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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
Supervisor Dave Roberts on the hook for settlements, Sherri Lightner goes light on revealing comments, L.A. Times can’t find a woman to interview, UCSD students go nude to pass class and sea lion pup bunks on a boat.
San Diego has plenty of decrepit buildings that need to meet with rehab or a bulldozer (Pernicano’s, anyone?), but none may be as big or as eyesore-y as downtown’s California Theatre on C Street.
The grand theater with Spanish colonial revival architecture debuted in 1927 as “the cathedral of the motion picture“ and “an enduring contribution to the artistic beauty of the entire Southland.” But San Diego, unlike San Francisco and Oakland, has not preserved wonderful film palaces as movie theaters. It’s been abandoned for a quarter-century after a 1980s renovation.
As part of his “What’s That Lot?” series, VOSD’s Ry Rivard checked into the theater’s status. Guess what: It may soon be history, demolished to make way for high-rise homes.
There have been some big developments in the possible scandal involving County Supervisor Dave Roberts, the board’s only Democrat, and a mass exodus from his office. The board says no taxpayer funds will be spent to resolve certain issues: “If any money is to be paid to any of his former staff members, it should be paid from his personal funds and not taxpayer dollars,” according to a board memo, NBC San Diego reports.
San Diego has had two female mayors, an impressive achievement for a major American city, especially when several others haven’t had any. But a woman only recently landed the second-highest position in the city: City Council president. She’s Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who gets highlighted in a friendly, rather unrevealing profile by KPBS.
The story tracks her background all the way back to childhood and points to her engineering background in nuclear fission and fusion: “I tend to have a more black-and-white perspective and analytical view on things, and I really am interested in getting things done.”
• Speaking of women, we apparently don’t have any in positions of influence or power. Or maybe they’re just invisible like Wonder Woman’s plane. The L.A. Times talked to 10 men — 10! — and not a single woman for a story about the pending purchase of the U-T by a Chicago-based newspaper company, VOSD’s Sara Libby pointed out on Twitter.
Why bother talking to women? Well, they might have provided some more insight than this cotton candy from the current mayor: “The U-T has an incredible track record of excellent journalists and quality reporting, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”
• There’s plenty of media buzz about a UCSD class that requires students to go nude and perform “a gesture that traces, outlines or speaks about your ‘erotic self(s).”
• Amid a sexual harassment scandal at San Diego State, NBC 7 finds that the campus doesn’t forbid faculty members from all sexual relationships with students. Only certain relationships are banned.
• Parents in Encinitas are raising the alarm about how the district is spending $63,000 to install facial-recognition software in student iPads. The idea is to help students sign in more easily, although it’s not clear why signing in is such a difficult task in the first place. (10News)
• We have a new cartoonist: Check out A.J. Knox’s first VOSD editorial cartoon.
• Cities like San Diego and L.A. ban cars from parking in the same place on the street for more than 72 hours in an apparent attempt to zap any garage-free drivers who ever want to take a car-less vacation. An L.A. couple tried to sue the city over their car getting towed because there was no sign banning extended parking. They’ve lost for now, but the case may not be over.
• State politicians are getting small raises. (L.A. Times) Meanwhile, local legislator Lorena Gonzalez’s bill to mandate that professional cheerleaders make at least minimum wage and get benefits is moving forward. (Associated Press)
• Yes, you too can rent or buy the “Real World: San Diego” house in La Jolla. By the way, the ritzy seaside enclave reportedly stars in the new Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
• Sea lions have been popping up in weird places in recent months, appearing at a South Bay high school and on a surfboard on North County. A baby sea lion bunked with a man on a boat at the San Diego Yacht Club instead of finding its mother on Sunday, the AP reports in a story that got national media attention.
The pup, dubbed “Gilligan” by the surprised sailor, found its way back into the water, presumably in search of the S.S. Minnow and an uncharted desert isle. Maybe it could even become the subject of — and I’m not making this up — “A Scholarly Critique of the Style, Symbolism and Sociopolitical Relevance of Gilligan’s Island.” Just don’t tell The Professor about this.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.