Depending on your political perspective, this could be very good or very bad news: The former chief of The San Diego Union-Tribune’s editorial page isn’t going to run for office now that he’s out of a job.

“I’m too smart for that,” says Bob Kittle, the bowtied local icon who was laid off last week after a controversial 23-year career at the paper.

The 56-year-old Kittle has more to say in this weekend’s Q&A: He defends himself against accusations of fact-fumbling, expresses concern about the U-T’s future and questions whether former publisher David Copley ever felt at home in his job.

Kittle clammed up when asked about a certain major player at the U-T, but he did explain why he’s a rebel without a necktie.

That mystery is solved, but we’ve got a couple more to explore. For one: Has San Diego schools superintendent Terry Grier really been hired by the Houston school district?

He sure didn’t act like a man with a tentative new job earlier this week. But it’s complicated.

For his part, Grier says he was “heavily recruited.” And what of his earlier caginess about talks with Houston? At that point, he told us, he’d been busy saying no.

Still unexplained: What made him change his mind?

Meanwhile, the San Diego school board will meet behind closed doors to figure out what to do next, and a San Diego school board member’s powers of prognosis are being put to the test.

One more mystery: Why did the ex-finance director of a scandal-struck San Diego redevelopment agency list the agency, along with the city attorney and other city agencies, as creditors in his latest bankruptcy case?

Also at City Hall, an audit suggests the city “has lax policies for hiring employees who are not part of the civil service system.”

Now to money matters. Economists cast aspersions on a federal stimulus package that gives money to a local plastic surgeon and Pell Grants to college students, and local officials are still trying to figure out how to distribute millions in federal funds to help first-time buyers snag foreclosed homes.

And columnist Rich Toscano breaks out four graphs — he’s outta control, people — and explains why unemployment rates don’t do a good job of predicting the economic future.

Elsewhere, the NCT finds that the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild has some experience with the wildfire-prevention-via-power-outage plan being touted by SDG&E.

The NCT also notes that the California Coastal Commission has a new member: Oceanside Councilwoman Esther Sanchez got the nod. What’s she like? Well, she has this to say: “We don’t want to become another Miami.”

Wait, we can’t have South Beach, the “Golden Girls” or Crockett & Tubbs? Say it ain’t so, Ms. Sanchez!

The Coffee Collection (If you missed these good reads this week, check them out over a cup).

Hope Amid the Ruins: The U-T has watched about half its revenue, pages and employees vanish over the last three years. But newsroom workers are feeling optimistic for once.

Community Via Kaffeeklatsch: When Patty Cueva brought residents of Logan Heights together for “un cafecito con los vecinos” — a little coffee with the neighbors — she got more she bargained for.

Quote of the week: “I don’t want a mural on every corner! People seem to think that because it’s Logan, have a mural.” — Margaret Vela, who’s a bit tired of public art in her Logan Heights neighborhood, thank you very much.


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