Logan Heights and surrounding neighborhoods don’t have a single supermarket, relegating families to grocery stores with withering produce, lots and lots of liquor and jars of peanut butter at $5-plus.

We profile one woman who walks three miles each way in the stifling heat, pushing a rickety cart, just to reach a supermarket in another low-income neighborhood. That store, by the way, could serve as a model to grocery retailers who have traditionally been leery of San Diego’s poorest areas.

In other news:

  • You remember the story of Bob Watkins, the chairman of the airport authority, who spent $1,200 of public funds on tickets (and thousands more on comfortable flights) to a Charger game in London to which he said he invited a British parliamentarian — a noted expert on airport security?

    Remember, this was also the trip Watkins said he went on to drum up business for San Diego from Zoom Airlines? And this was a company Watkins later conceded had already gone bankrupt and stopped serving the city by the time he took the trip?

    Well, Watkins has now refunded the $1,200 and admitted that he didn’t, in fact, take that politician to the game after all.

  • In commentary, columnist Scott Lewis wonders if there’s more to the NFL commissioner’s seemingly off-message invoking of a remodeled San Diego football stadium than a simple case of misspeaking.

    Lewis also quotes an ESPN personality who claims the economy isn’t to blame for low attendance at Chargers games. “San Diego’s economy is no worse than anybody else’s,” he said, pointing to sellouts in Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.

    In fact, San Diego County is doing worse than each of those places, according to the Associated Press Economy Stress Index. In other words, the talking head is speaking out of his, um, defensive back.

  • School started on San Diego campuses Tuesday, and we visited Marston Middle School in Clairemont, where students were ho-hum about the speech by President Obama.

    Times are changing: First chalkboards gave way to whiteboards, and now they’re being replaced by digital whiteboards. Plaid clothes are in. But some things remain the same. A classroom sign says: “Dear Students: Ms. Vinnard does not have a hearing problem! If she ignores you, it is probably because you should raise your hand!”

    Well, OK then. Ooo, ooo! Pick me, Ms. Vinnard, pick me!

  • Also in education, we covered yesterday’s San Diego school board meeting live via Twitter. And the U-T says La Mesa-area elementary and middle schools delayed Obama’s speech until later thanks to an emergency school board meeting on Labor Day; one board member worried too many parents would keep their kids at home, presumably in fear that Obama would go rogue. (Parents only pulled out two kids at Marston Middle, by the way.)
  • A couple of more things from us: the latest health-care reform developments in Washington D.C. are keeping the local biotech industry on the edges of its seat. And: our “People at Work” feature is three years old. Happy birthday! Maybe it’s time to profile a cake decorator?
  • Finally, a federal appeals court has ruled that a 88-year-old San Diego-area man can keep trying to sue “a Spanish museum to reclaim a valuable painting he says was taken from his grandmother by the Nazis.” (AP)

Back in 2005, I interviewed the man, Claude Cassirer, at his elegant home in La Mesa about his early life as a Jew in pre-Nazi Europe and his fight for the evocative Pissarro impressionist painting. It was worth $15 million-$20 million at the time, but Cassirer told me his battle was about something more: a painting that “means my whole life” and “my whole past.”


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