The Great Recession is over, and many workers are getting raises once again, including those who work for government agencies that had to trim their budgets and their staffs. Well, make that some government workers.

As VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt discovers, the restarted raise train has left many local government workers at the station: “The average worker for San Diego County and the patchwork of local municipalities and agencies in the county makes about 3 percent less per week than she did in early 2009 when you include inflation.” But federal and state workers have seen average boosts in pay of at least 19 percent.

What does this all mean? “Local governments are only starting to emerge from years of cuts associated with the most serious economic drought in a generation.”

Stadium Freebies May Need to Bolt

• Mayor Kevin Faulconer is taking aim at freebies at the football and baseball stadiums: According to the U-T, he wants to eliminate tickets to luxury boxes that City Council members get to hand out for various events like games and concerts: “The teams would take over the two suites — one at each venue — in exchange for fees that the city could use to fill potholes, fix sidewalks or cover other expenses.”

The changes aren’t likely to take effect until next year’s baseball season. They may get some opposition: A couple Democratic Council members have given away hundreds of tickets this year, with Councilman David Alvarez saying they help people attend events at stadiums that they’re paying for. No Republican Council members have donated any.

• Just as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, the hopes for an NFL team in L.A. are eternal. Also infernal, depending on your point of view. Now, an NFL source tells NBC Sports that the our neighbors to the north should be getting a team — or two! — in the next year or two. But who? The Chargers, perhaps, or the Raiders or Rams.

Election Roundup: Boehner Backs DeMaio

• House Speaker Boehner is heading to our state to fundraise for congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, and conservative “family values” groups are upset that he would support someone who’s openly gay.

The Log Cabin Republicans, the gay GOP organization, is miffed that Boehner is getting flak for supporting a gay candidate. The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans tells Talking Point Memo that critics of Boehner are mostly “outliers in the GOP.”

• A poll suggests that California voters like Prop. 47, which would turn some non-violent felonies into misdemeanors in order to reduce the prison population. Digital Journal digs into the issue and finds that it’s created some unusual bedfellows, with both liberals and conservatives (like Newt Gingrich) uniting to support it.

One of the proposition’s two creators is William Landsdowne, the former San Diego police chief. Other police chiefs hate Prop. 47. The story quotes the current San Diego police chief, Shelley Zimmerman, who says “virtually all of law enforcement is opposed.” She adds: “It’s virtually a get-out-of-jail-free card” for thousands of felons. (By the way: Yesterday’s Morning Report used too-strong language to describe Landsdowne’s resignation. It’s correct to say that he resigned under fire.)

The New York Times has a story about the measure too: “The referendum on Nov. 4 is part of a national reappraisal of mass incarceration.”

Quick News Hits

• Councilwoman Marti Emerald says she is healing after breast cancer surgery that went “very well.”

• Surprise! A computer projection predicts that California would do OK even if a “mega-drought” lasts for 70 years. (L.A. Times)

• Carl Cohn, a former superintendent of San Diego schools, writes in a commentary for EdSource that the ruling against teacher tenure in California “reinforces a completely false narrative in which incompetent teachers are portrayed as the central problem facing urban schools.”

For background on the teacher tenure debate, check our previous coverage and a look at what’s next.

Meanwhile, a drug-sniffing dog is annoying folks in San Diego Unified.

• Could this the lamest title for a Top 5 list ever? San Diego places fourth on Huffington Post’s “America’s Top 5 Cities to Keep on Your Radar.”

• If you visit the zoo or the animal repository formerly known as the Wild Animal Park, make sure to smile at the giraffes. They sure could use the attention. As the New York Times reports, “until recently almost nobody studied giraffes in the field.” They’re a “forgotten megafauna,” says one specialist, whatever that means. Never mind that they’re among the most majestic and mysterious animals around.

As a guy who’s asked “How tall are you?” just about every day, I feel their pain. And the giraffes, who hardly make any sounds at all, can’t even respond with a snappy “How short are you?” comeback.

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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