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Stories by Dave Rice

A gas-fired power plant for Carlsbad

Utilities commissioner sides with SDG&E, trumps judge's recommendation

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 Thursday morning (May 21) to approve a slightly scaled-down version of a gas-fired power plant proposed for construction along the Carlsbad coast. "This decision is just more of ...

Grain thief caught

Cops witness felon backing up truck at Twisted Manzanita

An El Cajon man is under arrest after being caught stealing grain from the Santee headquarters of Twisted Manzanita Ales, a noted East County microbrewery/distillery. Twisted Manzanita had previously reported four separate thefts of spent ...

Unafraid of death, in fear of pain

Lawsuit nudges support for End of Life Option Act

A lawsuit filed in a San Diego court last week seeks confirmation of the belief that existing state law and the constitution of California provide legal cover for doctors who assist terminally ill patients in ...

How not to conduct your armed robbery

Santee man brandishes weapon, tosses it, and is caught with knife

A Santee man was apprehended Friday afternoon, May 15, after robbing a Target store and attempting to flee by bicycle, sheriff's deputies reported. According to a report from Sgt. Tim Chantler, a suspect identified as ...

More bikeways or more highways?

SANDAG's new regional transit plan has its critics

The San Diego Association of Governments began a series of workshops this week to roll out its new, revised regional transit plan, dubbed San Diego Forward. The previous plan was scrapped following lawsuits from environmental ...

Demand for dignity at the border

Allegations of rough language, treatment by border guards

Activists with the Southern Border Communities Coalition gathered outside the northern terminus of the San Ysidro pedestrian border Wednesday afternoon, May 13, in an effort to inform crossers of their rights and offer assistance to ...

Trouble for the big dog

Qualcomm thrown bone of contention regarding pet-tracking patents

San Diego–based tech giant Qualcomm stands accused of defrauding the owner of patents related to GPS-aided pet-trackers it produces under a subsidiary, according to a lawsuit filed last week in a Nevada federal court. In ...

Frazee’s crazee Point Loma estate

If an intensely private gated estate is your thing, bust out the wallet.

Inbred sex, drugs, and I want my money back

More lawsuits claim abuse of orcas at SeaWorld

Amusement-park operator SeaWorld has been hit with another class-action suit. This time, plaintiffs claim the park hides practices of drugging its orcas, forced inbreeding, food deprivation, and confinement in inadequately sized pens from customers who ...

Saltier than average environmentalists

The argument against increased reliance on desalination

As California's drought continues to intensify, coastal cities are looking to the ocean as a potential means of supplementing a dwindling reserve of fresh water. Construction of what's being billed as the largest desalination plant ...

Woman bites Border Patrol agent

Because he got in her way when she tried to walk into the U.S. among cars

A woman is in custody after allegedly biting a Border Patrol officer who had told her she couldn't cross the border in San Ysidro's vehicle entry lanes on foot, Customs and Border Protection officials are ...

Utilities commission flunks another smell test

"[He] said, 'We need to give them a gas plant,' all the while ignoring the record."

Clean energy activists gathered in Solana Beach on Tuesday morning (May 5) to protest a proposal from San Diego Gas & Electric and Texas-based NRG Energy to build a new gas-fired power plant along the ...

Medical Marijuana, Inc., sued

Former boardmembers of pot business claim fraud in sale of company

The current owners of the country's first publicly traded medical marijuana business utilized fraud and deception to gain control of the company, a pair of former boardmembers claim in a lawsuit filed last week. According ...

Taxicabs unlimited for San Diego

Environmental concerns alleged by permit holders don't convince the judge

On Tuesday, April 28, a judge in San Diego Superior Court was not swayed by lawyers hired by the city's taxicab industry, who sought an injunction to stop Metropolitan Transit System from permitting more taxis ...

Dude, where’s my yacht?

Current Owner: Varasano Family Trust Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 5 List Price: $10,998,000 “Bring your yacht home,” invites a listing pitch for the waterfront estate at 979 Scott Street in Point Loma’s La Playa neighborhood. In ...

At least Lorena is trying

Assembly bill would require hearings before raises for utility company execs

A bill that seeks to require state oversight on utility executive bonuses is working its way through the Sacramento legislature. Assembly Bill 1266, introduced by local assemblywoman and onetime labor leader Lorena Gonzalez, would require ...

SeaWorld's leased land is their land

"[A] further step toward the ability of corporations to privatize public parks."

