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Stories by Marty Graham

One million dollar houses atop San Pasqual Valley

EIR says no problem in wildfires

When Charlie Jancic thinks about wildfire in the San Pasqual Valley, it’s from real life. In 2007, the Witch Fire and Guejito Fire took his house. “The roads aren’t great — they’re mostly two lanes, ...

Circulate San Diego: Planning groups kill needed housing

Auditor: No, they don’t

The affordable housing crisis has been tough on community planning groups. Developers, city officials, and housing advocates blame these volunteer groups for slowing or blocking construction of the homes that everyone seems to agree the ...

Was Bilbray right?

Earthen berms pushed up against Tijuana River

Following a model created more than 30 years ago by former Imperial Beach mayor Brian Bilbray on top of a bulldozer, crews from the International Boundary and Water Commission pushed up an earthen berm at ...

No-man's land in San Ysidro to get trees

Bandits made San Diego cops leave

Although the hoped-for park in San Ysidro has gotten smaller, the plan for a piece of land at the end of Beyer Boulevard is now sharpened to a fine point. Monday night, planning group members ...

Don't tell them you are a reporter

Simple question gets the run-around

San Diego city officials confirmed that the city has suspended the creation of Maintenance Assessment Districts — but couldn’t find any documentation of that policy shift during the more than four weeks they searched after ...

Can't blame North Chapel plan on Corky

McMillin Companies' plan to turn sanctuary into restaurant...and more!

The Corky McMillin Company’s quiet plan to turn the historic North Chapel at the Naval Training Center into a “restaurant space” is meeting with growing community resistance ranging from the congregations that pray there to ...

North Park’s crusade against shifty developers

No respect in fight over end-run around planning group

The North Park Planning Committee has lost track of how often apartment developers apparently realize they’ve built condos at the end of construction and come to ask for a map that divides the apartment building ...

Not good, Chabad

Scripps Ranch apartment marketing vexes planning group

If you rent one of the 84 apartments at the Scripps Ranch Chabad’s Campus of Life, now offered on a variety of apartment rental sites, your enrollment in a class is part of the rent. ...

School improvements cut Normal Heights park space

“We had a solemn promise: no encroachment on the green."

When angry Normal Heights residents and the planning group began fighting the latest “park” shrinkage at the joint-use Adams Elementary School, they expected some resistance. But, instead, they learned that the joint-use agreement between the ...

AIDS memorial to arise from murky process?

“To say it’s not going to work is a disingenuous and ridiculous assertion.”

Ahead of today's (February 22) planning-group meeting to discuss the Olive Street park and AIDS memorial, some people are worried that the convoluted process has overwhelmed the most important idea. The plan (to be discussed ...

Santa Fe Christian School's "truth"

"We wouldn’t consider sending our child there now."

Both Matt Bosse and Joe Mosca, an Encinitas couple, grew up Catholic and want to share their faith with their children. So when they started to think about a middle school for their older son ...

Is latest trans-border sewage spill news?

Stench of 15 million gallons arrives in I.B.

The sewage stink from the beach south of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach started about a quarter-mile north of the Tijuana River mouth on February 17th, with the first hints marked by that pungent, green, ...

Dog on death row since December

Moose's owner feels set up, betrayed by La Mesa police

John Correia wants his dog back. He hasn’t seen the dog, a Labrador-pitbull mix named Moose, since the day the La Mesa police officer shot at the dog and missed. “I raised him from a ...

Egged in the city

“It just seemed so dumb, like a dumb thing to do.”

A spate of incidents where people walking in North Park and Normal Heights were hit by or nearly hit by eggs has left social media abuzz, but the police say they haven’t heard about it. ...

Retail/residential to take place of Scripps school?

Residents seek answers for environmental impacts of 264-unit project

The draft environmental review for a four-story apartment project that will be built on San Diego Unified School District land in Scripps Ranch has been released, and residents are not happy with it. "We gave ...

Nestor high school to fit in industrial zone

“We have learned to make do with what’s allotted.”

An Otay-Nestor area full of shipping warehouses, dialysis facilities, storage facilities, and a few manufacturing companies may soon get a charter school for a neighbor. The Stephen W. Hawking 2 charter school, which focuses on ...

Border outlet store robberies up

“Some of the thieves are coming from Mexico and returning there.”

Robberies are up 38 percent at the outlet malls in San Ysidro, police say, and the new pedestrian crossing to Tijuana seems to be playing an unintended role. Officer Carlos Lacarra, a community relations officer ...

