Nonprofits are accustomed to raising money through donations and grants. In many cases, the goal is to keep the doors open and the services provided without changing direction.

Now, a new approach is gaining steam, reports our Lisa Halverstadt. “A growing movement wants to see more nonprofits pitching ideas to potential backers, pursuing money-making ventures aimed at addressing social problems and seeking investment in ways a startup might,” she writes.

Halverstadt examines how local nonprofits are embracing the “social enterprise model.” As she writes, “the goal is to foster a lesser reliance on big donors and government grants and more sustainable, innovative approaches to tackling causes.”

Opinion: Why This Artist Is Abandoning S.D.

John Raymond Mireles, a former commercial photographer turned artist, has left San Diego for the greener pastures of New York City. Yes, he thinks he’ll have more opportunity there than here.

As he writes in a VOSD commentary, “we all know what makes San Diego a special city, but, unfortunately, when it comes to the visual arts, it’s a bit of a desert. There’s really little opportunity for ambitious artists to grow artistically and succeed financially.”

There are few places that sell art, he writes, and those that do sell it for too little. And while “we love our surfing and our beer … we don’t know nor really care much about art.” But Mireles has suggestions about possible fixes.

Learning Curve: The New Education Secretary

In the latest edition of The Learning Curve, our Mario Koran examines what’s likely to happen to schools in California if Donald Trump’s pick Betsy DeVos is confirmed as U.S. secretary of education. Turns out both foes and supporters of “school choice” are nervous: “support for school choice doesn’t necessarily mean support for DeVos, charter schools or vouchers,” Koran writes.

Will vouchers be on their way to California? It doesn’t seem that way, Koran writes. “At her confirmation hearing earlier this week, DeVos said that she wouldn’t force states to adopt private school voucher plans, though she’s promoted them in the past. Regardless, vouchers would likely be a non-starter in California.”

How Much Is San Diego Globally Warmed?

So how is global warming affecting San Diego? The New York Times finds that our average temperature was 66.3 degrees Fahrenheit in 2016, 2.6 degrees above normal in the past (1981-2010). However, we only broke two high temperature records.

As the paper notes, “last year is the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year. In a database of more than 5,000 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent recorded annual mean temperatures higher than normal.”

Rain and snow are all fantastically great for California right now … maybe. The balance could be shifted if the weather is too warm, the L.A. Times reports. “The coldness of storms can make the difference between one that adds to the fast-rising snowpack — an essential source of water for the state — and one that also leaves a wet mess.”

Warm storms are dicey. The good news: They can provide “water storage if rain falls on top of a thick snowpack and refreezes as it drips below.”

Health Roundup: Tanning Industry Sees Clouds Lift

The massively struggling indoor-tanning industry will have a friend in the White House, the moment that Barack Obama becomes ex-president. “This is the first time in a long time that this industry has really seen anything to be optimistic about,” a lobbyist tells the Desert Sun.

The hope in the industry is that a tax tied to health-care reform will vanish like a tan line at a clothing-optional beach.

The medical news site STAT digs into how California’s much-ballyhooed stem cell initiative has been a big disappointment: “the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has been slow to move promising experimental therapies into clinical trials. The National Institutes of Health has supported three and a half times as many human trials of stem cell therapies, dollar for dollar, as the California agency has funded since it started making grants in 2006. Just two of its clinical trials have been completed.”

Community clinics are mighty worried about the fate of their care for poor patients as Obamacare faces the possibility of demolition. (California Healthline)

We’ve got sin taxes. How about a sinful food tax? “Californians might soon vote on whether to tax candy, potato chips and other snacks if lawmakers approve a new proposal from a Los Angeles legislator,” the L.A. Times reports.

San Diego Explained: The Water Pollution Mess

San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC 7, takes a look at how the government’s pollution watchdogs are having trouble cleaning up the water in California: A board “has set up regulations to clean up pollution coming from small businesses, but it doesn’t know how many businesses it’s trying to regulate or how much pollution those businesses are generating.”

Quick News Hits: Boltman, Esq.?

Whoopsy! The governor’s office made a $1.9 billion mistake in Medi-Cal calculations, the L.A. Times reports. Thanks to the discovery of the error, the state’s projected deficit is larger than expected.

Inewsource digs into “the more than 800 projects funded in part by San Diego County taxpayers since July 2016″ via pots of money — slush funds, critics say — that are controlled by individual county supervisors.

Going back even further, it finds some interesting tidbits about giveaways to arts organizations that often serve the well-heeled: The San Diego Opera has gotten more than $3 million in taxpayer funds since 2002, while Mainly Mozart garnered $892,500 over the same period from one fund. The Old Globe Theater got more than $2 million from another fund since 1998.

“Three days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump paid out $25 million in compliance with the settlement reached in three Trump University lawsuits,” the U-T reports. The settlement in a case filed here has yet to be finalized, however.

The Tweet of the Day goes to the U-T’s Debbi Baker: “CHP reporting a traffic hazard on west I-8. One person reported it was a metal funnel but another described the item as a ‘Tin Man’s hat.’”

The football stadium won’t have a whole lot to do over the next few years, it seems, but San Diego State still wants to play there: It’s in negotiations to extend its lease for two extra years through 2020. (City News Service)

Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Faulconer says his top priority is getting another NFL team. And there’s more Chargers news: Boltman has issued his demands.

Yes, the extremely unofficial mascot (we profiled him in an entertaining story in 2015) wants the city to sue the living you-know-what out of the Chargers, NBC 7 reports: “The NFL monopoly power to remove a professional football team from San Diego for not dishing out more millions is a clear violation of federal antitrust laws, which prohibits monopolists from such gross misuse of their monopoly power.”

I’d ponder all this, but the Swinging Friar and the Aztec Warrior are holding on lines three and four with demands of their own.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past 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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