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Stories by Don Bauder

U-T San Diego for sale again?

Rumor: Burnham raising money to buy the paper — no real estate in the deal

A rumor is going around among San Diego business executives that real-estate mogul and city leader Malin Burnham is trying to raise money to buy U-T San Diego from real-estate mogul Douglas Manchester. The sale ...

Not the best of times yet

Last year, San Diego's poverty rate rose to 15.8 %; El Cajon, 19.7%

Poverty statistics are going the opposite way in the city of San Diego and the United States. Today (September 18) San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives reported that the San Diego poverty rate rose to ...

Busted for insult and financial injury

Two men guilty of using stolen IDs to fraudulently purchase cars

Edmund Seshie and Abdul Rezak Shaib pleaded guilty yesterday (September 17) to being part of a West African-based combination car theft/identity theft ring. They purchased stolen credit cards and counterfeit driver's licenses in bulk from ...

Chastened yet, Public Utilities Commission?

Consumers oppose SDG&E plan that would thwart solar

At a packed public hearing at Al Bahr Shrine Center in Kearny Mesa this afternoon (Sept. 16), utility ratepayers showed up to slam or support San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E's) plan to raise rates ...

Calpers to dump hedge funds

Move to reduce risk

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), the largest United States pension fund, is getting rid of hedge funds over the next year, saying they are too complicated and expensive. Hedge funds are pooled investment ...

San Diego #21 in the smarts department

Not exactly an intellectual hub and not quite Beaumont

Of 150 metro areas, San Diego is 21st as an intellectual hub, according to WalletHub, which gathers statistics on metro areas and states. The key criteria for each metro area are highest percentage of high ...

Chief of staff at CPUC resigns

And Peevey bows out of San Bruno decision

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced today, September 15, that it had taken several measures to deal with what it called "inappropriate email exchanges" between the commission and the utilities. Those emails, unearthed in ...

Tampa blows SD out of the water(front)

Gulf Coast home costs 733% more than an inland abode; here, they're 247% more

Across the U.S., people pay twice as much for waterfront homes as they do for inland residences. San Diego can top that. According to Zillow.com, the median value of a non-waterfront home in San Diego ...

Trillion troubles

Arthur Grigorian stole identities, filed phony tax returns, raked in $1.5 million

Arthur Grigorian admitted in federal court today (September 11) that he took in $1.5 million from phony tax returns, filing them in the names of hundreds of victims. Commonly, Grigorian and his conspirators claimed that ...

Texas is business-friendly — to Texans

San Diego's Allen Group has found out that Texas is friendly to business — particularly Texas-based businesses.

Hispanic entrepreneurship low in SD

California coastal cities not so hot, either

In a ranking of the best and worst cities for Hispanic entrepreneurship, San Diego comes in a lowly 107 of 150 metro areas, according to a study by the statistical aggregator Wallethub.com. Among the Hispanic-related ...

Middle-finger bird deemed free

Digit-wielding Chiefs fan at Chargers game punched security guard

A San Diego Chargers security guard can't be held liable for restraining an opposing team's fan who flipped the middle digit at Chargers fans, a federal judge has ruled, according to Courthouse News Service. In ...

Five Bartell Hotels hit by data breach

Up to 55,000 guests may have had credit-card info stolen

Bartell Hotels today (September 8) said it is notifying customers of five of its seven San Diego hotels that there was a data breach earlier this year. The compromised information includes credit-card numbers of 43,000 ...

Cost of Chargers game about average

For a family of four: $478.19

Team Marketing Report has released its annual calculation of what it costs to go to a National Football League (NFL) game. The price for a family of four to attend a game includes prices of ...

Central Admixture cited for bad practices

FDA inspectors find violations at pharmaceutical company

In early August, inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) visited Central Admixture Pharmacy Services in Miramar and found multiple potential violations of new drug-making safety regulations. In November of last year, the Drug ...

Victory! San Onofre settlement deemed unfair

CPUC admits proposed formula "favors utilities" and not ratepayers

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today (September 5) said that the proposal that would bill ratepayers $3.3 billion for the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant must be revised. "The proposed formula favors ...

No county for retirees

San Diego ranked 108th

Wallethub.com, a firm that calculates statistics on metro areas based on complex formulas, says San Diego is no ideal retirement haven. Criteria were such factors as weather, affordability, senior centers per capita, fishing and recreation ...

