Rancho Santa Fe Stories

Homosexual detester says what?

College board candidate "would make many people feel uncomfortable.”

“Satan is attacking our family by perverting the concept of marriage, which God created to be between one man and one woman only.” This is not a rant from a fundamentalist church in Alabama; it ...

Aw, you'll never get caught

Rancho Santa Fe "liar loan" promoter gets 30 months

Donald Totten, who sold "liar loans" and other mortgage swindles from his home in Rancho Santa Fe, today (October 24) was sentenced to 30 months in prison. During the years of the mortgage craze that ...

For-profit college financier Clifford drops out

Rancho Santa Fe education mogul blames federal government

Dr. Michael Clifford of Rancho Santa Fe, the oft-quoted and celebrated financier of for-profit universities, has dropped out of the business. On his website, he lashes out at the "unfair and hostile attacks on financial ...

Escape from Texas

Southland Collie Rescue acquires 4 of 110 dogs rescued from terrible conditions

This past summer, in Tomball, TX, bankruptcy fillings for an optometrist, Dr. Elaine Kmiec, indicated she had a large number of collies on her acreage. She claimed to have only 35. Attorneys for Houston Collie ...

Brown tide rising

TALKING FUNNY BECAUSE I'M HOLDING MY NOSE, RANCHO SANTA FE — At about 2:30 this morning, a ruptured sewer main sent a great mass of human waste spilling into the streets of this super-wealthy enclave. ...

No Winnebagos here

Surreptitious storage facility opens for classic wheels

Let’s say you’re concerned that car thieves might steal your 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster that you paid $4.5 million for…or you just want to hide your purchase of a $75,000 classic Chevy from your spouse… ...

For God’s sake, man, save the puppies

Fires require evacuation of Helen Woodward Animal Center

When fire evacuations were ordered in the Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe areas the afternoon of May 13, the staff at the Helen Woodward Animal Center sprung into action. The center’s evacuation plan called ...

The “Grand Chateau at Rancho Santa Fe” is no misnomer

Current Owner: John Isaac Listing Price: $15,800,000 Beds: 8 Baths: 10 The “Grand Chateau at Rancho Santa Fe” is a 20,000-square-foot estate in a well-known enclave for the ultra-wealthy, home to many of San Diego’s ...

French country estate on Clubhouse Drive

Ruminate on how to make the mortgage payment in the Zen/meditation garden.

Current Owners: John & Kathleen Urquhart Listing Price: $16,950,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 8 In order to be allowed on the grounds to look at many of the homes featured in Unreal Estate, you’ve got to ...

“HUSTUSA” protests President Obama in Rancho Santa Fe

Said he wanted to avoid getting shot by liberals

With tea bags hanging from his hat, a man who calls himself “HUSTUSA” stood on the corner of Avenida de Acacias and La Granada in Rancho Santa Fe on the afternoon of November 9. The ...

Thieves, scoundrels, and the RSF breakfast bunch

Up in tony Rancho Santa Fe, the county’s preserve of genteel wealth and privilege — along with a few occasional swindlers, suicide cults, and spies — takes the public interest seriously. A campaign committee called ...

Five million dollars in art and jewelry taken from Rancho Santa Fe home

Detective wants public to watch for unique items stolen from estate

A wealthy estate in Rancho Santa Fe had more than $5 million worth of art and jewelry stolen, seven weeks ago, according to a San Diego County Sheriff’s detective. “We have been and we continue ...

Villa Italco in Rancho Belvedere

A lazy river runs through it

Current owner: Dario DeLuca Listing price: $15,995,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 11 House size: 12,000 sq ft While many buyers of new, estate-quality homes like to participate in the custom construction of their palaces, some just ...

Lost love to a convent? Or the mob at La Costa Resort?

Former Encinitas resident tells tale

In the early 1970s, Cardiff resident Rick Crocket met the love of his life in a physics class at Encinitas’ San Dieguito High School. The couple went to prom, dated for a year after his ...

Horse Croquet

It was a perfect day in Rancho Santa Fe — wisps of white clouds floated through an azure sky and a cool, easy breeze complemented the warmth of the sun. The only thing missing from ...

