In words that galvanized our readers, columnist Scott Lewis warned this week that San Diego is at risk of becoming “The Dissolving City,” a metropolis splintered and separated by its financial rubble.

Does a city in such dire straits need more convention space? Lewis is skeptical, and his provocative perspective is spawning debate. Just check the dozens of comments under his blog post.

Now, Lewis has returned with a follow-up. This time, he lays the groundwork for a fuller discussion of three topics: the city’s future, the Convention Center’s economic impact and the expansion’s true cost.

“If we have $750 million to spend on creating the best economy we can,” Lewis asks, “is a huge building our best bet?”

Look for answers to this question in the coming days or contribute your own. You can call in with your thoughts too: Lewis and editor Andrew Donohue will guest host KOGO/AM 600’s morning show from 5-9 a.m. on Friday.

Note: They won’t appreciate crank calls. Don’t even think of calling them (1-800-600-KOGO) with one.

In other Convention Center expansion news, the mayor’s task force that’s exploring the issue is nearing conclusions.

Their verdict so far: Well, maybe.

So who will pay for it? Um … Hello? Somebody? Hey, are those crickets?

If only the city had benefactors to swoop down and invest in our future. Angel investors, you might call them.

There are such people. And although the economy has singed their wings, these heavenly cash machines are still at it, providing money to tech and biotech ventures.

Now, however, they’re “being asked to help fill a growing gap between a company’s beginnings and the time when it can survive on its own.”

Sometimes an angel is in the eye of the beholder. Consider the young, smart and blunt head of the San Diego schools teachers union, for instance.

She can’t be bothered with mild diplomacy, and her supporters love her for it. But critics claim she is unreasonable and uncivil.

And our real-estate columnist Rich Toscano (a guest on the aforementioned KOGO show on Friday, by the way) notes that housing prices are still rising and thinks a reversal in condo prices is a sign of volatility.

Now to a few lighter items. Why was the Talmadge neighborhood once nicknamed the “Movie Girl Subdivision?” We’ve got the answer, along with details about Talmadge’s cake-deflating dedication day and a “New Woman” whose name still graces a street today.

Finally, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers on their way to the “Garbage Patch” of floating junk in the Pacific Ocean are blogging about their trip. Among the highlights so far: a gigantic dead squid.

Elsewhere, the country is again enamored by the birth of panda babies at the San Diego Zoo.

And the Union-Tribune is writing about another kind of animal — the “cougars” that are showing up at the track in Del Mar.

The paper also takes a look at former police Chief David Bejarano’s impressive fundraising lead in the sheriff race, Chula Vista’s decision to appoint a temporary replacement for its Iraq-bound city councilman, and the attempt to get an emergency order to halt SDG&E’s controversial back country shut-off plan.

Wait. Did they say “cougar?”


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