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The lives of many gang members are filled with stress and death. It’s no wonder that some of their closest bonds are with each other through the experiences they’ve shared. 

So if you want gang members to turn their lives around, how do you even start? This week, we had a unique opportunity to find out.

Our reporter sat in on a gang-intervention meeting in Chula Vista. As we watched, four former gang members and seven current gang members talked about their worlds and tried to find common bonds.

In other news:

  • Could a lawsuit filed by San Diego’s city attorney mean that each municipal employee will get a bill for $4,000? That’s one prediction of what might happen if the lawsuit succeeds and radically redraws how the city and employees pay for their pensions.

    We asked a longtime labor attorney about this. “Over my dead body,” she said.

    Well then.

    But there’s another side to the story, that of the aforementioned city attorney, who says he’s offering a pretty fine deal to employees.

    As we put in an extensive report, he’s essentially saying: “Share in the city’s investment returns from the stock market and reap the benefits by paying less to the city’s pension system.”

  • We’ve got much more on the pension story in a follow-up post. One very interesting tidbit: the pensions of city elected officials aren’t subject to the same rules as employees. In fact, they pay less toward their pensions than any other kind of city employee.

    We’re not talking about a lot of money here. But, as our post notes, “the symbolism is large”: is what’s good for the unelected goose also good for the elected gander? (Note to self: Figure out what on earth a gander is.)

  • We’ve got a follow-up post to our story about how school districts are wrestling with the question of how to better represent their populations on school boards. There are representation issues to be considered other than race, we discover, and then there’s this: Are Portuguese people Hispanic?
  • Where’s the fire? The Photo of the Day caption contest wants to know.


  • In a Q&A with the NCT, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis “said she would continue to instruct police agencies and the county medical examiner’s office not to release information” about the case against confessed murderer John Albert Gardner III. It sounds like the clampdown will remain in place at least through his sentencing next week.

    Specifically, Dumanis said autopsy reports of the two victims, Amber Dubois and Chelsea King, won’t be released: “Frankly, I don’t see a good reason for the details of a case like this becoming public.”

    Here’s one good reason: Because scrutiny allows the public, through journalists and others, to examine whether law enforcement did its job properly.

    She also calls for more resources for criminals when they’re released: “Those sex offenders that are really bad, let’s lock ’em up. But the drug addict that sells a little dope to support their habit and is in and out of jail, I think we need to work with them the best we can. Let’s get them clean and productive and (a) taxpaying citizen.”

  • The director of a Center for Social Advocacy, an activist group in El Cajon, tells the U-T that her office has been played by vandalism and threats, apparently due to comments she made opposing Arizona’s new illegal immigration enforcement law. 
  • Funny thing about fire officials: they never have good news about the wildfire risk.

    If the winter was wet, they say there’s lots of fuel to burn in the summer. If it was dry, they’ll say it’s a tinderbox out there.

    Guess which it is this year? KPBS finds out.

  • Finally, the young San Diego guy who’s behind the “Stuff My Dad Says” empire says William Shatner will play his father in a CBS sitcom pilot. (“Stuff” is not actually part of the show’s title. We’ve sanitized the offending epithet for your protection.)

    As you may recall, SMDS came to fame as a Twitter feed in which Justin Halpern recapped hilariously rude comments (reader discretion advised) from his 74-year-old father Sam. Such as: “Oh please, you practically invented lazy. People should have to call you and ask for the rights to lazy before they use it.”

    Now, there’s a new book and a TV show in the works, although it’s not clear how CBS will deal with the title, which has that pesky bad word in it.

Meanwhile, there’s no word on whether Hollywood will accept a new pilot I’m working on: “Thoughts My Mom Keeps to Herself.”

It’s going to be a one-minute show.


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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