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Ever dream about being a Zamboni driver, spending your days on those tractor-like machines that clean and resurface the ice in hockey rinks?

Don’t laugh. People love the things. “There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice,” declared Charlie Brown in a “Peanuts” cartoon.

In fact, the Zamboni driver at a local ice rink tells us that he has the job “that everyone else wants.”

In this weekend’s Q&A feature, France Purcell waxes eloquently (and chilly-ly) about the art of making ice, the hazards of Zamboni-ing, and the joys of something called coutin.

In other news:

  • San Diego school officials want to “pull the downtown schoobrary out of the bond completely and pay for it entirely with redevelopment money. That would free up $20 million for other school renovations.”
  • What do a downtown Chinese restaurant, Robin “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” Leach and the San Diego Fact Check blog have to do with each other? You’ll have to click on this link to find out. (Our verdict, by the way, is not “Mostly Delicious.”)
  • What’s growing down at the border fence? We think we know, thanks to readers. Also: “Goldfields” is a cool name for a plant.
  • The Photo of the Day comes with something a little different: an explanation
  • Our photographer tells about the pitfalls that faced him as he shot pictures for this week’s story about controversy over the homeless in Ocean Beach. He went for the easy way out but then gathered his courage and talked to a homeless man, finding in him “a wanderer who’s happy enough to live in the streets and who largely keeps to himself and enjoys the freedoms and beauty of the town he’s living in.”

Elsewhere:

  • UCSD continues to be embroiled in racial tension: angry students temporarily took over the chancellor’s office yesterday after a noose was found in a campus library. A female student claimed to have put it there and was suspended.
  • The LAT takes an in-depth look at the mystery of the missing family from the Fallbrook/Bonsall area: “Authorities say they are stumped by the disappearance of a family that had no apparent financial or marital problems and no known enemies or connections to drugs or crime.”
  • SeaWorld will resume its killer whale shows today. (LAT)
  • Finally, a San Diego writer tells the AP that she’s “gobsmacked” — yes, that’s the word she used — by the decision of Olympics officials to investigate female Canadian hockey players who exuberantly celebrated a victory with “beer, champagne and cigars.”

In a related story, that’s exactly how I plan to celebrate when I win the office Oscar pool.

And now What We Learned This Week:

Meet Your Meter: Some new housing complexes in San Diego may soon be required to install individual water meters for condos and apartments. The idea is to give residents more information into their water use.

Bad News for Young Nerds:: Budget cuts at San Diego schools could lead to a shorter school year.

Reprieve for Lunch Bunch: It looks like seniors in Linda Vista will get to continue enjoying their free and reduced lunches — plus companionship — at a local community center.

The Coffee Collection (stories to read over a cup of java):

Live and Let Leave: Ocean Beach’s reputation as one of the most tolerant neighborhoods in the city is getting tested by what some say is a growing homeless problem. (Check out one reader’s unusual theory about why things have gone south.)

Here Comes the (Right-Wing) Judge: A San Diego group called bettercourtsnow.com has a remarkably snazzy website and a message: It’s time for a new generation of conservative judges in local courtrooms. We look at its efforts to put forth a slate and find some fuzziness about what it’s up to. 

Quote of the Week: “Everybody’s going broke. Even rich people are going broke by rich people’s standards. They grew up doing all they were told they were supposed to do to live in prosperity. That pisses them off.” — Green, a homeless man in Ocean Beach, providing a can’t-argue-with-that perspective on the economy.

— 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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