There’s been a big debate lately about a boost in the fee that builders have to pay to support affordable housing in the city. Business groups may go to voters or the courts to overturn the increase.

Our Scott Lewis presents what he calls the sad facts about the fee hike and what it surfaced about housing needs in San Diego.

“It will create only a few of the tens of thousands of housing units planners think San Diego needs in the next two decades,” Lewis writes. He outlines the cost and what he says is an admission from the Housing Commission about what it can’t do. Plus, he what it could cost one big company in town: Qualcomm.

It’s Here (Almost)! Election’s Tomorrow

The mayor election is tomorrow, and we’re almost certain to head to a run-off with the top two vote-getters at a date to be determined. As of about a week ago, about a third of projected voters had already voted, the Daily Transcript reports. Voters in Republican-dominated precincts were rushing to vote early, but “in the largely Hispanic and African-American communities in the southeastern area of the city or along the border, only around 15 percent of permanent absentee voters have returned a ballot.”

As the story notes, Democratic turnout is crucial because Dems outnumber Republicans in the city. Even so, the GOP has held on to the mayor’s job — except for the Filner interregnum — for a couple decades.

By the way, the county voter turnout for the June 2012 primary was the worst in 30 years.

Check out the definitive VOSD candidate scorecard on major issues we just posted. We also compiled a list of who has endorsed whom. One top elected official who hasn’t told the public whom to support: interim Mayor Todd Gloria. With the exception of Gloria and Sherri Lightner, who’s also remained silent, other council members have endorsed fellow Councilman David Alvarez (if they’re Democrats) or fellow Councilman Kevin Faulconer (if they’re Republicans).

• Six of the Top 10 most popular stories on our site over the past week were connected to the mayor’s race. You can check out the full list of most-read stories here.

VOSD Radio: The Guys Have It

VOSD Radio’s new hour-long podcast (including an extra half hour beyond the 30 minutes that air on KOGO each week) features two guests — CityBeat editor Dave Rolland and U-T engagement editor Matthew Hall.

The gang of four discusses another no-girlz-allowed quartet: the men running for mayor. Our ever-critical hosts also explain why they’re so excited about a City Hall reality check that’s coming from inside the house and discuss a top local GOP official’s now-infamous R-rated tweet.

You can read about the show, which includes discussion of housing and the mayor’s race, and listen here.

Quick News Hits

• University of California nurses have reached a tentative agreement and aren’t walk off their jobs this week at medical centers like UCSD’s. But a strike is still scheduled for Wednesday by the “AFSCME local 3299, which represents 22,000 patient-care workers, custodians and food workers,” the LA Times reports.

• We’ve a few unusual criminal investigations over the past few years, but only one is as bizarre as the disappearance and apparent killing of the McStay family. The U-T reports that the sheriff’s department in San Bernardino County, where bodies were found last week, will take over the investigation from the FBI, which took it over from our own sheriff’s department.

• The “Four Corners of Death” — an intersection in southeastern San Diego’s Lincoln Park neighborhood that’s known for gang and drug shootings — is posed to get some public art. Not a mural, because residents are tired of murals in ethnic neighborhoods. No, KPBS reports, this is something different: “a simple string of white LED lights, strung high on a cable, from corner pole to corner pole” that would create “a square halo of light.”

• Say what you will about San Diego, even something as out of touch as the thoughts of a local Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. One thing can’t be disputed: We’re a darn good town for pooches.

Our dog parks are nifty, the beach is canine-friendly in Ocean Beach and Del Mar, and our sidewalk smells provide the latest headlines on who’s been (or gone) where. Just ask the wet mutt in this gorgeous beach sunset photo posted on Reddit. It’s captioned: “San Diego is the best city to have a dog in. My dog completely agrees.”

You know what they say: Here, life is ruff.

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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