There aren’t many volunteer jobs harder than this.

As board chairman and CEO of downtown San Diego’s redevelopment agency, Fred Maas has the unenviable job of convincing people that his agency deserves to not only keep existing after a history of scandal but raise even more money.

In this weekend’s question-and-answer interview, Maas talks about a downtown football stadium, his agency’s reputation and out-of-touch academics in ivory towers. (One of those academics has a response.)

In other news:

  • A new report profiles San Diego’s immigrants, who make up almost a quarter of the county’s residents. They account for up an amazing 86 percent of maids and housekeepers, 79 percent of agricultural workers and animal breeders, and two-thirds of cooks.
  • Also on our site: Real-estate columnist Rich Toscano shows how higher-priced homes are missing out on the housing rebound . . . We run a Fact Check on a commonly thrown-around statistic about the San Ysidro border crossing. . .  The San Diego school district is paying out more than $25,000 in a lawsuit over interactive whiteboards. . . And our Photos of the Day are more shots from that rear-yard-turned-charter-school-playground.


  • CityBeat also talks to Fred Maas, the downtown redevelopment agency’s board chairman/CEO.
  • The U-T reports that “San Diego County’s top administrator used public resources to oppose a term-limit measure on the June ballot that would affect his five bosses on the Board of Supervisors, raising questions about whether he violated state law.”

What We’ve Learned This Week

This is a new feature we’re trying out in the Weekend Report: a quick spin through a few things that came to our attention during the week.

The Convention Center Sees a Bottom: A spokesman tells us “we think there’s no more drop any more in this industry.” Let’s hope not. As we reported, “convention attendees spent far less than projected, tax revenues were way down and the center’s economic impact fell short of expectations.”

Rest Easy, Retirees. Your Health Benefits Are Covered: San Diego’s city attorney says health-care benefits — or something equivalent to them — are guaranteed for retired city workers.

Crime At Lowest Level Since Jerry Sanders Was 13: Under one measurement, San Diego was safer in 2009 than it’s been anytime since 1963.

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

Hop to It! Oops, Too Late: An advisory committee got a grand total of a day to weigh in on a major change in how San Diego State figures out which students to accept.

To the Victors Go. . . the Private Schools? Chula Vista’s title-winning Little Leaguers may bid farewell to the public-school system when it comes time for high school.

Chartering a Path to No Salary: Why is the CEO of a charter school in Fashion Valley forgoing her paycheck while a muddy rear yard serves as a playground for little kids? Because charter schools have got it bad financially, just like other public schools, and face special challenges.

Quote of the Week: “Councilman Young overreacted slightly to information we gave him prior to our meeting, which we wanted to do so that there wouldn’t be an overreaction.” — Brian Trotier, interim head of the redevelopment agency for Southeastern San Diego, on plans gone awry. He’s referring to concerns about finances raised by Councilman Tony Young.

Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly characterized the city attorney’s opinion on healthcare benefits. He opined the benefits are safe for retired city workers, not active city workers.


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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