Holidays, parties, vacations: You’ve had a lot on your mind the past few weeks, and we’ll forgive you if you didn’t make our site a top priority. (As long as it doesn’t happen again, of course!)

So what did you miss? Stories big and small, roundups of what’s coming up this year, and a few other things. Here’s a quick look at articles that stand the test of time or at least a couple of weeks:

  • Seven months of interviews, research and travel culminated in a three-part series about the broken teacher-placement system in San Diego schools. Principals are assigned teachers they don’t want, and teachers are sent to schools where they don’t want to work. Why does this happen and how can we fix the system?
  • Sources told us that a local prosecutor, Laura Duffy, is likely to become the Obama Administration’s choice for U.S. attorney.
  • Also on the legal front, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to throw out a law that was used to prosecute a local congressman and a former San Diego City Council member, among other people.
  • At City Hall, a new spirit of harmony has broken out. How the heck did that happen? We investigated. Also, we nagged members of the San Diego City Council about their promises to cut their office budgets.
  • The Girls Club of San Diego, a longtime community beacon in Logan Heights, is facing a sad end.
  • It took one classic photo to show the absurdity of attempts to make the football field at Clairemont High School’s stadium handicap accessible. And the story that accompanied it shows how the district’s budget priorities are keeping disabled students there in the lurch.
  • Don’t tase me, Coronado!
  • The director of the International Rescue Committee, a young man who robbed a drugstore in search of a prescription painkiller and the woman who helped bring roller derby to San Diego appeared in our weekly Q&As.
  • Many readers were moved by our obituary about El Cajon resident Carol Baker, who was struck by a bizarre and rare brain disease. We followed up with a story exploring the disorder, one of a cluster of mysterious diseases that are fatal, incurable and strangely fascinating.
  • We continued to analyze the local housing market with a story about the latest numbers (home prices are up just a little bit) and perspective on what they mean for those whose mortgages are underwater.
  • Our photographer posted his 10 favorite shots from the last year, while our reporters listed their favorite stories from 2009 and looked forward to 2010.
  • Their topics: water, education, public safety, housing and government.

Correction: The original version of this post erroneously identified the International Rescue Committee.

— RANDY DOTINGA

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