Yesterday, Voice of San Diego launched the Bigger Voice campaign to help us hire new reporters. We think San Diegans could use more investigations and analysis of where we’re going to get the affordable homes, good jobs and quality schools we all say we want.

In coming weeks, we’ll roll out a fund and goal for each one of these reporting areas. First up, a new reporter to expand our housing and land use coverage. Donate to that fund here, and learn more about Bigger Voice here.


Republican governor candidate Neel Kashkari dropped by VOSD’s Polifest earlier this month, and he made a startling claim: California, he says, is the poorest state in the union, with 24 percent of residents living in poverty.

Can that possibly be true? What about other states that seem to be more poverty-stricken like several of those in the South? San Diego Fact Check reviewed the statistics, and finds that the claim is Mostly True.

By one measurement, 24 percent of Californians are poor, and that indeed does place us in 50th place. But we do a bit better in an official measurement that’s less comprehensive.

Tuna Melts as an Industry, But …

Plenty of locals may not realize it since the doings at the waterfront are a mystery to many of us, but San Diego is the nation’s capital for tuna. Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea are both based here.

As VOSD food blogger Clare Leschin-Hoar notes in a new story, tuna’s popularity is dipping. There are several possible reasons, including the fact that tuna from a can just isn’t that convenient. Now, the big companies located in San Diego are having to adjust and a smaller boutique one is going gangbusters.

More Refugees May Be Headed Our Way

In a new story, we look at efforts afoot in El Cajon to bring Christian refugees to the city from Iraq, where they’re in danger. El Cajon already is home to a large community of Chaldeans, as these Iraqis are known.

Our story explains where things stand and digs into how the refugee relocation program might work.

SeaWorld Cries Uncle on Trainers in Water

Much of the ongoing debate over the killer whales at SeaWorld focuses on the way they’re treated. There’s a human cost to their captivity too: SeaWorld’s killer whales have killed several people, including a trainer who died in Orlando in 2010.

San Diego’s SeaWorld has seen several very close calls and the first killer whale attack on a human (a young secretary enlisted to ride a whale named Shamu) back in 1971. She barely escaped with her life.

SeaWorld has been fighting hard to get the federal government to restore its right to put trainers in the water with killer whales during performances. But now, SeaWorld is giving up the battle, City News Service reports: It won’t keep trying to put the trainers in danger.

• Who was that moron who climbed a freeway sign to convert “Sea World Drive” to “Sea World Sucks”? It was a “Jackass,” actually: celebrity stuntmeister Steve-O.

Quick News Hits: Filner. Again.

• Our disgraced former mayor isn’t out of the woods yet. He testified for 90 minutes this week in a deposition in the case of a city worker who says he “grabbed her from behind, put her in a headlock and rubbed her breasts at an event at a city park” last year, CNS reports. She wants half a million dollars.

• SDG&E has good news on the renewable energy front, the U-T reports: It’s way ahead of schedule on meeting a big state mandate.

• The former chief of elementary schools in San Ysidro (which has its own school district separate from the city of San Diego) has pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges, the U-T reports. Sentencing will come later.

• Forbes estimates that the Chargers are worth nearly $1 billion, ranking 26th among 32 teams. The lowest: the St. Louis Rams. The highest: the Dallas Cowboys.

• And here I was hoping I’d be the first Chula Vista native to ever be portrayed in a tacky Lifetime movie. No such luck. Actor and minor celebrity Mario Lopez will take that honor thanks to an upcoming TV movie about the cast of “Saved by the Bell.”

Sheesh. Well, at least I can still learn the guitar and become the first respected rock star to come from Chula Vista. Wait. What?? Gosh darn it.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misattributed a news story on Bob Filner’s deposition. It was from City News Service.

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

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

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