Guess the San Diego neighborhood with the most violent crime during the first nine months of last year. Nope! It was North Park, of all places, the hipster oasis and nationally recognized poster child for urban renewal.

Now, a new bike team is patrolling the neighborhood, and violent crime has dipped. It’s hard to know exactly what role the cops on two wheels have had on the crime rates; they started going down before the team arrived. Still, they may be helping.

In this week’s Q&A, we talk to a police sergeant about bike-bound policing, drunken bar fights, the troubles on 30th Street and the possibility that his team could be budgeted out of existence.

Mapping the Pink Slips

We’ve updated our interactive map that will tell you how possible educator layoffs may affect individual schools in the San Diego district. Look for a lot more hot-red pins showing even more layoffs than before.

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A State of Hiring

The National City mayor said the state has been hiring while cities and counties have been cutting back. He’s right, says San Diego Fact Check.

Touring Can Be Torturous

Kelly Bennett and Sam Hodgson drop by the Malashock Dance company’s rehearsals for a piece called “The Floating World” about a dance company on tour and all the aches and pains, transportation hassles, schmoozing and interpersonal connections that come along for the ride.

‘I’ve Been Insulted in Paris … Ignored in Prague.’

Our Voices feature checks the pulse of the bustling local opinion-production complex and finds thoughts about mandatory “service charges” added to dining bills and whether they allow waiters — apparently like some in Europe — to slack off.

Voices also notes perspectives on smokers, public employees, “fiefdom” redevelopment agencies and the homeless, including a comment that was met with something called a posse civitas, whatever that is.

Stolen Letter Finds Way Home

A once-stolen and long-lost Revolutionary War-era letter has found its way home to Massachusetts after somehow ending up in the collection of the former publisher of the Union and Tribune.

The Boston Globe has the story about the letter, a replica of which became a highlight of an Evacuation Day ceremony in the state this week. “The letter was written in May 1775 by Dr. Joseph Warren, who was president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. It detailed the colonials’ takeover of the British-held Fort Ticonderoga and other forts around Lake Champlain,” the Globe says.

The letter was stolen some 60 years ago and ended up in the collection of publisher James S. Copley, who died in 1973. Copley’s estate sold the letter to the state of Massachusetts for $8,000.

Game On

The NCAA championships continue as the San Diego State Aztecs basketball team meets Temple at 3:10 p.m. The U-T offers video profiles of the Aztec players.

Walk That Way

A new $26 million-plus pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive in downtown is now open, the SDBJ reports.

Makes No Sense to Me at All

A new study co-authored by a UCSD assistant professor finds evidence that people who are trying to control themselves — like, say, watching their weight — may be angrier and more irritable in certain situations.

What a dumb study and giant waste of my extremely valuable time! Hey, why is it so darned hot in here? Man, the time change was really a pain. And have I told you…


What We Learned This Week:

Tension Afoot in Southeastern SD: The ethnic makeup of San Diego’s historically black neighborhoods is changing, creating new challenges and tensions as a nonprofit group tries to revitalize the region by bringing in new business.

He’s No Angel: Barry Minkow, the Ponzi scheme swindler who tried to redeem himself as a Christian pastor and fraud detector, may be heading to prison again. His quit his job at a local church, and his attorney said he’ll plead guilty to insider trading charges.


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

Play On: We followed the unusual judging process at the San Diego Symphony, which was choosing a new French horn player and taking special care to make sure an orchestra panel couldn’t see the hopefuls and become biased by their age, gender or looks. We talked to the winner too.

Wisconsin, Wischmonsin: We had our very own labor revolt 99 years ago, but it was different than the ongoing one in Madison. Ours featured vigilantes, head-cracking, an unconstitutional ban on free speech (and even singing) and a downtown under siege.

• His Job Really Blows: In our Moonlighting series, we hang out with a balloon artist who entertains kids when he’s not working at his other job as a writer following the San Diego Chargers.


Quote of the Week: “In that town called San Diego when the workers try to talk/The cops will smash them with a sap and tell them ‘take a walk.’” — Lyric from a union song about the 1912 labor revolt in San Diego.


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

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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