A cash-strapped city needed money and fewer responsibilities and unloading the Miramar Landfill seemed like it might help on both fronts. A half million dollars in taxpayer money later, the city has discovered that it can’t find a buyer.

Liam Dillon tracks the timeline, explores what San Diego got for its $500,000 and explains why no deal could be struck. The city essentially says that these things happen, what are you going to do?

Pension Pact

Competing city pension proposals have been merged, the Union-Tribune reports. The joint proposal moves most new city workers to a 401(k) style pension, though it keeps new police on the traditional pension system. Some backstory here.

Southwest Nearly Back to Normal

At least 25 Southwest flights were delayed at Lindbergh Field yesterday due to the disruption caused by inspections of 737 planes after last Friday’s scary in-flight fuselage tear over Arizona, KPBS reports. Slate examines how this could happen without putting passengers in danger of being sucked out of the plane.

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Off by a Mile

Tony Young, the City Council’s president, declared the other day that a proposed ballot measure would require the San Diego school board to include someone from the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and maybe a Chamber of Commerce rep too. San Diego Fact Check finds that he’s wrong.

Under the plan, which would reduce the power of voters over the board’s makeup, a committee of nine people would appoint the four extra members.

Crime Here and Crime There

Meth prices in the county are skyrocketing, the NCT reports, while the costs of other drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin remain steady. It’s not clear why, although “a disruption somewhere along the drug’s supply chain” could have something to do with it. South of the border, the AP profiles a Tijuana newspaper that’s aggressively covering the drug war there despite the murder seven years ago of a top editor while in the company of his two young children.

How the Ex-Swindler Got In Trouble Again

We’re learning more details about Barry Minkow, the San Diego-based swindler-turned-pastor who pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit stock fraud. LA Weekly unravels his story about how he got nabbed after he caused a home builder’s stock to tank by suggesting it was up to no good: “Minkow duped the FBI to give him ‘specific, material, non-public’ information — specifically, the fact that the FBI was investigating Lennar. Yet the FBI probe, in turn, was based on a scathing, falsified 2009 report on Lennar produced by Minkow himself, via his Fraud Discovery Institute.”

Bikes Are Vehicles, Too

In a story about the eternal driver-vs.-bicyclist wars, the NYT talks to an 81-year-old San Diego-area man who promoted the idea of “vehicular cycling” back in the 1970s — riding bicycles as if they were cars, not like special things that need their own bike lanes. “Bike lanes don’t reduce the amount of skill required. And they create confusion,” he tells the paper, and offers a mantra: “Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.”

Tell that to the bicyclists — seriously, tell them — who take part in the anarchic Critical Mass in San Diego every month, the ones who blow through traffic lights.

From Lush Music to Medi-Pot Numbers

Behind the Scene TV checks out the impressive magnitude of San Diego Opera’s new production, while Fact Check TV examines claims about medical pot shops (are there as many as there are Starbucks?) and the state’s Fortune 500 companies.

It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas

The director of UCSD’s Laboratory on International Law & Regulation appears in a press release about how an estimated five percent of the world’s production natural gas escapes human control. “While this issue has been on the radar screen for some time, many countries still waste massive amounts of gas through flaring and venting,” the official says.

Wine, Woman and O’Reilly

Earlier this week, we showed you the top of Bette Ferguson’s head: she’s the Mission Hills senior citizen who wants to donate her brain — after she’s done with it, that is — to a UCSD research project.

Photographer Sam Hodgson captured several more images of Ferguson, and he compiles those along with excerpts from his sometimes-heavy conversation with her about brain donation: “I wondered how her family felt about it. She essentially told me it’s none of their business. I asked her if she was religious. She told me the question was moot. She put it simply. When she dies, she’s not going to need her brain anymore, so she might as well give it to someone who will need it.”

The photographer and senior citizen didn’t just talk about gray matter. “She poured me a glass of wine and we watched Bill O’Reilly,” Hodgson wrote, prompting me to tease him on Twitter about whether there was any snuggling under a Slanket.

Correction: Due to a misinterpretation of an AP story, this article originally stated that a Tijuana newspaper editor was gunned down with his children seven years ago. In fact, he was with them when he was killed but they were not injured. We regret the error.

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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