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The chances that a football stadium will be built in downtown San Diego haven’t improved over the past two years that they’ve been debated. In fact, they may have gotten worse.

Liam Dillon explains: “A high-powered stadium consultant came and went. The state freed up hundreds of millions in downtown redevelopment dollars for stadium construction, but then later gutted all redevelopment.” And there’s more.

“It’s a very long road ahead of us,” said a former downtown redevelopment official.

School Board Prez Wants Residency Investigation

The president of the San Diego school board wants legal advice about questions regarding where board member Shelia Jackson lives. She legally has to live within the district she represents, but there are signs that she may live elsewhere.

For more about Jacksons’ residency, check our joint story with NBC7 San Diego.


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Two Local GOP Reps Expected to Go with Boehner

Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter (the younger) and the influential Darrell Issa are expected to vote for the GOP’s debt-ceiling bill in Congress today, The Hill reports. The vote will be a nail-biter, with many Republicans defecting from the party line.

Proposed Boundaries Reshape Political Races

The 2010 census isn’t just spawning new boundary lines for City Council districts. New maps will appear for congressional districts too, and the race for the district that represents South Bay is looking to be a doozy.

A Democratic stronghold, it’s currently represented by Rep. Bob Filner, who’s stepping down to run for San Diego Mayor. The U-T says former state Sen. Denise Ducheny is thinking about a run at the job in 2012 since her home may fall within its boundaries. State Senator Juan Vargas is another hopeful for the seat. As the U-T notes, they’d run against each other in the November election if they placed first and second in the June primary, even though they’re both Democrats.

Meanwhile, former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña confirms in an email to me that she’s thinking about running for Congress in the North County congressional district now represented by Brian Bilbray; redistricting could make it more friendly to Democrats like her. She was planning to run for the state Senate seat held by Christine Kehoe, who can’t run again due to term limits, but Saldaña said proposed boundary changes would leave her outside that district.

• Kensington and Talmadge are neighboring neighborhoods, but their activists don’t necessarily agree about whether they should share a City Council district with the very different (i.e., downscale) neighborhood of City Heights.

Initial OK for Horton Plaza Makeover

While controversy has dogged the makeover of Balboa Park, a major remodel of Horton Plaza at Broadway has gotten little attention. Yesterday, redevelopment officials gave tentative approval to an $8.5 million design that would create an amphitheater and green space.

But what about the homeless, who haunt Horton Plaza, the downtown library and other parts of downtown? “With security by shopping center personnel and city police, as well as a hoped-for increase in office workers and tourists, street people would be outnumbered and perhaps encouraged to move elsewhere,” the U-T reports.

However, the outnumbering of “street people” by patrons hasn’t stopped the downtown library from being a major (and disconcerting) hangout for transients. And if the transients do more elsewhere, expect a fuss at their new home.

L.A. Unplugs Red Light Cameras

The Los Angeles City Council yesterday killed the city’s red-light cameras, which came “after this week’s surprising revelation that authorities cannot force ticketed red-light camera violators to pay the fine,” the LAT reports.

Red-light cameras are still operating in San Diego and other places.

Alcohol-Related Crime Near You

Statistics offer a look at alcohol-related crime in the various neighborhoods of San Diego. It’s down sharply in some beach areas and up sharply in some non-beach neighborhoods, although there are exceptions.

A Transient with ‘Razzle-Dazzle Eloquence’ Dies at 52

CityBeat mourns a book-reading, sobriety-promoting former voiceover artist who became homeless after paying his late mother’s medical bills. He had a “razzle-dazzle kind of eloquence and the voice to go with it. And in that sandwich, he had that intelligence,” said an advocate who delivers water to the homeless in downtown. “His definition of home is where the family is, and his family was on the street. He brought light to the streets; he was the captain of a rudderless ship.”

As the story notes, Marvin Bradshaw is one of more than 30 transients who have died so far this year in the county. Heart disease took his life; it’s the most common cause of death among the homeless, outpacing alcoholism and violence.

So why should you read yet another sad story about a homeless person? Because it has engaging details. (He would tell people to let him know if they came across books about paleontology or quantum physics.) And because it shows his own contradictions: he thought being homeless was a choice and one that a simple choice could change, reflecting the views of many who have never gone a day without a meal. But his own efforts to get off the streets failed, perhaps because — as he also noted — homelessness is a “trap.”

No Deal for Mission Valley’s Borders Store

A national bookstore chain’s bid to buy 30 Borders bookstores — including the popular one in Mission Valley — has fallen through, AP reports. All Borders bookstores will close after liquidation sales.

JFK’s Visit Lives on at El Cajon Blvd. Diner

Last fall, I wrote about presidential visits to San Diego, including JFK’s in 1963. He rode in an open car down El Cajon Boulevard on his way to give a speech at what is now San Diego State.

I came across a photo on the Internet that a junior-high student playing hooky snapped of the president as he rode in front of the Rudford’s diner, which still exists in the same location and is open 24/7.

The junior-high student and his pals grabbed the attention of the president by yelling “Cuber, Cuber!” (No, they weren’t making some kind of geometry crack. They were making fun of the way he pronounced “Cuba.”)

Now, Rudford’s has installed a large reproduction of the photo by James Daigh on its outside wall along with a description. Our photographer Sam Hodgson and I chowed down there recently (I’m a fan of the bacon and avocado burger, hold the relish), and he took this photo of the memorable photo.

Doggone It, He’s Rich. But Does He Exist?

A report published in the Times of India this week says a dog named Frankie lives in a San Diego mansion and has a net worth of $5.3 million. This may be a legend. A few news sites have mentioned Frankie over the past few years (one says he’s a chihuahua), but I couldn’t confirm that he or his money actually exist.

Too bad. I’ve already been practicing my spiel: “Who wants a belly rub? You do! Who wants to put his paw print on this binding legal document known as a will? You do!”

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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