David C. Copley, the son of two newspaper moguls who led what often seemed to be a difficult life in the spotlight and finally sold his treasured San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009, died last night at the age of 60.

Copley died after a car accident near his home in La Jolla, the U-T reports. He may have suffered a medical emergency that prompted a collision with a parked car.

As the U-T story puts it, his family’s name “is synonymous with San Diego”: “The Copley name graces the Copley Symphony Hall in downtown, Copley Plaza in Balboa Park and the Copley Family YMCA in City Heights and the Copley Building at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s downtown location.”

Copley, who became publisher of the U-T and chairman of the wider Copley Press newspaper chain in 2001, was a major philanthropist and social scene mainstay who embraced the trappings of wealth, including a private plane and yacht. In 2006, Forbes listed him as a billionaire.

He never seemed comfortable as a public figure, however, and was the eternal subject of gossip, much of it malicious.

Gerry Braun, a former U-T columnist who now works for the city, tweeted this last night: “I saw a happy, healthy David Copley at the library event Saturday night. He was a kind, shy, misunderstood soul. May he rest in peace.”

City May Scuttle Filner Plans

Mayor-Elect Bob Filner wants to spend an extra $20 million on police and fire protection. He dreams of new fire stations, an upgraded 911 system and even a remodeled firing range for cops.

He wants to take the money out of a legal settlement. But as our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon explains, the current short-timer mayor already has plans for those dollars.  

• Dillon appeared on a local radio show to discuss why the city’s roads are actually getting worse despite all the happy talk about spending on repairs.

For background, check our in-depth report on the city’s repeated broken promises.

Mayor Misses Mark on Surplus

“All told, we will leave the next mayor with a combined surplus of nearly $120 million over the next five years,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said in an April press release. “That’s money that can be used for more library hours and to hire more police officers and firefighters.”

Is that true? It’s an important claim to check because Sanders is leaving office on a wave of pride about how he’s fixed many of the city’s problems.

San Diego Fact Check finds that the claim is misleading. Deficits, not surpluses, are quite possible according to new findings.

‘Meeting of the Minds’: The Young Percussionist

We’re introducing you to the shining stars of Balboa Park who will appear at our Meeting of the Minds” event next week. One of them is 20-year-old Marcos Espinosa, who plays a variety of percussion instruments like the drum kit, triangle and timpani.

“He auditioned for the San Diego Youth Symphony and got into its Sinfonia ensemble, which meets on Saturday mornings in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado, in a big classroom off of the building’s courtyard,’ writes our Kelly Bennett in a brief story about him. “Now each Saturday, Espinosa’s parents drop his siblings off at their own orchestra rehearsal in Mexico and bring him across the border and into the park for his.”  

The Culture Report Talks Turkey

Here, turkey turkey turkey! Or… Yo, Turkey Lurkey! Wanna warm up at my place and then join me for dinner?

Those are my best approximations of turkey calls. You can hear better if you tune in to a local sound effects master’s annual “Turkey Calling” live radio show, the La Jolla Light reports.

We have details about this event and plenty of others in our weekly Culture Report (the roundup formerly known as the Arts Report). Click here and you can read about an autism-friendly performance of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, mixed reviews of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” at the La Jolla Playhouse and a band that produces “some of the hardest, grimiest, most unbelievably dope beats ever to come out of San Diego.”

Man, I can never find a hipster-talk translator when I need one.

Letters: Fertilizer, Red Lights and More

In a letter roundup, readers discuss getting rid of the La Jolla Cove stench (turn the dung into a one-stop shop for fertilizer), supporting better health at Tri-City Medical Center, and “embellishing the past with an eye for the future” in downtown.

We also hear from parents of a woman killed in an accident about keeping the red-light camera program.

And readers write to support the state initiative process and urge support for “a rare opportunity to protect beautiful unspoiled lands in my backyard of north San Diego County.”

Quick News Hits

• The GOP is even in trouble in Orange County, says the LA Times.

• Chargers merchandise will once again be 15 percent off on Black Friday, coming up later this week. The U-T compiled some of the choicest responses: “Seems right, they are only giving 15% on the field anyway right?” “Do you have any brown paper bags with the eye holes already cut out?” “It should be called the 7 points off sale.”

• It’s getting so local celebrities can’t pump gas without getting attention from amateur papparazi. That’s the lesson learned by a part-time San Diegan named Mitt Romney: At least two denizens of the social-media world say they captured photos of him at a La Jolla gas station, Business Insider reports.

As an extremely prominent, beloved and influential San Diegan myself (Editor’s note: Fact Check!), I’d like a piece of this action. Let me know if you’d like to get a special email alert the next time I go to the Arco around the block.  

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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