Big news from the weekend: The U.S. Justice Department has announced that it will manage an independent review of the San Diego Police Department, which has been battered by a series of allegations of sexual misconduct by officers.

A press conference will provide details today. NBC San Diego has more information.

Big City Loan: Here Comes Money Boo-Boo?

“The city of San Diego wants to use a common, but convoluted financing mechanism to repair its roads and build other infrastructure,” VOSD reporter Liam Dillon writes. “But it recently hit a legal snag.”

Considering how things work (and don’t work) in San Diego, this isn’t an unusual thing for a reporter to write. But this “funding mechanism” deserves that clunky term because it truly is a weird creature. How weird? Check out Dillon’s full story, which uses photos, graphics and some wry Internet wizardry to tell the tale of one strange way to borrow a buck (or $120 million).

Here Comes the Minimum Wage Debate

As a City Council committee gets ready to tackle the minimum wage debate today, Desert Call Connection CEO Gabriel Bristol defends a higher minimum wage in a commentary.

• Our own opera story — quoting the opera’s boss about how donors have been dying off — was the third most popular story on our site last week. No. 1 was our education blogger’s explanation of the new Common Core approach to teaching math in schools. For the full Top 10 most-popular list, click here.

Politics Roundup: Blog Payoffs, Home Costs

• Voice of OC, an Orange County watchdog news outlet that’s similar to VOSD, examines how California campaign finance law is facing a big challenge from, of all things, political blogs. The state requires some disclosure of when political bloggers receive funding from campaigns to post positive stories, “but they don’t address the methods by which bloggers were already suspected of skirting the rules, such as inflated payments for ads and receiving compensation from private groups other than campaign committees.”

• Should local home sellers be required to pay for a few thousand dollars’ worth of energy- and water-friendly upgrades before they sell their homes? We examined the potential cost of the city’s Climate Action Plan last week, and readers responded — pro and con and more — with 50+ comments.

A Political Murder, 20 Years Later

San Diego’s most iconic news photographs depict moments of devastation: A wounded PSA airliner falling toward the North Park neighborhood; a young massacre victim lying motionless at a San Ysidro McDonald’s.

Another photo, U-T photographer Robert Gauthier’s stunning 1994 picture of a fatally wounded Mexican presidential candidate in Tijuana, belongs in the file of timeless images too. Gauthier snapped the photo immediately after the candidate was shot.

In a new story, the U-T remembers the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio, who was expected to become Mexico’s president, at the 20th anniversary of his death. Conspiracy theories surround his murder.

VOSD Radio: The Affordable Housing Conundrum

The VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast features Jennifer LeSar, local affordable housing guru and a leader in the search for the next CEO of the San Diego Foundation. You can listen here.

“We need to make housing affordable for everybody in San Diego, especially if we want the children of our families today to be able to stay,” LeSar said. “So affordable housing is an issue for low-income people, working people, medium-income people and even the upper-middle class.”

San Diego State’s Sitting Sweetly

Yes, the Aztecs basketball team is in the Sweet Sixteen for only the second time. They play Thursday in Anaheim. (U-T)

“We have been quiet about it, and we still want to be quiet about it, but we’re not surprised that we’re still playing,” said coach Steve Fisher, according to the New York Times. “Some people might be, and some people might say, ‘Well, you know, they got lucky.’ Whatever. We’re not surprised. We think we’re good enough to play with anybody.”

Thanks for clearing that up, coach!

… And Away We Go! (Literally)

Deadspin is out with a handy map showing how various American cities have been destroyed in the movies. San Diego, of all places, makes an appearance or two.

Fortunately, we’ve has been spared creature attacks (piranhas, bats, super-intelligent apes), climatic events (“devil winds,” ice ages, tidal waves), geologic events (quakes, more quakes, volcanos), and infections (zombies, larvae). Even meteors, asteroids and aliens have left us alone, and the only sharknado in movie history didn’t strike here.

What’s left? Monster attacks, of course. We’ve been invaded by dinosaurs (“Jurassic Park: The Lost World”) and tomatoes (“Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”).

One powerful force isn’t represented on the map, but maybe Hollywood will get to it in a few years with a new summer blockbuster. You know what I’m talking about: Hurricane Filner.

Run! Run for your lives! Save yourselves!!

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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