It takes a lot of work to play Charlie Chaplin on stage. And lots of props too: 126 moustaches for the actor per week.

It’s not clear why he goes through so many. Maybe there’s a serious quality control issue in the fake moustache industry? We’ll save that for a future investigative piece. For now, our new arts coverage continues with more numbers about the production of “Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin” at the La Jolla Playhouse.

In Other News:

• The City Council has cleared the way for a local Church of God in Christ bishop to develop a long-stalled business park in a southeastern San Diego neighborhood. It’s a place with few places to buy things like groceries, so this is a big deal.

For background, take a look our previous coverage, including a 2007 special report.

• The former editorial page editor of the U-T, who now works at KUSI-TV, talked about drinking water on the radio last week. He said it costs a lot more to purify sewage than pull salt out of salt water. As the discussion over how to create drinkable water continues, statements like this can influence the public debate, so they’re worth checking out. This one is false.

Join thousands of San Diegans who get the day’s news in their inboxes every morning. Get the Morning Report now.

• We’ve gotten a lot of response to our query about San Diego’s reputation as a city full of vacant lots. Readers are telling us about their dreams and headaches related to empty parcels.

• Robots looking for cures. Sequencing the genome. Algae as a biofuel. These are a few of the projects afoot in the vibrant local biotech world, which we explore in the latest edition of our video series San Diego Explained.


• CityBeat looks at “how pressure from a cruise-ship company caused a ton of waterfront controversy” over prospects for an area near the Broadway Pier.

• A flap continues to brew at the county GOP headquarters: a woman who ran unsuccessfully for City Council this year has resigned from the party’s central committee. She wrote a letter to the party chairman saying “I did not seek election to the Central Committee to be your puppet,” CityBeat reports.

There was talk earlier this year that she’d be removed because she refused to give up her candidacy against another Republican who had party support.

• The DA’s office is pursuing what it says is its first case under the new Chelsea’s Law, which allows tougher sentences for sex offenders. How’d this happen so fast when the law was just signed? Because the alleged molestation occurred just last weekend.

Bail for the suspect, accused of lewd conduct with two boys, was set at $1 million. (U-T)

• Attention potheads: a website says California has fairly cheap marijuana compared to much of the rest of the country. Contributors say pot in San Diego costs about $40–$60 for an eighth of an ounce. Why does this matter to non-smokers? Because if weed is cheaper, more people may want to get medical marijuana licenses and buy it, potentially boosting the number of pot stores.

• Here’s something to stir some memories for longtime San Diegans: It’s a photo of President Kennedy riding past a landmark El Cajon Boulevard 24-hour diner during a 1963 motorcade. I came across the photo yesterday, just a few hours after eating at the diner, while working on an upcoming story that has to do with JFK’s visit.

• What does Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, complete with a mammoth moose statue, have to do with San Diego? Well, the late broadcasting star Art Linkletter was born there; he began to make it big in San Diego (while being more than a little naughty). Now, a press release datelined San Diego declares that “this second decade of the 21st century is definitely Moose Jaw’s decade.”

We could use some of that mojo down here. Sister city, anyone?

• Finally, the UCSD professor who said happiness is contagious has co-authored a study saying that people with lots of friends are more likely to get the flu long before everybody else.

So how come I got the cold that’s been going around much later than everyone else? That’s curious. Hey, maybe only the weak get sick first. That’s the ticket!

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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