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The city of San Diego owns a lot of property, and it leases a lot of property. SeaWorld pays rent, for example, and so does the company that runs Belmont Park. Now, the City Council wants a better deal. Call them Big Negotiators for the Big Dipper.

There’s a funny thing, though, as VOSD reporter Andrew Keatts notes: “There isn’t any common understanding of what constitutes a good deal, nor are deals negotiated with any overarching long-term vision in mind. It’s been that way for a long time.”

People have been saying the city should figure out a strategy, but it hasn’t bothered.

Some Firms Still Like SD. But Why?

Business types often complain that California and San Diego are unfriendly to businesses. But some firms still come here from elsewhere, even though it’s very expensive to live. VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt takes a look at why.

Among the reasons: We have a lot of smart and talented people in certain fields, we’re a bit cheaper than Silicon Valley or San Francisco (hard to imagine, but it’s true), and people like to stay here.

City Hall Roundup: Zucchet Loses Suit

• “Former City Councilman Michael Zucchet’s lawsuit against his main accuser in the City Hall strip club scandal more than a decade ago will be dismissed,” the U-T reports, thanks to a state appeals court ruling. Zucchet escaped a conviction in the scandal.

The court says: “Merely acting as a witness at trial — even a very valuable witness for the prosecution — does not make someone an active participant subject to liability for malicious prosecution.”

• A largely polite U-T endorsement of Republican Chris Cate for the one City Council seat in contention — it even calls his female opponent “bright and well-meaning” — ends with a slam at the “council majority’s pro-labor, anti-business zealotry.”

State Politics Roundup: Mail-Ballot Bonanza

• A police report suggests local state Senator Ben Hueso lied about drinking when he was nabbed for alleged drunken driving. (Sacramento Bee)

• The state is setting up regulations to protect sea life from those new plants, including a big one in Carlsbad, that will take the salt out of water so it can come out of our hoses and faucets. (U-T)

VOSD Radio: NFL Follies

The VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast’s special guest in the latest episode is… drum roll please… hey, I said a drum roll, not a dirge!… well, the special guest is me. I’m on board to add gravitas to the show, which I accomplish by introducing it to the word “nutbag,” among other things.

Co-host Andrew Keatts and I talk with Robert Edelman, a sports historian and professor at UCSD, about the troubles facing the NFL and whether players serve as role models. Other topics: A possible bid for the U-T, the Hero and Goat of the Week, and Keatts’ continual attempt to convince me that I’m wrong about everything. (Can we get a Fact Check up in here?)

• Speaking of sports, the mayor of Anaheim is driving such a hard bargain over a lease of the baseball stadium there that the California Angels walked out of negotiations, the LA Times reports.

The Deadspin blog is impressed: “rather than blindly turn over potentially hundreds of millions in public money, the city of Anaheim took a calculated, dispassionate look at its other options. So the sports team owner took his ball and went home, threatening to leave town and blaming the city for not being ‘committed.’”

• The NY Times spotlights a photographer who’s shot pictures of every ballpark, including our own.

Quick News Hits: Video Killed the Video Star

• Our look at the inside story of the falling out between congressional candidate Carl DeMaio and his consultants was the most popular on our site last week. Here’s the full Top 10 list of our most well-read stories.

• Gather ’round, children, and let me tell you about the olden days when videos weren’t delivered in the mail, streamed through a computer or ordered on demand. That’s when Kensington Video was an indispensable treasure for every local film buff. Those days are gone, and soon, Kensington Video will be history too. (SD Reader)

• Winter’s coming. But never mind that. First, it’s gonna be hot. (U-T)

• You might assume time capsules would be in the ground for 50 or 100 years. Think again. A North County elementary school has other ideas: It’s opening a time capsule after just 20 years.

Hmmph. Well, at least Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary is paying for the privilege of a too-early opening: they’re still grappling with the darn thing, which turns out to be a “5-and-a-half foot metal pipe about 15 inches in diameter and weighing at least 200 pounds.”

Man, that’s a lot of work just to open that thing up and find a Hootie & the Blowfish CD. (Shudder.)

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

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

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