I’ve put together a roundup of Voice of San Diego’s 10 most-read stories of the year, plus descriptions, quotable quotes, and a look at what’s happened since the stories were published.
Sadly, none of my stories made the list. I demanded a recount, but it came up with the same results. Let me channel every losing team in the history of time: Just wait ’til next year!
• We’ve also compiled a list of the most commented-upon stories of the year along with selected comments.
The stories that drew the most input, including those about topics like the teacher-school district showdown and the giant Balboa Park debate, are among the biggest news stories of the year in the county overall.
Mayor Lies (Down) on Job, Fletcher’s Feet and More
Photographer Sam Hodgson offers a look back at 2012 in photos.
His 10 top photographs offer us looks at politics, including Mayor Bob Filner making a point, a couple would-be mayors (along with the agony of defeat), the diversity of Election Day, and the battle over Balboa Park.
The photos also explore the worlds of refugees, including a look via his personal blog at how 10 people (including the deaf refugee from Burma whom we profiled) are making it in a two-bedroom apartment in City Heights.
• So why is Filner lying on an empty City Hall desk in one of VOSD’s most intriguing photos of the year? Fact Check TV provides the answer in a look at what vacant cubicles have to do with neighborhood planning.
The Pension Fund’s $7 Million-Plus Firm
The county treasurer is raising the alarm about the county pension fund’s plan to pay the consultants that manage its investments more than $7 million a year, KPBS reports.
The fund’s CEO says it’s worth it: “For public pension plans greater than a billion dollars, we outperformed 99 percent of all other public funds.” But the county treasurer says the going rate is much lower and contends that history shows that local officials have been fooled.
We’ve chronicled the drama over the pension fund’s selection of Lee Partridge for this role over the years.
The county’s pension story has never gotten the attention the city’s did. But it has its share of eye-popping liabilities and tension. You can always refer to our 350-word explainer of all of it.
Filner Scorches Congress, Obama
Filner, who’s transformed from congressman to mayor, has never been a delicate hothouse flower. Case in point: his interview with a public radio station about why he left the House: “Congress is dysfunctional.”
He has special words for a GOP he says is anti-science: “If you have a group like that, what do you do? There’s no reaching across the aisle.” But he’s especially angry at his own party, including the man at the top:
“A President who gives away the store before sitting down to negotiate; Democrats who had run the House for 40 years didn’t understand you can’t legislate as a minority; leadership wasting its time in the weeds on the process of government rather than the politics of trying to win back the House.”
Politico picked up the story as well.
Quick News Hits
• A UCSD study finds that cyclists and those who ride the bus are exposed to more pollution than those who drive, Atlantic Cities reports.
“The upshot was that the participants doing the most to reduce carbon emissions by cycling or riding the bus ‘were the people who experienced the highest levels of exposure to pollutants.’”
• U-T columnist Logan Jenkins predicts that the Del Mar Fairgrounds will get flak for hosting gun shows. He looks at the pros (a pretty good record) and cons (isn’t hosting a gun show similar to hosting an adult expo?).
“Mark your calendars — and these words,” he writes. “The more local the control of the fairgrounds, the greater the likelihood that Del Mar’s gun shows once again will be target.”
• Guess what: You’ll be able to watch a home Chargers game on TV this weekend! No blackout. Yay?
But, as the U-T also reports, the team won’t have any players in the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2004. Since nobody cares about the Pro Bowl, except maybe the players who get to go to Hawaii, this isn’t a big loss.
• The folks at the alternative weekly paper CityBeat (which our previous mayor jokingly but not entirely inaccurately described as “a bunch of bar-hopping Bolsheviks”) is out with its look at 2012.
Its new issue includes an editorial about how things went over the year (fabulously, if you’re a Democrat) and a crossword puzzle about the year’s news. On the cover, you’ll find an artist’s stylized conception of Mayor Filner dancing Gangnam style. (That almost looks like a zoot suit he’s wearing.)
Oh man: 2013 can’t come soon enough.