Convention wisdom

"We're going to find ourselves behind the eight ball again," says expert.

San Diego's hotel business is perking up, but the immediate future looks shaky because of the uncertainty about the convention center, says tourism guru Jerry Morrison. Year-to-date through July, San Diego occupancy is up 4.3 ...

How dry is it?

Southwest drought possibility: 80% chance of one lasting 10 years

Notice to the Southwestern United States: the drought may worsen and last much longer than anticipated. A new study by the University of Arizona, Cornell University, and the U.S. Geological Survey is disquieting. The researchers ...

R.I.P. Andrew Kay

Kaypro II was once the fifth-best-selling personal computer.

Andrew Kay died August 28 at age 95. Kay, who was born Andrew Kopischiansky, played a key role in San Diego's up/down business history. His company, Non-Linear Systems, came out with one of the early ...

PG&E to pony up big for San Bruno explosion

Though judges lowered payout, it will be largest fine ever if okayed

Two California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judges ruled today (September 2) that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) must pay $1.4 billion in fines and penalties for safety violations that led to the 2010 ...

Bitter split at San Diego Opera

Former president says she will neither donate nor attend

The arts section of today's (September 1) New York Times has a generally bullish story on the attempted turnaround of the San Diego Opera. The headline tells the story: "Amid Choruses of Despair, an Aria ...

Poll: San Diegans don't want to subsidize stadium

Even the U-T runs a tiny, buried blurb on the countywide survey

On August 26, Solana Beach–based (W)right On Communications, a public relations firm, announced results of a poll of 375 county residents: 63 percent of county residents would oppose the City of San Diego funding construction ...

La Jollans allegedly caught with phony checks

Authorities say they caught the couple in Lake Arrowhead

According to the Alpenhorn News, La Jollan Michael John Baron and his wife, Sharon McCall-Baron, have been charged with manufacturing phony checks, using a computer and software program. The newspaper heard from a sheriff's department ...

Palomar Mountain Marijuana Co. goes bust

Real estate agent falsely reports girlfriend's income as $420K/year

Marco Luis and Joshua Hester were longtime friends and business partners. "As a real estate agent, Luis had the know-how. As a career marijuana dealer, Hester had the cash," notes a decision from the Ninth ...

Hope for the little people

Has CPUC given up on $3.3 billion ripoff?

At a meeting on September 11, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was expected to take up the so-called "settlement" by which ratepayers of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric were to ...

Trillion-dollar charity man

And then there's the one about his mining company worth $86 billion

Mark Twain defined a gold mine as a hole in the ground with a liar on the top. Meet William Ison. He pleaded guilty yesterday (August 27) to wooing investors into a private placement program ...

Not exactly chicken feed

Hewlett-Packard executive assistant embezzled $1 million

Holli Dawn Coulman yesterday (August 27) pleaded guilty to defrauding Hewlett-Packard of almost $1 million between 2008 and 2012. She was an executive assistant to a senior vice president of a San Diego branch of ...

Total Wealth mis-Management

Radio show used to promote fraud — ill-gotten money went into gun shop

On April 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged that Total Wealth Management, a San Diego investment firm headed by Jacob Cooper, had taken kickbacks without informing its clients. The firm's regular KOGO radio ...

Use brains, stay in California

Some companies move to Texas, but venture money flows to California.

Texas governor Rick Perry touts low taxes and wages, but the companies wanting brains stay in California.

The mayor's wife's power boat is sold

Restaurant Events, Inc., listed as owner

A 28-foot power boat listed in the name of Restaurant Events, Inc., the company owned by Katherine Stuart, wife of mayor Kevin Faulconer, has been sold. Wayne C. Jones Yacht & Ship Brokerage reported online ...

Putting the "Public" back into the CPUC

Senate bill could change the way utilities commission operates

State senator Jerry Hill, a Democrat of San Mateo, has introduced a bill that would require the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to conform to state open-meeting laws. The roots of this proposed bill are ...

Earthquake '14

Brown declares state of emergency in Napa

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for southern Napa today (Aug. 24). A temblor registering 6.0 hit at 3:20 this morning. Power has been knocked out to thousands of people in the area. ...

