We’ve already told you about our favorite VOSD stories of 2013. But we’re not the only media organization in town. Hundreds of people cover the news here. For the second year, we’re spotlighting their best work — stories that expose uncomfortable truths and help us better understand the place we call home.

You’ll learn about a smear campaign to beat all smear campaigns and a jail system’s sorry record of inmate death. You’ll hear from a dying man as he navigates a local hospice system that recently collapsed. And we also highlight stories about the allies who turned against Filner, the unprecedented plans to turn seawater into drinking water, the deadly state of local homes for the elderly and the remarkable fact that cops are silently tracking the locations of our cars.

Oh No They Didn’t… Oh Yes They Did

Foot, meet mouth. Eyebrows, meet ceiling. The past year produced lots of stunners on the quote front, as leaders and regular people got pithy with it.

For your edification and amusement, we’ve compiled a guide to 2013’s Most Memorable Quotes.

Bob Filner is here, alternately waxing apologetic and embracing victimhood. A school official (now departed from a local district, sadly) appears as a result of a stunning declaration. A city official goes R-rated to describe his independence.

Plus: Fuzzy-slippered bloggers! “Skunk hunting”! And a certain prominent newspaper publisher who stepped in it big-time. Oh boy howdy, did he.

And Now, Patients Will Need Patience

“Starting on New Year’s Day — Wednesday — as many as a million formerly uninsured or underinsured people will begin moving onto Medi-Cal rolls and reporting to clinics and hospitals that have agreed to provide treatment at set rates,” the LA Times reports. “Also for the first time, childless and healthy low-income adults will be eligible, and benefits will include mental health and substance abuse treatment.”

Clinics are frantically preparing for an influx, the story says.

In North County, a Dump’s Hopes Spring Eternal

There are some local stories that never, ever go away.

The battle over the Mt. Soledad cross is one; it’s been making news for more than two decades, dating back to the days when your Morning Report scribe was but a wee rookie reporter in La Jolla. Then there’s the fight over the planned Gregory Canyon landfill in the northern backcountry of North County. It’s been making news for two decades.

Now, the U-T reports, the developers behind the landfill plan say it could finally start taking trash in 2015. Nonsense, its trash-talking foes declare.

At stake are an environmentally sensitive area — how come we never hear about environmentally insensitive areas? — and a developer that’s spent a reported $60 million on the ever-stalled project.

Quick News Hits

• The LA Times offers a glowing profile of interim Mayor Todd Gloria, who gets praise from ideological opponents.

The story includes this tidbit: “Gloria is expected to endorse Councilman David Alvarez, a Democrat, for mayor…” It’s not clear who’s doing the expecting or why. Gloria didn’t endorse in the primary.

• In an editorial, the U-T harkens back to the Roman Empire’s sewage disposal systems and quotes a Charles Dickens character (no, I’m not making this up) as it makes the case that something must be done about the notorious stench at the La Jolla Cove. Attention must be paid, people!

• Croce’s Restaurant and Bar, a landmark in the Gaslamp Quarter, is closing this week but a new restaurant called Croce’s Park West will open near Balboa Park, the U-T reports.

Croce’s was “one of the first major restaurants to venture into what was once an edgy urban district,” the paper says. (That’s a nice way of saying dumpy and scary.) The owner is Ingrid Croce, the widow of singer-songwriter Jim Croce.

• “Hyperlapse” sounds like something you should see an orthopedist about. But it actually refers to a way to use digital photography to capture movement in a stop-motion format.

No, that doesn’t make any sense to me either. The best way to understand it is to watch a video, like this gorgeous look at Balboa Park. Too fast? Try this one of San Diego as a whole, or check this one of UCSD, both via YouTube. Do you know of other ones? Drop me a line with a link.

• A reader writes that while local TV personality Loren Nancarrow was “a great guy” who “transcended his medical troubles with grace and joie de vivre,” the Morning Report shouldn’t have called him a “legend”: “Please do not join the masses of writers who, unthinking and lazy, use legend and legendary to describe folks they like or admire.”

A fair point. Perhaps we do use those words too often to describe people who are simply good at what they do and have been around for a while. The reader, who shall remain nameless, can rest assured: I informed him, with tongue in cheek, that he won’t have to worry about such scurrilous words appearing here when his time comes.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him 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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