San Diego Police Department officials say racial profiling — a perennial hot topic in places like New York City — hasn’t been an issue here for years. But it has. Cops, community advocates and a councilman say officers still pull people over because of their race.

So what are the facts? Neither the public nor the police have any idea because full records don’t exist. A new Voice of San Diego investigation finds that the Police department has only a limited idea of the role of ethnicity in traffic stops.

Why does racial profiling matter? As reporters Liam Dillon and Megan Burks write, “Incidents can erode trust between police and the communities they serve. For some people of color who believe San Diego police officers have pulled them over for that alone, the traffic stops have taken their toll.”

Stay tuned throughout the whole story. You’ll hear about how racial profiling affects people on a personal level — including a mayoral candidate — and you’ll learn how the Police Department reacted quickly after we raised the issue of lax record-keeping.

You can read the full VOSD story here. We’ve also provided an at-a-glance summary of our investigation.

Held That Tiger!

Cinderella got nothing on these guys: The Chargers, one of the luckiest teams around, are moving ahead in the playoffs after blistering the Bengals in a chilly and rainy Cincinnati. Next stop: Denver.

The Los Angeles Times has the story of the game. By the way, it’s the fifth game the Bolts have won in a row.

Meanwhile, “the Bengals have the sixth-longest streak of NFL playoff futility, stretching to the 1990 season. They’ve lost their playoff opener three consecutive years, matching a league record.”

• If you’re a longtime Chargers fan, you may remember the horror of watching the Freezer Bowl. I sure do. That was the 1982 AFC Championship game in Cincinnati, again featuring the Chargers and Bengals. It remains the coldest game, wind chill-wise, in NFL history.

You can reminisce (and maybe shiver a bit) courtesy of the New York Daily News, ESPN and the Cincinnati TV station WCPO.

Loss of an Icon: Jerry Coleman Dies at 89

The voice of the Padres belonged to a man whose heart seemed bigger than every baseball park put together. Sure, Jerry Coleman — a former ballplayer himself — was the reigning master of the play-by-play malaprop. But that made us love him even more.

Coleman, who’d been ill since suffering a fall last month, passed away Sunday at the age of 89. The U-T has details.

“In 33 years as broadcaster of Padres games, Coleman became the link between the major league team and San Diego, and to many he became its very identity,” the paper says. A “unfailingly dapper gentleman,” he has a place of his own in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Urban Hotspot, Coming Right Up

The VOSD Radio Show & expanded podcast catch you up on the news stories to watch this year and feature an interview with urban planner Stacey Pennington about the Makers Quarter in the I.D.E.A. District in the northeast section of downtown: “It was powerful thinking that you could take something like a dirt lot and engage the community in ways that helped shape the future of this area.”

Where the Poor and Rich Live

The New York Times has published a nifty map that allows you to zoom into San Diego and see our pockets of poverty and wealth.

A quick glance doesn’t turn up anything truly surprising, but it’s interesting to see where wealthier people live: along the coast, except along Mission Beach and in the South Bay; in the hills overlooking Mission Valley; and in much of the backcountry. And don’t be fooled by that apparent swath of poverty near La Jolla: Those are likely UCSD students.

Quick News Hits

• Our nominations for Voice of the Year led the hit parade over the past week: The VOSD story about them was the most popular. Here’s the full Top 10 list.

• Yikes. The U-T just named 16 “People to Watch in 2014.” That’s fine and dandy, but only two are women.

• Hey, “hairball cougher of Ocean Beach”: Dude, this Internet denizen has had it with you already.

• I’m supposed to interview someone who lives in Wisconsin today, but she promises to hang up in disgust if the caller ID says someone from San Diego is calling.

No wonder. It’s wicked cold in most of the rest of the country, while we’re getting ready to bundle up when it dips into the 60s — gasp — later this week.

Whatever you do, don’t call your friends back East to gloat. That would be rude and unbecoming of someone of your dignity and stature.

Instead, just let me do it.

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

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