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In the last decade, the odds of getting into SDSU have dipped from 61 percent to 30 percent. UCSD has shrunk its freshman class the last two years.

And now, the community colleges that were meant to be open to all are turning away students in droves.

“It is one sign of the deterioration of the California dream: the diminishing chance at college for everyone,” writes education reporter Emily Alpert.

She examines how budget cuts and more stringent requirements are complicating life for would-be college students, especially those who used community college as an affordable and local way to transfer into UCSD if they didn’t get in directly out of high school.

Job Growth ‘For Real’

On the bright side, this spring’s local job growth is “for real,” says Rich Toscano in our Nerd’s Eye View blog. In fact, January and February essentially accounted “for the largest two-month increase in seasonally adjusted employment since early 2006.”

The Man Behind San Diego’s Second National Cemetery

The first casket burial last week at the brand new Miramar National Cemetery was a fitting one. John A. Smith III had spent years trying to convince Washington that San Diego deserved a second national ceremony.


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San Diego got it, but Smith died of a heart attack at age 62 just days before its groundbreaking, the Los Angeles Times’ Tony Perry says in a story about the cemetery that doubles as a remembrance of Smith. The veteran was an early organizer of the famed Stand Down event for homeless veterans. He helped with the Martin Luther King Parade and served on the executive committee of the Catfish Club. One thing the story doesn’t have is a photo of Smith. If anyone has one, please send it along.

Five Things to Know about the $110 Billion Transportation Plan

With the Regional Transportation Plan set to be released any day, I lay out some of the more interesting points I came across in my reporting on our recent edition of San Diego Explained: There’s a movement afoot to do transit first instead of freeway expansion on the coast, a key battle right now is over how complex computer modeling accounts for the time of the rich and the poor, and we’re the first major metro area to have to show how our plan reduces greenhouse gases. That, and learning Sandag-speak is hard.

VOSD Radio

In our weekly news party, VOSD Radio on AM 600 KOGO, Scott Lewis and I broke down the pending major cuts to libraries and rec centers and Mayor Jerry Sanders’ legacy, and as usual doled out our Hero and Goat of the Week.

Shhhhhh! Quiet About the Library Hours

As you might expect, people aren’t too happy about those library hours, engagement editor Grant Barrett finds in rounding up the week’s commentary on the city budget. Barrett also ran into plenty of conversation going around on the possible widening of Interstate 5, a plan to make San Diego “The Wisconsin of the West,” and just how empty Mission Valley’s homes could be.

Money That Can’t Go to Libraries

Some city employees’ pensions are so big they exceed IRS regulations and therefore part of the payment must come from the city’s day-to-day budget rather than its pension system. The bill for that extra cheese: $4.3 million over the last three years, according The Watchdog Institute, an investigative reporting center at SDSU.

The Calm One in the Frenzy

As the frenzy builds behind the curtain before San Diego Opera’s “Faust,” there’s one person whose days are actually getting calmer. That’s because the general director, Ian Campbell, began his work five years ago. We trace Campbell’s efforts as part of our Countdown to Curtain, a running series showing the steps the opera takes as it prepares for the big show. The first piece compared opera to that tasty turducken. Next up: set construction.

A New Legacy for Spring Valley

Spring Valley faces familiar problems: “widespread zoning code violations, the gang activity and drug-peddling, the noise complaints and other tensions that grow out of the crazy-quilt layout of the place, where it’s not unusual to see a tire yard next to a house, next to a store, next to apartments,” says the Union-Tribune in a story about how the community is trying to turn the page on a legacy of neglect.

Unlike other many other communities that face similar problems, Spring Valley doesn’t have a centralized government or its own specific local representative. It’s not a formal city — its major decisions have been made by the county. And the county’s track record, the newspaper says, is poor.

Now, residents and county officials are hoping to change that with new initiatives, development and a farmers market.

Public Service Announcement

Attention all procrastinators and those who’ve recently come out of a coma: Today is the deadline for filing your taxes. And, for what it’s worth, the IRS can’t believe you didn’t get a raise either.

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

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