After the San Diego school district’s new top finance official let it all hang out in a remarkable interview with us, folks began wondering how long it would take before he’d find a need to spend more time with his family. He’s still got a job, but his permanent record will include a big fat apology from his boss, not to mention at least one harsh Fact Check.

The sorry-about-that came yesterday from Superintendent Bill Kowba. In a letter, he says Stan Dobbs, the chief financial officer, made “several factual errors and misrepresentations that need corrections.”

According to Kowba, Dobbs bungled the average salary in the district. (No, it’s not $92,000. That number includes substantial benefits.) Our Will Carless examined that claim even further in a new Fact Check, where he weighed in with a False verdict.

• Kowba said he continues “to value Stan’s insights” — but Scott Lewis writes in a new column that Kowba’s support for Dobbs is clearer when considering what the letter didn’t say. Kowba didn’t refute Dobbs’ assessment that the district’s generous health care benefits cost too much, nor did he rush to correct Dobbs’ statement that labor unions run the district.

• Our story about Dobbs and his blunt comments was the most popular article on our site last week. Check the entire Top 10 list here.

• Listen to our journalists talk about the interview and other hot topics in the news on VOSD Radio. We also named Dobbs, misstatements and all, as Hero of the Week.  

In Balboa Park Case, Judge’s Ruling Is Official

As expected, a judge yesterday reluctantly killed the massive plan to remake a large chunk of Balboa Park. The judge, who’d hinted at his ruling last week, says the city violated its own law.

It’s now unclear what will happen next, but there could certainly be an appeal. Two City Council members say they stand by the plan, although the mayor has made it clear that he thinks it stinks.

For background, check our story about why this is a different kind of fight for preservationists.

San Diego Hospice Files for Bankruptcy

The San Diego Hospice is filing for bankruptcy after a federal audit spurred an internal investigation, major cutbacks and a cutoff of services for dozens of patients, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

The hospice will remain open, but it’s long-term future is unclear.

As I reported last month, the hospice is under the microscope because of questions over whether it failed to follow Medicare rules.

Legislation May Boost Health Interpreters

Chances are that you speak the same language as your doctor. That’s not the case for many refugees in neighborhoods like City Heights, and the proper interpreters often aren’t available, as we reported last year.

Now, state legislation is in the works that would improve the situation.

A Gay Republican Running for Mayor? Get Out!

Picture this: A gay Republican man runs for mayor of a big California city. He’s sensitive to his party because he has to woo lots of Democratic voters, so he refuses to say whom he supported for president.

This very familiar scenario is playing out not in San Diego but in Los Angeles, the New York Times reports. But this candidate is considered a long-shot.

Quick News Hits

• The New York Times notes that two local Republican congressmen (Reps. Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa) are among the few House Republicans who actually serve districts with high numbers of Latinos. That could affect their willingness to support immigration reform. 

• The secretary of Homeland Security came into town on a “fact-finding mission” and met with the mayor, NBC San Diego reports. For background, check our story here.

• Oh, Horton Plaza. You had me at “park here for free for a few hours if you go to a machine and get your ticket validated.” 

Now you’re losing me with your new policy, which is essentially “you gotta spend $10 in the mall to park here for free.” 

Yeah, yeah, I get it. You’ve got a business to run. Still, keep in mind that it may take me three hours just to find my car in your famously complicated parking garage. That’s a fact I can validate.

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

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

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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