At any given moment, Fire Engine 12, which serves Encanto and Skyline, might be zooming past urban apartments one minute and rural, rolling hills the next.

But geography’s only one of the reasons the engine often shows up late to high-priority medical calls, Liam Dillon explains. Demographics and a tax structure that makes it easier for newer neighborhoods to afford fire stations also play a role.

The Booze Ban’s Business Buzzkill

The ban on beach drinking has been one of the biggest changes to San Diego’s culture in the last decade. But how much has it affected local businesses?

One resident claimed the ban has killed off beachside business by a staggering 50 percent.

Lisa Halverstadt fact-checked the claim and found some serious issues: The ban went into effect right as the economy tanked. The rise of other San Diego neighborhoods lured drinkers throughout the city. And no one has hard numbers to back up a 50 percent drop.

Other Cities Win the Open-Government Game

Earlier this week, Councilman Kevin Faulconer joined a Twitter conversation on open government and raised a question: Which cities do it best?

We checked it out: Seattle, New York and Philadelphia have found innovative ways to share government data with the public. San Diego, not so much.

More Leadership Changes at SD Unified

San Diego Unified students returned to school this week, but a whole bunch of principals didn’t.

“Forty-two schools in San Diego have already or soon will get a new principal. The wave of change in leadership has left some kids confused, parents watchful and teachers worried,” reports Christie Ritter.

What We Learned This Week

Neighborhoods stay in the picture: The biggest candidates so far in the race to replace Bob Filner have embraced the former mayor’s neighborhoods-first mantra. That marks a departure for both Kevin Faulconer and Nathan Fletcher, who both have strong downtown ties in their pasts.

• Neighborhoods will be at the heart of a mayoral forum in Barrio Logan on Sept. 27. So far Faulconer and City Councilman David Alvarez, who announced a run Thursday, are set to attend.

The next mayor’s budget future looks bright: The city could have a dramatically lower pension bill next year, which could translate to lots of extra money in the budget.

City Heights is on the rise: We compiled a list of neighborhood projects and developments in the works in City Heights. And City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who represents the area, told us she plans to work with interim mayor Todd Gloria and the next mayor to ensure the neighborhood sees continued investment.

Bike infrastructure still has its roadblocks: The city is moving forward with a bike-share program and related infrastructure. But some residents still feel like boosting bike culture will encroach on their way of life.

A new San Diego State professor who’s a big deal in the urban planning world told us fears about cycling might ease over time: “It is completely right and just for people to come out and raise questions. But time and again, when we make these improvements, people then look back and say, ‘Ya know, that really worked.’”

Quick News Hits

• That special permission slip Bob Filner granted to a local jewelry-maker, allowing him to sell his wares on the beach, is no longer valid.

• Before there was Miley Cyrus, there were the Scripps Ranch High School twerkers. The 31 students who were suspended and charged with sexual harassment because of a YouTube dance video will now have their records expunged, thanks to a confidential legal settlement with the San Diego Unified School District. (U-T San Diego)

• NFL football is back. John Gennaro reports on the status of Manti Te’o, the Chargers’ playoff hopes and Phillip Rivers’ throwing habits in this week’s Sports Report. And Beau Lynott thinks the Chargers could have a bright future even if this season brings more of the same.

• Former El Cajon City Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox will serve far less time than her 30-month sentence for embezzlement. The Bureau of Prisons says she has good behavior credits and finished a drug-treatment program. Her sentence has been cut by a third, and she may serve the last year of it in a halfway house. (U-T San Diego)

Quote of the Week

“People always have an agoraphobic reaction to change.” – Bruce Appleyard, SDSU professor of city planning and urban design, on adopting bike infrastructure.

Quote of the Week II

“I am in until they kick me out. I would say everybody buckle up because it is going to be a bouncy ride.” — Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, announcing his run for mayor.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.