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County Democrats Endorse Aguirre for City Attorney; Only One Vote Goes for Opponent

Elected members of the San Diego County Democratic Party voted tonight (July 8) by roughly 60 to 1 to endorse City Attorney Mike Aguirre for re-election. Prior to the June 3 primary, members of the central committee backed no candidate; Aguirre missed the endorsement by 1 vote, and went on to come in second to Republican-financed Judge Jan Goldsmith by 32 to 29 percent. The two will be in a runoff in November. Aguirre is hoping for a big Democratic turnout in the national election to boost his chances.

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Elected members of the San Diego County Democratic Party voted tonight (July 8) by roughly 60 to 1 to endorse City Attorney Mike Aguirre for re-election. Prior to the June 3 primary, members of the central committee backed no candidate; Aguirre missed the endorsement by 1 vote, and went on to come in second to Republican-financed Judge Jan Goldsmith by 32 to 29 percent. The two will be in a runoff in November. Aguirre is hoping for a big Democratic turnout in the national election to boost his chances.

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Comments
42

The Democratic turn out in November is not going to be "big"...it is going to be HUGE!!! Obama is drawing crowds of over 75K for speeches-he is literally like a rock star. When Wyoming had their Democratic primary the entire state showed up-crowds so big the Gov. said he was shocked.

Barack Obama (I don't even know how to spell his name!!) is really bringing people out of the wood work to vote-especially Democrats.

When Ross Perot ran for President in 1992 CA went ape sh*t over the guy-myself included. Perot was leading CA with 45 points, CLinton was at 28 points and I forgot what Bush had, but it was unreal considering Perot was independant. There was an excitement about Perot unlike anything I had ever seen in my lifetime. Obama has that same sort of excitment.

I predict a RECORD turnout in November, I predict Mike winning re election and I predict a San Diego bankruptcy sooner or later. I do not think we can dig out of the hole we have dug.

July 8, 2008

Response to post #1: Aguirre has battled big business, big labor, and big media. Almost no politician ever does that. So his opponent will have the big money and the biased news coverage. We will see what happens. Best, Don Bauder

July 8, 2008

In spite of his toxic personality traits, Aguirre has been a breath of fresh air for those like myself who believe San Diego's City Hall needs more than a watchdog -- they need a raging pit bull to keep their dirty little games in check.

In spite of his myriad unforced political and diplomatic errors, Aguirre has been a true champion of the taxpayer's cause, especially when one compares him to his predecessor, human rubber stamp Casey Gwinn, whose laissez-faire approach may have even made him complicit in the likely criminal acts that led to the still-unresolved pension crisis.

Speaking of which, last December Aguirre's office released a report on the pension crisis that estimates the future pension liability at almost 2.6 billion dollars. The San Diego mainstream media likes to stick to that nostalgic figure of 1.7 billion dollars. The hole the "likely criminals" dug for us is not only deep, it's the size of Qualcomm Stadium.

Check out the report on the pension meltdown at this URL:

http://www.artzenith.com/sdcers_dec07.pdf

I'm curious to read what you make of this document, Mr. Bauder.

July 9, 2008

Oh boy just what we need; A President who is "just like a Rock Star”, and a City Attorney, who wants to be just like a rock star.

Regarding response #3 above. Political incumbency typically equates re-election. Yet so many voters chose to vote against him. If Mr. Aguirre is the second-coming and savior of the City why did this happen? The likely reasons are those so-called "reports" published by Mr. Aguirre and his office.

Riddled with holes, unsupported facts and innuendo, combined with an occasional fact here and there, Mr. Aguirre is his own worst enemy and will be the root cause of his political demise.

July 9, 2008

JustWondering, just cannot take the truth.

I never said Obama was a "rock star", I said he gets crowds like a rock star- to hear him speak.....

I bet you are upset JW because you are a huge GWB fan, and think America has never done as good as it has the last 4 years.....

Oh brother....

BTW, those scam pensions you have at SDFD/PD, they are going bye bye if Mike is re elected.

