District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says she’s not ready to debate her rivals for mayor and won’t be until next year, meaning she’ll miss three scheduled debates over the next two months, along with Councilman Carl DeMaio. The duo make up half of the four main candidates.

“I think there’s going to be plenty of time to debate after we know who actually is in the race and what the issues are at the time to discuss,” Dumanis told the Union-Tribune. She wants to hold off until the slate of candidates is set in March. “First of all, it’s the summertime right now so it’s not the time to be having a debate. My issue right now is talking to the public, to the people in the community, in our neighborhoods, to find out what’s important to them and to look into those issues right now.”

The phenomenon of “summertime” hasn’t stopped Republican candidates for president from holding debates, and it’s hardly likely to stop local debates next summer.

The two other major candidates, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Rep. Bob Filner, earlier sent a message to their two rivals challenging them to show up and debate. One of the debates will occur on Sept. 17 at Politifest, a festival presented by voiceofsandiego.org and NBC7 San Diego.

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• Our Liam Dillon analyzes how Dumanis’ flip on the pension reform initiative — she’s now in favor — is playing out. “The advantages of Dumanis’ flip are clear. She now is more attractive to Republicans and key interests on one of the most significant for the June 2012 mayoral primary election,” he writes, and she’s on the same side as the other leading Republicans.

NBC7 San Diego has video of Dumanis explaining her flip.

There are at least a few downsides to it. For one, firefighters aren’t thrilled that she changed her mind; her initial opposition was based on concern about them not getting guaranteed pensions any longer. And her own situation is dicey: “Dumanis’ own pension, even though she says she won’t take one as mayor, still will approach $250,000 annually. She now believes that almost all new city employees shouldn’t have what she has.”

For more about the mayor’s race, check out our ongoing coverage.

Shark Sighting Clears Mission Beach

A lifeguard spotted what he thought was a shark yesterday at Mission Beach, prompting an evacuation of the water and the closure of a two-mile stretch to bathers. The beach was to remain closed at least through this morning. (NBC7 San Diego)

Shark attacks on humans are extremely rare in California, with just 11 fatal attacks confirmed over the past 60 years. In 2008, a North County veterinarian died after he was attacked by a shark while training with other triathletes in the ocean off Solana Beach. The attack prompted the closure of 13 miles of beach.

In 1994, a young woman was found dead and thought to have been killed by a bite from a 12-foot shark. (The apparent shark sighted yesterday was estimated to be 10 feet long.) But, as CityBeat reported in 2008, there are questions about whether there was any shark attack at all in this case.

In 1959, a diver died after a shark attack off La Jolla Cove.

Waste Doesn’t Go to Waste

A local garbage truck has a new route that takes it to grocery stores where it picks up food waste and then takes it to a composting yard at Miramar Landfill, the U-T reports. This is a step toward more food waste recycling; the city doesn’t have a residential food waste pickup program, like San Francisco does, but it might at some point.

You can pick up small amounts of the compost for free for your garden or buy larger amounts.

Fire Fee Might Scorch Your Wallet

Some people in the county are paying as much as $400 in extra fees a year to get fire protection from the state, Supervisor Dianne Jacob said last month. She and others think the state shouldn’t boost its fees for fire protection as it did this summer.

San Diego Fact Check finds that she’s right about the fees. A single-family home in the Crest neighborhood, for example, would pay $382 a year, plus more because of the state’s decision to hike fees.

Chickens, Goats and Bees, Oh My

Fresh off making it easier for residents to create community gardens in vacant lots, the city is looking into lifting tight restrictions on keeping chickens, goats and bees in your backyard. Even small home farms might be allowed, although there’s no guarantee that the City Council will approve the changes. It might even tell them to buzz off.

He Keeps Corvettes in Vroom-Vroom Shape

A Vietnam War veteran who keeps Corvettes on the road is the subject of the latest in our photo essays about the people and places that populate El Cajon Boulevard. Photographer Sam Hodgson captures him as he works at his business, “part dealership, part service shop and part hangout for friends and car lovers.”

Explaining Pot Dispensaries

San Diego Explained, our video series, examines the current uncertain state of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

At the End, Still a Canine Companion

A Labrador retriever’s seeming tribute to his owner, a Navy SEAL from San Diego who was killed in Afghanistan, moved readers across the internet this week. An attendee at Jon Tumilson’s funeral in his Iowa hometown captured a photo of the dog, named Hawkeye, as he sprawled on the floor next to his owner’s coffin during the service. Tumilson and 29 American troops were killed on Aug. 6. (MSNBC.com)

If Only Staff Meetings Were Like This

A couple months ago, its taping at a home in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla created a ruckus as concerned neighbors worried about problems. Now, “Real World: San Diego” will begin airing on MTV in late September. A video trailer offers what a reality TV blog describes as “the same old: drinking, hooking up, overly muscled guys yelling at each other.”

Wow, that brings back non-memories of the misspent youth I never actually had. Sniff.

The original verson of this story incorrectly identified the hometown of San Diego Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson. We regret the error.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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