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Stories by Dave Rice

Shameful treatment of restaurant workers

Industry leaders dismiss it, Saru Jayaraman wrote a book on it

"I'm so honored that you've all chosen me over the president," Saru Jayaraman joked to several dozen people assembled at Queen Bee's Art & Cultural Center in North Park. She was there to give a ...

Tucked away in Mission Hills

Current Owner: Deborah Szekely Listing Price: $1,945,000 Beds: 5 | Baths: 5 This week’s property is hidden in Mission Hills, tucked away along a dead-end street and shielded by a wall of towering bamboo interrupted ...

La Mesa considers ban on e-cigarette sales

Mayor Madrid pulls back from total ban proposal

Facing the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, the City of La Mesa on Tuesday, January 28, took up a consideration to ban their sale within city limits at the behest of mayor Art Madrid. "We ...

Uncle, nephew arrested during San Marcos church robbery

Witness alerts authorities, building surrounded before they could escape

Two men are in custody today (January 27) after being caught in the act of burglarizing a San Marcos church in the early morning hours. Daniel Arango and his newphew Luis Arango were seen forcing ...

Duo busted in Jacumba with pot and mushrooms

Border Patrol notices erratic driving…finds weed and psychedelics

Border Patrol agents arrested two men in a Volkswagen Jetta on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms, according to a January 22 release. Around 10 p.m. on the 21st, ...

Hatchet attack on El Cajon jewelry shop owner

Credit card declined, perp gets mad, uses ax handle as weapon

Police in El Cajon are searching for a man accused of beating a jewelry store owner with the blunt end of a hatchet and stealing a gun on Wednesday afternoon (January 22). Around 3:30 p.m., ...

Scott Peters at UCSD to support campaign finance reform

"My race last year was one of the most expensive in the country."

A group of UC San Diego students and activists gathered Tuesday (January 21) to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling and to renew demands ...

San Onofre safety inspector forced out?

Lawsuit suggests Vinod Arora was doing his job too well

A former San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station engineer and inspector claims he was forced out of his job by plant operator Southern California Edison as retaliation for raising safety and security concerns in a newly ...

Political group targets Issa with anti-disclosure petition

Courage Campaign ""fights for a more progressive California"

Darrell Issa has established a reputation for publicizing potentially sensitive government documents — in May 2011 he leaked documents that had been placed under court seal in his Fast and Furious investigation into a botched ...

Fewer parolees returning to prison

Except, perhaps, in San Diego

New numbers from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Wednesday (January 15) suggest that fewer prisoners are returning to incarceration after being released. The state's 2013 Outcome Evaluation Report looks at the recidivism ...

City named in third lawsuit related to Filner allegations

"Serious emotional distress"; "shaking, crying, and afraid"

A third lawsuit has been filed against ousted former mayor Bob Filner over charges of sexual harassment made while he was in office. This time the plaintiffs are Marine veteran Katherine Ragazzino and her nurse, ...

Unemployment benefits plus retirement equals foul

“Flagrant abuse of the system,” says city attorney

City attorney Jan Goldsmith's office, carrying a somewhat tarnished image after a string of recent defeats, the failed prosecution of a man scrawling anti-corporatist rants using sidewalk chalk that drew national headlines, and a questionable ...

Construction begins on Jamul casino despite controversy

Lawsuit challenging project still alive, more forthcoming

Jamul Indian Village and Penn National Gaming on January 10 announced that ground is being broken on a $360-million casino in Jamul even though ongoing controversy culminated in a lawsuit challenging the tribe's existence. The ...

Coastal Commission tours I-5 North County corridor

Approval or denial of freeway expansion plan to come this summer

The California Coastal Commission is in San Diego this week, holding meetings from January 8–10 at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay. On Thursday, the group took comments on the so-called North Coast Corridor Public ...

Carlsbad desalination plant about 25% complete

Project expected to be done in 2016

On January 8, construction on the Carlsbad Desalination Project hit the one-year mark. The venture is one in which Poseidon Water will turn sea water into potable drinking water for the San Diego County Water ...

Chargers linebacker sues former lawyer

Alleges his counsel failed to detect fraud, conflicts of interest

Chargers All-Pro linebacker Dwight Freeney is back in court over a series of misguided investment moves, just weeks after the conclusion of his latest case. Last month, Eva Weinberg, who'd quit her job at Merrill ...

