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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Strong Mayor, Weak Council

On March 29, San Diego city council showed its budgetary muscle by laying out a number of cost-saving proposals for the mayor to consider when he presents the fiscal year 2012 budget in mid-April. While ...

City Council and Centre City Redevelopment Reach Compromise Over Convention Center Debt

During a council meeting last February, city councilmembers acting as the Redevelopment Agency requested that Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) return in March to discuss a plan that the corporation take over the $228 million ...

City of San Diego Seeks to Regulate Medical Marijuana Collectives

On Monday, March 28, nearly two years after the San Diego city council created the Medical Marijuana Task Force, they will decide whether to include medical marijuana collectives in the city's Land Development Code and ...

San Diego Library Foundation Finds Funds

Mel Katz, chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, says his foundation has identified 13 "actively engaged" prospects willing to donate $10 million or more for downtown's new central library. According to Katz, who ...

Pan-Asian Restaurant to Test Its Fortune in Vacant North Park Store

On Tuesday, March 22, the San Diego city council approved loaning restaurateurs Joel Herzer and Tom Eads $500,000 in redevelopment funds to open Pan-Asian restaurant Wangs North Park in the former JC Penney's building at ...

Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge Opens to Little Fanfare

After nearly three years of construction, the $26.8 million Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, connecting Petco Park to the convention center, opened to foot traffic on Friday, March 18. The 550-foot-long suspension bridge lies at the ...

Business Improvement Districts Dismayed by City's Money Management

Patrick Edwards is president of San Diego’s business improvement district council, a coalition of the 17 business improvement districts throughout the city. Edwards appeared before the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on Wednesday, March ...

Should City's Debt Relief Come from Redevelopment Coffers?

During a March 16 meeting, Centre City Development Corporation's board of directors rejected a proposal from the mayor and city council to pay off $228 million in debt owed on a previous expansion of the ...

Border City Soundtrack

In April 2009, film directors José Luis Figueroa and Sebastían Diaz asked singer-bassist Phil Beaumont of Little White Teeth to compose a score for Tijuaneados Anonymous: A Teardrop, A Smile. The documentary profiles a group ...

Will Hillcrest Get Its Garage?

For years residents of Uptown lobbied the City to reform the Uptown Partnership, the agency responsible for administering the community parking district in Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Banker's Hill. They criticized the agency for ineffectiveness, ...

Fight Over North Park Bar Spills Into the Streets

Several patrons wearing stickers that read "I Support Bluefoot" crammed into a meeting room in city hall on March 10. They were there to ask San Diego's planning commission to uphold the neighborhood use permit ...

Save Our Heritage Organisation Stands Up for Cabrillo Bridge

On March 4, Mark Johnson, the lead designer on Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama project, gave an update to the Balboa Park advisory committee. Johnson says that his firm, Civitas, continues to conduct public outreach ...

Trash Talk at City Hall

On March 2, the Natural Resource and Culture Committee discussed Mayor Sanders's decision to end trash collection for 4620 private businesses as well as 14,200 residences located on private roads, including 20 gated communities and ...

San Ysidro Is Too Far South for Sidewalks

Juan Mariscal rests a hand on the new walker he started using two days ago. In November, doctors amputated the 64-year-old man’s right leg because of complications from diabetes. During the next three months, as ...

San Diego City Council Approves Leash-Free Parking Lot?

On February 28, San Diego city council approved spending over $600,000 in redevelopment funds on a new leash-free dog park in downtown San Diego. The 16,500-square-foot dog park — proposed for the block bordered by ...

Downtown Garages Might Have to Wait, Says San Diego Unified

Standing in front of dozens of students at Perkins Elementary in Logan Heights on February 25, San Diego Unified School Board President Richard Barrera called on city council and the Centre City Development Corporation to ...

Oceanside War Is on Over Developer Paybacks

On Wednesday, February 23, Oceanside’s city council directed city staff to return in 90 days with an ordinance to repeal the $10,275 developer fee on construction of low-income housing units. The ordinance would give developers ...

