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Quell the smell. Stanch the stench. Bring order to the odor. However you put it, the Stink that Ate La Jolla is — with any luck — about to become history. We have the inside scoop on how the mayor’s plan came together despite various obstacles like protecting the environment and the animals (birds, seals, humans) who love La Jolla Cove.

The key is a brown, foamy compound made of microorganisms that feed on, well, poop. The idea is that the little buggers will feast on the bird guano at the cove that’s turned much of downtown La Jolla into stink central on certain days.

Lisa Halverstadt explains what loopholes Filner found in the law to bring the plan to life. Now, we get to see (and smell) if it works. The process is expected to take 10 days since it must work around certain schedules. Of humans? Nope. Of seals and sea lions. If they don’t want to move, no one will make them.

Filner’s New Tourism Standoff Misses Mark

As U-T San Diego reports, Mayor Filner is once again in a nasty standoff with a local tourism promotion agency that mostly survives on money from a special, and controversial 2 percent surcharge on hotel guests.

The agency says it’s ready to almost entirely shut down because Filner won’t free up money. The mayor says the agency isn’t holding up its end of an agreement regarding the spending of money on the centennial celebration at Balboa Park.

So who’s right? In this case, we report, Filner is relying on a flawed argument: the agency never made the arrangement that the mayor claims.

Filner is sticking to his guns. In a new statement released yesterday evening, as KPBS reports, he had this (and more) to say: “I have had enough of the whining and complaining from the wealthiest hotels in America… The City of San Diego will not be held hostage by such antics.”

• In other City Hall news, Councilman Mark Kersey is standing with a local organization for the blind that’s calling for a survey of local sidewalks to identify those that are hazardous.

Opinion: Arbitration Isn’t a Huge Villain

As we’ve been reporting, the law has made binding arbitration a cozy proposition for corporations that get challenged by consumers. In a new commentary, USD law professor Orly Lobel says there’s more to consider: “while arbitration is imperfect, the real question is how it fares compared with the realities — rather than our romantic ideals — of the courtroom.

• Want to hear more about the arbitration debate? Catch up on our coverage and listen to VOSD Radio, which features VOSD reporter Will Carless talking about his investigation.

The show also names the Hero and Goat of the Week and notes a number: 99.8 percent. That’s the percentage of cases won by corporations in arbitrations conducted by one private company over about four years.

Active Voice: Postseason Glory, for Once

Remember the last time a San Diego-area professional sports team made the playoffs? Me neither. (Then again, I’m stuck in a bit of a sports time warp. Dan Fouts and Dave Winfield still play for the local teams, right?)

VOSD sports blogger Beau Lynott says playoff-hungry fans still have an option: watching the Tijuana Xolos and the USD Toreros and SDSU Aztecs baseball teams. Check Lynott’s blog post in our Active Voice section. The Xolos, however, lost a heartbreaker last night, which included, as U-T’s Mark Ziegler noted, possibly the save of the decade by the opposing goalkeeper who somehow thwarted a late penalty kick.

DeMaio’s Back in the Hunt

Carl DeMaio, the former councilman and mayoral candidate, is running for Congress. KPBS has details.

He’s after the seat now held by former Councilman Scott Peters, a Democrat. Meanwhile, former Rep. Brian Bilbray of the GOP is spending time with his family — yes, he actually said that — and doesn’t plan to run again, the U-T reports.

A reminder: There are no partisan primaries anymore. Peters and DeMaio will face each other in both a primary, and a final election. Another reminder: This won’t begin until June 2014.

Also of note: Bilbray says he recently tackled a necklace thief in Naples. As you do.

Quick News Hits

• The U-T has details about the secret grand jury testimony in the corruption case that’s swept up school officials in the South Bay. For more, check our 2012 guide to the scandal.

• This week, the U-T laid off some 20 people, including reporters and photographers who covered Temecula and North County. (The U-T would only discuss 10 lost “bylines.”) The paper appears to be eliminating much or all of its “zoning” — providing different content to print readers based on where they live.

In the Riverside newspaper, a writer pays tribute to the Temecula Californian, which the paper inherited when it bought, absorbed and shuttered the North County Times in 2012.

The writer, who formerly worked for the Temecula paper, writes of a staff meeting in Escondido after the purchase last year. U-T publisher Doug Manchester, when asked about the Temecula edition, “seemed stunned, not that I had asked a question, but that he now owned a newspaper in Temecula.”

• There’s talk that the future trolley stations planned for the route into La Jolla area will be named after the highest bidder, the U-T reports. SANDAG is holding hearings about the new trolley line.

Hmmm. If the project at La Jolla Cove turns out to be a success, maybe we’ll soon catch the trolley at Guano-Be-Gone LLC Station.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. 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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