It’s like Christmas morning for local policy wonks. We get a shiny new proposal to inspect line by line.

The mayor’s stadium task force is releasing its recommendations today. Perhaps as an important bit of symbolism, it will be done at the County Operations Center this afternoon. The group will apparently recommend the county put some skin in the game. Former Mayor Jerry Sanders will be there but nobody from the county or city government.

Architects will present new drawings as well for the multi-use facility.

VOSD’s Liam Dillon looks at 10 big questions we’ll look for answers to in the proposal. One of the biggest things to watch for is what they say or don’t say about a public vote. You’ll remember the mayor and many other local politicians have committed to holding a vote. But the Chargers and NFL have more or less told the city that if they wait until next year to codify any plan with a vote, the team will probably leave.

Quite the pickle.

An East County GOP Brawl

Over her decades in office, people have learned that they mess with County Supervisor Dianne Jacob at their own peril. She’s wrangled with a long list of enemies from SDG&E and Indian casinos to the Red Cross, property owners and county pension officials.

The GOP has always let the East County representative do her thing — but not anymore. Several prominent Republicans and the county party itself are hanging her out to dry as they throw their support to her 2016 opponent, state Senator Joel Anderson.

I take a look at the Republican civil war and examine why the GOP is spending big money to take on one of its own. The big message: The challenger has big guns on his side, but he has major weak spots and is going to face a tough battle.

If the Drought Doesn’t End

What if California’s drought goes on for many more years? VOSD’s Ry Rivard reports that the consequences could be huge: “There are some rules on the books that would allow officials across the county to demand residents to cut back. One of them is to halt new development. That is a concept that some areas are toying with right now, although that is because of the state-ordered cuts and not an actual shortage of water.”

Rooftop Solar Power Doesn’t Count for State Goals

“Solar projects topping rooftops across San Diego aren’t directly helping the state and San Diego Gas & Electric reach the 33 percent state target known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard, a law first introduced in 2002 that’s been accelerated multiple times,” VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt reports.

That means the utility has less incentive to help residents get solar in place.

“Though state rules technically allow rooftop customers to sell their so-called renewable energy certificates to utilities, SDG&E and the state’s other utilities say a separate Public Utilities Commission ruling has made doing so virtually impossible.”

School Spending, but Not at School

When voters agreed to allow San Diego Unified to borrow money for school improvements, the ballot measure said one elementary campus would “expand and develop science education facilities to support students for joint-use.”

The district is planning to do just that, paying for a new science lab in City Heights. It won’t be built at a school, hence the “joint use” part.

But did voters understand “joint use” could mean “off-campus”? VOSD’s Ashly McGlone examines the issue.

VOSD Podcast: County Supervisor’s Big Mess

NBC 7 reporter Wendy Fry is our guest in the latest edition of the VOSD Podcast. She and her colleagues have been providing the best coverage of the scandal that’s threatening to topple Dave Roberts, the only Democrat on the county board supervisors.

Roberts, who represents much of the coast of the county, is facing a variety of allegations regarding inappropriate behavior. This NBC 7 story outlines the developing and often-bizarre case against him. In an email to constituents, Roberts says “those matters have not impacted my accessibility or responsiveness, nor my determination to provide the best possible representation to the Third District.” Well, yes, but many of his staff members have jumped ship in recent months.

The hosts also discussed our East County coverage last week and the big stadium recommendations coming this week.

Quick News Hits: Meep. And May We Add, Meep

• Pretty soon, to borrow a notorious phrase from California politics, his critics won’t have “Papa Doug” to kick around anymore. But until publisher Doug Manchester’s sale of the paper formerly known as The San Diego Union-Tribune is final, the eccentric hotel magnate still owns the joint. And he’ll keep on owning the place: The Mission Valley land where the U-T office sits.

Our story following up on the sale — chronicling how his big dreams for the paper didn’t come true — was the most popular on our site last week. Here’s the full Top 10 list.

• A San Diego police officer will fortunately recover from a gunshot wound after a violent Sunday. (NBC 7)

• In case you don’t get enough reminders of the inevitable passage of time, here’s one: It’s been 20 years (!) since the tank rampage in Clairemont. (U-T)

• The city is poised to pay $643,000 to settle the case of a man who says he was manhandled and pepper-sprayed without justification during a scuffle in the Gaslamp Quarter in 2011. (SD Reader)

• “San Diego Zoo officials and the operator of a wildlife conservancy in Africa are discussing the possibility of starting an ‘elephant orphanage’ in Kenya.” (L.A. Times)

• The U-T’s Logan Jenkins gives the “What the Beep! Beep! award” to a Ramona animal organization that just rehabbed two roadrunner chicks. They, of course, will have to watch out for wily coyotes and “contraptions that can be packed in a box from the Acme Corporation.”

Hmmm. Does the Roadrunner really say “Beep Beep”? Methinks it’s actually “Meep Meep.” In fact, there’s a lot of debate over the actual spelling. That’s positively… Looney.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member 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 and follow him on Twitter:

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