Last week, city attorney candidate Mara Elliott made waves by declaring that the city’s much-ballyhooed Climate Change Plan wasn’t as iron-clad as people thought. She said residents wouldn’t necessarily be able to sue if the city failed to live up to the plan’s intentions.

Elliott is now backing off her claim, VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports, “but she might have, in the process, revealed just how hard it would be for any group of lawyers and their clients to sue the city and win.”

It’s a complex legal situation, one that also raises another question: If residents can actually sue to get the city to follow the plan, do they have to wait until the city has already violated the regulations and allowed more pollution than it should? “If you don’t want action on climate, the plan as it stands now is fine,” claims a spokesman for Elliott.

Proposed City Budget Boosts Cops

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s revised budget has a big focus on public safety and gives a bit more TLC to Balboa Park, although Councilman Todd Gloria wants more hires.

Even with these additions, Balboa Park will get millions less than Mission Bay Park despite a $300 million needs list. We’ve explained why that is. Here’s another tidbit: Mission Bay has a proposed plan that’ll help it get much more over the years. There’s no plan like that for Balboa Park.

Politics Roundup: Outlandish Claims

One candidate for county supervisor says she’s an “educator.” That’s a funny word for what’s she actually doing: volunteering. Another twisted the words of his colleagues, and a third misled voters about his financial prowess. So says the U-T in a fact-checking piece about claims in the county supervisor race for the seat that represents much of North County.

The self-aggrandizing rivals are, respectively, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, incumbent Supervisor Dave Roberts and Escondido Mayor Sam Abed.

• John Chiang, the state treasurer, is running for governor in 2018. His only top rival so far is fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor. Gov. Jerry Brown is termed out and can’t run anymore.

Brown has changed his mind and will now support using state money for an earthquake early-warning system. As the L.A. Times notes, California and the rest of the West Coast are far behind other countries in developing systems that provide seconds or even a minute of warning before quakes. The thinking is that the warning would give people enough time to protect themselves or at least stop what they’re doing. Like, say, operating on someone.

Via attorney Cory Briggs, the well-known nemesis of cities across Southern California, Mission Beach residents are suing the city over a 63-unit housing development planned for the former location of an elementary school. Residents claim the developer is bypassing the rules.

Crime Roundup: Thieves ‘Clone’ Cars

Local naval facilities have been besieged by hoax bomb threats in recent months, with the latest hitting Naval Base San Diego Tuesday. They’re always a “handwritten threat on the wall of a ship or written on the wall inside a portable toilet on a pier,” NBC 7 reports, and they’ve resulted in tremendous disruption through evacuations, searches and more.

Car thieves are getting creative, NBC 7 reports. “People are stealing cars in San Diego and disguising their stolen statuses to sell them to unsuspecting customers, according to local auto theft detectives. They said it is an illegal operation called ‘VIN cloning’ or ‘car cloning’ that cheats victims out of tens of thousands of dollars.”

VINs are vehicle identification numbers that appear in various places on cars.

 A new federal court ruling could prevent California counties and cities from using zoning to severely limit where gun stores can open. At issue in the case from the East Bay area: Did a county make zoning so strict that a gun store couldn’t find a home? (L.A. Times)

Culture Report: The Culturecast Returns

VOSD’s weekly Culture Report leads off with details about the second edition of the Culturecast, a podcast that boasts the appealing professional sound that you’ll hear from the best of public radio. This time, host Kinsee Morlan continues her examination of the evolution of San Diego’s long-neglected Barrio Logan neighborhood, which is undergoing a renaissance but not without plenty of grumbling. Listen here.

Also in the Culture Report: a temporary shut-out for public art in the North County city of Vista, the end of a punk rock landmark and the preservation of that airport mural of Charles Lindbergh. It’s landing in East County’s Ramona, of all places.

Quick News Hits: Hey, Batter, Batter!

The Poway Unified school district accidentally sent personal information about its thousands of students, including dates of birth and test results, to parent Gabriela Dow, a tech consultant who works with government agencies, the U-T reports. The parent, who disclosed the breach to the district attorney’s office, had only “sought information about organizational charts, technology initiatives, job descriptions and other items — plus any district records bearing her own name.”

The U-T reports that the district will hold an emergency closed meeting today to discuss “significant exposure to litigation.”

Mashable names San Diego one of four high-tech hubs that are wooing companies from Silicon Valley.

KPBS profiles the failed program that was supposed to lower wait times by allowing patients to see doctors outside the VA medical system. According to KPBS, officials are trying to fix it.

The U-T checks in on the fancy digs that 11 California State University presidents get for free along with hefty salaries. San Diego State’s president lives in a home estimated to be worth $2.1 million. The other chancellors get hefty allowances to pay for housing.

The County Fair (formerly known as the Del Mar Fair) is out with a preview of the heart-attack-on-a-plate delicacies that will be on offer this summer. Among them, reports a U-T photo gallery: deep-fried lemonade, deep-fried nachos and fried pizza featuring deep-fried tempura.

Talk about a sizzle reel.

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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