And away they went: The San Diego Police Department has seen more officers skedaddle in recent years than get hired.

Now, hizzoner wants to change things. Mayor Faulconer’s proposed budget will boost the training of new officers and push to keep current officers from retiring or abandoning ship.

In a new story, we examine how this his proposal will work. We also note some of the potential hitches. For one thing, the department is almost certain to become younger overall.

As many of us have learned on the job, young people lack the experience and seasoning of veterans employees. On the other hand, the whippersnappers often come equipped with the energy, enthusiasm and willingness to learn new things. The PD’s job will be to strike the right balance (and maybe provide fodder for the next buddy-cop movie!).

Down These Mean Streets

• Our previous elected mayor — He Who Shall Not Be Named — spawned a few nicknames, none of them nice. So what about the new guy? Does he get one?

Faulconer might want to be known as the “Infrastructure Mayor,” although that it would be mighty peculiar if he liked a name with such a horrible word as… well, you know, “Mayor.” (Just kidding! Please don’t cancel the paving of my street.)

That nickname was actually bestowed on him by the U-T, and Faulconer clearly likes the idea, if not the actual title. So is it a fit?

A report from the city’s independent budget watchdog says things aren’t all that rosy when it comes to taking care of the city’s decrepit streets and sidewalks.

• The city is announcing a new-and-improved pothole repair program, one that’s spurred by VOSD’s 2012 investigation, KPBS reports. For background, check what we found out two years ago here.

• Speaking of infrastructure (my kingdom for a better word!), NBC San Diego reports that the city rejects 1 in 4 claims for damage from potholes.

Commentary: SF’s Minimum Wage Lessons for SD

In a commentary, Ken Jacobs (chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center) and Michael Reich (director of the university’s Institute for Research and Employment) tout San Francisco’s ground-breaking minimum wage, now set at $10.74 an hour.

“Jobs that pay too little for families to live on continue to pose a major problem for local economies,” they write. “City-based policies can be part of the solution.”

• San Diego is about to embark on its own fierce battle over whether it should raise its minimum wage higher than the level the state allows.

The city has put a $13.09 minimum wage on the ballot, but supporters of a competing measure are gathering signatures to force. It would boost the minimum wage to just $12 over four years. But it has exemptions for many businesses. KPBS has the details.

Sports Blogger’s No Fan of Racism

In a column, VOSD sports blogger Beau Lynott tackles the uproar over alleged racist comments by the past-but-not-future owner of the Los Angeles Clippers: “A basic level of human empathy can stop us from inflicting those prejudices. Ultimately, moving beyond our own individual biases can lead to a better realization of equality in all areas of life.”

Quick Hits

• A SeaWorld orca is pregnant. We finally confirmed a date for our big SeaWorld panel. It’s June 5, and the company has agreed to participate. Check out the other guests coming for it.

• The San Diego Opera is doing a crowdfunding campaign to try to raise $1 million by May 19 and it has made some progress. (LAT)

• A new study reports that the tech industry made up 23 percent of the San Diego economy in 2013.

Close Shave for the Ken

Well that was a lot of fuss for nothing. And thank goodness. The Ken Cinema, one of the last remaining single-screen theaters in the county and a treasured landmark in many local memories, will live to make movie memories again.

VOSD’s weekly Culture Report has the details of its timely resurrection.

The Ken’s near-death experience was a topic of discussion at 30,000 feet earlier this week. On my way back to town from a writer conference in New York City, I shared a flight with a big crowd of members of the San Diego Cinema Society. They’d been to the Big Apple to attend a film festival.

I heard a couple of them talking about the group, and I asked if the Cinema Society is still run by “Andy What’s-His-Face.”

Yes, in fact, it is! I was actually seated next to director Andy Friedenberg, who’s run the cinema society for 30 years.

This was, um, not awkward at all. I swear! Not even when I got to meet Mrs. What’s-His-Face.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misattributed comments made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president-elect of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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