Rancho Santa Fe broker gets caught in FBI sting

Rancho Santa Fe consultant David Bahr pleaded guilty today to criminal charges to commit securities fraud by pumping up a penny stock named "iTrackr." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Bahr spoke in late November ...

They Do It the Hard Way: San Diegans who refuse to modernize

Deep-blue collar

The Printer “My buddy in San Francisco got his finger smashed in an old printing press. It actually turned the bone to powder. He had no phone in his warehouse to call for help, so ...

For-profit college tried to recruit homeless

Michael Clifford boasts that his for-profit college investments are winners, but woes suggest otherwise.

Monet in Rancho Santa Fe

PREVIOUS RESIDENT: Mohammed Abduljawad LISTING PRICE: $40,000,000 BEDS: 8+ BATHS: 8 ½+ HOUSE SIZE: 31,000 sq ft This week, we visit a property that represents the highest of high end: the most expensive home currently ...

San Diego backcountry folks double taxed for fire protection?

As San Diego County’s due date for paying the first installment of property taxes loomed on December 10, an additional $150 tax bill began arriving in property owners’ mailboxes. The new per-parcel tax, sent to ...

Neighbor helps nab hit-and-runner

A hit-and-run driver in Rancho Santa Fe is reported by a neighbor who noticed extensive damage to the vehicle.

Rancho Santa Politica

These days, it seems any self-respecting superrich neighborhood needs its own political action committee to watch over business in Sacramento. One example is “Residents for a Secure Future, Sponsored by the Rancho Santa Fe Association.” ...

Democrats Ante Up $27,000 to Park and Rec

Rancho Santa Fe–based political fund-raiser Karolyn Dorsee spent the first half of this year collecting cash for the GOP’s New Majority California PAC, which is out to “broaden the appeal of the Republican Party.” Dorsee ...

Presidential Bets in Rancho Santa Fe

Early results are in from horsey Rancho Santa Fe regarding the presidential fund-raising derby, and so far the winner is Mitt Romney, with $112,000 from the beginning of the year through September 30. According to ...

Bilbray Hobnobs with T. Boone

GOP congressman Brian Bilbray, fresh from his skeet-shooting fund-raiser in the hunt country of Virginia last month, will soon be back among Southern California’s landed gentry with a genteel fund-raiser set for July 23 at ...

Predator in Print: MainStreet Media Snarls at Two Local Papers

On Valentine’s Day, Anthony Allegretti, president of MainStreet Media Group, a company that publishes eight community newspapers in San Diego County, wrote letters to two fellow publishers. One went to Jim Kydd, owner of the ...

LaRouche Supporters in Rancho Santa Fe Call for Obama’s Impeachment

On Thursday, November 4, supporters of the LaRouche Political Action Committee set up shop on the sidewalk in front of Stumps Village Market on Via De Santa Fe. Two activists maintained their post all day ...

Church of the Nativity

Membership: 1000 families Pastor: Monsignor Lawrence Purcell Age: 70 Born: Indio, California Formation: University of San Diego–St. Francis Seminary, San Diego; Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy Years Ordained: 45 San Diego Reader: How long ...

Village Community Presbyterian

It was perhaps odd to see people dressed in their Sunday finery sitting on folding chairs in the pale gray utilitarian confines of a fellowship hall. But I learned quickly that the oddness would not ...

Ouch

At approximately 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, August 13, Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene of a traffic incident where a car had collided with a ...

Caught cheating

Rancho Santa Fe School District trustee Richard Burdge and Friends of Rancho Santa Fe Schools, a political committee for which he was treasurer, are set to pay a proposed $19,000 fine to the state’s Fair ...

Upside-Down? Go Short

In San Diego’s hemorrhaging real estate industry, it’s better to be upside-down and rich than upside-down and poor. That may sound axiomatic — it’s always nicer to be rich than poor — but carriage-trade folks ...

Where the Pain Is

What’s the difference between National City and Rancho Santa Fe? Well — er, uh — money comes to mind. Last year, median household income in National City was $44,130, according to figures provided by the ...

