State legislators didn’t doom the SeaWorld bill to oblivion yesterday, but they came pretty close: It’s been shelved and won’t come back for a year.

Before it was over, though, SeaWorld raised the alarm — aoooogah! — about the very terrible things that would happen if killer whale performances got banned. Lisa Halverstadt tried to capture the bizarre reality SeaWorld lobbyists laid out. They warned that the park would still have killer whales do things like training and “stimulation activity” outside of the public’s eye (a lobbyist compared it to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) and that a ban would violate the park’s constitutional rights.

Other arguments: SeaWorld would just take its killer whale shows elsewhere, and studies of killer whales would be disrupted.

Society’s Role When Childhood Goes Wrong

When kids get hurt, the trauma can stick around for a lifetime. Now, a top county official wants to help kids recover from things like abuse.

The head of the county’s Health and Human Services Director Nick Macchione “wants the people who provide food stamp, unemployment, mental health, Medi-Cal and disability help in the region to be better prepared to work with people experiencing trauma,” we report.

Politics Roundup: The Filner Files, Part CXIV

• The City Council approved going ahead with tens of millions of dollars in loans to pay for things like streets and fire stations, but Dr. No (this guy) and his allies are still holding it up. (U-T)

• Former Mayor Filner is indeed writing a book and is looking for an editor, writes U-T columnist Logan Jenkins, who inconveniently doesn’t tell me where to send my application.

Want to read some other mayoral words? Get over to Amazon and snatch up a copy of “San Diego’s Judge Mayor: How Murphy’s Law Blindsided Leadership With 2020 Vision,” by former Mayor Dick Murphy for just $20.25. And no, I’m not making up that catchy title.

• Yes, you too can explore San Diego’s budget through games and cartoons. (KPBS)

Culture Report: Public Art as Home for Critters?

The LA Times is positively delighted by San Diego’s outdoors public art, local graffiti artists are trying to cover up graffiti’s nasty reputation, and our art-obsessed scribe has an idea for the Balboa Park centennial that involves hammocks and adult beverages. You can find all this and more in this week’s VOSD Culture Report, our can’t-miss compilation of local arts and culture news.

The Culture Report also includes a link to a CityBeat story about artists who created sculptures that can double as homes for animals like skunks and raccoons. “Our intention is to highlight a subset of organisms in an artistic frame with the hope that this will raise public empathy for all urban organisms,” says the team behind the project. Um, OK then!

• So what’s up with “urban organisms” anyway? And do they deserve “public empathy” or just fear, loathing and near-hysterical carrying-on? (Or maybe that’s just me when a skunk is near.)

Not too long ago, we took a look at the local skunk population: Why do they like living here, how do we get rid of them if asking politely doesn’t work, and what’s this about them being gentle? And dog owners: Just forget the tomato juice.

For more, check my recent Christian Science Monitor Q&A with the author of a new book called “The Urban Bestiary.”

Quick News Hits: The Cleveland Show

• Those parents who sailed the world with their little kids weren’t so stupid, says an LA Times columnist.

• San Diego ranks 7th on TripAdviser’s new list of the top destinations in the U.S. We’re just behind L.A. and just ahead of Seattle, Washington D.C. and Orlando.

Ha! Ha, I say, very annoyingly! In your (very ethically diverse) face, Epcot Center!

• An NBC San Diego joke on Twitter about Cleveland (where the Padres are playing) has residents of the Mistake by the Lake all in a dither or whatever it is they get in back there.

Whatever. The best proof of our superiority over Clevelanders: They all move here eventually.

Yeah! Showed you, 48th largest city in the country and symbol of Rust Belt decline! Weeee arrrre the champio…. wait, the Padres-Indians score last night was what?

Can’t hear you, Cleveland. The sun is too loud.

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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