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Stories by Dave Rice

Micro-robots released at UC-San Diego

They swim! They remove toxins! They glow red!

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have announced the development of 3-D printed "microrobots" that can be programmed to swim through a liquid, removing specific toxins found within. "We have developed an entirely ...

The pay is decent, but is Greenpeace?

Striking workers say their environmentally conscious employer is unfair

Under the support and guidance of a budding political movement calling itself Socialist Alternative, the bulk of the local fundraising staff for Greenpeace have walked off the job amid demands for a change in employment ...

Who can afford a house in California?

Considering recently released numbers, not that many people

A study released last week by the California Association of Realtors trade group lays bare the facts about how far housing affordability has fallen in the county and throughout the state since prices began to ...

Statewide records for solar generation shattered

Figures don't include power produced on residential rooftops

California's solar industry has been setting records, and then breaking them, for total energy generated from utility-scale solar installations all summer. According to PV Magazine the California Independent System Operator, which controls the state's power ...

San Diego slumlords on notice

Socialist group cites leaky roofs, roach and vermin infestations

About two dozen activists from the San Diego Socialist Campaign, including their 2016 city-council candidate, gathered Saturday afternoon, August 22, in City Heights to protest what they say are intolerable living conditions created by landlords. ...

Front-row seats to nature’s show for just under 19 mil

Plush lawns never go out of style in Point Loma

Beds: 7 Baths: 11 Current Owner: Lawrence Cushman Asking Price: $18,995,000 Prospective buyers of the Point Loma estate at 3403 Kellogg Way are invited by its listing to “come let the warm feeling of summer ...

It won’t solve America’s tobacco epidemic

UCSD study suggests Chantix smoking-cessation pill ineffective

A heavily advertised smoking-cessation drug that's been on the market since 2006 has no discernible effect on decreasing cigarette use among adults, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine are reporting. The main ...

Why didn't SDG&E come up with this idea?

Carlsbad bio-gas facility expected to produce cheaper electricity

Escondido is set to ink a deal today (August 17) with the Carlsbad-based private firm Anaergia in which the company will capture waste from a city water-treatment facility, convert it into energy, and then sell ...

Fines upheld on local tuna boats

And Florida-based boat owner found guilty of bribery

A federal judge this week upheld over $1.5 million in fines levied against several San Diego-based tuna fishing vessels for violations of rules implemented in order to prevent over-fishing. Captains of the Sea Quest, Ocean ...

Contractor earns customized prison sentence

Alexander Pike Mitchell "has a history of contracting without a license"

The jail term for an asphalt contractor who's pled guilty to numerous felony counts continues to grow, according to an August 11 statement from the California Contractors State License Board. In April 2013, the San ...

EcoNauts rejoice

High marks in environmental friendliness survey for UCSD

The Sierra Club is getting into the college rankings game, on Tuesday morning (August 11) releasing a list of top universities nationwide based on their eco-friendliness. UC San Diego finds itself among four schools in ...

Lemon Grove man crashes truck eight times before drunk-driving arrest

Hits light pole and car on Federal and College Avenue

A drunk driver was involved in a series of crashes spanning from Lemon Grove to San Diego before finally being apprehended early Wednesday morning (August 5), authorities are reporting. Shortly before 7 a.m., sheriff's deputies ...

UCSD loses Alzheimer's research contract

Pharmaceutical giant Lilly shifts to USC, new home of alleged staff/data poacher

The financial repercussions of a controversial move by one of UC San Diego's top researchers to the University of Southern California appear to be surfacing. Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical giant, announced Tuesday ...

Cell phone bandit hits stores from Solana Beach to Chula Vista

Red baseball cap, red shirt, red Toyota Camry

Law enforcement officials are looking for help in identifying a man associated with at least five robberies at mobile phone stores in recent weeks. Cuts the cables on display models The suspect, described as a ...

Overlooking the bow on the Barber Tract

Take the helm of this shipshape bluff-top lot in La Jolla

Beds: 5 Baths: 7 Current Owner: Meyer Gottlieb Asking Price: $14,000,000 This week we visit an oceanfront La Jolla home in the exclusive Barber Tract, where the listing promises that “sitting in the living room ...

Border Patrol agent who shot rock-thrower faces lawsuit

Otay Mesa site of latest "rocking policy" suit

The family of a Mexican man shot by a Border Patrol officer last year is seeking at least $10 million in a newly filed lawsuit, Courthouse News Service is reporting. Rocks the size of basketballs ...

