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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

SANDAG's Uptown bikeway plan not widely accepted

Agency seeks to hold up funding intended for pedestrian improvements

Some residents of Uptown fear that the San Diego Association of Governments is trying to grab money meant for pedestrian improvements in order to install a dedicated bikeway for cyclists to commute on Fourth and ...

San Diego hotel tax heads back to court

Opponents file appeal in hopes of overturning previous ruling

The question of whether it is legal to tax hotel guests for the purpose of expanding San Diego's convention center is far from over. On Tuesday, January 7, opponents of the 3 percent tourist tax ...

Pacific Beach residents fight Denny’s liquor license

“There are just too many licenses already packed into one area.”

Diners in Pacific Beach may soon be able to order a beer with their bacon and eggs — that is, if the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control board grants the Denny's restaurant on Mission ...

Chula Vista resident files class action lawsuit against Target for network breach

One San Diego resident has taken aim against big-box retailer Target and the retailer's recent admission that their credit card database had been compromised, revealing the credit card and pin numbers for nearly 40 million ...

Two donations $50k or more for pro-Faulconer committee

SD chamber of commerce and Associated General Contractors give big

The money-slinging has officially begun for the special mayoral election to be held on February 11. On December 29, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Associated General Contractors of America wrote big ...

Cable companies fight undergrounding advisory committee

Legal counsel for Cox and Time Warner sent letters to city

Residents of Kensington and Talmadge say the city must take a greater role in regulating where the green utility boxes are placed during the massive effort to bury overhead utility lines. Cable companies disagree, claiming ...

Environmental Health Coalition files second lawsuit

City officials challenged over Barrio Logan referendum signatures

Now that the date for voters to decide on the Barrio Logan Community Plan update is set for June 2014, the legal fight will resume. Earlier this week, attorneys for the Environmental Health Coalition — ...

City attorney Goldsmith met with NASSCO shipbuilders

Before signatures were turned in for referendum to change Barrio Logan plan

One week before a coalition of shipbuilders submitted more than 53,000 signatures to initiate a referendum aimed at overturning the city council's update of the Barrio Logan Community Plan, city attorney Jan Goldsmith was at ...

Former dean sues University of San Diego

Details of secret recordings, nude photos in Edward Luck’s lawsuit

University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies is more a crock than a well-run, properly managed school, says a new federal lawsuit filed by the school's former dean, Dr. Edward Luck. ...

Family of injured Grossmont High football player loses lawsuit

Appellate court judges dismissed the case

Are high schools liable for students injured during high-school sports? On December 16, the Fourth District Court of Appeal weighed in on that question by dismissing a lawsuit brought against the Grossmont Union High School ...

City named as second defendant in Filner lawsuit

Complaint says City failed to provide proper sexual harassment training

So much for keeping the city's legal expenses at $90,000 when defending sexual harassment allegations against former mayor Bob Filner. The city is instead forced to fight the level of sexual harassment training it provides ...

City employee fired for refusing to join union?

Or did he create a hostile work environment"?

A former employee of the city's Economic Development Department says his bosses fired him because he refused to join the Municipal Employees Association. Trevor Howell, a former Community Development Specialist, claims that his bosses Eliana ...

The City’s Code Monitoring Team: Foxes guard the henhouse

The City of San Diego’s Code Monitoring Team is comprised of 18 members responsible for finding holes in San Diego’s code and offering ideas on how to fill them. But over the years, the team has become policy-driven, concerned more with crafting ordinances than drafting fixes to the current code.

Lawsuit over wheelchair access at Torrey Pines Gliderport

"Caused Plaintiffs difficulty, anger, frustration and embarrassment"

It's a bumpy ride for disabled persons hoping to catch a glimpse of the hang gliders and paragliders at the Torrey Pines Gliderport — at least that's the claim made by two men in a ...

City to pay illegally detained San Diego couple $450K

Officer mistakenly ID'ed car as stolen — punched in wrong tag number

A San Diego couple falsely detained, pepper-sprayed, and stung with a taser gun will receive $450,000 in exchange for dropping their case against the city and police officers who errantly flagged their Pontiac Sunfire as ...

SeaWorld's Cheap Trick booking dries up

Captive killer whale issue following popularity of Blackfish likely the reason

Cheap Trick is the latest band to back out of a booking at SeaWorld Orlando over the theme park's treatment of orcas, as shown in the recent documentary Blackfish. Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, and the ...

City attorney loses two more First Amendment battles

Overturned conviction; also, $60K settlement likely in Ray Lutz case

The First Amendment is alive and well in San Diego, however, not without the help of attorneys and the courts. On Tuesday, December 10, the city council is expected to approve a $60,000 payout to ...

Liquor-store owners sue the City of El Cajon

New alcohol-sales regulations are claimed to favor big-box retailers

The City of El Cajon will have to defend in federal court a newly adopted ordinance that places tougher regulations on liquor stores. Two liquor-store owners who own and operate three stores in El Cajon ...

