One of the most intriguing items from Council President Todd Gloria’s speech on Wednesday was his insistence that the new minimum wage set by the state is not enough for San Diegans. “Although California’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase in 2016, that translates into an annual salary of less than $21,000, which is simply not enough in a city with a high a cost of living like ours,” Gloria said. Scott Lewis ran the numbers and asked Gloria’s office if a minimum wage of $14.50 per hour was what they had in mind. “Your estimate doesn’t sound far-fetched,” a spokeswoman for Gloria said, although she said Gloria’s office hasn’t settled on a specific number yet.

“If the city of San Diego goes from $8 to $14.50, it would be an increase of 81 percent,” Lewis noted.

They Build San Diego

Construction projects on the Convention Center, the airport, and at the new Central Library have all become iconic San Diego projects, and they’ve all been done by one construction company. The company has had its hands in many projects that have shaped San Diego’s skyline, reported Joel Hoffmann, and they’ve done it without making a lot of political enemies. Turner shows no signs of stopping their domination of big city projects, Hoffmann wrote. Next on the list: “A 34-story high rise that will stand out in San Diego’s skyline. A $250 million budget.”

‘Food Desert’ Expands

The Albertsons grocery store in City Heights recently announced it’s closing, which leaves even fewer options for obtaining fresh food for residents in a part of the city that is already underserved. Megan Burks reported the closure announcement drew sharp criticisms from local politicians who are worried the closure will hurt the neighborhood. “Albertsons is scheduled to start liquidating its stock next week,” Burks wrote. “Doors close permanently Feb. 20.”

Seals or Sea Lions: San Diego Explained

When you walk down to La Jolla and catch a whiff of the stench that lingers near the beach, you might blame the stench on seal poop. Or is it sea lion poop? Is it sea lions giving birth at the Children’s Pool, or seals? It can all be very confusing, so Lisa Halverstadt joined NBC San Diego’s Catherine Garcia to work out what the difference is between seals and sea lions, and how their differences play into San Diego politics, in our newest San Diego Explained.

‘Welcome to Bonsall’

Community signs, much like the ones that straddle the streets through Hillcrest, University Heights and Kensington, will soon be allowed to grace communities located in San Diego County. The Village News reported on how the San Diego County Board of Supervisors “approved the introduction and first reading of an ordinance to allow community signs and banners in public right-of-way” last week. Changes to zoning laws, ordinances, and regulations have been in the works since 2012.

News Nibbles

• “The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced that the H1N1 influenza strain is affecting young people more than usual this year and that at least seven individuals in the area have died from flu-related illnesses.”

• Cleaning up the vast amounts of trash from the San Diego River also means confronting the homeless population that lives there.

• The Temecula woman who was cited for using the wearable computer known as Google Glass while driving was found not guilty.

• A case involving the arrest of a San Diego man could wind up being central to the issue of warrantless smartphone searches, if the Supreme Court decides to hear it.

• Firefighting efforts continue against a blaze that may have been started by a campfire and that sent thick smoke into the Los Angeles area.

• San Diego is still under its own Red Flag Warning.

• The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it’s still OK for federal law enforcement officers to bust compliant medical marijuana dispensaries in California.

• The OC Register, one of the few newspapers that has been rapidly expanding its staff lately, laid-off dozens of newsroom workers on Thursday.

• Move over, Chargers. Two local businessmen have bought a professional tennis team out of New York and will move them to San Diego. And they shall be called the Aviators.

Brains Over Belligerence

Researchers led by UC San Diego behavioral economist Uri Gneezy set up an experiment that pitted one subject supervising a second subject, who was made to perform frustrating, menial labor. The first subject, the “supervisor,” was told that she would be rewarded more money the longer she made the second subject perform the labor. Sound familiar?

Turns out that doing menial, repetitive labor makes people angry, and that angry people are stronger people, KPBS reported. Tested after having to perform the frustrating labor, the most angry subjects were much more likely to outperform their “supervisor” in a strength test.

All hope isn’t lost for the supervisors, though. A second test indicated that angry people are much more likely to make bad or impulsive decisions, and the less angry people were able to outsmart the angry ones in a game of tactics. So, you supervisors of the world, stick with Chess, and take it easy on those in your employ.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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