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Stories by Don Bauder

San Diego's famed urban planner — leaving so soon?

Bill Fulton, hired last summer, to leave at the end of August

San Diego's planning director, Bill Fulton, has resigned, effective August 30. Fulton was brought in by ex-mayor Bob Filner in June of last year to head the planning department, which had been dismantled by former ...

Sure beats jail time

San Diegan banned from securities business for five years

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday (July 31) announced an agreement by which Jason D. Huntley of San Diego will be banned from the securities business for five years. Huntley agreed to the judgment without ...

Who made these errors?

Under pressure, California Public Utilities Commission releases report

The California Public Utilities Commission late today (July 31) released a report that is devastating to both Southern California Edison and its protector, the commission. The U-T today ran a story about the CPUC's refusal ...

Will NFL neglect welfare of birds?

With all its glass, the new Vikings stadium will kill them

The American Bird Conservancy has asked the National Football League to modify plans for the soon-to-be-built Minnesota Vikings stadium. It will feature large expanses of glass that will kill thousands of birds over time, says ...

Peeved, to be sure

Newspapers call for utilities commission chief Peevey's head

This week, two events affecting Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and CPUC president Michael Peevey, have ignited a firestorm of justifiable indignation. First, the City of San Bruno managed to ...

"Official ticket site," in a pig's eye

FTC nails local company for online deception

The Federal Trade Commission and the State of Connecticut have fined three online ticket resellers $1.4 million for deceptive advertising. One of the companies, SecureBoxOffice, is run out of San Diego by James Moran. SecureBoxOffice ...

Some of that California money

Manchester hosts cash roundup for Texas candidate — $5000 gets you in

Doug Manchester, who intends to build a long-delayed hotel in Austin, is putting on a glitzy fundraiser for Greg Abbott, the Republican who is running for Texas governor against Democrat Wendy Davis. Manchester and his ...

Auditor Luna gets snubbed

The downtown corporate-welfare crowd wants an “independent” auditor.

City Auditor Eduardo Luna was promised he would be independent. But after stepping on toes of the downtown crowd, he is catching flak.

No love

Suspension of La Jolla Tennis Club president results in backlash

Tonight (July 29), the board of La Jolla Tennis Club suspended its former president, Phifer Crute, until January of 2016. She was earlier deposed as president — a post she did not hold long. Crute ...

Yes, we will defend Jan Goldsmith

Council approves city attorney's request for lawyer expenses in email lawsuit

The city council today, (July 29) by a 7-1 vote, approved spending taxpayer money up to $150,000 to pay city attorney Jan Goldsmith's legal bills. The lawsuit against Goldsmith forces him to reveal the contents ...

Encinitas? You're pretty snobby

Poway ranked 37th, thanks to high home prices and incomes

Movoto.com, a real estate research outfit, has culled 2010 census data to rank the 50 snobbiest small cities (population 45,000 to 65,000). What counts is highest median household income, highest median home values, largest percentage ...

San Diego recovers poorly

Stats study ranks our burg 103rd among 150 metro areas

WalletHub, which compiles economic and demographic statistics on American cities, finds that California cities, including San Diego, have recovered from the Great Recession more slowly than other American cities. The company looks at a number ...

NY Times pooh-poohs Comic-Con spending

But U-T says money flows

The headline in a New York Times story this morning (July 28) is "Large Crowds Spend Little at Comic-Con." The story — written by two reporters with help from a third — quotes a panelist ...

Utilities commission was cozy with utility

Pacific Gas gets love letters from state regulators

The publication SFGate revealed yesterday (July 26) just how cozy officials of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are with the utilities they are supposed to regulate. The City of San Bruno, which suffered a ...

Bridgepoint's troubles continue

SEC, Massachusetts probing for-profit university

Bridgepoint Education announced today (Jan. 25) that the Massachusetts attorney general is investigating whether the company's business practices comply with the state's consumer protection laws. Bridgepoint recently settled with Iowa for $7.25 million and is ...

Pendleton "Godfather" gets two years

Took more than $100,000 in bribes

Natividad Lara "Nate" Cervantes, the so-called "Godfather" of Camp Pendleton, was sentenced to two years in prison today (July 25) for accepting more than $100,000 in bribes from contractors seeking millions of dollars of military ...

Is Jerry Brown hiding his San Onofre role?

