In 2004, John Broder, who covers Southern California for The New York Times, wrote a piece about San Diego adorned with a headline that still haunts city boosters: “Sunny San Diego Finds Itself Being Viewed as a Kind of Enron by the Sea.”

Following the article, a rash of similar stories appeared in national newspapers and on television describing San Diego’s troubles. That title – “Enron by the Sea” – proved to be a popular descriptor.

In The Times’ Sunday edition, Broder checked back in with the city to see if it had “hit bottom” yet.

Broder interviewed some usual suspects: Mayor Jerry Sanders, developer and philanthropist Malin Burnham and City Attorney Mike Aguirre. He found some in the city trying hard to shake that ugly picture that had been drawn of it and wondering if things hadn’t already started to improve. But he also sat down with the staff of what he described in today’s paper as the city’s new “feisty” online newspaper:

He quoted co-Executive Editor Scott Lewis, who writes a regular opinion column. Lewis said that although there was a push to say San Diego had turned a corner, “not a single fundamental reform has taken place.”


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