In a big swath of southeastern San Diego, there were just two sit-down restaurants not too long ago.

If locals wanted an intimate meal with linen tablecloths and fine food, they often had to get on the freeway. But now, a new soul food restaurant called Annie Belle’s has turned the town around.

As we report, locals come in for the fried chicken with waffles, the gold-trimmed mirrors, and camaraderie with everyone from politicians and churchgoers to census workers and union reps.

We hear from a co-owner who took a risk by opening the restaurant during a recession, the patrons who’ve found a new home and employees who have found jobs.

In other news:

  • Big news at City Hall: “San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith filed suit today against the city’s pension system in an effort to get employees to pay down some of the $2.1 billion pension deficit.”

    The legalities of all this are quite complicated, but the lawsuit could affect the take-home pay of city workers. That, in turn, could affect how much money the city has available to pay for the municipal services that we all rely upon (or are learning to not rely upon, as the case may be.)

  • And there’s big news in San Diego schools: more than 100 educators will get notices warning they may be laid off. We paraphrase the union president as saying “the job cuts could be absorbed less painfully through retirements and dismissing hundreds of temporary employees, who don’t have a right to a job after the end of the school year.”

    Less painfully? Huh. That’s an interesting way to look at it. Maybe hundreds of sacked temporary employees would only have, you know, temporary pain.

  • There’s a funny thing about hiring freezes in the world of government: Hiring doesn’t always get frozen. As we report, San Diego schools may have this problem. There’s talk that managers may be hiring hourly workers instead of keeping jobs actually vacant.

    This matters because the district may not save the money it planned to.

  • It’s a double trouble day at the San Diego Fact Check Blog.

    First, we check a statement by Councilman Ben Hueso, who said San Diego gets the “highest performance of the job being done correctly and under budget” when prevailing wage requirements — favored by unions for obvious reasons — are in effect. Is he right? Well. . .see for yourself.

  • Second, the San Diego Public Library Foundation says $20 million in Proposition S school bond funds were designated for a downtown high school. This is a significant claim to make in light of the controversy over the schoobrary project. Is it true? Well, see for yourself.
  • If you’ve had experience with foreclosure auctions on the courthouse steps, drop us a line: we’re looking into writing a story about them.


  • The state can raid local redevelopment funds, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled yesterday, the AP reports. Note the important words there: Superior Court judge. This one seems certain to get appealed, so don’t think this battle is over yet.
  • From the Eh, Take Your Time Department: The NCT reports that “State water officials will take another three years to determine whether nuclear power plants like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station must install dozens of cooling towers in order to avoid using ocean water for cooling.”

    Using ocean water is bad for fish and fish eggs.

  • The mother of murdered teen Amber Dubois says that she hasn’t been able to talk to the killer of her daughter. (NCT)
  • CityBeat takes an editorial stick and thwacks state Senate candidates Mary Salas and Juan Vargas.
  • With the possible exception of my love life, every epic natural disaster has a silver lining for somebody who gets to gain from it. KPBS wondered if the Gulf of Mexico oil spill might be a boon for San Diego’s fishing businesses. Oh well: Apparently not, at least so far.
  • Los Angeles radio talk station KFI does quite well in the local San Diego ratings, and hosts “John & Ken” are especially popular. They’re urging listeners to reverse-boycott Arizona and actually support the state because of its stand on law enforcement and illegal immigration.

    Interesting idea. I’m waiting for them to suggest that Californians turn them off and listen to Phoenix talk-show hosts instead.

  • The satirical website The Onion posted this sports story yesterday: “Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn’s name was uttered 72 times and indirectly referenced on another 36 instances during a guided tour of Petco Park, sources reported Tuesday.”

    It’s not true. Um, right?

  • Yes, that was Comic Book Guy dissing the idea of moving the Comic-Con to Anaheim on “The Simpsons” the other night. (Go to minute 17:30 in the episode.)
  • If you watch local TV news, you may be familiar with KUSI, aka K-Uuuuuu-S-I! Well, the station’s Michael Turko — of TURKO INVESTIGATES — just visited the infamous $810,000 Encinitas house that its new owner isn’t allowed to live in. We wrote about the house a few weeks ago.

    Turns out that neighbors are far from thrilled about the whole mess. Or, as KUSI calls it, a “SUBDIVISION STALEMATE!”

I can’t wait for the follow-up report: CUL-DE-SAC CATASTROPHE!


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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