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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, rose for the second straight month in May. The index went up from April's 100.9 to 101.2. Figures for building permits, stock prices, consumer confidence, and the national economy went up. Help wanted advertising and initial unemployment claims were negative. Until they turned up in April, Gin's indicators had gone down every month from March of 2007 when they were 139.3. Normally, lead indicators should move up three straight months before they signal a possible change.

However, the national economy got somewhat bad news today (June 25). Weekly first-time unemployment claims rose 15,000 to 627,000. Continuing claims, indicating people still on unemployment, rose 29,000 to 6.74 million. The somewhat good news was that gross domestic product, or the total output of goods and services, was revised to a minus 5.5% in this year's first quarter from the previous estimate of minus 5.7%. The fourth quarter of 2008 dropped 6.3%. The combined two quarters represented the worst such decline in more than 60 years.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 June 25, 2009 @ 7:45 a.m.

Wow, it is a shocker that building permits are up, I wonder what is being built?

It certainly cannot be homes or commercial.

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Visduh June 25, 2009 @ 9:04 a.m.

This could be the sort of "noise" or bouncing on the bottom that at least indicates a there is a bottom to this decline. It proves nothing, but is good news in that the indicators did not decline again. We can only hope.

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 9:51 a.m.

Response to post #1: It's possible that the building permits are for extensions or rehabs on existing structures. I don't know. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 9:56 a.m.

Response to post #2: Yes, there is a lot of statistical noise going around, particularly on the national level. The stock market will jump on some number that suggests that things are slightly less awful. Or it might ignore a number, such as today's initial and continuing unemployment claims, that is even more awful than the last report. Say your favorite baseball player is hitting .180, much to your chagrin. One night he goes 1 for 4. That means his .180 average will go up. Would you rejoice? Some fans would, I suspect. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource June 25, 2009 @ 12:15 p.m.

I recently heard that California's monthly exports dropped by about 25%, either last month or the month before, after many months of smaller declines...

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johnegger23 June 25, 2009 @ 2:14 p.m.

"I recently heard that California's monthly exports dropped by about 25%, either last month or the month before, after many months of smaller declines..."

We need to start exporting weed.

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 5:11 p.m.

Response to post #5: California exports dropped 25.5% in April, the sixth straight monthly decline. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 5:14 p.m.

Response to post #6: Well, California sure produces a lot of weed. What do you think they do up there in the Humboldt area? (And elsewhere.) It would be ironic if we exported it to Latin America, the source of our drug imports. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty June 25, 2009 @ 6:02 p.m.

response to #8 actually, I listened to a report on NPR several weeks ago that the DEA has been finding many of the farms they have been busting were being run by the mexican cartels. So all of that money ends up going to mexico.

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 7:13 p.m.

Response to post #8: If true, that would suggest Mexico cashes in on both exports and imports. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell June 28, 2009 @ 9 p.m.

The U-T has a searchable online database of all city employees and what they earn per year. There are 1,350 Police Officers holding the rank of Police Officer II earning an average salary of $92,000 per year. Pay for Police Officer II tops out at $148,500 per year. I searched the database for the salaries of the firefighters who filed the gay pride parade lawsuit, and they are raking it in.

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 5:57 a.m.

Response to post #11: Yes, I understand that the pay levels of San Diego City workers will shock taxpayers. The U-T has done a great service providing these numbers. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2009 @ 8:06 a.m.

The U-T has a searchable online database of all city employees and what they earn per year. There are 1,350 Police Officers holding the rank of Police Officer II earning an average salary of $92,000 per year.

That is NOT counting benefits.

I ran the numbers for the OC Sheriff's dept. a few days ago, the nyumbers were still off because their pensions are stillbign underfunded, but here are the OCSD numbers;

$318 Million for pay and benefits.

1,460 Sheriffs.

$42 Million in OT.

$318/1,460 = $217,808

$318+$42O/T= $360 Million/1,460= $246,575

Again, if the pensions were fully funded you could add on 10% or more tothe final figures.

Remember, these are GED level jobs that require NO prior work experience to be hired, and 80% have nothing more than a GED or HS diploma when hired.

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2009 @ 8:08 a.m.

Oh, these were the deputy costs from 2007, they have gone up 4% since then-

I woud like to run the numbers for the FD but have not seen them yet.

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:05 a.m.

Response to post #13: Wow! Big pay. I hope that San Diegans will look carefully at the numbers published in the Union-Tribune. They are eye-opening. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:07 a.m.

