Fine restaurants, stunning condo towers and baseball under the stars: There’s a lot to like about downtown’s East Village since the stadium came to town.

But barren lots, empty storefronts and inebriated transients are casting a pall over this “instant neighborhood.” Our report explores the contradictions of a place that’s still finding its soul.

The details bring this story to life: you’ll learn how retail didn’t follow rooftops, how “phantom space” keeps pedestrians at bay and how a drunken street brawl is making a prospective resident think twice.

We’ve also got a look at the biotech industry. Its leaders scoffed at the Clinton health-care plan in the 1990s, but now they’re lining up to support an Obama plan. What changed? Local biotech gurus explain in our story and open up about how things could go wrong unless politicians pay heed.

In the land of opinion, the head of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association says a decision on the new city library is long overdue. Her verdict: Stick a fork in it already.

Speaking of dining, it’s a Wagyu Rebellion! The letters page is boiling with ire over revelations about a taxpayer-funded trip to Washington D.C. by school officials who feasted on striped bass, venison and a very special kind of beef.

“Flagrant abuse,”sniffs one steamed writer. Another says he has no problem feeding a family of four for less than $25 when he goes out to eat, unlike a certain superintendent.

But an unimpressed commenter is in the nothing-to-see-here-move-along crowd: “Go back to sleep.”

Emily Alpert‘s story was an exclusive, drawing attention from the National Review and NBC 7/39. How’d she get the scoop? Alpert heard about district trips to D.C. and Sacramento earlier this year and asked questions, “but nobody could tell me how much they actually cost.”

So she filed public-records requests and got the skinny on who paid for what and who ate what. Now the school district has a major case of heartburn. 

Elsewhere, San Diego CityBeat looks into why it takes the city forever to complete renovations and repairs mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of 82 projects dating back to 2007, 62 won’t be finished until 2010 or 2011.

A final note: is throwing a party in honor of the people we serve and those who serve the community. Join us on Thursday, June 25, for a special event as we pay tribute to the subjects of our People at Work and Virtual Convening series.

More details are here.


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