July 9, 2008

Response to post #3: Yes, that report from December of 2007 is a good one. In re the pension: SDCERS, the Sanders administration and most members of city council will try to talk the pension liability numbers down. I would go with those presented by Aguirre. Remember, this is how the whole thing started. Dianne Shipione kept pointing out how SDCERS' numbers were phony, the bond prospectuses included false information, programs such as DROP and purchase of service credits were scams, and it was all being covered up. The then-mayor, most councilmembers, and SDCERS ridiculed her and even tried to have her arrested. But, as it turned out, she was absolutely correct. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Response to post #4: Aguirre's reports should have helped him, not hurt him. Aguirre was in particular the victim of a hate-filled, inaccuracy-pocked newspaper, the Union-Tribune, along with the labor and business establishments, who will spend any amount of money and spread any lies to defeat him. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Response to post #5: Those fire and police salaries and pensions MUST be reformed if San Diego is to avoid bankruptcy. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

"Riddled with holes, unsupported facts and innuendo, combined with an occasional fact here and there, Mr. Aguirre is his own worst enemy and will be the root cause of his political demise." I did not realize that Mr. Aguirre is riddled with unsupported facts and innuendo. Someone needs a remedial grammar class.

July 9, 2008

JustWondering, political incumbency does typically equate re-election, but Aguirre is hardly a typical incumbent. Incumbents are usually supported by moneyed special interests and the media. As Mr. Bauder correctly points out, Mr. Aguirre is actually fighting the fat cats in the business, labor and media sectors. What's amazing is that he gained office against all odds in the first place, a sign that the voters seek change in our dysfunctional municipal government, and that he's holding his own with a minimum of campaigning in his reelection effort.

You say Aguirre's reports are "riddled with holes, unsupported facts and innuendo... ." Perhaps you could actually read the document linked to my comment and point some of those out to enlighten the rest of us. I'd be curious to read what you make of the case being made for the termination of illegal pension benefits that are draining the city's coffers -- which is to say, your money and mine.

By the way, I didn't say Mr. Aguirre is the second-coming and savior of the City. I said he has been a true champion of the taxpayer's cause. If you're going to put words in my mouth, please try to be more precise and articulate.

July 9, 2008

Response to post #15: Aguirre's opponent, Jan Goldsmith, is a lightweight. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Response to post #17: That is correct. He has not lost that major pension suit. It is on appeal. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Response to post #9: Just Wondering was obviously criticizing Aguirre's reports and not Aguirre with that statement. But it appears he would like to see Aguirre riddled with holes. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Response to post #10:Because he wants to reduce excessive benefits of City employees, Aguirre has many, many enemies-- those employees who enjoy excessive emoluments, including some in the city attorney's office. It's very easy, then, for a U-T reporter or editorial writer to find someone who will denounce Aguirre -- particularly, again, someone who works in that office. It was a gutsy move by Aguirre to try to straighten out the City's finances. But he is paying for it politically. Too many people, including many in the media, have a vested interested in maintaining San Diego's corruption. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Johnny, I hate using your own words against you but:

A win's a win in my book.

Mike has not lost any pension case yet, if those are the losses you speak of, because they are on appeal. No case is won or lost until all appeals have been exhuasted.

If I am not mistaken the Dela Fuenta litigation is on appeal too.

July 9, 2008

Billy you said; "...[h]e is literally like a rock star." Referring to Senator Obama and the crowds he commands. Sounds pretty clear to me, if nothing more, he does have a way of mesmerizing his audience.

And as Mr. Aguirre did in 2004 he offers CHANGE. Mr. Aguirre’s timing in 2004 was perfect. He found a villain to battle, got the people’s attention and squeaked by with a vote of 206,594 or 50.23% to Leslie Devaney’s 203,301 or 49.43% votes.

Yes a win. But one by eight tenths of one percent is certainly not a overwhelming mandate by the people.

My point was and is he has a way of self destructing. Don’t get me wrong, I voted for him in 2004. The City needed him then. But his antics since taking office have, in my opinion, have gone beyond the scope of office and the spirit of the City Charter.

