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Stories by Dave Rice

Glass elevator with mosaics that change on every floor

Pick up this beauty for just under $14 mil

Current owner: Leonard M. Okun Listing price: $13,500,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 5-1/2 House size: 5540 sq ft The “Venetian Villa” located at 828 Neptune Drive on a quarter-acre oceanfront lot, according to listing materials, “offers ...

What Martin Luther King Day was all about

"This is the people's parade, where you don't have to pay to march in it."

While a parade drew thousands of spectators to San Diego Bay on Sunday (January 15) the hundreds who rallied at City College before marching on city hall Monday afternoon said their event reflected the true ...

San Vicente Reservoir considers hydroelectric project

Might take ten years, but demand for clean juice won't wane

As the world gradually shifts its energy focus to renewable sources such as solar and wind, utilities are faced with a demand for secondary sources — those that are available when the sun isn't shining ...

Downtown protest of Trump cabinet picks

Environmental activists against "gang of thugs"

As many as 100 climate activists gathered downtown on Monday evening (January 9), joining in a nationwide day of protest calling on senators across the country to vote against several of president-elect Donald Trump's cabinet ...

Robot ready for border duty

"It can even tell when you’re curling your toes."

A San Diego State University professor has developed a robotic customs agent he says "is fully ready for implementation" at border crossings worldwide. The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR), according ...

San Diego’s priciest condo, a block west of Horton Plaza

It is likely a resident will never touch the front door

Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Current Owner: Raskin Family List Price: $4,750,000 The region’s priciest condo, a 26th-floor corner unit in the Meridian building at 700 Front Street, promises prospective buyers “exclusive living style in the ...

Stop ticketing the homeless, Mayor Faulconer

"We request that he do so as an emergency humanitarian action."

Advocates for San Diego's homeless population gathered downtown Tuesday morning (January 3) to rally and present mayor Kevin Faulconer's office with a petition calling on police to cease ticketing and arresting individuals living on the ...

Philippines' violence may spare UCSD grad

Former student facing deportation gets new hearing

Nearly two decades after receiving his initial deportation orders, a UC San Diego grad will have his immigration case reopened. Mark Farrales first came to the United States in 1990 after his father, a lawyer ...

Tax consultant caught filing false returns

Uncle Sam shorted $1.2 million between 2008 and 2010

An El Cajon woman has admitted to preparing false tax returns on behalf of her clients, fraudulently reducing their tax burden by $1.2 million between 2008 and 2010. According to a federal Department of Justice ...

Councilwoman Cole's cop committee picks panned

Civil rights lawyers warn of police surveillance in Branch case

Civil rights lawyers and activists from the National Action Network gathered downtown on Wednesday (December 21) to blast new city-council president Myrtle Cole for her appointments to the council's Public Safety and Livable Communities Committee. ...

Gates behind the gates in Poway

Your private cul-de-sac awaits

Beds: 5 Baths: 8 Current Owner: IAB LLC, care of Matthew Kemp List Price: $11,500,000 The sprawling Poway mansion at 14105 Biscayne Place is described in listing materials as “the Trophy Estate at the Heritage,” ...

Down on the urban farm in City Heights

Youth agricultural training includes showing up on time

After several years offering San Diego youth a chance at on-the-job skills development, the Second Chance Youth Garden has found a new home market for their student-grown produce in City Heights. "We felt it was ...

"Hate Has No Business Here" in Mission Hills

Coffee man and councilman go door-to-door with message

"There's been a lot of divisive rhetoric over the last year or so that's made people fearful, and to feel unwelcome," said John Bertsch, owner of the Meshuggah Shack coffee outlet in Mission Hills, before ...

Suspected mail thief's escape thwarted

Steven Michael Johnson caught with woman's purse and other items

Despite his best efforts, a suspected mail thief in East County failed in an attempt to flee sheriff's deputies after a brief pursuit in Alpine on Wednesday morning (December 14). Shortly after 7 a.m., deputies ...

Port district talks pollution minimization

Expansion plan for marine terminal gets smiley face, deemed "holistic"

A group numbering several dozen environmental activists along with residents of Barrio Logan and surrounding communities gathered at the Port of San Diego on Tuesday afternoon (December 13) to cheer the port's board of directors ...

San Diego climate cleanup report card is in

Most municipalities don't meet state's 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target

The City of San Diego's adopted climate action plan is a great start, but there's much more work to be done throughout the county, according to a regional report card issued Wednesday (December 7) by ...

