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While restoring some cutbacks and keeping others at bay yesterday, the City Council managed to solve some problems but ignore others.

Library and recreation hours? Preserved! The city’s big, fat and scary deficit? Well, it’s smaller. How about those brownout eliminations?

“The budget deficit for 2013 now stands at $41 million because the budget includes short-term fixes, such as selling land, that only can be used once,” Liam Dillon reports. “Also, the city still has a major repair backlog for its streets, sidewalks, buildings and other assets. It’s fair to say, however, there’s progress toward resolving the city’s longstanding financial problems.”

Councilman Carl DeMaio was the only councilmember to vote no, saying he wants more fixes. His time to get things done could be short: he’s running for mayor, which means he can’t be up for reelection as a councilmember next year.

Another newly minted mayoral candidate, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, held a press conference about his bid, surrounded by labor and GOP allies. The tough part will come when he has to make decisions that could annoy both parts of his coalition.

School Board Pushes to Unpromise Raises


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The San Diego school board is pushing its labor unions to give up pay increases they were promised and take more unpaid days off. In other words: Psych! Moded!

The idea is to stop class sizes in the younger grades from increasing to about 30 students. Teachers had been promised a series of raises starting next summer on top of the pay increases that teachers automatically get as their levels of experience and education go up.

What will the labor unions do? They don’t believe that they’re facing a choice of sacrificing pay or sacrificing jobs. This debate won’t last for long: the district has to figure out its budget by the end of the month.

Behind the Lives of Students

Gay, lesbian and bisexual students are much more likely to engage in risky behaviors like smoking and drunken drinking than their counterparts, according to federal surveys of students in San Diego and elsewhere.

Check out the numbers for a closer look at how San Diego high-school students of all orientations who said they’d tried or done these things at least once: marijuana (37 percent), cigarettes (44 percent), alcohol (70 percent) and sexual intercourse (39 percent).

In San Pasqual, Cheap Housing Comes with a Price

As our series of stories about San Diego neighborhoods continues, we take one last look at San Pasqual. It’s out of the way and charming, but that’s not all that keeps people living there. Some also get a break on rent thanks to an unusual deal with the city. As we discover, at least one resident dreams of a house away from home.

Our next neighborhood stop was Nestor, which we visited yesterday. Nestor, isn’t that by Imperial Beach? It sure is, and a local mail carrier says people get the two confused. It doesn’t help matters that Nestor lacks a neighborhood identity, unless you count auto shops, packed residential streets and recycling centers. It also has a nursery on its edge, which our photographer photographed.

Checking in on Test Scores and Fireworks

Fact Check TV tackles claims about test scores and the effect of fireworks on the environment.

Over on VOSD Radio, we consider the legal fight over a local fireworks display and look at the future of San Diego media.

Purely Coincidental, I’m Sure

Congressman Bob Filner, another one of the zillion (note: approximate number) possible candidates for mayor, has changed his voter registration from Chula Vista to San Diego, according to a tweet from the U-T’s William Osborne.

Also in congressional news, a commentary in a Virginia newspaper notes that local Rep. Susan Davis recently tried unsuccessfully to introduce a measure that would allow funding of abortions for members of the military who were raped. “But while Congress allows federal funds for abortion in cases of rape if you’re a federal worker, on Medicaid or even in federal prison, Congress forbids such coverage for military women,” the commentary says.

Local Latino Newspaper to Close

The Spanish-language Diario San Diego, which has served the region since 2003, will shutter its newspaper and website this month. It claimed a circulation of 30,000 copies.

Well, That Went Well

The president of the police association in Mesa, a large city in Arizona, allegedly got in a snit with San Diego cops the other day while riding a pedi-cab while intoxicated, even hurtling an ill-advised expletive at the police. Phoenix New Times says he ended up in the drunk tank.

Porn Industry Ponders Condom Rule

San Diego’s pornography production industry, which seems to have been in a decline, may face another challenge: there’s a state push to require porn studios to make performers wear condoms. Our region is said to have given birth to amateur porn, our news partner San Diego Magazine recently reported, and some filming appears to be done here.

A Medium Pie, Please, Hold the Wurlitzer

Arts editor Kelly Bennett is interviewing a couple who used to play the organs at Organ Power Pizza, a popular and unusual local dining spot of decades ago. Via Twitter, Bennett posted an amazing 1970s-era commercial for the pizza joint, which offered both pies and pipes.

The couple will be tickling ivories again this weekend. We’ll have details soon, but for now just remember the restaurant’s motto: “When you say music and pizza, that means party!”

And here I thought it meant indigestion.

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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