The Rainbow Sign

We are a frazzled, worried country after seven years of every important decision being decided wrong by that "deciderator" and the awful gray eminences whispering in his ears. So do I dare to interpret the ...

Brandes Defies Market, Buys Stocks of Dailies

Charles Brandes, 64, and Warren Buffett, 77, have a lot in common. They both have made fortunes by following the "value" investing concept. It was taught to them by the same person: Benjamin Graham, along ...

Broken Bones

When people ask me about the best parties I've been to, my stock answer is "mansions in Rancho Santa Fe." Heading to one recent party in Rancho Santa Fe, however, I was driving on streets ...

What's Gerry Parsky Doing In Caribbean?

'The Parsky team" is now famous -- as well as infamous -- in Rancho Santa Fe. There is another "Parsky team" in the secrecy- shrouded Caribbean tax haven of the Cayman Islands, but that's barely ...

Peers Battle in Rancho Santa Fe

San Diego's old financial scandals never seem to die. Decades after the principals have gone to the hoosegow and been released, the muck keeps rising to the surface. An example is Whispering Palms, a residential ...

Ms. Simon’s Century

I got an invitation for a New York party. I thought that was a long way to go until, reading on, I realized that it was in Rancho Santa Fe. There's always great food and ...

The Curse of the Ranch

Divorce between millionaires seems uglier.

Ever since its founding as a railroad resort for millionaires back in 1915, Rancho Santa Fe, primarily known these days as America's wealthiest zip code, has had plenty of misery to go along with its ...

Site 151’s Four Million Dollar Mansion

Wealth has nothing to do with luck.

Ralph Genovese doesn't use the word "mansion" to describe the three dwellings he will construct on a mountaintop in Rancho Santa Fe. He prefers "estate." He's building one of the homes for himself, and he ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Learn To Follow Chukkers, Stomp Divots, & Sip Champers

San Diego Polo Club 14555 El Camino Real, Rancho Santa Fe 858-481-9217 Five bucks will get you in. (Of course, you can pay up to $2700.) But have $25 ready for the "de-lish" buffet. What's ...

Pols Milk 92067

When it was announced last month that America's richest community, measured by average per capita income, was Rancho Santa Fe, a flurry of stories appeared in the national media, most of which spun the woodsy ...

Best of 2001: Best Celebrity Produce Stand

Chino Farms Produce Stand 6123 Calzada del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe 858-756-3184 Back in 1946, the Chino family's Japanese-born parents were released from internment camp. Today, 55 years later, the family sticks by that generation's ...

Best of 2001: Best Person To Tell You If All That Silverware You Inherited Is Worth A Dime

Connie McNally, The McNally Company Antiques 6033 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe 858-756-1922 Connie McNally is cold to gold. "It's not practical. But silver! It is noble and practical. We wear silver. We eat with ...

Head for the rambling byways of Rancho Santa Fe.

If outdoor exercise is part of your New Year's resolution, perhaps it's time to pull your ten-speed or mountain bike out of cold storage in the garage and head for the rambling byways of Rancho ...

Are there camouflaged bridges off the Del Dios Highway?

Matt and Elves: While we were driving on Del Dios Highway, my eight-year-old son could barely maintain himself as he noticed some "bridges" barely visible (to me, anyway, as I tried to concentrate on that ...

Full moon media

NBC went to court last Friday against a Michigan minister the network says reneged on an agreement to sell it exclusive rights to a videotape of the Rancho Santa Fe cult members' final good-byes for ...

Dreamhouse Murder

Charles DeWoody Shames Rancho Santa Fe

“A lifetime of provocation!” Defense attorney Bradley Patton, facing the jury, throws his arms wide to indicate what he calls “the spectrum of the relationship.” It is the first week of June 1993. The final ...

Rancho Blood

Last week the Parents and Teachers Organization of the Rancho Santa Fe School in Rancho Santa Fe sent out questionnaires to parents of 250 students, asking the parents' blood types and asking if they would ...

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