Art lovers of San Diego unite!

Our next “A Meeting of the Minds” event is on tap, offering you a chance to hear from prominent local artists and savor rapid-fire glimpses of stimulating ideas in the local arts world.

It’s coming up on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. It’s free and will be held at the Luce Loft in East Village. Our arts editor Kelly Bennett has the details, including the names of the six panelists who will offer presentations in a rapid-fire presentation style called pecha-kucha.

They’ll be talking about murals at Chicano Park, costumes and context at the symphony, poetry at the San Diego Museum of Art, local jazz legends, collaboration across art fields, and UCSD’s Stuart Collection.  

Check last year’s event to get a handle on what will be happening. And be sure to get there early. The last one was packed.

Council Won’t Have Snapdragon Snit

You can bet that at least some City Council members are miffed about the mayor’s messy deal to allow Qualcomm to temporarily rename the football stadium without their approval.

The city attorney this week put the ball in the council’s court, saying the deal is void unless the council retroactively approves it. And now the council’s leader is slamming that ball right back to the city attorney. Council President Tony Young says they won’t be talking about it.

So now what? Looks like it’s up to the city attorney to tell us if this Snapdragon Stadium deal is void and how, then, you void a deal that’s already taken place and expired.

SDG&E Loses Rate Hike on Solar Customers

A state agency has zapped SDG&E’s bid to boost the bills of customers who use solar power by $20-$30 a month, the NC Times reports.

A commissioner said the charge is a no-go, the NCT reports, because “first, state law says the utility can only charge based on net electricity usage, regardless of the source of the electricity, and second, that utilities cannot create a new charge that would add to the bills of a solar customer over a non-solar customer.”

Fact-Checking Mayor’s Homeless Claim

CityBeat says Mayor Jerry Sanders bungled a claim about the homeless during his State of the City address last week: “Sanders suggests that the problem has been solved, and that’s just flat-out wrong.”

At issue: will the city need a winter homeless shelter? (You may recall that’s the one that no neighborhood — or City Council member — seems to want in their back yard.)

Nope, said the mayor, because beds will already exist. Yup, says CityBeat, because the shelter in the works isn’t for emergencies and isn’t for cold weather either.

What Readers Thought About Mayor’s Speech

We’ve got a roundup up the top reader comments on Sanders’ speech. A common refrain: the ignoring of neighborhoods for downtown projects.

“His slaps on his own back were slaps on my face,” writes Eve Vargas. “I was sitting in that place … wondering why I didn’t feel included, because I wasn’t.”

Jesus Torres, meanwhile, says Sanders will go down as one of the best mayors in San Diego history.

SD Schools Advice Arrangement Under Fire

A financial adviser to the San Diego school district named Mark Young is supposed to help it figure out what it’s doing in regard to debt and risk. But, as CityBeat reports, there’s a catch: every time he advises them to sell more bonds, and they do so, he gets a small cut.

“During the last school year, his firm was paid $175,000 in such fees,”

District watchdogs wanted another opinion on financial matters, and an auditor said that would be a good idea. So the district hired another adviser. But when it came time to get that advice, the board only heard from Young’s firm.

You’ll see a familiar byline on that piece — it’s by former VOSD education reporter Emily Alpert. She freelanced the story and, we’re happy to say, this week has begun a new gig writing for the Los Angeles Times’ World Now blog. You can keep up with her on Twitter at @emilyschoolsyou.

Department of Ideas

At VOSD Radio, Andrew Donohue and Scott are offering a new recipe for civic conversation: half-baked ideas. They’re thoughts that need a little seasoning, but could be — at least in their minds — promising.

Among those offered up in this first installment: the coordinated removal of San Diego’s ugly chain link fences, the closing of two major streets to turn them into pedestrian promenades, a beach trolley line funded by parking fees, and the crowdfunding of a local Major League Soccer team.

Here’s another one that came up: An elevated rail down El Cajon Boulevard.

Ooo, nice one! I’ve already come up with a motto: “Take the Train to Your Tattoo.”

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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