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A Hillcrest man called the city to report a growing pothole outside his home, but no one came out to fix it. So he picked up a spade and some wet cement and fixed it himself.

This kind of thing could become more common: the city’s roads have gotten worse under the current mayor, and the city’s pothole promise — repairs within two weeks — wasn’t accurate when we checked last year.

In Other News:

• A big challenge facing local schools is Spanish-speaking students who don’t pick up full English skills even after five or six years of education in the U.S. They can talk in English, but they can’t read and write in it at grade level. Now, a Pacific Beach school is trying out a new approach: it’s teaching them grammar in their native Spanish first so they can carry the concepts over to English.

• The city of San Diego failed to release information about requested bonuses in a councilman’s office despite our request for such details. We ask an expert if there’s a penalty for not following the state’s open-records law. Of course, it’s complicated.

• Can the Chargers get out of their lease of the football stadium by coughing up $26 million? San Diego Fact Check says yes, but it’s a little bit harder for them to leave town than simply writing a check.

• Every once in a while, we hear about schools that get rid of “F” grades or don’t bother issuing grades at all. But this is something new: a San Diego alternative high school stands accused of changing the grades that students got elsewhere in the past. There’s more to the story: the accusations themselves are under fire.

• The port blames the city for an unsafe bit of beach that’s no longer set apart by a fence.

• This may come as a great shock, but it’s true: San Diegans sometimes don’t tell the truth. Like the sweater-clad young guy who declared he was the next Mr. Rogers or the Union columnist who claimed to have discovered a hidden trove of Lincoln love letters. But sometimes an outlandish rumor turns out to be true, like the Wild Animal Park’s monorail line’s link to a naughty acronym.

What are some urban legends you’ve heard about San Diego? San Diego Fact Check would like to see if there’s any truth to them. Drop us a line.

• Maybe they’ll go out searching for hot chicks later: The Photo of the Day features our photographer clucking around with the Famous San Diego Chicken.

Elsewhere:

• OC Weekly takes an in-depth look at a rehab clinic in Tijuana that’s doing something very unusual: it’s trying to get people off drugs by giving them a psychedelic drug. And not a mild one either. As a scientist tells the paper, the drug is “nasty,” with lots of severe side effects. But it also appears to actually help people get off drugs. That is, if they can tolerate its mind-altering qualities.

• In East County, an open-government watchdog group is threatening to sue the Grossmont hospital district’s board over a closed-door meeting it held this week. The meeting dealt with a board member’s attempt to withdraw his resignation. (Patch)

• CityBeat says a mortgage broker is accusing County Supervisor Bill Horn of “stiffing him on a commission payment.

• CityBeat also profiles a woman named Krentz Johnson, one of only two local courtroom artists. “It’s the most fun job I’ve ever had,” says Johnson. “I painted on the beaches of Mexico, and this is better. There’s just a lot of human drama going on. Everything’s exciting.”

• Hey, let’s go to the Civic Center and check out the holiday lights! OK, that’s not something you’re likely to hear this holiday season. But cash-strapped Chula Vista is still decorating its city hall for the season, even boasting of energy-efficient lighting. Wouldn’t no taxpayer-funded holiday lights be more efficient?

• Finally, we got a request yesterday for San Diego’s birthdate, reminding me of the city’s big party for its 200th anniversary back in 1969. You can still join the party: celebratory 1769-1969 bourbon decanters are on sale on eBay.

They look to be in better shape than some other products of 1969 I happen to know.

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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