Historic protest boat arrives in San Diego for pro-peace veterans' convention

Golden Rule peace ship first launched in 1958

Golden Rule is here commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace.

Environmentalists to Governor Brown: stop fracking California

Environmental activists assembled by San Diego 350 gathered in Ocean Beach on Saturday morning to distribute petitions and create a mural the group hopes to send to Governor Jerry Brown in an attempt to lobby ...

Edison hikes San Onofre payoff demand

Claimed losses due to Mitsubishi generator failure rise from $4 to $7.6 billion.

Southern California Edison, operator of the now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, is doubling down on warranty claims against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Japanese manufacturer of four steam turbine generators that failed prematurely and ultimately ...

The onetime estate of Pete Rozelle

Beds: 5 Baths: 9 Current Owner: Duyane and Michelle Weinger Asking Price: $14,995,000 This week we visit the onetime estate of Pete Rozelle, credited by the property’s listing agent as being “the Commissioner known for ...

Nuke storage by the sea

Aguirre equates Southern California Edison to "drunken frat boys"

Concerns over nuclear waste generated by the now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station expressed by environmental activists for years took another turn in the spotlight on Monday (July 20), as local activist attorney Mike Aguirre ...

Liquid loophole?

Lawyer files suit rejecting tiered water rates that affect heavy users

Heavy water users opposed to statewide conservation efforts are using California's Proposition 218 as a tool to undermine water agencies' pricing tiers, which charge more to higher-consumption customers. The measure, passed in 1996, requires voter ...

Green people infiltrate San Diego Unified schools

District adopts City of San Diego's draft Climate Action Plan

Environmental activists are cheering the decision Tuesday (July 14) by the San Diego Unified School District to adopt a climate action plan modeled after the one commissioned by the City of San Diego. "We applaud ...

Madman truck driver on the loose

Goateed gray-hair yanks phone from teen, throws it at her

Sheriff's deputies are looking for an unknown Santee man in connection with a recent sexual harassment, robbery, and assault case. Last Friday afternoon (July 11), the male suspect, believed to be 40 to 50 years ...

Ashford University to close its doors

One more year for Iowa-based campus, then it's online only

After spending recent years facing enrollment declines and fighting to retain accredited status , Ashford University, a tiny Iowa-based college owned and operated by San Diego's Bridgepoint Education, announced it will be closing its doors ...

Production ceases at lab by the lake

Meth and honey-oil operation allegedly involved ten people

An early-morning raid on a house in the 9000 block of Creekford Drive in Lakeside resulted in ten arrests connected to the production and distribution of narcotics, sheriffs' deputies are reporting. According to a report ...

They think differently in L.A.

USC "surprised" that UCSD would sue for conspiracy

Regents at the University of California, acting on behalf of UC San Diego's Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study unit (ADCS), have filed a lawsuit accusing the University of Southern California and a former UCSD researcher of ...

Swanky 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown

Beds: 3 Baths: 5 Current Owner: Eleanor Jaffe Asking Price: $4,900,000 On the block this week is an “alluring, stylish, and swank” 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown, featuring three bedrooms, five baths, and ...

Pornographer's Comic-Con press release

Little Italy–based company offers eyefuls of chicks and naked pictures

As entertainment promoters around the world gear up for San Diego's Comic-Con and begin firing off press releases, one from a Little Italy-based pornography purveyor stands out by promising 'Con attendees a sneak peek at ...

Must...get...uranium...now

General Atomics seeks control of Australian mine

Following a precipitous drop in worldwide uranium prices as countries across the globe reconsider the promise of nuclear energy, San Diego's General Atomics is seeking to gain full ownership of an Australian mine in which ...

SDG&E about to go Robin Hood

Utility to squeeze more money out of 75% of their customers

A proposed decision issued Wednesday (July 1) from the California Public Utilities Commission won't do much to quiet critics who argue that changes to San Diego Gas & Electric rate schedules will hurt low-income consumers ...

That clown crank is something

Home invasion in El Cajon tied to meth bust

An attempted home-invasion robbery on Monday (June 29) resulted in the shooting of a man in El Cajon. Sheriff's deputies said that a preliminary investigation suggests the robbery was the culmination of a dispute over ...

Bugs' deaths tell a story

Insects tracked to gauge water quality

Volunteers and staff with San Diego Coastkeeper gathered along Rose Creek on Saturday morning (June 28) to gather insect specimens from the creek's water. "Basically, we're collecting a sample of bugs that live in the ...

Gloved perv popped

El Cajon police arrest suspected indecent intruder

Police in El Cajon reported the arrest of a 31-year-old transient for residential burglary and indecent exposure on Thursday afternoon (June 25). Last Sunday (June 21), officers responded to a call originating on the 500 ...

