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Today is Politifest. It’s at Liberty Station’s Central Promenade starting at 9:45 a.m.

You are obligated to attend.

OK, not obligated, but you owe it to yourself to be there.

OK, that might be a little much too. How about: Everyone always talks about civic engagement. Here’s a chance to soak in public affairs and get a beer while finding something fun for your kids to do. And it’ll be a good time. Here are five things to watch for.

Hit-and-Runs Get Away from Prosecutors

Nine out of 10 San Diego drivers who injure or kill someone with their car and just drive away don’t get punished.

Mario Koran, with big help from the San Diego Regional Data Library, did an analysis that shows 4,100 drivers left victims dead or injured by the side of the road from 2009 through 2012. But only 539 people were convicted of hit-and-run related crimes over the same period.

San Diego Bucking California Trend on Businesses

The San Diego area saw a net gain in businesses due to relocations and new starts, while California saw losses. Economic gurus say business and jobs creation are the more crucial stats to watch.

And that’s where we’re headed next.

What We Learned This Week

• There are 242,035 businesses in San Diego County that do not have any employees, they each consist of just one self-employed person. That and other facts about where people actually work were in this nice compilation by Lisa Halverstadt.

Halverstadt’s quest to understand the facts and fiction in the discussion about San Diego’s business climate is rolling strong. She learned that Kashi, a natural foods company that bolted town not long ago, is coming back. Read up to find out why.

• Sweetwater Union High School District will elect board members by district now. Here’s a handy map that explains how it will work.

• A UC San Diego professor has developed a calculator that makes users guess the answer before giving it. It’s all part of the Common Core movement’s focus on helping students learn the concepts behind mathematics.

• The City Council president and a burgeoning movement of environmentalists want the city to wrest control of energy purchasing away from SDG&E. They want residents to be able to choose from a menu of options on how green their electricity can be. Here’s Andy Keatts’ primer on what Community Choice Aggregation is, and why Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins isn’t so excited about it. We’ll ask Atkins about this at Politifest. She’s on stage at 10:45 a.m.

• Last week, boosters hoping to expand the Convention Center were stunned to learn an appellate court had deemed the planned hotel-room tax financing illegal. It’s not clear what they’re going to do, but they also got more bad news this week: The place is crumbling.

• It’s hard to listen to these stories from witnesses and loved ones of victims of hit-and-runs. These crimes really should be bigger news.

• The San Diego Police Department since 2010 has been trying to build a surveillance network with the ominous title “Operation Secure San Diego.” As we reveal after an investigation, it has become something of a hilarious mess.

• That $178 million Comic-Con economic impact figure floating around came from flawed data.

That Minimum Wage Debate Ain’t Over

As he said he would, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer formally vetoed the City Council’s increase to the minimum wage. The City Council president vowed to override him. Now, the question becomes whether the business community will mount a referendum to repeal it.

For what it’s worth, on our podcast, one of the most outspoken opponents of the minimum wage increase, Mark Arabo from the Neighborhood Market Association, said his group would not likely spend much if anything on the repeal effort. We’ll send that link to you soon.

The U-T predicts a referendum is on the way. Supporters are fired up to defend it.

More News Hits

• A San Diego businessman got some national exposure after he took in a migrant family and caught some flak for it.

• Community groups involved with land use debates can get into some tense rows. A bicycle and smart-growth advocate is calling for the chair of one local planning group to step down.

• Another local company is making news in the fight against Ebola. Carlsbad-based Life Technologies makes a testing instrument that helps rapidly detect the disease.

Quote of the Week

“By the time children are in high school, they stop asking why. We can get them to do almost anything we want. But we haven’t stopped to think about whether that’s a good thing.”

Ilan Samson, whose QAMA calculator is part of the effort to overhaul math education.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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