Bike-sharing programs work like this: you walk up to an unmanned station where bikes are securely parked, swipe your card and take a bike. Then return it to any station around town once you are done with it. The details vary, but programs nationwide in cities like Washington D.C. and Boston are all very similar. Now, the bike sharing magic may be coming to San Diego.

“San Diego will join the growing group of urban areas across the country and world with bike-sharing programs by next spring if an ambitious plan by Mayor Jerry Sanders comes to fruition,” reports our contributing editor, Andrew Donohue. “On Monday, Sanders will stage a demo at Petco Park from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow people to test different kinds of bikes and for potential vendors to show off how their systems work.”

Donohue goes on to note how the city could potentially make money off the program, unlike the programs in other cities. He interviews several local bike enthusiasts, including Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who threw a spotlight on biking when he was campaigning for mayor.

“The city already has a car-sharing program, Car2Go, that’s become by all accounts a success. Combine that with a successful bike program, and you could have a thriving alternative or at least a complement to the urban core’s incomplete public transit system,” Donohue writes.

How a Park Gets a Hospital

How did a big navy hospital wind up in the middle of a public park? We’ve been looking into the history of changes and controversies in Balboa Park, and recently wrote about how the hospital and park have been forced to coexist. Our Kelly Bennett teamed up with NBC San Diego to explain the odd pairing in the latest San Diego Explained.

Your Letters

Our readers wrote in to tell us what was on their minds, including commiserations about U-T San Diego, complaints about sirens, an appeal for the La Jolla seals and some thoughts on a local poet who caused a stir when she wrote that ours is a “city without charisma.” We look forward to receiving our readers’ letters, so let us know what you have to say.

No Stadium Plan for Sanders

If he had his druthers, Mayor Jerry Sanders would like to have finished a financing plan for a new downtown Chargers’ stadium before he left office, so voters could consider it in 2013. But U-T San Diego reports that a little downtown parking lot called Tailgate Park has threatened the planned stadium altogether and almost certainly pushed out presentation of potential financing plans until 2014.

“The state’s decision to end redevelopment has put the fate of Tailgate Park, a 1,040-space parking lot next to Petco Park, in question as the city may have to put the site up for sale to the highest bidder rather than include a portion of it as part of the 14-acre footprint needed to build a new $1 billion stadium,” reports the U-T.

Our Liam Dillon wonders if the parking lot is really the problem, though. “Does anyone buy the ‘it’s the state’s fault’ argument? Real reason for no Chargers stadium report: No one wants to talk about it. The candidates/Chargers aren’t ready & it’s too late for Sanders,” he wrote on Twitter.

UCAN’t Find Any Records

It wasn’t so long ago that we reported on woes at the Utility Consumers’ Action Network, a consumer advocacy organization that found itself mired in allegations of wrongdoing earlier this year. The organization dissolved under those allegations and financial pressures.

Now, the U-T reports that whole troves of UCAN’s financial records from 2006 to 2012 are missing. Finger-pointing has already begun, but the organization’s existence may lie in the balance. “The apparent lack of records may complicate the consumer group’s efforts to reorganize after filing for dissolution in San Diego Superior Court earlier this year,” the U-T says.

San Onofre Still Powerless

“It will be on the order of months,” said Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane, referring to how long it will take to review reports of problems and plans for the San Onofre nuclear plant. The Los Angeles Times reported that any restart plan would only be for only one of the reactors.

The California Independent System Operator, which runs California’s power grid, is already planning for a second summer season without power from San Onofre, reports the U-T.

To understand what went wrong at San Onofre, read our in-depth report and watch this video explainer.

News Nibbles

  • KPBS dives into the impasse at local classical music org Orchestra Nova. Beyond salary negotiations, one of the sticking points for orchestra leadership is a desire to hire musicians who will play with emotion.

    Orchestra Nova artistic director Jung-Ho Pak: “Bottom line is what happens on stage needs to be as electric as Mick Jagger on stage or Lady Gaga because that’s essentially who we’re competing against.”

  • NBC San Diego reports that squirrels on Palomar Mountain still have the plague (also known as The Black Death, for those of us old enough to remember). So don’t try to… cuddle with them, or anything.

  • Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday afternoon while undisclosed “personnel matters” are reviewed, reported the North County Times.

  • 2011 saw 392,000 people removed from the country for being here illegally, reports KPBS. That’s near an all-time high, yet no groups on either side of the immigration issue are celebrating it. “Republicans don’t want to mention it because it makes Obama look good on immigration enforcement. And Democrats don’t want to mention it because it makes Obama look bad on immigration enforcement,” writes KPBS.

Delayed Release

Forty-two years after it was filmed in La Jolla, Andy Warhol’s movie San Diego Surf will finally be screened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

According to the website, “it was filmed in color on 16mm with two cameras, manned by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, and featured Superstars Viva, Taylor Mead, Louis Waldon, Joe Dallesandro, Tom Hompertz, Ingrid Superstar, and Eric Emerson, plus Nawana Davis and others. Its loose narrative concerns an unhappily married couple (Taylor Mead and Viva) with a baby who rent their beach house to a group of surfers.”

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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