As noted yesterday, we launched a new quest: a bid to understand all the issues and controversies swirling around solar power. If you didn’t take it yesterday, here’s our short survey. Already about 300 responses have given us plenty of questions to track – interest is high.

To get started, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt has compiled a handy reader’s guide to the national and local solar surge. Yes, there’s a surge here in one of the sunniest parts of the country. In fact, one nonprofit outfit named us the No. 2 solar city in the country, topped only by Los Angeles. (Indianapolis, of all places, is No. 4.)

Portables Out, Portables In

“Four years ago, school officials destroyed a dozen portable classrooms at San Diego High School to make way for a new two-story building that would ease overcrowding on the congested campus,” VOSD’s Ashly McGlone reports. “Now officials are spending $1.47 million in Proposition S bond money to buy 10 new portable buildings for the same campus.”

Why dump the old ones? Because it would have cost too much to relocate and fix them, a district representative says.

Civic Feud

Last week, we pointed out how a new fight over the future of Civic San Diego has roots in an old fight labor took to the city years ago to try to help union organizing at hotels being built downtown.

And here’s our San Diego Explained about what’s going on.

Now we’re heading toward a crescendo. The mayor is planning a rally today in Encanto to support Civic. Last night, NBC 7 San Diego’s Wendy Fry provoked a bit of a Twitter battle between the mayor’s chief of staff and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who’s pushing the legal changes in Sacramento. It branched off here and it kept going here.

Finally, Gonzalez went for the last word. Never mind.

Bad Agent! Hey, Welcome Back!

Heads didn’t roll. Heck, they didn’t even wobble. “Federal agents responsible for leaving a 23-year-old UC San Diego engineering student in a holding cell for five days without food or water received only reprimands or short suspensions from the Drug Enforcement Administration,” the L.A. Times reports.

What the Bolts Spent on L.A.

As we told you yesterday, the Chargers don’t seem to have been honest in January about their interest in moving to L.A. The mayor of the city of Carson spilled the beans the other day, saying the Bolts came to his town late last year.

Now, the L.A. Times reports that the Chargers and Raiders spent more than $500,000 as of late March on the Carson bid.

Culture Report: Writers Let Loose

Picture this: “Slightly inebriated writers revealing years of anguish and awkwardness, the highs and lows, hilarity and mucky stuff.” Hmm. Sounds like a typical Saturday night with San Diego’s journo-cognoscenti-gentsia. But here’s a twist: Try it “in front of a large, live crowd,” also slightly inebriated at the least.

As this week’s Culture Report notes, this happens every month at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park during nonprofit literary organization So Say We All’s VAMP live reading events. I’ve been, and it’s a real treat to hear local star writers tell stories on stage. Even better: This isn’t an open mic, two words that strike fear into the frozen confines of my heart. These folks know what they’re doing.

Also in Culture Report: an “arts incubator,” a stunningly lucrative farewell for two San Diego Opera officials, and a history of Russians in Baja.

• This may be the most scathing excoriation of a local media outlet that you’re likely to see this year. In a related story, this is the only time you’ll see the word “excoriation” in the Morning Report this year. We bought a 128-pack of fancy words at Costco and can’t go through them too quickly.

For Water Saving, a Grave Matter

The state just can’t seem to conserve water: March numbers don’t impress. Meanwhile, an L.A. Times cartoonist wonders if we’ll soon be in what I’ll call “Psst! Wanna buy some Pure Flo?” mode.

• The U-T tracks the top local corporate users of water.

• Local cemeteries are more interesting than you might imagine. As we’ve noted over the years, one was converted into a Mission Hills park, complete with bodies under the grass. Another features a “headstone graveyard,” countless anonymous poor people and a bizarre statue of “Our Lady of Shoes.”

Now, comes a question: Should we keep these final resting places nice and green? Or let them go barren and brown like a Mt. Hope dirt lot that’s home to 4,000 forgotten indigents and one man who was actually remembered? KQED takes a look at the issue.

Laugh It Up, Funny Boy

I’m back after taking some time off for a business trip. I’ll tell you more later this week about where I went and what I learned. For now, a big thanks to my fab subs Seth Hall, Catherine Green and VOSD newbie Ken Stone.

Plus a nod to young journalist Jeremy Ogul, who made a good joke on Twitter yesterday. In honor of a certain Mexican holiday, he posted five identical photos of a certain former politician: Cinco DeMaio. Get it? Even the man himself was amused.

Nicely done, whippersnapper who thinks he can be funny. Now get out. I mean, nice job!

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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