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Downtown’s redevelopment agency devoted quite a bit of effort to keep the public from seeing an early version of a report justifying its future existence. 

The agency stonewalled our requests under public records law, but finally relented and released the draft of a report that aimed to determine whether downtown San Diego was still blighted — rundown — and needed billions in public money to help it recover.

“The study in its current form does nothing but add to burgeoning questions about the deal’s legitimacy and the core mission of redevelopment agencies,” writes City Hall reporter Liam Dillon. 

All this comes in the wake of the secretive late-night pork-barrel deal in Sacramento that greatly extended the life of the redevelopment agency and circumvented the public process that this study was supposed to kick off.

Lots of Swearing Going On

The Photos of the Day offer more than a dozen takes on the family-filled City Council inauguration ceremonies. These are intimate photos: See if you can read the title of the edition of the Bible that one returning councilman placed his hands on as he took the oath of office.   

Also: We’ve created word clouds to give you a new way to see the words the new and returning councilmembers (and the mayor and one departing councilwoman) used most often in their speeches. Not surprisingly, “together” and “forward” got several mentions, as did “problems” and “people.” I don’t see any uses of “potholes,” however, and “pension” barely got a mention.  

The Union-Tribune notes that the new council got right down to business with a renewed debate on its recent restrictions on Walmart Supercenters.

Department of Wait… What?

Scott Lewis raises a surprising question: “What’s going on in San Diego when the head of the Republican Party can act frustrated with something called the establishment?”

The answer may lie in a rift between a GOP councilman — who says he’s kissing off the city’s elite — and the Chamber of Commerce. Councilman Carl DeMaio says he wants allies who put their money and their heart into causes. The chamber says its job is more to bless ideas than to fund them.

What if School Busing Went Bye-Bye?

• We’ve got a thought exercise for you: what if San Diego schools didn’t bus any students anywhere? (They bus kids now to allow magnet schools and to support desegregation.) If busing did stop, school district maps show, there would be a whole lot of overcrowded schools, especially in the poorer parts of the city, and kids would clear out of schools in coastal areas.

• In another followup to our earlier story about Mission Bay High School, which only exists in its current form because students are bused in, we look at its “school within a school.”

• The battle of words between the school district’s head internal auditor and the district’s lawyers is heating up, with a now-former attorney for the district saying his department never stood in the way of auditors.  

• And in one last bit of education news, the new school board president is the same as the old school board president: once again it’s Richard Barrera, keeping a position that gives him a bit of extra political mojo.  

Lions Roar in La Jolla:

“It’s intimidating, it’s unnerving and it’s scary,” says a La Jolla beachgoer. “It” is actually a “them,” reports the La Jolla Light in a recent story: sea lions — not the perennially newsworthy seals — seem to be on the move, staking out more territory and intimidating bathers. 

They won’t pipe down either. The problem, says a local denizen, is that “it’s not like they have a representative you can talk to.”

Dog Days, Bed Bugs and Lame Names:

• “Terriers,” the cable TV series filmed in Ocean Beach, is history despite its cult following: it won’t appear for a second season, the FX network announced. 

• A San Diego resident named Carissa Washington tells the LAT that her apartment got infested by bedbugs: “After she nabbed some of the pests skittering across her bed, an exterminator confirmed the worst.”

“It makes you want to pull your hair out,” Washington said. “It’s never-ending, like a Freddy Krueger movie.”

• “So many bowls. So many strange names,” says MSNBC in a look at the epidemic of clunkily named college bowl games. Like, for example, the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

And not one but two San Diego bowls get mentions: the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Nobody has throw their support behind my idea to promote one of our most prominent local products: The City of San Diego Structural Deficit Bowl. 

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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