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As our SeaWorld quest nears its end, Lisa Halverstadt explored one of the questions that bothered me from the beginning: What’s the difference between SeaWorld and the Zoo?

For those still going to the San Diego Zoo but not SeaWorld, the differences are thought-provoking. What do you think?

Bonus bit of news in the piece: San Diego Zoo leaders are watching the bill to ban orca shows at SeaWorld with concern.

• Reader Sara Kent helpfully posted a great Radiolab episode examining our evolving relationship with zoos.

• The U-T has an update on where that SeaWorld bill will begin its legislative journey.

• A reminder that this week we also explored what SeaWorld gives back to local kids and why some are suspicious of its value.

Cameras on Cops Get Results

We’ve been following the police department’s effort to rebuild its credibility in the community. The new police chief, Shelley Zimmerman, is following through with former Chief William Lansdowne’s idea of placing body cameras on officers.

Agencies that have done that, Zimmerman said, have seen complaints against officers drop 80 percent. That seemed high, but no, our fact check found it’s true.

Balboa Park 2015 Gets a Plan, Sort Of

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council President Todd Gloria announced their new plan for Balboa Park. First, the planning will transfer to the Balboa Park Conservancy. Second, the 2014 and 2015 December Nights events are going to be big and then there will be two other events we still have to plan.

Third, SDG&E is planning on installing new energy efficient decorative lighting in the park that will “activate Balboa Park at night and reduce operating costs,” according to the mayor.

And fourth, they’re going to put out requests for new food options in the park.

• I keep getting responses to our investigation into what happened to the organization put in charge of the 2015 celebration before it got scaled back. I think people are finally just finishing reading it.

What We Learned This Week

• How to pull off a massive infrastructure loan in 16 easy steps. You will feel like you understand the world of municipal government much better if you read that illustrated guide.

• Carl DeMaio may agree with the financiers of so many libertarian and conservative causes, the Koch brothers, but he did not “work for” them as his rival, U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, claimed.

• Donations from parents are helping some local schools and they seem to have more leverage to keep programs and faculty they want than other schools.

• Many San Diego schools have new libraries. Many of those libraries are now closed, though.

Quick News Hits

• All the week’s sports news, including a nice note about the Aztecs is in the Sports Report.

• Every so often we hear that the Chargers and city are talking, again, about a new stadium. Here’s the latest story about something happening but no real news, this time from ESPN.

• A settlement will deliver $1.4 billion back to utilities customers after the demise of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  (L.A. Times)

• San Ysidro residents want their sidewalks!

• Walk San Diego and Move San Diego merged and now the new group, Circulate San Diego, has been launched. It will advocate for transit and walkable neighborhoods. (U-T)

• Employees of the San Diego Opera are pushing for a reconsideration of the decision to kill the organization. There’s a special board meeting Monday. The American Guild of Musical Artists filed a breach of contract complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. 10News posted an analysis of the demise Friday.

• A judge has decided that there was no evidence the top supervisors at the San Diego Police Department knew the convicted officer, Anthony Arevalos, was engaged in conduct that put residents at unreasonable risk. But a lawsuit against the city by victim Jane Doe continues.

Quote of the Week

“If you let someone that has never done it before give it a try, you shouldn’t be too surprised when it goes over the edge in a big ball of fire. Political strength should not be confused with business acumen. The hospitality/event business is a real bitch to pull off. The margin of error between being a hero or a bum is very small.”

— Hotelier Bill Evans, on why the Balboa Park 2015 celebration effort fell apart.

Quote of the Week II

“I’ll be really honest: This is something I’ve been involved with for some time, I understood where we were trying to go with it. The fact that we weren’t meeting the mark, I … I didn’t want to give up on it.”

— City Council President Todd Gloria on why he didn’t pull the plug on the celebration sooner.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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