Listen closely and you can hear the first whispers of optimism: “The local recession that began with the slump in the local housing market could bottom as soon as next year, early indicators are beginning to portend.”

A leading San Diego economy guru predicts it will take a long time to go from bust to boom once things pick up. But for now, there are bright spots, including this one: local home prices aren’t falling as fast as they used to.

If you look at the figures from month-to-month, the picture is even better. But our real-estate columnist Rich Toscano, ever the cold splash of reality, says the bottom-screamers — those confidently proclaiming that prices can only go up — can’t bank on this evidence.

Immigrants continue to come to California in search of a new life and, at least for now, these cheaper home prices. But ours is not quite the promised land we used to be: “Although the state’s immigrant population continues growing … California’s share of the new-immigrant pie decreased between 1990 and 2007.”

In education, the board of the Sweetwater high school district, which covers a large swath of the South Bay, agreed Monday to extend the current superintendent’s contract for another year until 2012, although not everyone is thrilled and there’s some interesting fine print.

You might remember the superintendent, Jesus Gandara, from this in-depth profile we posted about the man once hailed as a miracle worker.

In San Diego, education officials have finally resolved a dispute over a playing field shared by two neighboring schools in the Chollas View neighborhood.

Looking at a bigger playing field, the San Diego City Council isn’t too big on Qualcomm Stadium losing taxpayers nearly $11 million a year. One outspoken councilman — guess who — said the city “got hosed.”

But experts tell San Diego CityBeat that it’s nearly impossible for the stadium to break even.

Also at City Hall, the LAT says the City Council is greatly limiting pedicab licenses after a fatality. And the U-T reports that Mayor Jerry Sanders wants a new system of appointing Ethics Commission members because the current one is “no longer viable.” It doesn’t seem clear if he thinks elected officials should still make “the final decision about a panel that is supposed to investigate them.”

As you may have read, the mayor’s office has had a hard time providing public records to the media. Our own Rob Davis appeared on KPBS-FM Tuesday to tackle this topic and described the city’s stonewalling as “inexcusable.”

Let’s go back in time for a moment. Many decades ago, crooner Bing Crosby sang about how racegoers could get to “old Del Mar”: “Take a plane, take a train, take a car.”

A train? Nowadays? Sure, if you want to get off in Solana Beach.

But the authors of a commentary think it’s time for a change, courtesy of stimulus funding.

The feds sound generous. Can they do something about making sure the “winner in every race” matches my Pick Six?

Another history lesson: San Diego has had a young’un mayor, a drunk-driving mayor, and even a reporter-berating mayor (imagine!).

How about a journalist mayor?

On this week’s radio show, Editor Andrew Donohue needled CEO Scott Lewis about commenters’ suggestions (or mocking hopes) that he run for mayor. Check out the podcast here. In a humorous exchange on Twitter Tuesday, Lewis declared that he would not do it, just to be sure.

My theory: Lewis washes his truck eight times a day, takes four-hour showers and doesn’t want anyone to find out.

Editor’s note: The Morning Report is sent out daily via e-mail to more than 5,200 subscribers. It’s a great way to keep up with everything we’re doing. Sign up here.


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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