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I’ve got to apologize for how quiet it’s been in Survival in San Diego lately. I’ve taken new responsibilities and am excited to launch this week our coverage of San Diego County’s arts scene. This blog — my baby for the last four years — isn’t going away; my colleague Adrian Florido will be taking over the Survival mantle. I hope you’ve had a chance in the past year to read Florido’s eloquent and enthralling stories about neighborhoods and our neighbors. I, for one, will be bookmarking Survival and following what storylines Adrian brings us.

Survival was the third blog we launched at voiceofsandiego.org, after This Just In and Scott Lewis on Politics caught on. We launched it in August 2006, as the cornerstones of surviving here — housing and jobs — were becoming bigger and bigger stories. Over the four years, housing prices dropped 42 percent and have since regained more than 10 percent. Unemployment soared from 4.1 percent in August 2006 to 10.8 percent this July. We tried to make sense and meaning of some of those numbers here.

If you’ll indulge a little reminiscing, in my first post, I shared a quote from E.B. White: “Don’t write about Man; write about a man.”

I gave White’s words this twist to describe what we’re doing here: “Don’t write about a city; write about how the people of that city live and work there. And give them news updates and interesting stories to help them make better decisions.”

Here’s some of how we tried to do that:

In this space, we met would-be homebuyer David Cleveland and erstwhile homeowner Fred West. We took Survival on the road to learn about riding public transit in San Diego by choice or by default. We followed the saga of downtown’s largest condo building, Vantage Pointe, and learned extra tidbits from People at Work stories.

Survival was the home for unfolding coverage from two major investigative projects I worked on with my colleagues about mortgage fraud in San Diego condos and about the county’s provision of social welfare programs like food stamps.

And we debated. Whether to sell now, buy later. Balance between government regulation and development. What should be done about half-finished remodeling projects becoming eyesores in your neighborhood. Honoring your mortgage agreement even just because of a moral stand, or walking away.

I really had a good time getting to know these topics and hearing from you for these four years. I wish you the best as you continue surviving in San Diego — whatever that looks like for you. Keep reading this blog, which Florido will put his own unique stamp on. And I hope you’ll join me in our new arts wing for stories about the people and institutions in San Diego who make arts here possible.

Please contact Kelly Bennett directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org. Follow her on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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