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On the local news front, 2011 was another year better left forgotten. But we’d like you to remember it one last time, since fabulous prizes — well, one fabulous prize and some t-shirts — are at stake.
Yes, it’s time for the second annual VOSD News Quiz, giving you a chance to match memories with other news nerds.
We’ve livened things up by throwing in some off-the-wall questions — What’s the clunky subtitle of a former mayor’s new book? Which surprising products turned up in local vending machines? — and unique possible answers. (Among them: I.P. Freely, the Pabst Blue-Ribbon Panel, and mustaches).
If you’ve kept up on issues like the new U-T owner’s self-bestowed nickname (hint: it’s not “Daddy Dearest”) and the possible punishment for local politicos who wander off the reservation, you have a shot at winning. Just get us your entry by tomorrow at 5 p.m. (Click here to take the quiz).
The first person to enter with the most correct answers wins accolades (hey, they’re free, so we’ll give you plenty), a copy of “Our People, Our Places: A San Diego Photo Story,” featuring photography by contributing photographer Sam Hodgson, and a voiceofsandiego.org T-shirt.
By the way, our editor suggested on Twitter that I must have giggled while writing the trivia quiz. Fact Check alert! False. Technically, I was cackling.
• As noted, Hodgson continues to contribute to our site as an independent contractor, and we’re proud to showcase his best work from the past year.
Hodgson explains how he captured each of 11 memorable images from 2011, from a lady in green hair to a blackout-darkened night to a view from a backwards ride on a roller coaster.
Big Ruling Today in Redevelopment Fight
The state Supreme Court is expected to rule this morning on the future of urban-renewal agencies in the state, KPBS reports. The state tried to kill the agencies then resurrect them with a requirement that they funnel more money to schools; opponents sued.
More on Public Owning the Bolts
If redevelopment does, indeed, die, it’s hard to imagine where the city will come up with the $500 million or so the Chargers want to build a new stadium.
Our Scott Lewis is still wondering why it’s so ludicrous for taxpayers to demand a chunk of the team in exchange for paying for a new stadium.
The NFL rules say no way. In a follow up to a recent post on the matter, Lewis writes that he’s still unimpressed. Rules do change. This time, though, he delves deeper into the reasons the NFL opposes public sale of shares of its teams.
As for the Bolts, their main spokesman believes, as Lewis paraphrases him, that “it’s incumbent on taxpayers to fund the on-the-field competitiveness of a pro-football team.”
Oh it is, is it?
Here’s a link to Lewis’ previous post.
• In related news, Mike Florio from NBC’s Pro Football Talk is reporting that other teams are getting jealous of the Green Bay Packers’ ability to raise money for stadium improvements by selling shares of stock to fans. The Packers are the only team allowed to do this.
“As one team executive told PFT on Wednesday, plenty of franchises would love to have the ability to ‘print money,’ explaining that this tactic gives the Packers ‘a decided financial advantage,” Florio writes.
Checking in on Five Big 2011 Stories
Our Will Carless takes a look back at five of big stories he covered in 2011, including investigations of the sky-high cost of affordable housing, the San Diego school district’s financial crisis, guilty pleas in the corruption scandal we first uncovered, and the troubled afterlife of a South Bay power plant. We’ve also got updates on each of the stories.
Verdict in Military Jet Crash Trial
“Two families whose relatives were killed when a military jet crashed into a University City neighborhood in 2008 have been awarded almost $18 million for their loss,” NBC 7 San Diego reports. “The amount awarded is about one third of the $56 million that the lawyers had hoped to recover for the family.”
Community College Star Faces Deportation
After 18 years in the U.S., a 20-year-old South Bay community college student and cross-country star is facing deportation to her home country of Mexico after a San Diego Harbor Police officer looked into her background during a check, ESPN.com reports. Rep. Bob Filner has taken up her case.
“I kind of feel like a girl without a country,” she said. “I’ve been an American my whole life, but now it seems like this country doesn’t want me. I don’t want to go to Mexico. I’ve worked hard in school and sports and I’ve helped people. My dream was to become a doctor. Now I don’t know if that will happen. I don’t know what my future is. I just have to keep studying, keep running and keep hoping.”
Escondido’s Latinos Left in Lurch
Escondido’s name may mean “hidden valley,” but there’s nothing secret about a huge issue plaguing the North County city’s political world. While about half the residents in the city are Latino, only one member of the City Council is. And the council as a whole is hardly a bastion of Latino-friendly policies.
“The infamous landlord ordinance, license checkpoints and a partnership with ICE officers are three of the more glaring elements of the city’s push to purge illegal residents and, in the process, harass and alienate many legal Latino residents,” writes U-T columnist Logan Jenkins.
On the other hand, he writes, other things need to be considered as the city faces a lawsuit seeking better representation for the minority majority. For one, there is that sole Latina councilmember. She got elected, after all. For another, “the plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the State Building and Construction Trades Council, a union organization opposed to the council’s desire to become a charter city, a by-now conventional maneuver to reduce construction costs on city projects.”
Team Jacob on Top, Again
Jacob was the top name for baby boys in 2011 at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, NBC San Diego reports, followed by Alexander, Ethan, Aiden and Nathan. That’s the third year at the top for Jacob.
Edward, in case you Twilight fans are wondering, isn’t in the top 10.
Olivia leads the list for baby girls, followed by Sophia, Isabella, Emma and Mia.
Now if we can just find a mom-to-be whose last name is Culpa.