It was only a couple of weeks ago when city of San Diego leaders warned we were on the brink. Without a new sales tax hike and reforms not only would our very public safety be in jeopardy but everything we want from city government — from recreation centers and swimming pools to tree trimmers and lifeguards — was at risk of being eviscerated.

Well, the new sales tax and reforms initiative failed at the ballot box. And a couple of new City Council members will be on the job to deal with the aftermath. 

Who were the winners and losers out of this round of voting? Liam Dillon gives us his list. Hint: I actually make the list (unless he’s talking about some other pundits who “work for this news organization”).

• So what was the first thing city leaders began talking about as they recovered from Election Day? The grand recovery plan failed. Did they scream: “Duck! The city is falling!”

Nope, in fact, the first priority was apparently to roll out a new, greener (as in they put grass on top of it) vision of a much, much larger Convention Center. This will be good because when the city falls, we’ll have somewhere to go.

• But something didn’t add up for me. The Convention Center Corp., and people like Councilman Kevin Faulconer, touted how much the current Convention Center brings the city in hotel and sales tax revenue. And then they said how much the new one was expected to add.

Compare that, though, to how much the new building’s mortgage will cost each year, and it’s a fat annual loss for the city.

• You can understand this debate a lot better if you review Dillon’s definitive and easy-to-digest explanation of the planned Convention Center expansion.

• On a related note, the one city leader who was talking about what the city should do to get its house in order, Councilman Carl DeMaio, was ecstatic after a piece in the U-T showed six out of seven prominent local economists say his plan is a viable approach to balancing City Hall’s budget.

But it’s not really economics standing in the way of DeMaio’s or anyone’s plan fixing City Hall is it? (Seems like politics and the law are the real obstacles.)

• Speaking of economics, for the last few days, we’ve been asking a group of leaders participating in the 2010 Workforce Summit some questions about San Diego’s economy. The first question (What has San Diego been doing wrong?) surprised us with how much attention it got. The second (How does San Diego’s economy differ?) provoked one respondent to use the adjectives tremendous, unquestionable, fabulous, incredible and expanding all in the same sentence. And the third question asks simply: What does San Diego’s economic future look like?

• We’ve had a few discussions bloom recently on our site. My favorite to follow right now is not the ongoing kerfuffle about arts writing but this debate about teacher tenure. Last week, Emily Alpert explained what it is and isn’t here in San Diego. With that under their belts, commenters have been having at it.

• The U-T has been trumpeting the claims of the former controller at energy giant Sempra, who says the company paid bribes in Mexico and inappropriately built a luxury resort along the Mexican coast for corporate retreats. The company adamantly denies the former and claims no ratepayer funds were used for the latter.

• A bit of a revolt has begun in San Diego.

Since the moment the Transportation Security Administration introduced its full-body scanners at airports, people have worried not only about the invasion of privacy the outlined images of their bodies present but also the health hazard of repeated exposure to a low level of radiation.

Now, a San Diego man’s protest has gone viral.

Moments after he refused to go through the full-body scanner or submit to a pat down that would involve his groin, Oceanside man John Tyner penned this blog post about the confrontation with TSA agents (along with audio), which has now made its way around the country. It includes simple declarations like this: “I stated that I would not allow myself to be subject to a molestation as a condition of getting on my flight.”

The U-T has this follow-up. (Note the unfortunate correction next to the article.) Here’s CNN with more on the backlash.

• You’re usually not allowed to touch art in a museum gallery. But if you want to fully appreciate the piece “The Green Century” running at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, you’ll have to ride its tricycle. It’s one of many pieces that make up “An Interactive Experiment in Art” the museum’s hosting. Our news partners at NBC 7/39 produced a video version of the story — note the musical instrument the artists invented.

• Finally, NBC 7/39 has a terrific behind-the-scenes look at how a local artist and his crew of friends pulled off the famous shark attack on the much-vilified “Cardiff Kook” statue along the North County coast. But while the artist openly pieced the thing together over a long period of time, he didn’t want his face to show up on camera.

It makes me want to hone my papier-mache skills. Anyone want to pull a prank on that ugly cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier? We’d need a lot of materials to make a shark big enough to swallow it.

You can contact me directly at or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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