The leaders of the city of San Diego say they’re pro-business, but they’re pro- some businesses more than others. As we report in a new story, the city is especially focused on manufacturing and innovation (a category that includes craft beer), international trade and logistics, tourism and the military.

Our story examines what the city has in mind. Among other things, it’s handing out tax credits and wants to do things like give preferred businesses some exemptions from a fee to support affordable housing.

• San Diego Free Press, a progressive website, investigates the city’s tax-credit subsidies for the Illumina company and finds plenty of questionable actions.

(Political) Stunt City USA

In a new story, we take a look at a surprisingly extensive history of political stunts aimed at making elected officials and candidates walk a mile in the shoes of the less-than-rich.

Council President Todd Gloria, who’s planning to live on a minimum wage salary for a week, is the latest to make a small sacrifice in pursuit of making a political point and gaining attention. Other local politicians have given up paychecks, and one fasted for a day. There’s also the previous mayor who turned herself into a faux homeless person and brought along a member of the media.

DeMaio Loses Endorsement; His Campaign Blasts Endorser

The usually Republican-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed a Democrat for Congress yesterday — Rep. Scott Peters, who’s in a tight race against former Councilman Carl DeMaio. A spokesman for DeMaio  blasted the Chamber of Commerce for “trying to protect members of Congress,” the U-T reports. “They like the system the way it is,” the spokesman said. “They know Carl DeMaio is coming to end the perks for this crowd.”

Funny story: The Chamber of Commerce says DeMaio actually sought its endorsement.

• The political cliches have returned! Spotted in the wild: An election-related declaration that “turnout is key.” Thanks for clearing that up, L.A. Times!

Chula Vista Teachers Union Pulls a Whopper

The union that represents elementary school educators in Chula Vista tells people that teachers there haven’t gotten a raise since 2007. In a nifty bit of fact-checking, NBC 7 finds that the claim is absolutely false.

In fact, at least 86 percent of teachers made more in 2013 than 2012 in terms of total pay and benefits. So what’s going on? Like some other unions, this one doesn’t consider “step and column” raises as actual raises. The union president even stands by this view, telling the station that “it is only now that the district is losing the PR campaign that they are introducing this argument that we’ve received raises in these step increases.”

• In a new VOSD commentary, South Bay community activist Maty Adato chronicles the fight to crack down on political corruption in the Sweetwater school district by limiting campaign contributions: “campaign spending is way out of hand. No school board campaign should cost upwards of $80,000. We need to put in place strict term limits for these board members. Nobody should be able to serve for more than eight years. People become too comfortable and lose their drive to actually help.”

Commentary: Ferguson Could Happen Here

Dwayne Crenshaw, a community activist who ran for City Council, believes that most people would answer “who cares?” when asked if a racially based catastrophe like the one that unfolded in Ferguson could happen here.

In a VOSD commentary, he calls for the topic to be taken seriously: “We should struggle through a thoughtful and objective analysis of what’s happening in Missouri, start a community dialogue about what we find and dig deep together to come up with innovative San Diego solutions to seemingly intractable societal challenges.”

Seau Family Rejects NFL Offer

The family of late Chargers linebacker Junior Seau is refusing to accept a concussion-related settlement offered by the NFL to thousands of players, ESPN reports. “The family want to know why this settlement seems designed for expediency for the NFL and to ensure that information doesn’t come out,” a Seau family lawyer said. “And the Seau family wants the truth to come out. Since this litigation started, there hasn’t been one document produced, there hasn’t been one deposition taken. It seems very clearly designed to nip this in the bud and not have the truth come out, and that’s not acceptable to the Seau family, and it’s not acceptable to Junior’s legacy.”

Don’t Get Between Me and the Raisin Bread

Many San Diegans like to head out to Julian every winter to drink cider, eat apple pie and look at the foreign weather phenomenon known as snow. But that’s not all. Lots of us have a tradition of dropping by the famous Dudley’s Bakery on the way.

Now, San Diego Magazine says the bakery is opening a deli in Kearny Mesa, complete with bread from the “mother ship” in the little backcountry town of Santa Ysabel.

For the record, I encountered falling snow for only the second time about 10 years ago during a visit to Boston. I ran outside and tried to make a snowball with my bare hands.

Pro-tip: Don’t try this at home. Snow (who knew?) is ice-cold!

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and 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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