Aguirre Urges Redistricting Committee to Redemocratize First

The San Diego County Redistricting Advisory Committee met for the first time in county chambers on February 23. The five county supervisors appointed five committee members: Deanna Weeks, Andrea Skorepa, Bruce Reznik, Adam Day, and ...

Get Fit with Silent Comedy

On January 14, members of folk-blues troupe the Silent Comedy posted a video on youtube.com/thesilentcomedy as they prepared for their tour with country singer and Academy Award–winning songwriter Ryan Bingham and his band the Dead ...

Escondido Council Considers Deep Cuts

"The library budget has been cut significantly. We've lost a lot of staff, and [the department] has taken an unfair portion of the cuts," said Gary Knight, president of Escondido's library board of trustees during ...

San Diego Fire Department Alarms

During the February 16 meeting of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, consultant for Citygate Associates, Stewart Gary, presented a study that examined the city's fire department response capabilities. Among the major findings, the ...

All in Favor of Balboa Park Preservation...

Rob Steppke chairs the North Park Planning Group. He also sits on the Balboa Park Committee, an advisory committee to the mayor and city council. On February 15, Steppke asked his fellow North Park planners ...

Bishops Building Up? La Jolla Conversation Is Not Done

"I think what has happened over the past couple of weeks is a travesty," said Joe LaCava, chair of La Jolla's community planning group, during the February 9 meeting of San Diego's planning commission. LaCava ...

City Checks Its Math on Five-Year Financial Outlook

When the mayor's office released the City's 2012–2016 five-year financial outlook on February 1, there was cause for celebration. The outlook revealed that next year's $72.5 million budget shortfall had shrunk by $28 million due ...

Chairs Missing Time

“As soon as we get home, it’s gonna be Chairs Missing time, and Tape Deck Mountain will be on a sort of hiatus,” writes TDM drummer Paul Remund in a January 29 email from the ...

DeMaio Takes Centre City Development to Task for Alleged Lobbying

On February 7, during a meeting of San Diego's Audit Committee, councilmember Carl DeMaio followed up on the committee's November 8 recommendation that CCDC amend its bylaws to prohibit future lobbying activities by its staff. ...

City Intends to Dump the Dump

During a city council meeting last May, Chris Gonaver, Director of Environmental Services, told councilmembers that the City would no longer be using an outside environmental management program at Miramar Landfill. Instead, stated Gonaver, the ...

Young Wizards

San Diego quartet the Lanterns spent most of 2010 touring and playing sold-out shows with international acts such as And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and Surfer Blood. Buzz started to ...

Secret Service Op

“He’s like family to me, and I’d do anything for him,” says Derrick (“St@tus”) Santiago about Eric (“E.S.”) Sanchez. Santiago and Sanchez make up the local hip-hop duo Secret Service. Santiago was talking about donating ...

San Diego Joins the Statewide Race for Redevelopment

"Until we get more details, we are a little bit unsure of how to proceed," said Jaymie Bradford, director of San Diego's Intergovernmental Relations Department, during a January 31 presentation to the Redevelopment Agency Ad-Hoc ...

Encinitas Will Check the Check

"Our investigative reporter from the Union[-Tribune], well...I'm beginning to believe that he couldn't track an elephant in two feet of new-fallen snow with a bloody nose," said Mayor James Bond of Encinitas during the January ...

San Diego's Mayor Is One Strong Mayor

Nearly one year after voters approved making the “strong mayor” form of government permanent, councilmembers that favored the measure are seeing just how strong a strong mayor can be. During the January 26 meeting of ...

Suit Filed to Halt Wind Zero's Proposed Military Training Facility Near Ocotillo

Change doesn’t come often to the desert community of Nomirage, located 13 miles east of San Diego County and 2 miles southeast of Ocotillo’s quiet town center. But change is what will happen when Brandon ...

