Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, the iconoclast politician who nearly became mayor, tells us she won’t run for the city’s top job next year and that she’s endorsing Rep. Bob Filner.

In doing that, she became one of the first prominent local Democrats to endorse Filner. As OB Rag noticed, high-profile Dems haven’t been rushing to support him. The progressive blog Two Cathedrals had earlier in the week explained why this was worrisome for their side.

Meanwhile conservative blog SD Rostra muses on the great San Diego public relations battle of our time and explains some major changes taking place for local political talk on the radio.

Judge Says We Misinterpreted Quote

Judge Jeffrey Fraser said we misinterpreted a quote by him in our coverage of the trial of the man accused of sexual misconduct while working as a San Diego cop.

In our story Thursday and in yesterday’s Morning Report, we quoted Fraser as saying: “Let’s face it. Everybody in the Police Department knew about this. He wasn’t living in a cave and then they turned on the TV.”

We thought the comment referred to the police department’s knowledge about reports of misconduct, which has been an issue in the trial. But yesterday, the judge said the interpretation was wrong, and he was actually referring to why it took so long for a potential witness to come forward.

For Violinist, a Dash of Classical Excitement

Forget sitting in your fancy clothes for three hours while dozens of people play instruments in an orchestra. Sure, violinist Kate Hatmaker likes that kind of thing — she plays for the San Diego Symphony for a living, after all — but she thinks people deserve an alternative too, especially as classical music struggles for a place in modern society.

So Hatmaker helped created a chamber music group that intimately performs a repertoire of both old and new classical music in a gallery at the museum of art. In this week’s Q&A feature, Hatmaker talks to me about the struggles of classical music, the rebirth of the San Diego symphony and the stereotypes of orchestra members. (Guess which ones are mellow and which are high strung). 

Meanwhile, we photographed and videotaped Hatmaker as she played violin while walking around downtown. Listen as she plays the Allemande movement from Partita No. 2 in D minor by Bach.

Dumanis on Hot Seat

Editor Andrew Donohue interviewed District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis for the latest edition of VOSD Radio on AM 600 KOGO. They talked about the obstacles of bureaucracy, pensions and the school district’s financial problems.

Dumanis, a candidate for mayor, declared this week that she’s surprised when people think she opposes medical marijuana. She actually supports its legal use, she wrote, adding “let me say that again” for good measure.

Marijuana advocates have responded not with huzzahs but with a chorus of Hold on there, sister! Her stance is “fundamentally inconsistent with the actions she has taken as District Attorney. As District Attorney, Dumanis has stood in the way of safe access to medical marijuana for patients at every turn,” writes the former head of a city task force on medical marijuana.

CityBeat is questioning her too.

As we note, “Dumanis has aggressively pursued marijuana cases, wading into the legal thicket that comes from conflicting federal and state laws and an absence of city regulations.” For more on the local medical marijuana dispute, watch our San Diego Explained video clip. 

That House Is Plumb Crazy

A team of construction workers at UCSD is finishing up a strange little house that will be hoisted up to the seventh floor of an engineering building and then attached at a crazy angle. It’s one of many wacky slopes in the Fallen Star art project, part of UCSD’s Stuart Collection: the floor is out of whack at a 4-degree angle, while the structure on top of the floor (the roof and walls) veers at 9 degrees. The lack of level, plumb lines is enough to make visitors positively seasick, which fits its purpose of creating a feeling of disorientation.

I’m writing a story about the challenges of building this wacky abode, and it will appear on our site soon. For now, check the latest edition of Behind the Scene TV for a video look at this home away from… reality.

Rhymes with Jeeber… Oh, I’ve Said Too Much

As a public service — and through my own superhuman power of will — the Morning Report has gone this entire week without mentioning a certain Lakeside woman, a certain teenage heartthrob and a certain alleged encounter. (The Morning Report is very old and assumes this has something to do with Shaun Cassidy.)

You’re so welcome!  


What We Learned This Week:

• Emily Litella Alert: School closures? Um… never mind! That was the message of the San Diego school board this week as it smoothed over ruffled parents by refusing to shut down schools. The board also wants to think about asking voters to boost property taxes with another construction bond. And some state Assembly Democrats are optimistic the draconian budget cuts set in motion last budget cycle may not be needed.

Don’t Charge Extra for Garbage Removal (for Some)! The mayoral candidates responded to our query about whether they would leave in peace the 1919 People’s Ordinance, which prohibits the city from collecting a special fee for trash pickup at single-family homes in the city. Apartment and condo dwellers do pay extra.

Occupado: Our new reader’s guide gives you an at-a-glance look at Occupy San Diego, which erupted in confrontations between protesters and police last week. If you missed them, check out the compelling photos of a rally and march (and miffed cops and protesters) from the evening of Oct. 28. Also, a protest attendee writes that he discovered an environmental problem during a city cleanup but couldn’t get anyone to pay attention.

My VOSD Radio chat with our Scott Lewis about Occupy San Diego, by the way, sparked some reaction in our pages. Lewis referred to the protesters’ “race to victimhood,” prompting me to wonder if he had to fill out an application to become The Man.

Ticket Please: We’ve begun our series of stories examining how local arts and museum venues figure out how much to charge people. First up: an explanation of the financial gymnastics that go into choosing whether to charge $5, $17 or $105 for a performance or museum visit.

• Coronado’s Other Big Mystery: Halloween gave me an opportunity to revisit what had been the most notorious death in Coronado’s history until recently: the suicide (or was it murder?) of a beautiful young woman on the steps of the Hotel Del in 1892. Her mysterious demise has captivated crime buffs (including a local attorney who just about went around the bend) and ghosthunters.   


Number of the Week: $12.6 million, the amount the city falls behind each year in simply maintaining its streets, buildings and storm drains in their current state of disrepair.

Quote of the Week: ” …the idea of the crazy starving artist who doesn’t own anything and drives a car that’s smoking down the freeway. I’m not convinced that makes great art.” — Felicia Shaw, director of arts and culture for the San Diego Foundation.


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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