The recession has taken its toll on San Diego, but the cost that has been exacted from development in the Downtown neighborhood is palpable. Andrew Keatts pulled together the data that shows downtown development projects stumbling and then tanking in 2008. Permits for new development nearly flatlined from 2009 to 2010, followed by some promising uptick in development permits in 2011.

“But something odd happened after things started to look better,” Keatts wrote. “Last year, new projects fell all the way back to their recession nadir.” Local experts aren’t sure about the cause of the cause of this most recent drop. “There are just less development opportunities,” one expert opined.

Staffing Up Border Emergencies

A new deal with Rural/Metro will station a new ambulance crew near the San Ysidro border crossings. That’s important, Liam Dillon reports, because the southern district of San Diego is where ambulances struggle the most to reach their destinations on time. But a disproportionate amount of those struggling stats really came from one place.  “The San Ysidro crossing is the busiest address in the city,” Dillon wrote. “The problem with ambulance response in southern San Diego was a problem with the border crossing.”

Missing Tech Voices

After attending Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s roundtable on downtown startups this week, Blaire Giesen got to wondering about all of the people who weren’t in attendance.

“Founders, engineers, financiers, large corporations, and researchers … didn’t get a seat,” Giesen notes. Giesen thinks that those key players have to be an integral part to any discussion about increasing start-up culture in San Diego. “If San Diego is going to be a part of this innovation economy, it needs the help of the entire community to get it going,” Geisen writes.

CEQA and Cory Briggs: San Diego Explained

If you want to build anything in San Diego, you’d better be familiar with the California Environmental Quality Act. It lays out rules for all sorts of development, and if anyone falls afoul of its myriad rules, a lawsuit probably awaits. Liam Dillon joined NBC San Diego’s Catherine Garcia to explain what CEQA is and why an offender would likely find herself on the receiving end of a lawsuit from local attorney Cory Briggs, a prolific CEQA complainant, in our most recent San Diego Explained.

• Apparently, at least one group has a problem with reporting on Briggs’ frequent role in local high-profile lawsuits. The groups he often files lawsuits on behalf of posted an open letter referring to the “recent hail of hit pieces that appear in local media.” We’re guessing they mean this.

‘Conscience Shocker’ Faked Teacher Stats

A judge this week ruled that the way California teachers are hired and fired was unconstitutional, based on the testimony that several thousand of the state’s teachers are consistently performing poorly. One problem though: The guy giving the testimony that “shocked the conscience” admits that his numbers were a “guesstimate.” “I pulled that out of the air,” he said, according to Slate. The expert had said 1 to 3 percent of teachers statewide were ineffective. “There’s no data on that.”

• The New York Times brought in different experts to throw some other opinions on teacher tenure into the ring.

News Nibbles

• U-T San Diego went looking for the organizations that has received charitable donations from County Supervisor Bill Horn, which he claimed he had made. They couldn’t find anyone who recalled ever getting any such donations.

• Seven additional women have joined a lawsuit against the Rock Church and an affiliated recovery program, claiming either sexual harassment or assault, NBC San Diego reports.

• There won’t be any fireworks over La Jolla for this year’s July 4th celebration. The event will return in 2015.

• Electric bill increases will finally trickle down to “small users” of home electricity, the U-T reports.

• KNPR profiles some of the most successful San Diego startup companies operating in the marijuana industry.

• Just when you thought California politics couldn’t get any dirtier, politicians start throwing poop at their opponents.

• What do you do with a six week-old cheetah rejected by its mother? If you’re the San Diego Zoo, you give him a seven week-old puppy and melt the internet’s heart.

‘Star’ Sighted, Cited

Next time you pause to take a selfie with a celebrity you see on the street, take another look at that face! A San Diego man was arrested in Iowa after he impersonated a movie star from “Twilight” and tried to lure a young girl into his car, which had swords in it. The man’s impersonation was apparently so successful,  two local schools invited him to their ceremonies and to an eighth-grade pool party.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist, and is not a Neil Patrick Harris impersonator.  You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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