Speeders' fun at Rolando intersection soon over

Residents' petition — not statistics — earns stop signs

At 58th Street in Rolando, Meade Avenue is less than two blocks long and modestly sloped. But the rolling hills on 58th — coupled with poor visibility and unrestricted right-of-way — are creating danger for ...

Kroc Center's soccer field to be finished in 2020

“You don’t build nighttime facilities and not use them.”

The soccer field at the Ray and Joan Kroc Center in Rolando will be on the roof of a new parking garage, with plans for the 23,000-square-foot project in the final approval stages. The Eastern ...

Councilmember got on Rolando catwalk project long ago

TV news' Turko blasts Georgette Gomez for not coming before camera

City Councilmember Georgette Gomez — called out by Michael Turko for not participating in his stories on the need to repair Rolando’s “catwalk” walkways — didn’t want to appear to take credit for other people’s ...

Sandag accused of eminent domain abuse

“We absolutely need this. We have buses laying over in eight different locations."

The San Diego Association of Governments is considering using eminent domain to take an entire downtown block. The land owners say they are concerned about what the agency plans to do with it, since the ...

7-Eleven greenlit to occupy Greene Cat

“It’s an existing license. We’re not here to ask for a liquor license.”

The Encanto Planning Group gave 7-Eleven — which proposes to buy out the Greene Cat liquor store if the franchise chain's conditions are okayed — permission to stay open 24 hours at a meeting on ...

Border wedding included drug-smuggling groom

Agents angry over "propaganda coup for the bad guys"

While local, national and international media delighted in the cross-border marriage through the open border gate at Friendship Park last month, federal agents with the U.S. Border Patrol were less than delighted. In stories for ...

South Bay Super 8 recovery home a smashed success?

Of 16 people in first implementation of program, 11 "walked away"

In their push for the conversion of a Super 8 motel to a transitional housing facility for up to 84 people, the city attorney's office failed to honor a public records request by the Reader ...

Cleanup on Sweetwater Marsh

Farmers, gunpowder manufacturer, heavy industry fouled wetland

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on Tuesday (December 5th) unveiled its plan to clean up three areas in the Sweetwater Marsh, bayfront land north and south of the boundary between National City and Chula ...

Decision made on Mission Bay wetlands plan

Campland reduced, golf course intact, ReWild rankled by mere 38-acre allotment

A conflicted, somewhat confused Mission Bay Park Committee voted 5-3 to go forward with a plan for the DeAnza Cove Tuesday night (December 5th) after hours of passionate testimony from people who want different things ...

Downtown homeless people driven north by cops

Normal Heights residents vexed with influx

Normal Heights residents remain frustrated and angry over the recent influx of homeless people in their neighborhood — which city staff say was prompted by the downtown streets bleaching to ward off hepatitis A. The ...

La Jollans pick bones over noisy airspace

Airport authority criticized for giving Congressman Peters bad info

Some residents of La Jolla Shores and Bird Rock say that U.S. Rep. Scott Peters’s undated letter that blames aircraft-noise increases on Montgomery-Gibbs Field is "nonsense." "The [San Diego County Regional] Airport Authority's noise specialists ...

Border sewage and campground vie for state funds

Why's everyone picking on county supervisor Greg Cox?

Surfrider and Wildcoast, along with three citizens’ groups, have challenged county supervisor Greg Cox over funding for a campground included in a state bill the groups supported. The groups are asking that the $1.6 million ...

As aviation-gas lead drops over Serra Mesa...

"Small planes take off and land over and over — those are flight schools."

Usually when people complain about small regional airports, the issue is noise. But Serra Mesa resident Gary Keller is worried about lead poisoning, and a California health coalition — supported by EPA research — says ...

Normal Heights' notions for I-15–adjacent property

"We can sell it with strings attached or without strings attached."

Concerned about what the city is planning to do with two vacant lots on the northwest corner of El Cajon Boulevard at 40th Street, adjacent to the I-15 off-ramp, local groups are asking the city ...

Normal Heights park starvation anniversary

Planning group member vows to sue city over ignored agreement with schools

One year after the neighborhood called out the city and Normal Heights Elementary School for breaking the promise that the school grounds would be open to the public after school hours, the chairman of the ...

What SDPD narcs learned about weed in Colorado

“There remains a thriving black market for marijuana.”

On the eve of the election in which California voters legalized recreational marijuana use in 2016, San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman sent a team of narcs to Denver to learn how things were going ...

