Good morning from Hillcrest.

  • We’ll start with my piece on vacant positions in San Diego. Cutting vacancies has been the most consistent method Mayor Jerry Sanders has used to reduce employee expenditures in the short term. The story examines the similarities and differences between a vacancy and a full-time employee and explains why this cost-cutting plan is finished.

My colleague Keegan Kyle highlights a section of new Fire Chief Javier Mainer’s interview with KPBS radio yesterday. Beach closures could be in the offing because of budget cuts. Read the transcript of the interview here.

  • The U-T reports that state Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, has returned more than $100,000 in campaign contributions after the newspaper’s investigation into whether he tried to evade campaign finance rules. A state investigation continues.
  • The Ethics Commission has fined three supporters of City Councilman Todd Gloria who backed a mailer critical of Gloria’s opponent, but didn’t report their expenditures until after last year’s election.
  • San Diego could face a fine of more than $600,000 for a 2007 sewage spill into a Lake Hodges tributary. The city will challenge the fine, levied by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, next week.
  • In news from other cities in San Diego County, Vista officials say medical marijuana dispensaries are outlawed in their city. Oceanside approved water and sewer rate increases after threats from credit rating agencies that not doing so could affect the city’s rating.
  • Last, I will be on KPBS San Diego Week to talk about recent Chargers stadium news. The show airs tonight at 8.

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