Outdoor living in Santa Ysabel

A family-fun compound

Beds: 4 Baths: 3 Current Owner: David Batchelder Asking Price: $17,500,000 Los Robles Ranch is a private 720-acre estate built in 2006 near Santa Ysabel, a small rural community situated between Ramona and Julian. The ...

Too hot for human smuggling

Mexican released from car trunk, then arrested, in Pine Valley

Two U.S. citizens were arrested Sunday after Border Patrol agents found an undocumented 18-year-old Mexican national locked in the trunk of their Toyota Camry parked along the shoulder of Interstate 8 east of Pine Valley. ...

More power, more pollution

Air-quality board allows for sulfur oxide increase from Pio Pico

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control Board moved on Wednesday (June 17) to allow the controversial new Pio Pico gas-fired power plant in Otay Mesa to increase periodic sulfur oxide emissions by as much ...

This underbelly isn't pork

Restaurants' illegal salary practices in the daylight

Wage theft is a pervasive problem in the local restaurant industry, according to "Shorted,” a report released Tuesday (June 16) by San Diego State University Department of Sociology and the Center on Policy Initiatives. More ...

No boat, no problems...or so they thought

Undocumented Mexicans caught swimming across border

Customs and Border Patrol officials apprehended three men early Monday morning (June 15) after they attempted an ocean swim across the border. According to a release, the trio was observed shortly after midnight paddling north ...

Horses**t in the air at climate-change rally

Paul Revere and his steed bring message of impending World War CO2

A national day of action calling for "the urgent WWII-scale national mobilization we need to prevent catastrophic climate disruption" kicked off early, with a midnight rally in Balboa Park early Sunday morning, June 14. The ...

Low, low, low

Trio used obituaries to obtain burglary targets

Three suspects have been arrested following a five-month string of burglaries across the county where thieves targeted individuals who were attending a family member's funeral. According to a report from El Cajon police lieutenant Frank ...

So, you want to be a baseball star?

El Cajon pitcher says he was sold outrageous life insurance policy

A former Padres pitcher and San Diego native has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, claiming that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance fraudulently duped him into signing up for a life-insurance policy that had a $600,000 ...

La Jolla perfection for between $9,990,000 and $11,449,000

Beds: 5 Baths: 7 Current Owners: Perin and Sam Parabia List Price: $11,449,000 “Perched high atop a hill, overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean and the highly coveted La Jolla Country Club neighborhood, sits the ...

Residents pooh-pooh Surfrider erosion theory

Court case over Leucadia staircase heads to state supreme court

An Encinitas bluff tour organized by Surfrider San Diego drew a host of media and disgruntled oceanfront homeowners to Grandview Beach on Monday afternoon (June 8). Surfrider representatives had organized the tour to tout their ...

Thirty lashes with a weed whacker

Suspected serial landscaper truck bandits apprehended

Three suspects were arrested Thursday morning (June 4) in connection with a rash of vehicle burglaries targeting landscape workers, sheriff's deputies are reporting. According to detective Mark Haynesworth, deputies were dispatched to the site of ...

No water problem — it's a no-water problem

Survey says San Diegans are more aware of it than last year

The implications of California's mega-drought seem to finally be setting in. A study released Wednesday (June 3) by the Public Policy Institute of California indicates more than twice as many residents (36 percent in San ...

Can SDG&E be forced to do anything?

Dissent among public utilities commissioners on proposed gas-fired power plant

An official decision approving a controversial new gas-fired power plant in Carlsbad has been issued by the California Public Utilities Commission. As promised, commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval, who cast the lone vote against approval, appended ...

Unceremoniously dumped

Latest lawsuit to hit Jamul casino comes from Jamul tribal members

A long-controversial casino under construction in Jamul has found a new set of opponents: members of the tribe building it. Local residents have been fighting against the casino for over a decade. More recent attempts ...

Climate-change education urged

"Without direct intervention, matters will only become worse.”

The San Diego Unified Council of PTAs celebrated Tuesday, May 26, following a lengthy effort to get the statewide gathering of parent-teacher associations to adopt language acknowledging the existence of human-driven climate change and urging ...

No! to NAFTA on steroids

Environmentalists attempt to reach congressman Scott Peters

A crowd of about 50 protesters gathered in La Jolla on Wednesday afternoon (May 27) to catch the ear of congressman Scott Peters. The group simultaneously called Peters "a champion for environmental justice" while decrying ...