Here’s a shocker: Local politicians and other public figures tried to put one over on you over this past year.

Consider just a few of their whoppers, as exposed by our San Diego Fact Check service:

• A county supervisor rhapsodized about going to jail during the civil rights era and working for one of the movement’s leaders. Nope, it didn’t happen. And those supposed witnesses that the supervisor’s spokesman said were dead? They weren’t.

• The mayor told a national TV audience that the city of San Diego had laid off 17 percent of its employees and still couldn’t earn the confidence of taxpayers. Wrong-o! It was actually less than 1 percent.

There were many many more negative Fact Check verdicts and we’ve collected the best ones here — 15 total from 2011 that were declared to be False or Huckster Propaganda. (That’s a verdict that’s the equivalent of “Oh, come on now! You know this one! How dumb do you think we are? Wait, don’t answer that.”)

Which one deserves to be named the Whopper of the Year? Let us know, and we’ll tell you about the winner — er, make that the loser — in the new year.

The Battle in Barrio Logan

Our Scott Lewis examines the fight between industrial users of land and homebuilders along the waterfront. He drops by Barrio Logan, a tiny part of town where city planners somehow thought it made sense to plop machine shops and other gritty industry right next to little houses.

“The current community plan allows this interplay of land uses. But the city is updating that plan and strict separation of industrial and residential zones is coming,” Lewis writes. “Residents want a better quality of life, access to the waterfront and things that smell better than engine exhaust. At the same time, industry and the port support good jobs. Do we want to squeeze more of them out?”

He ends in Little Italy, where the manufacturer — and employer of thousands — Solar Turbines says homebuilders are threatening its future. What do you think? Can industry co-exist with dense housing along the waterfront?

In a Little State, a Potentially Big Pension Move

What do events in the Ocean State have to do with us, especially considering that most of us couldn’t identify it if we tried? (Maine? Delaware? Oregon?)

It’s Rhode Island, the topic of a report I wrote in fourth grade and home to a small town with a big problem. Now, a decision regarding pensions there could influence how we look at municipal bankruptcy here as a way to get out of paying huge pension debts.

The NY Times has the story: “Retired police and firefighters from Central Falls, R.I., have agreed to sharp pension cuts, a step thought to be unprecedented in municipal bankruptcy and one that could prompt similar attempts by other distressed governments.”

Back on this coast, plenty of people who act like they know about such things say San Diego won’t be able to reduce its pension costs by going bankrupt. But, as we reported in 2010, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Now, the news out of the Ocean State (memorize it!) is an indication that maybe it could.

We’ll be checking in with the mayor and city attorney today to get their reactions.

Medi-Pot Shops Want to Smoke Out City at the Ballot

Medical marijuana shops are pushing a city ballot measure that would allow their stores to exist but regulate and tax them, the U-T reports. Federal and local crackdowns have left the shops in the lurch.

TV Fact Check on Access to USS Midway

Fact Check TV finds that a U-T blogger was incorrect when he said the USS Midway doesn’t advertise a program that gives free access to the aircraft carrier’s bow. It does, although it doesn’t exactly go out of its way to get the word out.

VOSD Radio Gets Goat-Ish with Fletcher

VOSD Radio ponders whether it might ever be possible for the NFL to dump its own rules and allow public ownership of a football team like the Chargers. (Would anyone like to bet a lunch on this? I say it won’t happen. Go ahead and make reservations at Bertrand at Mister A’s for two: I’m gonna win this one).

Our radio show — heard via podcast, our site and at 7:30 a.m. Saturdays on 600 AM and 95.7 FM — also names the hero (he’s a behind-the-scenes Broadway star) and goat (he’s an assemblyman with an exaggeration problem) of the week.

Mile of Speeding Tickets

A 0.7-mile stretch of College Boulevard near San Diego State is responsible for a stunning 11 percent of all speeding tickets in the city, the U-T reports. Other hot spots include Garnet Avenue from Ingraham Street to Balboa Avenue, Dairy Mart Road from Beyer Boulevard to W. San Ysidro Boulevard and Beyer Boulevard from Del Sur Boulevard to Smythe Avenue. 

Yikes. Better safe than sorry: Anybody got a spare helicopter available to help me with my errands? Costco does has a landing pad, right?

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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