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We called her San Diego’s “most powerful politician,” a woman who fended off the old boys’ club to work her way up from the typing pool to a judgeship and then the district attorney’s job. But her upward trajectory stopped on Election Day. In a revealing interview, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis allocates some blame, throws a few political punches and sees a dicey future ahead for her adopted city.

Dumanis admits that she’s not sure she “articulated well enough what the difference was between running a large city and being a CEO and what a legislator does.” That was one of the subtler of many digs at Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who presumably drew votes from Dumanis. Neither made it into November’s run-off.

“For instance, now that Nathan and I are not in the race, I would like to see if there is going to be any company that’s going to hire him as a CEO with no experience,” she adds. Dumanis has more to spill: she says Fletcher promised her that he wouldn’t run.

Dumanis said no one told her to leave the race and she sees it as a victory of sorts: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that people are glad I’m staying the DA. I don’t take it as a loss, but as more of a re-election to DA.”

And she says she’s worried about the city’s future with the two candidates who advanced.

For more about the election, listen to the latest edition of VOSD Radio, which examines the new local GOP and the left’s struggles.

Council Won’t Entirely Boost Public Document Fees

The city will increase the cost of some government records, but the City Council refused to go as far as the mayor’s office recommended. “Whatever revenue we may gain, we will lose in public trust and I don’t think that’s worthwhile,” said Councilman Todd Gloria.

The mayor had wanted to start charging 25 cents per page for scanning documents and 70 cents per minute for copying data. The latter fee works out to $42 an hour.

Now, the city will charge 25 cents per page for paper copies.

Teacher Layoffs at Ground Level

Our reporter Will Carless is heading out to three schools this week to gain a greater understanding of how the massive layoffs will affect teachers, students and administrators.

Another Politician Lost for Arts Community

There’s more than one arts-friendly politician who’s stepping down this year. We look at the legacy of Mayor Jerry Sanders and explore the positions of his potential replacements.   

On the Roof’s Edge, a Crooked House Looms

Last fall, we told you about the construction of a very unusual art project — an off-kilter New England-style cottage designed to sit on the edge of a UCSD office building as if it had just dropped from the sky. Now, the dizzy-making “Fallen Star,” part of UCSD’s Stuart Collection, is open to visitors.  

Manchester’s Hopes Didn’t Register in OC

For a while, it seemed like hotel magnate and U-T owner Doug Manchester had plans to buy just about every newspaper in Southern California outside of the Pennysaver. Word spread that he had eyes on the big papers in Orange County, Riverside County and even our own North County.

Well, he can delete one paper from his buy list. The Orange County Register, the main newspaper to the north of us, has been sold, but not to Manchester. The LA Times has the details.

• Meanwhile, the U-T has made a deal with Cox Cable to broadcast its U-T TV channel on its digital feed. U-T TV, whose online-only debut has been rocky, will appear on Channel 114 starting next month.  

Also: A NY Times piece this week notes that the U-T attacked the port district in its news coverage after the port snorted at the newspaper’s grand waterfront plan. Matthew Hall, a U-T reporter-turned-columnist, wrote the story in question and defends himself in a blog post. He says the impetus for the story came from an online comment (as opposed to, I assume, a mandate from his overseers).

If you missed the big U-T flap over its sacked sports columnist, check our story from last week. It leads our list of the most popular VOSD stories of the week.  

Quick News Hits

• The Atlantic Cities questions the boon in the construction and expansion of convention centers around the country, like San Diego’s. The problem? “There aren’t really enough conventions to go around. The actual number of conventions hosted in the U.S. has fallen over the last decade. Attendance at the 200 largest conventions peaked at about 5 million in the mid-1990s and has fallen steadily since then.”

• The U-T checks the temperature of residents in Alpine and finds that they’ve been jolted by SDG&E’s messy power line project : “The 18-month project left a bitter aftertaste. It also transformed many in town and across the sprawling backcountry. Residents say it hardened their resolve to challenge other projects that threaten their quiet, countrified ways.”

The what? Amid all those satellite dishes, hot tubs and high-tech schools in the boonies, it may be tough to imagine what these “quiet, countrified ways” actually are. I’m just going to assume the Green Acres song is true and there’s fresh air and “land spreadin’ out so far and wide” in “that countryside.”

Maybe someone in Valley Center or Lakeside could send me a postcard?

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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