The public has no right to stage protests on park land leased to SeaWorld in Mission Bay, an appellate court ruled last week. A lawyer representing a handful of protesters is calling the judgment “one ...

Utilities on the trail to tiers

Electricity rate spikes move closer to reality

An administrative law judge for the California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposed decision on a push by utility companies, including San Diego Gas & Electric, for a rate hike for lower-tier customers. If ...

The party house next door

Cities, state debate residential vacation rentals

While local cities continue to seek regulations on short-term vacation rentals, a bill making its way to the state legislature may provide the teeth needed for effective enforcement. Unless, that is, web businesses like Airbnb ...

Mission Bay? Eww

Once a natural wetland, now an aquatic park of biological pollution

Long known as False Bay, the former marshlands were dredged between the 1940s and 1960s to create Mission Bay, the nation’s largest man-made aquatic park, much of it islands and peninsulas. While not scarred by ...

Port District parking cost to rise

PR spin touts "modern, user-friendly interface to visitors" — Yay!

The price to park is set to spike across San Diego's bay front, following approval last week by the Port of San Diego of the purchase and installation of 520 solar-powered "smart meters" and a ...

Jamul, the state's street-pizzeria

Study says drought may be motivating animals to cross roads

The rural East County community of Jamul has garnered some statewide attention: the stretch of Highway 94 that runs from Rancho San Diego east toward Dulzura was ranked by researchers at UC Davis as one ...

Living on the edge with no living wage

Another day of action observed, another day of inaction from politicos

Activists pushing for a higher minimum wage through the labor-backed Fight for 15 campaign staged their biggest protest yet on Wednesday. Starting early on the morning of April 15, the protest — timed to coincide ...

Nuclear plant could produce fresh water, say scientists

Huge hit to the budget, but it could end California drought problem

A father-son team of scientists writing for the right-leaning news site WorldNetDaily have determined a solution for fighting California's extreme drought. According to Art Robinson, a UC San Diego graduate and former staffer before founding ...

Which bay is dirtier? San Diego or Mission?

San Diego’s big bay has been the hub of travel and commerce in the region since Western civilization arrived in California. It’s been fronted by heavy industry for over a century. It hosts four major ...

Live behind 14-foot walnut doors in Carmel Valley

Current Owner: Glenn Abadir Bedrooms: 5 Baths: 8 List Price: $16,900,000 The luxury estate at 5131 Rancho Del Mar Trail in northern San Diego’s Carmel Valley was completed in 2011, following more than four years ...

Thanks for nothin', Uncle Coltin

Couple takes insurance-scam advice from family member — everyone busted

A scheme to extract illegal cash from an insurance company has a San Diego couple facing insurance fraud charges and resulted in the arrest of the husband's Lake Elsinore uncle, the California Department of Insurance ...

Wah. What about last year’s water savings?

Local water authority objects to governor’s conservation plan

The San Diego County Water Authority is crying foul when it comes to implementation of water-use reductions called for statewide last week by governor Jerry Brown. "The Water Authority strongly supports additional conservation and the ...

The green people are back

"Our transit campaign envisions a transit-first, walkable and bikeable future."

Climate change activists were vocal again Wednesday morning (April 8), this time gathering in front of the County Administration Center to promote their goals for a new county climate plan days after asking mayor Kevin ...

San Diego storm drains on notice

State aims to eliminate trash that flows to the ocean

Water-quality advocates are applauding a statewide policy announced Tuesday (April 7) that aims to entirely eliminate trash from the state's water systems and coast over the next ten years. Municipalities have two routes to select ...

SDG&E’s got a gas problem

Will San Diego Gas & Electric bulldog through their Carlsbad plan?

Efforts by San Diego Gas & Electric to push through a new gas-fired power plant in Carlsbad fly in the face of instructions from the California Public Utilities Commission, Sierra Club lawyers contend. “Under the ...

The green people are at the door, Mr. Mayor

Citizens show up at city hall to ask for Climate Action Plan specifics

A host of green-minded organizations gathered in front of city hall on Monday afternoon (April 6) to ask mayor Kevin Faulconer to devote additional funding to begin implementing some of the measures in his draft ...

What did the bacteria say to the cigarette?

"Don't make me get aggressive" — study finds that smoke strengthens bad bugs

Researchers at UC San Diego and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System have found a population whose health actually improves when exposed to cigarette smoke: deadly, antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly ...