This past election seem to indicate many San Diegans feel the same way. Sadly, most everything he’s done is for his political gain. So when 2012 rolls around, Mayor Sanders will be termed out of office. It’s obvious Mr. Aguirre wants to be Mayor. He’ll have the perfect opportunity.

BTW thanks to JimG for pointing out my grammatical error, you’re right. I should have written Mr. Aguirre’s reports are riddled with holes, unsupported facts and innuendo, combined with an occasional fact here and there. Since you only pointed out a grammatical error, without challenging the obvious meaning, one others easily understood, we must assume your attack was aimed at me and not the facts of my statement.

To WT_Effman, I may have made a grammatical error above but I see no quote marks surrounding second-coming and savior of the City. My statement stands. Many on this blog and others “admire” him and believe he is their “defender”. You said, “he has been a true champion of the taxpayer's cause.” That may be correct, but it’s too soon to judge. Only time will tell if any of Mr. Aguirre’s numerous civil actions will produce the promised results. So far his record is mixed. Many have failed, some have been withdrawn and some have had success. Unfortunately for him, many of success stories have been handled by firms outside of his office.

July 9, 2008

Response to post #13: I must disagree on a number of points. First, Aguirre's problem is not that he is political. It's that he is not political. People on his staff tell him not to attempt to do so many things. They tell him to let his victories soak in with the public before he launches something else. But he doesn't. He leaps right into another project. If he were only political, would he have taken on big business, big labor, big media? Of course not. Let me pose this question to you: would you be so rabidly anti-Aguirre if he hadn't gone after excessive benefits, including your own? Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

The City needed him then. But his antics since taking office have, in my opinion, have gone beyond the scope of office and the spirit of the City Charter.

Only if you consider trying to save the City from BK is going "beyond the scope of office" applicable.

. . . This past election seem to indicate many San Diegans feel the same way. Sadly, most everything he’s done is for his political gain. ===================================

It was a 5 way race, and the vote was split, so we shall see how the majority of San Diego feels November 3. My money is on Mike. And lets face facts, Goldsmith is not Justice Wendell Holmes, jr or Sir William Blackstone. . . . Only time will tell if any of Mr. Aguirre’s numerous civil actions will produce the promised results. ================================

The results are in on Sunroad (public safety upheld), De la Fuente ($94 million judgement tossed out), Fax.com ($500K judgement), law firm of Vinson & Elkins ($4.35 million) and KPMG (10.5 million)...........in the bag baby!

Don't look now JW, but it looks like Mike has brought in MILLIONS of dollars to the City, money that is in the bag.

July 9, 2008

Well Johnny, let’s review; If count the votes for and against Mr. Aguirre during the recent primary there were Total Votes: 212035 JAN GOLDSMITH 68326 32.22% MICHAEL J. AGUIRRE 61257 28.89% SCOTT PETERS 43295 20.42% BRIAN MAIENSCHEIN 26267 12.39% AMY J. LEPINE 12687 5.98% That's 71% for someone other than Mr. Aguirre and 29% for him. For an incumbent that seem to be a very poor showing. But let’s consider that it’s only about 50% of the voter turnout of the 2004. There is a chance and I renew my offer of Dinner at Donovan’s ON ME if our City Attorney is re-elected.

Regarding "his" litigation victories? Johnny both you and I know "his" victories were won by outside law firms not the City Attorney himself. Some for hourly rates others on contingency. Don, in this instance, he is the consummate politician taking credit for the labor of others.

BTW my earlier comment gave him credit; I said he won some, lost some, and dismissed some. I find it interesting you'd list a few media grabbing headlines while ignoring the millions spent on failed litigation.

Don you asked, "Let me pose this question to you: would you be so rabidly anti-Aguirre if he hadn't gone after excessive benefits, including your own?"

As I mentioned earlier I voted for Mr. Aguirre in 2004 along with 206,593 other San Diegans. Heck, even the "hate-filled, inaccuracy-pocked newspaper, the Union-Tribune" recommended him in 2004. But what’s the old axiom? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

My Mom taught me shame is very unbecoming.

