With his buffed-out yellow biceps and creepy grin, he looks like the mutated lovechild of Duffman from “The Simpsons” and Max Headroom. It’s hard to believe that “Boltman” could be the official mascot of our beloved Chargers. No wonder: He’s not.
Boltman — aka backcountry resident Dan Jauregui — barely gets the time of day from the team ever since a conscious uncoupling that came with a legal settlement. But he’s still here, entertaining fans, schmoozing with the mayor and (presumably) scaring the living daylights out of unsuspecting children.
We assigned VOSD contributor Ken Stone to find the story all things Boltman and he returned with a lively one.
Stone found himself in the middle of a quarrel between Boltman and the San Diego Chicken.
• Hmm. You ever get smacked with a tighter deadline and think “Why is your sudden need to move quickly my problem?” Well, an NFL honcho dropped by San Diego, met with the mayor’s advisers and said “league officials are considering moving up a window for teams to submit relocation requests to the league.” (City News Service)
Why does this matter? The NFL executive, Eric Grubman, said it would be hard for his league to wait until November 2016 for a public vote on a new stadium. In other words, the NFL is pressuring the city to either avoid a public vote or get it done with an earlier election — perhaps even a special election this year. Either that, of course, or lose the Chargers to Los Angeles.
The mayor is open to speeding things up, his spokesman told 10News.
“The NFL is just owning San Diego. We’re one step away from sending them an apology letter for taking so long getting their billion dollars,” wrote our Scott Lewis.
• If the Chargers blow town, we’ll be the largest metro area in the country with only one pro team. We’d be tied with one along with the likes of Sacramento, Orlando and Oklahoma City. Oh, the ignominy. (U-T)
Watching the Electives: Emerald to Retire
Councilwoman Marti Emerald, the TV consumer watchdog-turned-politician, surprised the local wonk world with her announcement that she will retire at the end of her term in 2016. She’s been on the council since 2008 and was expected to run again since the evolution of council district boundaries allows her another term. (She now represents a different district than before.)
Her departure shouldn’t change the party make-up of the council since she’s a Democrat and her central district is overwhelmingly Democratic. She has been open about her recent bout with breast cancer.
• Southern California water officials are socking much of the region with a 15 percent cut in water deliveries. (AP) Meanwhile, the NY Times talks to scientists who say decades-long droughts aren’t unusual for California in the big scheme of history: “The new normal, scientists say, may in fact be an old one.”
• Law enforcement groups are lining up against state legislation authored by local Assemblywoman Shirley Weber that would ban cops from immediately reviewing footage from body cameras. The idea is to prevent them from watching video before they write their reports.
Now, Weber is looking to revise the legislation so it gives cops more leeway outside of cases when they use force. (U-T)
• A judge has ruled in favor of Chula Vista Councilman John McCann, saying he indeed won his 2014 race by two votes over former mayor Steve Padilla. A voter claimed the registrar wrongly threw out votes. An appeal seems likely. (KPBS)
Commentary: Fix This Now (City Blueprint Edition)
Recently, Andrew Keatts revealed the curious decision of city planners not to draft smart growth plans for Logan Height. The area has transit stops, and residents are not opposed like they are in other parts of the city. The city said it was because of a few property owners.
In a VOSD commentary, planning adviser Robert Leif says the city needs to repair its approach to revising community blueprints: “It’s not true that members of the Southeastern San Diego Planning Group, myself included, are against a community plan update. We just want an update that will really help the community, not just enrich developers.”
• Two lawsuits are targeting the council’s approval of the One Paseo development in Carmel Valley. (Times of SD)
Culture Report: Minds Will Be Met
The weekly Culture Report takes note of the upcoming Meeting of the Minds event, which is devoted to bright lights in the world of architecture and structural design.
Plus: Pure platinum in Lemon Grove, motherhood on display and a new job for arts maven Felicia Shaw, whom we profiled a few years ago.
S.D. Not Big on Abe
The 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination is getting plenty of attention this week. There were people living in San Diego County (which then covered a huge chunk of SoCal) back in 1865.
As we reported in a history flashback, San Diego was anything but Lincoln country (they tended to be sympathetic toward the South), and local voters rejected Old Abe not once but twice.
Quick News Hits: Disinfect This!
• A student suspended from San Diego State is suing the school, saying he can’t get information about internal charges against him. County prosecutors declined to press charges against him after he was arrested in a sexual misconduct case. (U-T)
• The feds are heading to the Imperial County city of Calexico to help reform the scandal-plagued police department. (AP)
• ABC News is covering the case of a transgender Fallbrook teen who apparently killed herself after being bullied. The county medical examiner isn’t releasing details about her death because she’s a minor, and the teen’s family isn’t commenting.
• Another diarrhea-stricken cruise ship has arrived in our port. Anyone got a bay-sized can of Lysol? (City News Service)
• A man showed up at the Naval Medical Center with a case of Candy Crush Tendon: he tore a muscle in his thumb after playing the smartphone game for weeks. The joy of playing may have produced natural painkillers that kept him from noticing he’d, you know, hurt himself pretty bad.
• A French mathematician is out with “an equation that analyzes the ‘hipster’ phenomenon, claiming that in actuality all hipsters — known for their funky fashion sense — appear to look the same.”
I’ll bet all the handlebar mustaches in North Park that he’s onto something.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.