Response to post #14: I would love to see those FD numbers. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2009 @ 11:37 a.m.

There can be no doubt that the OCFD numbers would be higher-how much higher is unknown, but certainly higher. I would like to see the OCSD 2008 numbers, but they have not been published.

You cannot look at just the cash/salary compensation of ANY gov job because of the huge bump the benefits give-but it is especially true of the "public saftey" employees.

I just read today that San Francisco, which had the healthiest pension fund in the state, it was 150% funded 10 years ago, has now finally gone into the red over the saftey pensions.

SF has had a city charter law, since 1898, that required voter approval of all pension increases- and the voters increased the pensions after public safety claimed it would not require any extra contributions-which is exactly what Calpers said in 1999 when they did the 3%@50 pension raises.

In fact Calpers said that there would be a "pension holiday" for all member muni's for 18 years.

The truth = Calpers member muni pension contributions are up 10 fold (1,000%) since 1999 and they are STILL not fully funded.

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2009 @ 12:14 p.m.

This was in this morning UT;

"Jaime Fitzpatrick, a police officer who patrols Carmel and Sorrento valleys, received a 47 percent increase in pay last year. It was one of the largest raises among the city's work force.

The increase wasn't triggered by a promotion or a change in duties. Fitzpatrick received a step increase, education incentive and general salary increase that the police union negotiated. Most of the raise, which boosted her pay to $84,500, was prompted by her completion of two years on patrol and the fact that she had a college degree."

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jun/29/1n29paytwo02345/?metro/watchdog&zIndex=124171

This is an entry level employee who is now making $84.5K in salary and about another $84.5 in benefits for a total of $169K per year after just two short years on the job.

I had a friend that recently went to work for Goldman Sachs (the #1 investment bank on Wall Street) after he graduated VALEDICTORIAN of his USD MBA class- and he didn't even make that much his second year with credentials 1,000 times that of the person in the article.

That proves conslusively I think that thsi is just way out of control.

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JustWondering June 29, 2009 @ 12:38 p.m.

As usual JohnnyVegas is completely and utterly out of context. Johnny you should write headlines for the supermarket tabloids.

I love printing your comments and using them to line the cage. The birds usually editorialize with their opinions of your posts within a few minutes.

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valueinvestingisdead June 29, 2009 @ 3:04 p.m.

Do you want to be a cop in this city? Drugs, gangs, etc etc...It is a very dangerous job.

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2009 @ 8:01 p.m.

As usual JohnnyVegas is completely and utterly out of context. Johnny you should write headlines for the supermarket tabloids.

So what part of my post do you not agree with?

That 2 year cop jamie Fitzpatrick does not pull down $169K per year with her benefits-or that my buddy who graduated 1st in his MBA class did not make $169K per year at his job with Goldman Sachs??

Or that the average OC sheriff's deputy is not pulling down a quarter of a million dollars per year in pay and benefits with OT?

Please speak up and enlighten me on where I am wrong.

Somehow I do picture JW with a birdcage in the house though.

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:09 p.m.

Response to post #17: Calpers is a story in itself. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

Response to post #18: Of course it is way out of control. Few have articulated that better than you have, SurfPuppy. Mike Aguirre said for years that the pay and pensions were out of control. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:16 p.m.

Response to post #19: We welcome your defense of your confreres, JW. Let's hear your side of the story. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:17 p.m.

Response to post #20: Not as dangerous as being a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan -- at a fraction of the pay made by FD and PD personnel. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 29, 2009 @ 11:20 p.m.

Response to post #21: Asking for specificity is a reasonable request. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 1, 2009 @ 7:11 a.m.

In response to 18 & 24; the police officer whom the "Watchdog Team" stated increased her salary 47% from the prior year. To put this in perspective which the Union Tribune fails to do; Fitzpatrick went from $57,591 as a POI to $84,528 as a POII with four years service, educational incentive pay for earning an Advanced POST Certificate due to her college degree and four years as a police officer. Then adding the shift differentials pays, overtime and the pay raise.

Lets look at some the pays mentioned. Shift differentials only occurs when the majority of your workday is after 6PM or 9PM. Those who have worked change shifts on a regular basis understand the havoc it wrecks on you. The majority of uniformed officers change shifts and days off once every four months.

Educational incentive: Johnny endlessly whines about employees who are not educated to the extent he wants. This officer made the effort and earned a degree and compensation is appropriate. We all agree a well educated work force is an admirable goal and should be rewarded.

