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City Council President Ben Hueso, who’s heading to the state legislature, requested $11,000 in bonuses for 10 employees after the election.

So why didn’t the city tell us about this when we asked for public records regarding this specific kind of request? A City Council administrator who knew about the bonus requests said she didn’t think the request was “a done deal” so she didn’t provide it when we asked.

In Other News:

• The local musical theatre company Lyric at the Birch is still pushing to raise money after sending out an SOS last month; it’s raised about $100,000 and needs $100,000 more. Also, it’s thinking about selling the Birch North Park Theatre.

• A while back, a local couple saved a woman and her two children who were trapped in a swirl of water on the shore of San Diego Bay. There appeared to be some sort of problem with the sand in that area of Kellogg Beach that made it dangerous during storms. One of the rescuers called the port district to report it, and a chain link fence appeared. But now the fence is gone.

• Are the San Diego Chargers about ready to join the scrap heap of defunct football teams? A U-T columnist says plenty of people think it’s a “lame duck,” ready to bolt to Los Angeles. City Hall reporter Liam Dillon takes a look at recent events surrounding the team’s prospects and compiles some local news coverage and commentary.

• Last week, we told you how an elementary school adopted a new approach to math education and ended up bucking the trend of poor math scores in middle and high school. Just how bad are those scores? Our data guru Keegan Kyle created a graphic that puts them into colorful (and depressing) perspective.


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• Over on the TV, San Diego Explained looks at how municipal bankruptcy works and Marvin Hamlisch helps us explain why a bankruptcy judge is a lot like a symphony conductor, and not just because they both swing wooden things around while they’re on the job.

• Our resident black cloud of doom, real-estate columnist Rich Toscano, shows that housing inventory continues to do a good job of predicting home price changes. What’s that mean for the future? More slumping prices.

• Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, answers questions about the local economy as part of our series of interviews with leaders who will take part in the 2010 Workforce Summit. She writes: “While contractors keep their head above water during this economic downturn thanks to infrastructure and school bonds, and economic stimulus opportunities, their workers are powerless to demand an equitable piece of the pie.”

Is labor under-represented when it comes to participating in the region’s economic recovery? Tell us what you think.

Elsewhere:

• “While San Diego has alerted investors that the 2010 audit will be six months late, the city’s outside disclosure counsel said he will look into allegations that the delay is caused by misallocation of funds rather than computer problems,” reports the Watchdog Institute.

• Scripps Health has announced a $2 billion, 25-year plan to tear down and rebuild Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and says it wants to replace buildings over the next quarter century at all of its hospitals. (U-T)

• KPBS’s extensive coverage of local gangs continues with a look at how they contribute to a rise in prostitution and how “gang pimps” hold power over girls. A sheriff’s sergeant says pimps are using the internet to their advantage: “Now you can go online, you can view different girls, and they can come right to your home. Nobody knows. Fifteen years ago, you would have to go down to a street where prostitution was occurring.”

For background, check our story last year about El Cajon Boulevard’s perennial prostitution problem and learn how downtown San Diego was once home to “bawdy houses” — brothels — and, in 1910, more than 140 hookers. A 1912 crackdown spawned this classic headline: “138 Are Arrested in Stingaree Raid / 136 Promise to Leave City; Two Agree to Reform.”

Oooo, snap! “Thank God,” declared soon-to-be-ex Councilwoman Donna Frye after CityBeat mentioned that Councilman Ben Hueso, a sometime foe, said the two can’t be compared.

• Finally, a gardening column in the Yuma Sun takes a look at vines and notes that there’s a type of bougainvillea called “San Diego.” And what can vines do? They “help cover unsightly areas.”

It sounds cheaper than liposuction. Time to go to the nursery!

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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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