Rep. Bob Filner continued to scorch his opponent, Councilman Carl DeMaio, yesterday over the late-night squirt-gun fight that damaged the iconic Balboa Park lily pond. But Filner’s main charges simply don’t hold water, Liam Dillon writes.

Filner did say a few accurate things, but they don’t support his claim that DeMaio’s partner, Johnathan Hale, had anything directly to do with a water-gun event that went rogue.

The flap occupied part of a scheduled debate and spilled over into a tense confrontation between Filner and a DeMaio campaign operative who unleashed a creative bit of verbiage: he called Filner “a lying sack of marbles.” Dillon recounts the scene.

Meanwhile, cops plan more patrols of the park at night, the U-T reports, after news that they knew of the water gun fight but didn’t think it would be a problem. The first event occurred last year at the fountain next to the space theater but apparently caused no issues; this time, participants moved to the lily pond because the fountain wasn’t on.

The Plan to Stop Balboa Park Remodel Moves Forward

As expected, the Save Our Heritage Organisation preservationist group has sued the city to block a makeover of Balboa Park that would bring a bypass road from Cabrillo Bridge, a pedestrian-free plaza between the museum of art and the organ pavilion, and an underground paid parking structure.

We’ve got a breakdown of what SOHO will be arguing in court. Among their points: it says an 1870 law requires the park to forever be a “free and public park.” Does that mean all parking must be free, even though museums and the zoo charge admission and it costs money to buy food and gifts and to get valet parking?

Fact-Checking the Bolts

Football season is almost here, and we’re celebrating by compiling the 15 Fact Checks we’ve published over the years related to the Chargers and their stadium search. They examine claims about the prospect of the Bolts leaving town, the public money that could go to build a new football stadium and the state of the stadium itself.

We even examined a claim by former running back LaDainian Tomlinson about the team’s change in focus from running to passing. Did the team really ditch its running game? We investigated.

SD Explained: City Schools’ Tax Increase

San Diego Explained takes a gander at the bond measure that voters in the San Diego Unified School District will consider in November.

The district wants to raise $2.8 billion for construction by boosting property taxes by $60, annually, per each $100,000 of assessed value.

Quick News Hits

• The whooping cough vaccine is failing at a higher rate than expected, reports KBPS. Children across the country may need yet another booster shot, which would be the seventh.

• A government agency that represents utility customers says SDG&E and Southern California Edison ratepayers shouldn’t have to cough up $54 million a month to pay for the offline San Onofre nuclear power plant, the NC Times reports. The law says the power companies could stop socking customers with the costs as of this fall, but the agency thinks it’s time to get the ball rolling now.

• The ACLU wants to hold a Sept. 25 event in Escondido, which has become the poster child for local civil-liberties disputes thanks to debates over Latino rights and illegal immigrants. There was a hitch, however: the city requires 60 days notice to provide a permit, so it told the ACLU to forget about it.

Now, the NC Times reports, the ACLU says the city’s policy violates the Constitution by wrongly restraining free speech.  

• The U-T quoted the opinions of its CEO, John Lynch, in a story about the port district’s decision to approve a long-term lease with the Dole company. The paper, which has bitterly criticized the board, earlier editorialized against the deal; publisher Doug Manchester is pushing a mega-project on the waterfront.

A port commissioner complained that Manchester didn’t bother to show up at the meeting: “To shout them out from their bully pulpit that we are slapping them in the face or not considering their opinions when they don’t grace us with the opportunity to state it in the public record misunderstands the nature of a public agency.”

• The sports world is buzzing about the San Diego Aztecs football coach and his plan — hypothetical, for the moment — to take big risks when his team is in opposing territory. How big of a risk? Well, Rocky Long is intrigued by the idea of never giving up the ball through punting, or even through a field goal, when his players are within a foe’s 50-yard line. (U-T)

In other words, keep pushing for a first down — or, of course, a touchdown — even if it’s fourth down. An economist once advocated for a similar approach in the NFL, but traditional coaches scoffed at the idea.

• Here’s one for the And You Thought You Were Having a Bad Day file: a showering woman in a Logan Heights apartment building fell out a bathroom window and into a shaft, where firefighters came to her rescue. (U-T)

• A San Diego State professor and colleagues analyzed millions of books published from 1900-2008 and found that female pronouns got a lot more use over the years, possibly because their status in society grew, KPBS reports. But male pronouns are still twice as common as female ones.

The researchers also looked at books published since 1960 and found that uses of “I” and “me” have grown, while “you” and “your” are way up. The professor thinks this is because we’re more focused on ourselves and our concerns.  

Huh. Sounds like some people are really self-obsessed. That’s a shame. Well, enough about my opinions. Let’s talk about yours. What do you think of my opinions?

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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