After six years with VOSD, our reporter Rob Davis is leaving Friday and he’s made a pretty hefty proposition to our readers: Donate $10,000 by this weekend and he will donate his last week’s pay.

Donate here if, like Rob, you want to help fund the future of investigative, in-depth journalism in San Diego.

Fact Check: Is Filner a Chronic No-Show?

People understand what it means when you don’t show up at work.

Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio is hoping to get some mileage out of this logic in his campaign against Rep. Bob Filner for San Diego’s top political office. “Sadly, Bob Filner has one of the worst attendance records in Congress. Missed nearly 60 percent of the votes this year alone,” claims the narrator in a recent DeMaio advertisement attacking Filner’s record.

He’s right — Filner’s seat in the nation’s capital spent a good part of the last two years collecting dust.

DeMaio used this approach with success against Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the primary and he’s hoping for a repeat knockout. He’s counting on the simple wisdom that if you don’t show up for your job, maybe a job ought not show up for you.

But like most rhetoric on the campaign trail, things are not exactly what they seem. Reporter Liam Dillon ran the accusation through his Fact Check decoder and discovered some interesting details about the delicate dance in balancing a campaign with political responsibility.

Hedges Are Hedges, Unless They’re Art

Sometimes landscaping is more than just a bunch of bushes. In this case, it is one of San Diego’s most highly anticipated new art installations.

Local artist Robert Irwin made his mark in public art displays all over Southern California and now his work will take center-stage at the new federal courthouse downtown in the form of a zig-zagging garden. VOSD has been monitoring the progress over the past few months and reporter Kelly Bennett got to witness the planting earlier this week.

The lobby of the new building will also display a decades-old Irwin sculpture that never found a permanent home. The current project is likely to be one of Irwin’s final large-scale endeavors, one of many built in San Diego during his nearly 40-year-long career in the creation of public art.

San Diego Crime Trends in 12 Graphics

Sometimes a little historical context tells a better story than any piece of news. Reporter Keegan Kyle compiled, crunched, and visualized 60 years of San Diego crime history data, revealing some interesting trends in the numbers.

Using the FBI’s crime index and information provided by the San Diego Police Department, Kyle compared local statistics to national trends in violent crimes and property crimes. It quickly becomes apparent why San Diego is routinely named in lists of America’s safest major cities, a far cry from notoriously rough years in the early 1990s.

Be sure to check out all of Kyle’s recent infographics here.

Reader Comments: Protecting the City Budget

We published a letter from reader Chris Brewster advocating for a shift in San Diego’s fiscal planning. In his letter, Brewster takes a look at the returns on city pension investments and makes the conclusion that more long-term planning could serve to alleviate some of the city’s financial woes.

A wide variety of provocative letters from our readers have been published in recent weeks. Write in with your own comments and analysis of San Diego and be part of the conversation.

DeMaio Not Straightforward on Meetings with Manchester

Candidate Carl DeMaio wasn’t exactly telling the truth when he said he had never communicated with U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester, according to KPBS.

In a personal calendar acquired by KPBS, it was revealed that DeMaio had two meetings scheduled with U-T owner Doug Manchester in December and May, shortly before the paper endorsed DeMaio in his bid for mayor. These findings conflict directly with DeMaio’s recent claim that he had only once met with the editorial board of the U-T, not Manchester. DeMaio quickly acknowledged that he had met with Manchester, although he claims campaign issues were the only item discussed.

Plan Submitted to Restart San Onofre

The Los Angeles Times reports that one reactor at San Onofre nuclear power plant will stay offline until next summer, despite a proposal submitted by Southern California Edison to restart one of the two reactors.

The plant was shut down earlier this year after equipment problems. We detailed some of the problems with the aging plant in an in-depth investigation and a San Diego Explained segment back in August.

Lavish Spending at San Diego Anti-Terror Center

An anti-terrorism center in San Diego was cited in a U.S. Senate report on Wednesday for its excessive spending, reports the U-T.

The state-operated center purchased 55 flat-screen televisions, claiming that the purchase was necessary for monitoring the news. The former director of the center was fired after spending nearly $75,000 on the purchase. The TVs were meant to be used for a training program that never happened, and were instead used to display calendars.

Throw in a few sixers, a bowl of peanuts, and a couple of Chargers posters and we might have San Diego’s best new sports bar, right? OK, maybe not.

Colin Weatherby is a freelance writer. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter at @CCWeatherby.

Colin Weatherby is a freelance writer. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @CCWeatherby.

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