Best bank robber
During the last 14 months, the Geezer Bandit has robbed 11 banks and amassed more than 1,400 friends on Facebook.
The FBI's San Diego field office still has the septuagenarian on its most wanted list for holding up banks across the county (even Temecula and Santee!), and agents still don't seem to know whether, under his baseball cap, that wrinkled face is real or an elaborate mask.
You don't fuck with Charlene Ayers—you just don't. That's what county Planning Commissioner David Pallinger learned when he tried to bully Ayers after a public meeting; an audio recording of the scuffle made it on the evening news. Ayers maintains an e-mail list called “'Ranter's Roost,” which she uses to send out all the most relevant stories on county issues as well as source documents, ranging from county plans to campaign-finance reports. If you need to get the word out and drum up some citizens to speak out angrily during the public-comment period, Ayers is the one to contact.Best Comic-Con hype that was better than the reality
San Diego Comic-Con is one big battle royal with every popcultural institute, from obscure anime to big Hollywood, vying for buzz. In the end, it's the unexpected things that go viral. In Hall H, right after the Resident Evil: Afterlife panel, two fanboys allegedly fought over a seat, resulting in one stabbing the other in the eye with a pen. The news of the arrest spread fast, but it turned out to be little more than a flesh wound.
We have a tie. In 2010, two new heroes emerged to fight for justice in San Diego. We'll use “justice” and “fight” in the broad est sense possible since, frankly, both avengers are really weird. The first is Bugman—we call him Muthafuckin' Bugman—who's been taunting local gangs via YouTube. He attempts to breed distrust by relating his story of how, for years, he was a snitch for the FBI in the Skyline district of San Diego. The other hero is fictional: Local anti-circumcision activist Matt Hess commissioned Brazilian illustrator Gledson Barreto to create Foreskin Man, a San Diego-based caped crusader who fights against mohels and pediatric urologists who want to circumcise newborn boys.
Best excuse for distributing marijuana
A lot of people are pissed off at Barack Obama for not living up to his campaign promises, but few have as much a reason as James Stacy. In 2009, Stacy opened a medical-cannabis dispensary in Vista. He'd listened to Obama on the campaign trail and, later, his appointed attorney general, Eric Holder, when they promised that the administration would not prosecute dispensaries that complied with state law. Guess what: They lied. For the last year, Stacy has been fighting federal drug charges, using an entrapment defense that was ultimately blocked from being admissible in court. In October, he finally took a plea that will not involve jail time.
Best political rebound
For most of the year, politicos thought the most contentious issue on the San Diego general election ballot would be Carl DeMaio's managed-competition initiative. The Republican City Council member was boisterous about the effort—and then his hopes were crushed when it turned out he didn't have enough valid signatures to make the ballot. Ain't nothing more embarrassing than that. DeMaio disappeared for days, only to return invigorated and in all his zealous pensionreform glory as the lead opponent to Proposition D. Last week, Prop. D was the victim of a severe beat-down, losing at the polls, 62 to 38 percent, and catapulting DeMaio into the 2012 mayoral-election fray.