Picture it: You’re Bob Filner or Carl DeMaio. How do you get the most votes in the November election? Do you pump up your base (some neighborhoods north of I-8 for DeMaio, south for Filner)? Or do you head for the middle ground, hoping to swing votes your way? If you think the latter approach is best, you’ve got to head to one place: Clairemont.

“As both candidates attempt to move to the middle on issues, watch them target the city’s geographic middle, too,” writes our Liam Dillon in a primer on Clairemont’s potentially crucial role.

VOSD Radio looks at the mayor’s race so far — and moving ahead.

Fact Check TV Examines Outsourcing Claim

Outsourcing is a big issue at City Hall, with some critics saying the city needs to save tons of money by privatizing its services and getting municipal unions out of the picture. How’s that going? City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says city workers have won every time they’ve bid against the private sector in an effort to provide public services.

Have they? Fact Check TV finds they sure have.

No ‘Goon Squad’ at U-T, Says U-T Scribe

The U-T is under plenty of scrutiny as it plows forward under new ownership, even drawing the critical attention of the august NY Times.

It’s no secret that the paper’s political leanings are much more obvious than ever before, but has the newsroom itself been infected by some sort of terrible anti-integrity virus? Nope, writes U-T columnist Logan Jenkins.

Jenkins complains of a “paranoid local meme” that the paper will hit public agencies that don’t toe the line and calls it a “lazy, lurid take”: “Carr offers no persuasive evidence that the U-T news staff has been turned into a goon squad.”

• Our post about the NY Times article on the U-T, by the way, placed at No. 3 on our weekly hit parade list of the most-read news items on our site. At the top spot: A Q&A with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Quick News Hits

• Federal regulators think they know what caused the problems that forced the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant, the AP reports: design flaws that severely weakened tubes that carry radioactive water.

One of the tubes broke back in January and released radiation. “A team of federal investigators was dispatched to the plant in March after the discovery that some tubes were so badly corroded that they could fail and possibly release radiation, a stunning finding inside the virtually new equipment,” the AP says.

The nuclear plant is still shut down, raising questions about whether the region can make it through hot summer days without cutting off power.

• Local gas prices have dipped under $4 for the first time since February, KPBS reports.

• The estimated cost of a Carlsbad plant that would pull the salt out of seawater and a pipeline has risen to almost $1 billion, the U-T reports. That’s much, much higher than initially proposed.

For background, check our look at the top environmental stories pending in 2012.  

• SDG&E’s mammoth power line in the backcountry is up and running, the U-T reports, after beating back opposition from the environmental community. It’s heralded as a boon for green energy, but it won’t be one just yet.  

• Local gas prices have dipped under $4 for the first time since February, KPBS reports.

• A report says the controversial Bridgepoint higher education company pumped more than $1 billion into the local economy in 2011, the U-T reports.

Bridgepoint funded the economic boosters who issued the $25,000 report. For background on the many questions surrounding Bridgepoint, check our in-depth reporting from last year.

• Yesterday’s Morning Report included a link to a bitter battle over bicyclists in San Francisco (one allegedly killed a man through careless riding) and noted my observation of lawless cyclists in our own fair city. This set off a scuffle in our comments and on Twitter.

“I’m a careful and law-abiding cyclist, but in a city where I am clearly not welcome on the streets and illegal on the sidewalk, I can understand why some riders don’t see themselves as subject to the rules,” writes commenter Peter Schrock.

Dorian Hargrove, a reporter at the Reader who advocates for helmets after suffering a nearly deadly brain injury without one, had this to say on Twitter: “I’m all for cycling. Some, just like some drivers, need to show courtesy. I’ve seen some lame cyclists, as well as drivers.” Meanwhile, CityBeat scribe John Lamb pointed out that pedestrians are the most vulnerable folks on the road: “I like the idea of everybody just obeying the dang laws. Walkers, too! :)”

The real potential victims? I say they’re the buildings. Cars around here seem to drive into them about every other day. “And who benefits there? Yep, those developer folks again,” joked Lamb.

Meanwhile, I plan to support cyclists today by waving my arms and honking loudly whenever I see one. What could go wrong?

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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