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Stories by Don Bauder

Taxpayers association thumbs down Chargers proposal

"...hotel tax should be utilized for critical city services, like street repairs..."

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association today (August 22) stated its opposition to the Chargers proposal for a subsidized stadium downtown. Stated the association: "San Diego should not raise taxes to subsidize a billion-dollar corporation; ...

No sales yet, but Rosarito-based company worth billions

Vladislav Steven Zubkis, out of prison and onto Neuromama marketing

The Securities and Exchange Commission on August 15 halted trading in a stock that has zoomed to a value of $35 billion even though it has never had any sales and hasn't filed a financial ...

County unemployment rate keeps rising

Temporary loss of teaching jobs is one key

July's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, up from a revised 5.1 percent in June. California's Employment Development Department reported that the rate is now higher than the corresponding national rate of 5.1 percent. The rate ...

San Diego taxpayers to be Chargers laughingstock?

Stadium opposition group says team would pay no rent

While the Chargers spend money to propagandize for their stadium/convention center (convadium) proposal, some opposition groups are pointing out what a smelly deal Dean Spanos is trying to foist on San Diegans. Today (August 17), ...

Eastridge employment agency punished for workplace discrimination

Local staffing agency settles with Department of Justice

The United States Justice Department announced in Washington DC today (August 15) that it has reached a settlement with Mira Mesa's TEG Staffing, also known as Eastridge Workforce Solutions, to resolve allegations that Eastridge discriminated ...

Pass the biotech bucks

Brokers and others allegedly involved in insider-trading ring

The U.S. Attorney released a criminal complaint, and the Securities and Exchange released a civil one yesterday (August 11) about a ring of insider traders who allegedly made fat profits on insider trading in the ...

County sued over jail suicide

Accused of "deliberate indifference" to inmate's medical needs

Last year, San Diego County instituted new protocols to cut down on inmates taking their lives in jail. The county has generally had a worse record on jail suicides than other California counties. On August ...

New Chargers stadium guarantees higher prices

Family of four now pays almost $480 per game at the Q

Last month, a poll by the Union-Tribune and 10News delivered encouraging news: only 30 percent of respondents were in favor of a stadium subsidy; 40 percent opposed it and 30 percent weren’t sure. Although more ...

Good enough for government work

Local retirees rake it in as though they're still employed

Data from the California Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) reveal that 1535 San Diego area government retirees collected at least $100,000 a year last year, according to Transparent California, a watchdog organization. That figure was up ...

Burned: once by clinic, then by court

Cosmetic surgery goes very badly

Daniel Keehn went to court complaining that he suffered permanent injuries to his face, neck, and chest after undergoing treatment at La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic. The trial court threw out his case, saying, among ...

San Diego lawyers in trouble

Allegedly chokes girlfriend, then presents "evidence of his good character"

The August issue of the Calbar Journal reveals that still more San Diego area lawyers are getting disciplined for inappropriate or felonious behavior. Nicholas Andrew Konoske of San Diego was put on one year of ...

Federal racial discrimination suits filed

From El Cajon to La Costa

Cases alleging racial discrimination are piling up in federal court. On July 27, Pedro Zuniga, his wife, and children charged El Cajon police and others with assault, false arrest, false imprisonment, negligence, and violation of ...

PG&E gets big break in San Bruno disaster fine

Prosecutors no longer seeking $562 million

Mysteriously, prosecutors who were seeking a $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric for its role in the 2010 San Bruno explosion, yesterday (August 2) backed away while the jury was still deliberating. Hours ...

California homes less likely to sink in sea

Florida most at risk from rising ocean levels

If the consensus of climate scientists is correct, almost two million United States homes will be underwater by the year 2100, according to Zillow.com. (This is actually underwater, not financially underwater.) Only 0.4 percent of ...

Even the rich can complain about high rents

Rates soar at both ends of the spectrum

San Diego rents continue to be among the least affordable for both those wanting posh quarters and those who will settle for low-end apartments. Zillow.com published rental data July 28 on 15 major metro areas. ...

Fed's whip comes down on Lucky Lady

Card-room operators charged with illegal bookmaking operation

The U.S. Attorney's office yesterday (July 27) revealed charges that the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room on El Cajon Boulevard, technically a legal operation, is actually a front for illegal gambling. Those running Lucky ...

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 ...

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