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— How bad is the festering drug problem among students at La Jolla High, arguably San Diego's toniest public school? Judging by a recent note to parents from principal Dana Shelburne, things might be better. "I believe it is critical that I share with you the details of my decision to bring detection canines to La Jolla High," writes Shelburne in the October issue of the school's PTA newsletter. "I have contracted with Interquest Detection Canines to bring highly trained contraband canines to LJHS on an unannounced basis throughout the school year. The dogs, Golden Retrievers, have been trained to detect, among other things, illegal narcotics, weapons, alcoholic beverages, and abused medications -- all thanks to a sense of smell that is roughly one thousand times sharper than that of a human." Assemblies are being held to introduce the new dogs on campus. "The goal is to demonstrate the capacity of these dogs and leave no doubt in our students' minds that school is not the place for any illegal substance." According to an e-mail from one parent with children at the school, cocaine has become a scourge of late, with students gathering in restrooms to do lines between classes while girls act as lookouts. The writer says a November 1 PTA meeting has been called to introduce one of the animals, "Bucky the Wonder Dog," who will go through his paces in front of parents. The Houston-based sniffer dogs have been deployed previously in other local districts, including Escondido, Grossmont, Julian, San Marcos, and Valley Center.

Jerry's kids GOP mayoral candidate Jerry Sanders has been busy racking up big campaign contributions from the traditional local deep pockets -- as well as from some not-so-traditional sources. Frederick Pierce, the San Diego State University redevelopment czar, formerly chairman of the city's troubled retirement fund until he made his exit under then-mayor Dick Murphy's reform plan, gave $300. Ted Tollner, the ex-SDSU football coach, now offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, kicked in $600, as did architect and planning commissioner Mark Steele, who counts among his clients the Chargers, who are bidding for a new taxpayer-funded stadium. Rancho Santa Fe's Pauline Foster, mother-in-law of state education secretary Alan Bersin, contributed $600. Julie Dubick, a onetime Bersin-sponsored school board candidate, and her husband Mike gave a combined $600. The biggest family donation came from La Jolla Democrat Murray Galinson, wife Elaine, daughter Laura Jo, Richard, and Jeffrey, who each gave the $600 maximum. Ex-banker Galinson, business associate of Democratic donor Sol Price, now runs Prospect Investments, LLC. In his role as chairman of the California State University board of trustees, Galinson has taken fire from angry neighbors fighting a real estate development in Del Cerro that SDSU is pushing. Tom Felkner and partner Bob Lehman, co-owners of Hillcrest's Bourbon Street gay bar, gave $300 each. Henry Hunte, chairman of H.G. Fenton, the big Mission Valley landowner, gave $300. Ben Dillingham, the wealthy ex-chief-of-staff to former Democratic mayor Maureen O'Connor, contributed $300. Joe Craver, chairman of the airport board seeking to expand or move Lindbergh Field, came up with $600. Gaslamp's Ingrid Croce gave $300. Jim Dawe, the lawyer and lobbyist involved with the thus-far failed attempt to build a new downtown library near the Padres baseball park, gave $300; his colleague, library foundation fund-raiser Jim Bowers, gave $600. David and Grace Cherashore, heirs to Mission Bay's Evans Hotels empire, each gave $300, as did company matriarch Anne Evans. Among developers and their consultants were Laurie Black of Mission Hills ($300), historic-building delisting expert Marie Burke Lia ($300), and downtown's Malin Burnham ($300). But the biggest combined donation came from employees of Miami-based developer Lennar Corporation, which is in partnership with Padres owner John Moores and his JMI, Inc., to build a controversial $1.4 billion real estate development east of the ballpark. Givers included operations director Scott Kelly of San Clemente; executive Michael Kennedy of Poway; marketing director Jennifer Mares; executive Marco Vakili of Laguna Niguel; and executive Larry Clemens of Irvine.

Don't want Donna Watch out, Donna Frye, here comes the "Salute to San Diego's Republican Elected Officials." Even though the offices they hold are technically nonpartisan, the five members of the county board of supervisors, all GOP loyalists, are teaming up for a fund-raiser -- the biggest ever, they hope -- to benefit GOP-endorsed mayoral candidate Jerry Sanders and council candidates Luis Acle and Kevin Faulconer. "Because this event benefits the Republican Party of San Diego County and ongoing programs and campaigns to elect and re-elect local Republican candidates, corporate and personal contributions are allowed without limit," an invitation proclaims. Guest of honor is set to be onetime San Diego mayor and ex-governor Pete Wilson. The event kicks off next Friday night at Old Town's Plaza del Pasado, with "Platinum Sponsorships" including 30 "VIP reception" tickets going for $20,000 a pop.

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