Local journalists put on their boots in 2014 and did some digging. In a tribute to the fine work of our colleagues at other local news outlets, we’ve put together a roundup of some of the most remarkable things they uncovered this year on topics ranging from injustice, hypocrisy and waste to the high cost of keeping people alive when their minds are gone.
The Tweets (and Twits) of 2014
Twitter has become such a vital part of the local political scene that tweets are starting to actually make news instead of only comment on it. In 2014, for instance, tweets embarrassed a San Diego congressional candidate and two local legislators.
That same congressional candidate used Twitter to bash an archenemy, one of those unfortunate legislators, with a single-word tweet. Meanwhile, local politicians quoted the Constitution (over six hours) and rapped about diapers, an anti-GOP troll went robo-wild and an interim mayor made a questionable fashion claim. You can read all about these tweets — and learn about the dangers of Christmas decorations — by checking our roundup of the Best Twitter Moments of 2014.
Drone Rules Could Hamper Industry
VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt appeared on NBC 7 to talk about possible regulations on drones and how they may affect the local drone industry.
For more, check our previous quest on the local drone industry.
Hey, City. Wanna Buy a Team?
The news site Vice makes the case for cities actually buying sports teams instead of serving as gushers of taxpayer money to prop them up. The story mentions the late Joan Kroc’s attempt to give the Padres to San Diego.
Wait, Vista’s What, Now?
• Think, for a moment, about the North County city of Vista, which is best known for … um … er … Well, it’s a “climatic wonderland,” as city boosters like to say. And it was in national news more than two decades ago when activist evangelical Christians took over its school board. But other than that, Vista tends to about as dull as its name, which means “view.”
Things may be changing. The news site CityLab declares Vista “the Capital of Craft Beer” and says it “has become a national destination for beer brewers and connoisseurs.” The suds are even revitalizing — well, make that vitalizing — Vista’s long-sleepy downtown.
• Need a ride home tonight from carousing in, say, Vista? A San Diego developer has helped create an app called DUI Dodger that’s designed to alert drivers to drunken-driving checkpoints so they can avoid them. The app, not surprisingly, is controversial, even if one of its creators says it will help sober drivers avoid the hassle of waiting in a line to get checked.
• Uber will jack up its rates for New Year’s Eve, and an L.A. Times columnist isn’t pleased: “even at normal rates, Uber appears to be massively profiteering from its modest services.” Meanwhile, a company called Flywheel that links old-fashioned cabs to smartphones is trying to blitz the San Diego market tonight with $10 rides.
• If you’re out driving around on Highway 163, enjoy the new lights at Balboa Park’s Cabrillo Bridge and wonder why they’re costing half a million dollars. (U-T)
Art Roundup: Wind, Meet Spit
The Culture Report, our weekly roundup of all things artistic and cultural in San Diego, takes note of recent coverage of Balboa Park’s nifty Timken Museum of Art, which is facing a turning point thanks to a leadership shakeup. (Why is the tiny museum so special? Check my 2011 explanation of why two paintings — a Rembrandt and a portrait of a blinged-out Spanish aristocrat — are worth a thousand words. Or 651, in this case. )
Also in the Culture Report: A lawsuit over a vanished mural, the best theater productions of the year and the top art exhibitions of 2014, including one called “Spitting in the Wind.”
Or as I like to call it, “Twitter.” See you in 2015.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.