Patchwork planning over the last decades in Barrio Logan has left the neighborhood with the scars of bad land use decisions: repair shops and recycling centers sit next to residential homes. There isn’t a residential block in that part of town without at least one industrial or commercial parcel.

There’s a chance to address these problems as the community redraws its blueprints for planning for the first time in three decades, but a tenuous peace between the neighborhood’s activists and commercial interest has shattered.

Business leaders want powerful activist Rachel Ortiz removed from a stakeholders committee after her remarks warning of “another white man’s plan to destroy us” spurred an uproar among committee members, highlighting one of the frustrations that has dogged attempts to reach a consensus on the neighborhood’s future.

There are plenty of other stories grabbing our interest as well:

  • Kelly Bennett‘s latest installment of People at Work takes us inside the bustling garage of a modern day inventor, tucked away in an anonymous stretch of Mira Mesa.

    Chris Pyles, Bennett writes, “is nearly 40, an active young dad — on this day clad in a t-shirt, khaki shorts and Birkenstocks — who bounds from thought to thought and who is at one moment pragmatic, at the next dreaming aloud of some offbeat idea.”

    His latest idea: The AccuTaper, a sequel to his QVC hit, The AccuBrush.

  • Housing and economy blogger Rich Toscano thought he was being inventive in early 2007 when he imagined what he thought were far-fetched scenarios regarding the government’s intervention in the housing market.

    Now? “The lengths to which the government has gone to prop up the housing market have surpassed even my own cynical expectations,” he wrote in his latest post Sunday night. “By a long shot.”

  • Elsewhere: Turns out government intervention worked out OK for Powegians. The city of Poway put out a call for water conservation, and the Powegians answered with a 22 percent reduction. (UT) San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has been beating the drum of water conservation loudly in recent years — even giving the public some intimate details of his bathroom habits — but he had to stick to the dry business of the city budget and the Chargers stadium in this weekend Q&A with the UT.
  • And the Union-Tribune had the latest over the weekend on an interesting story that won’t go away: Two county Office of Education officials remain personally liable in a suit brought by a fired employee.

    We’ve dug into complaints raised in the former employee’s suit — that a top administrative official gives advice on contracts that can end up going to her husband and that lawyers from a firm that has received millions in public contracts have served on a hiring committee to help select their own overseers.

  • On video: 48 Hours Mystery (aired Saturday) looks at case of Vista mom: Strapped with Dynamite, a Woman Robs a Bank to Save her Daughter Held Hostage by a Team of Gunmen.

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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