The Downtown San Diego Partnership is like a chamber of commerce with some government powers and it wants more.

Kris Michell, who we previously profiled as the most powerful person in San Diego you know nothing about, is leading the way.

Michell and her board already manage maintenance issues for downtown and run an advocacy group for business development. But they now want to set up programs to help the homeless, manage outdoor events, and even act as a sort of redevelopment agency after the state killed that program and the subsidies for construction that downtown relied on for so much growth. But one plan in particular caught writer Andrew Keatts’ attention. “[The Partnership] wants to launch a downtown-only bus service, or a circulator, similar those popping up in other cities,” he wrote.

“The downtown circulator will be one of the biggest game changers in downtown,” said Michell.

You can tell us what role you think the Downtown Partnership should play in the downtown neighborhoods in our Plaza discussion about the story.

Decorating the New Central Library

More than 10 years ago, San Diego announced it was taking ideas for new public art pieces to be installed in a freshly envisioned new Central Library. Donald Lipski submitted his and was selected. He began waiting for the day he would be called on to produce and install the commissioned art.

He waited a long time, Kelly Bennett reported, but Lipski was finally in town this week to install his piece. “Lipski’s piece comprises thousands of books, attached with their pages out to the wall of an auditorium,” wrote Bennett. The long wait didn’t change the Philadelphia sculptor’s enthusiasm for the commission. “From my point of view I’m still very excited about the piece,” Lipski said.

Win Big With Broken Sidewalk Art

When Liam Dillon passed by a heart-shaped crack in a sidewalk in Ocean Beach, it was an artful moment of revelation for him. “When I look at the jagged lines and contrasting colors on many of our Stumblr photos, I see the same possibilities for an art project,” Dillon wrote. “And I’m hoping you do, too.”

We’re running a contest to see who can submit the most compelling artwork inspired by our Stumblr photoblog (we just added a new entry yesterday). The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 8. There will be prizes and an event in July where we’ll display the projects. Good luck!

Preuss School Success, At a Cost

An interview with the outgoing public liaison and maven for the San Diego school district, Bernie Rhinerson, provoked a big discussion in the comments. Some comments made reference to the success of The Preuss School UCSD, which has been repeatedly ranked as a top transformative high school in the nation. Oscar Ramos is a teacher at the school and wrote about some of the reasons he thinks the school is so successful. “If the public wants Preuss-style success in the district, they also have to fund it, because it doesn’t come cheap,” he wrote.

How Can Art Help Schools Differently

We’ve all heard about what art programs in schools mean for students’ development. But can art be infused into all kinds of classrooms to affect student performance? The premise of the local group Collaborations: Teachers and Artists is that art can do wonders. And CoTA is about to put its money where its mouth is, offering $600,000 to local schools who want to give it a try.

Meet Us In The Plaza

Our home for engagement and discussion, The Plaza, has been buzzing with hot topics lately, from national news about infrastructureto hyper-local discussions about what’s happening on Council President Todd Gloria’s Facebook page. Our reporters want to hear your thoughts on topics like what the city’s budget priorities should be and what questions you have for the mayor and newly minted Councilwoman Myrtle Cole. Join us in The Plaza and make your voice heard!

Goldsmith: Fed Up and Won’t Be Bullied

Jan Goldsmith penned a letter to U-T San Diego waxing rosey about how good things were under former Mayor Jerry Sanders. There was mutual respect and harmony between the mayor’s office and the office of the city attorney. “Then, along came new Mayor Bob Filner and things changed,” wrote Goldsmith. He accused the mayor of playing politics with the city attorney’s budget and urged the City Council “step in and stop this nonsense.”

We recently laid out a timeline of the rocky relationship between Filner and Goldsmith. And, this letter to the U-T notwithstanding, our round-up of the most awkward moments between the two still holds up well.

News Nibbles

  • Construction of Poseidon Water’s desalination plant in Carlsbad crossed another threshold yesterday as they began pouring concrete for a 3-million-gallon water tank, the U-T reported.
  • People deported from the United States and left in Tijuana often quickly slide into desperation without any money, transportation or shelter, KPBS reported.
  • The California Department of Education has told San Diego Unified School District that they weren’t allowed to take $13.4 million of school lunch money and spend it on salaries and utilities, so SDUSD will have to pay that money back, the U-T reported.
  • Newly elected Councilwoman Myrtle Cole wrote a memo on her first day in office calling for a cool million dollars to help Civic San Diego to help streamline projects in southeastern San Diego.
  • 1,000 elementary school students participated in an aerial art project organized by I Love A Clean San Diego (NBC San Diego)
  • Looking for work? San Diego County is soon going to hire a whole slew of people in the Sheriff’s Department and in Health and Human Services.
  • The Padres got to feel what it was like to enjoy good pitching in their extra-innings win against the Rockies, writes our John Gennaro.

That Uniquely American Holiday

No, we’re not talking about Independence Day. Nope, not President’s Day, either.

The U-T reported today is National Donut Day, in which we all set aside our differences about whether we prefer glazed, or cake, or sprinkles or jelly-filled, and we join powdered, slightly sticky hands across the baked-goods aisle to celebrate our love of deep-fried dough in unity. Don’t worry, we earned it! Wednesday was, after all, National Running Day. You did put in some miles, right?

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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