Time keeps on ticking, ticking into the future, and we’re now 17 days away from San Diego’s family-friendly festival of community empowerment and civic engagement. (Trust us, we’ll limit any adult discussions to adults-only.)

Join us for Politifest from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Aug. 3 at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

Hear about the future of planning in San Diego and what it means for our neighborhoods from the city’s rock star new planning chief, Bill Fulton. (Look for more about him below.) And hear from advocates of all stripes who make our communities work.

We can’t do it without your support. Click here to donate. And don’t forget to vote for the winning community proposal in the Idea Tournament.

Don’t be square. See us there!


Their voices may not be the loudest right now, but there are plenty of people who still support Mayor Bob Filner and don’t think he should quit. They’ve made their presence known through media interviews, letters to the editor and a blizzard of online comments.

They’re calling for due process, questioning the motivations of those (both Republican and Democrat) who want the mayor out and warning about the threat to progressive values of a new mayor not named Filner. They’re saying something else too: City Hall, for once, is working.

“I recognize how hard y’all work, and how frequently you lose and how that creates an expectation of losing all the time, but I think I can say … that your experience has been very different in the last six months,” a mayor’s office official told a community planning group this week. “Citizens came to the mayor and asked for help, and immediately — immediately! — had instantaneous help from the highest level that was available.”

Andy Keatts was at Tuesday’s North Park Planning Committee meeting, and recounts the staffer’s impassioned defense of her boss here.

The (Planning) Beat Goes on City Hall

We have a brand-new planning director with a remarkable background and reputation. Boy, did he show up for some interesting times.

But he can’t be frozen in place while all this drama is going on. Learn about what he’s up to and what he expects the timing will be.

Guide to Filner in the Media: Read ‘Em and Weep

It has not been a good few days for San Diego’s reputation or faith in our leadership. But it’s been a very good few days for the media. We’ve put together a handy roundup of the most incisive coverage.

• And if you missed it, the mayor’s remarkable interview with the local Univision station, featuring his “the biggest monster is inside me” comment, it’s on YouTube here.

What’s Next for Old Central Library?

The old Central Library in downtown is a nifty building in some ways, notwithstanding the ancient 1950s feel inside. It has several neat architectural flourishes, and it’s really big with lots of open space and natural light.

So what’s going to happen to it? We examine the options in a new story. Turns out there are plenty of ideas, including a YMCA, a homeless shelter and even a police evidence storage facility.

A Middle View on Filner Scandal

CityBeat columnist John Lamb thoughtfully offers some good perspective in a new piece: “The women holding ‘due process’ signs behind the street-corner kangaroo court Monday have a point. The unnamed women who apparently fear media-hounding, name-calling and charges that they are part of some grand conspiracy to rid the city of an old, boorish mayor and replace him with bright, shiny shape-shifter Nathan Fletcher also have a point.”

Fixing Democracy Here at Home

A while back, I attended a journalism conference and listened to a grim plenary speech about the future of my profession. A voice cried from the audience: “Give us a reason to live!”

Looking for a reason to keep believing in the power and potential of civic life? Try a new commentary from Martha Cox and Mary Thompson, co-chairs of the Civil Discourse Group of the League of Women Voters North County San Diego.

They write about a presentation that offered a “new perspective on our problems: adversarial ‘politics-as-usual’ doesn’t work and expert-provided research alone doesn’t work. These techniques aren’t sufficient to address the growing diversity and perspectives of our population or the complexity of common problems.”

‘Blue Economy,’ the Oceans and the Future

VOSD reporter Kelly Bennett explores the world of the “blue economy” — technology that involves the ocean: “But despite the sector’s size, and the importance of San Diego’s waterfront perch to its culture and bottom line, little thoughtful planning has been done to facilitate the future growth of the industries.”

Quick News Hits

• U-T San Diego investigates spending on the mayor’s controversial trip to Paris.

• Remember Chalkgate? Remember the Sunroad mess? (This year’s mess, not the previous one.) Ah, those were the days. CityBeat dredges up some news about one of these topics, reporting that the Sunroad developer “began construction of apartments even though aware of code violation, evoking memories of its too-tall tower.”

• The 2014 election is far off, but Bob Brewer, the attorney who wants voters to sack District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and hire him, is in the money: He’s raised almost $280,000 so far, CityBeat reports.

• A new power plant in South County might cost $1.6 billion-plus. (U-T)

Del Mar opening day hats! (You know you’re going to click.) Via U-T.

• Endangered. Elusive. Slimy. We’re talking, of course, about mountain yellow-legged frogs. There are only about 200 adults in the U.S., some of them in Southern California, and the zoo is trying to protect and reintroduce them, the U-T reports.

Threats to the frogs include drought and bullfrogs and trout, which like to eat them. Remarkably, they survive for years as tadpoles before becoming frogs.

“I think a world without frogs would be kind of a sad place,” a researcher says. That’s one thing we can all aggribbit on.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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