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Stories by Don Bauder

Kill your boyfriend, go to jail

David Meza's pregnant girlfriend knew about Jake Merendino's murder

Twenty-seven-year-old David Enrique Meza of Imperial Beach was sentenced in federal court to life in prison today (December 11th). He had fatally stabbed and nearly decapitated Texas retiree Jake Clyde Merendino on May 2, 2015, ...

In search of state utilities commission's jugular...

Attorneys write legislature, ask for neutering of failed agency

San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson yesterday (December 7) wrote a letter to both houses of the state legislature, asking them to convene a joint select committee to investigate the California Public Utilities ...

Otay motherlode: pounds of heroin, coke, fentanyl...

American Sentri pass holder admits smuggling narcotics

Oscar Vasquez-Alamilla, a Spring Valley resident, pleaded guilty in federal court today (December 7th) to smuggling narcotics through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. He was using the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Response Inspection, ...

San Diego less vulnerable to, but not free of, fracking

We could see effects in food poisoning, earthquakes

Fracking is hydraulic fracturing, or horizontal shooting of water, sand, and chemicals into shale to bring up oil and gas. However, people complain of loud equipment, stealing of water, and widespread pollution through use of ...

Ready to pay for the Raiders' Vegas stadium?

Senate and House disagree on sports stadium subsidies

The Senate and House have passed their own versions of new tax legislation, and now they must reconcile their differences in a conference committee. Wisely, the House version eliminates federal bond subsidies for pro sports ...

Mass layoff or furlough? Union, NASSCO differ

Courts rule shipbuilder should have warned employees of job cuts

According to the website of the California Employment Development Department, employers should give a 60-day notice to employees and their representatives in advance of a "plant closing or mass layoff." The notices are in the ...

Qualcomm's takeover-thwarting strategy

Company wants NXP Semiconductors merger to help block Broadcom

In the fall of 2016, the boards of Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors agreed to merge the companies. It looked like a good deal all around: NXP is the biggest automotive chipmaker, providing diversification to Qualcomm, ...

Junior Theatre reformer sues city

Accuses city attorney's chief of staff Gerry Braun of cover-up

Matt Valenti, who has been battling San Diego Junior Theatre board over laxity in sex-with-minors incidents, filed suit in Superior Court this month to force the city to turn over documents he requested long ago. ...

"Reform by red tape" slowing H-1B sharply

Will Qualcomm be hamstrung by increased vetting of immigrant workers?

As H-1B reform bills, such as one sponsored by North County Representative Darrell Issa, work their way through Congress, the bureaucracy is slowing the process sharply. For years, foreign technical workers have gotten visas to ...

Shocker! CPUC unanimously thumbs down SDG&E

Local utility won't be able to pass on 2007 fire costs to ratepayers

After a battle that has gone on for a decade, the California Public Utilities Commission today (November 30) stunned observers by unanimously declaring that San Diego Gas & Electric cannot pass along to ratepayers $379 ...

Ouch: 40 percent spent on rent

San Diego homeowners also see higher mortgages

In this years's third quarter, San Diego County residents spent 42 percent of their income on rents, up from 34.7 percent in the 1985–2000 pre-bubble years, according to zillow.com. Nationwide, rents took up 29.1 percent ...

Car won from casino still undelivered

Woman claims she was taxed $134,000 for Aston Martin she never got

Merida Manipoun filed suit in federal court November 16, claiming that she won a $134,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT in a drawing at Viejas Casino. The contest was arranged so that those who plunked the ...

Accused of shooting up fentanyl on the job

Medical board says UCSD anesthesiologist had been to Betty Ford

Following up recent news of UCSD physician John Peter Serra pleading guilty to criminal charges, another staff doctor is in trouble. The Medical Board of California has filed an accusation against Bradley Glenn Hay, M.D., ...

If there’s a vote on the convention center...

Convention-center numbers crunch — taste bad, more filling

There is a new breeze blowing through the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. Unfortunately, it smells much like the last one. Since 2009, I have been interviewing Heywood Sanders, the Texas-based university professor who is ...

Congresswoman claims a Filner groping (years ago)

Former San Diego mayor allegedly went in for a kiss

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado congresswoman, told the Denver Post and MSNBC today (November 20) that former San Diego mayor Bob Filner tried to grope her in an elevator. Both were in Congress at the ...

Senator's bill to stave off utilities' rape of ratepayers?

SDG&E, Edison, PG&E still trying to recover fire costs

Ten years ago, fires swept San Diego County. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and an investigative body of the California Public Utilities Commission agreed that San Diego Gas & Electric's ...

