Civic San Diego is the organization picking up where San Diego’s aborted urban renewal agency left off when the governor killed redevelopment. But its leaders may not get as much power as they want. You see, they wanted to turn it into a kind of landlord and developer.

The city may want to micromanage any of those investments though.

“A Council committee is considering Wednesday whether to give the Council authority to approve any move the organization makes to buy property, invest in a project or issue debt,” VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports.

This seems to be against the mayor’s wishes, however. Thus, the City Council may have to race to get it done before early December when Democrats may lose a super majority if Chris Cate, the Republican, wins in the hotly contested District 6 race.

S.D. Manufacturing’s Ups and Downs

San Diego’s manufacturing sector has undergone some major evolution over the past few decades, as the defense industry has shrunk and smaller companies making smaller products have taken up some of the slack.

VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt takes a look at the trends and showcases several charts.

“What’s changed is that most companies hire far fewer people,” she writes. “This means that while San Diego’s economy now boasts a lot more kinds of manufacturing jobs — everything from solar panel producers to burger makers and medical device builders — we aren’t considered a manufacturing boomtown.”

Election Roundup: Kim’s Turn to Speak

• The latest edition of VOSD Radio features City Council candidate Carol Kim, a Democrat who’s running in the district that includes Clairemont, Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa and part of Rancho Peñasquitos. We got her on the record about the same four things we pressed her rival, Cate, on last week: poverty and the minimum wage, an potential infrastructure investment, public money for a new stadium and the new climate action plan.

Take a listen and hear why a school board incumbent (and candidate) is VOSD’s Goat of the Week.

• The congressional race pitting incumbent Scott Peters against former Councilman Carl DeMaio is the “Craziest Congressional Campaign of the Year,” according to ABC News. No kidding. It’s also the only unpredictable House campaign in the county: Local political types will be utterly gobsmacked — gobsmacked, I tell you! — if any incumbent other than Scott Peters has the slightest bit of trouble winning another term.

But the rivals of the incumbents keep on running, including a guy named Dave Peiser who wants to replace Rep. Darrell Issa. In a Q-and-A on the website Reddit, a reader wonders if he’s a sacrificial lamb because Issa “has $3.5 million to play with while you have $13,000.” Peiser’s response: “I went into this race to win, and fully believe we can win even without the same level of funding as my opponent.”

Opera Woes Spark Wider Worry

The U-T is out with its annual look at the state of 12 top local arts and cultural organizations. “This year,” the paper says, “the inescapable subtext of nearly every discussion was: What about about the San Diego Opera?”

While the paper says all the organizations except for the opera are in the black, the managing director of the Old Globe Theatre notes that the opera’s struggles are focusing minds. “At a lot of institutions in town, whether other performing arts or nonprofits, the opera situation made board members stand up and think about things and want to explore the operations more.”

Quick News Hits: Ebola-Ready

• NFL leaders are “dismayed” that the Chargers let an obviously concussed player stay on the field Thursday, according to this report at NBC Sports.

• Put “Bullshit” in a headline and people will read the story underneath it. That’s one possible lesson from this week’s VOSD Top 10 list: The most popular story on our site was about a local environmentalist lawyer’s attack on supposed liberals who oppose to development projects for bad reasons.

• UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest is ready for Ebola. (L.A. Times)

• Local filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza, a big shot in national conservative politics, is under house arrest here over allegations of violating campaign finance law. (He’s called his sentence a “great political win.”) Now, he faces even bigger problems because he wanted to travel out of the state, which seems to be an impossible thing to do under house arrest. (

• Pro-tip: Check the rules before renting out your condo on Airbnb, otherwise you might get socked with a $106,000 fine. (U-T)

• The U-T offers a profile of the late scientist Jonas Salk, who was born 100 years ago this week.

Salk, who lived in La Jolla and died in 1995, was a crusty character. I learned this when he returned a call to me at the La Jolla newspaper newsroom where I was writing a story about his latest award. I called him “Mr. Salk” by mistake and put him on hold to get rid of my other call. When we finally talked, he was not very interested in telling me how he felt about being honored.

Well, you know what they say: Cure polio and you earn the right to be a difficult interview.

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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