Overtime: The Courts in San Diego don't work after 4PM, five at the latest. In addition, many courts are "dark" on certain days of week, mainly Fridays. (guess why) The officers are required under subpoena to appear in court no matter when they work, shouldn't they be compensated for being required to work outside their normal hours? (remembering shift works causes havoc) This is an example of overtime where the city is not reimbursed. Unlike voluntary overtime where the city gets "full-boat" recovery.

I have to echo a few thoughts from other threads: The information as presented from the UT is flawed. Overtime is the best example as much of it is reimbursed and doesn't add one thin dime to the pension costs. In fact, the City has repeated pointed out it reduces the city’s costs as no benefits are paid for overtime.

The bottom line is the salaries shown are between 8-12% above what was earn. Why? Heaven knows what those folks at the SDUT were doing but it isn't honest investigative journalism. Someone there either has a bias, or was hoping no one would carefully examine their reported facts. As they reported the SDUT wanted the taxpayer to pay $1900 to break down the salaries. Of course the message sent their is: who cares about WHOLE TRUTH, we just want the truth that we want.

The pay schedule is set up and governed by the Civil Service Commission and while the actual salary is negotiated, the schedule of advancements and tiers are set by Civil Service and very difficult to change. Finally, the ridiculous salary numbers Johnny posts are ALWAYS meant to inflame and incite other to respond.

To quote our host one more time for the record: "An Internet troll is one who posts inflammatory or inaccurate information just go get others excited. Johnny, defend yourself. Best, Don Bauder"

So Johnny, why? Please defend your lies once again.

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

Response to post #27: It seems you attack the U-T's report, then wind up calling SurfPuppy a liar. I think your major beef is with the U-T, although you are certainly free to respond to SurfPuppy's interpretation of U-T data. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 11:16 a.m.

In response to 18 & 24; the police officer whom the "Watchdog Team" stated increased her salary 47% from the prior year. To put this in perspective which the Union Tribune fails to do; Fitzpatrick went from $57,591 as a POI to $84,528 as a POII with four years service, educational incentive pay for earning an Advanced POST Certificate due to her college degree and four years as a police officer. Then adding the shift differentials pays, overtime and the pay raise.

I thought she was a TWO year employee??? That is what I thought the article stated.

I do not think that OT was used in the calculation-but I will go over the article again to be sure.

I'll re-read it to be sure.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 11:19 a.m.

Educational incentive: Johnny endlessly whines about employees who are not educated to the extent he wants. This officer made the effort and earned a degree and compensation is appropriate.

The basic pay increase for a 2 year college degree is 5% and a 4 year degree 10%. I dont know if POST and the participating LE agencies are still using that formula.

I have not problem with that. I do have a problem if it is above those %'s and with the agency paying the costs of it though-which is what they all do.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 11:24 a.m.

The officers are required under subpoena to appear in court no matter when they work, shouldn't they be compensated for being required to work outside their normal hours? (remembering shift works causes havoc) This is an example of overtime where the city is not reimbursed.

Here is the problem with your bogus claim.

1- There is NO consequence if the cop ignores the subpoena, at least in traffic citations which is where 99% of a cops court times goes to, and they do ignore a subpoena all the time with no discipline in traffic ticket casess. Obviosuly this is not the case in misdemeanors or felony cases-where less than 1% of cases go to trial.

2- If the cop goes to court on their day off they are paid for 4 hours of overtime, even if they only spend 10 minutes at the court. So being compensated at the OT rate for time you DID NOT work is a scam.

And why would the City be reimbursed for a cop testifying in a case the City itself is prosecuting??? That's part of their job.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 11:33 a.m.

Johnny posts are ALWAYS meant to inflame and incite other to respond.

To quote our host one more time for the record: "An Internet troll is one who posts inflammatory or inaccurate information just go get others excited. Johnny, defend yourself. Best, Don Bauder"

So Johnny, why? Please defend your lies once again.

SurfPuppy has stated his case- a SDPD cop who is hired with a GED or HS dipolma is making more than a Goldman Sachs investment banker who graduated #1 in his MBA class.

Jamie Fitzpatrick is making MORE money than a first year Hardvard LS graduate who graduates #1 in their class at a major law firm-$160K per year with limited benefits and an 80-100 hour work week. If Fitzpatrick worked the 80 hours per week a 1st year associate worked at her $75K base pay she would make $187.5K per year not counting benefits, add in another $75K.

