I’m back in San Diego (Andy’s wedding was incredible) and am making my way through my overgrown e-mail inbox. Thanks for your patience last month as the blogging was sparse here in Survival.

While I get my bearings, here’s a potpourri of news bits and interesting happenings while I was away:

  • Condo in Downtown or Your Own Island in Nicaragua? I tried not to think too much about real estate when I was on vacation, but I couldn’t help but note something to tell you about when I got back. I went on a boat tour of some of the hundreds of tiny islands in Lake Nicaragua and I noticed quite a few for-sale signs. Some of the islands are for sale for a price you might pay for a condo here in San Diego. Here’s one for $130,000.
  • Gin’s Tune Grows Even More Ominous: In June, I pointed out that Alan Gin’s economic index for May was lacking his usual assurance that we’d avoid a recession. Last week, Gin released his June index, which got even bleaker. For the first time since September 1993, the region’s job growth in the region was negative compared to the year before. Gin now projects “continued weakness in the local economy through the first half of 2009, with no end in sight at this point.”
  • DataParty: The most recent Case-Shiller index for May showed an overall drop in local housing prices of 28.9 percent from the November 2005 peak. Rich Toscano had the full scoop on the numbers with some analysis in Nerd’s Eye View. Toscano points out that, according to this index, housing prices are now lower than they were in October 2003.
  • Aguirre vs. Foreclosure: I had heard this was coming: City Attorney Mike Aguirre is on the offensive against some giant mortgage banks to try to stem the wave of foreclosure in San Diego. The story gained quite the traction while I was gone, as partially evidenced by the personal e-mail I received from my mom while I was traveling — she saw Aguirre on CNN from her living room in Canada and she wrote me to tell me about it. Rich Toscano had this commentary on the issue, and my colleague David Washburn has a story today examining the lawsuit for its ground-breaking or grandstanding implications, depending on whom you ask.

OK, that’s probably enough for now. If you have any ideas for stories, thoughts or questions on these or other things you saw while I was away, please send me an e-mail: kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org.

KELLY BENNETT

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