AIDS memorial plan not so great, say residents

"Todd [Gloria] came to us with the plan and we thought it was great."

The draft plans for Olive Street Park met resistance Thursday evening (October 26th) as people who live adjacent to the 80´ x 100´ plot of land raised a ruckus over not being included or notified ...

Old bike-sharing company, new plan

"We’re trying to get that first mile and last mile.”

DecoBike is looking at a dozen places for stands in North Park, Uptown, downtown, and Golden Hill after getting kicked out of the beach areas by the California Coastal Commission, city engineer Brian Genovese said ...

Proposed AIDS memorial for Olive Street

Intended park land bequeathed to city nearly 100 years ago

The announcement on September 9th that the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force had selected a site — 20 years after the first such task force got underway — isn’t sitting well with some community ...

Short-term vacation rental explosion

“No one wants a clown car house next door.”

Locals in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach who say their neighborhoods are increasingly jammed full of unregulated mini-hotels are right, according to the city treasurer’s annual count of short-term rentals. But other neighborhoods — downtown ...

Mission Beach's last big chunk

Coastal commission okays development on former school site

Mission Beach will see the former Mission Beach Elementary School site developed into 59 homes with the California Coastal Commission’s unanimous approval on Thursday (October 12th). The commission was the last stop in the project’s ...

Who made it first to Mission Bay drowning scene?

Emergency response time transcript easy to misread

A new twist in the March drowning death of a two-year-old in Mission Bay: the 911 system record of the calls were requested by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs, according to the city’s NextRequest document ...

A concrete border-sewage-collection basin plan

“Our goal is to divert solid waste and sewage from entering the river valley."

With the governor’s signature late Monday (October 9th), $2.1 million in state funding is on its way to the Tijuana River Valley — some of it earmarked to deal with the sewage, trash, and sediment ...

Inn like Flynn on Sunset Cliffs

Hotel's unpermitted deck repairs — 33 truckloads of concrete? — forgiven

The Inn at Sunset Cliffs, whose owner overstepped the boundaries of the emergency permit to fix a collapsed deck, won the support of the Ocean Beach Planning Group Wednesday (October 4th) on its application for ...

A lot of motorcycle deaths in San Diego County

“The older gentlemen tend to crash on windy backcountry roads."

San Diego County has the dubious honor of ranking the fourth worst — of 58 California counties — in motorcycle crash deaths. In 2016, the county broke its own record for the number of people ...

Rogue docent theory on Torrey pines die-off

Aluminum, not bark beetles, to blame for decimation of rare trees

Two years ago, Dale Williams, a volunteer docent at Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, started wondering what is killing the rare trees. Williams says about 25 percent of the reserve’s trees, which numbered about 6000, have ...

South Bay residents leery of Super 8 recovery home

Vows and phone numbers don't assure locals project won't be trouble-free

At a meeting held at the Nestor library branch Wednesday night (September 27) it became clear to South Bay residents and business owners that the city is going to place in their midst a motel-sized ...

County sees golf carts as viable future transportation

"Local jurisdictions need to allow people to use these vehicles on the roads.”

The San Diego Association of Governments has noticed a big increase throughout the county in the use of golf carts and low-speed vehicles — golf carts being two-seaters and LSVs, as they’re called, being four-seaters. ...

City Heights YMCA locks the door

"But that's the neighborhood, and I'm glad they're looking out for us."

Days after a 22-year-old man was stabbed at a bus stop at 43rd and El Cajon Boulevard on September 13th, the Copley-Price Family YMCA staff decided to lock the entrance to the Y off the ...

San Ysidro swap meet replaced with Goodwill

"Oh yes, we all know it will close at the end of the year."

Colorful displays of toddler clothes and princess backpacks line the remaining vendadoras' (saleswomen's) stalls inside the huge buildings that house San Ysidro's only indoor swap meet. Almost half of the stalls are empty, but those ...

San Diego still cheaping out on cops

“We lose officers to Murrieta — it’s the closest place they can afford to live."

Since July 2015, at least 32 San Diego police officers have left the department to join other law-enforcement agencies — according to exit interviews the departing officers gave the department. “Those are the people who ...

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.” ...

Coronado driveway contested

Bayside neighbors say Ed McVaney claimed frontage road

Ed McVaney, who owns a couple of houses in Coronado, apparently doesn’t take no for an answer. So when a San Diego Superior Court ruling required him to restore his neighbors’ access to the frontage ...

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