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If you missed our email yesterday announcing this year’s Politifest, here are the deets: It will be held on Aug. 3 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Liberty Station’s Central Promenade. When you’re not busy promenading, you’ll be able to enjoy this year’s new focus on San Diego’s neighborhoods and their future.

And we’ll be offering something extra: $5,000. It would be a grant from our partners at the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement. The money will fund the community group that offers the best neighborhood project in Politifest’s revamped Idea Tournament.

The details are here. Send in an idea or I will personally come to your house and look askance at you. Well, as soon as I figure out what that means.

As we’ve noted in coverage over the past few months, some San Diego’s sidewalks are in poor shape. And they’re not all that’s broken.

Liam Dillon can’t seem to find a politician who opposes doing an assessment that would grade them and identify where they’re not. But he can find some fear that doing so would open up the floodgates to lawsuits.


Dillon dialed up his own passion and gathers all the links that will help you catch up on the sidewalk mess. For those of us who like to learn with pictures, he’s got our back:

• In another story, following up on his travels through Hillcrest, with a wheelchair-bound man, Dillon examines the city’s struggle to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The problem now? The city has put in new curb ramps for the disabled but won’t repair them.

A New Plan for Southeastern SD Planning?

If local development boosters have their way, southeastern San Diego may get a downtown-like system that allows permits to be fast-tracked. VOSD reporter Andrew Keatts explains why building things is so much easier downtown and why that’s not easy to replicate in other parts of the city.

• In other City Hall news, Mayor Bob Filner wants to chat with street artists to talk about the touchy topic of the permits they’ve been required to get. Filner essentially gave one artist a get-out-of-a-fine-free card, raising the question of whether other card-less artists are getting a fair shake.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and… Oh Wait, Maybe Not

VOSD real estate guru Rich Toscano writes that the two best ways to see if there’s a bubble in the housing market is to compare home prices to rents and to compare them to incomes. When you do that now, you don’t see a bubble,  despite all the news of bidding wars and higher prices.

Fact Check TV: Mayor Seals It With a Miss

Fact Check TV reminds us that Mayor Filner botched his claim about how a seal-cam at the La Jolla Children’s Pool is a giant boon for marine researchers.

That Art’s Craptacular, Says Radio Station

The Culture Report notes the news about possible cutbacks to public art funding by the port (a radio station elegantly refers to the “crap they’re funding”) a Jackson Drive restaurant that will be on national TV (again), and more.

• VOSD food blogger Clare Leschin-Hoar takes a look at how San Diego schools may go for “Meatless Mondays” in their cafeterias. Whaaa? No salisbury steak? Are tater tots and chocolate milk next? Oh the Insanity!

Well, make that Oh the Obesity. Advocates want to encourage good nutrition, and Leschin-Hoar explains the national trend of which this is a part.

Quick News Hits

• The City Council has put a lid on donations to city candidates by political parties beginning next month: $10,000 for council hopefuls and $20,000 for mayor and city attorney, U-T San Diego reports. Of course, certain groups like unions can still spend whatever they want, but not directly.

• City Heights officially has a “Little Saigon” neighborhood. What’s that mean? It can put up signs boasting of its Vietnamese heritage and flavor, the U-T reports.

• The U-T is digging deeper into grand jury transcripts in the South Bay corruption scandal. For background, check our 2012 explainer.

• Ex-local Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, perhaps the most disgraced congressman of all time, is done with his prison term and now out of a halfway house in New Orleans, the U-T reports. Everyone is piling on, with even fellow Republicans taking time to bash him. (Find more thoughts in our comments.)

On the bright side, he can continue writing mash notes to Newt Gingrich and dreaming of running for Congress. He plans to live in Arkansas and write stuff.

Sounds like he’ll be so busy that we could call him the Duke of Whirl. Or, better yet, not call him at all.

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga

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

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