Back in the early years of the 20th century, settlement houses popped up in cities across the country, offering poor people a place to get a hand up in a society that was often foreign to them.

In the San Diego neighborhood of Linda Vista, the head of a local community center says he wants it to serve as a kind of settlement house, a place that assists residents “from womb to the tomb.”

It’s an old-fashioned concept, one that’s dwindling in popularity. In this weekend’s Q&A, Bayside Community Center director Jorge Riquelme tells us what our neighborhoods will lose if current trends continue.

In other news:

  • Meet Carolyn Demaray. She’s a retired librarian for the city of San Diego and fills in on occasion nowadays.

    “According to the budget, her job doesn’t exist,” we report. “But she’s paid because the budget includes money for a permanent position that hasn’t been filled.”

    Say what? Demaray is confused too: “I’m a vacant position?”

    Yes. Sorta. Not really. Well, maybe. One (or more) of these is true. We explain more about the city’s vacancies — which are vanishing — and look at just how short-staffed the city will be compared to the past.

  • Also on our site: We talk to Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani and get an update on progress toward a downtown football stadium, including details about preliminary designs. It sounds like things are moving quickly. Columnist Rich Toscano says the real-estate market seems to be acting less like a battleship and more like a pontoon party boat, whatever that is. (Guess I need to get out more.) There’s a new development in the case of an employee who sued the County Office of Education, alleging that he was fired for whistle-blowing. And our Photo of the Day chronicles an unusual scene at the bayfront. (Here’s a suggested soundtrack to accompany the picture.)

Elsewhere:

  • “The chief executive of the San Diego Data Processing Corp. has resigned in part because of the city’s decision to split up the agency’s duties and allow outside companies to bid on them,” the U-T reports.

    Meanwhile, CityBeat says “Axon Solutions Inc has filed a $5.6 million suit against the City of San Diego and its not-for-profit IT provider, the San Diego Data Processing Corp., alleging breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and copyright infringement.”

    We’ve got background here, here and here.

  • Rob Hagey Productions, the company behind the Street Scene music festival is liquidating its assets in order to pay creditors. Hagey tells CityBeat that attendance was more than 50 percent below projections, and the company is now insolvent.

    “So this is a life altering time, something that hurts me deeply as I’m very passionate about music,” he said.

The Coffee Collection (stories to read over a cup of java):

‘Boss Lady’ in Charge: Emily Alpert, our education reporter, got to spend an eye-opening day in the shoes of a local principal.

Don’t Buzz Off: If it wasn’t for busy little bees, we wouldn’t have honey. But that’s the least of it: many plants would be in quite a pickle. That’s why UCSD scientists are rushing to understand the world’s Great Bee Die-Off.

Photo of the Week: This photograph of a homeless veteran by San Diego Bay touched a lot of hearts this week. It makes you want to look closer instead of pulling away. (If you’d like a soundtrack to go with it, try this.)

Quote of the Week: “OK, we’ll both go.” — a suicidal man on the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge before jumping and trying to take a police officer with him.

— RANDY DOTINGA

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