For two decades, businesses, activists, politicians and residents have dreamed of the Mercado development in Barrio Logan. Its promise lured investment. And its failure to become anything more than an empty lot has frustrated them all for years.

That might all be changing, reports Adrian Florido.

“… city redevelopment officials say they’ve cleared a major hurdle that in recent years has mucked up progress on the long-promised commercial and retail development in Barrio Logan’s heart,” Florido writes.

Construction could begin next year on new affordable housing, a new (and much needed) grocery store and many other amenities. Of course, officials have to “align several stars” to make it happen. See what they are.

In other news today:

  • President Obama wants to evaluate teachers on their performance and on student test scores and has offered stimulus funds in exchange for reforms at local school districts. San Diego City Schools officials don’t.

    Obama wants to reward experiments in paying teachers on their merit. San Diego school leaders don’t.

    Obama wants major shakeups. San Diego school board members don’t.

    And so it is. San Diego schools zig while Obama zags. Education writer Emily Alpert explains the disconnect between a Democratic president and the district run largely by Democrats.

  • The Union-Tribune has a pretty good report up explaining the effects of the city’s brownout of fire stations amid chronic budget shortfalls. Some including the firefighters union and former state legislator running for office again, Juan Vargas, have seized on the death of an older Golden Hill man in a fire saying the death might have been avoided without the cuts.

    The U-T also had a story Sunday reporting that an activist named Marc Klaas talked to unnamed employees of California’s Department of Mental Health and learned that the department had disagreed with prison psychologists and determined that the man accused of killing Chelsea King was not too dangerous to release from prison in 2006.

    Klaas himself is an interesting person. His own daughter Polly Klaas was kidnapped and killed. And he now comes to scenes like San Diego to provide support when news like King’s breaks. In 2002, Elizabeth Smart’s family in Utah criticized him after learning he was working for Fox News.

    The U-T didn’t verify Klaas’ allegation but if it sticks, it would seem to be a big deal.

  • A 60-year-old San Diego Iraqi-American man, who had been working as a contractor for the military in Iraq before he was kidnapped in January, was set free Saturday.

    The Associated Press reports that Issa Salomi, whose family owns several businesses and properties in San Diego, including a market in Barrio Logan, will return to the United States next week.

  • Salomi’s family of Iraqis has accomplished a lot here. But they’ve been in San Diego for many years. New refugees aren’t doing as well. The LA Times has a long story up today about El Cajon and the Iraqi refugees who fled to the East County city. Featured in the piece is Abdul Azeez, who once owned many jewelry stores in Iraq. He and his sons are now desperate for work.

    Azeez asks why they are sending refugees to El Cajon. “There are no jobs.”

    From the LAT: “Similar accounts of fading immigrant dreams are increasingly common in this San Diego suburb, where thousands of Iraqi refugees crowd apartment complexes, welfare lines and English-language schools, their appreciation for the United States tested by the specter of poverty.”

  • We captured a similar story recently. Ours was about Thabit Kalaf, an architect in Iraq who also fled to El Cajon and is struggling in the same way.
  • Finally, an LA Times travel blogger complains here of confusion at Delta Air Lines about which terminal a flight from San Diego to LA would depart.

A Delta spokeswoman apologized to the writer. It was a gate change they can’t avoid, she said. But actually the guy probably ran into a common problem at Lindbergh Field. The Commuter Terminal Conundrum. Delta (Skywest) and American each fly out of both Terminal 2 and the Commuter Terminal. You’re just supposed to know that short flights go out of the Commuter Terminal.

And the only way you learn this is by screwing up once.

I remember an early morning flight to Miami I had where I didn’t realize until very late that it actually took me through LA first, meaning I should have been in the Commuter Terminal. The handy shuttle wasn’t there so I darted to a cab, which took me to the right place but then I noticed I had no cash.

They were calling my name while I was fumbling with an ATM and the cab driver waited.

I learned quickly. Perhaps on the road signs to the terminal, they could put “Delta (Except to LA!)”

Or perhaps people like me could be a bit more resourceful.


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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