Its musicians aren’t on strike, like one of its counterparts. It’s not trying to go bankrupt, like another. In fact, the San Diego Symphony is doing quite well, thank you very much, after epic struggles in the ’80s and ’90s that shut it down for a time.

The key to its success in terms of both finances and quality: a philanthropic gift that keeps on giving.

But a $120 million pledge, which the symphony is getting in installments over time, isn’t a guarantee that the good times will last.

The symphony must walk a tricky tightrope by “vociferously thanking its benefactors for the gift that is keeping the organization afloat, while combating the image that the symphony doesn’t need anyone else’s help,” Kelly Bennett reports. “Even an endowment isn’t a sure bet when the market’s ups and downs make for unpredictable revenues. And it’s especially important to communicate that nuance when the symphony also wants to proclaim its gratefulness from the rooftops.”

Seeking an Alternative for Balboa Park

Balboa Park’s museums apparently hate the idea of closing the Cabrillo Bridge to cars, and the option seems to be a non-starter in the ongoing debate over a makeover of the busiest part of the park. Not so fast, our commenters are saying. Many like the idea of a car-less bridge, despite concerns that it will make it harder for visitors to enter the park from the west. “It will have 0, that’s nada, effect on the museums,” Charles Daleo says, while Mary Laiuppa would like to see a test of a bridge with no cars.

Bob Hudson, however, questions the whole idea of making a big chunk of the park friendly to strollers: “In case no one’s noticed, there is already a plethora of places for promenading pedestrians.”

San Diego Fact Check TV finds that the mayor is wrong about foot traffic through Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama (it’s hardly hundreds of thousands a day) and our editor is mostly right about a claim regarding hotel taxes.

San Diego Test Scores Up Again

Test scores in the San Diego school district rose for the sixth year in a row, “a reassuring sign for the grassroots brand of school reform the district is pushing,” Emily Alpert reports. Scores also went up in other parts of the county, including Oceanside, Poway, Vista and in the high schools serving East County and South Bay. NBC7 San Diego has video from the press conference.

New Boundary Lines Are Official

A state panel approved new boundary lines for congress and state offices, although the GOP might fight back with a referendum (Los Angeles Times). Locally, redistricting might lead to stronger challenges from Democrats against Rep. Brian Bilbray. Lori Saldaña, for one, has filed to run against him and announced it on her Facebook page.

Issa Rips ‘Errors’ in Negative NYT Story

The office of Rep. Darrell Issa, who represents part of North County, is bashing a front-page New York Times story published over the weekend as “riddled with factual errors and careless assertions that has resulted in a story predicated on innuendo and not fact.”

The story, headlined “A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself,” paints Issa in a negative light, analyzing the effects of congressional decisions on his own business interests. It says he has “a meshing of public and private interests rarely seen in government,” and his “interests are so varied that some of the biggest issues making their way through Congress affect him in some way.”

The newspaper has made one rather major correction. It says “The value of businesses that resulted from splitting a holding company owned by Representative Darrell Issa… are multimillion-dollar businesses, not multibillion-dollar businesses.” Issa’s office says there are more errors: it claims an Issa-founded company doesn’t supply car alarms to Toyota (the story refers to “his electronics company’s role as a major supplier of alarms to Toyota”) and says a claim about a fantastic return on an Issa family investment is false.

One alleged error appears in the very first paragraph of the story: Issa’s people say his office in the city of Vista doesn’t overlook a golf course; the story says it does. (There is a golf course nearby in the Shadowridge neighborhood, but it’s about a third of a mile away.)

Fear in the Political Ranks

The Union-Tribune continues its interviews with leading mayoral candidates and asks one of them, Councilman Carl DeMaio, a surprising question: “The political and much of the business establishment in San Diego seems to fear a Bob Filner-Carl DeMaio general election in the mayor’s race. Why is that?”

DeMaio answers by bashing rival Filner, a congressman. A bigger question: What does the U-T mean? Perhaps the paper thinks the establishment doesn’t like either guy because they’re not centrist enough.

DeMaio certainly doesn’t seem destined to make new friends in the business world. “There’s a very cozy system at City Hall. Big business and big labor don’t think there’s anything wrong with City Hall,” he tells the U-T. “The only thing they think is wrong is that you’re not paying enough.”

Suicides Aren’t on the Rise

With several recent suicides in the news here, we checked to see if more people are killing themselves in the county. The answer: No. While the suicide rate rose gradually for a few years after 2005, this year and last year bucked that trend, even though cops have warned that fewer government resources for mental health will lead to greater challenges.

Nighttime Is the Right Time for Aquatic Art

Talk about a glass aquarium. At nighttime, the fish in a tank at the Chula Vista Nature Center like to hide as they would in the wild. In the ocean, they’d get cozy in reefs. Here, they dip into a colorful little circular ball of glass made by a local artist. “Glass is very much like water,” the artist tells us in the latest episode of Behind the Scene TV. “When you’re working with fluid glass it’s like trying to take water and freeze it in a certain shape. So it has a lot of water qualities, both in the way it works and the way it looks when it’s done.”

If They Could Just Come Up with a Good Movie to See

A new “luxury” theater in Del Mar offers “seven feet of personal space, as well as in-seat waiter service buttons for all your emergency beer and candy requests during the show,” reports You even chow on artisan sandwiches and drink craft beer as you wonder why Nicholas Cage has a career.

Although many of the early reviews on complain of high prices and poor service, the theater certainly looks nice. (KPBS has plenty of photos.) As for the comfy chairs and easy access to food and booze, seems like I know some other place where you can get those movie-watching benefits without paying $19.50 a pop. If I could just remember where it is…

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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