Yo-yo price on Rancho Santa Fe estate

A property so special that it gets its own name

Beds: 7 Baths: 10 Current Owners: Hugh III and Joy Bancroft List Price: $10,800,000 Marketing materials describe the Rancho Santa Fe estate at 6605 La Valle Plateada using the name Il Incanto, Italian for “the ...

Cop traffic-stop report points to racial profiling

"The police department tends to use traffic stops as an investigative tool."

Local activists gathered on Monday (December 5) to call for action from the San Diego Police Department in the wake of a study released by San Diego State University on racial profiling during traffic stops ...

Vigilance expressed at Dakota pipeline rally

Corporation vows to push through plan despite government decision

A candlelight vigil in support of a group of self-described "water protectors" blocking the construction of the oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation in North Dakota had an atmosphere of cautious celebration ...

Dirty gas dream to come true in Carlsbad

State court denies another hearing to prevent power-plant construction

Opponents of a controversial gas power plant proposed along Carlsbad's coast were dealt a blow this week, as a three-judge panel at the state First District Court of Appeals denied a request to have the ...

North County carjackers go 1-for-3

Perps traded an Acura and Honda for a Dodge

Sheriff's deputies reported that North County tow-truck driver narrowly escaped a carjacking attempt early Wednesday morning (November 30). A woman who stopped to help the thieves after one of them crashed during a getaway attempt, ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Fast-food wage rally snowballs

Marchers also rage for rent control and against Olango killing, Dakota pipeline

As many as 1000 activists pushing a broad range of causes gathered downtown Tuesday evening (November 29), the fourth anniversary of the "Fight for 15" movement backed by fast-food workers and labor unions to raise ...

"Modern Coastal Living" for sale on Mission Bay

Space for you and 20 friends

Beds: 7 Baths: 8 Current Owner: Jeanne Bender-Zehrer List Price: $11,375,000 “This Villa on the Bay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Modern Coastal Living on the bay,” according to listing materials for the seven-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath ...

Dakota pipeline protesters flood Kearny Mesa courtyard

Water vs. oil war brought to Army Corps of Engineers' doorstep

Despite a call from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday (November 14) for a round of additional studies that would temporarily delay construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, supporters of residents at ...

Balboa Park bypass bridge and parking project okayed

"We're talking about $80 million for 267 spaces, or about $300,000 a space."

After years of delays that included criticism from many sources, lawsuits, and the withdrawal and later reinstatement of millions of dollars' worth of private funding, San Diego's city council on Monday (November 14) approved up ...

50 murders by the Border Patrol?

"We will not live in fear; we will not get used to this."

"Even if you do something wrong, you should make it to jail alive," says Birdie Gutierrez, an organizer whose group, La Flor De La Resistencia, was represented among about 30 protesters who gathered in San ...

Local housing affordability rate lags

San Diego, 26%; statewide, 31%

Home affordability in San Diego County continues to lag much of the state, according to new statistics released this week by the California Association of Realtors trade group. Roughly 26 percent of San Diegans could ...

A $13 million piece of Bird Rock

"Always have your camera ready!"

Beds: 5 Baths: 6 Current owner: Grossman family List price: $12,000,800 “Escape to your own private sanctuary and fill your senses with sights, sounds and the serenity of this amazing rare La Jolla custom oceanfront ...

Barrio takes last stand against convadium

"This is a community that will fight tooth and nail to avoid being erased."

A group of Barrio Logan residents and supporters gathered Monday evening (November 7) on the corner of Cesar E. Chavez Parkway and Logan Avenue in a last-minute effort to discourage support for Measures C and ...

"Cowboy" cop blamed for Olango killing

Police department sued for unconstitutional policies and practices

The family of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by El Cajon police in September, have filed a second claim against the police department, accusing the officers involved of excessive ...

Mayoral machinations claimed in Mission Bay's Measure J

Opponents miffed, allege lack of transparency and hypocrisy

A group of opponents to San Diego's Measure J — a down-ballot proposition that seeks to potentially reconfigure and redistribute monies generated from Mission Bay Park — gathered on Tuesday afternoon (November 1), calling out ...

Hipster zone planned for North Park

Community plans for Golden Hill and South Park also laid out

Mid-city residents packed city-council chambers on Tuesday afternoon (October 25) as councilmembers convened to consider long-awaited updates to community plans for North Park and Golden Hill. The most contentious discussion centered around the North Park ...

