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Last April, an employee of the city auditor’s office broke her elbow when she fell off a piece of exercise equipment at work. But this would not be your typical slip-and-fall case. It would mushroom into a $120,000 investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the office of the man whose job is to hunt for waste or worse in the city’s books.

The city hired two outside law firms and has held many private meetings.

Now, two reports are finished. But, as we report, they haven’t been released. Two people who stand accused of harassment and retaliation. The auditor and his top deputy, remain on the job.

The city says it’s still figuring out what to do, so it won’t release the reports. Two attorneys who specialize in public records say they should be released. Liam Dillon’s story examines what’s at stake.

Introducing a New VOSD Feature: Active Voice

We’re debuting a new VOSD feature called Active Voice. You’ll now see regular blog posts by a panel of thinkers in areas like education and sports. “Their purpose is to supplement our news coverage by offering thoughtful perspective on the news and culture happening throughout San Diego,” writes our Sara Libby in an introduction.

First up:

Sports Fan Without Cable TV? John Gennaro examines whether you can cut cable television and still be a local sports fan. “Cutting the cord” as it’s called, is becoming a trend as the internet makes it possible for people to follow the shows they care about, stream movies and watch news. But what about sports in San Diego? Gennaro couldn’t make it last.

Why Care About Sports? Beau Lynott explains why VOSD should add to the many voices with opinions about sports: “For one simple reason: People like sports. And not just meatheaded mouth-breathers, but respectable types.”

Think Bigger than Class Sizes: Oscar Ramos, a high school teacher at a school operated in conjunction with UCSD, says we’ve overlooked an important issue in the debate over class sizes: “it’s helpful to consider our goals for what we expect students to be able to do, create a rich curriculum that will produce students who can meet those goals, and then consider whether our class sizes allow teachers to deliver that curriculum and support students in achieving those goals.”  

Congratulations to ‘Inocente’

Inocente” a film about a young, homeless San Diego girl who dreams of becoming an artist, won an Oscar last night, which will not only thrust more attention her story, the film and its makers but also onto the local organizations it features.

The organization A Reason to Survive, or ARTS, was featured in the film. Here’s a July story from the U-T about the film and ARTS.

Significantly, “Inocente” was also the first film funded through crowdfunding on the site Kickstarter to win an Academy Award. Crowdfunding is basically a twist on fundraising where the producer or enterprise sets a goal, asks for donations and doesn’t collect them until the goal is reached, usually by a deadline.

Hotels vs. Mayor Showdown on Stage Today

The City Council is today holding a hearing on the impasse between Mayor Bob Filner and the hotel owners who want to extend a 2 percent levy on hotel rooms for nearly 40 more years. Here’s the central legal dispute.

It’s unclear whether the mayor has the power to just stop this from going forward. It was approved by the City Council and that law signed by Jerry Sanders. But the mayor has to sign an operating agreement and he’s refused to. Hotel owners, who get to control the funds raised by the 2 percent charge on hotel bills, are suing.

The Reader revealed Sunday that more hotels actually voted against the extension of the so-called Tourism Marketing District than voted for it. But the district won because of a heavily weighted vote.

Quick News Hits

• “Thousands of paroled child molesters, rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in California are removing or disarming their court-ordered GPS tracking devices — and some have been charged with new crimes including sexual battery, kidnapping and attempted manslaughter,” the L.A. Times reports. Law enforcement has found that convicts “can disable the monitors, often with little risk of serving time for it” because jails are too full.

• Longtime local TV personality Loren Nancarrow is battling what appears to be terminal brain cancer, the U-T reports. Nancarrow, who’s now a co-anchor at Fox 5, discovered he was ill just weeks ago and received the devastating diagnosis.

Nancarrow’s been blogging about his condition, tells the U-T that he’s been shocked by the huge reaction from the public: “One sense I had is that everybody is going through this same thing in some way in life. I went through life not knowing how much pain other people had. That blew me away dramatically.”

• U-T columnist Logan Jenkins is mystified by the legal fuss over yoga in Encinitas schools and its supposed tight link to spirituality: “To me, yoga is about balance, strength, stretch and breath, none of which puts me in mind of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism or Western metaphysics,” he writes.

• Who would have guessed that local elected public officials don’t have any rhythm?

• Two burglars didn’t go to Hooters in Rancho Bernardo for the usual beer, Buffalo wings and, um… you know. (This is the Hooters that you can easily see from I-15.) As NBC 7 San Diego reports, they broke into the restaurant and stole something: a jukebox.

Maybe that was really what they were after. More likely, they thought it was an ATM.

If these guys were really as dumb as they look I’d like to dedicate a musical selection to them (just put 50 cents into the slot): “Chain of Fools.”

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga

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

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