There is no longer a single neighborhood in San Diego with a majority black population.

The gradual shift of black families moving north to places like Hemet and Murrieta and an influx of Latino immigrants has changed the face of southeastern San Diego, traditionally the center of the region’s black community.

The new Census numbers cement it: The scales tipped on the final two black-majority neighborhoods, Valencia Park and Emerald Hills.

Adrian Florido examines the roots of the shift, its political implications and how it’s playing out in ways big and small.

“It is a trend not yet reflected in the community’s seats of power,” he writes. “They are still held, mostly, by African-Americans. But it is on full display in the aisles of the Malcolm X Library and the community’s single supermarket, on nearly every residential block, and perhaps most visibly in its churches, where pastors who once preached to large black congregations have seen them dwindle and realized a need to court the new majority.”

We’ve compiled some tools for sifting through the new Census data. Let us know if you find anything that grabs your attention.


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Power’s Big Mystery and Big Question

Chula Vista has big dreams for its waterfront, but first it has to get a hulking power plant removed. That’s about as hard as it sounds. And the toughest part of it might not be ripping down the massive structure that’s embedded in the ground or removing tons of asbestos. It could be getting rid of the microscopic toxins embedded in San Diego Bay sediment, if there are any.

The Port of San Diego should know whether the toxins exist but, as Will Carless finds out, it doesn’t have answers to the basic questions.

• Three years ago, it looked like it was OK for politicians in California to say “nuclear” again.

Both the Los Angeles Times and New York Times wondered over the weekend whether the mounting consensus to begin exploring nuclear power again had been shattered by the disaster in Japan. The LA Times wondered if it could affect an application for continued use of San Diego’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

• Meanwhile, San Onofre was built to withstand the strongest forecasted earthquakes and tsunamis for this region, KPBS says.

Going Dancing

The San Diego State basketball team’s dream season continues, as it rode a conference tournament championship over the weekend to grab a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Aztecs take on No. 15 seed Northern Colorado at 1:40 p.m. Thursday on TNT.

Going to Money Town

One of the arguments for killing redevelopment: That the well-meaning program for fixing urban ills has since been greatly abused for all sorts of luxuries that stray far from its original intent. In between doling out a couple of sharp elbows to local California politicians and state Republicans, journalist Steven Greenhut delivers a little history in the Wall Street Journal on California’s endangered redevelopment and abuses he’s witnessed through his career.

• We’ve been following closely as San Diego and other municipalities around the state have tried to tie up billions of dollars in redevelopment cash before the governor cuts it off. While most places have just carved out the money, some have already begun borrowing it, sometimes at quite a cost. Redevelopment agencies across the state borrowed $700 million in the first two months and a week of the year, compared to $1 billion in all of 2010, the LA Times says.

• It’s not San Diego, but it’s instructive: NPR’s Planet Money recently profiled one Pennsylvania city that sold a lake to help fix its problems, threw in the towel and then got help from a state squad that travels around helping distressed governments.

At this point, it looks like California could use one of those, too, although they might end up spending all their time in Sacramento. (It’d still be cheaper than these guys.)

Food and News in TJ

One Tijuana chef has designs on not only revitalizing Tijuana’s food scene but the city itself, says The New York Times in a profile of Javier Plascenia.

The chef had fled to San Diego and opened Romesco in Bonita but now is turning his focus back on the city where his family has long been a fixture of the food scene.

“As a culinary destination, Tijuana is perhaps best known for its street food, especially mariscos, birria and tacos of all stripes,” the NYT says. “But it also has a long tradition of fine dining, and Mr. Plascencia’s family has been at the center of it for nearly three decades.”

• Our friends at TijuanaPress.com have a cool new feature: An English-language week-in-review video of Tijuana news. This week’s touches on the latest spates of drug violence, Tijuana’s famed police chief heading to Cuidad Juarez and an interview with USD border guru David Shirk. 

Going to Peru

The Cocha Cashu Biological Station is “one of the most remote and biologically diverse places on Earth,” says the LA Times, and it will now be run by the San Diego Zoo. That will allow the Zoo to see nature nearly untouched deep within the Amazon rain forest in Peru and study thousands of species.

The Zoo manages research programs in 35 countries. Its first order of business in Peru: Adding a shower so researchers don’t need to bathe with the piranhas.

You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow me on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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