Warning: annual tax bill of $86,679

But, hey, it has a bocce court

Beds: 6 Baths: 11 Current Owner: Edward J Wald List Price: $8,750,000 “Set behind gates on a long and private drive in Rancho Del Lago, one of Rancho Santa Fe’s most coveted addresses,” boasts listing ...

Dakota pipeline opponents take stand in La Jolla

Issue afforded no priority by Barack, Donald, or Hillary

A group of climate activists lined La Jolla Shores Drive on Monday morning (October 24), calling on president Barack Obama to take executive action to halt construction on a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota. ...

Barrio Logan residents demand safety above Chicano Park

Taller containment walls proposed for Coronado bridge after crash

A family member of two victims of a drunk driver whose vehicle flew off the Coronado Bridge and into Chicano Park on Saturday broke the silence from the families of those involved before assembled media ...

Unaffordable: Home price soar, salaries lag

Hot competition for a slice of the American pie.

The median price for a single-family home in San Diego County at the end of 2016’s first quarter, according to the California Association of Realtors, stood at just over $554,000. Assuming you’ve got access to ...

Mega composter in Santa Ysabel

"There's strong evidence that we could cool the earth right now..."

Ground was broken in Santa Ysabel on October 13 on an ambitious new project that seeks to prove soil management can be used to fight climate change throughout California and beyond. "This is all about ...

Ocean Beach construction project draws community ire

Protestor thwarted by 25-foot measuring tape

A small crowd of about 50 OBecians gathered Saturday afternoon (October 15) at the corner of Ebers and Greene to protest the construction of what has alternatively been billed by the developer first as a ...

Coastkeeper says water board sends wrong message

We’re saving only 15 percent, not 25

Despite the state's ongoing exceptional drought, a recent report shows conservation efforts are easing, particularly along the southern coast. In April 2015, governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order targeting a 25-percent reduction in water ...

A house that biotech built

Asian-inspired beauty

Beds: 5 Baths: 6 Current Owner: Howard Birndorf List Price: $8,900,000 The estate home situated at 5979 Rancho Digueno in the southern hills of Rancho Santa Fe is described in listing materials as an “Asian ...

Feet, not commercials or mail, decide the vote

"I hear a lot of people saying, 'Oh, my vote don't count.'"

Saturday, October 8, served as the one-month marker before next month's general election. Precinct walkers — wooing for candidates and favored propositions — will begin to pound the pavement in earnest. But for one group ...

Congressman stands up for vapers' rights

"For me, this is about freedom," says Duncan Hunter at Santee rally

A small crowd of e-cigarette enthusiasts gathered outside a Santee vape shop on Tuesday (October 4), rallying in support of access to the controversial products that some credit for breaking years-long addictions to cigarettes and ...

Compost conversations

Attendees of Food Waste Solution Summit say county could do better

Composting, the process by which plant matter and food waste is broken down into soil, has long been recognized as a key component in developing a nutrient-rich base for organic farming. But recent research, as ...

Mission Bay Campland to become marsh land

Plans unveiled on how to expand Kendall-Frost Reserve

After months of poring over notes gathered after consulting with community members in June the San Diego Audubon Society, tasked with developing a plan to restore wildlife habitat in the northeastern corner of Mission Bay ...

Police killing of Alfred Olango protested

"If the object was a gun, they would've called it a gun."

Protests continued Wednesday morning (September 28) outside the El Cajon Police Department, after officers shot and killed an unarmed black man they say was "not only endangering himself, but motorists." On Tuesday afternoon, Alfred Olango's ...

Not just a home — a soaring tour de force

A potential front seat at the convadium

Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 | Current Owner: Robert Wright | List Price: $5,900,000 The Harbor Club condominium complex, comprising two towers at the foot of Harbor Drive across from the convention center and blocks ...

Larger financial institutions receive lion's share of complaints, study finds

Big bad banks

In the wake of the housing crisis of the late 2000s, a host of fraud and misconduct charges against big banks alleging everything from illegal manipulation of financial markets to the latest scandal involving customers ...

Renewed calls for rent control

Tenants rally downtown on national day of action

Advocates for the implementation of a rent control policy joined the like-minded in 45 other cities nationwide, taking to the streets of downtown as part of a national day of action on Thursday, September 22. ...

Sales tax linked to pollution

Those against wider I-5

A coalition including environmentalists, organized labor, local chambers of commerce, and politicians gathered this afternoon outside Kimball Elementary in National City to launch a campaign against a proposal to enact a half-cent sales tax across ...

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