It can be hard to get your mind around your own personal budget, let alone the city of San Diego’s, especially since yours probably isn’t $2.75 billion. 

We’ve produced several nifty charts to help you understand the mayor’s proposed budget.

They make it clear that not much has changed since the last fiscal year’s budget under Mayor Jerry Sanders, at least in the big picture: The overall amounts are the same ($2.75 billion) and size of the city’s staff, more than 10,100, remains almost identical. But there’s a hefty drop in funding to repair infrastructure like streets and sidewalks.

You can also check a pie chart that shows where the city’s money goes along with a long list of how much various departments will get.

• Perhaps the oddest expenditure is $10 million for “zoological exhibits.” Wait, are taxpayers paying for lions and tigers and bears? Yes, something like that. Check out this story from last year for details.

Culture Report: Hawks Breed, Klingons Speak and More

This week’s Culture Report links to a slew of stories about local arts and culture. Among the highlights: a panel featuring creators of imaginary sci-fi languages (like Klingon), hawk babies at the Museum of Man and a “diamond in the rough” lurking on the North County coast.

SD’s Grim History of Bombs and Explosions

In the wake of the attack in Boston, it’s worth noting that San Diego has its own grim history of bomb attacks and deadly explosions. Long-time residents may remember when the van driven by the wife of a military officer blew up in University City in 1989; the attack, which may have been a case of terrorism, remains unsolved. Decades earlier, an explosion in the waters off our city killed 65 sailors in 1905 and is memorialized to this day at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery.

For more details on these events, plus a bogus bomb scare that rattled the city in 1924, check our history flashback story.

Quick News Hits

• With the battle over appointments to the Unified Port of San Diego commission now over, the city’s two new representatives to the agency have been sworn in, Fox 5 reports. Understand the whole fight with this video.

• Newly elected county Supervisor Dave Roberts is creating a panel to review applications for hotel tax-funded grant money he controls, U-T San Diego reports. Here’s some background from us.

• NPR checks back in on the San Diego campaign to combat homelessness,  efforts which it covered in 2011.

For more, read our story about the permanent center for the homeless and check the rest of our recent homelessness coverage.

• “San Diego County and a sheriff’s detective might be liable for using excessive force and conspiring against a deputy’s ex-girlfriend with a ‘SWAT-like’ raid of her home” thanks to a federal appeals court ruling, Courthouse News reports.

• United States University, which has a campus in Chula Vista, will pay a fine of almost $700,000 because it falsified applications for federal student grants, Courthouse News reports. A whistle-blower will get some of the fine.

• A drier-than-normal winter — like the one we had last year — can contribute to tinder-dry brush. California state firefighters are now getting extra manpower because of the increased threat, the L.A. Times reports.

• Almost a quarter-century ago, the Academy Awards show was an epic disaster, with a maniacally horrible musical number featuring “Snow White” and actor Rob Lowe.

Turns out the actress has recovered from the Academy Award mess. A San Diegan who just performed in a Coronado musical, Eileen Bowman tells the Hollywood Reporter how the debacle went down and what happened after.

Among other things, she had to sign a 13-year gag order. And she learned a lesson from the attire of the producer who set up the whole fiasco: “Never trust a man in a caftan.”

Thankfully, the cleaners lost mine. Trust away, people!

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

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.