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Stories by Matt Potter

Danish ambulance provider Falck versus Faulconer

Mayor kills ambulance deal opposed by One San Diego donor

Are donations of the past about to haunt the final months of termed-out San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer in the form of a confrontation between would-be city ambulance providers? Eager for political advancement despite years ...

Best Reader stories from 2000

Penasquitos teens in big trouble, Stephen Facciola, Olive Street, Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, San Diego Chinatown, Padres and the Mob

Rancho Peñasquitos boys, charged with hate crime The teenagers shot at Roman from the Subaru with the BB gun during three or four passes. They took turns shooting at him as they drove by, but ...

Best Reader stories from 1999

Jesse Ventura, La Costa, amateur astronomers, beachside dwellers, TJ poets, father of jogging, Andrew Cunanan, Bompensiero, kidnapped at Coronado Cays

Was Jesse Ventura a SEAL or a UDT guy? Well, I thought, Jesse certainly looks and sounds like many SEALs I’d known during my 16 years in the Teams. But I’d never known or even ...

Juan Vargas and the Remers go way back

San Diego convention center clock is ticking

Family fat cats Political bloodlines run deep in San Diego, as evidenced by an emailed fundraising pitch by congressman Juan Vargas on behalf of supervisorial hopeful Terra Lawson-Remer. “I am excited to invite you to ...

Best Reader stories from 1997

Dr. Spock, Scammon's Lagoon, Bruce Henderson, Ed Fletcher III, Andrew Cunanan, beekeepers, Del Mar Terrace Rats, Kumeyaay language

Childhood's End: Dr. Spock at 94 53-year-old Morgan, Dr. Spock’s second wife, has been relentless and inventive in her search for ways to keep her husband youthful and healthy. For his 75th birthday, for example, ...

Former San Diego Union-Tribune publisher unloading wife and La Jolla estate

Papa Doug says bye, bye to Geniya

Turn out the lights. The latest matrimonial party is over for ex-Union-Tribune owner and would-be ambassador to the Bahamas Douglas Manchester. The million-dollar-plus Trump donor, called out by the Washington Post last year for having ...

San Diego's auditor finds stolen water, mother supervising son, city cars parked in red zone

Labor unions back Lawson-Remer and Barrios

City corruption running rampant Water is no longer free for an unnamed San Diego business following an investigation by interim city auditor Kyle Elser. “An allegation that the City has provided water to a non-residential ...

$250 million One America News deal reported

Rose Canyon TV network draws interest of Texas MAGA fans

Proprietors of a right-leaning San Diego cable news operation that has the eyes of President Donald Trump may be about to cash out in a big way, thanks to a takeover attempt by a group ...

Best Reader stories from 1996

San Diego mafia, Fotomat, Afghans, freeway driving, Korean War, Black's Beach, dolphins kill tuna fishing, Olaf Wieghorst, pigeon racing, diary of orange grove

Mafia in San Diego before World War II (first in series of six stories) “The raids, all made with search warrants, started soon after noon and were not completed until early evening. All of the ...

San Diego Convention Center vote under-funded so far

Mayor candidates pulling in donations

Too poor to pass? With just two months left until California primary election day on March 3, fundraisers for San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s convention center expansion and homeless tax boost still have plenty of ...

Best Reader stories from 1994

Santee creation museum, Swami's, flamenco, David Baze, San Diego bridges, hunting as it was, Spanish Village murder, Nixon-Copley, Ramona biography, Baja Chinese, Cambodians

A little bit east of Eden When I was living in Los Angeles years ago, a door-to-door solicitor pitching San Diego vacations and tours showed me a brochure of local attractions. Included on the list ...

Bloomberg and Jacobs open San Diego TV ad wars

Old family friends are sole buyers of campaign spots so far

A tsunami of political TV spots may be about to hit San Diego airwaves, thanks to Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and House hopeful Sara Jacobs, granddaughter of Bloomberg's longtime friend and associate Irwin Jacobs. ...

Union-Tribune back in TV business

Faulconer dinged for lack of candor

Faulconer’s unpublic records acts The city of San Diego’s handling of public records requests submitted during the reign of termed-out mayor Kevin Faulconer has been woefully deficient, a December 13 report by interim city auditor ...

