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We’re already sold out for our VOSD Live event on Sept. 30. at Luce Loft. Featured guests include Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Magazine food writer Troy Johnson and Rebecca Smith from the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

If you’d still like to come, shoot us an email at info@voiceofsandiego.org and we’ll put you on the waiting list. We’ll let you know if space opens up.

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He may be running under the banner of the “Party of No,” but Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio is saying yes to viewpoints he hopes will make him a star. Yes, he’s embracing left-leaning positions on issues like abortion, equal pay and birth control.

These positions reflect DeMaio’s long-standing aversion to tacking to the right on social issues, and they could help him woo moderate voters in the hot race to represent the 52nd Congressional District. But his opponent, incumbent Rep. Scott Peters, shares virtually the same views.

This hasn’t stopped the candidates from griping at each other and finding shades of difference between them. VOSD managing editor Sara Libby analyzes the whole dispute and finds “when everyone’s on the same page about these issues, the result is the same: all sniping and no progress.”

Indeed, Libby uncovers how each candidate seems more interested in scoring political points than making sense and avoiding the hazards of wishy-washiness. The big loser: consensus.

• While he’s a relentless foe of labor unions and perennial critic of government spending, DeMaio has long had a contentious relationship with the local GOP establishment. So it’s no huge surprise that he threw a bomb at Republican leaders like former Mayor Jerry Sanders and their bid to stop a Democratic attempt to raise the minimum wage slightly over the level set by the state.

“It’s a strategic mistake by the business community and by so-called Republican politicians to not offer a positive alternative,” he told a radio host yesterday. “So, instead of saying no, no, no, why not come out with an alternative replacement reform plan?”

When asked if he’s actually against the referendum push, which will force the issue onto the ballot if enough registered voters sign petitions, DeMaio was cagey: “It’s a complete mistake to say our position is going to be ‘repeal this’ and then offer no replacement.”

VOSD’s Scott Lewis, who summarizes DeMaio’s comments here, got a snarky response from the guy leading the referendum effort: “Wait, Carl DeMaio is critical of something that doesn’t prominently feature him? I’m shocked. Shocked I say.”

Our Business Climate Forecast: More Facts, Less Spin

We’ve spent the last few weeks trying to shed some light (and accuracy) on the ongoing debate about whether San Diego is welcoming to businesses.

Turns out there are plenty of myths around waiting to be punctured. In reality, we’re neither heaven nor hell when it comes to things like regulations and taxes.

VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt takes a fresh look at the bogus facts and assumptions that she’s exposed. Among other things, our businesses are not flocking to Texas, and the city doesn’t effectively (or even ineffectively) ban startups.

Yes, We’re Trippin’ (or About To)

Many of us have gone you-know-what over teakettle thanks to San Diego’s sorry sidewalks. Now, the U-T reports, we know just how bad things are: A new sidewalk report finds “at least 39,000 tripping hazards in the city and more than 14,000 deficient curb ramps.” (Here’s a few.)

And the analysis isn’t finished yet. But while we may now know what needs fixing, it’s still unclear how we’ll get to the actual fixes.

Where Oh Where Is the Convention Center Budget?

Gadflies, muckrakers and nosy parkers might want to take a gander at the budget of the San Diego Convention Center to see how the public agency is spending its money. All they need to do is just … Um … Where’s the budget, again?

Good question. The U-T tried to find a copy of it, but it had a hard time getting specific details. “There is a variety of formats and detail that is provided by different public agencies,” a spokesman said. “This is the first time we have been asked to produce something more detailed.”

Quick News Hits: Railroad on Track?

• The governor of Baja California is on board with the renovation of the troubled Desert Line railroad, the U-T reports. Check our extensive coverage for background.

• That nifty new waterfront park near the county administration building needs a few million dollars of fixes. (U-T)

• Uh … We seem to prefer to say “um” instead in this neck of the woods.

• The weekly VOSD Culture Report dips into topics like the influence of art in poor neighborhoods, bar-painting, an angst-y and anxious artist (huh!) and an opera about Milli Vanilli. (No, that’s not a new kind of spice.)

Also: A new art collective “will take a stance against materialism, vanity and power.” Or as I like to call it, “all that is good and holy.”

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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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