In the aftermath of a bitter smackdown when the mayor crashed the city attorney’s press conference and made a scene, (U-T San Diego has the play-by-play and NBC 7 San Diego has the amazing video), our Scott Lewis breaks down what’s really going on in the City Hall dispute over millions that hotel guests are slated to pay through taxes.

Our Lisa Halverstadt was there, and created this ranking of the most awkward exchanges — Filner even got into a tussle with Goldsmith’s assistant when he saw her shaking her head in the back of the room.

In San Ysidro, a Sidewalk Is Now Certain-ish

For more than 10 years, residents and educators have pushed for a sidewalk to prevent San Ysidro High students from having to walk a dangerous path along a dirt shoulder. We took a look at the long struggle a few weeks ago.

Now, the city says it’s cobbled together enough money to build a sidewalk estimated to cost more than $8 million. 

“It’s not hopeful, wishful money,” a city spokesman said. “It’s money we know will be there.”

Fact Checking a Port Commission Claim

San Diego Fact Check looks at a claim by Councilman Scott Sherman regarding the process to choose the city’s representatives to the commission the runs the port. The verdict: The claim is misleading.

Reader’s Guide to Our Homelessness Coverage

We’ve been on a quest for weeks to understand the problem of homelessness in our community. Check our Reader’s Guide to our coverage so far.

And if you’ve already signed up, don’t forget to attend our discussion tonight about the state of homelessness. The event is full, but look for recaps later.  

Where Do You Go Each Day? Ask the Cops

CityBeat has a remarkable story about how local law enforcement uses tracking devices to monitor the locations of license plates, essentially tracking where people drive. “With 36 million scans and counting — an average of 14 for every registered vehicle in the county — the database provides a mappable, searchable record of the movements of thousands of individual drivers,” the newspaper reports. The data is secret.

Keeping the Surfliner on Track

If you want to visit L.A., Amtrak is often the best option. Never mind the inevitable delays, the high cost for a traveling family and the Cafe Car cheeseburgers that are greasier than an oil-and-lube shop. The ride to Union Station is fairly comfortable and offers a great coastal view unless you — like I inadvertently did — ride on Moon Amtrak Day

But now the feds are asking states to pick up some of the financial slack to keep Amtrak running, potentially threatening SoCal’s Surfliner route, the U-T reports.    

Quick News Hits

• An exploration of the challenges facing a trolley-airport connection topped the list of our site’s most popular stories of the past week.  

• CityBeat continues its coverage of the race to fill the open seat in the 4th City Council District, which covers much of southeastern San Diego, with a profile of community organizer and businessman Barry Pollard.

• In an editorial, CityBeat ponders the legal morass that’s threatening to drown Prop. B, the pension reform ballot measure, and takes aim at our last mayor and his allies: “There’s no doubt that Jerry Sanders and Co. aimed to get around the law.”

• A prosecutor is quitting after being implicated in a parking ticket-fixing case. (History alert: Back in 1987, two top city police officials were implicated in a big ticket-fixing scandal.) (U-T)

• The Atlantic Cities blog likes one of our stories about changes coming to Barrio Logan.

• Back when I went to junior high in the South Bay, we had a “communications” class where we were told to meditate, write journals and study motivational guru Zig Ziglar. No parents seemed to mind. Today, they would definitely raise a stink and maybe even sue.

That’s exactly what’s happened, inevitably, in Encinitas in a flap over public-school Ashtanga yoga classes. Two parents have filed a lawsuit, the U-T reports. They say the yoga classes smack of religious indoctrination.  

Maybe “Laughter Yoga,” now being offered locally, would lighten the mood up there? No, I guess not.

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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