The Chargers didn’t want taxpayer cash for a new stadium, but now they do.

Possible stadium sites in Mission Valley, Escondido, Oceanside and Chula Vista were in and now they’re out, with a downtown one at the forefront. Then there’s the matter of that stadium that sits in Mission Valley: How did it end up being a decrepit dinosaur that must be replaced? It sure didn’t seem that way during Sunday’s nail-biter.

Don’t feel bad if you’re a bit lost. The seven-year-long saga can be a jungle full of twists and turns and political posturing. Today our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon puts on his safari hat — he looks quite fetching, actually — and takes us on a tour through the thicket.

The result is a frequently-asked-questions-style guide to what’s past, what’s present and what’s next: Why do the Chargers need public money? Haven’t the Super Bowl hopefuls remained competitive in Qualcomm? And what do blight and salary caps have to do with anything?

In other news:

  • There’s a small bit of good news on the crime front in San Diego: The number of reported violent crimes dipped slightly in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2008. But, as we report, “the city showed less of a decline than other big cities.” The number of property crimes, however, was down by more than 18 percent.
  • While its profile has dwindled over the years, San Diego’s Portuguese community was once one of the most vibrant in the city and played a crucial in the development of the fishing trade here. We’re working on a story about the Portuguese community and could use your help: What should our reporter know about its past, present and future? Drop him a line or give him a call.
  • Rich Toscano, master of all things statistical, crunches the latest local employment numbers and finds they aren’t quite as stinky as they first appear. In fact, they indicate the job market is a lot better than it was a year ago. On the other hand, Toscano only provides a single graph, not his usual three or four. Did the others get laid off? If they get a severance package — a manicule, or two, perhaps — we’ll let you know.
  • Our Photo of the Day is of a Chargers fan who feels good, like he knew that he would. (You can probably tell where this is going: Here’s today’s photo soundtrack.)

Elsewhere:

  • Did County Supervisor Bill Horn illegally communicate with a developer who wants to build a huge tract of homes in North County? That’s the assertion of a well-known spa that opposes the project (NCT). For the moment, the 2,700-home project is dead after a tie vote by the county board of supervisors. But County Supervisor Ron Roberts, a potential swing vote, could call for another vote; he wasn’t there the first time.
  • Also in North County, the northbound I-15 checkpoint is back in business, and stalling traffic, after “operating infrequently — if at all” since July. (P-E)
  • The NYT took another look at UCSD’s brain-slicing project, which aims to provide a catalog of the brain of a famous amnesiac who died last year. We recap the story and provide links to our previous coverage of UCSD’s brain research.
  • Finally, a local company that helps people develop virtual worlds is going out of business. The problem was a lack of real revenue. Reality: more necessary to unreality than we thought.

— 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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