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It’s been almost 13 years since the city of San Diego gave a business a special subsidy to stay in town but the City Council is poised to do just that to help two craft breweries expand.

These days, the city is big on the beer business despite uncertainty about whether its rapid growth can be sustained.

• The City Council Monday will appoint a replacement for the Council seat Mayor Kevin Faulconer vacated. A lot of people want that job. It’s interim until the election decides who takes the job permanently in December.

Filner’s Free to Roam Around the City

Former Mayor Bob Filner said goodbye to his GPS tracking device yesterday and ended his period of house arrest, NBC San Diego reports.

As you may recall, his resignation speech last summer was both apologetic and defiant, reflecting a man who seemed torn between regret and denial. In a new statement, he offers his “deepest apologies” to those who’ve been hurt and says he will “continue to focus on my mental and physical health and family and private life.”

Parking Hike Targets Bookworms

The new downtown Central Library is full of visual and literary pleasures and only a couple annoyances like neighbor-aggravating building sounds and limited free parking.

Well, add another annoyance to the list: Big hikes in parking fees before and during Padres games.

Last week, parking at the library — which normally allows two hours free with validation — skyrocketed to a flat rate of $30 (!) for much of Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Why? Because the Padres are playing at the baseball stadium next door, and no one seems to have figured out a way to prevent Padres patrons from taking advantage of the library’s normal free and cheap rates.

The flat rate during home games later this month will be $10 or $20, beginning about 3-4 hours before game time. You could take public transportation, of course, if you have lots of spare time (and patience if you have kids in tow).

Now Batting: A Padres Reality Check

The VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast has America’s pastime on its mind. The latest show’s guest is Geoff Young, a baseball writer for Padres Public.

He doesn’t come bearing good news. Unlike some eternally optimistic sports writers, he seems to be firmly grounded in reality and says the team’s playoff chances are “remote.”

“More realistic is that if they win about half their games and hopefully keep some guys healthy and see some of the young guys make enough progress so that we have some hope for the future as opposed to, you know, just thinking about what might’ve been.”

When SeaWorld Went to Sacramento

We’re about done with our quest to understand the theme park’s impact on San Diego as it faces the most severe threat in its history.

But the SeaWorld saga isn’t finished. On Tuesday, the state legislature will consider a bill to dramatically change how SeaWorld treats killer whales.

And our readers are still intrigued by the whole debate: The most popular story on our site last week was about the interplay between the debate over SeaWorld and animal captivity in zoos. For the full Top 10 list, click here.

Quick News Hits: Time to Frappe

• Things are looking good for the San Diego couple who tried to sail around the world but ran into trouble in the remote Pacific ocean when their 1-year-old baby became ill. American sailors rescued them, the AP reports.

• Ever heard of a “land bank”? It’s a way for developers to buy empty land and “offset” problems caused by construction. Now, the U-T reports, an existing golf course in North County could become a land bank.

• Huge digital signs along the freeway clutter the landscape in cities like Escondido and National City. Now, a new one in the works in Oceanside, where the Ocean’s Eleven casino — which already has a big sign noticeable to freeway drivers — wants to install an even larger one.

Some locals aren’t happy, the U-T reports, but they seem likely to lose.

• San Diegans tend be a bit grandiose. (Let’s have a $100 million centennial party! And a new football stadium! And become “the Silicon Valley of biotech“!)

So you might think our favorite drink at Starbucks would be something insane like a triple venti half-sweet non-fat extra-whip caramel macchiato with room. Indeed, that might be the case. (At least that’s what the guy in front of me is ordering. Filner!!!)

But according to a new report, the most “unusually popular” Starbucks drink in San Diego is a pretty simple one: the green tea Frappuccino.

The green tea frappe, according to Starbucks, is “infused with subtle hints of tropical fruit flavors.” Hey, is that the drink or is that me?

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga

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

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