Check out this photo of new condo complex in Golden Hill. You like? Some local activists on the local community planning board didn’t.

But an architect who’s a colleague of the man who built the condo tells us that Golden Hill actually likes it. It’s the planning board folks who are out of touch, he believes. Architect Ted Smith says “community groups do not represent the community I don’t care what they think; they represent the private interests of individual people.”

Read more of his blunt (and debatable) comments here.

Water Woes for Community Gardens

A community garden in the City Heights neighborhood is looking pretty straggly these days, but it’s not for lack of effort. Lack of water is the real problem.

Local residents have to lug water themselves to the garden because there’s no water service.

Why does this problem exist? As a new VOSD story explains, it has to do with the high cost of water: It would cost a whopping $11,000 to bring service to the garden. Advocates for community gardens complain that the city — which recently made it easier for the plots to exist — isn’t doing enough to help them find solutions.

Fact Check: Cops Leaving in Droves?

Kevin Faulconer, the councilman and mayoral candidate, said this the other day: “The Police Department lost an average of 10 officers a month last year. Many officers left due to retirement or better pay and benefits offered by other agencies.”

San Diego Fact Check finds his claim is true. Most quit to retire, but some indeed left to work elsewhere. Faulconer is also correct that the police department lost 51 potential officers to other agencies in the previous fiscal year, often because the recruits thought the hiring process took too long.

• Here’s a claim that’s not true: Faulconer is a Republican. He isn’t a Democrat. You may have read that in yesterday’s Morning Report, which actually knows better and regrets the error.

• Meanwhile, Councilwoman Marti Emerald mistakenly sent out incorrect statistics regarding cops Tuesday. We list three reasons why she should know better.

You Can Honor SD’s Most Respected Newsman

There’s no more respected newsman in San Diego than Neil Morgan, the quintessential progressive Southerner who moved to the West Coast and served this community for decades. He ultimately became editor of The Evening Tribune, a columnist (with both the Tribune and the merged Union-Tribune) and the creator of an eternally accurate description of our fair city: “a stumblebum with character.”

Morgan, who’s now retired, also co-founded Voice of San Diego. In his honor, we’ve created the Neil Morgan Fund for Investigative Reporting. VOSD’s goal is to raise $100,000 to support watchdog journalism through 2014.

Quick News Hits

• The Culture Report, our weekly look at all things artistic and cultural, highlights local stories about autumn offerings, the upcoming 100-year birthday of the Cabrillo National Monument (which is closed due to the shutdown), national attention for Trolley Dances and even more news about the San Diego beer scene.

• NBC San Diego examines how the government shutdown is affecting local people like military contractors. The U-T says closures affected “national parks, military base commissaries, some Veterans Affairs services, IRS offices and an array of other services.”

Meanwhile, local Rep. Scott Peters diverged from the wide majority of his Democratic colleagues yesterday and voted with Republicans to make exceptions to the shutdown for services like national parks and museums. The measure didn’t get enough votes to pass with a required two-thirds margin.

• “A Superior Court judge has dismissed assault charges filed against three San Diego firefighters accused of fighting with two brothers in Normal Heights last year, and robbing and threatening one of them,” the U-T reports, but other charges remain. The firefighters went back to work after the incident.

• What a week to travel to Washington D.C.

A group of local leaders, including Jerry Sanders (now the head honcho at the regional Chamber of Commerce) and Council President Todd Gloria (now interim mayor), are in the nation’s capital to lobby lawmakers and meet with military types. (U-T).

Meanwhile, Sanders and local Rep. Darrell Issa emphasize the need for immigration reform and improvements at the border in a commentary for The Hill, a D.C. news outlet that covers politics.

• The idea of a San Diego bid for the Olympics lives, the U-T reports, but forget about the bonkers idea of making it a bi-national affair.

• The Reader is out with a peculiar story. (Yes, it’s another day with “day” in its name.) It’s about a seal that came close to humans the other day at La Jolla Cove: “A snorkeler ran out of the water to tell the lifeguard that the seal had followed him around threateningly while he was minding his own business.”

Luckily, nobody was hurt. And no one seems to know whose business the seal was minding.

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 is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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