Amid all the talk about the future of pro football in San Diego, there’s a common refrain around the idea of building a new stadium in Mission Valley: Beware the stadium-killing gas plume! Or at least beware the litigation over the stadium-killing gas plume!

The idea is that no developer is going to want to go near Mission Valley because a nearby “tank farm” leaked petroleum, which spread silently underground below the current football stadium and its parking lots. A big and expensive cleanup has been under way for years, and bad tidings about the plume often appear in the debate about the prospects of a new stadium. The Chargers, for example, have a rather bleak view.

But VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt finds plenty of reasons to puncture the myth of the stadium-killing plume: “State regulators, environmental consultants, development gurus and an attorney advising the city on spill-related regulatory issues say the situation is unlikely to hamper efforts to develop the 166-acre stadium site — particularly if the focus is on a stadium.”

• Why did a local political consultant ask companies to cough up $10,000 to keep the Chargers in town? KPBS investigated, and the answer — if you can even call it it an answer — is rather peculiar, especially when the consultant referred calls to the stadium task force, which seems to have no idea what’s going on.

• The AEG company has finally given up on a downtown L.A. stadium, one that could have wooed the Chargers north. Meanwhile, it may be tougher for Oakland to keep the Raiders than for us to keep the Bolts. (L.A. Times)

State Considers ‘Right to Try’ Medications

A scientist who’s taught at San Diego State is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease but wants to make a last-ditch bid at survival by taking a drug that’s about midway through the research required before a medication can be approved for public use. He can’t take the drug now without federal approval, but state legislation could change the situation for him and other patients who want the “right to try” drugs in the research stage. KPBS has details on the debate.

Police Chief Gets a Glowing Review

Local journalists have criticized Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman for her vague guidelines about how she’ll decide when to release video from the body cameras that cops are now wearing. She’s also shed only a bit of light on whether the department engages in racial profiling — the numbers-are-difficult shrugging in a new report didn’t impress critics — and she’s oddly been allowed to review an independent report about police misconduct before its release.

But a year into her term, a profile of Zimmerman in the U-T doesn’t turn up much in the way of criticism: It finds hardly anyone who has anything remotely negative to say about the police chief.

• “For the fourth year running, San Diego had the lowest murder rate among the country’s ten largest cities.” (U-T)

• The San Diego city attorney’s office is going after a man who allegedly lied to a sexual partner about being HIV-positive. The other man became infected. (L.A. Times)

• The Associated Press looks into laws designed to stop the laundering of drug money and finds “there is growing sentiment along the U.S.-Mexico border that vigilance has gone overboard and is hurting law-abiding businesses. American banks, wary of the potential for massive penalties, have closed Mexican accounts or saddled customers with new restrictions.”

We’re No. 2! We’re … Oh Dear

• A new report says a San Diegan would need to make more than $95,000 a year to afford a median-priced home with 20 percent down and payments for mortgage, taxes, insurance and interest. (Keep in mind that the median price isn’t the same as average.)

How bad is it? Among 27 top metro areas, only San Francisco is higher. Even New York City is lower. Also lower: Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, and on and on.

Quick News Hits: When In Rome, Don’t Do This

• A vague hint that Marvel Entertainment might not show up at Comic-Con this summer set the Internet on fire Monday.

• The Reader is out with a new story about “special interests” contributing to a mayor-supported community non-profit. But donors include businesses with plenty of reasons to curry favor with the powers that be.

• In an L.A. Times commentary, the president and CEO of San Diego-based WD-40 is happy that the “United States is negotiating two significant trade agreements that could help overcome many of the difficulties that come with doing business internationally.”

• This just in: Two Californians went to Rome and allegedly scrawled their initials on the Colosseum with a coin and then snapped a photo of themselves. This did not go over well.

Don’t look at me. I wasn’t there, and I’d never do something so terrible, awful and destructive as take a selfie.

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

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