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Two of San Diego's most controversial entities, for-profit college Bridgepoint Education and office operator Sunroad Centrum ended a lease agreement, according to a Sunroad filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday (Feb. 17).

Bridgepoint, whose staggering dropout rate is often cited in Senate committee hearings and elsewhere, had a deal to occupy 193,000 square feet in a new eight-story Sunroad building near Montgomery Field.

It would be next to a Sunroad building in which Bridgepoint already occupies 274,000 square feet under a separate lease. But Sunroad never built the building -- hence, the termination.

Five years ago, a flap developed over a building that Sunroad Enterprises, parent of the Sunroad Centrum entities, constructed. It was 20 feet higher than Federal Aviation Administration rules would permit, but the company plunged ahead.

The company's chief executive was a friend of and donor to Mayor Jerry Sanders, who tried to get the company off the hook. Finally, though, the federal government prevailed. A study commissioned by the mayor concluded that there was no corruption involved -- just multiple errors. Knowledgeable people howled in laughter at the whitewash.

Sunroad building in Kearny Mesa

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Comments

Visduh Feb. 20, 2012 @ 9:02 p.m.

If there were ever a corporate marriage "made in hell", this is it. Bridgepoint with its phony academics and the foreigner who would build structures that were unwelcome, and it now appears structures that were economically non-viable. Bridgepoint can find all the space it could ever desire somewhere along that I-15 corridor. If Bridgepoint can grow from this period forward, it will be most limited in scope. How can any corporation milk all those federal dollars into its coffers with so little to show for it and not get noticed? It can take a long time, but the world will finally awaken to this Bridgepoint scam, and when it does, things will change very quickly.

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Don Bauder Feb. 20, 2012 @ 9:41 p.m.

Yes, Bridgepoint and other for-profit purported universities get 85% of their income through student Pell grants and the like. (Actually, Bridgepoint is probably close to 100% because the students it recruits from the military don't count among the 85%.) Bridgepoint is very expensive, and the dropout rate is truly scary. But these for-profit scams have powerful lobbyists in Washington, and backing from self-professed business icons such as Jack Welch. The Obama administration was going to crack down, but the pressure was too intense, and it just offered mush instead of reform. Yes, one day the public will catch on. I don't see it on the immediate horizon. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 21, 2012 @ 9:15 p.m.

It can take a long time, but the world will finally awaken to this Bridgepoint scam, and when it does, things will change very quickly. == Excellent smack down, this point in time is here, or close to here and now, and the only reason it has not arrived sooner is b/c Big Business, Big Gov and $$$$ have been in collusion. I have said this a million times here and in other laces-50% of the graduating law students today will NEVER be lawyers b/c there are no jobs, and there will be no jobs, to support them, much less allow them to pay back $150K in student loans.

I predict 75% of all law students today-and in the last 15 years- will default on their loans.

There is a major fraud lawsuit going on right now with Thomas Jefferson LS in DT San Diego (Old WSU LS) where a top 10 graduate cannot find a job, TOP 10 in her class. She was on the Holy Grail of LS Pedigree-the Law Review-still cannot find work. If she cannot find work then 99% of their grads won't and will default.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 20, 2012 @ 10:25 p.m.

A study commissioned by the mayor concluded that there was no corruption involved -- just multiple errors. Knowledgeable people howled in laughter at the whitewash. == I was laughing so hard I wet myself on this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is that slimmed down Shamu Sanders really this dumb, that he would expect the public to buy that BS?

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Don Bauder Feb. 21, 2012 @ 7:01 a.m.

That whitewash, done by a Sanders aide, came out several years ago. I remember writing about it for the Reader. Beste, Don Bauder

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paul Feb. 21, 2012 @ 12:16 a.m.

Don, Reporting that this building was 20 feet too high for the FAA is itself a white-wash of the issue.

The land was zoned for 3-4 stories. Whether this building was reduced from 12 to 10 stories isn't the issue, the real issue is how the city permitted it to go from 4 to 12 stories in the first place.

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Don Bauder Feb. 21, 2012 @ 7:03 a.m.

I would have to go back and review all my material on that, and I don't have time to do so. But it's possible that the land was zoned for 3 or 4 stories. I don't remember that. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 21, 2012 @ 5:53 a.m.

The emperors appear fully clothed in golden raiment to the public, yea, even as they continue to be fleeced, nay, flensed to the bone and their very marrow. Hold not thy breath for the frogs to awaken, nor for our fair sleeping beauty, Don, to kiss them--or have I scrambled my metaphors?

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Don Bauder Feb. 21, 2012 @ 7:04 a.m.

I don't know about scrambling metaphors, Twister, but the word "flensed" has thrown me. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 21, 2012 @ 3:48 p.m.

To cut away skin or fat, but I have long heard it used in the sense of removing the flesh from the bones. No doubt this is folklore, as a cursory search did not include flesh. "De-fleshed?"

