It’s Election Day. If you’re still trying to tell the main four would-be mayors apart, check out our new article titled The Engaged Voter’s Guide to the Election.” It has all the details about why we’re having this election, who the major candidates are and more.

Still not sure? Quick, consult our handy issues cheat sheet.

Checking a Claim, Part I: Builder Be Gone?

The battle over boosting fees on builders to support affordable housing has energized some parts of the business community. “I can tell you, because I saw the numbers with absolute certainty, that if this fee had been in place, Soitech would not be in San Diego,” member of the Housing commission and executive chairman of CleanTech Jim Waring told the City Council the other day. He was referring to a manufacturing plant that landed in Rancho Bernardo and builds parts for solar arrays.

There’s only one problem. Soitec told Scott Lewis Waring was wrong.

Checking a Claim, Part II: Firefighter Staffing

How are efforts going to improve firefighting in the backcountry? “(San Diego County reforms meant) 54 stations that are now staffed 24/7, which were previously volunteer,” County Supervisor Dianne Jacob told a TV station a few weeks ago. But, as San Diego Fact Check finds, her claim is false.

In fact, some stations aren’t staffed at various times during the week. Jacob acknowledged that “my comments were incomplete and may have left the wrong impression.”

Aguirre Unleashed (Is There Any Other Kind?)

Discretion, thy name is not Michael Aguirre. The hyperactive former city attorney and long-shot for mayor says he’s shed his antagonistic personality, but he still likes to spar with journalists and even insult them on occasion. (Conversely, we reporter types are always paragons of polite behavior, as you know.)

Case in point: Aguirre has told CityBeat editor Dave Rolland that he (Rolland) has a “shallow mind.” (Hello, San Diego Fact Check?) There is, of course, much more in a new and very extended CityBeat interview between the supposedly shallow editor and the candidate.

True to in-your-face form, Aguirre maligns former Mayor Jerry Sanders in a very personal way, gripes about the “hate-mongers” at the U-T and unearths some surprising historical trivia about how a mayor in the 1930s borrowed money to fight unemployment. And here’s a spoiler alert: the editor and the candidate like to hang out. Get a room, you two!

• Also in the mayor’s race, the news outfit Inewsource has updated details about who’s ahead in the bid for money.

Navigating the Crime Stat Jungle

KPBS explores the statistical conundrum posted by new statistics about arrests: They’re down in the county. But is that because fewer cops are on the streets, because there’s less crime overall, or some combination of the two, or something else?

Cynthia Burke, a number cruncher from an association of local governments, tells KPBS that 80 percent of the public safety agencies report that their “sworn officer population ratio is smaller now than it was five years ago.” (That’s the ratio of officers to residents.)

Quick News Hits

• “Developers backed by a group of U.S. and Mexican investors they are close to breaking ground on a privately owned pedestrian bridge that would allow Americans and foreign travelers to cross the border directly” to Tijuana’s airport, the Wall Street Journal reports. “It’s not a done deal, but if the final hurdles are cleared, the for-profit project — whose investors include real-estate mogul Sam Zell — would be the latest in a series of border improvements that have strengthened the economic ties between the neighboring cities.”

• The U-T profiles a section of the jail in the North County city of Vista that’s reserved for veteran prisoners. No, not those who have spent a while in the hoosegow. These are military veterans — 32 of them at the moment — who are housed in cell block painted red, white and blue. The idea is to offer special programs to help the veterans rejoin society.

• The newsroom employees at KPBS have voted to be represented by a union.

• It’s Election Day and I never got around to mailing in my ballot, so I’ll be walking over to my polling place at a Normal Heights church. That’s a switch from the olden days when I voted at a funeral home in Clairemont. Is the registrar of voters trying to send me a message? Here’s hoping it’s a holy one.

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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