San Diego County has 1,590,800 workers in its labor force, working in over 319,000 businesses in the area. Those are just some of the numbers Lisa Halverstadt dug up as she continued her recent quest into challenges facing local businesses that might cause them to relocate.

Aside from the thousands of small businesses, San Diego is also home to two Fortune 500 companies. Neither of those can claim to be the area’s largest employer, though. That’s an honor held by the Navy.

San Diego Missing The Train

Once upon a time, the Impossible Railroad ran from El Centro into San Diego on the Desert Line, the least for which is now owned by Pacific Imperial Railroad. Whispers of reviving the defunct, 70-mile rail line have excited some prominent San Diegans, who want retail goods to have easier access to the Port of San Diego. But Ari Bloomekatz reports that any current plans to revive the line leave San Diego out in the cold.

Rebuilding the track and clearing overhead obstacles “would take a huge cash investment,” writes Bloomekatz. “The most business-savvy move right now, with the quickest potential for quick capital, is not including San Diego and instead syncing with lines in the U.S. further east,” he reports.

• Bloomekatz joined NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to show off some of the track and break down what’s happening with the push to revive the Desert Line in our newest San Diego Explained.

How the County Sustains Art

CityBeat looked at the process used by the county to hand out money to artists and art programs. Supervisors use a program called the Community Enhancement Program, which provides each supervisor with a pot of money they can disburse at their discretion. And that’s separate from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, an entirely different $2 million pot of cash each supervisor gets to distribute at their discretion as well.

• Ten new murals depicting why artists love San Diego are now on display on the walls surrounding the expansion of the park near Horton Plaza. (NBC 7)

Cheating On Escheatment

When people wind up in the county prison system, whatever money they have on them is deposited and managed by the Sheriff’s Department, and returned to the prisoner once he or she is released. But a recent audit found bad accounting practices greatly diminish the likelihood of getting any money back from the department, the San Diego Reader reports.

Protesters: 2, City Attorney: 0

The Los Angeles Times notes that the city of San Diego was once again on the wrong side of a lawsuit involving an arrest. This one was from an incident involving a protester at  Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus in 2012. Police arrested the protester, who sued and was awarded a $15,000 settlement, which was approved Wednesday.

Last year, the bungled prosecution of a protester drawing on a sidewalk drew national attention to the city attorney’s office.

News Nibbles

• The U-T reports that an $11 million fine will be paid relating to the 2011 black-out that plunged San Diego into darkness and caused the city to poop itself.

• The City Council voted Thursday to give a $1.5 million tax deal to Illumina — then decided not to do much else, and left for a long recess. (KPBS)

• The San Diego Chargers kicked off their season Thursday with a preseason game, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer talked about how he’s approaching the idea of a new stadium. (KPBS)

• SDG&E’s “profits rose to $269 million in the three months ending June 30. It will be seeking a $168 million rate increase in 2016.” (U-T)

• The driver of a car that plowed through a crowd of people during Comic-Con gave an interview telling his side of the story. (NBC 7)

• A whole bunch of thunderstorms haven’t done squat for our drought conditions. (L.A. Times)

• The Del Mar turf will be back in business for horse races this weekend, despite a string of deaths and injuries suffered by horses recently. (U-T)

Too Much Drought for Draught

California’s drought has come home to roost in the sacred tanks and concrete floors of San Diego’s breweries.  Some local breweries are worried that the water shortages may impact beer production, which has been an increasingly bright spot in the local economy, Fox 5 reports. (We did a deep dive into how craft brewers are conserving water in the drought back in February.) If the drought persists, one brewer says, brewers may end up using more river water, which can impact taste. So you’ll have to add drinking river-water beer to the list of things you need to get comfortable with, along with drinking treated toilet water.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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