The Carmel Valley community of Pacific Highlands Ranch paid for a brand-new ladder truck for its fire station, and it stuck around for a few months last year. Then it went away.

It’s still gone, even though local residents paid $10 million for the truck, a fire engine and a fire station.

The problem: the city can’t afford to provide full staffing for the ladder truck, which needs to be tested while it’s under warranty. So it got transferred to the North Park neighborhood. If it doesn’t return, “we have succeeded in subsidizing another community,” a resident says.

In other news:

  • Judging by media accolades north of the border, a local accountant-turned-avenger could become a household name in Canada.

    Graham McMillan, who works for a real-estate company here, is being lauded as a hero for helping to expose a Ponzi scheme that officials say may have robbed Canadians and others of $400 million.

  • In real estate, local sales of previously used homes (known more officially as “resales”) are following virtually the same trajectory as they did in 2008, at least over the past few months, reports columnist Rich Toscano.  

    Home prices, meanwhile, are still rising, more than one might expect during a bear market, Toscano says. This is partly because the housing supply is still tighter than the lug-nuts on a ’55 Ford, to borrow a phrase from Dan Rather.

  • After taking some time off to recharge, columnist Scott Lewis is tanned, rested and back. In his latest column, he’s encouraged to find some council members are already addressing the looming budget deficit, but he’s mystified that the mayor touted $50 million in donated funds for a downtown library.

    At last check, it was $37 million, and the library boosters won’t say from where it all comes.

  • In Saturday’s Morning Report, I forgot to provide a link to my own history-flashback story about prostitution’s rise and fall in early San Diego, including the 1880s era when “gaudy women” and “stage ‘daisies’” ruled downtown dance halls.

    The Journal of San Diego History, by the way, has an evocative photo of two early-20th-century San Diego’s ladies of the evening mugging for the camera.

  • Elsewhere: The county’s pension-fund manager could make $4.51 million over about three years (U-T), and a long-awaited bay cleanup project is tied up in secret talks. (U-T)

    The high-profile New Age guru who sponsored the “spiritual experience” that turned deadly during a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona, Ariz., has a local connection: James Arthur Ray is based in Carlsbad.

    “You really do have the power within you (regardless of what everyone else does),” his website says, “to create the life you desire and deserve.”

    The NYT says communities are coping with growing numbers of indigents who die with no one to pay for arrangements.

    We looked at San Diego County’s indigent program last spring. The numbers of county-funded burials and cremations hadn’t gone up significantly, but those who are buried are finally getting some respect in death.

    Also in the NYT, a columnist looks into a San Diego travel-insurance company’s intransigence regarding an ill policyholder and finds its policy to be “deeply unjust.” The company’s president presents another view.

    Finally, San Diego’s General Dynamics NASSCO will build a Navy supply ship to be named for civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, who was assassinated in June 1963. The ship, nearly 700 feet long, will have a crew of 135.


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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