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This week we highlight some of your thoughts on what innovators need, the city’s new planning director, public money for the arts, changes at Balboa Park and how school board members should get their seats.

While I think there’s certainly value in creating physical spaces for great minds to come together and collaborate, I think there’s a broader point to be made about how these land grants mitigated the costs of failure.

Innovation requires time. It requires the patience to test many ideas, including many wrong ideas. Removing the need to pay rent enabled these institutions to play the long game required by innovation.

If we want more innovation in the region, we should explore ways to reduce the costs of failure for entrepreneurs. For example, I know that the cost of health care is commonly cited as a factor that prevents people from taking entrepreneurial risks. Beyond health care, the city could do other things to simply lower the cost of doing business such as subsidizing HR or accounting support for local startups.

Farmers grow food because there are people who want to buy food. No one criticizes them for doing it. Developers build buildings because there are people who want to buy what they build. It’s just supply and demand, or rather, demand than supply.

When local residents object to new buildings, they are really just trying to prevent new people from moving into the neighborhood. Hopefully Mayor Bob Filner will support Bill Fulton, smart growth, and new neighbors in old neighborhoods.

To answer the question “why”: We need art — performing art, visual art — to allow us to see our lives through different prisms. Would food be so pleasurable without spices? Art is the spice in our lives.

A public commitment to fund art reflects a community value and encourages more art — more spice in our lives, the city, the Unified Port of San Diego, the schools. Look what’s happened at Liberty Station with the galleries creating more foot traffic and attracting more restaurants.

Given your description of the job, I think you’ve answered your own question. It’s a really tough gig, with lots of accountability and very little clear-cut authority, particularly in personnel matters.

I’m hoping Cindy Marten focuses on raising the status of principals as a group in the district decision making process. Let’s get rid of the assistant and deputy superintendents and give school principals a lot more authority.

I live inland (Escondido) in a large house (3,000 square feet). These are choices I would not make today, but I made them almost 30 years ago. Because of property taxes, I’d pay just as much if I moved to a smaller place. I do all I can to reduce energy usage and I rarely use A/C. I manage the heat with fans, good window coverings, opening and closing blinds/windows, etc. By not using A/C, my body has adapted to the heat. As a result, I never go into tier 3 and usually not into tier 2. Would I use more power if the rates were lower? Well, probably, and is this the behavior we want to encourage more than we already do with lower inland rates? Given the issues in this region, I don’t think so. On a pleasant day, temperatures around 80, I can walk around my neighborhood and all the A/C units are whirring. Most of my neighbors set their ideal temperature and then run heat or A/C year round to maintain it.

 Comments have been lightly edited for typos, spelling and style.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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