Want a new park in your San Diego neighborhood? You can do the right thing to get one — huddle with city officials, promote your dream on social media and even get a pledge from a council member.

That’s just what skateboards did in City Heights in their bid for a new skate park. So what happened? Nothing. There’s no money available.    

“San Diego’s city government has built a park system where expansion in some dense, urban neighborhoods is dependent on a Catch-22. The city won’t fully prioritize building a park unless it’s funded — but the city has kept the fees that generate money for parks low to attract developers to communities needing revitalization,” explains reporter Megan Burks of our news partner Speak City Heights.

You can read her story here and learn about the possible good news for the skaters.

Council Candidate: Pensions, Pensions, Pensions!

Ray Ellis, who’s running against incumbent Councilwoman Sherri Lightner for her seat serving La Jolla and nearby neighborhoods, could give the GOP a majority on the City Council if he wins.

So what are his big issues? It’s more like one big issue: pensions for city employees. He wants to cut them. “When asked to define his position on other issues, Ellis frequently steers the conversation toward pensions. He cites pension numbers, such as the estimated amount of money the city expects to pay next year, more often than other statistics like the number of cops on patrol or library hours.”

Our story takes a closer look at his position on pensions and his laser focus on them.

Filner Public Safety Plan Has Big Obstacles

Rep. Bob Filner, who’s running for mayor, yesterday debuted a big plan to hire dozens of new cops, make it easier for firefighters to get to emergencies quicker, and more. He has details about how he’d do this, but they’re legally questionable.

Strippergate Saga Continues with Lawsuit

“Former City Councilman Michael Zucchet is suing his main accuser in the San Diego City Hall strip club investigation, contending bombshell testimony that Zucchet received a $10,000 cash bribe was totally made up,” the U-T reports.

The suit alleges that the accuser, who’d owned a strip club, wanted to get better treatment from prosecutors.

The Strippergate scandal preoccupied the City Council for years and led to several convictions. Zucchet was among the convicted but a judge acquitted him on several charges and the others were ultimately thrown out.

Mayor Drops Another F-Bomb

CityBeat was on hand to watch Mayor Jerry Sanders talk to “a champagne-fueled, fawning cadre of elected officials, political players and pay-to-play members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

As we’ve noted, the mayor has a way with naughty words. But not that evening, he promised: “I am not throwing the f-bombs tonight, no matter how much you want me to. Because I’ve changed.”

And then, of course, he let one fly.

The soiree, by the way, also featured a snippet of the infamous appearance by “Jerry Sanders, Mayor, San Diego” in a NSFW segment on the raunchy TV show “South Park” earlier this year. 

Going Nuclear over San Onofre

Supporters (including employees) and opponents of the San Onofre nuclear power plant confronted one another at a raucous meeting held by nuclear regulators. The restart of one of its shut-down reactors is “far from a done deal,” an official said.

KPBS, the U-T and the LA Times have coverage.

Quick News Hits

• The city is going to pay more for water, but it won’t hike rates for customers, perhaps all the way through 2014, the mayor says. (U-T)

• It was legal, and not libelous, for a mother and grandmother to go online and refer to a child’s San Diego father as a “criminal and a deadbeat dad” who “may be taking steroids,” a federal appeal court ruled, Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports.

• It’s not too surprising that elementary school students in Encinitas, one of the county’s most liberal-friendly communities, would take part in yoga classes on campus. But here’s a twist: parents are complaining that the schools are pushing Hindu “religious practices” and indoctrinating kids.

It’s like Nazi Germany over there, with kids being bullied if they don’t take part, says one parent. Nonsense, says the school district. (NC Times)

• A business coach recently blogged about her experience at her local Starbucks in Point Loma, where she watched manager Gieselle Gaines deal deftly with various customers.

The post made its way to the CEO of Starbucks, who personally called Gaines with an invitation.

And it wasn’t one to get him coffee.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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