Tenants in San Diego are doing something unusual these days: They’re treating rents like suggested retail prices.

In other words, they don’t expect to pay them.

“It’s a great time for tenants to negotiate,” says one landlord in today’s top story.

Even so, some landlords are still trying to raise their rents.

Also in the news: a former TV troubleshooter who’s taking lots of shots.

San Diego Councilwoman Marti Emerald has been under fire from unions and city cost-cutters. And she was accused of showboating at last year’s jet crash in University City.

But in this weekend’s Q&A feature, Emerald refuses to back down. In regard to the crash: “I know the rules, I respect people’s privacy, but I also respect the public’s right to know what’s going on and at that point, the need to know.”

On the real estate front, the South Bay is hot, but in all the wrong ways. Check the “heat map” that reveals the county’s top spots for foreclosures in April.

The upshot: “It’s tough to tell how bad the situation will get, but new data on the number of homeowners behind on their payments show that a worsening flood of foreclosures is a distinct possibility.”

Now, a quick look back at the week on voiceofsandiego.org.

The Coffee Collection (If you missed these good reads, check them out over a cup of java):

Still East of Eden: We take a close look at an up-and-coming downtown neighborhood that’s trying to find itself amid some major challenges.

The Fabulist: Follow the trail of the 18-year-old San Diegan who convinced quite a few people that he was not only the next incarnation of Mr. Rogers — yes, that Mr. Rogers — but also a celebrity wrangler extraordinaire.

The story has a special guest appearance by … Lamb Chop! Or at least the daughter of the lady who created her. (If you’ve never heard of Lamb Chop, tell your parents. It’ll make them feel ancient.)

Word of the Week: “Wagyu.”

As you may recall, that’s the kind of fancy Japanese beef that San Diego school officials chowed down on during a taxpayer-funded trip. (Our lively story is definitely worth a read if you missed it.)

But what is wagyu, exactly? A friend reports that the beef is “massaged.” In the kitchen or on the hoof? Someone else said the cows drink beer. Then why do they need massages if they’re already relaxed?

Wikipedia has the answers to these questions.

And finally, the Quote of the Week, not coincidentally from our most-read story:

“Have you ever tried to eat on $25? I promise you it is very difficult to do.” — San Diego schools Superintendent and dining-expense expert Terry Grier.

Bon appetit. See you on Monday.


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