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When the Starlight Amphitheater has hit rough patches, its benefactors, staff members and volunteers have given time and money to rescue it. One supporter donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and loaned even more to the outdoor theater. “I am definitely certifiably crazy; I admit it,” she said.

But this time around, she fears the end.

Starlight has filed for bankruptcy. If it survives, it will again be because of its often-overstretched supporters. “There’s an elusive enchantment with Starlight. It’s been a magical place for them, an unrelenting magnet for huge sums of money and time and emotion,” writes Kelly Bennett.

An adviser suggests that it’s time to change the way the theater does business. “It doesn’t matter what those people with all those good hearts gave and donated, if you didn’t change your business practices and you’re on the board, then who’s at fault?” he said. “If you’re donating to a false economy, you’ve got to know that that’s what it is. And it’s all for love.”

More than Two Tons of Drugs Land in Drop Boxes

The county has gathered at least 5,300 pounds of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs at drop boxes around the county, the NC Times reports. In order to protect the privacy of those who get rid of their medications, the county doesn’t sort through the trashed drugs.


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“Early in the program, authorities said they suspected medical professionals had been illegally dumping expired medication samples into the boxes to pass their own disposal costs on to taxpayers,” the NCT reports. But an official said that’s become less of a problem — along with the disposal of syringes and needles — because of new signs.

City Attorney Intervenes In Senior Housing Flap

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says his office will look into allegations of major problems at a non-profit housing complex for poor seniors in downtown. Last week, CityBeat reported on a variety of complaints from seniors, including allegations that the complex is trying to quash a tenants association and ignoring infestations. Seniors also told the paper that they’re not allowed to use a gated parking area — it’s reserved for staff; one says she’s been trying to get the city’s attention about the issue for a decade. Now she has it.

Who’s the Most Conservative of Them All?

Quick quiz: Who’s more conservative? Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (the son of the former congressman) or Rep. Darrell Issa? (They’re both Republicans.) How about Rep. Bob Filner or Rep. Susan Davis? (They’re both Democrats).

An organization linked to The Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank, has issued a new ranking of congressional representatives and senators based on whether they fall in line with its beliefs. The ranking “is comprehensive,” it says, “covering the full spectrum of conservatism, and includes legislative action on issues both large and small.”

Rep. Hunter is tied as the second most conservative representative in the state, with an 83 percent rating, the foundation says. Issa is eighth with 75 percent, while Rep. Brian Bilbray (another Republican) is much lower at 52 percent. Davis is toward the bottom with just seven percent, while Filner is actually higher than her with 18 percent.

Filner’s Absences and the Big Fire Fee

San Diego Fact Check TV analyzes a claim about fire fees levied on backcountry residents and explores Rep. Bob Filner’s faulty memory about State of the City speeches.

Life’s No Picnic… No, Wait, It Actually Is

The third annual Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair (it’s so nice they put Art in its name twice) is coming up next weekend, and we’ll be highlighting some of its most interesting artworks and events, including a picnic blanket made of 1,000 feet of fabric, and a parade of giant puppets.

Sky, Flag and Plane

The Photo of the Day captures a jet in black and white.

Romney’s Residence Revisionism

Internet pundits are aflutter over a clarification from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney: He told the publisher of a New Hampshire newspaper that he wants to double the living space of his La Jolla home. Media, led by the U-T, reported earlier this month that he wanted to quadruple the size of the house.

“The ‘quadrupling’ was a measurement of added nonliving space, including a basement and garage,” the publisher writes.

So garages and basements aren’t living spaces? Sounds like Romney’s never been a starving college student. Also: it’s not quite clear what the publisher thinks he’s correcting. The U-T story didn’t specify “living space,” and seems to have gotten the story right. So did at least some other media organizations.

News Blips!

• As part of cost-cutting measures, UC San Diego is removing about 150,000 books and journals from its collections and selling or donating them. (California Watch)

• In a merging of physics and art, a UCSD engineering professor wants to use a nuclear camera to find out if there’s a missing Da Vinci painting under a Florentine wall. (VOSD via New York Times)

• Lory Tatoulian traveled around Southern California taking photos of and blogging about Armenian “Blessing of the Grapes” ceremonies and picnics. (Southern California Public Radio)

Food stamp use was up 89% in San Diego County since January 2009, though the percentage of people using food stamps in the county is much lower than elsewhere. (NBC 7 San Diego)

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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