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Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos is facing 21 felony charges of sexual assault and soliciting sexual bribes during traffic stops in the last two years. We recently revealed that before this spate of alleged actions, the Police Department had sent a complaint about him along with possible criminal charges to the District Attorney’s Office only to return him to the force.

The police chief then told the Union Tribune that he did not believe Arevalos had committed a crime at that point.

Now we learn Arevalos had also been accused by gun store manager of trying to be a “straw buyer” for a weapon. Arevalos’ attorney claims the store manager is concocting the story to avoid a lawsuit for showing racial prejudice in refusing to sell Arevalos and a friend of Middle-Eastern descent a rifle for hunting.

The incident represents yet another criminal investigation of Arevalos that the Police Department was aware of before the alleged crimes that ultimately led to his dismissal.

Unaffordable Housing Fallout

In Will Carless’ major story last week into affordable housing, he quoted Tom Scott, the former executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation. “It’s just gotten out of hand,” Scott said about the cost of constructing units.


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Scott’s successor at the Housing Federation, Susan Tinsky, penned a full response to the report. She said the problem Carless exposed — the wildly expensive system — has been clear to industry insiders for some time.

It’s not their fault, she says.

“Developers of affordable housing are ultimately at the mercy of those agencies that provide the subsidies necessary to ensure that appropriate housing can be delivered to a market that has a significant mismatch between the cost of housing and the wages of those that live here,” Tinsky writes.

Carless has been handling questions and concerns about the piece in the comments, which continue to flow in. He also offered a couple of notes on the methodology behind the research. You can hear his discussion on KPBS’ Midday Roundtable from Friday.

Finally, download a very handy PDF of the investigation if you’d like a simpler format or an easy way to print it out for later.

San Diego’s Job Spurt

When the June unemployment and job numbers came out for the country, it was a major blow to many. Higher expectations and hopes of a strong recovery were seemingly dashed.

But our Rich Toscano just pulled the San Diego numbers from the Employment Development Department and reports back some positive news: “San Diego County added almost as many jobs as the whole country in June — 16,300, to be exact.” As he puts it, the growth comes at a healthy pace compared to the nationwide stagnation.

Most interesting to me is the graph he keeps updating on year-over-year job growth by sectors. The government and housing related sectors continue to struggle and shed jobs but other private sector businesses seem to be in the midst of a strong recovery.

SDSU Prez Pay Backlash

New SDSU President Elliot Hirshman’s salary continues to get ink. The LA Times editorialized Sunday that although giving him that much money made trustees look out of touch, a “heavy-handed” proposal to rein in academic salaries isn’t the right one.

In other academic news, UCSD engineering researchers have found that putting solar panels on your roof not only helps provide electricity, it can also keep your home cooler.

Candles of Hope on El Cajon

Meet 18-year-old Latrice Steward, who refurbishes spent glass candle holders at O’Connor’s Church Goods store, in the latest installment of our ongoing photo series of Tales from El Cajon Boulevard.

California Redistricting Done, Lawsuits Just Starting

The state’s first-ever redistricting commission finished its work Sunday and will release its maps Friday (Sacramento Bee). The maps are for congressional and state office districts. The city and county’s own maps will be done soon.

Comic-Con’s Dominance

New Spider-Man villain Rhys Ifans was arrested Friday night at Comic Con. No, not for his overall evil. A member of his entourage apparently could not get into the hall where Ifans was set to speak.

Ifans was only doing his duty. Despite prognostications to the contrary before this year’s Comic-Con, it has solidified itself as “the world’s single biggest megaphone to promote the visual-effects movies that pay studio bills,” wrote the Boston Herald.

Medi-Pot Meeting

Although two major, and well-funded, petition drives mysteriously failed to gather the required signatures they needed to take their issues to voters, one did not fail: medical marijuana advocates’ push to redo recently passed laws. Unhappy with the City Council’s regulations, the advocates successfully provoked a referendum. Today the City Council will decide to either let it go to the ballot or try to compromise and spare the city the cost of the vote.

Catch up on concerns about the regulations with our explainer.

Big Pharma Buyout

Finally, one San Diego company just got a boost. The Online Pharma Times reports that pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb is buying San Diego’s Amira Pharmaceuticals for $475 million. Amira’s lead product is an “orally-available lysophosphatidic acid 1 receptor antagonist.”

I challenge you to say that 10 times. It’s a lot harder to articulate than the other drug San Diego’s wrestling with: “pot.”

I’m the CEO of voiceofsandiego.org. I write when I can. You can contact me directly at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!): twitter.com/vosdscott.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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