So I don't think I am exagerrating or "inciting", I am just putting into perspective the abusrdity of paying GED and HS educated cops (at least at hire) this kind of money.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 11:36 a.m.

JW-this is right out of the articld;

" Most of the raise, which boosted her pay to $84,500, was prompted by her completion of two years on patrol and the fact that she had a college degree."

It appears to me she is a 2 year employee-with maybe a few more months for academy training-so where did you get the 4 years from????

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JustWondering July 1, 2009 @ 12:39 p.m.

Well Johnny if you actually understood the requirement regarding pay increases, when they occur, why they happen, based upon what education levels obtained then you could write about it.

As is the case of most, if not all of your comments, they are merely designed to incite rather than truthfully inform.

For example you said,

"#1- There is NO consequence if the cop ignores the subpoena, at least in traffic citations which is where 99% of a cops court times goes to, and they do ignore a subpoena all the time with no discipline in traffic ticket cases. Obviosuly this is not the case in misdemeanors or felony cases-where less than 1% of cases go to trial."

NOT TRUE... employee are counseled and disciplined for missing subpoenas regularly. In fact, the City Attorney's office is cracking down on issues like scheduled vacations for officers, and reducing the OT expense by computerizing court scheduling with work schedules where possible.

You also said: "#2- If the cop goes to court on their day off they are paid for 4 hours of overtime, even if they only spend 10 minutes at the court. So being compensated at the OT rate for time you DID NOT work is a scam."

So the employee is required by the Court to appear in Court on their day off. You say if the case is disposed of in 10 minutes that's all the compensation necessary. So the officer lives in Temecula, has to be at Downtown Court by 0800 for an 0830 calendar call, waits for the judge to take the bench at 0900, who handles five or six other matter before getting to the officer's 10 minute traffic case. So in the real world, not the misstatement of the facts you make, the officer rises at 0630 on their day off, drives to downtown San Diego, parks nearby, walks to the court to get their by 0800 check-in so the court knows he or she is present. The officer prepares for the trial. The presiding judge assigned a case to court. We wait until 0930 to be heard on a 10 minute trial AND YOU'RE WHINING ABOUT 15-30 minutes of time on the officer's day off.

THEN YOU SAY: And why would the City be reimbursed for a cop testifying in a case the City itself is prosecuting? That's part of their job.

Please remind me when did involuntary servitude end?

But you are correct, testifying in court about laws officers are enforcing is part of their job. Well if we could get you lawyers and judges to hold court so people would not have to take time off from work and defend themselves then we'd be making progress. But that's not going to happen in this County anytime soon.

No you'd rather be the back end of horse, writing troll-like comments about things you know very little about to get the attention you crave.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 4:30 p.m.

So the employee is required by the Court to appear in Court on their day off. You say if the case is disposed of in 10 minutes that's all the compensation necessary. So the officer lives in Temecula, has to be at Downtown Court by 0800 for an 0830 calendar call, waits for the judge to take the bench at 0900, who handles five or six other matter before getting to the officer's 10 minute traffic case.

JW,

1) no cop living in Temecula is going to a traffic ticket in San Diego on their day off. The city would be liable for all OT, all expenses-including gas, and 4 hours of OT. In fact I am pretty sure they have a policy against such a situation based on costs. BTW- a cop going to court in DT SD on his day off from Temecula woudl exceed the 4 hours of OT easily.

2) Traffic court is NOT in DT San Diego, all traffic cases are heard in Kearny Mesa at the Clairemont Mesa Court-by Commissioners. San Diego (City) used to hear traffic cases at 220 W Broadway many years ago-when the City Attorney actually sent deputy city attornys in to fight them. I have not seen a DCA show up to prosecute a traffic ticket case in over 20 years. I'm pretty sure they finally wised up to that waste of time and money.

3) Last time I checked you show up when court starts, not 30 minutes before hand. So you do NOT show up for an 8:30 court case at 8 AM. Maybe 8:20 or 8:25, but not 8AM.

4) San Diego PD have now, and always have had (for at least 25 Plus years) marked their days off on the traffic citation so the courts knows exactly what days they have off and the court does NOT schedule on days off-ever (I know this first hand because I always try to get the court date on the cops day off-never works).

5) Traffic tickest take on average 10 mintes, and that is a contested case. I was in court last week on a traffic ticket and there were only 3 contested cases out of about 8 total. Contested cases always are heard first. So the average wait for a cop in court, in a contested case is at most an hour, but could be as short as 1-5 minutes if the defendant does not show up.

