There are plenty of reasons to join our arts editor Kelly Bennett to watch a play at Mo’olelo next Friday night, and not just because you’ll get to find out whether she pronounces it “thee-uh-tuh.” (I do because I’m pretentious.)

March 16 is the date for VOSD’s night at the theater. Our members will be able to buy tickets to “How I Got That Story” for $10 instead of $30. We’ve been profiling the production of the play in our first series of “Arts: Embedded” stories.

You can get details about the discount here, along with information about how to save a few bucks if you can’t wait and want to see the play this weekend.

A Video Look at Stadium Bid

We asked what you’d like us to explain, and you responded. Now, we’re giving you what you want: several weeks of “San Diego Explained” video stories examining hot topics in our fair county.

First up: the Chargers and their fervent desires to get a new stadium. Watch the video to catch up on the three major issues (costs, taxes and location) and where we go from here. If you’d like to know even more, check our page of Chargers stadium coverage.

Retired Teachers Happy to See Union Director Go

A group of retired San Diego teachers has adopted a “don’t let the door hit you…” attitude toward the suspension of the teachers union’s divisive executive director. Like others, the retired teachers group hopes the leader’s exit will repair their fractured relationship.

With a board election on the horizon, the union’s leadership is at a crossroads at a moment when the district is asking it to make major concessions in order to avoid layoffs.

UCAN Head’s Secret Bonuses

The plot is thickening in the utility watchdog mess: an investigator found that Michael Shames, the Utility Consumers’ Action Network’s top boss, made $249,000 in bonuses without the knowledge of board members, according to U-T San Diego. Also, the investigator says Shames didn’t disclose his salary on federal tax forms, as required.

For background, check our story on the accusations against UCAN and its attempt to dissolve.

SDG&E Cut Anti-Wildfire Spending, Consultant Says

A consultant hired by residents who lost their homes to the 2007 wildfires says SDG&E cut spending on powerline maintenance from 2003-2008, KPBS reports. The utility’s lines have been blamed for starting massive blazes in 2007.

We told you recently how SDG&E wants ratepayers to give it a blank check for wildfire-related costs. Attorneys for the homeowners say allowing them that blank check will just give the utility the incentive to not maintain its lines.

So how is the parent company of SDG&E doing? It raked in profits of $1.1 billion in 2011, the NC Times says.

Six Months Later, No Blackout Cause

It’s been six months since the power went out in San Diego County and much of Southern California. Sewage systems went haywire, drivers abandoned their gas-less cars on the roads, and the lives of patients in intensive care were threatened as hospitals went partially or completely dark due to malfunctioning generators.

We still don’t know exactly what happened, the U-T says, and it may take another two months to find out.

Here are our four big unanswered questions from the blackout.

SD Nonprofit’s Video Becomes International Sensation

A San Diego nonprofit group’s video drawing attention to the atrocities of an African warlord has become the talk of the internet, snapping up more than 50 million views on YouTube and Vimeo.

Says The New York Times of Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012”:

This week, in a testament to the explosive power of social media, he managed to do so in a matter of days, baffling diplomats, academics and Ugandans who have worked assiduously on the issue for decades without anything close to the blitz of attention that [Jason] Russell and his tight-knit group of activists have generated.

The story stops in on Invisible Children’s Bankers Hill office. You’ll see some familiar names on it, too, with reporting credits to Rob Davis and a sharp photo from Sam Hodgson.

The video has been met with strong backlash. Writers have criticized it for exaggeration, soft bigotry and hypocrisy, Reuters points out.

Quick News Hits

• The Associated Press profiles a cross-border couple — the husband is in Tijuana — as an example of how American immigration law isn’t as friendly to married couples as people might assume. “It’s a common misconception that an illegal alien married to a U.S. citizen is immediately granted ‘green card’ status or citizenship,” the story says.  

• Legal gurus are skeptical about a series of lawsuits that have hit law schools around the country — including the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and California Western School of Law — claiming that they misled potential students about the likelihood that they’d get jobs after graduating, Reuters reports.

What the Chargers Do

You may remember Justin Halpern even if you don’t recall the name: He’s the young San Diego guy who made it big by tweeting the thoughts of his senior-citizen father at @shitmydadsays. Pretty soon, Halpern and his pop had spawned a book deal, a TV show starring William Shatner and a guest shot on Chelsea Lately.

The show was a disaster and the Twitter feed (with 3 million followers) hasn’t been too active. But Halpern is still writing, and he shows up on the sports site Grantland with talk of the Chargers — who remind him of Nicolas Cage because “every 10 years they seem to pull it together and have a decent showing, but mostly they’re just embarrassing to watch” — and much more.

He writes about watching the Bolts in the Super Bowl at the age of 14, his own giant misstep during the game that sent his father around the bend, the epic story that his dad then unspooled, and the big lesson he took from it all.     

And no, the lesson isn’t “never watch the Chargers.” Although that would have saved him (and the rest of us who remember that game) a lot of trouble.

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

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