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Stories by Don Bauder

A curmudgeon's view of debt

Why not enact the Robin Hood tax?

The federal deficit will be a staggering $1 trillion next year. Corporate debt is an astonishing $6.3 trillion. Globally, the derivatives market, which nearly killed us in 2008, could be $1 quadrillion. Speculation is rampant ...

Farewell to a professional love

Don Bauder retires

In 1960, I entered the journalism profession with a Master’s degree and an addiction to work in a field I already knew that I loved: writing and reporting. I had worked 40 hours a week ...

S.D.’s household income rose five percent last year

More people in households working

Median San Diego household income jumped five percent to $76,662 last year, but the main reason is that more people per household were working, according to United States Census Bureau data revealed this morning (September ...

Calif. insurance department hits NRA with cease and desist

At issue: Carry Guard policy

The California Department of Insurance yesterday (September 11) issued a cease and desist order against the National Rifle Association (NRA). The association sponsors Carry Guard, which it describes as a “membership carry program” offering comprehensive ...

Teens to flip Jack in the Box burgers gone

Scholarships and dope

"If you want to work, there is no excuse for not getting into the job market now,” says Phil Blair, executive owner of Manpower San Diego. Blair, the local employment guru, is talking about the ...

SD Opera’s Tito Capobianco dies

He left fuming, with company in the red

Tito Capobianco, the autocrat who brought San Diego Opera — and the late soprano Beverly Sills — to prominence, died September 8 at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, to which he had retired in 2000. He was 87. ...

San Diego’s poor pay 95% of family income for rent

Typical county household pays 40.3 percent

At a time when the current Washington D.C. administration is proposing deep cuts in housing welfare, the staggering rent costs for low-income San Diegans merits focus. According to a Zillow release this week, low-income San ...

If you want to get on the fast track...

Own a California pro sports team

There’s an old song, “Ya gotta be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls.” The words are now being changed to “Ya gotta be a pro sports team owner to get your ...

San Diego one of best places to raise family

But high cost of living sharply lowers ranking

San Diego comes in 24th out of 182 in the best cities in which to raise a family, according to a new report by WalletHub, which does statistical studies of United States places to work ...

Chargers hater back

If he can raise funds, Intends to fly anti-Spanos banners again

Joseph MacRae, who sponsored the flying of anti-Chargers/anti-Spanos banners over StubHub Center in Carson (L.A. County) last year when the Chargers were playing there, intends to repeat this year if he can raise the money. ...

Matchmaker Irene Valenti is just a humble person

She evicts her son and family from Rancho Santa Fe home

Rancho Santa Fe’s Irene Valenti runs a matchmaking service claiming to tie rich and/or talented women with rich and/or talented men. However, as revealed a year ago, she herself wouldn’t qualify for a match. She ...

Biotech research hardly unbiased

Look at San Diego's Diversa, Sequenom, and Jonas Salk's Immune Response

Can scientific purity and entrepreneurial greed coexist? San Diego is an ideal testing ground for that question, because it is one of three biotech centers in the United States, and biotech companies, dominated by scientists, ...

D’Souza book fifth on New York Timesbest seller list

Movie by same title doing well, too

Arch-conservative San Diegan Dinesh D’Souza is riding high these days: his new book, Death of a Nation, this week is number 5 on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list. The book posits that Republican ...

350,000 grads, $7.5 billion of debt

San Diego's Bridgepoint test case of DeVos proposal

The Oakland-based independent Institute for College Access and Success this month released a study showing that 350,000 two-year or four-year grads of for-profit colleges left school in 2012 with a collective $7.5 billion of debt. ...

Larry Lucchino, switch hitter on ballpark subsidies

To get subsidized stadium for Worcester team

Remember when Larry Lucchino and John Moores said that a fat ballpark subsidy for a team owned by a mega-millionaire was a civic good — something akin to godliness and cleanliness? After getting San Diego ...

Almost everyone in Solana Beach working

County unemployment dips

The county unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in July, down from a revised 3.7 percent in June and from 4.4 percent a year earlier, according to the California Employment Development Department. During the month, total ...

Local home listing prices dropped 20 percent in June

Second biggest dip among 35 major metro areas

Maybe some relief is coming for home buyers. San Diego County home price listings dropped 20 percent in June, according to Zillow.com. Among the 35 largest United States metro areas, the only larger drop was ...

