Even a last-minute lovefest at the end of his tumultuous term on the San Diego school board couldn’t stop trustee Scott Barnett from throwing a bomb or two. Or 10.

In an exit interview with VOSD, Barnett says the school district won’t have him to kick him around anymore, and neither will any other public agency. He won’t run for office again, he promises: “I’d rather be boiled in hot oil than be on the City Council.”

Barnett gives himself “an A for effort, and a D+ for success,” but he doesn’t define that like it sounds — as a failure. Instead, he says “I’m not saying I didn’t get anything done, I got a lot done, but it’s not what I wanted ultimately to get done and accomplish.”

When it comes to fixing the school district, “The overall dysfunction in the system, and the overall not effective management is what drives most of the financial failures and mismanagement. A lot of it is cultural and also political and a lot of other things.”

Trio of Businesspeople Talk Shop on SD

Yesterday we brought three local business owners yesterday to talk about the opportunities and challenges of making it work in San Diego. One described roadblocks put up by the city, while another said he’s had a much easier time. A third business owner described the challenges of creating an international business in a city that’s still working on a worldly focus.

No, DeMaio Isn’t Leaving Politics

Carl DeMaio, who’s failed in his bids for mayor and Congress, told us a few weeks ago that he’s done with politics. But inewsource finds that he’s trying to form a super political action committee. It’s called the New Generation Leadership Fund.

“As a super PAC, the fund is able to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals and entities such as corporations and unions,” inewsource reports. “It can then take that money and spend unlimited amounts of it on everything from television advertisements to polls supporting and opposing candidates for office.”

Culture Report: Utility Boxes Get Arty

The top story in this week’s Culture Report, our aggregated look at big stories in the art and cultural world, is about the spread of artistic utility boxes.

You may be familiar with the concept: Artists are enlisted to make boring utility boxes look pretty with paint. The art sometimes isn’t of high quality, but it’s better than nothing. Now, something called the Utility of Art project is bringing this kind of public art to North County.

Also in the Culture Report: a con game, a new documentary about the beauty and history of Balboa Park, and the vision of the city’s new arts commission director.

Quick News Hits: Papa Doug’s New Pal

• The L.A. Times gushes about the remodeling of the waterfront: While “the recent makeover of this stretch of San Diego’s waterfront is far from grand,” it says, “it marks an important step in the city’s quest to devote more land along the water for public use.”

• The big vote for the San Diego City Council president was postponed til today. There’s more scuttle that Todd Gloria is going to be replaced by Sherri Lightner for that significant post.

• You might see some headlines about a sexual assault at a fraternity at SDSU. There was a report and an arrest. But it wasn’t at a frat. That part was a mistake by the campus police.

• “When it comes to public utilities ‘infrastructure’ — dams, reservoirs, water and sewage treatment plants, pump stations and related facilities — San Diego is looking at paying $14 million over five years to protect them from threats.” (NBC 7)

• Doug Manchester, the U-T publisher and hotel magnate who likes to call himself “Papa Doug” and even signs his checks that way, hasn’t had much luck on the political front lately. Two of his most favored candidates, Mitt Romney and Carl DeMaio, have failed to reach higher office. But he has a new darling: Texas Governor Rick Perry, who’s preparing a presidential run. The Washington Post has details.

• Yes, there’s yet another upscale donut shop in town, this one in North Park. Offerings, the Reader reports, include variations with “yeast-dough peach-honey prosciutto ($4), and cake-dough topped by vanilla glaze and crushed potato chips ($3).” And there’s “a ham, pineapple, cheddar, honey mustard-glazed fritter.”

Wow. Talk about devil’s food.

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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