City to pay in full for illegal maintenance assessment districts

Litigation expenses of Golden Hill and South Park residents to be recouped

For many residents of Golden Hill and South Park, the fight to dissolve their maintenance assessment district was long, hard, and expensive. In 2011, more than four years after filing a complaint against the city, ...

Infighting among East County Chaldean community

Businessman Mark Paul Arabo accused of unfairly wielding his influence

Members of San Diego County's large Chaldean community are clashing with one another in hopes of gaining power, and naming rights, to a Chaldean business community. On November 27, a group of Iraqi Christians known ...

Libertarian Mark Schwartz joins District 2 council race

Going against Lorie Zapf, he'll be needing plenty of campaign cash

There's a new city-council candidate in town. On November 29, former long-shot mayoral hopeful and self-proclaimed Libertarian Mark Schwartz filed papers to join the race to replace termed-out District 2 councilmember and mayoral candidate Kevin ...

Televangelist Morris Cerullo's latest legal fray

TV network claims the preacher never paid balance on previous contract

Television evangelist Morris Cerullo is appealing to a higher power — the courts, to force Michigan-based religious broadcasting television network World Religious Relief, Inc., to resurrect airing Cerullo's faith-based programming. Cerullo, a longtime San Diego-based ...

San Diego Puppy sues slew of entities over pet-store ban

Store owner disagrees with ordinance preventing commercial pet sales

In a federal complaint, the owner of San Diego Puppy has attacked a citywide ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores. David and Veronica Salinas, the owners of the pet ...

Jan Goldsmith ignores legal precedent in Barrio Logan fight

Attorneys for the city to appear in court tomorrow alongside shipbuilders

Tomorrow morning, November 26, attorneys representing shipbuilders will sit side-by-side with attorneys from the City of San Diego with the goal of defeating a motion to delay the validation of a referendum that challenges the ...

Former Filner staffer asks for $1.48 million in damages

Irene McCormack Jackson's "emotional distress, pain and suffering" worth $950,000

Irene McCormack Jackson, the former communications director who accused former mayor Bob Filner of sexual harrasment, estimates the emotional and personal injuries she suffered at the hands of Filner to be $1.48 million. In an ...

Mercado del Barrio developers' gifts tracked by the FPPC

State sen. Hueso and two redevelopment agency workers failed to report

Shea Properties, the developer behind the Mercado del Barrio mixed-use project in Barrio Logan, was investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for dozens of unreported gifts over $50 it gave to public officials ...

Barista sues downtown Starbucks for age discrimination

Manager allegedly slighted 58-year-old woman over gray hair and more

A 58-year-old barista who worked at the Starbucks located at 511 F Street says she was roasted by former managers for being too old for her job. On Monday, November 18, the barista, Mary McLain, ...

SD Planning Commission to tackle sticky pot-collective issues

City council to weigh in next...then state Coastal Commission

For years, medical marijuana patients and dispensary owners have been forced to occupy a netherworld, often operating in retail spaces in nondescript buildings throughout the city. State law allows dispensaries and their patients to be ...

Ethics Commission fines PAC backing councilmember Myrtle Cole

District 4 rep and opponent were dinged for election missteps in May

The city's Ethics Commission has handed a $5000 fine for violating the city's campaign-finance laws to the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) association as well as the political action committee ...

Judge denies Sunroad's free-speech argument

In defense of a $100,000 "donation"...

The alleged pay-to-play tactics used by Sunroad Enterprises to obtain city-owned land at no cost for their Kearny Mesa mixed-use development are not protected by the first amendment. On Friday, November 15, Superior Court judge ...

City sued over petition drive to overturn Barrio Logan plan

Environmental Health Coalition claims "false statements" used to gather signatures

San Diego's shipping industry has waged an all-out assault on the newly adopted Community Plan Update for Barrio Logan. A handful of large shipping-related businesses such as General Dynamics (NASSCO), BAE Systems, Continental Maritime, and ...

Downtown Partnership denied taxpayer money to fight lawsuit

Litigation is over...um, misuse of taxpayer money

The Downtown San Diego Partnership won't be able to dip into taxpayer funds to help pay for legal help needed to fight a lawsuit over mismanagement of the $5.5 million in annual revenues collected under ...

San Diego Fire Rescue Dept. faces discrimination lawsuit

Asian-American firefighter claims his ancestry resulted in mistreatment

Steve Choi, currently employed as a firefighter in San Diego, is suing the city and deputy chief of Emergency Medical Services Criss Brainard for discrimination. In his complaint, Choi says the department is rife with ...

City faces lawsuit over condos' defective pipes

Sewer problem allegedly not reported to insurance company in timely manner

The City of San Diego is being sued for millions over corroded sewage pipes that have allegedly leaked hydrogen sulfide gas into expensive condominiums downtown. Last month, a New York state judge ruled that the ...

