He’s a dapper 35-year-old native who lives in a little studio apartment and has a reputation for being smart, friendly and ambitious. Now, Council President Todd Gloria is our short-timer quasi-mayor, boasting only some of the chief executive’s normal powers.
We spent what turned out to be a long and grueling day with the interim mayor. Want to see what he was up to? Check this nifty multimedia story package — “Mayor in the Meantime: How Todd Gloria Learned to Say ‘No’” — by photographer Sam Hodgson and writer Hailey Persinger, both independent contributors to VOSD.
Among Gloria’s stops on this recent Wednesday: diner, bagel shop, museum, optometrist’s office, restaurant, City Hall, Humane Society, bar, community council. Almost all the stops were work-related, making for a very long and eventful day.
San Diego Politics Roundup
• KPBS also has a new profile of Faulconer. Fun fact: His parents are Democrats.
And Politico reports that Faulconer may be the only Republican with a chance to grab a big-city mayorship this year.
• A fracas broke out on the Facebook page of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, exposing the divide among Democrats about the best mayoral candidate.
• As part of his arrangement with authorities, former Mayor Bob Filner was booked into county jail on Saturday and released, NBC 7 reports. He also had his mug shot taken, but it might not become public.
• The county’s two Republican congressmen, Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (son of the former representative with the same name), diverged on the House vote last week to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt limit.
They both wrote commentaries for the U-T. Issa rapped the Obama Administration and wrote that the deal resolves nothing; he was actually a yes vote because he thought it “is necessary to move the country forward.” Hunter, who voted no, called for “a budget process that is orderly and consistent.”
Tijuana Remembers a Saintly Figure
Hundreds of people attended a mass Saturday for the late Mother Antonia Brenner, an American-raised nun who ministered to inmates in a wretched town-like prison and became one of the most beloved religious figures, the U-T reports.
It appears that her fans will work to nominate her for sainthood in the Catholic Church. She lived in a 10-foot-by-10-foot cell at La Mesa Penitentiary, an unusual prison that allowed family members of prisoners to live with them and come and go.
Her message to prisoners: “You have lost your freedom but you have not lost your dignity,” the city’s former archbishop said. “Her presence at the prison was a missionary of God’s love and mercy.”
Health Care Reform: What Happens Before Jan. 1?
A waitress friend of a local woman has health problems and is thrilled to be able to pay $146 a month for health insurance through health care reform starting on Jan. 1 instead of a $1,700 premium that pushed her out of coverage. But what about now? Second Opinion, our series of questions-and-answers about the Affordable Care Act, provides some guidance.
Quick News Hits
• “The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks,” The Washington Post reports. The court records have been filed here in San Diego, and two officials with a defense contractor were arrested at a local hotel.
• Newsroom employees at KPBS are trying to unionize. (CityBeat)
• A little over two decades ago, six daily newspapers sent their reporters to cover the burgeoning communities of North County. Three of the papers were based there, continuing a decades-old tradition of local newspapering.
Then the papers merged, died or pulled out. The North County Times, the only locally based daily left standing, vanished recently after U-T San Diego bought it. In a new oral-history feature for San Diego Magazine, former NC Times employees reminisce about a difficult merger, wildfire coverage and a wrenching suicide photo. There are more memories in an online-only feature, including my own recollections of an infamous incident involving a reporter, his mental-assistance dog and a feline named Library Cat.
• Holy cow! Well, it’s not technically a cow. It’s a 13.5-foot oarfish discovered the other day in Oceanside. But “holy oarfish!” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Fun fact: A caller to police thought the oarfish was a whale. What does the Affordable Care Act say about prescription eyewear again?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.