Dozens of amateur and professional photographers descended on Balboa Park last Saturday to capture the city’s crown jewel from as many angles as possible at one moment.

We’ve posted a selection of photos from our experiment, which mandated that pictures be taken at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.

As you’d expect, there are plenty of flowers, attractive buildings, cute canines, striking greenery and an adorable moppet or two.

This turned out to be a nifty project. Here’s hoping it can become an annual tradition, maybe with night photos next time around?  

• Eleanora Robbins, a geologist and professor at San Diego State University, took part in our photo project with a specific mission in mind: to figure out the exact location of a Native American village of the Kumeyaay people — which once stood where Balboa Park is now.

She performed some detective work, with the help of some Kumeyaay friends, and thinks she may have found the village’s home.

New Council Prez: Let’s Borrow Big

Todd Gloria, the new president of the City Council, has big dreams. And he wants voters to agree to pay for them.

“It’s time to put forward a plan for the voters consideration that would dramatically increase our investment in infrastructure, in repairing roads, sidewalks, streetlights, libraries and recreation centers,” he said yesterday.

As Liam Dillon points out, this idea has been gaining steam at City Hall for some time. Scott Lewis explained the goal of this inchoate movement a few months ago as it was coming together, led by a former city official and the Chamber of Commerce.

And we’ve compiled links to several stories about Gloria.

Filner Offers Clarity on Inauguration Day

Rep. Bob Filner… whoops, time for a title change. At his inauguration yesterday, Mayor Bob Filner laid out something unusual for him — a precise vision of the city’s future.

“For the first time in a decade, we can see the possibility of restoring city services, of rebuilding our neighborhoods and of planning for our future,” he declared. You can read a summary of his priorities in our story here.

• The U-T has more coverage of the inauguration, which featured the swearing in of several city officials, and notes that he is the oldest elected mayor in the city’s history.

• We have two new councilmen: Their names are Scott Sherman and  Mark Kersey. And we have a former councilman: His name is Carl DeMaio. (The math doesn’t add up because the council added a new seat.)

VOSD Radio: The Big Water Deal

VOSD Radio tackles the big water deal plus other topics in the world of education, elections, Tijuana sports and La Jolla-related fecal matters.

Poop Deck

Our roundup of national and local coverage of the Stench that Ate La Jolla was our most popular article of the week, according to our latest Top 10 list. Readers also flocked to stories about a post-election claim by former Councilman Carl DeMaio and the bright future — power-wise — for Councilman Gloria.  

Quick News Hits

• Jillian Hanson-Cox, the former El Cajon councilwoman who stole millions from a design company where she served as controller, was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison, the U-T reports.

“She spent a large amount of the money to book celebrity guests at El Cajon’s Mother Goose Parade during 2007 and 2008, when she transformed the small-town event into a Hollywood production,” the newspaper says.

For a closer look at the scandal, check the U-T’s wider examination of what happened. The story begins this way: “She wished for Ryan Reynolds but settled for Menudo.”

Ain’t that always the way?

• “An electrical contractor and a tree-trimming company have agreed to pay $370 million in settlement agreements for their roles in two devastating 2007 wildfires in San Diego County,” the U-T reports.

• David Copley was scheduled to be buried next to his mother last weekend, an obituary says.

• “Is it me or does our city’s new first lady look a scosh like Tanya Harding?” asks former mayoral spokesman Darren Pudgil via Twitter.

Um, it’s just you, Darren. And you get a slap on the kneecap for bringing that up.

• An icky respiratory virus prevented me from heading to Saturday’s photo spectacular at Balboa Park, and it turns out I’ve got plenty of company on the couch.

In the olden days, the best way to detect that a bug was going around was to listen for people saying “there’s a bug going around.” Now, there’s a better way: Google has a Flu Trends map that estimates the severity of flu based on the words people search for.

At the moment, the presence of flu here is ranked as moderate. It’s worst back East. And overall, signs are pointing to one nasty (and early) flu season.  

Luckily, I have a really smart lung doctor. How do I know? Because he told me he reads the Morning Report. If that’s not a sure sign of brilliance, I don’t know what is.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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