The Morning Report
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We don’t exactly live in “Jaws” territory. While plenty of kinds of sharks inhabit the waters off San Diego, only one species — the great white — is thought to be dangerous when unprovoked.
Still, sharks have killed two or three people locally in the past six decades — a veterinarian died in 2008 while swimming with fellow triathletes — and apparent sightings over the past week have left bathers concerned and beaches closed.
The big interest in these toothy creatures inspired us to dig into details about them. Our story has more, but here are the basics: There are a lot of sharks out there, but they tend to be fickle. Most are unlikely to hurt or eat you. A fin might fool you; it could be a porpoise. And if a shark does threaten you, smack it in the eye or face.
We followed up with Mike Bear, a scuba diver, shark-tracker and blogger. He provides a useful tidbit about sevengill sharks, a scary-looking local species thought to be mostly harmless: he says reports of local human encounters with them started appearing three years ago.
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“We have not had any instances of sevengills being aggressive, except one, reported by a spearfisherman, who was trailing a line of bloody, speared fish behind him, but the bite did not break the skin,” he says. Check out this recent high-resolution video of sevengill sharks swimming near the ocean floor off La Jolla Cove. They’re stunning.
Also: Check our archives for ocean-related stories about an Ocean Beach tragedy in 1918, the challenges of filming a 3,000-pound shark with a 1,300-pound camera, and an aquarium keeper whose experiences will make you think twice about ordering grouper for dinner.
Cops to Disclose Findings in Coronado Death
We’ll learn today what authorities think happened to the woman who was found naked, bound and hanged at a Coronado mansion in July. (Union-Tribune) The case has drawn intense media attention, partly due the the fact that the possible manners of death — natural death, suicide, homicide or accident — all seem unlikely.
The young son of the woman’s boyfriend, who owns the mansion, died there a few days before her. The boyfriend is a leading pharmaceutical executive.
Yup, Asians Are Fastest Growing Large Minority
San Diego Fact Check finds that a comment made by a local Asian leader on TV is true: Asians are the fastest growing major minority group in the city. They grew by about a fourth over the last decade, a few percentage points above Hispanics.
• New census figures also offer insight into the county’s gay community. Not too surprisingly, the city of San Diego is home to the highest percentage of same-sex couples in the county, according to an analysis by UCLA’s Williams Institute. It says 1.5 out of every 100 households in San Diego is home to a same-sex couple. (The gay haven of Palm Springs tops the list statewide with ten times that: 15 per 100.)
Another local city is in second place countywide, with 1.1 couples per 100 households. But it’s hardly a place that you’d expect. If you’d like to make a guess, send me an email. The first person to get it right will get a shout-out and an imaginary lifetime supply of a relevant summer treat. (That’s a hint.)
You can also try to guess the city in the county with the lowest percentage of same-sex households: 0.4 per 100. (This distance-obsessed place — hint alert — also has one of the lowest rates of same-sex couples of any city in the entire state.)
Taking a Look at Refugee Central
San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC7 San Diego, looks at how refugees from violent parts of the world have come to define the City Heights community.
Exploring Medical Ethics Through One Woman’s Legacy
You may have heard about the bestselling science book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” about a black woman whose cancer cells would play a major role in science but left a bitter legacy for her family. “It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of,” the author’s website says.
Now, we’re working with a science and education coalition that’s using the book as the centerpiece of a community-wide discussion of ethics, science and diversity.
More on the Big Art Confab
The Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair is happening this weekend, and photographer Sam Hodgson checks one of its components — psychedelic photo boxes in the East Village neighborhood of downtown, complete with dancing and trippy music. It’s like 1967 all over again, just without the bad acid.
• An artist explains how his phone app, one of the fair’s ArtLabs projects, focuses on what he considers to be the hidden workers behind the history of San Diego.
Can We Borrow Some Testosterone, Pretty Please with Sugar on Top?
So much for mucho macho. San Diego ranks down at 49th of 50 in a new list of “America’s Manliest Cities,” according to a snack maker that commissioned the “Best Places to Live” people to do a study. Clearly they didn’t see our Chargers photos from last night’s game.
Nashville was No. 1 and only L.A. is behind us at No. 50. We got dinged for having a high number of non-manly attributes like “home furnishing and décor stores, cafés/coffee shops, sushi restaurants, ‘modern’ male apparel stores and cupcake shops.”
Hmph. If cupcake shops are wrong, I don’t want to be right. Or slim, for that matter.