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One of last year's big controversies at the San Diego Unified School District was the demotion of 13 principals and two vice principals, who promptly turned around and sued the district, claiming their civil rights were violated. Now comes a memo to the school board from Superintendent Alan Bersin, dated June 5, reporting that the district has a growing principal shortage. "Due to a severely limited eligibility pool, I will be suspending the two-year experience requirement of the district's principal selection process," the memo says. "Between March 1 and May 10 there were eight principal vacancies. A total of 46 individuals applied 71 times for these eight vacancies. At this time there are 20 principal vacancies. There will probably be more vacancies as the summer progresses." The suspension of the two-year requirement will last until November 1, according to the memo. Until then, "those with one school year (before effective starting date of position) of experience" will be allowed to apply for the jobs.

Hanson Aggregates Pacific Southwest, Inc., which has been waging a bitter permit battle with neighbors of its Mission Valley concrete plan over continuing operations there, invoked the Padres in its pitch to the city council: "All batch plants are producing to capacity, and the contractors are now very concerned about where they will be able to obtain materials for projects such as the ballpark and other downtown redevelopment projects, as well as many infrastructure projects outside the downtown."...Time magazine is out with an exposé of GOP presidential contender George W. Bush and his dealings with Metabolife, the controversial San Diego drug-maker. According to Time, Metabolife hired a San Antonio law firm run by some of Bush's key political allies to lobby the Texas governor against new state limits on ephedrine, a key ingredient of Metabolife. Back in 1998, the magazine says, the law firm allegedly funneled $40,000 of campaign contributions to Bush, whose health commissioner, William Archer, abruptly backed off on tough ephedrine regulations he had earlier proposed. After it was revealed last year that Metabolife founder Michael Ellis and his partner Mike Blevins were implicated in the running of a methamphetamine lab in Rancho Santa Fe, Bush returned their donations, Time says. Bush administration officials denied that the governor had anything to do with Archer's flip-flop.

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