, attempting to collect $10,000. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the news caused an inside flap and led to the resignation of Richard Wyett, parole-board chairman. Bass is said to be facing a governor's investigation and might quit the board for another state job. "Tolerating that activity would mean condoning it, and I cannot in good conscience remain on the board knowing I do not have the support of your office to halt this behavior," Wyett said in a statement to the governor ... Another USD product, beauty queen Angelique Breaux from Vista, lost out to Miss India in last weekend's Miss World contest held at London's Millennium Dome. Breaux, a pageant veteran, had been picked as Miss USA in October by voters on the Internet. But she had to suffer a bit at the hands of the London tabloids. Wrote the Express: "'Of course we have views on global warming and the Hague conference,' thundered Angelique Breaux, 22 -- Miss America -- in a broad Californian drawl. 'We've just been filming in the Maldives where the impact of global warming is already clear as the sea-level has risen. It brings home how important it is that an agreement is reached.'"

Whale trouble Transport of a 23-year-old killer whale from Vancouver, British Columbia, to San Diego's Sea World has been delayed by U.S. officials seeking more information about how the animal arrived in Canada 20 years ago. "Bjossa came to Canada from Iceland in 1980 before we had centralized government records, so there has been a search for all of the necessary records going on." Animal-rights activists say the whale is sick and could be contagious.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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