If you talk to an economist, you might hear that city governments as a whole can do a bit to help with job creation.

But San Diego’s mayoral hopefuls each say they’ve got just the ticket to get people back to work.

Our Liam Dillon summarizes their pitches in one word each:

• City Councilman Carl DeMaio: Cut (Dillon took a deeper look at DeMaio’s plans first.)

• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis: Trust

• Congressman Bob Filner: Port

• Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher: Ambassador

You can catch up on all of our mayoral campaign coverage here.

Explaining How  Fires Might Affect Your Power Bill

San Diego Explained, the weekly segment we produce with NBC 7 San Diego, this week breaks down how the 2007 wildfires may end up affecting your power bill.

KPBS’ Joanne Faryon called it “one of the best explainers I’ve seen on SDG&E wildfire costs.”

Rob Davis recently wrote that SDG&E wants a “blank check” from its customers to pay for the uninsured costs of previous and future wildfires. As the TV segment explains, it’s not a normal rate hike the utility is seeking, but a simpler green light to pass along the costs it will incur as it pays off victims of the fires.

District Tries to Woo Charter Schools Back

Not long ago, Will Carless posted the results of his investigation into why charter schools were getting such a better deal seeking their own special education services then they were getting from the San Diego Unified School District.

The district frankly doesn’t know why its costs rose so much forcing the charters to seek their own solution.

But now, the district wants charters to come back.

The district would like to get back to the business of providing special education services to the charters. They say they can lower the fee, Carless reports.

Why bother? “bringing much-needed revenue into the district’s coffers, and schools might see their funding boosted by the relationship too,” Carless wrote.

District Wants Union to Start Talking

As they get closer to the day when layoff warnings to teachers must be sent, San Diego Unified leaders want the teachers union to start talking about making concessions to avoid hundreds of layoffs. “Just agree to sit down and talk,” school board President John Lee Evans said at a press conference yesterday. “We will meet anywhere, any time.”

The teachers union, which questions the school district’s numbers, hasn’t been in the mood to chat.

What Mormon Tithing Tells us About ‘Income’

UC San Diego economist Gordon Dahl is Mormon. Mormons in good standing must send the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a strict 10 percent of their incomes. That’s not new.

But Dahl wanted to know how his counterparts in the church defined “income.” After all, the IRS has spent decades making the definition extremely complex. But the church leaves it up to members to decide and, ostensibly, they believe God’s watching them so they’re trying to get it right.

Dahl’s research led to a fascinating edition of Planet Money on NPR. 

The Two-Second Costume Change

In the latest in our series of Embedded in the Arts stories about a new play, we learn how a costume designer uses a $500 budget to clothe an actor in outfits for the 20 parts — including women — that he must play. Many of them are made to be pulled on and off “in literally two seconds.”

The play, “How I Got that Story,” opens tomorrow night.

Top Student Athlete Won’t Be Deported

Ayded Reyes, California’s top-ranked junior college cross country athlete, will get to stay in the United States and avoid deportation, ESPN.com reports. The Southwestern College student, who was brought here illegally by her parents when she was 2, ended up jailed for five days last fall when a San Diego Harbor Police officer asked her for a state I.D. and discovered she didn’t have one. She faced the prospect of deportation to Mexico.

Proposing a Firebreak and Respect for SD’s Past

Our readers have a lot to say.

• James Wilson offers a plan to create a big firebreak, complete with its own golf course, to protect the city from wildfires.

• Abhi Buch, meanwhile, waxes lyrical while saying old cities need to let their geezer flag wave: “Wharfs, fishing boats at the dock, ships at their piers, wooden jetties wading in to the bay, old wind-twisted trees with their roots clutching at the waterside embankments, herons wading in smelly mudflats: nothing that Conde Nast Traveler would give a bunch of stars to, but it would be home, to be passed on down the generational stairway.”

Quick News Hits

• The high-profile child molestation case against Mario Sierra, a municipal employee known as San Diego’s “Street Czar,” collapsed yesterday as a judge dismissed the charges at the request of prosecutors, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

• It can be tough to be a swimmer in San Diego if you prefer laps in a heated pool to splashing around in the ocean. City pools have limited hours, gym pools are often teeny and college pools only serve students. The Plunge at Belmont Park had plenty of indoor space and a great building, but rent troubles led to its closure last May. Now it’s opening again, NBC 7 San Diego reports, and has a great 25-cent deal this weekend.

• Assemblyman Ben Hueso, a Democrat who represents part of San Diego, has led a legislative campaign pushing the president of the state’s Fish and Game Commission to resign because a photo revealed he killed a mountain lion while hunting in Idaho, the San Jose Mercury News reports. “My 100 percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else’s for that matter, is none of your business,” he told Hueso in a letter, adding “there is ZERO chance I would resign my position.”

• The U-T takes a closer look at the city’s proposed anti-smoking ordinance, which would allow the eviction of smokers in apartments and condos if non-smoking neighbors raise a stink.

Interesting. Now could the city do something about the lady next door who likes to wear stretch pants? My fashion sensibilities  need just as much protection as my lungs do, dontcha know.

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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