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It’s one of the puzzles of the recession: crime is down despite the high local unemployment rate and despite cutbacks of non-uniform employees in the police department.

Now there seems to be more good news: The police chief says cops are responding more quickly to calls in San Diego. We’ve discovered that the numbers are a bit murkier than the chief let on, but we still think his claim is “mostly true.”

In other news:

• When it comes to academic success from kindergarten to grad school, Asian-Americans are often at the top of the class. But not everyone is doing fantastically well. In fact, there’s a big gap between Chinese students, who tend to score highly, and those who are of Cambodian descent, and another between those come from Hawaii and Samoa.


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• If you’re hankering for details about Prop. D, the financial reform/sales-tax hike measure, we’ve got links to many of our recent stories. Also: a councilman who’s not a fan of Prop. D wants a report about how often San Diego fire stations are partially staffed.

• Almost a quarter of all county residents — almost 650,000 people — had no health insurance last year; 56 percent got it through their employer. But the non-insured rate is still lower than other places in Southern California. (Stories via voiceofsandiego.org and KPBS.)

• Earlier this week, our neighborhoods reporter profiled a bar-turned-restaurant in Lincoln Acres, and now he has a new post about its library’s search for a new logo.

• There’s something about a snappy chapeau that gives a guy a certain panache. Case in point: San Diego State professor emeritus Paul Underwood, who appears in the Photo of the Day. Last week, we told you about this new book about the glory days of Agua “Satan’s Playground” Caliente.

Elsewhere:

• The U-T reports that a higher percentage of parents are turning down vaccinations for their kids in the county than elsewhere in the state. While the number of exemptions are still small (under 3 percent) they still boost the risk of disease outbreaks, especially if some neighborhoods have lots of parents who opt out.

Earlier this year, we called “false” on a claim by actress and anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy about the number of autisic children in San Diego. She thinks vaccines cause autism, but doctors generally say her fears are unfounded.

• The SeaWorld company has been fined $75,000 over the death of a trainer who was killed at the Orlando park by a killer whale. A federal report said that “SeaWorld trainers had an extensive history of unexpected and potentially dangerous incidents involving killer whales.” (L.A. Times L.A. Unleashed blog and U.S. Department of Labor)

SeaWorld, which no longer allows trainers in the water with killer whales, disputes the findings.

• Two East County congressional candidates expected to end their hunger strikes, which protested what they said was Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s refusal to attend a debate early enough to impact absentee voters. There’s some he-said/he-said business going on about whether a debate would be held, but now one is scheduled for Oct. 15.

The hunger strikes garnered plenty of national attention and a barb from a consultant for Hunter who said the strikes sounded more like Berkeley than San Diego. One of Hunter’s rivals fired back with a good line: “I think even Jesus Christ fasted. Was he a kook?”

• The county GOP headquarters has been burglarized, and both cash and laptops are missing. Should someone page Woodward & Bernstein, who dug into another seemingly minor political burglary? Well, it’s not clear yet if any political motives are involved. (CityBeat Last Blog on Earth)

The local GOP chief told the U-T the laptops had recently been purged of sensitive data.

• Finally, a Nebraska newspaper notes that the Liberty Bell made a visit to San Diego in 1915 during the Panama-Pacific Exposition that created modern-day Balboa Park. The bell, which traveled by railroad flatcar, stuck around for four days; a museum devoted to the bell has a photo of its visit.

San Diegans didn’t have anything to do with that crack, which appeared in the 19th century. By that time, the bell’s power train warranty (10 years or 10,000 tolls, whichever comes first) had expired. Ain’t that always the way?

Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly summarized a councilman’s request regarding the Fire Department. We regret the error.

— RANDY DOTINGA

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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