Our reporter Liam Dillon is spending time in southeastern San Diego, home to the city’s traditionally black neighborhoods, to feel the pulse of the community before voters choose a new City Council representative.

One issue that came up during his visit yesterday: the lack of places to keep people from going elsewhere. “I have had to commute out of my district for school,” said one retiree. “I have had to commute out of the district to work. I’ve had to send my kids outside of the district to school. I have had to shop outside of the district. The only thing that’s in my district is my church.”

Another Filner Fight

There’s a fight brewing over whether a local tourism agency should manage marketing and the sales of space at the convention center. This was part of a deal forged last year in order to raise taxes on hotel guests to support an expansion of the convention center.

Our Scott Lewis explains that Mayor Bob Filner thinks the deal stinks. For background, check our earlier report.

Meeting of the Minds in Logan Heights

It’s almost time for our next Meeting of the Minds event. On March 14, a week from this Thursday, join us at Bread and Salt (formerly known as Cramer’s Bakery) in Logan Heights.

Six speakers will introduce attendees to local arts and cultural happenings. They are:

• Don Bartletti, a Putlizer-prize-winning photojournalist for the Los Angeles Times who will highlight his work photographing international migration.

• Denitsa Bliznakova, a costume designer who’s working on the costumes for San Diego Opera’s upcoming “Murder in the Cathedral,” will explain the process of dressing the performers in a large production.

• KPBS/Fronteras Desk reporter Adrian Florido, a former reporter for Voice of San Diego, will describe the joys of a southern Mexican folk music style called Son Jarocho.

• Susanna Peredo will describe the work done by ARTS: A Reason to Survive to connect troubled kids with art training and support. One of the group’s kids was profiled in a documentary that won an Oscar this year.

• Coffee “pseudo-snob” Michael Prinz will detail the best places to find roasted beans in the city.

• James Brown, the architect behind the transformation of Bread and Salt, will explore the intersections of art, architecture and neighborhoods.

For more details about the speakers and the Meeting of the Minds event, click here. And click here to register.

A New Superintendent? Well, Not Yet, Exactly

You may think the San Diego school district has hired a new superintendent, an elementary school principal named Cindy Marten. (Our scoop about her hiring was our most popular story of the week and a major topic on VOSD Radio.)

But you’d be wrong. The school board still has to officially hire her and, U-T San Diego reports, it will only enter into contract negotiations this week.

The board is expected to actually hire her as soon as next week.

The U-T also has a profile of Marten, along with an article raising questions about whether the board violated public meetings laws in announcing her (sort-of) hire.

• Our Dear Superintendent Tumblr collecting messages for Marten is getting attention. Send us an email with a photo of your message and your full name.

• Check back with our site later today for Will Carless’ Q-and-A with Marten.

Active Voice: Online Learning, Upward Trajectory

On our new Active Voice blog, education blogger Oscar Ramos writes about the promise of online learning. “Instead of lecturing in class, I record my lectures, and my students access them at home. In class, we can spend more time on writing skills, documentary analysis and academic discussions. My students still get their lectures, which they say are useful, and I get to hone their skills.”

Ex-DA, Accused of Hounding an Innocent Man, Dies

Ed Miller, the long-serving district attorney whose career crumbled in part due to a notoriously botched prosecution, has died at 87, the U-T reports.

He served as DA for 24 years, but voters evicted him from office in 1994. His demise came in part because of the wrenching prosecution of a church volunteer named Dale Akiki on sex abuse charges. Akiki was exonerated in a media spectacle of a trial, but not before his name was blackened.

A U-T columnist last year talked to Akiki and wrote that “our system tormented Akiki as cruelly as could any hooded Elizabethan executioner.” 

As the U-T notes, Miller’s office prosecuted two of the county’s most notoriousmurderers of all time: Robert Alton Harris (the first criminal to be executed in California after a decades-long hiatus) and Cleophus Prince, the serial killer who terrorized Clairemont and University City.  

Quick News Hits

• The city will hold hearings over an impasse over the airing of Padres games on a local cable system. (La Jolla Light)

• Hotel owners will be in court today to try to force the mayor to cough up millions for tourism promotion. (U-T)

• The fate of the makeover of Balboa Park is still unclear. (NBC San Diego)

• The board of the port district, which has two vacancies, may figure out how to get anything accomplished vote-wise. We’ve explained on TV why the fight over filling the vacancies is such a big deal.

• Jason Russell, the man who turned Kony into a household name and himself into a video star for all the wrong reasons, talked (and talked some more) to a British paper. His locally based Invisible Children organization is bustling.

• A real estate adviser says the local economy is “moving like a swift tortoise but not quite a hare,” according to a paraphrase of his comments by the Daily Transcript.

A fast turtle-type creature? Well, it turns out that there are swift tortoises who can travel 5 mph, according to online sources.  

I’d challenge either tortoise or hare to a race. And then — shhh! — I’d get in my car and drive to the finish line. That’ll show them who’s smarter!

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.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.