Report: Bridgepoint and Arizona colluded for GI Bill funds

"How can we help?" wrote an education-policy adviser of the governor

The Phoenix New Times, reporting on an investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education, says that controversial for-profit education firm known as Bridgepoint Education colluded with officials in Arizona to get GI Bill funds that ...

County unemployment falls, jobs gain

Jobless rate drops to 3.7 percent

San Diego County unemployment fell to 3.7 percent in October from an adjusted 4.1 percent in September and 4.7 percent from a year ago. Non-farm jobs rose by 13,800 in the month. More than half ...

Cory Briggs sues Navy, Edison, SDG&E, Dept. of Defense

Lawyer attempts to halt "radioactive dump" near ocean at San Onofre

Environmental lawyer Cory Briggs, working for consumer protection group Public Watchdogs, today (November 16) filed suit against the United States Department of Defense, the Navy, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric over ...

UCSD doctor guilty of attempted criminal threats

John Peter Serra can no longer practice medicine, sentencing next week

Dr. John Peter Serra pleaded guilty October 18 to attempted making of criminal threats, according to the district attorney's office. He was tried in Superior Court by judge Polly Shamoon. According to a document attached ...

Qualcomm surely worth more than $70 a share

Broadcom offer passed up, investors may force company to settle for $80

San Diego-based telecom giant Qualcomm will not take the $70 per share offer of Broadcom Ltd., offered last week. However, large institutional investors may want Qualcomm to accept $80, according to TheStreet.com The total bid, ...

Disposal of nuclear waste: think Camp Pendleton

Each state should manage its own spent fuel, says study lauded by experts

Ray Lutz of Citizens' Oversight has published a new study suggesting that nuclear waste should possibly be disposed of locally, with each state responsible for its own spent fuel. Lutz says moving the waste long ...

Consumers tired of utilities’ carelessness and greed

Community Choice Energy programs gaining popularity

For a decade and a half, California’s investor-owned utilities — Sempra Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and Edison International — have controlled their purported regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission. Legally, it should be ...

Dead dad's Social Security benefits bilked

$272,000 in the bank, but the kid is going to jail

Abel Jose Perez was sentenced yesterday (November 6) to a year and a day in prison for cashing in his father's Social Security benefits after he died. Perez raked in $271,925.60 after his father's death ...

Broadcom plots $100 billion bid for Qualcomm

Purchase would create third largest chipmaker

Broadcom, perhaps as early as Monday, is planning to make a $100 billion bid for San Diego-based Qualcomm, which has been having troubles and knock-down fights with its big customer, Apple, this year. Before rumors ...

Get nervous, team-owning robber barons

Could the end of tax-exempt bonds for pro stadiums be near?

The tax bill proposed by the House of Representatives Thursday (October 2nd) has one great feature: it would end the use of tax-exempt bonds issued to construct professional sports stadiums. The Joint Committee on Taxation ...

Dad embezzled $275,000 from Disney ship

Will the fact that he spent $35,000 at Disney World help his case?

Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes, a citizen of Brazil, was arraigned in federal court yesterday (October 30) on a charge of embezzling $275,000 from the Walt Disney Company. He was a host in merchandise stores ...

Where's Cuba? The beverage company. Where?

Lawsuit says company officers pumped and dumped stock

On March 27 of this year, an alleged San Diego enterprise, Cuba Beverage Company, announced that it was launching its "new all-natural alkaline spring water." Said the company's chief executive, Alex Procopio, "With the launch ...

Kratomystic enhancers sold from Mission Gorge mailbox

Makes you smart if you take a little but dumb if you take too much

Feeling feebleminded? Take a smart pill. For more than 60 years, I thought smart pills were a joke, as in, “Darn! I forgot to take my smart pills today.” Only lately did I realize there ...

Jobs-dropping September in San Diego County

Non-farm and hospitality employment down; schools open and boost rate

The unemployment rate in San Diego County in September was 4.1 percent, down from a revised 4.7 percent in August and down from 4.6 percent a year ago, according to the California Employment Development Department. ...

Tackled in the stands at Qualcomm

Lawsuit suggests police misinterpreted fan's "high-spiritedness"

A football tackle can be a thrilling thing to see, but not in the stands when the police are tackling a fan, says a suit filed in federal court October 16. Jason Walker is suing ...

Dr. Lizerbram heading prestigious Jewish fund

FPA disaster goes unmentioned

Dr. Sol Lizerbram this fall takes over as president of the Jewish National Fund — the first person west of the Mississippi River to attain that post. The fund raises money to help Israel. He ...

So, Monster won't be coming for Starship Snacks?

Lisa Bershan and Barry B. Schwartz charged with fraud

Two San Diegans, Lisa Bershan and Barry B. Schwartz, have been charged with a stock fraud that can only be called outrageous. On Wednesday (October 11) in federal court in the Southern District of New ...

