The maritime industry that can’t stand the compromise plan for the future of Barrio Logan has been gathering petition signatures to force a referendum. But the paid signature gatherers they hired need a fact check.

That’s what VOSD land-use reporter Andrew Keatts did when he roamed around town, asking questions of those asking passersby to sign petitions.

‘New Majority’ Looks to Help GOP Evolve

VOSD’s Scott Lewis checks in with a couple of the honchos at the New Majority, which is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, trying to change the state’s politics and doing what it can for Kevin Faulconer’s mayoral bid.

Jon Cross, the group’s executive director and Kelly Burt, the chairman, explained why they’re trying to lead within the Republican Party by touting an unwavering focus on fiscal issues only.

New Majority’s endorsee last year in the primary, then-Republican Nathan Fletcher, is now a Democrat. Burt and Cross explain why they may be OK with Democrats here or there, but definitely not this one.

The Day in Local Politics

• Yesterday’s Morning Report linked to a U-T story that reported Rep. Darrell Issa has raised a big chunk of change in campaign donations even though he has no opponent yet. The story has since been updated. As San Diego Free Press notes, Issa does have a Democratic challenger.

• Get him rewrite! The city charter, a kind of municipal constitution, needs to go under the knife, says City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, City News Service reports. He says it’s a “mess” and, perhaps even worse, a “mishmash.”

Any rewrite would have to go before voters. For background on the charter’s need for fixes, check our previous stories here and here.

• Readers seem to be enjoying our multimedia feature profiling a day in the life of Todd Glora, the interim mayor. We’ve posted several more photos in a follow-up, including pictures of Gloria dining (with the police chief), dashing (from place to place) and, to borrow a phrase from countless photo captions, sharing a laugh.

• Would it kill politicians to use locally sourced stock footage? Readers agree that the footage of a road crew in a new Faulconer-for-mayor TV ad doesn’t look very San Diegan. Sure, we can see snow-capped mountains from here on occasion, but not that close! One eagle-eyed reader thinks the video was shot at a high altitude due to the pristine pine trees, possibly in Northern California or Oregon.

“My $100 bill says the location is not in San Diego County… and that’s a very conservative bet,” the reader says.

Lemon City, Comic-Con Rival, Overreated Eateries

• Think for a moment about the city of Lemon Grove. There’s a big lemon there (for real!). And… Um… That’s all I’ve got. But there’s quite a bit more to the history of the little suburb, and VOSD’s weekly Culture Report has details about how its past is being remembered.

Other topics in the Culture Report: a roiling debate over fees charged to artists who want to exhibit their work, a Comic-Con competitor that attracted more attendees (!), a Kahlo-palooza, and our city’s most overrated restaurants.

Quick News Hits

• A new internal report says San Diego Unified schools have failed to make much progress in meeting federal rules about individual plans — better known as IPs — for older students who are supposed to be prepared for life after high school, KPBS reports.

• The organizers of the inaugural CicloSDias cycling event have released a report about how things went and how much things cost.

• That 14-foot oarfish that was discovered on the beach in Oceanside the other day is getting plenty of attention from scientists, who say it was about to give birth, the U-T reports: “Oarfish sightings are rare because the long silvery fish typically live in water more than 600 feet deep.”

The unfortunate fish could have weighed 2,000 pounds. It’s rare but not unheard of for oarfish to wash onto shore here. As for the Japanese legend that oarfish appearances are precursor to a big quake, the less said the better.

• Cecil Adams, the alternative weekly columnist who’s answered oddball questions for decades, just took on this one: “Has anyone ever broken out of jail using a file baked in a cake?” The answer is yes.

Legend says something similar happen here. Back in 1851, a man named Roy Bean got himself arrested. (Yup, the guy who became the famous hanging judge and “The Law West of the Pecos.”) As one story tells it, he wounded a Frenchman and ended up in the San Diego hoosegow but escaped thanks to lady friends (“señoritas”) who brought him gifts: “concealed among the fragrant petals of the bouquets, or maybe imbedded in the succulent hearts of tamales, were tools of escape.”

Other accounts say he escaped because there were no guards (oopsy) or because he scraped his way through soft mortar with a jacknife. After all, Bean’s brother, the mayor in 1850, is thought to have possibly taken a bribe for the shoddy construction of the jail. But I prefer to believe in the timely tamales.

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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