We all need a pal. The Chargers seem to have found one — maybe their very best-est one — in Bob Filner, back when he was our not-yet-disgraced mayor.
To hear Filner tell it, as he did in an rare and exclusive interview with us, he liked the idea of a new downtown stadium for the team. The Chargers liked it too.
But Filner left, eventually decamping for L.A. The team may follow. As for the downtown stadium idea, it had a lot of hurdles, including a huge one: Filner wanted the city to get a stake in the team, something that’s about as likely as a Super Bowl in Saskatchewan.
• “The two most despised characters in recent San Diego history have each other’s backs,” snarked GOP operative Ryan Clumpner on Twitter.
Meanwhile, women who said they were victimized by Filner expressed their disgust to the Union-Tribune. “His lack of remorse and accountability is predictable and pathetic — as is his desire to remain in the spotlight,” said political consultant Laura Fink. “The least he could do for the victims and our city is to go away.”
L.A. Mayor: Maybe Stay Home, Bolts
• “We’d welcome any team to come here, but I love the idea of a great rivalry to the south,” says L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti about the prospect of the L.A. Chargers. (ESPN)
• L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke also thinks the Chargers should get lost, and he’s a bit more blunt about it. The team “will cite statistical evidence that 25% of their fans come from Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire,” he writes. “I’ve never met one.”
And besides, “there are more Raiders fans here than Chargers fans, and it isn’t even close.”
• Sports Illustrated digs into how the “NFL’s biggest postseason upset happened inside a Houston hotel: NFL owners voted to approve the move of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles immediately, while giving the Chargers a one-year option to join the Rams or get a stadium deal done in San Diego.”
SeaWorld Won’t Give Killer Whales a Lift
How dangerous are killer whales that perform at SeaWorld parks like the one in San Diego? Well, they’ve killed (and nearly killed) people. They’re such a danger, in fact, that SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego actually installed “lifting floors” in their killer whale tanks that “were designed to lift trainers and orcas out of deep water in an emergency.” Translation: The floors would push everyone out of the water so trainers would be able to escape death.
Now, SeaWorld says the lifting floors are no longer needed, and they’re being removed. (NBC 7/AP)
North County Report: Raises for Almost Everybody (Supe Too!)
Teachers, managers and top bosses in the Poway district will get a 4 percent raise. Those who’ll reap the raise reward include the superintendent, who helped negotiate the deal. As VOSD’s North County Report notes, this inconvenient fact has been controversial.
Also in the NC Report: News about the continuing weirdness in the Escondido elementary school district, another school district raise brouhaha and the expensive effects of El Niño.
Speaking of our rainy-day friend, the L.A. Times talks to experts who say El Niño has yet to hit SoCal with full force. Late January or early February could be party time for storm clouds.
Quick News Hits: Bees Gotta Slumber
• “A move to oust the executive director of the California Coastal Commission is under way, an effort that marks the most significant attempt against the commission’s ranking administrator in two decades,” Capitol Weekly reports. Apparently, the dispute divides environmentalists and pro-development types, who tend to have different views of the executive director. Our Maya Srikrishnan recounted the many local disputes the Coastal Commission has been involved in late last year.
• The Reader loves it some impenetrable headlines, like the current ones that say — and I’m not making it up — “Wiggling fish wig,” “How chill I am” and “Zaraguey is the cat.”
But here’s a headline that sort of makes sense: “Behold the roses, beware the bees at Otay Valley Delta.” The story, about hiking, includes this biological tidbit: “There are more than 600 species of native bees in San Diego County. Most are solitary and do not live in hives … When the males wander too far in their work, they sometimes have to sleep out at night (or inside a flower, such as jimson weed). Only female bees can sting.”
Ah, yes. I can hear the likely story now. “Honey, I got stuck in traffic on the home way from the rose bush and had to stop and spend the night at the jimson weed. Why do I smell like dandelion? Well, uh … Hey, put that stinger away!”
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 (asja.org). Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.