Comedians still mock the idea of turning sewage into drinking water, and the whole idea continues — to use a technical term — to squick out some people. In reality, as we described the process years ago, San Diego has been cleaning water that might have been in dinosaur stomachs or warm beers on Vegas poker tables for many decades.

Now, amid drought mania, the whole idea of using wastewater to make potable water is having a moment.

“In the city, a $2.85 billion multi-part project, branded Pure Water, is hoping to use wastewater to start producing 30 million gallons a day of drinkable water within the next six years,” explains VOSD’s Ry Rivard. “That’s two years sooner and twice as much water as envisioned just months ago.”

• In a Texas town, residents actually like recycled sewage better than their old tap water. (CS Monitor)

Follow-Up: DeMaio and the Land Deal

Carl DeMaio, the former councilman and twice-failed candidate for higher office, recently criticized the city on our site over a disputed land deal, saying it “somehow defaulted on a $13 million transaction and lost its rights to land for the all-important Convention Center expansion.” The implication was that we should maybe pay that $13 million.

Later, we took a close look at how the company expecting that money made millions doing nothing on port land.

We followed up with DeMaio to get his updated thoughts. Among other things, he says “my piece is raising red flags over the governance of the Convention Center – virtually no transparency, but they say ‘hey, give us more money and trust us.’”

But maybe it was a good idea not to pay that money to a company to not do anything with its lease of public land.

Opinion: Where’s the ‘Beef’? Not Here

As part of Beef Week, we published a story about a “years-long struggle” between the overseers of the Convention Center and the local tourism agency. They’ve fought for years over their roles, the story says, and “attempts to expand the Convention Center only made things worse.”

The story misses the mark, writes Rod LaBranche, chair of the San Diego Tourism Authority’s board, in a VOSD commentary: “despite our occasional differences, the Tourism Authority and the Convention Center Corporation continue to work very closely together.” LaBranche also claims that a much-debated “assessment” fee is not a tax. It sure acts like one, however.

City Lawyer: ‘Aren’t You Precious?’

A deputy city attorney has had it — had it — with prominent environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez. According to the Reader, Joe Cordileone lit into him with this: “You are remarkable. Rude, arrogant, pompous, and ill-mannered, and yet you feel qualified to give me advice about taking my lumps. Aren’t you precious? Maybe if you had 20 more years in the practice I might consider your thoughts.”

Black Out: Padres Sack Manager

They went Black for eight years, but now the Padres have gone back: Bud Black is out as manager amid a mediocre season, and the search for a temporary replacement has begun. (NBC) Keith Olberman is not impressed, predicts gloom.

This tweet sums up the Padres bad day.

The Pads got creamed 9-1 last night at Petco Park.

Quick News Hits: When Potholes Tweet

• “Citing an affordable housing crisis of ‘epic proportions,’ the California Supreme Court made it easier Monday for cities and counties to require developers to sell some housing at below-market rates,” the LA Times reports.

• We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1. With the most-expensive gas prices in the continental U.S., that is. (AP)

• The La Jolla Village arthouse movie theater in University City will be history.

• Peter Kaye, an aide to Richard Nixon and longtime local newspaper writer and editor, has died at the age of 87. The U-T, where he worked, describes him as an “independent, often cantankerous” and sometimes-profane character who dismissed questions about his trademark mix of political advocacy and mainstream journalism. “You can’t be unbiased or nonpartisan,” he said in 1993. “All you can be is fair.”

• The Onion has some fun with a fake story about the San Diego Zoo titled “Idiot Zoo Animal With Zero Predators Still Protective Of Young.”

• Potholes don’t fix themselves — trust me, I’ve tried to make them do this — and contacting the city is a hassle. What to do? Down in Panama, Slate reports, frustrated citizens of Panama City have found a possible solution: They’ve “placed devices containing motion sensors, pressure gauges, and RF transmitters in potholes around the city so that when a car went over a hole, the device would tweet at the Panamanian Ministry of Public Works.”

Apparently, the city is responding by fixing the potholes. Great idea! Now it’s time to set up one of these systems to alert North Park visitors to avoid the neighborhood’s most disturbing menace: Skinny jeans.

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:

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.