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The Forbidden City: Oblivious to the immigration debate that spins out of control around them, the migrant workers of Carmel Valley continue to live how they have for decades: In a trash-strewn canyon with candles for light, a stream to bathe in, and each other’s companionship to keep themselves warm.
Ghostwriting the Airport’s Story: If you support replacing Lindbergh Field and your name carries credibility, the airport authority will spend thousands to have professionals clandestinely write an op-ed under your name for the local newspaper. It’s all part of a multi-million dollar public-relations campaign that critics are complaining about, but that appears to be working.
Mission Valley: The Unplanned Neighborhood: It’s gone from being the home of the exotic crops of Spanish missionaries to the enormous chains of American merchandising. Now, as a burgeoning residential community, Mission Valley is becoming just plain home. But its sordid history leaves its residents contemplating the future in a flood plain without a school, park land and a permanent fire station.
No Ex-Councilman Left Behind: Internal e-mails show that City Councilman Jim Madaffer worked diligently behind the scenes to secure a significant pension boost for an ex-official who had long since left city service. At the same time, Madaffer lobbied the ex-official for millions of dollars in land grants.
Another Pension Fund in the Red: In the shadow of the fiscal scandal that has left San Diego’s City Hall in a legal and political quagmire is another billion-dollar pension problem.
The History of V&E: Hired to be a narrator of San Diego’s problems, the Vinson & Elkins law firm instead became a primary character in the tale of a city mired in a financial crisis, myriad investigations and mounting legal and consulting bills. The firm’s failures were initially hidden from the public and carry real consequences.