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Last spring, a local psychiatrist went to the Ft. Hood military base to teach and evaluate the Army’s mental-health system. Dr. Stephen Stahl didn’t like what he found.

In a report and in this weekend’s Q&A feature, he says the Army is failing both its troops and those who take care of them.

Ft. Hood, of course, was the site of last month’s massacre, allegedly committed by an Army psychiatrist. The role played by the mental-health system remains unclear.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports on the Army Reserve mental-health workers — “combat medics of the mind” — who are reporting to duty in Afghanistan. Many of their number were killed or wounded at Ft. Hood.

In other news:

  • We asked readers to help us paint a picture of district cutbacks, and they responded with a few revealing stories, including one about the high school where copy paper was rationed and the elementary school that has a brand-spanking new library but no one to check out books.
  • Also in education, we explore how San Diego schools may set a higher standard for their bond auditors, the ones who make sure the district is properly spending money it’s borrowed with the help of taxpayers. Also, our guest blogger takes a side on the debate over whether California should alter its laws to get more federal stimulus money for education. 
  • San Diego’s independent budget analyst has taken a gander at the mayor’s budget proposal and, among other things, calls for fewer cuts of civilian jobs in the police department and more cuts of vacant sworn officer positions.
  • Speaking of the city’s budget, a high-school student has some perceptive thoughts about what to do about it. 
  • The ACLU sued the city this week, saying employees destroyed the possessions of homeless people. The city attorney responded, sounding disappointed that an attorney involved in the case didn’t give him a heads-up during a meeting a day earlier.
  • Hey, readers who are lawyers: Does the city attorney have a point, or is it common and acceptable practice to spring lawsuits on people like this? Drop me a line if you have thoughts on this.
  • The pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive won’t be completed this month as scheduled.
  • It was Fedora Friday yesterday (who knew?) and we like the way the guy in the Photo of the Day wears his hat. Today’s photo soundtrack is by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. 


  • Out-of-town coverage of San Diego was on the light side: the NYT profiles North Park, noting the presence of a “gastropub” and bordello-themed boutique, among other things, and appalls pun haters by saying the neighborhood is “pulsing with eclec-tricity.” And both CNN and USA Today check out a supposedly first-of-its-kind “cougar cruise” setting out from San Diego.
  • Cougars, of course, are women of a certain age who seek younger men. Let’s hope they stay away from a certain Tiger.

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

The Killer Canal: Hundreds of migrants have drowned trying to cross an irrigation aqueduct in Imperial County. San Diego water authorities have a stake in the canal, and activists say they must do something.

Of Promises and Potholes: San Diego says it fills potholes within 72 hours. As we discovered, it’s not true.

Quote of the Week: “I said to them, ‘Why are you calling me?’” — Brian Trotier, interim leader of Southeast San Diego’s redevelopment agency, failing to brighten the days of two former employees who asked him about their federal subpoenas.


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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