Suit says governor won't provide documents

Yesterday (July 24), attorney Mike Aguirre filed a suit against governor Jerry Brown, complaining that he may have violated the California Public Records Act by refusing to reveal any communications he had on the termination ...

Polls suggest Peters and DeMaio are ahead

Yesterday (July 24), a poll by House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC, showed Scott Peters ahead of Carl DeMaio in the 52nd congressional district, 48 percent to 43 percent. Peters's purported lead was slightly above ...

U-T sued for copyright infringement

"Is BWP Media the New Photo Copyright Infringement Troll?"

Los Angeles-based BWP Media USA, doing business as Pacific Coast News, filed suit yesterday (July 24) in Los Angeles federal court, claiming the U-T has used copyrighted celebrity photographs on its websites without permission. BWP ...

Sempra to travel with Brown in Mexico

The utility is giving the governor bucks

Ninety businesspeople will be traveling with Gov. Jerry Brown to Mexico next week, according to the Sacramento Bee. Many represent companies that are giving to Brown's 2014 reelection campaign, even though they gave more heavily ...

Herbalife knocked as illegal pyramid scheme

Wall Street fat cats try running stock up as critic tries to run it down

Herb Greenberg, who is in the enviable position of living in San Diego and being a regular on the New York–based CNBC TV business channel, this morning (July 24) said hedge-fund head Bill Ackman made ...

"Made in America"?

Consumers sue, say it ain't so

The Del Mar Law Group is suing blue-jeans companies over "Made in America" labels. In one suit that the firm hopes will be certified as a class action, the plaintiff states that "fabric, thread, buttons, ...

Disabilities act lawsuits pile up

San Diego lawyers cash in, despite law to prevent abuses

According to the Desert Sun, Coachella Valley businesses, particularly hotels, are being hit with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits. San Diego attorney David Wakefield is filing many of those suits. Wakefield is a former ...

Only better than Newark and Laredo

Chula Vista among lowest-ranked recreation cities

San Diego County has the weather for recreation but not the amenities. That's the inevitable conclusion of a study by WalletHub, a group that gathers statistics and ranks metro areas. WalletHub rated cities on on ...

Bubble value

San Diego median housing cost -- $300,000 more than nation

The median price of San Diego homes is $474,300 — more than $300,000 above the U.S. median of $174,200, according to Zillow.com. San Diego County prices are now only 11.9 percent below the peak of ...

Padres play dead ball

Historic hitting futility could set record

The headline in today's New York Times: "Padres' Offense May Go Down As Worst Ever." The team's .214 batting average is 23 points lower than the second-worst team, says the Times. If the batting average ...

Jobs numbers rise, but so does jobless rate

Unemployment rate jumped to 6.1% in June

The San Diego County unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in June, up from a revised 5.8 percent in May. The county gained 9700 jobs in the month. Leisure and hospitality jobs rose by 3000 ...

Sex-lube maker sues La Jolla Playhouse

Michael Trigg didn't get his promised movie lines

Michael Trigg, whose Valencia-based company makes products to enhance lovemaking, such as "clitoral arousal gel," is in high dudgeon. He has sued several institutions in Los Angeles Superior Court; one of the defendants is La ...

66.3% — Isn't that a solid "D"?

SD third in clean-tech leadership

Clean Edge, a clean-tech research firm, yesterday (July 15) published its ranking of states and metro areas in clean-tech commitment and leadership. San Diego ranked third among the largest metro areas, up from seventh last ...

La Jolla Music outraises San Diego Opera over 10-1

Money is flowing into classical music coffers.

La Jolla Music Society has raised $50 million while San Diego Opera has raised $4.5 million. But still, the opera is doing well, given this spring's turmoil.

Water hogs' lament

State control board gets tough, threatens fines up to $500

The California State Water Control Board, saying that Governor Brown's conservation measures are failing to reduce water consumption by 20 percent, today (July 15) approved fines up to $500 for residents who waste water on ...

A lawyer just like in the movies

James Warner pleads guilty to money-laundering and witness-tampering

Criminal defense attorney James Warner pleaded guilty today (July 15) to laundering $100,000 of a client's drug-trafficking proceeds and then tampering with a potential witness in the case. According to the plea agreement, federal drug ...

General Atomics opens big mine with big losses

It hopes uranium prices will recover some day.

The Four Mile uranium mine in South Australia officially opened last month. According to Australia media, the uranium will cost $40 a pound to produce while the market price is $28 a pound. The mine ...