Earth loses 63 trillion gallons of groundwater

Scripps says earth rises 0.16 inches in 18 months

The ongoing drought in the Western United States has caused so much groundwater loss that the earth has risen 0.16 inch on average in the past 18 months — up to 0.6 inch in the ...

Ob-gyn doctor could lose license

Medical board issues accusation

The Medical Board of California's Department of Consumer Affairs has brought an accusation against Niloufer Dennis, M.D., who practices obstetrics and gynecology and has offices in Kearny Mesa and El Cajon, according to an online ...

What? Drugs and nudity at a rock concert?

Tentatively, SD company loses Virginia concessions license

San Diego-based Best Beverage Company has had its concessions license tentatively revoked by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Last year, the company was concessionaire to the Lockn' Festival in Nelson County. There were ...

Two bad boys

Insider trading by ex-Qualcomm executive and an investor bilker

Robert William Herman, formerly a director of the North America Sales Department of Qualcomm, pleaded guilty today (August 21) to insider trading. Herman was secretly told by his Qualcomm supervisor that the company was contemplating ...

Working parents should live in Chula Vista

South Bay city comes in 12th in the nation; San Diego, 56th

NerdWallet, an organization that keeps statistics on metropolitan areas, says that Chula Vista is the 12th best city in the nation in which working parents can raise children. The study was done in conjunction with ...

Sunshine-taxed to the max!

Buy? Rent? Both unaffordable in SD

Should you buy or rent a home in San Diego? Neither, if you look at such a decision from an economic perspective. According to Zillow.com, the share of median income needed to buy a home ...

Dude, that fish taco place called again

Rubio's says remote messaging not sales calls, seeks FCC clarification

Rubio's, the Carlsbad-based Mexican fast-food chain, on August 11 asked the Federal Communications Commission to clarify Telephone Consumer Protection Act applicability. In 1991, the federal government passed the act to protect people against pestiferous telephone ...

Proposed La Jolla music venue challenged in suit

Tapenade Restaurant charges fraud

La Bastide, a corporation which owns the tony Tapenade Restaurant, has sued the owner of a La Jolla shopping center on which La Jolla Music Society plans to build a $40 million performing arts center. ...

Shames lawsuit thrown out

Aguirre, Peffer get summary judgment

Superior Court judge Ronald Prager today (Aug. 15) threw out remaining claims that Michael Shames, former head of Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN), filed against whistle-blower David Peffer and Peffer's lawyer, Mike Aguirre. Earlier, Prager ...

July jobs down, unemployment rate up

Local education jobs drop

The San Diego County unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in July, up from a revised 6.1 percent in June. County jobs declined by 5,900 in the month, mainly because a loss of 12,700 government ...

Ian Campbell blasted in opera magazine

Where did that "amendment" come from?

The September edition of Opera News, the magazine for opera lovers published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, has a long, sizzling investigative piece on the demise and (hopefully) rebirth of San Diego Opera. Ian Campbell, ...

SD pension mess hits Journal's front page

County gambling with derivatives

On the front page of today's (August 14) Wall Street Journal is a story titled, "Facing a Pension Shortfall, San Diego Dials Up the Risk." The article tells how the county's pension fund, only 79 ...

Later on, San Diego

Gen-Xers depart — demographics change could have "serious implications"

People 35 to 49 years old — Gen-Xers — have been leaving San Diego and taking their children along, notes Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. One reason is ...

SeaWorld stock tanks

Blackfish documentary, earnings hurt company

Stock of SeaWorld Entertainment has plunged 31.51 percent this morning (August 13) to $19.18. Earnings per share in the second quarter were 43 cents, down from the 59 cents Wall Street analysts expected. Revenue was ...

Do good, do well

Corporations would be well advised to please, not screw, the public.

Some politicians tell us corporations are people. Yeah — greedy people. Two years ago, one poll showed that 83 percent of people — real people — believe that companies should pursue their business goals while ...

Bladder smuggler

Totoaba fish is endangered

Song Shen Zhen was sentenced to a year in custody and told to pay $120,500 to the Mexican environmental protection agency today (Aug. 11). Last year, Zhen had been caught smuggling dried Totoaba bladders — ...

More sweat, more money

Endurance events pump up economy

San Diego's endurance events — marathons, open-water swims, triathlons, 5ks, and mud-runs — are bringing in money, according to a study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Last year, more than 134,000 ...

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