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When former campaign staffer Justin Harper accused Carl DeMaio of purposely exposing his genitals to him in a bathroom, DeMaio’s campaign called it a lie. DeMaio’s team ultimately seized on one piece of the claim that they said proved the incident couldn’t have happened: the urinal Harper claimed to have been using was broken.
This strange defense is what found VOSD’s Scott Lewis recently wandering the halls of DeMaio’s campaign office, scouting out the urinal in question and talking to everyone he could find about an unpleasant men’s bathroom.
“When I visited, the urinal was fine,” Lewis reported. “It was dark and I did not want to spend much time there.” Lewis has been on a mission to figure out who was lying in the debacle surrounding DeMaio during the final weeks of his campaign.
Aside from the urinal defense, DeMaio floated other ideas; perhaps Justin Harper is an impostor, or perhaps he had been manipulated by his then-girlfriend, who also worked for the campaign. “DeMaio also suggested to me that maybe Harper was after money,” Lewis wrote.
Stand Up, Lightner
Rumors have been circulating of a possible attempt to oust Council President Todd Gloria from his position as president and replace him with Councilwoman Sherri Lightner. Citybeat published an op-ed Wednesday urging Lightner to “stand down,” presumably for the sake of party loyalty. Scott Lewis wasn’t convinced. “She obviously has a different view of government and the city’s priorities than Gloria,” Lewis wrote. “I’m not exactly clear on why she has to put those interests aside.”
A Twitter conversation about Lewis’ story showed off a lot of the differing contexts people have imparted to the situation. “My point is you should make a case for Todd Gloria to remain Council prez, not tell Lightner to ‘stand down,’” Lewis wrote.
While NASA waits for just the right moment to launch its new Orion spacecraft, which is designed to carry humans deeper into space than ever before, the USS Anchorage holds in the waters off San Diego waiting for the spacecraft to descend back to earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. The Anchorage will then haul the spacecraft back to San Diego, the Times of San Diego reports. The Orion launch was originally planned for Thursday, but was delayed until Friday due to winds.
• Yolo, California’s sheriff is also that county’s coroner. He makes $256,000 per year. One planning commissioner in Alpine County makes $190. The Center for Investigative Reporting posted a deep look at public salaries in California and found they are all over the map.
• With the nation’s largest pension systems heading for insolvency, Congress is considering whether to allow pensions to renege on their promises and cut benefits to people who have already earned them. (Washington Post)
• The federal government finally coughed up all the details about the military equipment bonanza that has doled out to law enforcement agencies around the country. SDPD, the documents show, got an armored vehicle and 76 rifles. (Marshall Project)
• What to do with a southeastern intersection infamous for how many homicides have happened there? Bring in the food trucks and musicians, KPBS reports.
• San Diego-area governments spent $1.9 billion on public safety in the most recent fiscal year, a 5 percent increase. (Times of San Diego)
• A group of “concerned students” at San Diego State are calling for the resignation of two key school leaders, claiming those leaders are incapable of addressing sexual violence issues. (U-T)
• One San Diego dad explained to the New York Times why he’s glad he sent his kids to his local, less-than-stellar public school instead of enrolling them in a private or charter school. “My children are rising to the academic challenges, and socially, well, they’re killing it,” Andy Hinds writes.
Egg Breakfast, With a Twist
If you like eating duck embryos straight out of their egg shells, it turns out San Diego is kind of a great place for you to be. “The Ramona Duck Farm, in San Diego County, has a steady population of 6,000 birds, mostly ducks, though quail scamper around as well,” L.A. Times reports. The farm harvests fertilized duck eggs to sell to as a popular Vietnamese delicacy. How does it work?
Break the top of the egg with a spoon, carve out a small opening and toss it back like a shot. “You throw in seasoning and take a sip,” the farmer says. “Delicious.” The dish is called hot vit lon in Vietnam, and balut in the Philippines, in case you want to run out and find some.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.