Redevelopment efforts across central San Diego are on the line as municipal officials and the feds negotiate over their future.

At stake: a long list of projects accused of misusing loans from the city in violation of federal rules.

But there’s a possible silver lining. As our report reveals, a deal could mean good things for other blighted areas in the city.

In other redevelopment news, the lawyer who sued to block former SEDC President Carolyn Smith’s severance package after she was ousted will now be looking to recover his fees from the agency after a judge threw out her appeal. The explanation is here.

Wednesday was actually a busy day in the legal arena: A federal court ruling in the battle over the city’s DROP benefit for employees sent a lot of people scurrying to find out whether it had major consequences for San Diego’s effort to purge the program. Not everyone agrees with the city attorney’s opinion that the ruling meant San Diego could unilaterally roll back the benefit, which allows city workers to collect a pension while still working for a salary.

In education, San Diego schools might force more kids to take classes required by the University of California. The next generation of class requirements could go in effect by 2010. Speaking of another “Next Generation,” a school board trustee revealed during discussion that she’s familiar with a starship captain by the name of Jean-Luc Picard.

On the commentary front, long-time local thinker Jim Goldsborough is out with the latest monthly column. This time, he has California’s budget mess in his sights. Scott Lewis finds some less than impressed by the city of Chula Vista (incompetent), local newspaper advertising departments (ditto) and Councilman Carl DeMaio (uncouth).

According to a local Realtor, DeMaio made a boneheaded crack during the annual dinner of a local Italian-American association.

DeMaio can be found elsewhere on our site: He’s been hosting the photo blog and tells the story of his day in text and photos from the moment he got out of bed at the ghastly hour of 5:05 a.m.

He writes about meetings and the “RB Road Used Car Lot,” but you might find yourself distracted by the crazy-shaped decorative bowl in two photos from City Hall. What is that? You can also catch a glimpse of a biography of a hero of DeMaio’s, assassinated San Francisco supervisor and gay icon Harvey Milk.

Elsewhere in the news universe, the North County Times touts an exclusive: “City managers from across San Diego County are scheduled to meet with labor unions [today] to discuss a proposal to cut pension benefits for new hires, a move that could reduce costs and minimize competition between agencies.”

The NCT also takes a ride on the party train: a reporter joins a gaggle of inebriated Padres fans returning home on the Coaster amid a “Bacchanalian din.” They chant, yell and engage in “wassailing,” among other, um, activities.

Someone give that reporter a raise.


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