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Stories by Eric Bartl

Poway – city in the country

Danielle Van Dam, Ninth Street, Steve Vaus, Poway Unified, district elections, the rodeo, Twin Peaks

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There Dad’s is probably the most famous barroom in America, at least this week, and what goes on here is ...

Is California sex-ed anti-immigrant?

El Cajon's Chaldeans and Moslems not happy

On September 21, Arabic-speaking immigrants gathered at the Ninevah Club in El Cajon (at Main Street and Mollison Avenue) for a conference hosted by Protect our Kids, a group spreading awareness of California’s required instruction ...

Nick Cannon-Jason Crawford sex trafficking probe closed

A sham, says victims' attorney

The Reader’s August 28 story “Shark Bait” told of Sara, Monet, Julia, and other girls from Lincoln High School who say Nick Cannon, host of comedy show Wild 'N Out, served as the bait for ...

Abortion and carpetbagging dominate 50th Congressional seat debate

Issa, DeMaio look east, Hunter, Jones defend turf

On October 14 former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, former congressman Darrell Issa and state enator Brian Jones joined congressman Duncan Hunter at Mission Valley’s Town and Country Hotel for the San Diego Republican ...

San Diego students required to take ethnic studies

Aimed at "white terrorism"

On September 24 the San Diego Unified school board passed a resolution in support of a state bill (AB 331) that would add one semester of ethnic studies to California public high school graduation requirements ...

Who are the drag queens at Chula Vista library?

Would they try this in Coronado or La Jolla?

On September 10, Francisco Soto and Xaime Aceves Equihua (stage names “Barbie-Q” and “Raquelita”) presented Drag Queen Story Time to a reported 300 adults and children at the Civic Center Chula Vista Public Library on ...

Rancho Bernardo man with 84 cockatiels fights San Diego Humane Society

“The four eldest need to come home”

Fourteen years ago Rancho Bernardo resident Robert D. Fausner had four pet cockatiels. He kept them in his one-bedroom apartment cage-free and by January of this year they had reproduced into 83 free-flying birds, plus ...

More drama at San Diego Junior Theatre

Conflict of interest in the City Attorney's office?

The three-year saga at Balboa Park’s San Diego Junior Theatre, a city-funded operation, continued May 7 when former theatre parent Matt Valenti and his family went to City Hall to confront city attorney Mara Elliott. ...

Lincoln High teacher sued for sex talk

Used connections with Nick Cannon "to get the girls all over him"

Girl v. world, mother, teacher On October 15, 2018, Lincoln High School psychologist Freddy Moreno summoned Sara to his office. A teacher wanted him to find out what was traumatizing her “shy, sweet, and respectful” ...

Kaiser to face largest strike anywhere in 20 years

Union claims company made $5.2 billion in profits in the first six months of 2019

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions warned in an August 12 press release they are planning the “nation’s largest walkout since 1997.” Coalition spokesman Sean Wherley says over 80,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in six states ...

San Diego Unified paid $400k for claim against Lincoln High coach

He changed his name in February

After being accused of sexual assault a former Lincoln High School soccer coach, Said Cajica, continued coaching youth soccer teams and on February 21 changed his name to Xavier Cajica-Bautista. Said’s path to becoming Xavier ...

Real men at Wilson Middle School, SDSU, El Cajon City Council

Forget toxic masculinity

It’s early Friday morning in City Heights. Nearly 30 boys flock to Wilson Middle School an hour before school starts to spend time with their mentor Roosevelt Johnson. They enter his classroom and greet one ...

Kidnapping halted in El Cajon

Kids, bystander, finally police intervene

Friday, June 14, 4:40 pm. I got off the bus in El Cajon at Washington and Magnolia. From a distance I see what I think is a grandmother, mother and children crossing the street. We ...

UCSD researchers use organs from aborted babies

“Fetal tissue remains the gold standard"

Researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine are in the market for human organs that are "fresh" and "fetal," according to emails published by the Center for Medical Progress, a citizen journalist/medical ethics watchdog group ...

San Diego Unified dumps anti-Islamophobia initiative

CAIR had ties to terror groups

On March 7 a group of parents represented by San Diego attorney Charles S. LiMandri, chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, settled a lawsuit — Citizens for Quality Education v. Richard Barrera ...

Why did Kevin Beiser accusers keep quiet so long?

Gay and Lesbian Times employee says he was warned years ago

Last week four men publicly accused third term San Diego Unified school board trustee Kevin Beiser of sexual harassment. Now others are saying they too were preyed upon. On March 18 a John Doe plaintiff ...

