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Kevin Faulconer has twice before conducted successful campaigns to replace an ousted leader, and in a wide-ranging profile, Liam Dillon details how he’s put himself in position to do it a third time.

It all started when Faulconer successfully campaigned to replace an ousted member of student government at San Diego State University in 1988. It was the first of what seems like a recurring theme for Faulconer, Dillon wrote. “Faulconer loses or bows out of a campaign. Someone in office blows up. Faulconer becomes a leading candidate in the special election that follows.”

Dillon chronicled Faulconer’s reluctance to jump out ahead on big issues, preferring to let others go first. It has served him well and Dillon offers some fascinating asides about his political climb — like how he refused to pile on when former rival Michael Zucchet faced corruption charges — all the way up to the fascinating meeting where GOP leaders chose him to run for mayor.

Follow the Prop. Z Money

About a year ago this time, we were all very worried about the cost of iPads. That was because Proposition Z was on the ballot, and the issue of technology upgrades in schools was one of the priorities proponents of the measure were highlighting. Prop Z passed, and now Mario Koran has checked in on how the the school district has been spending its money.

It’s mostly been spent, you’ll be shocked to learn, on… technology upgrades. But for the balance of the money that’s left, its unspent status is misleading. “A much larger share of those dollars has been allocated for projects listed on the Prop. Z ballot,” Koran reported.

David Alvarez: San Diego Explained

Over the last several weeks we’ve teamed up with NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia to highlight several things its important to know about each of the mayoral candidates as you head into the voting booth (or mailbox) to pick San Diego’s next mayor. This time, Lisa Halverstadt teamed up with Garcia to underline what you should keep in mind about Councilman and candidate David Alvarez, in this installment of San Diego Explained.

Steady On, Civic San Diego

Last week we wrote about how Civic San Diego, the agency tasked with winding down the city’s redevelopment projects, is busy working to justify its existence. Daniel Cruz Gonzalez, former chair of the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation Board and current chair of the New Market Tax Credit Advisory Committee, wrote in to ensure us Civic San Diego knows exactly what it wants to be. “Civic San Diego’s ability to secure funding and negotiate public-private partnerships creates a ‘one-stop shop’ that is working well today,” Gonzalez wrote.

Forget Papers, Show Me Your Face

Imagine this: you’re stopped by a police officer. She asks you who you are, and to provide proof of your identity. But those simple questions may soon be a thing of the past, if a pilot project currently running in San Diego County works out. Several police agencies in the county are testing out a system where officers simply use a mobile device, like a tablet, to take a picture of a person’s face. All of that person’s records with the police are automatically retrieved and displayed for the officer on the spot.

“The use of this technology was rolled out without any public hearings or notice,” reported the Center for Investigative Reporting. “In turn, the secrecy of the program has alarmed privacy experts and raised questions about whether San Diego is the leading edge of an alarming future.” One where everyone is automatically cataloged by police, they wrote.

News Nibbles

• U-T San Diego wonders if Nathan Fletcher’s personal complexity is what the city needs.

• You can now easily track the Twitter “buzz” around each major mayoral candidate, thanks to inewsource. The graphs show Kevin Faulconer and Nathan Fletcher duking it out for fleeting Twitter popularity.

• First, La Jolla’s problem was bird poop. Now, its sea lion poop. Soon, it will probably go back to being both. Again.

• Here’s some more information on the bright flash of light witnessed by many San Diegans on Wednesday night. It might happen again!

• The Star of India – “the world’s oldest active ship” — will set sail this weekend to celebrate its 150th birthday.

• San Diego’s scientists are trying to learn how to better communicate with the public by taking public speaking classes, with some mixed results.

• Beginning Friday, you can adopt a kitten from the Humane Society or SPCA for only $10. Presumably, the pictured bucket of kittens would cost you $40, if they threw in the bucket.

Down But Not Out, Yet

Bob Filner has officially cast his vote for mayor. This fact confused some, who thought that Filner, who recently pleaded guilty to felony charges, had lost that voting privilege. Not so. “The state Attorney General who prosecuted Filner’s case confirmed Thursday that Bob Filner can vote, including for the person to fill the office he resigned,” 10 News reported.

There’s speculation over whom he supported. Presumably, though, he did not participate in the fine San Diego tradition of writing-in Donna Frye.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect a KPBS correction to its piece on the  La Jolla Cove.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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