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Stories by Don Bauder

Never mind Bullock’s — Target is the future of dying malls

Target instead of Bullock’s, Macy’s instead of the Broadway

America’s ubiquitous shopping malls are starting to disappear. It’s not surprising, because the mid-to-lower section of the middle class — many malls’ major market — is vanishing. There is even a website that keeps the ...

Doctor vs. doctor

Plastic surgeon claims colleagues attempted career sabotage

Dr. Jason Toranto a pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgeon, has filed suit in federal court against another doctor, Rady Children's Hospital, and the University of California, Irvine, for trying to ruin his career. Toranto claims ...

Issa introduces bill to thwart H-1B abuse

Higher salary threshold could make it harder for companies to skirt intent

North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa yesterday (July 20) announced the introduction of legislation that is intended to close a loophole in the H-1B visa program that allegedly depresses wages and job opportunities of American ...

Edison pushed San Onofre beyond breaking point

The short-term profit motive likely has Thomas spinning in his grave

Based on internal documents of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Southern California Edison, operators of the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, deliberately pushed the system beyond its breaking point, causing tubes filled with superheated pressurized radioactive ...

San Diegans have less stress

Detroit citizens suffer the most, claims study

Citizens of San Diego have less stress than citizens of most other cities, according to a study by WalletHub, a statistical aggregator. The study attempted to measure best and worst cities for drivers, teen drivers, ...

Prominent entrepreneur sues prominent judge

Kinsella says McConnell deprived him of rights

Kevin Kinsella, well-known venture capitalist, this week (July 11) filed a suit in federal court against Judith McConnell, administrative presiding justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal for California. Kinsella complains that McConnell deprived ...

Bar comes down on San Diego County lawyers

July edition

San Diego County lawyers have been disciplined, according to the calbarjournal.com and state bar records. James Joseph Warner was disbarred. In July of 2014, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and attempted ...

Brexit — what do San Diego analysts think?

And what will it do to us?

Throughout Britain in the month of June, anti-Brexit propaganda was ubiquitous. Brexit, the vote on Britain dropping out of the European Union, or EU, “was dismissed, mocked and ridiculed. It was for lunatics and madmen,” ...

San Diegans live well but pay for it

Locals (who can afford a home) shell out 59.7 percent of income on mortgages

San Diego is the eighth most livable city in America, according to WalletHub, the statistical aggregating firm. This is based on such factors as recreation, diversity, job market, quality of schools, tax rates, and health. ...

Homeless people disrupt Mira Mesa neighborhood

Land owner Pardee Homes says sensitive habitat restricts enforcement

A homeless encampment in a canyon off Mira Mesa's Montongo Street is stirring up the neighborhood. Resident Katherine White says there have been three fires in the past two weeks. The land is owned by ...

U-T's lauding of Bush II presidency might seem stupid

Pulitzer finalist's book at odds with paper's ranking of ex-prez as fifth best

Many in San Diego will not forget the Union-Tribune's "Our Mount Rushmore: The five best U.S. presidents" editorial headline of 2012. The editorial board concluded George W. Bush was the fifth-best president ever (tied with ...

Chula Vista ranked 100 of 100 in recreation

Analysis deemed San Diego #12

Personal finance website WalletHub today (July 5) published its study of the best and worst cities for recreation. San Diego came in 12th of 100 of the largest cities, but Chula Vista lagged at 100th. ...

Real estate bubble still popping

Jeffrey Lubin, who said investors could get 17 percent a year, files for bankruptcy

Once high-flying hard-money lender Jeffrey Lubin has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. His wife Barbara joined in the filing. Her given address was on Hidden Valley Road in La Jolla, in a home worth ...

Wanted: sex with infants in Mexico

Joel Alexander Wright said he had pain-relief medications and lubricants

Joel Alexander Wright, a former Ohio seminary student, was sentenced yesterday (July 1) to 188 months in federal prison for attempting to adopt or purchase female infants and toddlers in Tijuana so he could sexually ...

Feds shell out $170 million for Corinthian loans

Shuttered for-profit college has milked taxpayers

The Department of Education has forgiven more than $170 million of loans to students who attended the shuttered Corinthian Colleges, according to a report released yesterday (June 29). Marketwatch.com reports that the Department of Education ...

Combining convention centers and stadiums doesn’t work

Beware the convadium con

It is comforting to know that the presidential race is not the only wacko thing going on in this country. Voters in McKinney, Texas, have authorized spending $63 million on a new high school football ...