KPBS recruits Julia Dixon Evans from Voice of San Diego

Public TV and radio station has $53 million in assets, Voice only $890K

The battle to determine who will rule San Diego's establishment news roost is on between KPBS, owned and operated by San Diego State University, and the non-profit Voice of San Diego news and opinion website. ...

Best Reader stories from 1991

Bicycle deaths, Madame Schumann-Heink, Marshall South, Karen Wilkening, paving of I-15, Helen and David Copley, Luis Urrea's Tijuana

Satan chasers San Diego has many experts in the field of Satanism who say the county is a hotbed of Satanic activity. The hidden canyons of the back country, Ramona, Santee, Escondido, even Oceanside, are ...

SDSU getting costly cellular for its new stadium

Port of San Diego hires tireless palm-greasers

SDSU’s cellular super soak There will be state-of-the-art Internet at San Diego State’s new stadium, but don’t expect it to come cheap. SDSU, which is in the end-stages of wrapping up a lucrative deal with ...

Issa and DeMaio jostle for Hunter seat

Mike Levin aide jumps aboard gravy train

DeMaio’s prenuptial agreement Is it helpful to know the ropes around the House of Representatives to avoid disclosing your assets and income until the very last minute? Such seems the case with Darrell Issa, the ...

Apple flack Fred Sainz with F-word history maxes out to Todd Gloria

“Do not speak with any reporters from the Reader

A flack from San Diego's political past has popped up on the list of maximum-dollar campaign contributors to Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria, currently running to succeed termed-out Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer in next year's March ...

Rancho Santa Fe – the most luxury homes in California

San Diego Polo Club, Heaven's Gate, camouflaged bridges, Doug Manchester, Whispering Palms, John Moores,

San Diego Polo Club site developed by Heaven's Gate Exclusiveness breeds itself, so it’s little wonder that when the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe needed a Web page designed, they turned to ...

Best Reader stories from 1988

Klan's John Metzger, Eileen Jackson, Helen Hunt Jackson, diving in San Diego, E. W. Scripps, Slab City, undercover massage cop busted

Ku Klux Klan 's John Metzger talks of hate and tears "My father was in the Crusaders, a national organization that was pretty powerful in San Diego, which was part Christian Identity. It’s a church ...

Cory Briggs' real estate

Brian Maienschein, now a friend to big labor

Million-dollar lawyering Attorney Cory Briggs, a perennial target of local developers who is taking on San Diego city attorney Mara Elliott in next year’s primary, owns at least a $2 million interest in rental property ...

San Diego green bureaucracy prepares to ramp up executive spending

"At the outset..approximately 15-20 staff members...growing to 40"

As local utility rates soared, the rush to dump San Diego Gas & Electric as the area's sole energy distributor grew into a political frenzy, capped by the October 2018 acquiescence of San Diego mayor ...

Ex-U-T reporter Lisa Petrillo joins Mara Elliott staff

The lucrative job of being a flack

Facing at least two challengers in next year's rapidly approaching March primary, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott has put former Union-Tribune reporter Lisa Petrillo on the city payroll as the office's assistant for "community ...

Bradley Fikes (R.I.P.) spoke openly about San Diego media

San Diego State booster Ben Clay to investigate student death

Non-freedom of speech The surprise death of Union-Tribune biotech writer Bradley Fikes, at 62, brought forth a sentimental obituary in the paper, which labeled the scribe “part Dr. Dolittle, part Inspector Gadget,” and “a walking ...

Faulconer taps lobbyist Rebecca Rybczyk to replace lobbyist Greg Block

Mayor favors ThreeSixty Public Strategies and Southwest Strategies to help run San Diego

With the final year of Kevin Faulconer's term dawning, the revolving door at the San Diego mayor's office continues to twirl. As previously noted, six-figure public relations guru Greg Block, who most famously grappled with ...

Faulconer staff churning

Atkins money machine knows no bounds

The revolving door turns Another staffer for mayor Kevin Faulconer has quit the city to join the ever-growing special interest circuit of government persuaders. Felipe Monroig, who was the Republican mayor’s deputy chief of staff ...