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2009 @ 4:39 p.m.

So in the real world, not the misstatement of the facts you make, the officer rises at 0630 on their day off, drives to downtown San Diego, parks nearby, walks to the court to get their by 0800 check-in so the court knows he or she is present. The officer prepares for the trial. The presiding judge assigned a case to court. We wait until 0930 to be heard on a 10 minute trial AND YOU'RE WHINING ABOUT 15-30 minutes of time on the officer's day off.

JW, no cop is geting up at 6:30 AM to go to an 8:30 AM traffic court case-that is not happening.

Officers check in once the court room is opened by the bailiff, in the scenario you cite- the court would open at 8:30AM, everyone goes in and sits down and THEN the bailiff takes a roll call and checks in everyone who is present.

As for preparing for trial- there is no preperation besides the cop reviewing the 1-2 sentences he wrote about the citation when it was issued.

Now-San Diego cops used to be a little different because they actually did prepare by diagraming the citation on butcher paper, but they are the ONLY PD I know who did that. So if SDPD still has that policy you add on at most 15 minutes of preperation time.

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 6:46 p.m.

Response to post #29: By all means, re-read it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 6:48 p.m.

Response to post #30: She deserves more pay for her additional education. But that much of a boost? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 6:50 p.m.

Response to post #31: Four hours pay for ten minutes of work? Sounds like a sinecure to me. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7 p.m.

Response to post #32: What San Diego needs is a good debate on these issues. What are FD and PD employees worth? And what about bureaucrats elsewhere in the government? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:03 p.m.

Response to post #32: Goldman Sachs employees used to be able to count on obscenely high pay later in their careers. This may no longer be so. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:06 p.m.

Response to post #33: You're up, JW. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:09 p.m.

Response to post #34: It's true that one often has to sit in court a long time waiting for one's case to come up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:12 p.m.

Response to post #35: Sounds like you have had some traffic tickets in your day, SurfPuppy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 1, 2009 @ 7:19 p.m.

Response to post #36: It certainly doesn't sound like involuntary servitude. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 2, 2009 @ 12:39 p.m.

Sounds like you have had some traffic tickets in your day, SurfPuppy. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

Oh man, you don't even want to know about my ticket history.

My worst run was 5 speeding tickets in a 10 month period back in the early 90's. Had 5 trials, twice the cop didn't show up-dismissed. One was dismissed after traffic school, I beat one that was contested and I lost one that was contested. So out of the 5 tickets only 1 resulted in a conviction.

I was a speeder-VC 22350. I have gotten really good at fighting tickets because I have fought every ticket I have ever received starting when I was 16 Y/O. I know all the tricks. And after more than 30 trials (not all contested though), I know the ropes.

That is in the past though. I am a much better driver today.

I got my first ticket in over 8 years in April, but it was a speed trap-have court for that this Monday- July 6.

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Don Bauder July 4, 2009 @ 6:06 a.m.

Response to post #46: Good luck in court July 6. I remember one traffic school I attended. It was during that period when the speed limit had been lowered to 55. I was guilty. I asked what a driver should do when the flow of traffic was exceeding 55. I was told that if a driver stayed with the flow, it would be OK. But that's what I had been doing: the cop just happened to nail me. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 6, 2009 @ 1:11 p.m.

Good luck in court July 6. I remember one traffic school I attended. It was during that period when the speed limit had been lowered to 55.

Just got back from the traffic court.

That was the hardest contested traffic ticket I have ever fought in court.

Was caught on LASER going 50 in a posted 30 MPH zone, but the ticket was for "unsafe speed", not exceeding the "posted" speed limit. I Successfully argued, based on various factors that all fell in my favor, that 50 MPH was "safe" and the judge bought it.

So my clean record-at least for the last 7.5 years- is still intact. But that was too close for comfort.

I also get my $450 returned to me, but the $$ is secondary to my driving record.

One guy who was pulled over by CHP in the "median" got hit with a $790 fine-that is just ridiculous. They are raising all these fines to pay for the excessively bloated government.

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Don Bauder July 6, 2009 @ 2:22 p.m.

Response to post #48: Raising fines and doling out more tickets were the motivations for the cameras on traffic lights, as I recall. That was back when San Diego thought it was solvent financially. Now that the truth is out, the traffic cops should be busier. Best, Don Bauder

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