The census comes every 10 years and then the city gets down to the business of redrawing the boundaries of its council districts. There are twists this time around, and not just the kind that show up in the map of a proposed district that a GOPer says looks like a gerrymandered “medieval dragon.”

This time around, more is at stake than usual: a new council district will be added to the mix, creating more boundary changes than usual. Various interest groups — political parties, labor, ethnic groups, gays — are carefully watching the process and throwing their weight around so they won’t lose their ability to throw their weight around.

There’s already plenty of dispute. A proposed district with heavy gay representation would leave a current councilman in the cold unless he moves. And a Republican proposal leaves both Latinos and gays unhappy, while both Asians and Latinos want more influence than they have now.

Ex-High-Ranking Cop Misses Anti-Corruption Squad

Amid a storm over San Diego cops accused of major crimes, the city’s former deputy police chief told KPBS that the anti-corruption-and-misconduct unit he created should be resurrected. It had “a very sizable and positive effect on the culture of the department,” he said. The current police chief disbanded it in 2003.

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Filner Hasn’t Thrown His Hat Just Yet

Remember the local media boomlet a few months ago when Rep. Bob Filner supposedly told an audience that he’s in the running for mayor of San Diego? The former city councilman didn’t bother to clear things up, allowing a single report — a tweet based on what an observer thought he said — to distract local journalists for a day or two.

As our Liam Dillon put it, Filner “got us all hot and bothered.” (Speak for yourself, Liam.)

Well, never mind all that bothersome hotness. Filner tells the Imperial Valley Press that he hasn’t decided whether to run, although the paper says he’s “intrigued” by the position. But is he intrigued enough to run against the approximately 1.1 million other citizens who seem to have expressed interest in running for mayor?

From Beer Hawking to Stage Acting

Many local actors moonlight, holding down day jobs while devoting their evenings to the stage. In the latest story in our series about moonlighting artists, we profile a local man who already has a position that many young people would consider a perfect gig on its own: he markets beer.

But serving as marketing and social media manager at Karl Strauss Brewing Company isn’t enough. This guy created a theater company with college friends and it’s been holding performances since 2006. His buddies are burning the midnight oil just like him: they’re an electrical engineer, an actor on the Star of India, a beer-and-wine shop employee, a community organizer and a photographer.

Capitol Visit

Photographer Sam Hodgson ventured to Texas over the weekend and came back with a series of photos from Austin, including shots inside and outside the state capitol. The second shot reminds me of the time I almost got arrested at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library (really), but that’s a story for another day.

Sniffing at Worst-Allergy-Season Claims

The news media has been busy declaring this spring to be the worst allergy season in history or at least in “recent memory,” which is a journalist’s way of saying “we can’t remember anything like this before, but then again we forget anything that happened before last week.” Here in San Diego, the U-T alerted readers that “our 2011 allergy season is something to sneeze at” due to a “bumper crop of mold spores,” lots of dust mites and “abundant pollen-producing vegetation.”

The story, however, doesn’t provide any statistics or experts to back up the claims about abundant vegetation or an unusual amount of mold. The online site Slate finds overblown allergy season claims all over the place: “Without real pollen and allergy data to build on, the press coverage resembles a heavyweight boxer throwing punches in the dark. The press might hit something, but you won’t know what until somebody turns on the lights.”

Remembering a Day to Forget

Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of the day that a disturbed man stole a National Guard military tank and took it for a joyride through Linda Vista, smashing cars as if they were cardboard until he was finally shot to death on Highway 163. The National Guard ended up paying for the damage and decided to pull tanks out of local armories for safety’s sake, the U-T says.

SF Fights Yellow Pages Peril

When last we checked in on the battle against unwanted deliveries of the Yellow Pages and their ilk, Seattle had ordered fines for companies that ignored opt-out requests from residents who didn’t want the pesky things. Now, San Francisco is going even further, banning phone books from being delivered unless residents specifically ask for them.

Good work! Thinking ahead, how about an opt-in system for those friendly folks who somehow think I’d be in the mood for religious conversion before noon on Saturdays?

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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