Curl up this weekend with our latest mixtape of interesting stories related to San Diego and issues we’re facing.

Add what you’re reading to next week’s list: Share a link and why you read the story with me and I’ll include it.

Here are this week’s picks:

• Andrew Donohue, editor, tweeted about “The Best, Most Disgusting Reporting on Food Safety“:

Gross yet enlightening RT @ProPublica: 11 of the best, most disgusting pieces of watchdog journalism on food safety. propub.ca/Jdt9Pe

— Andrew Donohue (@AndrewDonohue) May 8, 2012

Here’s Donohue on one of those stories from the list, “Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned“:

The first story from The New York Times changed the way I consume hamburgers.

• Kelly Bennett, reporter, on “Nobel Laureate: ‘I’ve Been Wrong So Often, I Don’t Find It Extraordinary At All’“:

This week I heard a fascinating interview that Planet Money’s David Kestenbaum did with 101-year-old Nobel laureate Ronald Coase. Coase’s economic renown centers around his theories about what should be considered a public good — what the government needs to provide because the private market won’t do it on its own — and what should be left to private investments. It got me thinking about the debates we have here in San Diego over what services neighborhoods can tax themselves to provide, through mechanisms like Maintenance Assessment Districts and Business Improvement Districts.

Kestenbaum takes lighthouses for an example, often considered textbook example of something the government has to provide, because “what businessman would build a lighthouse? How would you charge anyone for using it?” Kestenbaum asks.

“Clearly, the government needs to provide lighthouses, right? Actually, no, says Coase. He published a paper in 1974. Turns out, there used to be a lot of private lighthouses.

COASE: I found, in England, lighthouses were financed by the ships that benefited from the lighthouse. For 200 years, it was a private system.”

• Will Carless, investigative reporter, on “San Diego Unified Looks to Sell Properties“:

The San Diego Unified School District’s plan to sell off property hit the spotlight this week when trustee Scott Barnett likened it to a family selling its furniture to pay the bills. Dorian Hargrove has done a good job keeping up on this in The San Diego Reader.

Bonus Carless! He also recommended “New Guide Released for Creating Principal Evaluations“:

I published a story recently on teacher assessment. This story in Education Week takes a look at how to assess principals fairly.

• Me on “Glendale’s Public Hockey Project“:

The financial relationships between cities and professional sports teams fascinate me. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how much money the city of Glendale loses a year in support of their NHL team, the Phoenix Coyotes. Here’s an excerpt from the story:

These expenses outweigh Glendale’s Coyotes-related revenue by such a degree that Moody’s has downgraded the city’s bond rating twice in the last 18 months, citing the city’s ongoing hockey payments. In part due to the Coyotes, the city’s reserve fund has fallen to $11.7 million from $72.5 million six years ago. Facing a projected $35 million budget gap — in a city whose general revenue funds in the most recent fiscal year amounted to $142.6 million — Glendale is proposing to raise its property and sales tax rates, while slashing library hours and hiking fees for city services.

Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at dagny.salas@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5669.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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