Former U-T owner sees future in oil

Manchester says he's a passive investor in Chilean company

Former Union-Tribune owner Douglas Manchester reported last month that he purchased 16.3 percent of GeoPark Limited, a Santiago, Chile–based oil-and-gas exploration and production company. Manchester's purchase of 9.7 million shares for around $30 million makes ...

Tax-free stadium plan? Beware

San Diegans should cock an eyebrow at claims being made

Two cheers for former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio spearheading a plan to build a Chargers stadium without tapping tax money. Such a plan would be welcome, but San Diegans should cock an ...

Surrogacy service provider indicted

Planet Hospital Ponzi scheme alleged

Acharrayya Rupak, founder of Planet Hospital, a medical tourism company that had business addresses in San Diego, Calexico, and Calabasas, was indicted yesterday (June 22) for stealing more than $2 million from infertile clients seeking ...

Roque De La Fuente to run for U.S. Senate in Florida

San Diego–born businessman/car dealer finds popularity back East

San Diego businessman Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente, who failed in his attempt to get the Democratic nomination for president, this week filed to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida. According to saintpetersblog.com, De ...

San Diego doesn't represent the nation closely

Economic/demographic study ranks county 264th of 379 surveyed

San Diego's economic and demographic composition is not similar to that of the United States as a whole. A study by WalletHub, a statistical aggregator, concludes that San Diego County is 264th out of 379 ...

Callaway and TaylorMade swing and miss

Golf’s regulators say skill is more important than the equipment

Local golf industry takes a right hook to the snout.

Florida subsidy orgy over?

Sanford-Burnham Orlando move during Jeb Bush reign not so smooth

What could be called "Jeb Bush's Follies" in Florida is getting worse. Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is considering leaving Lake Nona, near Orlando. A subsidy orgy began in 2003 when San Diego's Scripps Research ...

U-T pension deficit soars, is considered risk factor

Benefit obligation $235.6 million; plan value $139.4 million

The San Diego Union-Tribune's pension/retirement deficit rose to $96.2 million at year-end 2015, according to the parent Tribune Publishing's 10-K annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The deficit was $85.4 million in May ...

Navy admiral guilty of lying about Fat Leonard relationship

Highest-ranked officer caught in Singapore scandal

United States Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau pleaded guilty in federal court today (June 9) to felony charges that he lied to federal investigators about his lengthy relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis (aka "Fat Leonard"), ...

State bar disciplines seven local lawyers

Car-crashing, drug-selling, fee-related malfeasance, etc.

The State Bar of California has disciplined seven San Diego County attorneys. Jordan David Beal got one year of probation and suspension for 30 days. He had offered to sell a controlled substance to an ...

After deep dive, West Coast homes surface

Fewest underwater since bubble burst four years ago

According to Zillow.com yesterday (June 8), West Coast metro areas have made a stunning comeback since the housing crash. In the first quarter of 2012, when residential underwater rates were at their peaks, 31.4 percent ...

General Atomics and Sempra on welfare

Big companies get the bulk of handouts

Welfare for corporations is one of our most rancid economic problems. Who is to blame? Surprise! Alexander Hamilton, our first secretary of the treasury. He is beloved on Broadway these days, but Appalachian moonshiners may ...

Signature-gatherer falsely claims petition will save Comic-Con

Who the guy was working for remains a mystery

On June 2 in front of Vons in North Park, at 30th Street and Howard, a paid signature-gatherer stood next to a sign. It read: "Please sign the new Comic-Con petition." Reader contributor Dryw Keltz ...

Bat-wielding doctor loses license

Spat at neighbor's guest, made death threat, had stroke soon after

Michael Patrick Smith of Encinitas lost his medical license last month, according to the Medical Board of California. He did not dispute the board's account of his behavior. On July 21 of 2012, Smith's neighbors ...

Insider says longer waits at DMV to come

Temporary employees get termination letters

Assembly Bill 60, which permits undocumented workers to get driver's licenses, went into effect on January 2 of last year. The bill had passed in 2013, allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles time to bulk ...

Chula Vista deemed the worst staycation spot

Mosquitoes in Cleveland, heat in Bakersfield considered in study?

WalletHub, which compiles statistics on cities, metro areas, and states, is out with a study measuring the best and worst cities for staycations, or periods in which the family stays home, sleeping in their own ...

Troubled Bridgepoint runs into GI Bill problems

Add it to ongoing investigations of school and big first-quarter losses

On May 26, San Diego–based Bridgepoint Education reported more problems: Iowa's Department of Education said the state, beginning June 30, would no longer approve applications for G.I. Bill benefits. Ashford University, the online operation that ...

