San Diego devotes a lot of resources to preserving the flavor of neighborhoods or (as in the case of Barrio Logan) trying to fix the errors of the past.

But how does it all work? Our reporter Andrew Keatts works full-time to help the public understand land-use issues. Keatts decided to unravel for you the city’s complicated planning process with a focus on the role of community plans.

Make sure to check out the nifty graphics that accompany the story. They’ll give you a bird’s-eye view (fly, reader, fly!) of how the process works.

Inside a Dysfunctional City Office

While a pair of investigations of wrongdoing in the city auditor’s office cleared two top officials of major allegations, as we reported earlier, Liam Dillon has compiled a list of the most notable revelations from them.

You can read the hefty investigative reports here

Mayor: Pot Policy Postponed

Scott Lewis transcribed Mayor Bob Filner’s response to the question Lewis got to him via KPBS about how the mayor plans to tax medical marijuana. His answer is kind of hard to follow and doesn’t put to rest the “awkward facts” that make Filner’s plans to tax the sales more than a little complicated.

The mayor also revealed that the council will likely delay its review of his proposed marijuana policies. 

Active Voice: Farmers Market Fraud, NBA to SD?

Last year, undercover agents from the county scoured the North Park Farmers Market and ended up forcing one vendor to admit he was misleading people about the origin of his products. Clare Leschin-Hoar explains how it’s sent a message to all local farmers markets.

• Leschin-Hoar also explains the threat facing the delectable oysters in the local sea waters.

• In sports, blogger Beau Lynott ponders how a pro basketball team’s sale could be good news for San Diego, which has gone NBA-less for many a moon. But don’t expect any slam dunk.

City Council Embraces Immigration Reform

The San Diego City Council unanimously — all four Democrats and four Republicans — approved a resolution calling for comprehensive immigration reform. It wasn’t a vague statement either. It called for border infrastructure and a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants already here. 

Earlier versions of the resolution did not have Republican support.

Council President todd Gloria explained in a tweet how it came about: “Great give and take by [Councilman David Alvarez] and [Councilman Mark Kersey] that yielded results.”

On Stage, Summarizing a Century-Long Saga

A while back, I took an extension course in acting at UCSD. (I’m a ham. Who knew?) An awesome acting teacher named Lisa Berger was the instructor. One day, she spoke to the class about how our appearances limit us to certain kinds of roles. “I wouldn’t cast any of you as a middle-aged person,” she said. “Except maybe Randy.”

Let’s just say my reaction was unscripted.

I’ve found another stage to perform on (you’re looking at it) while Berger remains a star of the local theater scene. This weekend, she will direct “Righteous Exploits,” a performance in Point Loma of “the 100 year-long true story of a family rising out of and returning to poverty over the course of 3 generations.”

The Reader has more details. The performance also gets a mention in our weekly Culture Report.

We offer links to several stories, including a big donation to a fixture of Balboa Park, a married pair of dancers performing a piece inspired by the last moments of a candle flame, and a local rug guru makes a mark in the NY Times. Also: artifacts and fragments from a historic brewery are on display. (You may have read about the murals before in our extensive coverage of their restoration.)   

Quick News Hits

• That grand deal to resolve the differences between the mayor and the hotel industry over how to spend a 2 percent surcharge on guests? It may be kaput, U-T San Diego reports. Check our stories for background here and here.

• Our Kelly Bennett appeared on NBC 7 San Diego to talk about funding to help the homeless.

• Due to sequestration-related federal budget cuts, the Blue Angels aren’t going to fly, the U-T reports. The Navy has cancelled the October performance; it’s not clear if it could bring it back if the budget crisis gets resolved. The Miramar Air Show, where the Blue Angels perform, will continue.

• Remember North County’s McStay family, which up and vanished in February 2010? The sheriff’s department, which is finally handing off the investigation to the FBI, says it believes the two parents and two kids went to Mexico voluntarily, the U-T reports.

The case has gotten national attention.

• San Diego makes an appearance in an NY Times story about how the mayor of the L.A.-area city of Lancaster is trying to turn it into a big player in solar power. Our city has a vision too, the NYT notes.

But embracing solar power to a major extent will be a tough task for promise-laden mayor, as we’ve reported.

As the city has learned over the past few months, Filner is absolutely everywhere. Behind you this very instant, probably. Let’s harness whatever energy source keeps this 70-year-old man going.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.

Randy Dotinga

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

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.