San Diego City Council meetings aren’t known for being genteel, but Tuesday’s was more antagonistic than usual. Sure, Mayor Bob Filner and Todd Gloria, the council president, may be on the same side politically. But they got up in each other’s grills in a snit that sent tongues a-wagging.

At issue: the council’s appointments to a local agency that serves as a coalition of governments. The two men argued about whether an agreement had been made, with Gloria at one point saying he had a meeting to run. Filner: “Give it to someone else to run, or meet another day. I am telling you this is not a staff issue.”

The level of venom shouldn’t be unexpected. Filner is famous for being abrasive, and that very fact sets him apart in a city used to more polite politics.

Our Lisa Halverstadt offers three takeaways about what this fight means. For one thing, it doesn’t spell harmony among the Democrats who have the numbers to control the city’s government.

Following Up on Filner

Our Liam Dillon appeared on NBC San Diego to talk about the flap over public records and the new administration of Mayor Bob Filner.

‘I Am Still Sick’

Liz Hirsch, who has been corresponding with our Kelly Bennett about her newfound homelessness, checks in and says she is still not recovered from a long cold. The sickness spurred her to visualize a place where sick homeless people could go to recuperate without having to burden local emergency rooms.

Culture Report: Ballet Feet, Arts Tix’s Fate and More

The Culture Report, our weekly aggregation of all things artistic and cultural, links to stories about a wide array of topics, including the horrors of ballerina foot, the demise of a local supper club/nightclub and the relocation of a longtime Horton Plaza staple.

Letters: The Big Business of Small Business

In letters, Kelly Cunningham, an economist and senior fellow at the National University System Institute for Policy Research, examines the numbers regarding the sizes of businesses locally.

NBC Nightly News Visits SD Farmers Market

NBC Nightly News takes a trip to the City Heights Farmer’s Market, where it focuses on the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program, which “provides refugees with a plot of land on which to grow the crops from their native lands.”

An Immortal Story about an Immortal San Diegan

Richard Ben Cramer, a journalist’s journalist, died this week at the age of 62. Among other things, he’s famous for writing what some consider to be the finest work of American sportswriting ever. It’s a 1986 profile in Esquire magazine of Ted Williams, the baseball superstar and San Diego hometown hero.

One of the first paragraphs of the mammoth story reads like this: “It was forty-five years ago, when achievements with a bat first brought him to the nation’s notice, that Ted Williams began work on his defense. He wanted fame, and wanted it with a pure, hot eagerness that would have been embarrassing in a smaller man. But he could not stand celebrity. This is a bitch of a line to draw in America’s dust.”

Read on and you’ll find details about Williams and his early days, growing up in North Park and attending Hoover High. 

DeMaio Lives!

Mitt Romney lost his big race and promptly faded away into the seaside confines of La Jolla. Former Councilman Carl DeMaio lost his big race, but he is definitely not doing a vanishing act.

He’ll be speaking in Washington D.C. later this month, talking about municipal pensions at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Big Legal Costs in Bad-Cop Case

The city, which has already paid out almost $1 million in claims related to a rogue cop who solicited sexual bribes, will spend $250,000 on legal costs to manage cases. (NBC San Diego) 

VOSD in the News

The International Business Times checks in on the state of ethics in journalism, questioning whether the rise of social media is good or bad. The rise of non-profit journalism gets a mention, and the story quotes our managing editor Sara Libby about the freedom that VOSD has to avoid running stories purely to pull in readers.

“There is absolutely a freedom to cover the kinds of stories we think are important,” she said. “Because we’re not beholden to advertisers, we’re not tethered to page views. Obviously we want our work to reach as many people as possible, but we don’t feel pressure to add a Justin Bieber headline just for the traffic.”

There is, of course, an exception if Justin Bieber weighs in about San Diego’s 30-foot height limit along the coast.

Libby adds that non-profit organizations like ours aren’t immune from accusations of bias. “People are always wary. We have very large-dollar donors, so of course people are going to perceive conflicts of interest when we tell certain stories.”

Qualcomm Is the Star of the Show, but …

Qualcomm is making a big splash, but not necessarily in a good way, at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. A tech site called The Verge has the details.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short?

We told you earlier this week about the 100th anniversary of San Diego’s coldest day. 

U-T columnist Matthew Hall followed up yesterday in print with a column titled — surprise! — “San Diego’s coldest day fell 100 years ago.”

Hall does credit and quote my story, and adds: “Thanks, Randy, for sparing me having to call my company’s researcher.”

You’re welcome. Now about my bill …

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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