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He has one of the tougher jobs in the city: restoring the reputation of a government agency that’s been plagued by scandal.

So why does real-estate consultant Brian Trotier want to remain as chief of the agency that oversees redevelopment in the neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego? It’s a bit hard to tell from our Q&A session with him, but one thing is clear: Trotier has bold ideas and a surprisingly frank manner.

The interim chief thinks a new football stadium or a new City Hall — heck, maybe both — would be perfect for southeastern San Diego.

And he’s open about the mistakes he’s made, although he says he’s finding his way. “I’m just a guy who ended up in a place and is trying to help people in this community.”

By the way, we learned that the agency has laid off 40 percent of its staff.

In other news:

  • We take a closer look at the conflict-of-interest concerns surrounding the San Diego County pension chief’s attempt to bring more county work to his company. 
  • What’s black and white and recycled all over? The Photo of the Day knows.

Elsewhere:

  • “A cost-cutting plan that idles fire equipment in San Diego did not contribute to the death of an elderly man found inside a burning Golden Hill apartment Friday, fire officials say, but the man’s granddaughter and firefighters union officials are not convinced,” the U-T says.
  • The Amber Dubois and Chelsea King cases continue to reverberate in Sacramento. As the U-T reports, “the state issued new directives Friday to immediately tighten its supervision of sex offenders on parole.” Parole agents and officials will have a variety of new tasks, including making more home visits to the “worst offenders.”
  • The Manchester Grand Hyatt has reportedly pulled out of hosting guests in conjunction with the Comic-Con this summer and will hold a major conference instead. The Beat, a comics blog, complains that “It seems that Hyatt has decided that hosting its very OWN event at the same time is the best way to keep the comic-con freaks at bay.” Another comics blog says this is “a harbinger of Much Worse Things to Come” when the Comic-Con lands in July, including more downtown gridlock. There’s already talk that the giant convention will move elsewhere in a few years.
  • You may have read about the San Diego “tattoo model” who’s reportedly had a fling with actress Sandra Bullock’s husband. This brings up the obvious question: What on earth is a tattoo model? The online magazine Slate helpfully explains.
  • Some local sports news in the LAT: “Jeremy Tyler, who left before his senior year at San Diego High to play professional basketball for Israeli pro team Maccabi Haifa for a contract valued at $140,000, has left the squad and is returning home to Southern California with more than a month left in the season.”

    The paper says he wasn’t getting much playing time and was far away from his family. “Do I wish he could’ve played more? Do I wish he could’ve handled it better? Yes,” said his advisor.

    Wow. Maybe Tyler could use some playing time far away from his advisor.

What We’ve Learned This Week:

‘As Is?’ As If: If you’ve ever thought about buying a house “as is,” this story should put you off that idea forever.

An Unlikely Success Story: Euclid Elementary turned itself around without the drastic steps that are en vogue in Washington. But there’s more than meets the eye to its seemingly small reforms.

A Perfect NCAA Bracket Is a Perfect Fantasy: An SDSU statistician figures out the odds that you’ll get every game correct in your NCAA bracket.

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

Fear Factor: Undocumented immigrants across the county have been panicked by rumors that major immigration raids are afoot. We check on the situation in Linda Vista.

The Gang’s All Here: So a black woman, a white woman, a Latino and a gay white guy walk into a county supervisor race … Add a priest and a rabbi and maybe a duck, and you’d have the makings of a joke. Instead, it’s a reality this election season: these folks all want to replace county supe Ron Roberts.

Behind Door Number Four: The End: A San Diego school has a unique dilemma: It’s so troubled that the state has given it four options to improve. But it’s tried three of them, and the fourth is shutting down.

Fact Check and San Diego Explained: We broke down San Diego schools’ teacher shuffle on San Diego Explained and kept ’em honest with a host of new fact checks.

Quote of the Week: “You’re making me sick. I’m so sick to my stomach. I feel like I’m going to throw up.” — Realtor Jim Kline, recalling what the new owner of a $810,000 “as is” Encinitas house said upon hearing that the city won’t let anyone live there.

— 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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