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In the last decade, researchers, doctors and educators have come to embrace the idea that music and rhythm can help young people deal with emotional and behavioral problems. But San Diego’s Sundiata Kata has been using it for much longer than that.

For 40 years at the San Diego Center for Children, Kata has been taking in troubled kids and channeling some of their energy into choirs, drum circles or — if they have the fuel for it — the blues.

Now there are plans to build the Sundiata Kata Performing Arts Center and his life’s focus has been validated by a grateful community. We profile him and his job as part of the latest installment of People at Work, our monthly look at what a San Diegan does to make a living.

In other news:

  • A few steps from Central Elementary School in City Heights is a house the principal there calls the “Miracle on 41st Street.” A bipolar man, Luigi Cannoni, took the dilapidated house — where refuse was strewn on the yard and drug dealers once roamed — and turned it into a botanical wonder.

    Cannoni himself is an interesting person. But the home he’s created is an unexpected blossom in a downtrodden neighborhood.

  • Photographer Sam Hodgson returns from yesterday’s Charger game with pictures of the team actually celebrating. Hodgson’s getting better and better at this. Great shots.
  • We’ve been checking in periodically on the race for an obesity drug in which local biotech Amylin Pharmaceuticals is a major contestant. According to the AP, Amylin announced today it could receive as much as $1 billion from a deal it just signed with the Japanese company Takeda. More here. Amylin’s stock price was up more than 7 percent in pre-market activity Monday.

    Wonder if any of the dissident shareholders who recently sold their stakes will regret it.

  • The former head of San Diego County’s massive bureaucracy, Larry Prior, is the subject of a quick profile today in the Washington Post as part of its “New at the Top” series. Prior, who was helping lead SAIC, now is president and COO of ManTech International.
  • SignOnSanDiego.com unveiled a new redesigned look and feel this weekend. I was particularly impressed with how Tom Mallory, the content director, handled some feedback from readers about it. We’ve done a couple of re-designs and I know how critical people can be about something you work that hard on. And I particularly am interested in the feedback as we get into the final stretch of our own redesign and migration to a new system.

    The Union-Tribune also has a bit of an explainer about how, despite the mayor’s claim that hundreds and hundreds of city positions have been eliminated to balance the budget during his administration, it has really only meant that 13 people have lost their jobs.

    “Out of 457 rank-and-file employees whose jobs were eliminated since 2005, 97 percent found other city jobs. Some accepted demotions, some received lateral transfers to jobs with the same pay and seven were promoted.”

  • Finally, the NC Times has what it touts as an exclusive story about a new “wrinkle” with mortgage fraud. As some people are selling their homes for less than they owe on them, lenders with lower priority in the deal are demanding separate cash payments from sellers, according the representatives of sellers the Times interviewed.

That should be enough to get you started for the week. Hope it goes well for you.

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SCOTT LEWIS

Dagny Salas

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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