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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.


  • “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.


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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