If you’re having a heart attack, the city of San Diego will send a fire engine and an ambulance your way with lights and sirens if needed. Did you call 911 about a hangnail? You’ll get an ambulance, but it won’t run through stoplights to get to you.

How how about a medical situation that’s unclear or not-quite-a-crisis but still potentially urgent? VOSD reporter Liam Dillon, who’s on a quest to understand the city’s emergency response system, offers the answer in a new story. His reporting sheds light on a surprising comment from a ambulance service official about how often paramedics are actually needed: “Fifteen percent of those calls are really sick people.” The rest? Not so ill.

Also, check this VOSD infographic to get a visual handle on what happens when you call 911.

Mayor’s Race Reveals a City of Transplants

Nineteen people are in the running to make it onto the mayoral race ballot, which will be finalized this week. We wondered how many are born-and-bred San Diegans. The answer: Just one.

That may sound pretty remarkable even for this city of transplants. In fact, we’ve only had two native mayors in 163 years of cityhood. In a new story, I take a stroll through San Diego’s history to learn why our political leaders don’t tend to be from here. But demographics are shifting, and native candidates may soon find themselves with a home field advantage.

• Councilman and mayoral hopeful David Alvarez touted his work across the aisle in a debate the other day, saying he’s made sure “that we have things like the five-year labor agreement, which by the way was something I presented even before Proposition B as a way to save millions of dollars for our city.”

Is his claim correct? San Diego Fact Check finds that it’s “mostly true.”

VOSD Radio names a surprising Goat of the Week (she’s better known as a populist heroine) and summarizes endorsements in the mayor’s race. The U-T has its own roundup of new endorsements for all three of the top candidates.

• VOSD reporter Dillon went on NBC San Diego and talked about his theory that Republicans dominate citywide elections unless it’s a presidential election year.

• The three former allies of Filner who started the movement that led to his resignation went on KPBS to discuss their “wrenching” decisions.

Fulfilling the Promise of Open Government

Seth Hall, a local IT guru who pinch-hits as Morning Report scribe once a week, has been tracking the growing local debate over open government in San Diego. In a new article for VOSD, he describes the importance of making documents not only available but accessible too so people can easily find and read them. He also summarizes a panel discussion on open data that he moderated last week.

From 1914, a Stunning Panoramic View of SD

My search for old photos to illustrate the transplanted politician turned up this amazing panoramic view of downtown San Diego in 1914.

Click on the photo to enlarge it, and you’ll see Coronado and Point Loma, Horton Plaza and the U.S. Grant Hotel (second panel), a big building-side ad for “Bull” Durham tobacco (first panel) and the then-new Cabrillo Bridge in the distance (third panel).

Quick News Hits

• The Atlantic magazine has published a brutal take-down of pro football. Here’s the headline and sub-headline: “How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers/Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league — and to the feudal lords who own its teams.”

• Architecture students are continuing with their plan for an elaborate but temporary “urban park” in downtown despite the departure of Mayor Filner, who’d liked the idea. KPBS has the story.

• KPBS has Interim Mayor Todd Gloria on homeless shelters, medical marijuana and food truck policies here.

• An audit found that $250,000 in funds from students and taxpayers was “misspent” at San Diego’s Mira Mesa High School “on things such as staff breakfasts, personal expenses for school coaching staff, a popcorn machine, sound system, office furniture and more,” 10News reports.

• Remember the mammoth borrowing scheme that drew plenty of unwanted national attention to the Poway school district? It requires some of the district’s property owners to pay hundreds of millions of dollars down the line to pay for school construction. Some lawmakers and the county grand jury think these kinds of deals stink. Now, Pomerado News says, Poway education officials are rebutting the grand jury’s critical report.

• Speaking of Poway, the local weekly newspaper has posted a listing for an open house on a street called Gaslight Court.

Gaslight? Wow. Sometimes even your own street is out to get you.

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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