I have two very consistent stress-related dreams.

In one, I’m wearing a retainer that has somehow grown so large that I can’t get it out of my mouth – though I keep trying, with terrible, painful results. In the other, I’m a senior in college and can’t find a place to live though classes start the next day. (I don’t know why that latter one feels so dire in the dreams, it doesn’t seem like that insurmountable a problem.)

But now, it’s election season, and the political stress dreams have begun.

I recently had a dream in which Andy Keatts and I were meticulously planning VOSD’s election coverage, assigning races to different reporters. Then Andy said, “Wait! We forgot Top Political Snake – and there’s no one left, so you’re going to have to do it.” This was not a metaphorical race between slimy human politicians; it was a contest between actual snakes for the office of Top Political Snake. The duties of that office remain unclear. (Did I mention I am terrified of snakes? This is important to mention.)

I’m not the only one whose workload is scrambling their dreams.

Christina Shih, our membership and events manager, recently had a dream in which an anonymous VOSD member offered to hire a hitman to take out Chargers President Dean Spanos. She had to politely decline.

And Scott Lewis was recently traumatized by a dream in which he went to record a segment at the NBC San Diego studios, which was located on the beach at the end of a long pier. He spotted a huge water spout off in the distance, but couldn’t get his phone to work to take a photo of it to warn people. The other NBC staffers shrugged him off when he told them about it. Sad!

I guess it’s inevitable that the stresses of real life become, in some form, the stresses of our subconscious. Psychoanalyze away.

What VOSD Learned This Week

San Diego is home to a rare Republican mayor in a city with more registered Dems than Republicans, as well as a toss-up congressional seat that’s seen some tense showdowns over the last decade.

And yet it’s the race for city attorney that’s arguably the most exciting in this election.

Andrew Keatts dug into the race this week and unearthed several nuggets, including that one candidate believes the city’s Climate Action Plan – which has drawn national attention on account of the fact that it’s legally binding – maybe isn’t so binding after all.

The current city attorney takes every chance it can get to swipe at Cory Briggs, a frequent city legal foe. Yet Gil Cabrera, another candidate, is embracing an endorsement from Briggs. Cabrera says he’ll be able to have a more productive dialogue with Briggs.

Keatts also asked the candidates for a list of former clients. Rafael Castellanos was the only candidate who refused, but his public recusals on the Port Commission give us a sense of his relationship with developer Sunroad, a company with lots of history of thorny issues with the city. Castellanos says the city needs someone who has experience working with developers.

Robert Hickey’s client list reveals he once represented JMI Realty, the company backing the Citizens’ Plan, which the current city attorney thinks is illegal. Hickey doesn’t think it’ll be a problem.

We’ll do a rundown of these stories and the race in tomorrow’s San Diego Decides podcast.


The city attorney race isn’t the only place where Dems are facing off against one another.

Scott Lewis uncovered some intrigue in the insidery race for the Democratic Party’s Central Committee. Councilman David Alvarez wants a seat at the table, but labor leader Mickey Kasparian, Alvarez’s onetime backer, is supporting a separate slate of candidates.

And over in City Council District 3, where two Dems are facing off, Lisa Halverstadt vetted Chris Ward’s claim that the city has an astounding number of empty shelter beds that homeless folks aren’t accessing. She later challenged Ward’s challenger over how he used our fact check in a fundraising email.


Earlier this year, a UCSD researcher said it’d be a “miracle” if San Diego Unified were able to achieve a 90 percent graduation rate. It looks like the folks at the district are miracle workers indeed, because they’re about to pull it off.

Mario Koran did a great dive into how it happened, and offers some caution on the numbers.


About 10 years ago, water officials predicted that San Diegans’ water usage today would be off the charts. Instead, the recession and drought hit, and the public is conserving water.

New water projections for the next 10 years predict San Diegans will keep saving water.

What I’m Reading

• Is there a word for things that are at once hilarious and infuriating? Infuralarious? This list of the worst sports merchandise for women fits the bill: It includes purple suede Baltimore Ravens platform wedges, a Minnesota Timberwolves “Women’s Bliss Thong” and a black lace 49ers camisole. (Vice)

 This story about Donald Trump impersonating a publicist to promote himself is insane – insane! – even by Donald Trump media story standards. (Washington Post)

 Why we pierce our ears. (Racked)

• This is a good deep dive focusing on three ways Chicago missed chances to reform its troubled police department. (Aldertrack)

• Three cheers for this college newspaper reporter who got the chance to interview President Obama and asked him some wonderfully tough, substantive questions. (Daily Targum)

•  Who needs fiction when batshit crazy stories like this are real? (Newsday)

Line of the Week

“Every basketball player complains about bad calls. But only Rasheed Wallace was able to elevate referee whining into philosophy.” – From a delightful Wall Street Journal story about NBA data on missed calls.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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