The two guys running for mayor — City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Rep. Bob Filner — are keeping quiet about lots of important issues regarding the prospect of a new stadium, as our Scott Lewis explains.

He pulled out five things they’re not discussing but are implied with the promises they’re making about not burdening taxpayers with the responsibility to make the Chargers happy. They have to do with things like financing, negotiations with the Chargers and the fact that a stadium is a luxury.

• In other stadium happenings, Bloomberg News reveals it costs federal taxpayers $4 billion to subsidize sports stadiums because they’re built with municipal bonds.

Meanwhile, Forbes is out with its annual well-regarded estimates of the value of NFL teams. The Chargers are worth an estimated $936 million, up $16 million from last year.

The U-T’s Matt Hall noted something interesting from the list: “Forbes says Vikings team value jumped 22%, 49ers 19%. Why? New stadiums. That aren’t even built yet.”

When McDonalds Almost Got a Spot in Balboa Park

It’s not always easy to find food at Balboa Park, considering that several places to eat are tucked into buildings and, in some cases, pretty pricey.

So how about a cheap fast-food joint? Like, say, a Micky D’s?

Don’t worry: There’s not one in the works. But back in the 1980s, McDonald’s thought it would be nice to open a restaurant in the park itself.

Our Kelly Bennett tells the story, as we follow the narrative of what made Balboa Park the way that it is now.

What We’re Learning about Filner and DeMaio

As we profile the two candidates for mayor, we’ve learned that they have plenty in common despite their deep political differences. Both men had transforming experiences as teenagers, both annoy enemies and allies, and both have had success in the nation’s capital.

Idea Tournament Proposals: Another 10

We’ve posted more of your entries in the SDG&E Idea Tournament set for Politifest: They’re about cheaper medical insurance, a unified water district unity, the Children’s Poolhow to fix potholes, an end to “nonsense” (good luck with that!), how to pay for a new stadium, Balboa Parkthe water supply, energy costs and the I-8 education gap.

At City, a Social Security Tango

As you may recall, there was plenty of hullabaloo over San Diego’s Prop. B, which promised to push almost all new city employees into 401(k) plans instead of traditional pensions. It passed.

However, legislation now on the governor’s desk — sponsored by local Assemblyman Ben Hueso, a Democrat — would require the city to put most new workers in the Social Security system.

The city’s chief operating officer, Jay Goldstone, is not a fan of the legislation, which ties the city’s hands in labor negotiations: “what might be good for one labor group may not be good for another and they should be able to decide.”

For background, read perspective from our Scott Lewis on the Social Security debate and check our latest Reader’s Guide to Prop. B.

Districts Wary of Risky Loans

Two school districts have taken action regarding how they borrow money in the wake of the hubbub over the Poway district’s unusual loan.

San Diego Unified won’t try for a similar loan if voters pass Prop. Z, a $2.8 billion bond measure on the November ballot, NBC 7 San Diego reports. Meanwhile, the board of the La Mesa-Spring Valley district, which operates elementary and middle schools, passed a policy that requires “extensive public disclosure and outside review of any district bond sales,” its president said.  

For background, watch our San Diego Explained video story on Prop. Z, learn about the San Diego school board president’s concerns about the kind of borrowing in question and read our story about the Poway district’s actions.

Quick News Hits

• CityBeat explores the plight of San Diego’s last legal marijuana dispensary, which kept the law away for nine months but finally got evicted from its home in El Cajon.

• Also in CityBeat, an editorial rips former Assemblyman George Plescia, a Republican, for the attack we linked to the other day in a state Senate race against Assemblyman Marty Block, a Democrat, regarding a legislative procedure: “misleading voters into thinking Block protects violent predators when all he did was object to a procedural maneuver that would have killed an unrelated bill is completely unfair.”

• You may be familiar with that old trope of horror movies: “They’re calling from inside the house!” That’s a bit how I felt after reading Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout’s Newsweek diatribe about the supposed emptiness of San Diego, where she grew up (in Allied Gardens) and still lives, just a few blocks from me in Normal Heights.

I expect visitors to come here and sometimes find us to be a bit vapid. But a local who should be aware of our strengths as a community? Like other readers, I managed to both nod my head at a few of her comments and be righteously annoyed at the same time.

A local who commented on the Newsweek story, however, finds much to agree with: “Armantrout’s dull criticism of the place perfectly matches the even greater vacuity of what it’s like to live here… Everyone, from your neighbors to your postman to the mayor to the tourists who plague our streets, behaves in manners appropriate to a 17 year old.”

I’m not sure anyone has ever accused hizzoner of acting like a teenager. As for me, my target age range for behavior is about 2. In a word: Noooo!  

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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