After our Dec. 19 story about troubles facing solar manufacturer Soitec, which was heavily courted to locate in San Diego with government support, its stock tumbled nearly 60 percent.

Now uncertainty looms. As Lisa Halverstadt reports, the Rancho Bernardo plant’s 250 workers do not know their fate. The company did inform them it would be scaling back as they left the office for a planned two-week holiday break but didn’t offer up details.

What sort of cuts Soitec workers might face when the return Monday is unclear. Soitec has yet to report layoff plans, a step required by state law.

Here’s Looking at You, Chris

New City Councilman Chris Cate is worth watching this year. Catherine Green asked several good-thinking San Diegans what emerging leader we should watch this year and Cate’s name came up twice.

But that wasn’t all. The group, which includes the likely challengers for a major City Council race in 2016 (Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis and Joe LaCava), also laid out the infrastructure improvements they think are most crucial and what changes the city could use.

Sacramento in 2015

In our first Sacramento Report of the year, Brian Joseph predicts we’ll see two big budget fights, more tension over tuition at the University of California campuses and at the state capitol.

Quick Hits

• One of our goals at Voice of San Diego is to make sense of the chaos of news and complex policy discussions.

So it wasn’t shocking that stories that aimed to explain the news topped our roundup of our most popular posts in 2014. We covered everything from the movie “Blackfish” to a by-the-numbers look at San Diego’s gang landscape.

• Another one of those top stories of the year addressed when police can pull you over. That story was one piece of Liam Dillon’s months-long look at police misconduct and accountability.

In San Diego, a citizens’ group reviews some police disciplinary cases though there are major limits to its oversight power. For one, it’s been without an executive director for years.

We learned Friday that’s about to change. The city announced a new executive director will start next month.

• State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez had a funny exchange on Twitter with Mark Cafferty, the CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., over the holiday after she tweeted her resolution: To not speak her mind so swiftly on Twitter.

• The much-delayed bike-sharing program the city of San Diego has tried to pull together is finally going to launch. There are about 80 stations around the city. (KPBS)

• San Diego’s Guitar Trader, a pillar of the San Diego music scene, as the U-T described it, closed up shop.

• We’re hiring: If you know someone who knows the Internet, send them this job post  for a digital manager to help ensure our stories and products go as far and have as much impact on the web as possible.

We’ve got all the staff back from holidays and we’re ramping up for a great 2015 at Voice of San Diego. It starts Monday.

Quote of the Week

“Soitec made a huge financial and emotional commitment to this region and has suffered a significant balance sheet loss. That’s just mind-numbingly serious.”

— Jim Waring, chairman of CleanTech San Diego.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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