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More than 90 percent of California’s coastal sage scrub has been paved over. But in Point Loma, the Navy owns one of the largest swaths of this type of only-in-California land. And the military has commissioned a comprehensive study of it to see exactly which bugs live there.

Yes, bugs.

You never know, they say, when someone might come around looking for a spider that was extinct everywhere else and that may help with erectile dysfunction or some other human malady.

And they are already finding new species.

In other news, insects scientists aren’t as excited about are causing problems for local farmers.

On tap today:

  • Between November of last year and this month, the region’s companies shed 52,000 jobs. As Rich Toscano, our economics and housing analyst notes, this may seem miserable but it’s actually the best that measurement has looked in six months. He, of course, has some great graphs to make his points.
  • If you missed our scoop about the mayor’s hand-selected task force on Friday evening, you are going to want to check it out. The group recommended major reforms to the way the city operates. Without them? The mayor should consider bankruptcy.

    “Stop the half truths, unfunded mandates and budgetary gimmicks,” the group tells the mayor. Yikes! That sounds like something an audacious columnist at an irreverent nonprofit news source would write, not a collection of the mayor’s trusted inner circle.

    Government reporter Liam Dillon has left town for the holiday, but he did leave his regular feature: Public Comment. This where he offers you a preview of what’s on the City Council docket so you can weigh in if you can’t get down there.

Elsewhere:

  • Qualcomm Corp. is showing off a small 5.3-inch screen that doesn’t need a backlight and that might be perfect for reading things like your daily Morning Report. The company is hinting that it will launch a new e-reader with a “brand partner” in the next year.
  • When you apply to the San Diego Housing Commission for help getting a second loan to buy a home, you have to work with one of their 160 preferred lenders to get the first loan. But a handful of those lenders have had their licenses suspended and others don’t have records available for inspection, writes the Union-Tribune and KGTV in a joint investigative piece.
  • Padres closer Heath Bell might have surprised a few people when he told a Boston Herald columnist that former Padres GM Kevin Towers didn’t have the power to make the decisions he wanted to.

    “I just would like to know what direction we’re going in … I hope ( new GM Jed Hoyer) has got full rein. I hope he does. I know (former GM) Kevin Towers didn’t always have it,” Bell told the Herald.

Finally, humans have known (though I missed the memo) that millions of tiny bacteria live on our skin. And they help us in countless ways.

But a San Diego researcher, Richard Gallo at UCSD, has illustrated the relationship better than before. And, according to Forbes, he’s even added more evidence to the collection that suggests humans who live in industrialized countries are more susceptible to allergies and other ailments because they aren’t exposed enough to these good bugs.

And that appears to be the theme of the day: Go find some good bugs, thank them and hope they can keep the bad ones away.

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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