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Remember the Bridge to Nowhere? Meet the $24 Million Voyage Across Downtown.

The city is going to build a new fire station in Little Italy at a cost of $24 million, Scott Lewis writes. One fire engine will move there from a station in downtown. Emergency coverage will not increase although it might be faster in certain scenarios.

“We have resources available to build a new fire station so that we can move an engine not even a mile away from where it was, but we don’t have the resources to actually staff it with new equipment or new firefighters,” Lewis writes. “In fact, the new facility may actually negatively affect fire protection for the east side of downtown.”

So why not use the $24 million on a different plan? “It’s part of the infamous pot of untouchable dinero — redevelopment — that can only be used to build things.”

Unsweet Sixteen

The Aztecs are out of the NCAA tournament thanks to their loss to Connecticut. You may send your condolences — no flowers, please — to our SDSU alum photographer.


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Teachers May Be in the Not-Pink

There’s good news for at least a few San Diego teachers. As Emily Alpert reports, the school board “may cancel pink slips for hundreds of teachers by pulling redevelopment funding from the downtown library, money that its attorney now says it can spend to spare teachers, nurses and other employees instead of devoting it only to building costs.”

Also in education, an elementary school in La Jolla is asking parents to pitch in with $1,000 each (!) to help save the jobs of teachers and other staff members. A message from a teacher committee says “an education of Bird Rock’s caliber is not at all ‘free.’ We will either pay from our wallets, or it will cost our children in crowded classrooms and a limited enrichment curriculum.”

Conspiracy Charge Against Ex-Swindler

Barry Minkow, the ex-con and former Ponzi schemer who tried to convince the world that he’d turned his life around, was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud in Miami yesterday. Minkow had earlier quit his job as senior pastor at a San Diego church, and his lawyer said he’d plead guilty.

The director of a $4 million religious movie about Minkow — it’s called “Minkow,” aptly enough — tells the LAT that the film may need a new ending that’s not so glowing. The Minkow-funded movie, starring a mix of current and former big Hollywood names like James Caan, Mark Hamill, Talia Shire and Ving Rhames, also stars Minkow himself and casts his story in an inspiring light, focusing on his embrace of Christianity. The film looked terrible in a clip I watched while interviewing Minkow back in 2009.

Aww, You Shouldn’t Have, Dad!

It’s every daughter’s dream, having dad invite his construction contractor buddies to her bridal shower.

It wasn’t just any old proud father. This guy is the superintendent of South Bay high schools, and the construction folks might have benefited from his decisions, the U-T reports.

To top it all off, the invitation to the shower included a mention of a “money tree.” (The sound you hear is Emily Post turning over — quite politely, of course — in her grave.)

We’ve reported on the superintendent in the past, noting that the district “had repeatedly chosen companies that weren’t ranked highest by their own staff,” with the boss weighing in twice.

Ready, Set, Age!

The NYT asks 18 seniors at San Diego’s Patrick Henry High School about where they see themselves the future and offers their thoughts along with audio and photographs. One looks forward to escaping “the judgment of high school.” But isn’t it true that post-school life is just high school all over again, just without the Salisbury steak in the cafeteria?

A City’s Frenzy of Outsourcing

The NYT checks in on labor strife in the Orange County city of Costa Mesa, which warned about half its employees last week that they’ll be laid off: “Nearly every city department will be eliminated. More than a dozen tasks will be outsourced, including graffiti removal, firefighting, building maintenance and street cleaning.”

One of the laid-off employees jumped to his death from the City Hall roof, adding a note of tragedy to the emotional debate over how cities should deal with big budget problems. San Diego has had a debate of its own over privatizing its city services.

Meet the Lockout

San Diego Explained explores what the prospect of a cancelled NFL season could mean for football in the city.

Traffic Cam

We’ve got more photos from above San Diego: a look at the car-packed I-5/I-8/Rosecrans interchange and a right-on-top view of airplanes parked at the airport. Hey! Isn’t that a five-minute zone?

The Heart Bypass Costs Extra

A St. Louis newspaper examines the Army’s efforts to improve diets and notes that one soldier misses his favorite taco-shop dish from back home in San Diego: “It’s got carne asada, french fries, sour cream and guacamole in it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever had.”

He’s referring to a San Diego specialty called a California burrito. Here’s a cross-section picture of one from one of Lolita’s locations here in San Diego, although as a commenter notes, “needs guacamole amigo.”

I’ll confess that I’ve had a 25-year love affair with Roberto’s quesadillas and never noticed the existence of this other delicacy. (Yes, I know. I’ve already been roasted over this shocking fact. And, as I like to helpfully remind my carpetbagger co-workers whenever possible, I’m a native!)

Readers, where’s the very best place in town to get a California burrito? Preferably a joint with a stomach pump on standby. I’m quite delicate, as you 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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