Ready, set, cross-pollinate! On June 1, we’ll hold a rapid-fire-style forum about six topics from the world of culture and arts.

As arts editor Kelly Bennett explains, gurus will teach and inspire about their fields of expertise “in a visual, rapid-fire presentation style called pecha-kucha. They’ll have 20 slides, displayed for 20 seconds each, to share their topic.”

That means each presenter will be up and down in less than seven minutes, giving you plenty of time to grab a drink and compare notes with engaged, stimulating people from neighborhoods and niches all across the county.

Topics are contemporary furniture design, art installations in Tijuana’s Colonial Federal neighborhood, an effort to make local classical music hip, internationally renowned artists making murals spring up in La Jolla, the local theater ecosystem and a new, renovated space for art in San Ysidro.

Save the date and join us for an arty (but not you-know-what-sy) evening. Sign up on the Facebook page so you can invite your friends to the no-cost event.

Governor Still Lying in Wait for Redevelopment

Cue the “Jaws” theme music: just when you thought it was safe to stop thinking about the demise of urban renewal, there’s news that the governor still wants to kill redevelopment.

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The governor also announced a revision of his previous budget proposal that includes tax extensions and predicts more state revenue than before thanks to an unexpected surge of incoming money. An influx into education spending would cut the deficit for San Diego city schools almost in half, from $114 million to $66 million, potentially allowing the district to lower its projected layoffs.

Also in education, high school students are protesting the district’s plans to force small high schools to share principals. Two high schools are getting to keep theirs, raising charges of bias.

Ex-DA Says Police Scandal Not in Big Leagues

Public safety reporter Keegan Kyle points out that former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst says the growing collection of criminal accusations against San Diego cops isn’t in the same league as the scandals in New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles.

The accusations here are “of a very different character and seriousness,” Pfingst tells the LAT, seeming to reject the idea that the alleged crimes are connected in some way to a larger and pervasive problem within the department.

Who Benefits?

Also in the Los Angeles Times, Catherine Saillant is reporting that a recent court ruling may force California counties to reveal retiree benefits for for tens of thousands of public employees.

Counties that operate outside of CalPERS, the state’s public pension system, may be affected by the ruling. However, it may not be decided in San Diego County until a pending appellate court ruling is made in a similar case.

La Jolla High’s Bench Ban Draws ACLU Ire

The ACLU is suing the school district over La Jolla High’s refusal to allow political messages to be painted on “senior benches,” the U-T reports. The paper says the principal ordered that messages regarding Iran be covered up, “saying the benches were reserved for positive messages of school spirit.”

An authority-challenging student followed up with messages saying “Freedom for LJHS & Iran” and “Ed. Code 48907,” a reference to a section of the state Education Code that supports free speech for students. You can guess what happened to those messages: they got covered up too.

At least students got a nice lesson in irony.

Chula Vista Cops, San Diego Libraries and a Musical Coalition

San Diego Fact Check TV looks at claims about Chula Vista’s supposedly poorly staffed police department and the busy-ness of city libraries.

In Behind the Scene TV, we check out music by an unusual coalition of musicians, string players, teen singers and a rapper.

Over at VOSD Radio, we look at accusations against the police department.

Library Users Sponging off the Taxpayer?

A commenter who’s apparently never been to a city library outside of Rancho Bernardo or La Jolla complains that library users “are simply entertainment for the Chablis and Brie crowd, who wish to sponge off the taxpayer every bit as much as do the Charger fans.” Other commenters disagree. One notes that “it’s the transients I feel for. With the libraries closed, where are they going to wash up and hang around?”

It’s not clear if he’s being caring or sarcastic, although his next words — “Where will the bums hang out?” — suggests he’s not overflowing with the milk of human kindness.

A commenter comments on the comment about the supposedly effete library crowd, asking “where does such complete nonsense come from?” (a question for the ages!) and describing himself or herself as a “Colby cheese and cola” type instead of Brie-and-Chablis. Colby cheese? Ooo, fannn-cy! What next? Artisanal whole-grain instead of white bread?

Our compilation of commentary also includes thoughts about last week’s wacky school board meeting and the U-T editor’s promise that “we are in the midst of refining some of our standards.”

Now if only they would refine their comics pages. They keep running repeats of fossilized “Peanuts” cartoons, which raises the obvious question: What about bringing back the Yellow Kid, Li’l Abner and Mutt and Jeff? Their jokes are at least as fresh as those in “Wizard of Id” and “Hagar the Horrible.”

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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