You may have read a lot in recent years about San Diego’s budget cuts and those many jobs that don’t exist anymore. Just think of all those people who have been laid off by the city.

All 30 of them.

Wait, what? Yes, the city has laid off just 30 people since 2006. San Diego is spending much less on its workforce, but it’s mainly thanks to simple attrition that’s left hundreds upon hundreds of vacancies.

The mayor wants to eliminate 800 more vacancies to save more money, but there’s a problem: once that happens, the well will run dry. We explain what that means and why these cuts aren’t exactly what they seem.

Also on our site today:

  • We didn’t see this coming: San Diego’s new fire chief told KPBS-FM yesterday that budget problems could lead to the closing of city beaches.
  • “For the first time, people are robbing pharmacies and demanding bottles of drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin,” we report in a story today. People are also “doctor shopping,” stealing from medicine cabinets and smuggling illicit medications from Mexico.

    These are the challenges facing authorities as they tackle what seems to be a growing local problem — the abuse of prescription drugs.

  • Test scores account for a major portion of how students are graded. But student test scores won’t play a role in how principals are evaluated in San Diego schools. There had been a big fuss over this issue.
  • A Supremes song is the perfect soundtrack to accompany our Photo of the Day.


  • In the U-T: “Assemblyman Joel Anderson has returned more than $100,000 in questionable campaign contributions” that are under investigation. Three supporters of Councilman Todd Gloria have been socked with election fines. And the Orchids & Onions, which spotlight the best and worst of local architecture, are out. Downtown’s Vantage Point condo tower, which we’ve covered extensively, got a Grand Onion. (U-T)
  • Earlier this week, we reported that a judge had thrown out a lawsuit filed by former U-T editorial cartoonist Steve Kelley, who was sacked by the paper back in 2001. He claimed the U-T brass had pressured the current editorial cartoonist, Steve Breen, to kill a comic-strip partnership between the two.

    Now, the Washington Post’s Michael Cavna — a former U-T employee who attended UCSD — offers more perspective in a post titled “The comic strip that ruined a friendship, rankled a newspaper and landed in court. And that was BEFORE being launched.

    Breen tells Cavna that he snuffed the partnership for many reasons, including this one: “my employer was not crazy that I was working with Steve Kelley; and I don’t like doing things that upset my employer.”

  • The East County Democratic Club — yes, there is such a thing — held a meeting at Coco’s and, reports CityBeat, someone recorded it and posted audio on the internet. His or her motives were not complimentary.
  • A poster of a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy “pressing the bloody face of a suspect into the pavement” plays a role in a KGO-TV story about alleged problems at a small sheriff’s department in the Bay Area.
  • Finally, a blind and deaf Great Dane from San Diego that gets acupuncture treatments has been named the world’s tallest dog. The owner of Titan, who serves as his seeing-eye person, tells the AP that the pooch is “often mistaken by young children for a horse or cow.”

    The dog seems to be happy, though, so those confused kids must not be hurting his self-esteem.


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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