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— Once again the Pulitzer Prize recipients have been announced, and once again the San Diego Union-Tribune has been shut out. Though the San Diego Evening Tribune won two of the coveted journalistic awards before it was folded into the San Diego Union a decade ago, the Union itself, the haughty flagship of the Copley newspaper chain, has always come up empty in the national newspaper derby. This year was the same, but with added insult: Famed New York Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin berated the U-T's Pulitzer entry for pulling its punches in an effort to protect San Diego's corporate image, a charge not unfamiliar to local U-T watchers. "The San Diego Union-Tribune entered a series on the exploitation of aliens and started it off with Chinese in lower Manhattan, rather than offend employers in their own area, where Mexicans are nothing more than utensils." ... Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Cuban father of six-year-old Elián, is being represented by Gregory Craig, a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Williams and Connolly, founded by the late defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams, whose famous clients ranged from LBJ crony Bobby Baker to mobster Sam Giancana. Another current partner in the firm is Padres co-owner Larry Lucchino, who cut his teeth in the sports business while running Williams's Baltimore Orioles. Craig also represented President Bill Clinton during last year's impeachment battle. Craig's father, Bill, is said to live in La Jolla.

Academic Riches

Two more top officials at the University of California San Diego are reporting that they own large chunks of stock in Qualcomm, the once high-flying cell-phone technology outfit cofounded in 1985 by then-UCSD professor Andrew Viterbi. According to his latest disclosure statement, dated April 4, UCSD chancellor Robert Dynes acquired more than $100,000 of Qualcomm in September 1999. It was the only stock he purchased all year, according to the disclosure. UCSD general counsel Ann Parode, wife of La Jolla venture capitalist "Buzz" Woolley, also reported owning more than $100,000 of Qualcomm. Dynes, whose wife Frances is the daughter of legendary San Francisco venture capitalist Warren Hellman, also disclosed that his spouse owned greater-than-$100,000 interests in 38 companies, including MGM Grand; Avon Products; Echostar; Primedia; Triton Energy; Associates First Capital; Convergys; Forest Labs; Kinder Morgan; Cemex, S.A., a controversial Mexican construction giant; and Loral Space & Communications, which is partnered with Qualcomm in the Globalstar cell-phone satellite venture. Parode, a veteran of the San Diego law firm of Luce, Forward, reported getting a gift of two days' worth of golf-course greens fees from the influential downtown firm. She didn't disclose where she did her duffing.

Cheap Meds

A former psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in San Diego has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired after he refused to prescribe drugs for patients whom he had not personally examined, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Dr. Thomas S. Jensen claims that Kaiser let him go in February because he wouldn't write prescriptions based solely on the advice of social workers who had seen the patients. The suit, which was filed last week in Alameda County, also charges that Kaiser was engaging in "untrue or misleading advertising" by claiming that medical judgments were "in the hands of doctors." Instead, Jensen charges, Kaiser forces its doctors "to prescribe drugs based solely on the report of a nonphysician social worker, social work intern, or like employee."... San Diego webmaster and computer programmer Mike Emke wants to rescue 72 low-orbit satellites about to be hurled to their destruction by the bankrupt Iridium satellite-phone venture. Using a website called www.saveoursats.com, Emke is trying to raise the $300 million he says it will take to buy the network of what most people think will soon become space junk. Skeptics abound, but the 27-year-old Emke is undeterred. "I don't think it's unrealistic that we can save these things," he told the Washington Times last week. "I heard they were going to burn the satellites, and I thought that was asinine. Now we're talking to Iridium."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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