Mayor Bob Filner gave his first State of the City speech last night and it was the first exercise in translating the array of promises he made in the campaign into an actual vision for the city.

He acknowledged major budget challenges and knocked predecessors for failing to protect the city’s future.

You can watch the speech here.

• We rounded up reaction to the speech. For instance, there was a reminder from a veteran of many speeches that Filner’s move to give our community awards during the speech was not a new thing. 

The twitterati was out in force, as local political types, journalists and would-be pundits snarked and commented throughout the speech. You can read everything people said here (I suggested that referring to the reputation of “Father Joe” as a “Hustler Priest” was a bit awkward).

• KPBS gathered reaction from other city leaders.

Sidewalk Repair Stories Flood In

On the social media site reddit yesterday, a person reacted to our recent post by sharing the ugly “fix” the city made of a sidewalk after the resident asked the city for help with it.

Liam Dillon reports that he’s been flooded with feedback since the post. How’s your sidewalk? What have you figured out about what it will take to fix it? Email Liam.

Big Trouble for SD Hospice After Whistling Past Graveyard

Hospice care isn’t supposed to last for long. It’s designed to help terminally ill people die with dignity and as much comfort as possible in the spiritual, emotional and physical realms.

But what if hospice patients linger? Medicare, which pays for most hospice services, says only those with six months left to live are eligible for care.

But the feds didn’t press hospices to follow the regulations. San Diego Hospice ignored the rules in some cases, letting patients get services for years without proper documentation. Now it’s paying the price. Hundreds have been laid off, the patient load has plummeted, and its future is in jeopardy.

I examined the troubles at the hospice and puts them into national perspective.

FYI: an independent news organization called Kaiser Health News (unrelated to Kaiser Permanente) commissioned this story, and it appears on our site through special arrangement.

Through Tags, the Japanese Internment Brought to Life

The Culture Report, our weekly exploration of all things artistic and cultural, offers links to stories about a traveling exhibit that uses tags to illustrate the human cost of Japanese internment during World War II, performances that will feature puppets on the beach and acting in cars, concrete couches (which may produce some ouches) and more.

Letter: Protect Our Cross-Border Relationship

In letters, Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, writes that it’s important for our international region to thrive: “the further development and expansion of the border is vital to our ongoing competitiveness and success.”

Despite GOP Failures, County Is ‘Model’

The local Republican Party had one of its worst years ever last November, losing a bunch of high-profile races. Still, a former legislator who wants to run the state party told a local audience that the county GOP is a model for a “Republican Renaissance” in the state, adding that its local operation is the “gold standard.” (

Quick News Hits

• The U-T says there’s more at stake in the mammoth corruption prosecutions in South Bay than the futures of a slew of current and former education officials: “For [District Attorney Bonnie] Dumanis and the DA’s public integrity unit, the case represents an opportunity to regain credibility by taking on 15 defendants in an area that’s the political stronghold of Chula Vista Councilman Steve Castaneda — whose unsuccessful prosecution in 2008 was an embarrassing misstep for the office.”

• offered an “exclusive” interview with the team’s new head coach. (Wow! Bet they had to send him flowers and everything.) Inevitably, mockery on Twitter ensued.

• Filner did report in his speech that the Chargers not only won’t be exercising their right to leave San Diego this year but also that they haven’t taken steps to apply to move to Los Angeles. These were the steps the NFL outlined.

• The Del Mar City Council unanimously opposed gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the U-T reports. But the fairgrounds don’t plan to change anything regarding four annual gun shows.

• A graphic artist has put together a tongue-in-cheek map of San Diego that’s gone viral.

• In a San Diego Free Press commentary, my former journalism professor Bob Dorn writes that he’s not pleased, not at all, by the local media’s negative coverage of Mayor Bob Filner. VOSD takes a few hits, as do I.

The commentary’s arguments don’t hold up, in my humble but always-correct opinion. But the headline is a keeper: “Filner Farts at the Cotillion.”

• A “hot” San Diego neighborhood is drawing national attention: it appears in second place in a list of “Real Estate Neighborhoods To Watch In 2013” compiled by the brokerage company Redfin. In this enviable enclave, inventory is way down, sales volume is up a lot, and prices have grown by 21 percent since a year ago.

“With good schools and amazing shopping nearby,” a real estate agent brags, it’s “going to be the next up and coming big mover on home sales.”

What’s this great place? Eastlake? Carmel Valley? Rancho Bernardo?

Nope. It’s Mira Mesa.

Last night, I drove out there to take a look around. But you know that pesky stoplight at I-805 and Mira Mesa Boulevard? I’m still waiting for the red light to change this morning.

Some things never change.

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

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