Friday Night Lights Out

Dark times for high school ball

Ongoing conflict between San Diego Unified School District and residents next to Hoover High School: stadium lights were installed with bond money and no environmental impact report. A judge ruled that the lights should remain off for now. Nevertheless, the district plans to install stadium lights at Crawford and Point Loma high schools, as well as Kearny, La Jolla, Lincoln, Mira Mesa, Mission Bay, San Diego, and Scripps Ranch.

Mission Valley Post Office to remain open

Area's population expected to jump from 21,000 to 40,000

On Friday, November 1, San Diego postmaster Ken Snavely informed residents that the post office located at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall will remain open indefinitely. The decision is a victory for the dozens of ...

County clerk Ernest Dronenburg seeks reelection

Filed paperwork reveals odd association with lawyer Charles LiMandri

Ernest Dronenburg, current San Diego County Clerk, is running for reelection in 2014, despite the commotion he caused this past July when he challenged the state supreme court's decision that overturned Prop 8, the state ...

Former sports talk-radio host sues Mighty 1090

John David Hayworth says company breached their contract

Radio personality John David Hayworth, former cohost of The Morning Show with Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton on Mighty 1090, has filed a lawsuit against the station's parent company, Broadcast Company of the Americas, for breach of ...

Shipping industry moves to rescind Barrio Logan community plan

$140,000 spent on signature drive, origin of money undisclosed

San Diego's shipping industry wants to reshape the land-use changes that the city council approved for Barrio Logan, located adjacent to the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. The industrial businesses hope to do so (as reported ...

City sides with developers, residents, developers again

The developer wanted more bang for its buck, the city obliged — but Rolando won’t roll over

The Boulevard at 63rd development in Rolando, formerly known as Centrepoint Luxury Apartments, becomes center of controversy as developer Carmel Partners converts the project into a quasi-dormitory that was approved by the city. Rolandans fight back, saying that a proper review wasn’t carried out before construction began.

GOP power broker Mike Schroeder behind anti-Fletcher committee

"Dark lord" gives big money to "Zombies for Responsible Government" PAC

Longtime Orange County Republican fundraiser Mike Schroeder, reputedly known as the "Dark Lord" of the statewide GOP, is one of the zombies intent on defeating democratic mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher. An October 28 campaign disclosure ...

Two new lawsuits against Pacific Beach marijuana dispensaries

City attorney revives crackdown, intel gathered from internet

City attorney Jan Goldsmith and the lawyers working for him are back on the hunt to close a new crop of medical marijuana dispensaries now operating in the City of San Diego. On October 23, ...

Zombies (with links to Lincoln Club and Faulconer) attack Nathan Fletcher

PAC's disclosure lacks digits, but the names tell the tale

It is unsure whether a new political action committee named "Zombies for Responsible Government Opposing Nathan Fletcher for Mayor 2013" will implement late-night scary phone drives, send mailers, or go door-to-door in a precinct walking ...

Neighborhood Market Association gives $100,000 to pro-Fletcher campaign committee

Trade group has strengthened since candidate's first attempt at becoming San Diego's mayor

On October 23, the Neighborhood Market Association trade group, comprised of liquor marts and small neighborhood markets, contributed $100,000 to the pro-Fletcher political action committee called "Neighborhoods for Nathan Fletcher for Mayor 2013." It's not ...

City committee to chew on new policy for food trucks

Interim mayor Todd Gloria revved up on enforcement

A new policy aimed at regulating food trucks is moving right along. On Wednesday, October 23, the city's Land Use and Housing Committee will discuss whether to adopt certain provisions of the policy and possibly ...

Councilmembers to fight judge's ruling against Sherman Heights Walmart construction project

Faulconer brings forward the motion for appeal; Briggs represents other side

If at first it fails, the City of San Diego will try, try again to get on the right side of the law over the new Walmart in Sherman Heights. On October 8, councilmembers voted ...

Kevin Faulconer spends big money on TV ads

District 2 representative throws down $182,000

Be prepared to see a lot more of Kevin Faulconer on your television screen in coming weeks. The quiet conservative is making a mad dash to TV in order to get gain more recognition. Since ...

Medical marijuana patient sues City and two police officers for discrimination and for conducting an illegal search

Man says officers harassed him after finding a "tugger" in his front pocket.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, San Diego resident Justin Stewart says police officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights and discriminated against him after they found a "tugger" in his front pocket, a device ...

Group of Rolando residents file suit over controversial mixed-use project Centrepoint

In March, ex-mayor Bob Filner ordered a halt to construction after complaints that the project was more dormitory than apartment building.

Daughter of cyclist who was struck and killed by a City Water Truck to receive $425,000

City agrees to settle the case after spending three years in court

San Diego City Council will award a young woman a total of $425,000 for the death of her father, Juan Carlos Navarro, who was struck by and City water truck while riding his bicycle in ...