COST-CUTTER: Paul Menard wades in on the controversy over the eviction of the seals from the La Jolla beach Children’s Pool: “Are they kidding — $689,000 for some recorded barking dogs to scare the seals out? I got a plan I can sell the city for thousands less: a recording of my ex-wife nagging the seals off the beach.”
GIVE AND TAKE: Golf isn’t just for the idle rich. It’s also for the philanthropic. This year’s Diamond in the Rough Gala, preceding the Buick Invitational golf tournament, netted a record $364,000 for San Diego’s Monarch School for homeless children. Up $30,000 over last year ... Channel 10 anchorman Bill Griffith has worked the same station for 33 years — a major exception to the rule in TV. And along with soon-to-retire Carol LeBeau, he’s among the more community-minded TV personalities. On June 26, he’ll return for the fifth consecutive year as auctioneer for the San Diego Better Business Bureau’s Gerry Wilson Golf Classic ... And sure it’s hard to find a new gimmick for a charity benefit, but this one’s a natural. On Thursday, the Foundation Fighting Blindness will cook up a fund-raising dinner at the U.S. Grant Hotel, where guests will be introduced to an unfamiliar world. They’ll be served by visually impaired and blind waiters — and they’ll dine in the dark. Napkins should be at a premium.
UPS & DOWNS: Well, it ain’t Shakespeare, but it’s a major step up from porn. San Diego’s Riley Steele, who’s carved out a crafty career in the “adult” film business, has been cast in the big-budget remake of the 1978 cult horror flick Piranha. This time around, it’s Piranha 3-D, and she’ll play alongside Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl) and nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas). And this probably says more about their career paths than hers ... After our highs and lows in recent years, San Diego is coming up again among the nation’s fittest cities. Forbes now ranks us eighth (Los Angeles: 30th). Our strengths: high income, low disability and lower smoking rate. Challenges: lower use of public transportation and fewer farmers’ markets per capita.
DOTTED SHORTS: KidZui, a San Diego-based company that’s created an Internet just for kids (KidZui.com), got an unexpected mega-boost this month. After Whoopi Goldberg mentioned KidZui in passing on The View, it became the No. 1 trend on google.com/hottrends ... Nora Hanna announces a new celebrity diving into the ranks of the “Until There’s a Cure” ad campaign to promote AIDS-awareness bracelets: Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps ... Legendary Chargers coach Don Coryell will be honored June 19 at the annual Charlie Joiner Golf tournament’s Spirit Awards dinner. Also among the honorees at the Hilton Bayfront: NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts and four-time heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield ... Latest economic indicator for the media: The La Jolla Light newspaper has gone postal. The publisher has abandoned home delivery and begun mailing the papers — along with a request for a “voluntary delivery payment of $5” to “help defray just a small part of the cost.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The week the local newspaper laid off 192 of its employees, the paper’s Smart Living section carried a banner headline for this timely story: “WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DO A RESUME?”