Todd Gloria, the City Council president, who has made the most of the extra powers the resignation of former Mayor Bob Filner handed him, is preparing for his exit and Wednesday he offered his successor an ambitious to-do list.

Lisa Halverstadt notes that Gloria wants a tax hike to secure a giant infrastructure bond. A plan to get the homeless off the street downtown. A minimum wage increase. Gloria’s first and last State of the City address was an attempt to force his successor to either embrace or ignore a laundry list of progressive goals.

Whether you hear a lot more about that infrastructure investment, which we’ve been calling a megabond, might be up to who becomes the actual mayor. Councilman Kevin Faulconer does not support the concept. His rival, David Alvarez, does support it.

If you support it, waiting to push it until 2016 — as Gloria announced he would — is probably a good idea, writes Liam Dillon.

• In a new TV ad, labor unions are attacking Faulconer as a tool of corporate CEOs. VOSD’s Scott Lewis isn’t impressed. “Apparently, the best attack on Faulconer the Labor Council could come up with is that people who lead companies in San Diego support him for mayor,” he writes in new commentary.

• Heat, yes. Light? Well… Yesterday’s first two-man mayoral debate featured what the U-T calls “several prickly exchanges.” KPBS’s Sandhya Dirks described it this way on Twitter: “Short and sweet? More like nasty, brutish and short. Both stuck mostly w/ standard attacks about who the other is in bed with.”

• Gloria told an audience this week that the Chargers need to come up with a better offer regarding a new football stadium, the U-T reports. “The NFL and the Chargers are willing to put up $400 million, but that isn’t enough,” he said.

The story includes a telling tidbit about where the stadium might sprout: “A fourth location on the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal — favored by U-T San Diego’s ownership — does not seem to be among the options.

Ugly Profiling or Good Policing?

We’ve been exploring the hot topic of racial profiling and uncovered the fact that the police department has barely been keeping track of how its officers handle traffic stops, which can be a fertile ground for targeting drivers because of their appearance. In a new story, we hear from a veteran New York City cop who now works for the SDPD and says traffic stops — pulling people over — are crucial to police work when done correctly.

“My concern is: Are the people genuinely being profiled or are they upset because they were stopped and think law enforcement had more important things to do?” says officer Samuel Morales. “Community policing is great but we don’t have the resources to get out there and walk. Vehicle stops are community policing.”

• Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, who represents some of San Diego’s most minority-friendly neighborhoods, is requesting a hearing on racial profiling.

GASP: SAN to DCA Flight Cut

American Airlines is cutting direct flights to Reagan National Airport in D.C., reports Politico.

Legislator Describes His Take on Food Politics

VOSD contributor Clare Leschin-Hoar, who covers the politics of food, chats with local state Senator Ben Hueso about important recent votes up at the legislature in Sacramento. “I have a district that has a lot of issues around food insecurity and hunger. Around childhood obesity,” he says. “We have people who work in the fields harvesting food, and yet, at the end of the day they’re standing in lines where Catholic Charities is handing out food. There’s a lot of work we still need to do to provide healthy food choices.”

Open Government May Be Dream No More

The City Council this month will consider whether to ask voters to demand that more government records be available to the public, KPBS reports. There may be some wrangling over the language of the ballot measure, which attempts to clarify which kinds of documents (like emails, text messages and so on) are open to the public.

SeaWorld Chafes in Harsh Light of Documentary

In 2012, we interviewed the author of a new book that chronicles the surprising history of the captivity of killer whales at SeaWorld parks here and elsewhere: The creatures have killed people (including a trainer), barely missed killing others and — in the eyes of critics — are treated cruelly in order to be a public spectacle. SeaWorld has denied the allegations, which grabbed the spotlight a few months ago when a devastating new documentary debuted.

Now, NPR reports, a deluge of bad publicity is swamping SeaWorld, which had tried to lay low after initially bashing the documentary.

SeaWorld, meanwhile, says it’s had record attendance lately.

Quick News Hits

• The city is backtracking from a surprising claim that a victim of a rogue cop tried to bribe him. The U-T has more.

• A San Diego company has admitted to defrauding the Pentagon out of $3.6 million, the LA Times reports.

• The Reader examines efforts to limit the use of those new e-cigs.

• If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t heard just about enough about the Chargers quarterback’s bolo tie, there’s this guide to how it came to be, courtesy of the sports site Grantland.

• Looks like all the boys come to our yard: San Diego is good for husband-hunting in 2014, just like it was in 1989, the Atlantic says.

So how were the pickings for women-seeking-men back in the go-go 1980s? For the answer, check San Diego Magazine’s “Hot Bachelors of 1982.”

• The nifty glass elevator at San Diego’s new downtown central library is finally up and running, I discovered during a visit yesterday. More good news: You can now park for free for two hours with validation. (It had been one hour, an annoyance to library fans, following early weeks when it was free.)

I sat in the library’s grand Reading Room and enjoyed the stunning Santa Ana-assisted view and, from the floor above, a jazz performance and swing dance. Before the music began, it was deathly silent except for a babbling baby and somebody’s beeping-and-blorping phone (no, not mine, and yes, it did blorp). Plus the chortling of a woman who kept laughing to herself for no apparent reason.

I’ll have what she’s having. Unless it’s a stroke.

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:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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