If you’re reckless with the facts, beware: We’re on the beat. This week, we’re debuting a new feature: the San Diego Fact Check Blog. We’ll determine whether newsmakers (and even those who decide what’s news, like us) are playing fast and loose with reality. Here’s our introduction to it.

We’ll rank claims, statements on a six-point scale, ranging from “True” and “Mostly True” to “False” and “Huckster Propaganda” (Pinocchio’s pants are on fire in that one).

Our first Fact Check looks at a prominent local politician who said some interesting things about her unwillingness to endorse candidates for office. Verdict: Wouldn’t you like to know?

There’s more: We’ll be producing Fact Check segments with our news partner, NBC 7/39. Our first one examines the city’s pothole promises.

Have you seen a statement that you’d like our team to vet? It’s not just politics. We’ll vet statements from businesses, education leaders and anything else that helps frame a discussion about our local quality of life. E-mail us at factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org.

In other news:

  • If you dropped by Roxann Argazzi’s house, you’d have to dodge the dog hair (from all the strays she befriended), accept a cup of coffee (from the pot always at the ready for visitors) and get ready for some straight talk (from a mouth that was well acquainted with speaking up).

    “My aunt would never hesitate to give you her stern opinion,” her nephew tells us, “but when she was done, she would always ask you if you had eaten and invite you to dinner.”

    Argazzi, who lived on the Barona Indian Reservation, died earlier this month at the age of 56. “Tough as a corn cob,” she left a mark on the reservation, which honored her with tolling church bells and a ceremony with singing, dancing and a bonfire of her possessions.

    Our story, one of a continuing series of obituaries about everyday people, provides insight into the life of a proud, generous woman and the bonds of a community.

  • Here’s a question: How creative are you on a scale of one to 10? It’s a tough one, because there really aren’t tests for this sort of thing. Even so, as we report, the San Diego school board “wants to broaden its definition of student success to include critical thinking, applied knowledge and creativity.”
  • In the latest in Scott Lewis’ e-mail interviews with local thinkers, he queries Kathy Keehan, executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. She bemoans media hoopla about bike accidents, names San Diego’s most promising leader and hopes for a mass transit system that helps those “too poor, too young, too old, or too green to drive.”
  • What does a football stadium look like after a big loss? We were there on Sunday evening to find out, and the result is a photo essay showing the emptiness, the silence and, yes, lots of garbage.
  • The Photo of the Day captures a desert rainbow and inspires the photo soundtrack to choose its first-ever punk rock song. (Apologies to Judy Garland.)

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T reports that “a settlement that could close most of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint against five former San Diego city officials is under consideration and could become final in the coming weeks.”
  • San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders made news by testifying in a federal trial yesterday over the anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8. He had opposed gay marriage, he testified, but changed his mind in 2007. “What hit me was that I had been prejudiced,” he said. (LAT)
  • CityBeat explores several local angles about the debate over circumcision in a package of stories including one on local companies that made a bundle from discarded infant foreskins.
  • Finally, a Toronto Sun columnist wanted to write about workplace restroom customs and turned to a San Diego expert — a Scripps Research Institute biophysicist who also happens to be the founder of the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette.

In other words, he knows what is proper to do in the loo.

— RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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