You’ve got only four days to take reporter Rob Davis up on his offer to write a check equal to his last week’s pay here if we can match it with $10,000 in donations. Make him work for free! Click here to ensure we can leverage his generous gesture. 

The limited library hours in the city of San Diego don’t make it very convenient to visit during the week, especially after work. But weekends aren’t much better. Branches are barely open, and the Central Library in downtown shuts every Saturday.

The city changed this unhappy situation for library lovers in the new fiscal year, which began July 1. The downtown branch would open Saturdays, and branches would get new expanded hours. But the new hours haven’t begun.

What happened? We assigned our new reporter Lisa Halverstadt to find out. Turns out a snafu over new hiring kept the city from increasing library hours.

Letters Don’t Stick Taxpayer with Tab, Poway School Trouble

In letters, Jerry Hall of Pacific Beach says city taxpayers get stuck with the bill when bars over-serve patrons who then go out and make trouble in a variety of ways. “You’re paying for it, like it or not,” says Hall, who calls for a crackdown on “poor bar and restaurant business operators.”

Also in letters, Bob Pacilio, a former teacher, bemoans the crowded classes in the Poway school district’s pretty buildings.  

Election Hot Spot: University City

Think of University City for a second. What comes to mind? Students and condos (or “condo hell” as UCSD students used to — and may still — call it)? UTC and traffic? The hotel that looks like an old radio?

UC has another distinction: on the political front, it’s Crossover Town USA. Our map explains why it’s in an interesting position this election season. Its residents will have a say in the region’s most intense contests. 

Arts Report: Brewery Murals on Road to Restoration

Earlier this year, we teamed up with KPBS to tell you the story of colorful murals from a 1930s Barrio Logan brewery that have languished in storage for years. Now, they’re coming out of storage.

The next step is restoration from conservators followed by installation in a Barrio Logan development in about a year. (Check our profile of an art conservator at Balboa Park for details about how these folks restore artwork from decades or centuries past.)

The mural news leads the Arts Report, our weekly look at all things artistic and cultural.

The Arts Report also links to stories about another Broadway-bound local musical, Imperial County’s iconic Salvation Mountain (which sits near the legendary Slab City) and the closure of the Sam Goody music/video store in Horton Plaza, which will shut its doors for good at the end of the month.

A writer at CityBeat won’t miss its ultra-corporate feel. But I’ll find it hard to live without its current closeout deals of 30-50 percent off. So buy buy, Sam Goody! Let us know how it is on the other side with the Wherehouse, Tower Records, Blue Meanie Records and all the rest.)  

Hi Meme!

If you’re not an Internet geek, you might be unaware of what a “meme” is. Lucky you! Instead of explaining it, let me direct you to a compilation of graphical memes that we created in September. They combine words and images in creative ways to get the point across about local news happenings.

Protest at SeaWorld

A killer whale injured at SeaWorld last month was “swimming comfortably,” a spokesman told the U-T a few days ago. That may be an exaggeration. Disturbing photos soon emerged suggesting that the animal had a serious injury.

Now, PETA is planning a protest today, the U-T reports. Meanwhile, U-T columnist Matthew Hall scorched the theme park over its ongoing attempts — despite a trainer’s death at its Orlando park — to allow trainers to be in the water with killer whales during shows.

For more, check our Readers Guide to the SeaWorld controversy and interview with the author of a new book about the dangers facing both humans and sea creatures at SeaWorld.

A Muddy Mayoral Debate on KPBS

The two mayoral candidates may have plans for San Diego’s future, but you’re forgiven if you couldn’t figure out what they were after watching KPBS’s debate this week. (Here’s the video.)

Councilman Carl DeMaio and Rep. Bob Filner spent much of their time attacking each other, with Filner taking the lead on the mudslinging front.

While it seems likely that many voters aren’t yet familiar with U-T publisher and hotel developer Doug Manchester, Filner frequently tried to link him to DeMaio. He noted that U-T CEO John Lynch had claimed support from a mayoral candidate for a plan to build a stadium on the waterfront.

Filner says he’s never met Lynch, so the candidate in question must be DeMaio. But DeMaio denied it, saying: “The U-T CEO mentioned that he got support from labor, and yet labor has not supported it, that he got support from business groups, but very few groups that are out there have supported the plan. And so I just think that the email probably was making some claims that are not grounded in reality.”

Social Security for City Workers Whether They Want It or Not

The U-T examines how the state government made a decision for future city employees and what it means. They’ll now be part of the Social Security system, which city workers abandoned decades ago.   

• Speaking of state government, are you confused by the litany of propositions on this year’s ballot? The LA Times produced a great and simple guide to them.

NCT Readers Not Enthused by U-T Purchase

So much for the welcome wagon. Readers posted several negative comments on a North County Times story about its now-official purchase by the U-T and the accompanying 80 layoffs at both papers (but mostly at the NCT).

• KPBS reports that it’s not clear if the U-T will include North County coverage seven days a week.

• The U-T is running a print ad touting its union with the NCT. It may need a geography lesson. The ad says: “Essentially , we are all San Diegans…we are a unique and vibrant city…”

Now There’s a Horror Show for You

Just in time for Halloween, UCSD is hosting a miniature film festival of scary movies from around the world. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” played last night, and a movie from filmmaker George A. Romero is on tap tonight.

Romero is most famous for a classic film. You know the one. It plays every couple years here in June and November. It’s called “Night of the Living Political Fliers.”

Aaaaa! Leave your mailbox behind and run for your lives!

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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