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Six months ago, the San Diego Association of Governments impulsively decided to buy a highway for $342 million.

The road wasn’t a part of its 40-year plan. It was built by a private company that went belly up.

So what else can SANDAG do on a whim? Some transit advocates hope it indicates that these long-term plans are more flexible than everyone thought.

• SANDAG is spending $40 million on public relations firms in the next five years. Or not. It’s not clear from this U-T San Diego story and the agency’s in-house PR people.


Will Carless was on KPBS’s Midday Roundtable discussing his big story this week about how big donors to school bond campaigns often get big contracts that flow when the campaigns succeed.

Our Kelly Bennett was also on the radio show to talk about her work trying to understand homelessness. You can catch that show and the Evening Edition television version here.

Hotel Government Sues City Government

The hoteliers that control the Tourism Marketing District have decided to sue the city of San Diego to force Mayor Bob Filner to sign their operating agreement and release millions collected from a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms.

Here’s the letter they sent, after meeting in closed session.

The mayor says he offered to extend the current deal for two years as they renegotiated this one.

Ahead of the Monday City Council hearing on the issue, the city’s independent budget analyst released an explanation of the whole situation. Meanwhile, the Taxpayers Association is rallying supporters to go to the meeting Monday and support this tax.

Top Comments of the Week

Our comments of the week lead with one about the tourism marketing versus mayor spat.

San Dijuana Olympics?

Mayor Filner called for a joint San Diego/Tijuana Olympics when he went to Tijuana Friday to open the city of San Diego’s new office space. A movement spearheaded by booster Malin Burnham to bring the Olympics to the San Diego-Tijuana region sputtered out several years ago. Burnham’s grandson, Keith Jones, the CEO of Ace Parking, kept the hope alive in a Twitter debate Wednesday with U-T San Diego columnist Matt Hall.

The United States Olympic Committee sent a request to dozens of cities looking for bidders for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games.

Homeless Tent Event    

We have photos and links from Thursday’s panel and amazing audience on homelessness. It was our first event from a homeless shelter and it went flawlessly. Maybe we should hold all of them there.

• If you missed it, this is the best possible recap of all we’ve learned about the homeless situation, what’s working, what’s not and what we’re still trying to figure out.

Our Scolding Public Information Officer Goes National

Jan Caldwell, the public information officer for the county sheriff created quite a buzz when she appeared on a panel this week and went off about who gets to call themselves a journalist and why she will or will not give any of them her time.

A video of her disdain for bloggers and San Diego CityBeat made the rounds.

Our editor Sara Libby tried to understand what exactly Caldwell’s respectable journalist looks like.

The influential Los Angeles blog LAist picked up the story and that got the attention of the most influential blogger on media issues in the nation, Romenesko.

Many locals weighed in on my Facebook page.

Quick News Hits

• A nurse has sued the dying San Diego Hospice.

• The smallest baby ever born at the Naval Medical Center is going home. He was only 13 ounces in October.

• An imam from a local mosque and three other Somali immigrants were convicted of conspiring to funnel money to a terrorist group Friday.

• How did San Diego end up with the second-largest population of Somalis in this country? We did an explainer on the Somali population in San Diego.

• A lawsuit against allowing yoga in Encinitas schools is getting national attention.

Quote of the Week

“Does that give you the right, because you blog, in your fuzzy slippers out of your bedroom, and you don’t go out and you haven’t gotten that degree, should you be called a journalist?”

— Jan Caldwell, the sheriff’s liaison to the media, on journalism.

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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