When it first opened in the 1940s, a shopping mall in Linda Vista was such a big deal that the first lady came out to celebrate its opening. Now, it’s seen better days, and the city wants to renovate it. The problem: roller rink fans.

Skateworld sits on the property and is the only roller rink left in the city, a reminder of a bygone era of disco, short-shorts and roller-skating rookies holding on to the railings for dear life. (Or maybe that was just me.)

A developer just gave up on a renovation project and blamed the intransigence of roller rink defenders, who are still miffed even though plans allow Skateworld to remain in operation.

Redevelopment, one skate supporter sniffed, was “doing an injustice to the people who frequent Skateworld.”

“This is a community that is trying to pull itself together, and that is trying to bridge ethnic groups and generations that now live here,” a city official told us. “And the saddest thing to me is that this was a missed opportunity to do that.”

Fireworks Remain Up in the Air

It’s still not clear if three local July 4 fireworks displays will go on as planned, including those in Ocean Beach and La Jolla, as a judge ponders what to do about challenges on environmental grounds, the U-T reports. Thousands of other public events are also in limbo.

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Kehoe’s in the Hunt for Mayor Job

Christine Kehoe, the state senator and former city councilwoman, plans to become the third major candidate to officially file paperwork that allows her to raise money to run for mayor. But she hasn’t definitely said that she’ll launch a campaign, and she’s mum about her thoughts on the city’s big municipal pension issue.

A Boon for Bridgepoint

The feds are cracking down on for-profit higher education companies like San Diego-based Bridgepoint, but newly released rules aren’t as tough as originally proposed. Investors seem to be pleased: Bridgepoint’s stock went up by 12 percent in early trading yesterday.

“Friendly regulation spurred the company’s astronomical growth; harsher rules could hurt it,” writes Liam Dillon, who co-authored our big look at Bridgepoint. “This news helps the company significantly.”

What They Learned at Art Confab

As you know, our readers are brilliant and extremely attractive. The same goes for the folks who attend our forums, like this week’s Meeting of the Minds event about the local arts scene. We’ve compiled some of the thoughts of attendees about what they’ve learned along with photos that reveal the connection between brainy and sexy.

Look! Up in the Sky! Lasers from Idiots!

San Diego ranks seventh on the FAA’s list of airports with the most reported incidents of boneheads pointing lasers at airplanes this year, the Denver Post reports. That’s high considering that our airport isn’t that big. It also means we’ve had more than 18 incidents. That’s the number for Denver, which is in 10th place.

“Lasers can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to land safely, jeopardizing the safety of passengers and also people on the ground,” the FAA head says. It will now fine people up to $11,000 if they point a laser at an airplane.

Be Proud, Renters!

The NYT recently showed how San Diego is one of several big cities where it’s still better (at least as of late last year) to rent than own. We’re on the list with places like Orange County, San Francisco, Denver and Seattle, while it’s better to own in several Sun Belt locales like Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston and Miami.

There’s even more good news for once-lowly renters (huzzah!), at least according to Slate. “Contrary to the housing-bubble dogma that a mortgaged apartment or house provides a pathway straight to the American Dream — and contrary to the tax code, which encourages buyers and discourages renters with a huge break for mortgage interest — renting is better than owning for many Americans,” it says. In fact, “dozens of recent studies have shown that, excepting the go-go bubble years, houses tend not to make very good investments at all.”

Stay-at-Home Primates

New research suggests that two species of early human-like primates didn’t adhere to the gender roles you might expect: the males stayed home while the females got around, possibly in an effort to avoid inbreeding from spending too much time with relatives, Discovery News reports. “This is one weird ape-like primate,” said a UCSD researcher of one of the species.

Another scientist said “much about our forebears continues to be resolutely mysterious.”

Actually, that’s a good thing. A while back, I learned that some of my ancestors had the last name of Looney. While it explains a lot, it also shows how family history is sometimes best left unexplored.

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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