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In a fairly quiet primary season, the battle for the City Council’s coastal District 2 is one of the only local races picking up much steam. Republican Lorie Zapf, the incumbent (sort of – Zapf currently presides over District 6), is facing Sarah Boot, a Democratic newcomer who’s sharply attacking her rival.

This is a big race to watch since it could affect the balance of power on the City Council, at least in terms of whether Democrats can override vetoes by the Republican mayor. In a new story, VOSD’s Scott Lewis takes aim at a Boot campaign mailer that calls out Zapf for supporting the $520 million expansion of the Convention Center.

It’s true that Zapf supports the expansion, as do some of the Democrats on the City Council. So the mailer has that right. But what about Boot herself? If her campaign is calling out Zapf, then she must be against it, right?

Wrong… Maybe. “Sarah Boot didn’t voice an opinion in the mailer either for or against the convention center and never stated in the mailer that she opposed it,” a political consultant told us. However, she does think that the city has spent too much on “ballparks, convention center expansions and numerous other ‘downtown’ items at the expense of meeting the glaring needs of our neighborhoods.”

We still don’t know if Boot’s for or against the expansion.

A Tale of Two Communities

A new blueprint for the Barrio Logan neighborhood spawned a heated battle in City Council and a successful referendum to force a measure onto the ballot. Now, the Clairemont neighborhood is wrestling with a plan to build taller buildings so more people can live near trolley stations.

“But as with Barrio Logan, there’s an argument this neighborhood decision has broader effects,” reports Andrew Keatts. “There’s a regionwide housing shortage that requires additional supply, and the state mandates to combat climate change mean getting people out of cars and into public transportation.”

What does this mean for the way neighborhoods get to control their futures? Keatts takes a look in a new story.

Dumanis Under Fire Over Supposed Political Pressure

The former mayor of Chula Vista says District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis called him in 2005 and suggested that he appoint one of her assistants to a Council seat in the county’s second largest city. Not long afterward, her office began investigating the Chula Vista City Council.

The campaign of rival DA candidate Robert Brewer, whose campaign slogan is the utopian-bordering-on-naive-sounding “Public Safety…Without Politics,” will hold a press conference today to demand the release of “all internal emails and other public records that could shed light on Dumanis’ conduct.”

The press conference comes a day after KPBS reported on a twist in its efforts to get the DA’s office to cough up records.

City Hall: Workers Arrested; De Anza Cove Final Chapter?

• The city’s independent budget watchdog likes the mayor’s proposed budget for 2014-2015, especially the longer hours for libraries — they’re set to be open longer than they’ve been for a decade — and a jump in staffing for the police department, KPBS reports.

But budget analyst Andrea Tevlin also warns that the budget takes too much money from the general fund, which pays for day-to-day expenses, to pay for “capital” expenses like road repair. Tevlin told the Council that four of its priorities aren’t funded in the proposed budget, including staff to take better care of the city’s trees, to manage a response to climate change, and to monitor compliance with the city’s living wage ordinance.

• “Three City of San Diego employees have been arrested for stealing gas from a city fuel station,” NBC San Diego reports. They were allegedly stealing the gas from a malfunctioning pump.

The suspects are now off the job, the city says.

• A judge is expected to rule today on how much the city must pay residents of a mobile home park in Mission Bay Park before it can remove the homes to make way for more parkland. “The De Anza Cove mobile home park takes up 76 acres in the heart of Mission Bay Park. Most of the residents of De Anza Cove are elderly, and they are paying rents that are far below the commercial rates expected for waterfront property,” KPBS reports.

Quick News Hits: Auto Theft Hot Spots

• The U-T identifies local ZIP codes with the most stolen cars. A ZIP code in National City tops the list, followed by the City Heights neighborhood, the northwestern stretches of Chula Vista, downtown San Diego, the Barrio Logan/Logan Heights neighborhood and the southwestern stretches of Chula Vista.

• Not everyone’s a fan of your Morning Report scribe. That’s the word from a CityBeat columnist who calls me a “dough-faced,” “self-important troll” with “the back-patting superiority of a third-grade know-it-all.” So? What’s your point?

• We may never get a trolley connection to the airport. Never mind that the trolley goes right past it. The U-T explores.

Oh, well. At least I get to spend quality time with my VOSD pals when they give me rides to and from the airport. Now if only we had something to talk about besides “Pull over here. I’m in Terminal Two.”

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 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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