SDPD overreacted at 7-year-old's birthday party

Toy gun did not justify search and detainment

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, the Sialoi family held a barbecue in front of their apartment to celebrate the seventh birthday of a family member. (The lawsuit does not indicate in which San Diego neighborhood ...

Widow of Peregrine CEO can't collect on claims

Prison personnel didn't violate law, says court

Dorothy F. Gardner, widow of Stephen P. Gardner, former chief executive of Peregrine Systems, can't collect on wrongful death charges. Peregrine was San Diego's biggest corporate fraud. In 2008, Gardner was sentenced to 97 months ...

Prime Healthcare charged for alleged false claims

Whistleblower worked at Alvarado

The federal government today (May 25) charged Prime Healthcare Services with fraud for billing for medically unnecessary in-patient short-stay admissions that should have been classified on an outpatient/observation status. The suit was filed in federal ...

John Sarkisian, big in business circles

But he lost the lawsuit and hasn’t paid his victim

John Sarkisian is an establishment darling. He is one of the purported economic experts interviewed regularly for the Union-Tribune’s “EconoMeter” feature. He is founder and vice chairman of Carlsbad’s Pro Performance Sports (doing business as ...

NFL tried to frustrate concussion study

It stymied, rather than helped, brain research

Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce yesterday (May 23) released a report charging that the National Football League (NFL) tried to frustrate rather than aid a study on concussions. In 2012, ...

Another basketball scandal hits USD

Dominique Conners had gambling addiction

Former University of San Diego women's basketball star Dominique Conners was sentenced today (May 23) to 90 days' house arrest and three years of probation for thefts she committed at Camp Pendleton to feed her ...

County unemployment rate keeps falling

Thanks mostly to hospitality jobs related to tourism

The San Diego County unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in April from a revised 4.7 percent in March and 5.0 percent a year ago, according to data from the California Employment Development Department. Jobs ...

California State Bar shakes loose John Douglass Jennings

Attorney ensnared by "fraudulent and/or felonious intent," disbarment to follow

As of May 29, John Douglass Jennings will be officially disbarred. He has been ineligible to practice law since October 10 as a result of an action by the California State Bar Court, but the ...

Real estate fraudsters stole more than $30 million

Coronado, check...La Jolla, check...Del Mar, check...

Coronado businessman Courtland Gettel and Arizona lawyer Jeffrey Greenberg pleaded guilty this week to pulling off a real estate scam that took in $30 million. They took out big loans against expensive homes in La ...

Phil Mickelson faces gambling-related charges

Did pro golfer profit from inside information?

Top pro golfer Phil Mickelson was charged with insider trading today (May 19) in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint that will be tried in federal court in the Southern District of New York. The ...

Thank Dave (Stutz) for disorganizing local crime

Worked on task force that took down Mr. San Diego, C. Arnholt Smith

Andre David (Dave) Stutz, who was instrumental in bringing down banker/conglomerateur C. Arnholt Smith (once named "Mr. San Diego of the century" by a San Diego Union reporter), died last month. In 1966, a Los ...

Opioid-addicted doctor gets five years of probation

She initially took hydrocodone following an operation

The Medical Board of California has put Kathryn Papier Hirst, M.D., on five years of probation. Following surgery, she became addicted to hydrocodone, and at one point was taking 30 to 40 tablets a day. ...

Bad things alleged about Shaun White

Snowboard champ accused of harassment by his band's drummer

Snowboarding/skateboarding pro Shaun White is being sued for sexual harassment by Lena Zawaideh, the drummer in his band named Bad Things, according to more than one rock-music publication. White and Zawaideh, friends since their youth ...

San Diego, diversity city

We rank sixth highest among large cities, 11th overall

San Diego is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, according to a new study by WalletHub, a firm that keeps statistics on cities, metro areas, and states. The city is 11th ...

Alleged father-son fleecers in trouble again

Galanis family charged in case involving investors in Native American bonds

Oceanside's John Galanis and his son Jason of Los Angeles have been charged both civilly and criminally with defrauding investors in phony Native American tribal bonds. Both suits were filed against the pair and five ...

Qualcomm and Jack in the Box struggle to boost stock prices

San Diego giants sell well below their highs

Stocks of two of San Diego’s most-admired companies have dropped sharply from their all-time highs around $100. One, Qualcomm, dropped around 90 percent before recovering, but the plunge took place long ago, in the early ...

Drug counselor indicted for smuggling drugs

Prisoners and their friends helped sneak the stash in Calipatria

A supervisory drug counselor at Calipatria State Prison in Imperial County, Angela Carr, was indicted today (May 10) for smuggling methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana into the facility. Carr routinely met with inmates attending the prison's ...

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