Not too long ago, a local Pulitzer Prize-winning poet bemoaned the big neighborhood signs in several San Diego communities. She wondered why neighborhoods need signs to identify themselves when they should do that job themselves.

While she didn’t seem to know it, our neighborhoods have plenty of uniqueness. We’ve got hipster hotspots, beach towns, bedroom communities and much more. Even obscure Grantville is known for its … Um…

Well, there are shopping malls, fast-food joints, a trolley station and the Kaiser Permanente hospital. Plus lots of traffic and a few homes.

If there’s an identity in all that, it’s a bit obscured. But in lieu of putting up a big sign, city planners have a vision for Grantville. They want to pack more people into the neighborhood in a bid to promote walking and public transit. Residents in other communities have risen up in opposition to this kind of thing, and Grantville may join them.

“If recent history is a guide, Grantville’s neighboring communities will soon be lining up to say thanks, but no thanks. Probably less politely than that,” Andrew Keatts writes in a new story.

Is San Diego Really Anti-Business?

If you listen to members of the business community, San Diego’s taxes, red tape and other crushing burdens have turned the city into a hellish dystopia for businesses. Indeed, a few companies have skipped town in recent months, with some heeding the clarion call of Texas.

On the other hand, a database suggests that that the region only lost a net of 3,440 jobs to other states from 1989 to 2011. And businesses continue to move here.

Where’s the truth? We’re going to give the whole debate a big reality check in our new quest. VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt is our reporter on the case. Check her introduction to her quest here.

City Height’s Supermarket Quest Hits a Bump

The Albertsons store left, but advocates for the City Heights neighborhood hoped residents would have easy access to healthy food through a new grocery store called El Super. But, as we report, the company is facing a bunch of problems, and some residents aren’t happy with the option as a suitable replacement.

City Fix-It Plan Gets Delayed

City Council members want to fix the city’s decrepit streets and sidewalks, but a plan to do so is being postponed, the U-T reports. For background, check our story here.

Quick News Hits: Remembering Raymond

• Guess who’s applying for unemployment? Could it be the former North County hospital CEO who was one of a handful of the most well-paid public officials in the entire state? Of course it is. (U-T)

• “The unfolding conflict over a federally funded shelter for Central American children is the latest example of short-term political gain at the expense of long-term PR loss,” writes U-T columnist Logan Jenkins about the ongoing fight in Escondido, which has developed a reputation for intolerance.

• The CHP is trying to figure out what to tell motorcyclists about the annoying practice of “lane-splitting.” (L.A. Times)

• CityBeat went berserk with Photoshop and morphed the faces of local political types onto the bodies of Star Wars characters like Jabba the Hut and Darth Vadar. Good gawd. I beg of you all: Look away! Save yourselves!

• The L.A. Times honored the 128th birthday of mystery writer Raymond Chandler, a sometime-San Diegan who’s buried in our city’s historic Mt. Hope Cemetery. Chandler is said to be responsible for a jibe about La Jolla that appeared in the Morning Report earlier this week: “A nice place — for old people and their parents.”

Fun fact: Many years ago, I won honorable mention in a Chandler parody writing contest sponsored by the La Jolla branch of the San Diego Public Library. My story was titled “The Big Slip” and featured this line: “He observed two long legs and two shapely ankles as she walked into his office. He did some quick addition and came up with a figure he liked.”

Yeah, yeah, tell me about it. Let’s just say I didn’t quit my day job.

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

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

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