We have seen recessions before but what made this one such a big deal was just how fast jobs and wealth were being lost. People looked at the statistics and saw how quickly the downturn was accelerating and simply projected how far down that meant it would go.

And then they sold their assets and laid off their employees.

Between May 2008 and May 2009, San Diego’s economy lost more than 52,000 jobs. But economics data guru Rich Toscano churns out a classic series of graphs that — while startling in their picture of a deteriorating jobs market — offer something of a reason to be hopeful.

Sweetwater Union High School District had reason to be hopeful when it hired Jesus Gandara to be its superintendent. He had been hailed as a miracle worker for his effort in a similar position in Texas. But now, Sweetwater employee unions are ramping up a major attack on Gandara, hoping to unseat him for being deaf to their concerns and allegedly relying “on intimidation to gain consent.”

Attacks on superintendents, though, are pretty common when they try to balance the difficult task of absorbing budget cuts while protecting educational objectives.

The debate about the current position of labor unions in San Diego’s political spectrum spurred by this article continues to rage in the letters section. But the top letter today is from Imperial Beach where a resident wants to keep the outrage stoked about a recent decision to install the former mayor into an open City Council seat.

The new owners of the Union-Tribune are letting go of some of their new assets. Though the purchase price of the paper wasn’t disclosed, it is commonly understood that Platinum Equity bought real estate from former U-T publisher David Copley and got a newspaper in the deal for free.

Now they are selling some real estate.

Monday’s U-T is actually brimming with public interest news. The paper profiles a new plan to capture some of the methane that is emitted from the Point Loma sewage treatment plant, put it in trucks and take it somewhere to turn it into electricity.

Another U-T story highlights how well Sycamore Canyon’s ecology has recovered since the devastating 2003 wildfire. The paper also continues a welcome focus on county government with a story about how the county is struggling to process the thousands of requests from property owners hoping to have their assets revalued downward because of the recession. The county botched an effort years ago to improve its computer system to handle these kinds of things.

The paper dings City Councilwoman Marti Emerald for not making her public calendar very detailed despite promises to be an open book. She claims it’s a work in progress.

Finally, if you missed it, the U-T had an interesting story about Poway City Councilwoman Betty Rexford, who allegedly interfered with some construction projects near her home.

This is a new feature sent to subscribers of the Morning Report (formerly known as the Daily News Alert). We’re publishing it here until the end of the month, but you’ll need to sign up to receive it after that.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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