The Azalea Park section of City Heights is so well-kept that even the alleys are neat and tidy.

But lately, there’s been a problem. Every other week, residents leave out those blue curbside recycling bins. And then the scavengers come in search of cans and bottles to recycle for cash. They often leave a mess.

Citywide, complaints about scavenging are up, but Azalea Park is doing something unusual in response: they’re plastering stickers on recycling bins to warning people to stay away.

But at least a few residents wonder if the neighborhood should be kinder to those in need. As our story reports, one ” wants neighbors to work out agreements to sort out recyclables that homeless or immigrant residents can pick up without digging through bins or trespassing.”

In other news:

  • San Diego firefighters didn’t like budget cutbacks that led to “brownouts” — rotating closures of fire crews at stations around the city. But they accepted the cuts. Now, as we report, “it’s unclear if the union is willing to take it anymore.” It may start to put up more of a fight.

    A man’s death in a Golden Hill fire earlier this month attracted a bunch of media attention to the issue of how brownouts put people at risk.

    But the firefighters will face a challenge if they speak up: with $30 million already on the chopping block, who should face cuts instead? Will they answer that question or leave that job to someone else?

  • The San Diego school district’s interim superintendent has gotten a report card from the school board, and his grades are good.
  • Also in education, the president of the San Diego school board says science test scores in the district have gone up by nearly 100 percent. The San Diego Fact Check blog runs the numbers. Click here for the verdict.
  • They say there are 8 million people in the naked city — the Big Apple, that is. Well, there are approximately 3,173,407 people in the naked county — San Diego, that is. (Only 30 states are home to more people.) And we’re starting on a photography project to profile them one at a time.

    This may take a while.

    We start off The San Diego People Project with Gregory.

Elsewhere:

  • Brace yourself for some hospital wars. The U-T reports that UCSD will announce plans today for a $664 million specialty hospital in La Jolla. The CEO of Scripps Health is miffed, telling the paper that “it’s completely inconsistent with the commitment they made to this community.”

    Why is he mad? The U-T explains that the project is “reviving criticism that UCSD is retreating from its mission to care for poor and uninsured patients, many of whom live in the southern half of the county.”

    If the criticism is based in fact, Scripps and Sharp hospitals will have to pick up the slack.

  • The U-T reports that the man suspected of murdering Chelsea King had a page on myspace.com, even though he wasn’t supposed to go on the internet as a condition of his parole. The myspace.com page is sexually explicit in parts, and even the name of John Albert Gardner’s III’s account has a sexual connotation.

    This is yet another headache for state prison officials. A private investigator stumbled across it after searching for the suspect’s name and says parole agents should have been able to locate it too.

  • KPBS reports: SDG&E “says an audit of its fire insurance purchase process is unwarranted. Ratepayers’ advocates had asked for the audit last month to better understand why the power company wants to raise customer rates to offset higher insurance premiums since the 2007 fires in San Diego County.”

    Regulators will consider the rate request next month. “If approved, customer bills would go up between 20 and 70 cents a month.”

  • The downtown homeless shelter closed just in time for the rain to come. (U-T) The NCT says north County shelters are closing too.
  • Voice of OC — voiceofoc.org — debuted yesterday, providing “hard news” to Orange County residents. The nonprofit news outlet isn’t connected to voiceofsandiego.org, although its name is similar and one of our former employees is the managing editor.

    We wish them all the success in the world (although they’d better leave some for us!).

  • Finally, yes, you can still watch Molly the owl via live video. She lives in San Marcos, and thousands of people around the world have watched four eggs hatch. Another owl chick had yet to make its debut as of yesterday afternoon.

This story raises the obvious question: Has anyone out there ever had roasted owl? Does it taste like chicken?

Ow! Hey! It’s not nice to throw things at the Morning Report guy!

 — 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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