Back in 2006, the agency that runs Lindbergh Field warned that an overcrowded-airport doomsday was near unless voters supported the idea of building a new facility. In fact, it said, take-offs and landings were expected to grow by 30 percent by 2015 and hopelessly congest the place by 2022.

Voters said nope, no new airport. Now, 2015 is a lot nearer. Is this dire scenario coming true? San Diego Fact Check, which is examining promises and warnings from the past, finds the actual trend is not complying with the fear.

“As the housing bubble burst and the economy tanked, takeoffs and landings dropped sharply,” our Rob Davis writes. “Last year, they reached their lowest level since 1986 (186,000). That’s about 48,000 fewer takeoffs and landings than the authority had projected by now in its worst-case scenario.”

At least one local politician, George Plescia, saw our update as vindication that he’d done the right thing in opposing the new airport plans in 2006.

The airport is in the throes of a major renovation implemented after the failed ballot initiative. Check our recent Q&A with airport authority chairman Robert Gleason for details and answers to my persnickety questions like “Will the airport ever give passengers a break in terms of $5 bottles of water and other jacked-up prices?”

• You know the Pinocchio icons that we’ve used to denote our Fact Check verdicts? Well, they’re no longer with us. (Just tell the kids that they’ve been sent to a nice farm in the country.)

The icons are cute, but the problem was that Pinocchio is associated with lying (and being a rather wooden speaker too, but never mind). Someone who gets a “false” claim might not be misstating the truth on purpose.

Now, we’ve debuted new icons, including a nifty one for our “Huckster Propaganda” verdict.  

One VOSD member, Benjamin Katz, threatened to start a petition to bring Pinocchio back and there were other jokes and complaints about the new badges. Give them some time.

Arts Report: Eight Times a Week

Think your job’s hard? Try performing on stage eight days a week in three different roles. That’s the job of a 28-year-old actor at the Old Globe this summer during the theater’s Shakespeare festival in repertory.  

The U-T has the story about how he does it. We’ve got a link to the article and much more in this week’s Arts Report, a roundup of all things artsy and cultural. A few highlights: Gowns and chandeliers from unusual materials, a not-so-silent silent composition, and summer  opera.  

Chargers Not Top on LA’s List

Will the Chargers ever get around to moving to Los Angeles? Sports writer Sam Farmer of the LA Times examines whether the Bolts will bolt and finds reason for skepticism about any action soon: “The Chargers have been looking for a stadium solution for a decade and haven’t jumped at anything so far. They aren’t losing money where they are, and their franchise has only increased in value. Patience has its benefits.”

For background, check our2010 interview with sports writer Farmer.

• The U-T explores whether Mayor Jerry Sanders will make an endorsement in the mayor’s race. If he does, he might do it while holding his nose: He’s had an unpleasant relationship with one candidate, while the other one is from the opposite political party and has vigorously opposed some of his signature projects.  

The U-T provides some historical perspective, suggesting that someone spent a lot of time poring over old newspaper microfilm: no mayor has endorsed a successor in the last 40 years except for Sanders, who stood behind the district attorney in the June primary. She lost.  

• The Fat City property in downtown, famous for its landmark pink restaurant, is being sold to a developer to become a hotel, the U-T reports. For background, check a U-T story from March and report from our own Scott Lewis on this and other development issues.

• At San Diego’s average salary of about $52,000 a year, it’ll take almost 15 years to save up enough for just the down payment on a typical home here, Atlantic Cities reports. (It cautions that there are caveats to this calculation, and your financial mileage may vary.)

• Washingtonian Magazine is out with its “Best & Worst of Congress” feature (available via iPad) based on a big survey of DC insiders. A pair of San Diego congressmen make the top of lists on the House side, beating hundreds of colleagues.  

One’s not a surprise: it’s Rep. Darrell Issa as the Best Tweeter. (He’s also No. 2 on the “Showhorse” list.) But the other one isn’t so expected. It’s Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, son of the ex-congressman. He’s tied for top Party Animal.

Well, well. Maybe he’ll drink to that?

• When I’m not serving as your brilliant yet humble VOSD scribe, I write for several other news outlets and volunteer as an advocate for independent journalists. You can listen to me talk about books, publishing and writing this morning at 9:30 a.m. on KUCI-FM’s “Writers on Writing” program. The show, on an Orange County public radio station, will also be available later via an audio archive.

• Giant pandas are the Greta Garbos of the animal world: they just want be alone. But not always, since then there would be no little pandas. Now, researchers at the San Diego Zoo have gained new insight into how they choose which trees to mark with their scent when they want to hang out.

What will evolution bring next? My guess: singles bars in whatever their equivalent of Pacific Beach is. Hey pretty panda, what’s your scent mark?  

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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