Chula Vista firm charged with cheating investors

Used fraudulent practices to steer bonds to brokers

A now-defunct Chula Vista firm, RMR Asset Management, and its head, Ralph Riccardi, used fraudulent schemes to deprive individual investors of municipal bonds, according to a suit filed Tuesday (August 14) in federal court. Individual, ...

Chernobyl in San Onofre?

Debate continues over canister thickness

In March of this year, Southern California Edison, the major owner of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, revealed that a shipment of canisters in which the company is burying nuclear waste near the ocean ...

SD homebuilding still in the dumps

Worst of major CA metro areas

After the housing bubble burst in the 2008 period, the United States has been very slow to replenish the housing stock, or inventory. The partly explains the rise in home prices. San Diego County is ...

Move over, Ivy League. West tops universities

UCSD ranked second best educational institution

The University of California at San Diego is the second best educational institution in the nation, according to a new ranking of universities and colleges by Money magazine. Among the factors going into the study ...

City leaders don’t mention “convention center”

In plea for convention center expansion vote

Local media are reporting this morning (August 9) that the initiative to raise the hotel tax to expand the convention center and purportedly fix the roads and help the homeless doesn’t have enough valid signatures ...

Bridgepoint stock soars

DeVos loosening of rules may be factor

On July 25, stock of San Diego-based, deeply-troubled Bridgepoint Education closed at $8.09. It had been as low as $5.31 in the past 52 weeks. Today (August 3), Bridgdepoint closed at $13.10 — a huge ...

Longtime friends nabbed for insider trading

This with a company who had history of lying about Down Syndrome tests

Story updated on August 21. Two Carlsbad residents, friends since childhood, were slapped this week for insider trading that arose after they attended a concert together. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in July ...

Golf has to suffer six or more years

Why not expand the size of the hole?

It was golf’s celebrated United States Open, played June of 2008, at Torrey Pines. The already weak national economy was about to go into a tailspin. Tiger Woods, the god of golf, was limping around ...

Downtown darling Kris Michell back in city government

Hikes her pension benefits sharply

Kris Michell, former chief of staff to both Mayor Golding and Mayor Sanders, contributed to the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System from November 21, 1994 through March 22, 1998. Then she went on to ...

CPUC wipes away Peevey/Edison collusion, criminal investigation

Ratepayers get minor relief; law firm gets $5.4 million

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday (July 26) made an unimpressive adjustment to a rape of the ratepayer that began with a secret meeting between the then-top commissioner, Michael Peevey, and a representative of ...

Study: county pension benefits soar

Four times higher then personal income

Transparent California, a research group that is critical of excessive government pensions and salaries, says in a new study that benefits promised by the San Diego County Employees’ Retirement Association (SDCERA) jumped 1,237 percent from ...

San Diego student futures more hopeful than you might think

Among American metro areas

WalletHub, the statistical aggregator, has come out with a study of educational attainment among American 150 metro areas. San Diego County is 20th in “most educated.” The ones at the top tend to be areas ...

Best large cities: San Diego fifth

Public school system rated first

San Diego is the fifth best large American city to live in, according to WalletHub, the statistical aggregator that applied 52 metrics to the largest 62 cities. The top four, in order, are Seattle, Virginia ...

County unemployment rate rises sharply

But jobs only drop by 800

The county unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in June, up from a revised 2.9 percent in May. Non-farm jobs dropped by 800 in the month, which is not alarming — at least yet. Leisure ...

Investor-owned utilities with sky-high rates

Want to pass even more costs to ratepayers

California’s investor-owned utilities — San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric — already have among the highest rates in the nation. (San Diego Gas & Electric’s are consistently the ...

Convention Center expansion absurd

Soak the taxpayer

The push for an expansion of the Convention Center is said to be a “citizens’ initiative.” It is actually a government initiative drawn up to feed money to downtown plutocrats — the hotel industry. The ...

Publication takes fun jabs at posh exurbs

Rancho Santa Fe gets a roast

The publication Business Insider currently features snarky jabs at the nation's richest exurbs and suburbs such as Wellesley, Massachusetts; Kenilworth, Illinois, and Los Altos Hills, and Atherton, California. Rancho Santa Fe comes in for a ...