San Diego School District unites Democrats and Republicans

Everyone in audience seems mad about putting public at end of meetings

On December 11 the San Diego Unified School District board of trustees got rid of a thorn in its side — the non-agenda public comment segment at the beginning of their meetings. Trustees Richard Barrera, ...

Women's March and Walk for Life – a mile or a world apart?

Abortion the litmus issue in San Diego

Two events drew out civic exhibitionists in San Diego on Saturday, January 19, each expressing a different view about what it means to be pro-woman. An estimated 20,000 participants in the Women’s March gathered at ...

Miranda Escoto tried to report abuse of students

South Bay teachers stick together

Schools in San Diego County have a problem. Many teachers, administrators, and staff are not reporting suspected child abuse to the proper authorities, despite a legal requirement to do so. And some who do report ...

Torrey Pines Road – "so damn dangerous"

Unintended effects of flashing yellow lights

Visitors to La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Torrey Pines Road a couple blocks northeast of La Jolla Parkway put their lives in danger when they park across the street, say a nursing home ...

Lincoln High School was designed to fail

Teddy Bear won't back down

A father of two former Lincoln High School students says San Diego Unified School District filed false criminal charges against him after he started speaking out against the district for their failures to protect children ...

Rogue attorneys

Taking clients' money, child porn, 5 DUIs, and political violence

On November 9 Clayton Marlow Anderson, Jr., a former attorney from La Mesa, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for “defrauding clients and investors,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. ...

What makes the border fence work

No escape field, see-through, razor wire

“Assault a U.S. law enforcement officer – expect to be held accountable,” said chief border patrol agent Rodney Scott in a press release November 3. On October 31 a federal jury in San Diego found ...

The slow end of the Kalasho regime

85 percent voted for Gary Kendrick. 15 percent voted for Kalasho.

Tuesday’s votes have been tallied and the race with the largest margin of defeat in San Diego County was for El Cajon’s first district city council representative. Previously elected to citywide council positions, Ben Kalasho ...

Little-known San Diego election facts

Prop 6 suit, the Campa-Najjar name, the right Juan and the left Juan

Proposition 6 may not get the response at the ballot box its supporters were hoping for. Asking voters to reduce what they have to pay for gas was a sure bet, but state Attorney General ...

Jury awards contractor $200K in Central Avenue Mini Park fight

Scarbrough's fare

On September 10, 2018 APR Construction Inc., a small business from La Mesa, won a $202,000 jury verdict against the City of San Diego, which fired them from the Central Avenue Mini Park and Skate ...

Susan Davis debates GOP challenger almost 1/3 her age

Morgan Murtaugh suggests term limits to 74-year-old congresswoman

At 26 years old Morgan Murtaugh is one year above the constitutional minimum age requirement for U.S. Representatives. The Times of San Diego and Huffington Post reported she is the youngest Congressional candidate this election ...

Good Samaritans chase hit-and-run driver

Special needs teen smacked at Mollison and Main

I found Austin trembling next to his bicycle on Douglas Street in front of the El Cajon library Sunday afternoon, September 16. He was bruised and cut up. A few minutes earlier he was hit ...

Dem, GOP? It's the farmers market, stupid.

El Cajon, La Mesa blur party lines

Two East County cities are showing it’s possible to cross party lines to work on common goals. At the El Cajon City Council meeting August 14 Democratic activist Mark Lane apologized to the city of ...

Spit at in Del Taco

Don't expect the cops to help with misdemeanors

On Friday (August 24) I had lunch at Del Taco on C and 11th downtown. I used the restroom and came out to see a tall middle-aged homeless man yelling at the restaurant’s security guard. ...

San Diego veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan

Grenades, rockets, bombs, machine gun fire in their ears

Chief Stuart Hedley United States Navy World War II and Korean War Public speaker Clairemont It was Sunday morning at 5 o’clock. Hedley jumped out of bed below deck on the battleship USS West Virginia ...

Does sexual orientation change go only one way?

Local state senators vote party line on conversion therapy

On Thursday, August 16, the California Senate passed Assembly Bill 2943 with a 25-11 vote. The bill would make “sexual orientation change efforts,” also known as “conversion therapy,” an unlawful business practice under the state’s ...

Headlock on man with hammer

He welcomed death at Jack in the Box

On Wednesday, August 8, 30-year-old Robert Daniel Dille went to Jack in the Box on West Main Street and Van Houten Avenue in El Cajon. Witnesses say he and his female companion approached the counter ...

