The San Diego Association of Governments, an umbrella organization that oversees things like regional transportation, is in quite a pickle over its financial forecasting scandal. Its leaders have hired an Orange County firm to investigate how voters were misled about a transportation ballot measure.

Our Andrew Keatts digs deeper and finds that “it’s unclear the firm will be able to investigate all of the issues Voice of San Diego uncovered related to the agency’s existing tax measure, TransNet, and the proposed tax increase voters rejected last year, Measure A.”

Among the issues that could be ignored: How did the agency take a year to fess up that the costs of all TransNet projects had ballooned by $8 billion? What about the emails slated to be reviewed — about 2,700 of them — that just may be the tip of the iceberg? And will investigators explore other issues raised by staffers other than the mess regarding last fall’s failed Measure A?

A member of the SANDAG board said he’s been careful to makes sure the investigation can include issues like these, and an investigator says the probe’s scope is a bit vague because it’s early.

• Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill to reform SANDAG advanced out of committee Wednesday.

And That Was Green Day. Now, the Padres!

It’s not entirely unusual for a local FM radio station to broadcast sports games. But it’s still a bit startling to be listening to Radiohead in the morning and then hear Ted Leitner (yeah, he’s still around) calling a Padres game in the afternoon.

That’s the way things are going at the alternative rock station FM 94.9, which has begun broadcasting the team’s games. The station is taking a risk because music fans may skip past it and never return — perhaps fleeing to arch rival 91X — if they hear balls and strikes instead of the Beastie Boys and Sublime.

But, as VOSD contributor Dallas McLaughlin reports in a new story, the station thinks it’s a gamble worth making. For one thing, FM sounds better than AM. For another, AM sports station Mighty 1090, the former home of the team, apparently decided it just didn’t want to play ball (or at least broadcast it) anymore.

How Navarro Rose After Falls

Business professor Peter Navarro, a Democratic slow-growth advocate, didn’t just lose one or two local political races. He actually lost four — for mayor, for county supervisor, for Congress and for City Council, all in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He did come close to winning at least once, though, and he dreamed of what could have been, dreamed quite often in fact: “Whether riding a wave in Ocean Beach or hitting a five iron off the fairway at Torrey Pines or just lying in bed,” he wrote, “I can’t help sometimes but think about what might have been had I won — not just for my own future, but for my little town that I love.”

Navarro’s public profile has dimmed in recent years, and his nickname for our former mayor (“Hemorrhoid Bob Filner”) never stuck. But now he’s a top advisor to the president.

How’d that happen? Vanity Fair explains in a new article: Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, assigned to look into China matters, went to Amazon, “where he was struck by the title of one book, Death by China, co-authored by Peter Navarro. He cold-called Navarro, a well-known trade-deficit hawk, who agreed to join the team as an economic adviser. (When he joined, Navarro was in fact the campaign’s only economic adviser.)”

Transit Hikes for Disabled

North County Transit is facing a variety of challenges, and now it’s passing one of its burdens — financial struggles — on to its most disabled customers.

The maximum rate for a “paratransit” ride is going to rise to $10.50 instead of $3.50. “That is because although the shuttle will take the rider all the way to their destination without having to transfer to another shuttle, the journey would have required two transfers on a regular bus,” KPBS reports. The service should be easier to use, however.

By comparison, paratransit rides in San Diego cost $4.50, still a pricey trip. We’ve reported on how the service has become much more popular in recent years while remaining very expensive to offer, prompting the MTS to make it harder for people to sign up.

Aztec Survives Test as SDSU Identity

The student government at San Diego State University –the Associated Students — rejected a resolution that would have demanded that the university drop the Aztec as a mascot. The vote was close: 12 for the resolution, 14 against and 1 abstention. Seven members of the body abruptly resigned in protest. The issue has provoked demonstrations on campus. A similar resolution will go to the University Senate, the body of academics, this fall.

North County Report: Divide Over District Voting

We all know where poorer people live, whether it’s on the wrong side of the tracks or the less luxurious side of the freeway. These divisions make it harder for certain communities (often poor and minority) to land positions of political power. A city like Escondido or Vista, for example, may have large Latino populations but not many in elected positions.

Enter the idea of district voting — where candidates run in distinct regions of a city rather than in a scramble for the whole city. It’s generally supported by liberals. (Though two Democrats on the San Diego Unified School District board called an effort to do it for that agency a “Republican ploy.”)

As our weekly North County Report notes, the city of Vista is going toward district elections, if reluctantly and under legal pressure. (Vista has long been divided by the 78 freeway with the wealthier, whiter, master-planned Shadowridge neighborhoods to the south and the older, poorer, more Latino sections to the north.)

Oceanside is facing its own choice, and it seems to be more receptive to the idea.

Also in the North County Report: News about an Oceanside police captain hopeful whose arrest may have killed his chances, a big lawsuit over an Encinitas seawall and park caretakers whose home is where their job is.

Quick News Hits: How to Speak San Diegan

• An angry man in La Jolla rammed his car into the little cart of a parking enforcement officer who was giving him a ticket. (NBC 7)

• We’re learning more about the activist who disappeared in Mexico after worrying friends and family with a desperate Facebook Live video feed.

• More rain means more grass and food for rodents, which means more snakes.

We may not think of ourselves as having an accent or even a local lingo. But, of course, San Diegans have both.

We know the meaning of PB, OB and IB, and we understand that MB, for some reason, just sounds weird. Freeways aren’t just numbers (“the 805”), there’s no “jam” in Jamacha or “cow” in Cowles (try “Coals”), or a -tay in Otay Mesa. It’s oh-tie, and it’s not by Sea World. Looking at you, Politico. The news outlet  placed it there for some reason in a story the other day.

A new book called “Talk Like a Californian: A Hella Fresh Guide to Golden State Speak” claims that “PQ” stands for Rancho Peñasquitos even though many of us less refined types prefer the neighborhood’s anatomically unfortunate and NSFW nickname, which isn’t appropriate for a family Morning Report.

The book also says we refer to Mission Valley as “The Valley,” L.A.-style.

What? This Is Not a Thing™©. We don’t do that. But I do like to imagine what a (Mission) Valley Girl might say. You know, “Gag me with an IKEA!” and “Grody to the Qualcomm!”

I know, I know. Like, whatever. As if!

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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