Seven decades, ago, she co-founded an oasis of casitas, pools, palms and organic gardens in Mexico. A bit later, she created North County’s Golden Door spa, a celebrity mecca. Now, at the age of 88, Deborah Szekely still focuses on fitness and natural healing.

In this week’s Q&A, the renaissance woman (museum founder, congressional candidate, cookbook author, grandmother) talks about her plans, her famous friends and her work to help the people of Tecate.

In Other News:

• The head of the port district resigned suddenly (and mysteriously) yesterday right in the middle of contentious projects.

• What’s the poorest council district in town? Your assumption might be wrong, San Diego Fact Check discovers. As a councilman correctly said, the city’s District 3 — including wealthier areas like Hillcrest and Kensington but also City Heights and Golden Hill — is by far the poorest, based on per-capita incomes.

The richest council district — where people, on average, make more than twice as much — is the one that covers several northern communities, including La Jolla.

• Scott Lewis, our CEO and a non-profit journalism guru, uses the demise of the local news site as a case study into how to keep a news site alive (or not). He also tackles the Prop. D back-and-forth, the redefinition of local government, and a possible divide between two prominent GOPers. Might one be willing to dump city services like libraries and lifeguards?

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• A North Park community planning group hates the idea of a rapid bus system through their neighborhood from downtown to San Diego State. Why develop it then? A common complaint about the region’s current bus system is that it takes forever to get anywhere. (U-T)

• It’s supposed to heat up this weekend, but it’s been a lot worse: The hottest day in San Diego’s recorded history came on Sept. 26, 1963, when the mercury reached 111 degrees and went even higher in some parts of the city.

As we told you in a Morning Report history flashback last year, taper candles wackily slumped as they melted at an Old Town shop (and a San Diego Union photographer snapped a classic shot of a wilted “salesgirl.”). More than 30,000 chickens died, schools took a “heat day” for the first time in 24 years, and devastation awaited a third-grader in Allied Gardens. “When I returned to the classroom,” he told me, “all my crayons were melted and all the spiders I had collected in a little plastic box were cooked.”


What We Learned This Week:

Snip Snip: The comments keep coming — about two dozen and counting — in response to our request for ideas about how to cut the San Diego school district’s budget. Among the suggestions: pay a lot more money (yes, really) to the superintendent, put solar panels on roofs, cut librarians and outsource sports programs.

A Hollywood Whodunit, S.D.-Style: More than 80 years ago, a bunch of celebrities partied off San Diego in a yacht during Prohibition. One of them ended up dead. Was he killed by a world-famous publisher in a case of mistaken identity? And did an amorous Charlie Chaplin play a role? We revisit a tantalizing bit of Tinseltown lore.


Fact? Check!: A county supervisor candidate doesn’t quite hit the truth mark with an attack on an incumbent. And a councilman’s numbers on how bad things are in the city fall just short of reality.


The Coffee Collection: (engaging stories to read over a cup of java)

The Superintendent’s Ghost: A specter is haunting San Diego schools, rattling gym lockers and muttering “Reforrrrrm.” It’s the legacy of a former schools chief who went on to another job and left his critics to clean up what they think is a mess.

Make It Work: We’re watching a young scientist as he tries to make a big splash in the biotech world. He’s got plenty of enthusiasm and some big bucks behind him, but can he become a player?


Quote of the Week: “I wasn’t his type — no money, no influence and especially no boobs.” — Ruth Hayward, discussing why she didn’t wander over to the presidential plane that was parked not far from her office during President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit. We also heard from other readers about their presidential encounters and a candidate’s near-fistfight at the Sports Arena.


Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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