A few blocks from Soledad Park

No ocean view, but the place is still worth millions

Current Owners: Templeton Investment Assets, Inc. Listing Price: $5,200,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 8 Not every home in the tony La Jolla neighborhood can boast sweeping ocean views, but that doesn’t stop many properties from commanding ...

Real estate scammers sentenced to prison

Ruse nets them between $7 million and $20 million

Ramona real estate agent Teresa Rose is headed to prison over her involvement in a multimillion-dollar loan scam, Courthouse News Service is reporting. Rose was among three people facing federal indictment last May, though the ...

Major prison expansion for Donovan state prison

Construction of $168 million building to begin this spring

With the state's prison system still facing overcrowding issues despite a 2011 order from the Supreme Court to address the issue, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced on January 2 that plans had ...

FAA passes over San Diego as drone-testing site

Protesters celebrate near General Atomics' Poway facility

Turnout was sparse on Thursday afternoon, January 2, at a rally organized by San Diego Veterans for Peace to celebrate a decision by the Federal Aviation Administration not to use the skies over San Diego ...

Suspect sought in El Cajon fast-food holdups

Considered armed and dangerous

Police in El Cajon are asking for assistance in identifying a man they believe to be tied to at least two fast-food robberies in recent days. On Monday, December 30, a suspect described in a ...

A few blocks from the bay

This one comes with the Point Loma Hope Garden.

Current owner: Sharon Zell Listing Price: $5,000,000 Beds: 5 Baths: 7 This week’s estate is perched atop a hill, just a few blocks from the San Diego Bay in the Point Loma neighborhood of La ...

"Cheap" nuclear power a myth, suggests economist

San Onofre site to continue costing consumers millions per year

The long-touted economic benefits of using nuclear energy may turn out to have been a pipe dream for customers of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and other nuclear plants nationwide, according to newly released ...

Affordable housing for Nestor

City to lease land for 16 affordable housing units for $16

The San Diego Community Land Trust on December 26 announced that the group will take possession of 3.3 acres in the southern San Diego community of Nestor in exchange for the nominal fee of 16 ...

Who's he think he is? Santa Claus?

Scott Peters doles his dough to San Diego Rescue Mission

Congressman Scott Peters spent Friday morning, December 20, making a few public appearances in the downtown area, stumping for policies to promote access to food for the disadvantaged and elderly at each. Peters started the ...

Nuclear activist's art highlights Edison’s obfuscation

Utility giant’s released documents show amazing amount of redactions

Although the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has produced its final megawatt of power, many battles between regulators, activists, and energy companies with ownership stakes in the plant remain to be fought. It remains to ...

Pio Pico power plant opponents gather in San Ysidro

Natural-gas plant proposal killed in March could be resurrected

Dozens of protesters from across the county gathered outside San Ysidro Middle School on Tuesday afternoon, December 17, to rally before heading into a meeting arranged by the Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the ...

UCSD computer program to ID "urban tribe" members

Only a 48 percent success rate, but work continues

Computer-science researchers at UC San Diego have announced progress in developing an algorithm that can be used to classify someone as a member of an "urban tribe" — such as a surfer, hipster, goth, or ...

San Marcos driver crashes into sign, hydrant, rail, canyon

Medical condition likely attributable to erratic driving

A 37 year-old man (unnamed in police report) seemed to have suffered a seizure or other medical condition on Saturday afternoon, December 14, before his car launched into a canyon near the California State University ...

Local real-estate tax hike totals less than a half percent

Reassessed properties may be excluded from low rate rise

Even though real estate prices have soared in the past year — rising by an average of 18.29 percent across the county, according to the market-tracking firm DataQuick — most property owners in San Diego ...

Lawyer notches third December takedown of city attorney

Wins own case, pockets $83,000 in fees

In addition to a pair of settlements already announced this month, the lawyer representing both victors over city attorney Jan Goldsmith's office has declared a victory of his own. Bryan Pease — whose clients included ...

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 ...

Prison realignment program tied to higher crime rates

Property crime spikes more than violent crime, except in San Diego

Crime is up across the state in the wake of Supreme Court-mandated prison realignment that sent many state inmates back to local jails or set them free early, a December 9 report from the Public ...

Desert polluter Eric Russell gets light sentence

Over 1500 gallons of sewage illegally dumped in Imperial Valley

Las Vegas resident Eric Russell received a six-month jail sentence and was ordered to pay $21,240 in restitution last week by a San Diego court for dumping between 1500 and 2000 gallons of raw sewage ...

