The foundation that runs the naval-training-center-turned-arts-colony ended up in a jam: it has to pay unexpected taxes and is jacking up lease amounts for tenants to raise the dough. Now, one of those tenants says it won’t pay.

The CEO of Kids Included Together says she won’t cough up the $550 extra in rent per month. Does she have a case? Well, perhaps not legally, since newer leases mention “future taxes.” But a local real-estate broker says the foundation was “outright wrong” to not highlight the change.

City’s Ambulance Service Deal Rapped

The city may have a new headache over public safety. “A whistle-blower says the city has been shortchanged by as much as $12 million under the public-private partnership it formed in 1997 to provide ambulance service,” the U-T reports. Also, a new audit finds “a lack of city oversight of the partnership’s finances and a number of improper or unreasonable charges by the city’s private partner.”

At Least Someone’s in the Loop Somewhere

An intrepid (or at least stubborn) U-T reporter tried hard to get into yesterday’s closed-door meeting between local sports commission leaders and the mayor, but he got politely rebuffed. “About 30 San Diego business leaders now know more about the Chargers stadium search than you do,” he reported afterward.

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Well, maybe, maybe not. It’s not clear whether the mayor told the group anything more than what we already know: the city and the Chargers are still talking.

There are no firm plans for a stadium. And at the moment, there may be more focus than in the recent past over an inconvenient truth: the mayor wants to slash funding, not just trim it, for libraries and recreation centers. Whether or not that goes through, big plans for the future — build, baby, build! — during an increasingly pitiful present are likely to become a even tougher sell.

In other words: Timing matters.

Whoa There, School District

A school board member wants San Diego’s campuses to step back and rethink diverting federal money from richer schools to the very poorest schools. “If the school board bites at the idea, it will pause one of the most hotly debated plans in San Diego Unified,” Emily Alpert reports. “And it could open the door to reversing it entirely, backing off on a decision that has tugged at the dividing lines in the massive school district as money is pinched.”

Good News for Left-Out Refugees

The county has rectified its mistake that left an Iraqi refugee and others without the payments that they were wrongly denied.

A Trip Too Far

Wanna go to San Francisco for the weekend? Your main choices are a quick plane trip or a long, dusty and potentially hot drive. (The Grapevine might be the last straw for your radiator. Don’t ask me how I know this.)

What about a high-speed train ride through the Central Valley from our city to Baghdad by the Bay? Well, a Stanford professor says the project “threatens to become a forlorn monument to hubris” and its alleged value is based on “rosy and widely ridiculed ridership projections.”

What, people might not want to head north or south through Corcoran (State prison! Fun for the whole family!) and Borden? If it gets me away from soul-robbing L.A. traffic, I’m all in.

Order! Here Come the Judge(s)

Our editor offered himself to the mercy of readers in a post last week about how he may have screwed up a statement he made on the radio. He’d said that the City Council has been quite rubber-stamp-y when it comes to the mayor’s budget proposals.

That’s not quite entirely true, declared readers, whose bleeding hearts declined to throw the book at him (along with the gavel and maybe a potted plant). A plurality of those voting declared his claim to be “mostly true.”

This School Deserves a Spanking

An unnamed La Jolla student recently wrote to the New York Time’s “Ethicist” to complain about the teachers at his or her high-school campus during a site visit: “they told us what to say if one of the accreditation reviewers asked us about certain education standards and asked us not to say anything negative about our school.”

Let’s hope the kids unlearned that lesson.

I’m Speechless for Once

A disturbing adult diaper at the YMCA, “Stroke Lady” and avocados: they’re all part of one of the oddest San Diego Reader blog posts ever. The first line is “An Old Man Dies in Clairemont,” and that’s really saying something.


Escapes from state prisons have been on a sharp decline in recent years, the online site Slate reports, even though there are quite a lot more people behind bars. Slate looked into the numbers in the wake of a couple recent prison getaways, including one via “a rope made of tied-together bed sheets.” (What is this, 1936 all over again?)

There are still ways to escape, however, and several prisoners have gotten loose here in San Diego. About two decades ago, 13 prisoners used hacksaws (no, not baked in a cake) to saw their way out of the county jail in Chula Vista. And, as I noted in a history flashback, legend says that Roy Bean — yes, that Roy Bean, the future hanging judge — once waltzed out of the hoosegow here in our own city, possibly with the help of “señoritas” bearing hacksaws in their bouquets or tamales.

The city attorney at the time was not amused by what he saw as buddy-buddy behavior between the sheriff and the crooks. Inmates would join him at a hotel where they’d “jointly take their eye-openers, bitters or nightcaps as the case may be.”

Man, they sure don’t make sheriffs like they used to.

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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