In a report last year meant to explain how effectively the city of San Diego uses tax dollars, city officials reported that they repaired 100 percent of all the potholes residents reported within 72 hours.

The city, though, defines “repaired” a bit differently than most of us. In a data-based analysis up on the site today, Keegan Kyle explains what’s really happening.

In some cases, the city considers a pothole repaired even though no work is done on the site and many residents wait more than two weeks before their complaints are even addressed. The service the city provides may be good anyway, but it’s not 72 hours good.

In other news:

  • One fascinating, and sometimes dangerous, thing about humans are the kinds of bold ideas we get about how to alter nature to solve problems we’ve caused. At the San Diego Zoo, for instance, researchers are exploring whether they could use stem cells to clone — and therefore save — endangered species like the northern white rhino.

    There’s more: The zoo has not only the exhibits tourists see, but it also has a Frozen Zoo where tissue samples from more than 8,400 species are preserved to help with just such an effort. The cloning techniques could cause problems but they could also save us from losing the rarest of species.

    And preservationists are OK with it, as long as this god-like power doesn’t make humans feel complacent about losing endangered species. Not to worry, I can’t imagine humans letting power go to their heads.

  • Rich Toscano explains why he hasn’t made the kind of sweeping forecasts about the housing market that made him the nerd celebrity that he is. Hint: It’s a lot easier to make a dramatic prediction when things are ridiculously skewed in an unsustainable position. Looking back, it’s obvious how he was able to predict what he did and amazing how much flack he had to take doing it. In his explanation, he also explores how the housing “market” is much more of a political entity now than a capitalistic market. And politics are even harder to make predictions about.
  • In our photo blog today, we have pics from the Chargers’ rout of Kansas City yesterday, including a striking one of quarterback Philip Rivers preparing for what looks like one of his many long throws of the day.


  • From the must-read file: The U-T had a story Sunday about District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ bizarre and unexplained boycott of a local judge. Dumanis’ office refuses to let cases go to Judge John Einhorn’s court. The DA told the paper Einhorn is “well-respected” but will not explain why she won’t deal with him.

    If all she’ll say is that he’s well-respected, maybe that’s why she won’t deal with him — aiming for scorned judges, are we?

  • The North County Times has a story up about a UCSD professor who has developed a cell-phone tool to help immigrants navigate the treacherous backcountry as they cross the border. “The primary goal of the tool is to offer those crossing a way not to die,” said Ricardo Dominguez, who is also an artist and activist.
  • Finally, you’ve heard of teachers having to buy their own equipment to keep their classrooms up to speed. But the Navy Times has a long article up today about sailors complaining that in order to meet standards, they’ve had to go out and buy their own supplies to keep the ships in shape.

    Perhaps the sailors could get together and hire a contractor. Then they’d undoubtedly get funding.


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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