Have a fraud or environmental complaint?

“Kinks” in the city attorney’s office

If you call the city attorney’s hotline, 619-533-5600, a recorded message tells you that if you have an environmental complaint, call Nuisance Abatement. Huh? If you have a consumer fraud complaint, you are told to ...

For pennies, you got stake in marijuana company

Except it had no way to produce product

On July 2 in federal court, Carlsbad’s Andrew Fellner and his Strategic Global Investments got sued for securities fraud. The company is a penny stock trading on the Over-the-Counter pink sheets, the financial industry’s equivalent ...

Testing surges again at corporations

USD prof explains new thinking in Atlantic

Frank Partnoy, law professor at the University of San Diego, writes in The Atlantic magazine of June that corporations are once again relying on tests to assess possible hirees and even their own top managements. ...

San Diego third best recreation city

But among worst in cost of movies

San Diego is the third best recreation city among the top 100, according to a study by WalletHub, which regularly reports on cities and metro areas. San Diego came out first in bike rental facilities ...

Edison, SDG&E, lies, and double dealing

A marriage between the falsehearted and the fraudulent

In the summer of 1987, San Diego Gas & Electric sent its employees a document declaring that its board “has an obligation and responsibility to serve the best interests of its shareholders while maintaining reliability ...

San Diegan peddles synthetic cannabinoids

Jonathan Riendeau charged in New York

San Diegan Jonathan Riendeau and Floridian Jade Plante were arrested June 27 for selling synthetic cannabinoids over the internet, according to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where the case ...

Doctor reprimanded for not reporting girl’s woes

To Child Protective Services

The Medical Board of California has given a public reprimand to Diane Darlene Wong, M.D. for not reporting a girl’s genital problems to Child Protective Services. Dr. Wong treated a girl, born in 2003, for ...

Roque De La Fuente running for U.S. Senate

In six states — this time as a Republican

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, who has owned car dealerships and currency exchanges in San Diego County, and now concentrates on real estate, is running for the United States Senate in six states this year: ...

County neurosurgeon Lokesh Tantuwaya

Indicted for taking $3.2 million in kickbacks

The United States Attorney’s office in Santa Ana announced June 14 that several Southern California doctors have been indicted for taking kickbacks in a scheme centered around Pacific Hospital in Long Beach. Thousand of patients ...

Radio’s Ray Lucia wins at Supreme Court

High court rebukes SEC decision

Ray Lucia, who gives investment advice in a nationally syndicated radio program, today (June 21) won his case at the Supreme Court. The high court split 7 to 2 in Lucia’s favor. It was not ...

Appellate court tells CPUC to hand over documents

Even some redacted portions must be restored

The California Court of Appeal in San Francisco today (June 19) ordered the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to turn over communications between it and the governor’s office as the the agency came up with ...

Who would trust Alex Hern?

San Diego venture capitalist plagued by lawsuits

Do fat cats do their homework when plunking a bundle of money into start-up tech companies? Wealthy investors are putting big bucks behind a Del Mar company, Tsunami VR, which plans to develop virtual reality ...

Engineer falls to death at Qualcomm

Suicide third since 2010

David Wu, a Qualcomm engineer, fell to his death from the sixth floor of Qualcomm’s AY building at its headquarters complex Sunday. The death was originally reported by Chinese media. Similar Qualcomm suicides took place ...

Disbarred attorney Prevost raising funds

To fight motel over dog’s death

Mary Frances Prevost, who billed herself as “California’s Top Criminal & DUI Attorney,” but was disbarred early this year, ls trying to raise money over gofundme.com so she can take legal action against Motel 6 ...

Mickelson melts down at U.S. Open

Hits moving ball, takes a 10 on a hole.

San Diego golfing legend Phil Mickelson today (June 16) shocked the golf world on the 13th green of the U.S. Open. A putt rolled past the hole and was going downhill. Mickelson jogged after the ...

May unemployment stays at 2.9 percent

Chula Vista among those above 3 percent

San Diego County’s unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in May, the same as the revised number in April. California’s rate was 3.7 percent and the nation’s 3.6 percent during the period. Local leisure and hospitality ...

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