Lawsuit seeks to halt Interstate 5 expansion

"Caltrans is stuck in a 1950s mentality…"

The Cleveland National Forest Foundation filed suit against the California Department of Transportation this week, seeking to stop construction on a $3.5 billion expansion of Interstate 5, known as the North Coast Corridor Project. The ...

Leery drone-zone denizens convene in Julian

Back Country Voices aims to be heard

A crowd of about 30 gathered at the Julian Town Hall on Wednesday night (December 4) for the second official meeting of the newly formed Back Country Voices, a group that sprung up in opposition ...

Not just about shrubs, says Ocean Beach resident

Vince Adame says D.A.’s case against him was about police trailer

Ocean Beach resident Vince Adame and his lawyer Frank Gormlie, who also publishes the OB Rag community news website, drew a crowd of news media this morning, December 3. The day before, district attorney Bonnie ...

Cyber Monday ad-buy blasts local Rep. Scott Peters

Congressman's support of Affordable Care Act used against him

The "center-right" nonprofit advocacy group American Action Network on December 2 unleashed a flurry of online ads slamming local congressman Scott Peters over his support of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare ...

Protesters post at entry to Serra Mesa Walmart

Pro-union and former Occupy demonstrators set up in front of store

Gray skies and scattered rain failed to deter hordes of shoppers from descending on area retailers on Black Friday (or, in a phenomenon the media has dubbed "Gray Thursday," from shopping on Thanksgiving night as ...

$285K grant for rubberized road in San Marcos

Less tires in landfills, more braking power for cars

The City of San Marcos announced on November 26 that it has been awarded a $285,000 grant from the state CalRecycle rubberized-pavement grant program. The funds will be used to cover a portion of the ...

Canfield-Wright house escapes razing

420 Avenida Primavera | Del Mar, 92014 Current Owner: Douglas O. Allred Listing Price: $22,900,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 10 The Canfield-Wright House, a 101-year-old mansion named after its first owner, oil tycoon Charles Canfield, sits ...

Water authority draft master plan sees region through 2035

Document would postpone $653 million in spending

The San Diego County Water Authority is out with a draft of a new water facilities master plan and a climate action plan that will tentatively govern water distribution throughout the region through 2035. Based ...

Teen girls strong-arm cell phones on trolley

Allegedly assaulted Korean exchange students

Officers with the La Mesa Police Department have released video-surveillance photos of two suspects in a strong-arm robbery on a trolley last month and are asking the public for assistance in identifying the pair. Police ...

Immigration reform activists visit Darrell Issa's office

Hunger strike begins and ends at congressman's Vista HQ

Immigration reform activists on Friday, November 22, concluded a one-day hunger strike in front of congressman Darrell Issa's office in Vista. The 14 local participants said they were part of a nationwide show of support ...

Recent big Border Patrol busts of Mexican drugs

American users might find their coke, meth, and weed elsewhere

The cross-border drug trade is in full swing, at least according to several announcements from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on November 20. Calexico agents had a busy weekend, reporting the seizure of more ...

UC hospital workers strike

In protest of "a coordinated campaign of illegal intimidation and harassment"

Thousands of workers at University of California hospitals walked off the job Wednesday, November 20, protesting what they claim are unfair labor practices. Three San Diego locations were targeted in the one-day strike. Leaders of ...

SDG&E to refund customers over San Onofre shutdown?

"Unsound decision-making process" in aftermath of radiation leak

San Diego Gas & Electric customers are due a refund as a result of the premature failure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, says an administrative law judge at the California Public Utilities Commission. ...

Convicted domestic offender won't get his guns back

Daniel Chovan allegedly lied on firearm application

A federal appeals court on Monday (November 18) upheld a law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun unless the conviction is overturned. As a result, a San Diego man will not ...

Local cities secure new funding for DUI checkpoints

Sheriff's dept. announces new roadblock — tonight! in Poway — within hours

Local cities secure new funding for DUI checkpoints A handful of local cities have secured state and national funding to thwart drunk driving through an expansion of the "DUI/driver's license checkpoint" program that establishes evening ...

General Atomics' DC office added to anti-drone protest targets

Opponents of drone use plan to descend today (November 15) on the Washington DC offices of San Diego–based defense contractor General Atomics, manufacturers of the Reaper and Predator drones flown by governments worldwide but mostly ...