Attention, San Diego Shoppers

San Diego's city clerk announced on Tuesday, January 25, that the petition drive sponsored by Walmart was successful in collecting the 32,741 signatures needed to hold a special election to repeal the Ordinance to Protect ...

San Diego County Board of Supervisors to Discuss $11,000 Fee for Marijuana Dispensaries

On Tuesday, January 25, San Diego County's board of supervisors will discuss an ordinance that would require marijuana dispensaries to pay the county $11,017 a year, the sheriff's alleged cost to regulate the facilities. The ...

San Diego Planning Commission Forwards Pot Ordinance to City Council

On Thursday, January 20, San Diego Planning Commission members voted 3-to-2 in favor of passing on the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Ordinance to the full city council for a final decision. The planning-commission vote marks one ...

Blood Sucka David J

David J, former bassist for Brit goth-rock bands Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, isn’t straying far from his goth roots. On Saturday, January 22, the North County denizen will appear at North Park venue Bar ...

Antismoking Law: Where Do the Smoker's Rights End?

On September 29, Blease Johnson moved the old sofa in his living room to the curb outside his apartment building, near the intersection of 36th Street and Monroe Avenue in Normal Heights. The sofa was ...

El Cajon Battles Billboards

De La Fuente Cadillac car dealership, located on Main Street in El Cajon, proposes to erect two 35-foot-tall, 12- by 24-foot billboards between Blackthorne Avenue and Hillside Way along Interstate 8. El Cajon, however, has ...

Encinitas Says Give Barth a Chance

On Wednesday, January 19, Encinitas city council will decide whether to give residents of Encinitas the power to elect a mayor. Currently, the city council appoints a member as mayor by a three-fifths majority vote. ...

Solar Flare-Up in Borrego Springs

On Tuesday, January 11, the five county supervisors will decide whether to appeal a planning commission's decision to allow Eurus Energy to build a 341-acre photovoltaic solar energy system off of Palm Canyon Drive in ...

Centre City Development Corporation Plans Public Outreach

The Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) is laying the foundations for a campaign to reach out to San Diego's residents and educate them on the importance of downtown redevelopment. The campaign comes three months after ...

Valley Center Up in Arms: "Take Road 3A Off the Map"

Minutes after County Supervisor Bill Horn was sworn in as chairperson during the January 4 board of supervisors meeting, he opened the podium to the public. Two residents of Valley Center, located in Horn's district, ...

Del Mar Retains Legal Counsel for Fairgrounds Purchase

During a January 3 meeting, city councilmembers agreed to retain former city councilmember Crystal Crawford to provide legal counsel, on a pro-bono basis, in their efforts to purchase the Del Mar Fairgrounds from the State ...

This Ride Is Being Recorded

On January 1, a new law will go into effect allowing California's motorists to place five- to seven-inch high-definition "video event recorders" on the windshield of their cars. State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, representative for areas ...

The Smart Brothers of Busk

On their Facebook and MySpace profiles, Julian-based folk rockers the Smart Brothers list “the Road” as their hometown. Considering the trio played 273 shows in 2010, the road seems to be exactly that — home. ...

Del Murky Mar

On December 27, 3375 gallons of sewage gushed into the Zanja Creek after crews from San Diego's Waste Water Department unblocked a clogged sewage pipe in San Diego's Fairbanks Ranch community. Crews were unable to ...

San Diego Sheriff's Department Starts "Operation Shoulder Tap"

On December 21, San Diego Sheriff's Deputies arrested seven adults after they purchased alcohol for teenagers at liquor stores in La Mesa, Spring Valley, and Casa de Oro. The arrests were made as deputies conducted ...

Christmas Is Magic for So Many Reasons

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

A LITTLE OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOUR “What does he do, this man you seek?…He covets…And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?…We begin by coveting what we see every day.” — Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of ...

Conflict at Tecolote Canyon’s Edge

On September 8, 2009, eight property owners along Mount Terminus Drive in Clairemont received a letter from the City of San Diego entitled “Encroachment into Tecolote Canyon Natural Open Space Park.” Stapled to the letters ...