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San Diego is poised to be a green energy hub, in no small part because of the crew of local companies racing to make algae a commercially viable fuel source.

That work is drawing the attention of the deep pocketed. Bill Gates is in. So are the Rockefellers.

And then there is big oil. The likes of Exxon Mobil and BP are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in local companies on the hope that the green stuff could be profitable.

It turns out that algae has that rare, and lucrative, selling point: It has the potential to be both environmentally responsible and oil companies’ next big thing.

Also on our site:

• Every now and then we stumble onto a forgotten corner of San Diego whose stories keep drawing us back.

For Adrian Florido, that spot has been tiny Lincoln Acres, an autonomous hamlet smack dab in the middle of National City that he discovered only because a certain local journalist who usually writes the Morning Report got his car towed.


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In his latest dispatch from Lincoln Acres, Florido tells the story of a little restaurant that’s struggling to stay afloat and still dealing with the ghosts of the rowdy tavern that it replaced. The Cozy Corner’s owner, Byron Ticas, thinks getting a liquor license will make all the difference. But, for now, he has to turn those seeking a drink away.

“‘We don’t sell alcohol,’ Ticas informs them. They turn around and walk out. He understands why they may expect their old haunt. It still looks like a bar, with its too-plush black leather seats and the darkness that is inviting to local drunks.”

Why is Lincoln Heights so interesting to us? Well, for one thing, there are the goats.

• Check out Sam Hodgson’s photos from Saturday’s Chargers game.

• On the economic front, Rich Toscano says San Diego’s tentative job recovery still seems to be on track despite all the talk of a slowdown nationally. And he’s got the usual charts and numbers to back it up.

• In case you missed it, don’t: On Friday evening we had a roiling Q&A with a historian who documented the wild times of Tijuana’s Agua Caliente. Known as “Satan’s Playground,” the casino became North America’s hotspot around the time of Prohibition.

Elsewhere:

• UCSD has gotten its fair share of negative publicity lately, but here’s a gem of good news for the school: It’s been rated the top university in the country by Washington Monthly.

Frustrated by the standard university rankings, the magazine has set out to do its own.

This New York Times blog post does a good job of explaining it, and here’s the magazine’s entire spread.

From the Times blog post:

“The biggest flaw with the famous U.S. News & World Report ranking is that it largely rewards colleges that enroll highly qualified (and, typically, affluent) students, regardless of how much those students learn while on campus. Washington Monthly instead tries reward those colleges that do a good job educating students.”

• The U-T asks what’s wrong with the current downtown library.

• With all the mad flurry of activity at City Hall lately, it has seemed like the crazy days of 2005 again. The U-T picked up on that spirit on Sunday by resurrecting a story that got done repeatedly back in those days, an analysis of the big pension boosts given to top city workers in 1996 and 2002.

• While the newspaper broke little new ground with its pension analysis, it does seem to be getting more ambitious under its new leadership. Case in point: It sent a reporter and photographer to Afghanistan, and they’ve turned in this tale from the remote Camp Leatherneck.

• Well, we have the No. 1 university now. So what else can we kick butt in, San Diego?

Not professional wrestling, it turns out. San Diego’s pride and joy, Rey Mysterio, was upset this weekend by a newcomer in his bid to win Friday’s WWE smack down.

It must’ve been rigged.

— ANDREW DONOHUE

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