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City Heights, After the Killings

After two shooting deaths in June, including a bystander, a City Heights neighborhood near the police substation is making a stand: No more teenagers will die.

Neighbors “had never been brought to the table before to talk about how to help their kids. Now, they’re taking seats next to volunteers and police officers to find solutions, on their own terms,” reports Megan Burks of Speak City Heights, a media project of Voice of San Diego, KPBS, Media Arts Center and The AjA Project.

Her story explores how residents are pushing for change.

You can hear a version of the story on KPBS Midday and KPBS Evening Edition on Wednesday, as well as Burks, Dana Brown, a volunteer counselor with the San Diego Compassion Project, and a trauma expert discuss how violence impacts all members of the community, and whether 44th Street is taking a step in the right direction.

Congressional Race Still Undecided

We have an update on the 52nd District House race, which is one of only a handful in the country that’s still undecided, along with details on what’s taking so long.

When Your Backyard Is Balboa Park

Marlene Williams and her family don’t need to go to Balboa Park for the day. They live in it.

Her husband runs the park’s Girl Scouts camp, where their house is. Her work is park-related too: She’s a volunteer coordinator with Friends of Balboa Park and a volunteer archivist for the Girl Scouts.

“At first blush Williams resembles any 40-something mom who found a volunteering niche in her neighborhood,” our Kelly Bennett writes in a story profiling her. “But there’s something beguiling about her connection to the park and what she makes happen here. Perhaps it’s her earnest attempt to embody the nickname her husband gave her: First Lady of Balboa Park. Or maybe it’s her background of hard work and duty in the Coast Guard. But Williams has sunk her toes deep into the park, her backyard.”

At La Jolla Cove, a Stinky Situation

The La Jolla Cove is supposed to inspire awe. Not “Ewww!”

But the fecal leftovers deposited by seals and seagulls have turned the cove — and much of the surrounding area — into an olfactory disaster area. It’s gotten so bad that residents, businesses and at least one politician are demanding something be done.    

But what? The cove has special environmental protections, and getting rid of the poop won’t be easy. Our story examines the challenges facing those who want to breathe easy at the cove and explains that one thing — a big rainstorm — might do the trick, at least for the moment.

• Our reporter Lisa Halverstadt covered the story despite a significant handicap: She can’t smell. With some help, she described the odor at the cove this way: “The bird droppings give off the pungent odor of fish that’s been left to rot.”

But, as she writes in a personal note, she still can’t verify that for herself.  

Culture Report: Opera Posters, Tijuana Nun, Surf Shots

The Culture Report, our weekly roundup of all things artistic and cultural, includes links to stories about striking opera posters, a surfer photographer and a documentary about  an American nun who’s long worked at Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary.   

Big Trouble at San Diego Hospice

A federal audit is threatening to wreak havoc at San Diego Hospice, potentially requiring the layoffs of 200 of 870 employees, the U-T reports. Things have gotten so dire that the hospice temporarily stopped accepting new terminally patients over the weekend.

Two years ago, I interviewed Dr. Charles F. von Gunten, provost at The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice, about the state of hospice care in San Diego. You can read the story here.

Letters: Prop. 37, Sculpture Foes

In letters, Jed Sundwall explains his opposition to the food-labeling proposition and two writers are ready to say goodbye to those sculptures that look like street signs next to Balboa Park.  

Quick News Hits

• Judge George “Woody” Clarke has died suddenly. Clarke was best known as a DNA expert who served as a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, NBC San Diego reports.

• So what’s next for Mitt Romney? As an expert on presidential also-rans explained to me, there’s precedent for lots of options, from friendly cooperation with the man who won to bitterness, continued public service or obscurity. (Remember presidential candidate Alton Parker? No? Well, there’s a reason for that.)

NBC San Diego wonders whether Romney will decide to live at his property in La Jolla, the one famously slated to have its house torn down and rebuilt, complete with a car elevator. (That project is on hold.)

If Romney does move in and stays, the current home’s name — Fin de la Senda, or “End of the Road” — may be appropriate.

I’m no La Jolla denizen, but I’d still like to do the neighborly thing and drop by to ask for a cup of sugar. Or a lift for my Chevy.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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