One nation, under California

San Diegan seeks signatures with aim toward state's partial secession

The exceptionally low turnout in the 2014 election cycle is shaping up to have an interesting effect on the 2016 election year. The number of signatures required to place a citizen-backed initiative on the next ...

California rules

Native American casino operations have moved into non-gaming exploits

According to a report released Monday, March 30, by Orange County–based economist Alan Meister, Indian gaming was a $23.8 billion business in 2013, the most recent year for which comprehensive figures are available. Nearly a ...

It's good to be caught on tape

Chief Zimmerman quoted in Taser marketing materials

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taser International is touting lower reports of public complaints about use of force in the San Diego Police Department to peddle its Axon line of body cameras to other police forces throughout the ...

Too rude, San Diego Gas & Electric

California tops as solar producer; utility seeks to profit from grid hookups

California is once again leading the nation in the implementation of solar power, according to a federal study released this week. The state generated 9.9 million megawatt-hours of solar power last year, more than every ...

Booze-fishing in La Mesa

Police employ teen decoys to help nab liquor-store patrons

Roughly one in four La Mesa locals are falling for a police sting operation in which officers employ an under-aged decoy to approach liquor-store customers and ask them to supply the minors with alcohol, according ...

The Indian hemp defense?

Humboldt man popped for pot near Pauma reservation

A Humboldt County man was arrested in Bonsall on Tuesday afternoon, March 24, after sheriff's deputies found a large amount of marijuana and cannabis concentrates in his car. The suspect, identified by Sgt. Patrick Yates ...

Environmentalists against solar power

Plaintiffs reject weasel words, obfuscation, and unsupported assumptions

Environmental activists are gearing up for a fight against solar power in the rural borderland East County region of Boulevard, claiming that a proposed solar project will destroy thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. Backcountry ...

SDG&E, you are relieved. Love, most of the council.

Utility left out of city resolution opposing rate restructuring

After receiving a heavy dose of commentary from San Diego–area residents and conducting a spirited debate, the city council on Tuesday afternoon, March 17, passed a revised version of a resolution seeking change to a ...

Spend a bundle on Spindrift Drive

Buy it for the semicircular aquarium

The 10,715-square-foot estate occupying a lot atop the cliffs of La Jolla at 1828 Spindrift is “the most exceptional oceanfront estate available today,” listing materials for the property assert. “Think ‘Grace Kelly meets Howard Hughes.’” ...

SeaWorld sued for overzealous card swiping

And claimant seeks "unconditional gift" from theme park

Already reeling from falling stock prices as well as ongoing protests inspired by the 2013 documentary Blackfish, the theme park chain SeaWorld is now facing another lawsuit, this time from a group led by a ...

High-need students, get in line

Large share of underfunded schools in Orange and San Diego counties

Significant numbers of “high need" students (who mostly come from low-income backgrounds) are learning English as a second language, are placed in the foster-care system, or are attending schools that may not be receiving the ...

Why, Burnbook? Why do you have to exist?

Law enforcement resources get tied up tracking down juvenile males

A new social media app served as the platform for two confirmed threats of violence in San Diego area schools this week. Burnbook, a platform to "anonymously share thoughts and memories," was used to post ...

Thomas Edison might be ashamed

Southern California Edison balks at demand for communications disclosure

Energy-industry watchdogs are still wrangling with former San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station operator Southern California Edison over the release of communications both internal and between the utility and its state regulator in the buildup to ...

You on the bus?

Mass-transit ridership up — locally and nationally

Even though gas prices fell significantly during the past year, public use of mass transit hit a 58-year high in 2014, according to a March 9 report from the American Public Transit Association. San Diego ...

This is why it's called "wacky tobacky"…

Pot grower pocket-dials sheriff during drug-production conversation

Three suspects and 93 marijuana plants were taken into custody late Monday night, March 2, after one of the individuals apparently accidentally called the sheriff's department while in the middle of a conversation about processing ...

The ol' climate action plan push thing

Activists and councilman urge persistence, discourage passivity

A group of environmental activists organized by the Environmental Health Coalition and San Diego 350 gathered Monday, March 2, in Balboa Park to urge the city to "start here, start now" by fast-tracking implementation of ...

Space for one big yacht and two little ones in Coronado

Situated on the edge of an inlet to the Coronado Cays, the luxury estate at 1 Spinnaker Way offers “the largest, most private, un-matched unobstructed bay and channel views from nearly every room,” according to ...

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