Somebody may need to get Councilman Todd Gloria a winter coat: a staffer told a constituent that Gloria has been “frozen out” by the mayor’s office, which supposedly forbade city staff from responding to the councilman’s questions.

Wrong, says the mayor’s office. Um … says the councilman’s office.

The staffer, who said freezeouts come when councilmembers don’t vote the mayor’s way, is on vacation. Someplace where it’s warmer than City Hall?

In other news:

• A tangled web of restrictions has prevented the north city neighborhood of Pacific Highlands Ranch from getting parks, a library, a shopping center: the kind of stuff you get when you’re, you know, a neighborhood. Now, a city proposition on the November ballot aims to fix the loophole that Pacific Highlands Ranch fell through.


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• In education: “A new study has found that a controversial batch of school reforms under former San Diego Unified Superintendent Alan Bersin worked well in elementary and middle schools, but did little in high schools.”

• The city’s financial reform package on the November ballot would cut certain pension contributions from employees. That should save some money, right? Wrong. The city says it won’t save a dime, thin or otherwise.

We’ve also got more analysis of how much the reforms might save and how the city came up with its numbers. A savings of just a dollar in competitive bidding and retiree health care could trigger a sales tax hike.

• The Watchdog Institute, an investigative reporting outfit spun off from the U-T, is assigning a reporter to cover the local congressional delegation out of Washington D.C. But the U-T has also cut off its financial support of the institute, which has reduced its staff from four to three.

• “Project labor agreements” are crucial to understand if you have an interest in local politics, the salaries of government-funded construction workers, or both. The latest edition of our TV series, San Diego Explained, tackles them.

• The San Diego People Project meets a 34-year-old East County school social worker who has a talkative two-year-old. This will be the only place today where you’ll read the words “Mom, my foot fits in your pocket.”

Elsewhere:

• From the Department of Don’t Try This at Home: Two long-shot rivals of incumbent Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (the ex-congressman’s son) have gone gonzo in their attempt to get him to debate them more than once: They’re on a hunger strike. One has only had water, juice and vitamins. They each stopped eating last Thursday. (NCT)

One said in a story published Tuesday that he’s lost 17 pounds and had to have an enema to avoid toxic shock.

The idea for the hunger strike supposedly came from former South Bay Rep. Jim Bates. People can live for many weeks without food.

• Readers are flooding the NCT site with comments after its revelation that almost 250 employees of Oceanside (mostly firefighters and police officers) take home more than $100,000 a year.

• Finally: I asked Morning Report readers yesterday to email me about San Diego lingo for a story I’m working on. You responded with several localisms, including even more rude (and unprintable) nicknames for places in the county.

I also got an email from a former traffic reporter about the local pronunciation lessons that newbies had to learn. They’re not El Cay-john, Poe-why and Coo-ya-macha. Also: Cowles Mountain doesn’t rhyme with chubby dairy denizens. (No, not milkmaids.)

(Just don’t get anyone started on whether it’s Gar-net Avenue — like the gem — or Gar-net, like some locals prefer.)

Send me a note if you’ve got more local lingo. I’ll be here dreaming about the return of my favorite (yet currently absent) San Diego-ism: the “marine layer.”

— RANDY DOTINGA

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