Just a few weeks ago, city leaders scrambled to create a ballot measure that aimed to repair San Diego’s finances with an influx of money — courtesy of just about everybody who buys anything in town — and a bunch of reforms. Now, there’s another scramble, this time to make the measure more appealing to business leaders to get their support.

Hold the phone. Prop. D is already set in stone. But after some not-so-subtle nudging from the business community, which has developed a plan to vanquish the city’s persistent deficits, Prop. D supporters have issued new pledges to change the way the city does things. But will promises be enough?

In Other News:

• Here’s one librarian who’s not likely to shush anyone in her vicinity: She works for the San Diego Symphony, and her job is to make sure everybody works in, um, concert: Armed with wisecracks, a bobbleheaded cow and an always sharp-pencil, she takes sheets of music and adds the directions that help musicians play as a coherent whole.


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That’s not all she does. We watch as she juggles musical scores, pokes fun at herself and shows off the eccentricities that have made her a beloved part of the symphony’s family.

• A local chemist has won a $5.1 million grant to support his work searching for a quick and cheap way to sequence genomes, which could potentially tell us which diseases we’re most susceptible to and suggest ways to prevent or treat them. He’s using the germs that cause staph infections to help him reach his goal.

• Fact Check TV tackles claims about San Diego’s poorest council district, service cutbacks and county payouts.

Elsewhere:

• In the U-T: “San Diego city leaders completed the second of 10 conditions tied to Proposition D, a measure on the Nov. 2 ballot that would increase the city’s sales tax by a half-cent, when it adopted a guide Monday that sets the rules for potential outsourcing of city jobs.”

• “Woo woo.” A local judge allegedly urged the audience to chant that in her courtroom during an audition for a reality show. And that’s far from the only bizarre thing she did, according to a commission complaint. She’s said “that her ‘style’ on the bench is different.” If the allegations are true, we’ll put that in the running for Understatement of the Year. (U-T)

• Yesterday’s extreme heat didn’t set off any major wildfires and SDG&E didn’t launch any preventive blackouts, perhaps because the wind didn’t gust too much. SDG&E has a page devoted to wind conditions in the backcountry and another page about current outages.

• The U-T and Watchdog Institute report that $100,000-plus salaries at the county are on the rise “even as the county cut its ranks and the economy stalled. The county had 1,016 employees whose base pay exceeded that threshold in 2009, up 28 percent from 2007.”

• Among the nation’s largest cities, San Diego has the highest percentage of drivers with alcohol-related driving violations on their records.

• A Praise Fest event held earlier this month included a councilman’s name and title on its flyer and even named a stage after him. Can a religious event get that kind of endorsement, official logos included, from a public official? Nope, the ACLU tells CityBeat.

• San Diego’s libraries are barely open but somehow managing to circulate more items than ever before. Could the city save even more money by outsourcing? Privatizing libraries hasn’t been an issue here yet, but it is elsewhere: The NYT looks at a California city that outsourced its libraries, sparking an uproar. However, the story lacks enough detail to give readers a full picture of whether outsourcing helped or hurt library patrons.

• A Slate story about the questionable mythology of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate 50 years ago name-checks two people with San Diego connections.

A Nixon aide who later became editor in chief of Copley Newspapers heard this about his boss’ performance: “Fire the make-up man … Three doctors agreed he looked as if he had just suffered a coronary.” Meanwhile, a UCSD professor has debunked the myth that radio listeners thought Nixon won while TV watchers went for JFK and his healthy glow.

In a related story, we’ll hold a debate of our own on Thursday about Prop. D. It’ll be at 5 p.m., just the time when five-o’clock shadows begin to appear. We’ll call for a razor break if anyone ends up looking too Nixonian.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

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

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