The local gay community, which held a mayoral debate this week, includes many fans of Rep. Bob Filner, the sole Democrat in the race. He’s been a long-time supporter of gay rights with one big exception: his vote in 1996 in favor of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

We offer some background to an interview he gave LGBT Weekly where he explained why he couldn’t imagine why gays wanted to get married: “as a heterosexual person who’s been married, you can take quite a cynical view of marriage and wonder why would you want to – the last one took all my money; all my property. I mean if it doesn’t work out; then you’ve got to get divorced. As someone who’s been divorced a couple of times — and I don’t mean to make light of it — but I took it as … like why would you want this?”

Someone should tell his fiancee about this.

The Perilous Promise of Pension Bonds

Filner’s support of a controversial plan to manage the city’s liabilities to its employees pension system made it into the LA Times. The paper looks at how “local governments are increasingly borrowing money to cover their (pension) obligations — exploiting a loophole in federal law that allows them to issue taxable bonds without seeking voter approval.”

The idea of pension bonds was dismissed as a “quick fix” back in 2006, and Mayor Jerry Sanders didn’t like the idea. Check our story from back then — yup, we were here — for background.

U-T CEO: They Love the Waterfront Plan! Them: Meh

U-T CEO John Lynch likes to say that the paper has gotten a “a great deal of support” for its mammoth plan to remake the waterfront — from labor, the Chargers, county leaders, the next mayor and the governor. Lynch likes to say it a lot — he brought it up several times during 10 minutes at a forum yesterday.

So is it true? No matter how many times he says it, not really.

“Two months after the newspaper unveiled a vision for the city’s downtown waterfront south of the Convention Center and said time was of the essence in adopting it, no elected officials have formally endorsed the plan, adopted it as their own and started advocating for it. Some have signaled that they’d be open to it, but say it’s lacking so many details they haven’t formed concrete opinions,” our reporter Rob Davis writes. Even the U-T complained that no key players were talking about it.

Our writer and CEO Scott Lewis predicted several weeks ago this lack of momentum would provoke the paper to attack its chief obstacle right now: The port. 

Fletcher’s Defection Bounce

A 10News/Survey USA poll has some good news for Nathan Fletcher after the assemblyman defected from the Republican Party while heading into the home stretch in the race for mayor. But his team has blasted those 10News/Survey USA polls in the past. 

Fletcher’s big decision has provoked a David Brooks column in The New York Times. Brooks finds Fletcher absolutely dreamy and quotes Scott Lewis about changes in the local Republican Party. 

How the DA Supports Nonprofits

District Attorney and mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis tried to woo an audience of nonprofit types this week by saying

“I also provide funding to many nonprofit organizations by taking money from drug dealers and seizing their assets and giving it back to the nonprofits.” San Diego Fact Check finds that her claim is true.

Tapping the Brain-Boosting Power of Music

Local scientists are using a group of young Chula Vista music students to help them “match both brain imaging — what physically changes in our brains — with cognitive and behavioral testing — what effects those changes would have,” writes our arts editor Kelly Bennett.

The scientists won’t just track the kids as they learn to play music. They’ll also monitor children as they learn martial arts and keep track of a control group of kids who don’t engage in either activity.

It’s what the research world calls a prospective study: following people over time as they do (or don’t do) something and seeing what happens. Compared to a retrospective study, which looks backward, this kind of research offers more reliable results. The challenge for the researchers will be to make sure the kids in the various groups are as similar as possible so the findings aren’t thrown off by, say, lots of nerdy and impatient clarinet players.

Our story has more details, and you’ll be able to read even more as we dig deeper into this research project.   

Why Gas Prices Give You Gas

Remember Bill? You may know him better as I’m Just a Bill. I think he lived near Conjunction Junction. Well, meet another denizen of fantasyland: Gordon the Gas Drop.

For the month of March, we decided to let readers pick what topic we chose for our weekly San Diego Explained segment. You can see all of them here

This week, we break down why gas prices are so high in San Diego compared to other places. 

You see, Gordon the Gas Drop has a long way to travel to get to your gas tank, and it costs a lot of money to get him here. People often wonder: Does he travel first class (like San Diego port district officials)? Why can’t he just take the bus?

Catherine Garcia of NBC 7 San Diego and our somewhat-less-fetching Scott Lewis tracked the intricacies of Gordon’s voyage from places like… Angola?

Young Businessman on His School Board Bid

San Diego has a long history of young public officials, from 20-something councilmembers (including at least one future — and maverick-y — mayor) to an under-30 mayor or two. Now, a 26-year-old Clairemont native is hoping to bounce San Diego school board member John Lee Evans from his position in the upcoming election.  

Jared Hamilton, who just graduated college, tells us about his goals in an interview. He’s not a fan of required union membership, promotes “one-on-one interaction” with schools and likes the idea of supporting schools through fundraising.

We’ve interviewed other new candidates for the board: Bill Ponder, who wants to take Shelia Jackson’s Southeastern San Diego seat and Mark Powell, who’s also running for Evans’ seat. 

Remember, no matter where you live in the district, you have a say in each board seat. The top two candidates in each neighborhood face a district-wide vote in November. 

Arrogant Anchorman (Fictional, of Course) Will Be Back

The rude whale jibe and “Stay classy, San Diego” will return! Comedian Will Ferrell went on TV in character  as 1970s local anchor Paul Bloom — er, I mean, Ron Burgundy — to announce that there will be an “Anchorman 2.”

In Burgundy’s words: “I want to announce this to everyone here in the Americas. To my friends, in Spain, Turkey and the U.K., including England … as of 0900 Mountain Time, Paramount Pictures and myself, Ronald Joseph Aaron Burgundy, have come to terms on a sequel for ‘Anchorman.’ It is official, there will be a sequel to ‘Anchorman.’”

Earlier this week, I broke out the fondue pot in honor of the season premiere of “Mad Men.” When “Anchorman 2” debuts, we should all together and dance to disco while wearing bell-bottoms. We even have a name for that in Hillcrest: “Friday night.”

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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