Oops, they did it again. And again.
Throughout the past year, local politicians and officials fumbled the truth, obscured it or just plain bamboozled the public. As we get near the end of 2013, we decided to take a look at the most notorious Fact Check verdicts of the last 12 months.
The top hornswogglers include a top school district official who bungled an interview (he’s no longer, as they say, with the company) and a mayor who just couldn’t stop exaggerating about seals and Olympic prospects. We also take special notice of an offensive claim made against a candidate for City Council.
Food Bank Declares War on Junk Food
Garbage in, garbage definitely out. That’s the new approach motto of the Feeding America food bank, which is literally trashing junk food in an effort to encourage people to eat healthier.
Donations of candy bars end up in the compost pile. Soda cans are emptied and recycled. The goal is to make sure that the 23 million pounds of food that the food bank distributes locally each year are nutritious.
In 2014, as we explain in a new story, Feeding America plans to go even further and move beyond an inventory that’s deemed to be 75 percent healthy. But, as we note, small food pantries — the ones that get their food from places like Feeding America — may not be so picky.
VOSD Radio & Podcast: The Voices of the Year
The last VOSD radio show/expanded podcast of the year features our managing editor Sara Libby, who’s sure to provoke some debate with her comments about the most prominent voices in San Diego in 2013. (Remember, the first half-hour airs on KOGO, and then is combined with the second half-hour for a full-hour podcast you can listen to here.)
Libby says the new San Diego schools superintendent is inspirational in the way that Barack Obama was (and is, at least to some people). But is it time, she wonders, to press Cindy Marten on results?
Interim mayor Todd Gloria also gets props for not being bold, and a judge named Timothy Taylor — hardly a household name — is noted for influential rulings that are shaping the city. Meanwhile, the show hosts offer the names of the Hero of the Year and Goat of the Year.
DeMaio-Peters Cross Feud Gathers Steam
Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, the former councilman, is not getting the best reception from the media lately as he rips into his rival, Rep. Scott Peters, over issues regarding the Mount Soledad cross.
Last week, we fact-checked DeMaio and declared his claims about Peters’ roles in the cross saga to be “Mostly True” and “Huckster Propaganda.”
Now, the U-T has a new story about the feud between the politicians, and it says DeMaio’s petition aimed at Peters “lacks significant context.”
Meanwhile, the chairman emeritus of the group that maintains the cross is weighing in. He tells the U-T that DeMaio’s characterizations are “very unfortunate.”
Chargers May Move Off Dime on Blackouts
The Chargers, perhaps chagrined at last by outraged fans (well, a boy can dream!), might finally be willing to do something about those TV blackouts that occur when the stadium fails to sell out. “Sources said recently that the team will during the offseason explore lowering ticket prices, reconfiguring Qualcomm Stadium’s available seating and other options for the 2014 season,” the U-T reports.
Quick News Hits
• Our story about efforts to fix San Diego’s “hourglass economy” — lots of people at the top of the pay scale, lots at the bottom — was the most popular on our site last week. Here’s the full Top 10 list.
• Slate runs down the various investigations against the president launched by North County’s Rep. Darrell Issa: “To comb over Issa’s requests in 2013 is to read a dark and apparently alternate history of the Obama administration, one in which the president should have been impeached by now.”
But the summary says, his various probes haven’t amounted to much. Yet.
• The Centre for Aviation, a firm that analyzes the airline industry, examines the brewing battle between Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines over routes to and from San Diego. It says flights to Seattle should become cheaper now that Southwest plans to offer direct flights there next summer.
Also of note: Southwest is merging with AirTran and cutting service to several smaller cities back East. And the story includes a nifty pie chart of each airline’s share of the seats from Lindbergh Field. Southwest dominates with 41 percent; United is next with just 13 percent.
• The local Twitterverse was buzzing yesterday over a New York Times quiz that asks you questions about how you pronounce various words and then tries to figure out where you’re from.
I took the quiz, and it identified my dialect as being that of someone from the West who sounds most like folks from Orange County, Seattle and Salt Lake City.
Close but not quite: I’m a San Diego-area native. You can tell because of another vocal trait: My incessant whimpering when the temperature falls below 65.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.