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Time stops for no man. This just in: Ballot initiatives don’t get a break either.

The registrar of voters says there isn’t enough time to verify the signatures supporting Councilman Carl DeMaio’s outsourcing initiative and meet a deadline for the November election.

That would appear to mean that the initiative, which failed to reach the required mark in a sample count, is dead for this year unless the procedures change (or someone successfully sues).

The problem: the registrar of voters, which has a lot of other stuff on its plate, estimates that it would take almost two months to verify more than 100,000 submitted petition signatures. By then, it will be too late to qualify a measure for the November ballot.

By the way, local labor leader Lorena Gonzalez tweeted the other night that “thousands” of people wanted to withdraw their signatures from the initiative petitions. (Labor fiercely opposes to this measure.) But, CityBeat discovered, only five actually tried to do so.

In other news:

• In some parts of San Diego, the prospect of a new housing and shopping complex might residents groan about traffic and commercialization. In Barrio Logan, it’s a dream come true.

Yesterday, the City Council approved a long-awaited project to build a supermarket and 92 low-income housing units near the eastern foot of the Coronado Bridge.

The project, as we report, will promote pride in “a community — home to mechanic shops and recycling plants — that has long felt like a dumping ground for the businesses no one else wanted.” It’s also been a desert where residents had to travel long distances to buy cheap food instead of patronizing higher-priced convenience and liquor stores.

If you’d like to catch up on background of the Mercado story, we break it down in the latest edition of our San Diego Explained video series.

• Last summer, we told you about the troubled history  of The Amerland Group, a local developer that builds affordable housing projects (including some here). Now, five executives have been charged with manslaughter and more than 100 counts of elder abuse in relation to a 2008 fire at a property they operated in Northern California in which four people died.

• Call it the rough equivalent of a Bat Signal: Four school districts (Oceanside Unified, Ramona Unified, San Ysidro and La Mesa-Spring Valley) have alerted the state that they might not be able to pay their bills.

They haven’t, however, reached a more serious alert level: the one that says they’re actually not paying their bills.

• Also in education: the Grossmont district high schools that serve a large chunk of East County have a new superintendent.

• Our resident real-estate guru takes a gander at those new housing figures and analyzes them through a whopping four charts. (Hello, Dr. Drew? Do you have a rehab program for people who overuse graphs?) He says prices should keep rising, but it may take a few months to figure out how things really look without the “artificial stimulus” of tax credits.


• The county supervisors approved a $4.9 billion budget that’s slightly smaller than last year’s and, thanks largely to state cuts, takes a hatchet to substance abuse and child welfare spending. (NCT)

• In the U-T: Chelsea’s Law is moving forward in Sacramento with a few changes, such as more treatment for sex offenders. The DEA is investigating Padres and Chargers doctors to make sure they’re properly controlling prescription medicine. And Gary Aguirre, brother of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, has won $755,000 from the SEC in a lawsuit over wrongful termination that, he alleged, was linked to his work connecting an investment company to the second Bush White House.

• Almost half of the members of UCSD’s incoming freshman class say they’re Asian-Americans, fewer than 2 percent are black. (By the way, I worked at UCSD’s student paper many years ago, and we had a giant debate over what to call first-year students. “Freshperson” won out in a burst of political correctness, but was later vanquished.) (LAT)

• Fans of laid-off U-T art critic Robert Pincus have created a Facebook page demanding his return, and it’s getting plenty of attention.

• CBSNews reports on research by La Jolla’s Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute that suggests some painkillers may coax cancer cells into killing themselves.

• About a dozen readers sent me emails after I requested details about TV shows that were set in San Diego. It turns out that “Simon & Simon” and “Harry O” weren’t the only ones.

The interest has inspired me to work on a full story about San Diego’s many appearances on the big and small screen. Feel free to send me trivia or anecdotes. I’m especially interested in links to online video clips like this one from “Citizen Kane”: go to 3:00 and you’ll see parts of Balboa Park — including the El Cid statue — standing in for “Xanadu,” which in turn stood in for the Hearst Castle. (Long story.)

• Finally, yesterday’s link to a story about Balboa Park’s vandalized cactus plants sparked a rumble on Twitter about whether the plural is “cactuses” or “cacti.” (There’s also a contingent that just likes “cactus” to refer to more than one.)

I stand by “cactuses,” which some dictionaries say is OK. And in the time-honored tradition of arguments over the Internet and everywhere else, let me emphasize my point by yelling it: CACTUSES!


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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