No one asked. No one told.

But Joseph Rocha still suffered gay-baiting abuse at the hands of fellow sailors while serving with a Navy dog-handling unit in the Middle East.

He put up with it, afraid that an investigation would end his military career because he was indeed gay. He later left the Navy, became a political-science student at the University of San Diego and expected his humiliation would remain in the past.

But he decided to go public last summer, and now he’s a national figure in the battle over gays in the military. In this weekend’s Q&A, we ask Rocha about the choices he made, the source of his resolve and the president who’s disappointed some gay activists.

In other news:

  • When Orange County went bankrupt in the 1990s, a judge named John Ryan got the case. Now, municipal bankruptcy looms as a possible option for San Diego.

    We sat down with Ryan this week in a Q&A interview. He talked about the workings of bankruptcy, the concept of spreading the pain and the similarities between a bankruptcy judge and a symphony conductor. (Batons? Sadly, no.)

  • Well, it’s a step. A group of people with stakes in SDG&E’s controversial wildfire-prevention-via-power-outage plan have decided on a mediation firm that will help them try to reach consensus.
  • Take a deep breath. Ommmmm. Ommmmm. Another deep breath.

    Feeling calm, cool and collected? If it’s that’s easy to relax, you must not be looking to buy a house in this market. “Every buyer I’ve talked to lately is frustrated in today’s market, putting in 10 offers and getting beat out over and over,” writes our Kelly Bennett, who looks at some of the reasons why things are so darned difficult.

  • The San Diego teachers union is barring the principals union from joining a labor group that discusses health and welfare issues. This came after the principals union rapped a teachers union proposal on limiting classroom workloads.
  • Just how many vacancies does the San Diego Police Department have? Good question. The number are a bit fuzzy.
  • As a follow-up to our story about the Whole Brain Catalog, we talk to a UCSD neuroanatomist about his plans to study the brain of an amnesiac who became the most widely studied brain patient in history.

    Elsewhere: A poll says fewer than a third of San Diegans surveyed think the Chargers will leave the county. (U-T) And there’s still no word why Northwest Airline pilots flying from San Diego overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. One of the them, however, says they weren’t snoozing. (Minneapolis StarTribune)

    The Coffee Collection:

    Manny, Moe and Charlie? Charles Goldstein, who spent 70 years as a Pep Boys employee, leaves a legacy of cornball humor and an ever-lasting commitment to “Pep people.”

    Pay to Play: Public school isn’t supposed to cost anything. Someone should let San Diego schools know. Oh wait, someone already has.

    Quote of the Week: “Oozing tubes of melted cheese.” — Jonathan Gold, a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic for LA Weekly, describing San Diego’s burritos. (Check the comments for some defenders of our Mexican food.)

    Perhaps we should drive up there and get a Dodger Dog instead. I hear they now come with complimentary stomach pumps. Zing!


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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