Fire and ice

Where is your local cool zone?

We’ve all heard the joke that someday a natural disaster will plunge California into the sea and turn Arizona into beachfront property. But if recent trends continue what would be more likely — the landslide ...

Malibu attorney forces Poway into district elections

Does the California Voting Rights Act violate voting rights?

As the candidate filing period opened July 16 for elected offices across the county, including seats for two new Poway council districts, a lawsuit filed to stop the new districts went back to court. The ...

Santee townsfolk want Dirty Chris dealt with

Has Proposition 47 tied hands of law enforcement?

Some homeowners on Carefree Drive, Peaceful Court and Restful Court in Santee aren’t getting the tranquility they bargained for. The Carefree condominium complex off Magnolia Avenue and across the street from Santana High School, say ...

Reporter accuses Ben Kalasho of assaulting him with dog

El Cajon residents call for councilman’s resignation

“Keep making me famous,” responded El Cajon city councilman Ben Kalasho to 10 of the 14 public speakers at the July 10 city council meeting. Calls for Kalasho's resignation made up most of the meeting ...

Build the Wall sign attracts Waterfront Park scuffle

Where does hate begin?

When 75-year-old Dan Russell isn’t cleaning up trash from the side of highways he participates in civil demonstrations, mostly holding his “Build the Wall, Enforce the Law” sign. On June 30 brought his sign to ...

GOP gov. candidate Cox was major donor of gas tax repeal

But did you know about the other two initiatives and his anti-Filner donations?

California’s gas tax repeal constitutional amendment initiative will be on the November 6 general election ballot as Proposition 6. “The initiative needed 643,948 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that ...

Advocates for Youth gets the boot

Oceanside Unified suspends sex ed program for grades K-6

Oceanside Unified School District suspended sexual health instruction for grades K-6 Monday (June 18) after getting feedback from parents and community members through an online and written survey. Acting Superintendent Reggie Thompkins announced, “The district ...

Never mind

City council and school board dismiss survey results

The San Diego City Council rules committee had a special meeting at city hall Wednesday (June 13) to conduct an initial review of proposals to place measures on the November 6 general election ballot. Eight ...

El Cajon is my city

A happy immigration story

Black and white at The Grand Three large black men sat squished together in the back seat of my rental car as we headed east on I-8. The ping of my Uber app brought us ...

Would Amaze videos get you arrested elsewhere?

San Diego and Oceanside schools criticized for explicit sex ed

San Diego Unified School District and Oceanside Unified School District have come under fire because of the sexual education curriculum they adopted from Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth is based in Washington D.C. where ...

Last sandwich standing

Quiznos and the El Cajon alternatives

The Quiznos sandwich shop in El Cajon at Main Street and Magnolia Avenue closed down Saturday. The last San Diego area Quiznos standing is in Ramona at Main Street and Ramona Street. Quiznos shops have ...

Local Dems and GOP beat back the edges

Smiechowski, Kirkman, Hidalgo — skunks at the garden party

Clairemont resident Danny Smiechowski says he's being bullied by local Democrats and shunned by the media. He is an official candidate for San Diego city council in district 2. He’s running as a Democrat, but ...

Who can save San Diego's airport from drowning?

State bill pits port cities against rest of county

There is a “very real threat of sea level rise that could leave our airport literally under water,” stated Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (CA-80) in a March 30 Union Tribune commentary. Gonzalez Fletcher wants to ...

Who’s about the kids and who’s about the money?

San Diego school district loses money if charters approved

On April 3 the San Diego Unified School Board granted the charter school petition of National University Academy 1001 STEAM, the first approval of a charter school new to the district in over four years. ...

Springtime incivility

Is it something in the air?

On March 21 a man pounded on the door outside the military recruiting office next to the Santee trolley station. He yelled through the door as he pounded: “Open the f’n door! I want to ...

Local litter

Dear Union Tribune, what about your community values?

Every Friday in Hillcrest an advertisement circular is tossed from a delivery van to driveways and sidewalks around the neighborhood. The publisher calls it Local Community Values. Some from the community call it litter. The ...

The wild west is back in San Diego

Limebike hogs show, but it is Ofo bikes that are stolen

Sunday afternoon in El Cajon I unsuccessfully tried to find an ofo dockless rental bike to help me get around town. I traveled to five locations where the ofo app listed an available bike, but ...