Suit-happy lawyer sues theaters over free popcorn

Albert G. Rava at it again

San Diego attorney Albert G. Rava is charging discrimination again. He has filed a suit in Superior Court charging that in a ten-day promotion last year, AMC Entertainment offered free popcorn to federal employees, but ...

Former mayor's lobbyist fined

Illegal donation made to Jerry Sanders's 2005 campaign

The California Fair Political Practices Commission has fined Arizona lobbyist Gary Husk $5000 for an illegal contribution to the 2005 campaign of candidate Jerry Sanders, who went on to become mayor. Husk, former lobbyist for ...

Nerd deflector

San Diego low in tech rating

NerdWallet, which puts together statistics on metro areas, in a study today (July 7) ranks San Diego 20th in a list of cities that are best for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates. Twentieth? ...

Murrieta mob

Hot Springs history features different kind of mob

Some commentators say that last week a "mob" of Murrieta protesters blocked immigrants seeking to enter the United States. If you go back 40 to 50 years, Murrieta was known for a different kind of ...

Sorry, Wall Street darling

For-profit Corinthian to sell, shut campuses after running afoul of feds

Orange County–based Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit college operation, announced yesterday (July 4) that it will sell almost 100 schools in the United States and Canada and shut down 12 others through an agreement with the ...

Not quite rags to riches, but...

Two local brokers win back $5 million from Morgan Stanley

The Fourth Appellate District has overturned a Superior Court decision that denied two San Diego brokers a judgment of almost $5 million. In 2008, Wall Street's Morgan Stanley had recruited Todd Vitale and John Paladino ...

How much did they pay you to move to Texas?

Recreation-software-maker Active Network going to Dallas

Active Network, which makes recreational software for golf courses, camps, and the like, announced today (July 3) that it is moving its headquarters from Sorrento Valley to Dallas, Texas. In a news release, Texas officials ...

FBI thinks they smell a rat

Border official charged with taking bribes, stealing government property

Timothy Francis Cashman, General Services Administration manager at Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Tecate ports of entry, was arrested July 1 and charged with taking bribes and stealing government property, according to the local office ...

How can convention centers be so dumb?

Faulty convention-center projections swallowed whole.

Although their forecasts are usually wrong by 50 percent, cities keep hiring convention center consultants.

Dead kids don't sue

Lawyer convicted of stealing identities of deceased children

After only 30 minutes of deliberation, a federal jury yesterday (June 30) convicted Lloyd Irving Taylor, tax attorney and accountant, of 19 felony counts, including aggravated identity theft and tax evasion. Evidence at trial reportedly ...

Supreme Court rules in favor of carriers

Decision buttresses U-T carriers' claims in case finalized in January

The California Supreme Court ruled today (June 30) that a worker is an employee if the employer has the right to control the worker's behavior. The matter at hand was whether carriers for Antelope Valley ...

Maybe Potrero citizens sensed something

Spine-chilling details of Blackwater violence, hubris

In early 2007, citizens of tiny Potrero — 45 minutes from downtown San Diego and 8 minutes from Tecate — rebelled. A mercenary firm, Blackwater USA, wanted to build an 824-acre training facility three miles ...

SD's for-profit colleges devour GI Bill bucks

University of Phoenix in San Diego gets more than the entire UC campus system

The Center for Investigative Reporting yesterday (June 28) came out with a study of GI Bill funds flowing to for-profit colleges that fail state aid standards. "California is the epicenter of this problem with nearly ...

Jack sued by Michael Shames!

Says Jumbo Jack pricing unsavory

Michael Shames, deposed head of Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN), says that San Diego–based fast food chain Jack in the Box is ripping off its customers. Shames's lawsuit, filed June 18 in San Diego Superior ...

Take a gamble: buy a house

SD 9th riskiest housing market

Zillow.com and Bloomberg.com have combined forces to figure out which American housing markets have been the riskiest over the past 35 years. Here's the methodology: assuming buyers held their homes for five years before selling, ...

A-1, baby

California gets highest debt rating since 2001

Moody's Investors Service today (June 25) gave California its highest debt rating since 2001, boosting the rating from Aa3 to A1. Moody's rating is two steps higher than those given by Standard & Poor's and ...

Mercy for an elder fleecer?

His scam victims screaming in protest

Philip Rand Lochmiller is a notorious fleecer of elderly investors. In 1985 in North County, he was sentenced to three years behind bars for his role — along with his mother and brother — in ...

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