A councilman declared the other day that the city will raise money to fix streets without boosting taxes or getting voters involved. Is he right? San Diego Fact Check finds that the councilman, Mark Kersey, is right on the money.

Our story examines how the city plans to borrow millions through a complicated scheme known as “lease-leaseback.”  

Resolution Nears on Pension/Bankruptcy Issue

We recap the news out of the stricken Northern California city of Stockton, which is going through bankruptcy proceedings. The city is closer to getting a resolution to this question: Can it cut the pensions it promised to employees as part of its bankruptcy?

One Probe Clears City Auditor

The city attorney’s office confirms that one investigation has cleared the city auditor and his deputy of wrongdoing in regard to allegations of harassment and retaliation at the workplace. It’s not clear what another investigation has discovered.

Culture Report: Hot and Bothered by Salvador Dali

This week’s Culture Report provides links to a host of stories about local arts and culture, including a new play called “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot,” an actor who gets the call when local theaters need someone to play a nutter and the preparations for a new opera called “Murder in the Cathedral.”

Should You Pitch a Fit over Padres Pitching?

VOSD sports blogger John Gennaro ponders the Padres injury woes on the pitching front: “the largest difference between the Padres and world champion San Francisco Giants isn’t just the size of the payroll, it’s luck.”  

Quick News Hits

• We have more details about how the cuts spawned by the national sequestration mess won’t boost the U.S.-bound waits at the border.

• SDG&E utility bills for residents might go up by almost 8 percent, U-T San Diego reports, although there’s still a chance that regulators will reject the increase.

Oddly, the increase would be retroactive to January of last year, the U-T says. 

• If you’re curious how neighborhoods voted in last week’s City Council election in southeastern San Diego, check these tweets (via sdrostra.com) from the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

• San Diego Hospice, which is seeking bankruptcy, is now facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that it laid off 360 workers without the proper 60 days’ notice. Large employers must typically give notice before large layoffs. (Bloomberg News)  

• A feature story profiles a veteran of the Iraq War who suffered severe physical and mental injuries. He’s now a senior at UCSD. “Having a broken body — break your arm, put it in a cast, you’ll be fine,” he tells Public Insight Network. “But with your brain, you can’t put a Band-Aid on it. You can’t put a brace on it before you take a test. It doesn’t work like that.”

The photos with the story are by VOSD contributor Sam Hodgson.

• What do you call people who live in the United States without permission? Media organizations have wrestled with this question for decades. “Illegal alien” long ago fell out of favor, not least because it sounds like it refers to extraterrestrials.

Now, the AP has set off a new round of debate by forbidding the use of “illegal immigrant” in its stories, the L.A. Times reports. It doesn’t like “undocumented” either since the people in question (note how I just avoided dealing with the whole issue?) often do have some documents.

“Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission,” the AP says.

• San Diego County is no stranger to UFO sightings. So it wasn’t too surprising when East County residents noticed strange white lights in the sky on Monday night. People called police and sheriff dispatchers to report the odd sight.

Yikes! But, as the U-T reports, it all seems to have been a prank.

Of course it was. Aliens know better. They’ll actually show up on our streets on Halloween because nobody will notice. Oh wait. I’ve said too much. Just take me to your leader and we’ll get this all figured out.    

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 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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