E-mopeds could be next weapons in S.D.'s high-risk transit wars

"I hope Revel users have signed their organ donor cards"

As the termed-out administration of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer continues to grapple with the explosion of so-called e-scooters, another kind of e-mobility device likely to hit congested city streets is spending big to assure ...

How Embarcadero Park shunned Ellsworth Kelly

Irwin Jacobs, angel in Flint, Michigan

Death of good taste The November 12 passing of Gerald Hirshberg at the age of 80 of glioblastoma has rekindled memories of the days when San Diego’s cultural aspirations, at least in tony La Jolla ...

Faulconer staffer Greg Block flees through revolving door

Mayoral spinmeister jumps to help spouse Rachel Laing's firm

Add another name to the growing roster of ex-staffers for termed-out San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer ahead of next year's November election, widely expected to result in a top-to-bottom political house cleaning by whoever ...

Ex-Gomez aide and council hopeful faces political ethics penalty

$3,140 spent for “cash withdrawals at local food establishments” and “the Men's Warehouse for menswear”

San Diego city council candidate Kelvin Barrios, a former aide to city councilwoman Georgette Gomez, vacating her District 9 seat in a bid to replace fellow Democrat Susan Davis in Congress, is being hit with ...

L.A. Times and San Diego U-T sweat the online numbers

Pete Wilson allies pass away

Honey, I shrunk the subscriber goals As advertising and circulation falls at the San Diego Union-Tribune year over year, Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of the U-T’s parent Los Angeles Times, is less optimistic than his ...

Are San Diego streetlight spy cams leaking privacy?

“Users, particularly Mayors, can access the platform via their mobile devices”

What is the city of San Diego up to with its controversial installation of 4200 streetlights that spy, reported here in February? Although the city council has yet to take up questions of privacy regarding ...

Will reparations make up for past pot busts?

Barrio Logan, Mid-City, Sorrento Valley all top illegal marijuana locales

Are reparations due to those most impacted by police busts back in the day when marijuana was illegal? Such is the question pending before the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee of San Diego's city ...

Fortistar helps Faulconer charity

Barona and Sycuan tribes feed San Diego politicians

Pay for praise San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is gassing up his One San Diego charity operation, thanks to a $5000 contribution on September 27 from New York recycled methane maven and city lessee Mark ...

Clan linked to yesterday's Mexico slayings once rocked San Diego

Polygamous leader dispatched tenth wife for blood atonement

It was January 1975, and San Diego was making big news in the New York Times, as violence from a notorious polygamous cult spilled into the county from Baja California. "A search centered on San ...

San Diego retirement system man on the go

San Diego cops target San Francisco DA race

Non-transparent travel Jamie Hamrick, the fast-traveling senior investment officer of the San Diego City Employees Retirement System, hasn’t been as swift in filing so-called behesting reports revealing to the public who paid for all those ...

Convention center group refunds GEO money

The homeless industrial complex

Add another campaign cash disgorgement to the pile of payouts made since last year’s revelation that private prison giant Geo Group was a donor to San Diego GOP mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria, ...

The fight over San Diego High School

53 reports filed with the Fraud Hotline

High school hijinks An October 11 Union-Tribune op-ed by San Diego Unified school board trustee Richard Barrera argues for keeping San Diego High School in Balboa Park, citing voter approval in 2016 of a measure ...

Jacobs versus Gomez: all about family valuations

$90,899 pours in from donors named Jacobs

Members of the wealthy Jacobs family, heirs to the Qualcomm fortune created by billionaire patriarch Irwin Jacobs, are chipping in big for the 53rd District House race of his granddaughter Sara, fresh filings with the ...

Matt Potter and the Reader

Cheetah's strip club, Copley and Scripps families, Fotomat and Jack Kemp, Bruce Henderson and Chargers, Bali Hai, Kennedy assassination insider, UCSD Polyheme experiments, Bin Laden's brother

Matt Potter has been a staff writer and editor at the Reader since 1989. He reports on politics and local institutions such as the Union-Tribune, UCSD, SDSU, and the City and County of San Diego. ...

San Ysidro border detectors missing fentanyl

Data policing coming to your front porch

Blind eye to fentanyl Back in July, U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer proclaimed that San Diego was facing a desperate public safety crisis caused by the proliferation of the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl. “That heroin, ...

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