Doctors accused of heavy fondling and drunk driving

State medical board puts scopes on Drs. Fajerman and Rhoten

The Medical Board of California last month filed accusations against two county physicians. Three female patients stated that Dr. Leon Fajerman, a psychiatrist, physically forced himself on them in attempts to get sexual gratification. One ...

Don’t expect Florida and Caribbean tourists to flock west

We have earthquakes and fires

Can San Diego and other West Coast metro areas make money because of the hurricane-prone eastern U.S. and the Caribbean? Florida and Caribbean islands are tourist havens. Now some of those areas lie in ruins ...

U-T print circulation continues downward spiral

Paper has lost over 20,000 readers annually for several years

The average daily print circulation of the Union-Tribune took another major fall this year. According to the annual numbers that publications must file every year with the U.S. Postal Service, the U-T's average daily paid ...

Local lawyers disciplined by State Bar

One shoots a taser, another injures spouse

Seven county lawyers have been disciplined by the California State Bar, according to the October issue of the California Lawyer Magazine. Kevin Matthew Kirby of San Diego was arrested after he fired a taser at ...

Rumor: NFL wants Chargers to return to San Diego

Team lost to Eagles yesterday

Green Philadelphia Eagles fans jerseys outnumbered Chargers fans' regalia yesterday (October 1) at the Chargers' new L.A. home. Eagles fans loudly disrupted Chargers signals and cheered the Eagles while booing the Chargers. The Chargers lost ...

Securities commission circles back on Jason Huntley

Ordered to pay $100K three years ago...$98,700 balance due

In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission told San Diegan Jason Huntley to pay $100,000 for his securities violations. Among other things, he had failed to tell clients that he had received $2 million for ...

Doctor allegedly fell down twice during surgery

UCSD medical employees warned to report impairments of coworkers

Employees at Jacobs Medical Center at the University of California San Diego this week received a memo saying that if they see or detect anyone who is impaired, they should report the incident immediately to ...

San Diego the next recession engine?

Federal data show startling downward revisions

"San Diego may once again be leading the rest of the state and nation into recession, as we did ten years ago," says Kelly Cunnngham, economist at National University System. The federal Bureau of Economic ...

Radio’s Ray Lucia taking his case to Supreme Court

Buckets of Money strategist leaves home near Rancho Santa Fe

A San Diegan is very likely to go to the Supreme Court next year. He is Ray Lucia Sr., who has a syndicated investment-advice show on radio and a smaller presence on TV. In his ...

Trump says NFL too worried about players' safety

"Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

Donald Trump, playing to his base in an Alabama speech Friday and in a series of tweets, slammed NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem. The president said the league is losing TV ...

Now, baby boomers will follow Daniel Yankelovich

Pioneer opinion researcher dies in La Jolla at 92

Daniel Yankelovich, the groundbreaking opinion pollster who retired to La Jolla but continued working, died Friday morning (September 22) at 92. The New York Times said that he not only tracked people's car and toothpaste ...

Peter Navarro pushed aside at White House, says Politico

"With Bannon gone, they look at their watch when he talks."

As President Trump's chief of staff John Kelly has imposed discipline on the White House, former San Diegan Peter Navarro is losing his power, says an article in Politico dated Monday, September 18. "Navarro has ...

Chargers', Rams' weak attendance Sunday

Is L.A. not a pro football town?

More publications are wondering if Los Angeles will be a good home for two pro football teams after the Chargers (San Diego transplants this year) and Rams (St. Louis transplants last year) had poor attendance ...

Bridgepoint stock taking hit

Value has dropped nearly 60 percent since July

Stock of controversial for-profit education company Bridgepoint Education has been taking a big hit in the past couple of months. On July 7, it was selling for $14.07; today (September 18) it closed at $8.85, ...

County unemployment rate flatlines

Unchanged from July, but 3200 non-farm jobs gained

The county unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in August, unchanged from a revised 4.7 percent in August, and down from 4.9 percent from a year ago. The county added 3200 jobs in the month and ...

Prebys foundation files to dismiss lawsuit

Conrad's "life partner" Debra Turner sued to oust trustee and board

The battle over Conrad Prebys's estate is getting more bitter this week as the trustee and boardmembers of the Conrad Prebys Foundation asked a Superior Court judge to toss out a suit by Debra Turner, ...

Disgruntled fan pays for NFL-bashing billboard

Joseph MacRae reportedly heckled Chargers owner Spanos in L.A.

Bitter Chargers fan Joseph MacRae has raised $10,000 to erect anti-NFL digital billboards near the team's new temporary home at StubHub Center in Los Angeles, according to ESPN.com and KSWB-TV. He will post five biting ...

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