Cadavers are a major part of education for medical students, but the dead bodies at UC San Diego aren’t just being dissected. They’re also being drawn, art class-style, as part of the university’s bid to encourage future doctors to think of people — and patients — as more than a bunch of parts.

“Students notice things, like bruises from the IV lines put in during the patient’s last stay in the hospital, tattoos and scars from past surgeries,” our Kinsee Morlan reports. “The details the students note while drawing makes the bodies more vividly human. Students begin imagining their life stories and personalities.”

And, sometimes, they find themselves crying.

In her story for our site, Morlan talked to artists who have worked with the program. “If you’ve ever been to an appointment where the doctor was a little bit too busy to listen, that’s what we’re trying to counteract,” says one of them.

San Ysidro District Spends $480K to Recover $291K

The tiny San Ysidro school district is unusual: It serves younger public school students in a chunk of the city of San Diego that isn’t served by the San Diego Unified district. As our Ashly McGlone reports, it’s “still trying to recover more than $291,000 from disgraced former superintendent Manuel Paul, and has racked up far more than that in legal bills trying to make it happen.”

Another superintendent left with 18 months pay and a retaliation claim by a former employee.

Opinion: Airbnb’s No Friend to Home Seekers

In a VOSD commentary, Blake Herrschaft, vice chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, says a current proposal that supports Airbnb-style rentals will take as many as 10,000 homes off the housing market, “making the housing crisis we’re now facing far worse.”

He claims that “politicians have ‘listened to the loudest voices in the debate and created a compromise between wealthy property owners who buy homes and turn them into Airbnbs, and property owners who live near vacation rentals and think they are a nuisance. And what about all the people left struggling to find a place to live in our city? How do they benefit from this compromise?”

He mentions two other parties — those who need homes and those who want to vacation here. Yet pair of groups aren’t mentioned, however: Middle- and lower-class folks who want to rent their homes to make extra money to afford their homes.

Roundup: Some Homeless in Vehicles Still Get Bum’s Rush

The city will be providing more space where homeless people who live in cars can park safely, but those in RVs are still out of luck. (Times of SD, @lisahalverstadt)

• Councilman David Alvarez wants researchers to test local waterways for hepatitis A, the U-T reports. No one is currently testing them, the paper found, even though “the percentage of human waste in the San Diego River and its tributaries quadrupled between 2016 and 2017, according to genetic testing of water samples done by the city and county of San Diego.”

Hepatitis A can be spread by fecal contamination. As we’ve reported, the riverbed has seen part of the outbreak.

 “The campaign for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, continued racking up legal fees in the third quarter of the year amid an ongoing federal criminal investigation into his political spending, with total costs since April 2016 exceeding half a million,” the U-T reports.

North County Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the most endangered members of Congress, is doing OK on the fundraising front — but so are a couple of his lesser-known opponents. (Times of S.D.)

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher says no, she’s not interested in being mayor, so cut it out with the loose talk already. “I can clearly get more done at the state,” she says via Twitter, reflecting her status as a high-profile legislator who gets things done and bills passed.

Her tweet suggests that the local Association of General Contractors (she calls it “crazy, slightly racist”) is spreading rumors. Gonzalez Fletcher was a union leader before joining the legislature.

 94-year-old Harriette Thompson, who two years ago became the oldest person to complete a marathon, has died. It was a fall that brought her down.

Border Report: Wall Prototypes Almost Done

Five prototype Trump border walls have been put up near the border. But only one is see-through — the president’s preference. There’s more about the wall in this week’s VOSD Border Report, which also includes details about hard-working Border Patrol horses, border-crossing times for trucks and signs that undocumented immigrants are afraid to report crime to cops.

North Park = Muscle Beach?

A real estate site called The Real Deal examines housing prices in San Diego — they’re expensive, if you didn’t know — and quotes a founder of a “boutique real estate agency,” whatever that is. He says “the North Park area is only about 10 percent or so cheaper than its far better known — and equally bohemian — Los Angeles counterpart, Venice.”

Hmm. When I think of Venice, bodybuilders strutting around on the beach come to mind. Does this mean the North Park hipsters will start working off their artisinal beer bellies with handcrafted heavy weights and small-batch treadmills? Hey, that gives me an idea for a new gym concept…

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors ( Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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