From 1990-2008, the city of San Diego’s redevelopment agency built  about 3,400 “affordable” housing units. The housing market as a whole coughed up 85,000 places for people to live.

Now, with redevelopment dead, is there a better way to do this? Excellent question, and it’s one our Scott Lewis says we should keep an eye on during 2012.

“If this is the way to solve our crisis in housing costs, it’s going to be a while,” Lewis writes.

He has a different idea. Start updating community plans again (the city has stopped). And provide communities the infrastructure that will make them comfortable with allowing denser development. “Only then will we be able to build the supply needed to make prices more affordable,” Lewis says.

This is No. 8 in his 12 stories to follow in 2012. Click here for more.

Behind San Diego Fact Check

Fact Check TV looks into a claim regarding the red tape around city pool tables by Council President Tony Young and one on the number of people who are losing their homes by labor leader Lorena Gonzalez.

• just interviewed Fact Check writer Keegan Kyle about how our Fact Check operation all works.

Here’s some inside scoop, courtesy of Kyle: “Each reporter discusses the rating with their editor. If there’s a disagreement, they will sometimes bring another reporter or editor into the discussion. We don’t publish a story unless both the reporter and their editor are comfortable with the rating.”

• Earlier this week, we gave Rep. Bob Filner, a mayoral candidate, a verdict of false for a double claim: he said he’d been elected 25 times in the city and never got special-interest support. Did we get it right?

We deemed his election claim false because some of the races he won were merely primaries. Commenter Lucas O’Connor, a Democratic activist, differs: “Saying he was not elected in some of his election victories is semantic opinion at best, far from substance for an objective fact check.”

Meanwhile, researcher and vormer VOSD reporter Vlad Kogan offers this perspective about another part of Filner’s claim: “Any group that doesn’t support the policies that I want is a ‘special interest group.’ And any group that does support the policies that I want is a ‘grass roots organization’ or the people speaking’ or ‘the residents of this city’ etc.”

VOSD Radio Tackles Convention Center Expansion

The latest edition of VOSD Radio features chatter about the fate of the convention center expansion and the U-T’s much-ballyhooed and much-mocked proposal for a makeover of the waterfront. 

Also, Rep. Darrell Issa gets named the “hero” of the week for taking on high school dropouts (and some of his Republican colleagues) while Jamie Sutton, the guy behind the Christmas Tabernacle disaster, is the “goat.”

Poorly Paid SD Workers, Science in a Tech Age and More

• In Fix San Diego, think tank denizen Murtaza Baxamusa writes about San Diego’s low wages and high costs: “This structural problem with the economy can only be resolved if elected officials, business and labor can together chart the path towards better wages for all San Diegans.”

• Also, Katherine Kantardjieff and Margaret Ng Thow Hing ponder how the information age is changing the world of science (check our related poll); Ann Tartre, executive director of Equinox Center, touts the 2012 San Diego Regional Quality of Life Dashboard; and marketing maven John Ball discusses how to boost North County’s image.

Hey, Whatcha Readin’?

We’ve unveiled a new feature called the VOSD Reading List, courtesy of some brainstorming by web editor Dagny Salas and your illustrious Morning Report steward. It highlights what our staff, contributors and readers are, you know, reading.

We published the first edition last week, and now we’re looking for your contributions. What stories or books have intrigued you lately? We’re especially interested in ones that are about San Diego or otherwise fit into VOSD’s bailiwick, whatever that means. (Where’s my dictionary?)

Send contributions to Salas and let her know why our readers should check them out. You’re welcome to contribute something you’ve written yourself, but no inviting her over to see your etchings, buster.

Quick News

• With only one councilmember (Marti Emerald) voting no, the City Council agreed to put the pension reform initiative on the ballot in June, KPBS reports.

• It’s back! North County’s sprawling Merriman Mountain housing development, which the county killed two years ago, is trying to resurrect itself, the U-T reports. This time around, the project envisions fewer homes. 

• An attempt to get taxpayers to cover the legal bills of current and former school board members ensnared by the Sweetwater corruption case failed for a lack of support, U-T reports.

• Political correctness can go a bit too far at times. Back when I worked for UCSD’s student newspaper, we got a lot of guff for temporarily replacing the word “freshman” with (ugh) “freshperson.”

But what if a politically sensitive word is part of the name of your organization? That’s a question facing the San Diego Museum of Man, whose name lacks a certain gender-free quality.

Kirsten Andelman, a commenter who read our interview with the museum’s director, writes: “The museum’s name will remain a testament to the time when ‘man’ was naturally used as a term, rather than the more appropriate ‘human.’ I suppose it would be silly to change the name, and then, people would all laugh at us!”

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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