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Don Bauder Feb. 21, 2012 @ 4:05 p.m.

Twister, "flense" is in my dictionary. So, thanks to you, I can use it in Scrabble or Words with Friends -- at least, I assume I can. Best, Don Bauder

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paul Feb. 21, 2012 @ 9:55 a.m.

Don,

Kathryn Rhodes did a lot of work on this issue, but the old laplayaheritage website seems to be gone.

Pat Flannery had a mention here: http://www.blogofsandiego.com/BlogArchives/2008-2nd-Quarter.htm

"Everybody at DSD knows that the entire Sunroad project is subject to a CC zoning Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 0.50%."

If my memory serves, the FAR of the actual building is well over 4.0, which wildly exceeds the allowable FAR. The city played games with two planning zone docs. The first had a height limit but no FAR, while the second had a FAR but removed the height limit. In approving the Sunroad building the city's Development Services Department infamously ruled that there was no height limit based on the later planning doc and ruled there was no FAR based on the earlier planning doc. That zoning gift was worth a lot of money to Sunroad.

Sunroad was attempting to build several more buildings of similar size on the site. Based on the FAR they should not be able to build anything further, because the FAR is already exceeded for the entire site. So far the additional buildings have not been built, but I assume they will some day.

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Don Bauder Feb. 21, 2012 @ 10:11 a.m.

Paul, I hope Kathryn is still active through her laplayaheritage site, or some other new site. She does good work. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 22, 2012 @ 6:51 a.m.

Kathryn does know her civic issues. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Feb. 21, 2012 @ 10:35 p.m.

The chances of Jerry Sanders finding a private sector job after he finishes his term as mayor appear to be very slight. Jerry hasan't done anything for anyone. He looked aside while the FAA bent Aaron face down on the table and had its way with him. Sanders retirement office was on the 12th floor of the Centrum, and when the ironworkers removed the 12 floor, his employment prospects went with it. He couldn't get the Chargers Stadium or the Convention Center expansion underway. He's building the library, but there's nothing in the till to pay for it. He has not privatized anything to speak of. If Sanders destroys the Cabrillo bridge and guts the center of Balboa Park for Mark Erwin, there might be an office with a window view for him at Qualcomm. He could be director of security. He could cruise Qualcomm parking lots in an electric golf cart looking for engineers sleeping in their cars on company time.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 21, 2012 @ 11:55 p.m.

Funny-B is 100%^ correct, the airport fiasco, the stadium, not a single job sent to the real world to cut costs-he has not delivered on a THING he promised.

Of course he won the mayor's office by claiming he would not raise taxes-when Donna Frye said she would, and what did Shamu Sanders do-he put a HUGE pension/sales tax on the ballot that was destroyed by the voters.

Sanders= total failure

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Don Bauder Feb. 22, 2012 @ 6:58 a.m.

Yes, Sanders has been a failure, SP, but he is also something of a Teflon failure. For some reason, most of the public hasn't figured out that he hasn't delivered on anything. With information overload plaguing our entire society, it's not surprising that a lot of politicians can fail and still skate. They don't escape detection, but not enough people notice or care. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 22, 2012 @ 6:54 a.m.

I agree that Mayor Sanders has been pathetically ineffectual, and certainly dishonest, but I do think the establishment will take care of him in some way. He might get a job with some downtown booster organization. Or a real estate developer trade group. I'm not sure he is qualified to be head of security at Qualcomm, given his record as police chief. Best, Don Bauder

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InOmbra Feb. 22, 2012 @ 8:50 a.m.

I'm sure Sanders will soon sit on a variety of boards: how about Virtual Capital of California LLC, with his old Coronado bank buddy Tom Stickel; SDCERS, along with his appointee from VCC LLC, V. Wayne Kennedy.

Sanders presented himself in his mayoral campaign as a Virtual Capital executive (a phony resume created by Stickel)and claimed he would run San Diego "like a business," just like fellow Republican GW Bush. All both did was run us into the ground or off the road.

Sanders had no experience running a business, of course, and here we are today. Even as Sanders' exit nears, he's still trying to implement the business plan: the council's new Economic Development committee spent yesterday listening to businessmen presenting ideas on how to run the city like a business. Groundhog's Day!!!

Blah! The idea is flawed and never works; it's just empty rhetoric. Governments are not corporations.

Here's my bizness plan: Sanders, virtual mayor, you're fired!

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Don Bauder Feb. 22, 2012 @ 9:42 a.m.

Yes, Virtual Capital never amounted to anything. Matt Potter and I covered that a number of years ago. I don't think governments should be run like businesses. Businesses by their very nature are autocratic. That's not a good model for government. I've covered some extremely well-run companies in my life, such as Procter & Gamble. But I don't think P&G's business model would fit well in government. Best, Don Bauder

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