Think you’re a bona fide news maven? Here’s your chance to prove it once and for all.

Here are 20 questions about the year in local news. If the answers aren’t residing in your memory banks, you’ll find them in our archives or elsewhere on the internet.

The winners — first, second and third place — will receive T-shirts and accolades on our site.

The rules: Send us the answers at by noon on Jan. 3. We’ll announce the winners the next day.

If there are ties, the entries submitted earliest will win. Good luck!

1. What did we call the late-night Sacramento legislative agreement that allowed the downtown redevelopment agency to continue grabbing a big chunk of property tax proceeds?

a. Great Giveaway

b. The Porkfest

c. Midnight Handoff

d. Devil’s Deal

2. The chairman of downtown’s redevelopment agency got into a snit with a councilman at a public meeting and said, “I’m not exactly sure what ethics they taught you on [blank] or wherever you came from.” Fill in the blank.

a. Zeutron

b. Hale-Bopp

c. Rigel 7

d. Remulak

3. Early in the year, the Chargers told us that it would cost taxpayers $340.5 million to operate the Mission Valley football stadium and keep it from falling apart over the next 10 years. We came up with our own estimate. What did we think the cost would actually be?

a. $10,000

b. $94 million

c. $196 million

d. $512 million

4. The head of the Alpha Project, which runs the city’s winter homeless shelter, says this intersection is the place to get hard drugs. Even you live in Poway, he said, you’re going to go here. What’s the intersection?

a. Broadway and Fourth

b. K and Seventh

c. Fifth and Harbor Drive

d. 17th and K

5. A UCSD professor got in hot water for designing a cell phone application to assist illegal immigrants. What would it do?

a. Give them tips about evading the Border Patrol

b. Help them find holes in the border fence

c. Help them find water in the desert

d. Give them directions to safe houses on the American side

6. The painkiller OxyContin has gotten lots of attention from law enforcement, and DA Bonnie Dumanis declared it’s “the leading cause of drug-related deaths in the county.” It’s not. How many drugs are deadlier?

a. Three

b. Four

c. Five

d. Six

7. A homeowner came to seriously regret buying an $810,000 Encinitas house “as is.” Why?

a. It fell into the ocean

b. Nobody is allowed to live in it

c. It’s actually a shed behind a beachfront mansion

d. It’s haunted

8. The city made a huge deal out of the groundbreaking on a new downtown central library. But something happened in 2010 that hobbled the existing downtown library and could affect the new one too. What is it?

a. A budget shortage prevented the purchase of new books

b. An outbreak of laryngitis stopped librarians from shushing anyone

c. The library closed on Saturdays

d. The library laid off all but one of its janitors

9. One of our freelance writers wrote about research into the brain’s capacity to understand rhythm and learned that she has less rhythm than what?

a. A cockatiel

b. A bar full of white people on New Year’s Eve

c. A cockatoo

d. A cockadoodle

10. In April, the city of San Diego released a survey of residents about their priorities. What service did they think needed increased funding the most? (Editor’s note: We changed the wording on this question slightly right after publishing for clarity’s sake.)

a. New football stadium

b. Street repairs

c. Police/fire response

d. More shopping malls

11. Our reporter Rob Davis reported that this local media figure’s “narrative is distorted, riddled with holes, falsehoods and slivers of data that skew reality.” Who is this person and what’s the topic at issue?

a. Union-Tribune sports columnist Nick Canepa, the future of the Chargers in San Diego

b. KUSI weatherman John Coleman, global warming

c. KUSI news analyst Bob Kittle, San Diego city pensions

d. Union-Tribune columnist Tom Blair, the future of La Jolla’s social set

12. Which local politician went on the radio and said “We’re the only country in the world that does this — have your child [on American soil] and that child becomes a citizen,” which is false?

a. Congressman Darrell Issa

b. Assemblyman Joel Anderson

c. Santee Mayor Randy Voepel

d. County Supervisor Bill Horn

13. Who created a big fuss when she agreed to write for the Union-Tribune then promptly quit in disgust and used the newspaper’s internal computer system to post an angry missive online?

a. A music writer

b. An arts blogger

c. A movie critic

d. A theater critic

14. A local woman went to court to try (unsuccessfully) to get a judge to lift the city’s anti-nudity ordinance for a World Naked Bike Ride event. What was her evocative name?

a. Eleanor Rider

b. Sarah Bush

c. Christine Chafe

d. Pauline Bare

15. How much did the county pension fund want to pay its top investment officer in base pay and incentives?

a. $9.5 million

b. $2.26 million

c. $886,000

d. $310,000

16. A SDSU professor wrote a book about Tijuana’s famed Agua Caliente resort and told us that back in the 1920s, a silent film star slipped in fertilizer on the grass and declared she’s never seen so much manure. “Yes, but it’s the best shit that can be found in the world,” a gardener replied. Who was she?

a. Mary Pickford

b. Ruth Gordon

c. Mabel Normand

d. Joan Crawford

17. In an extensive profile, we described Kris Michell as “the most powerful person in San Diego you know nothing about.” What’s her job (which she’s now leaving)?

a. City controller

b. Chief bottle washer

c. Mayor’s chief of staff

d. Mayor’s chief executive officer

18. What’s the name of the Balboa Park plaza south of the art museum may be converted into a car-free zone?

a. Plaza de Panama

b. Plaza del Pasado

c. Plaza de Toros

d. Plaza de Tortugas

19. What term did Scott Lewis coin after plans arose to build a grassy five-acre park on the roof of the convention center?

a. The Chia Center

b. The Rogaine Center

c. The Hair Plug Center

d. The Toupee Center

20. What exactly did Oceanside’s John Tyner say when he made national news by challenging a pat-down security screening at the San Diego airport?

a “Don’t touch my junk or I’ll call the police.”

b. “If you touch my junk, you’d better have bought me dinner first.”

c. “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”

d. “Don’t touch my junk, or I’ll sue you so fast it’ll make your little X-ray wand thing spin.”

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

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

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