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There are 16 communities in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, and all of them have local associations of their own — except one.

The exception is Colina Park, a community between 48th and 54th streets that’s home to poor immigrants from places like Somalia, Southeast Asia and Mexico.

But now, with the help of a non-profit group, residents are banding together to improve safety, housing, education and even the community’s appearance. The challenge is to bring people together in a place where people often don’t live for long — 95 percent are renters. And many residents come from places where neighborhood advocacy is a foreign concept.

In other news:

  • Ace education reporter Emily Alpert had live coverage via Twitter of last night’s San Diego school board meeting. We also looked at the complex decisions facing San Diego’s Gompers schools. And we report on how “auditors say there’s one small problem with the idea of San Diego Unified saving money by cutting auditors who look at issues other than finances: It doesn’t have any.”
  • Also: The proposed Convention Center expansion got a lease on life thanks to a land purchase. The housing market continues to show strength. The number of arrests for smuggling people via the ocean is way up. And our Photo of the Day is a look at Christmas decorations in paradise.

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T updates the saga of Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s “unusual campaign transactions” with news that a Placer County GOP official has resigned as a result of the scandal.
  • The San Diego City Council hiked water rates by 7.75 percent. (U-T) Earlier this week, we explored why water costs continue increasing.
  • The City Council gave the go-ahead to San Diego’s bid to host World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022, although a couple council members are skeptical about claims that the city won’t need to spend any money on this. (U-T)
  • In Imperial County, activists angry about immigrant drownings in the All-American Canal protested by jumping into it. They say 17 people have drowned since local water officials voted to make the canal safer; an official says the San Diego County Water Authority needs to pay for the improvements, since it gets the water. During the protest, a crew from “60 Minutes” looked on. (Imperial Valley Press)
  • CityBeat talks to architect and developer Graham Downes, a “vanguard in East Village’s redevelopment,” who says he hates the idea of building a football stadium in the downtown neighborhood. “It needs to be out in the sticks,” he said, “where there’s lots of parking, where cars can queue in line for ages without impacting the area.”
  • The OC Register looks at the $350 million Carlsbad desalinization plant. And CBS 8 visits the colorful calculus teacher we profiled last week.
  • Finally: Glitches often happen when journalists switch to new technology. Trust us on this. Boy, we can tell you stories. And so can the U-T.

    Yesterday, the paper’s obituary page in the early print edition noted the death of one Name Nameline. Wait, who? It was a boo-boo, and one of a few — including the unwanted appearance of the word “yuppers” in a headline — that cropped up as the paper switched to a computerized page layout system.

    The dearly departed Mr. or Ms. Nameline vanished from the paper by its later editions, gone but not forgotten.

— RANDY DOTINGA

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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