The coastal cactus wren and the Thorne’s hairstreak butterfly aren’t on anyone’s list of San Diego’s most well-known animal species. They’re as obscure as the cactuses and cypress trees they need to live.

Now, the plants are in trouble because of the wildfires of 2003 and 2007. The wrens and butterflies can’t help being threatened too.

But biologists are trying to come to their rescue “one hill at a time.”

This may not sound very unusual. But the locale of an effort to rescue the coastal cactus wren is hardly routine — it’s above San Diego’s Market Street, surrounded by industry and a trolley line.

Hopefully, you had a nice long weekend. Welcome back to work, here are some items to read while you catch up:

  • “Twenty dollars on pump 5.” “A pack of Marlboro Lights, please.” “Where can I find the toilet paper?”

    For most of us, a visit to a convenience store doesn’t take more than a few words or, for that matter, a few thoughts.

    Not today.

    As part of our monthly “People at Work” series, we’re profiling Farrokh Yadzani, who works in a Tiger Mart convenience store in downtown.

    An immigrant who was born in Pakistan to Iranian parents, he works 80 hours a week at two jobs. Behind the name tag — it says “Frank” — is a man who no longer lives a roller-coaster life in foreign lands. Here, he faces uniquely American challenges and opportunities.

  • The U-T says the city is accepting bids for alternatives to some of the work being performed by the city-owned San Diego Data Processing Corp., whose “250 employees have handled the city’s communications and technology services since 1979.” The U-T also looks at the use of city suites at the baseball and football stadiums and a plan being floated to pay for undergrounding of power lines.
  • The NCT checks in with residents of the rural Valley Center who aren’t happy about the effects of a local Indian casino expansion.
  • The Florida Times-Union examines the Navy’s use of social networks and lists several Twitter feeds that will be of interest to sailors and their fans.
  • Finally, the media continues to go ga-ga over a San Diego father and son who have become the toast of Twitterdom.

    Once a day, as the LAT put it last week, 28-year-old Justin Halpern “posts a memorable quote that his dad, Samuel, said the day before. More than 200,000 users get their daily dose of Sam.”

    The number is now up to more than 292,000. The posts are often hilarious, although almost all are utterly unquotable in a family newspaper (or a family Morning Report).

    Within the last few days,, the Wall Street Journal and have covered the story.

    While its name is also unprintable, we can give you the link to the Twitter feed. And here’s a fresh quote from 73-year-old Samuel Halpern courtesy of his son: “The worst thing you can be is a liar….Okay fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but THEN, number two is liar. Nazi 1, Liar 2.”

With that cleared up, we’ll see you tomorrow.


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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