July 9, 2008

Regarding "his" litigation victories? Johnny both you and I know "his" victories were won by outside law firms not the City Attorney himself.

A win's a win in my book.

Mike has not lost any pension case yet, if those are the losses you speak of, because they are on appeal. No case is won or lost until all appeals have been exhuasted.

July 9, 2008

Response to post #16: By tackling the excessive city benefits, Aguirre was bound to get on thousands of hit lists. Ditto for his other inititiatives such as Sunroad, the entire pension matter (not just the suit), etc. Your statement that outside lawyers won the cases is juvenile. You sound like the pathetic U-T editorial page, which criticized Aguirre for filing several suits, then when he started getting big settlements, criticized him for having outside lawyers handle them. Outside lawyers are hired for numerous cases. Sanders hired several. Best, Don Bauder

July 9, 2008

Oh come on DON, now who is rabidly defending Aguirre’s actions. Stating facts; Aguirre hires outside counsel to win his cases is no more juvenile than comparing San Diego wages to a “suburb” of Kansas City or any other area of our country that does not share the cost of living traits of San Diego.
I admire Mr. A. Sometimes he knows when he or his office does not have the skill sets to win complicated cases. However we have examples of his work product; Just how many amended complaints and cross complaints were file in the pension litigation? Wasn’t it 5 or 6? I believe it was the Superior Court bench who commented negatively about the quality of his lawyering skills? And wasn’t it the Court who finally said enough is enough forbidding further amendments.

July 9, 2008

Response to post #21: I thought de la Fuente had finally given up, but I may be wrong on that. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Response to post #22: Actually, the superior court judge who handled the case commented positively on the handling of the case by the city attorney's office. You must understand: Aguirre was taking a big political risk when filing such a breakthrough case. He knew it and knew the odds were stacked against him. But as more cities are pulled under by pension obligations, you will see more such cases. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Johnny, I hate using your own words against you but:

A win's a win in my book.

Mike has not lost any pension case yet, if those are the losses you speak of, because they are on appeal. No case is won or lost until all appeals have been exhuasted.

If I am not mistaken the Dela Fuenta litigation is on appeal too.

By JustWondering 10:01 p.m., Jul 9, 2008 > Report it


JW, the De la Fuente case was overturned on appeal and the verdict was thrown out. De la Fuente then appealed to the CA. Supreme Court on a writ of certiorari and it was denied. So that case is over, as is the $94 million judgment.

Roque De la Funete is entitled to a new trial, but the $94 million award is gone.

July 10, 2008

OK I stand corrected. If De la Fuente proceeds who do think will handle the litigation? Mr. Aguirre's office or an outside firm?

July 10, 2008

Response to post #25: Thanks for the clarification. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Response to post #26: It would be Aguirre's office in any case. An outside firm might handle some or all of the matter, but it would report to city attorney's office. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

OK I stand corrected. If De la Fuente proceeds who do think will handle the litigation? Mr. Aguirre's office or an outside firm?

I agree with Don, Mike and the CA's office will handle the De la Funete matter in the new trial.

IMO De la Funete has a case-a better than average case-and the matter should be settled before trial.

The question now becomes one of "just compensation", where the government typically (almost 100% of the time) tries to low ball.

So, what is "just compensation"? I don't know, but it is better to settle at $10 million, $15 million or even $20 million than risk another "sky's the limit" judgment.

If De la Fuente turned down a $15 million offer and rolled the dice at trial he is crazy, as is the City if they refuse to make a reasonable offer.

Also remember, the damages to De la Fuente were done under Susan Golding's administration.

July 10, 2008

Both you guys make my point... De la Fuente hasn't gone away....yet. Sure the $94M been stopped and all the accumulated interest payments have disappeared for now. Nevertheless, attorney costs are and will continue to escalate. Full employment, it's a wonderful thing.

So the reality is this continues to drain the City's meager treasury costing the taxpayers dearly. Money that could go toward filling a pot hole, or fixing a water main must be spent on litigation. What I'm not sure of; Is this a scam by a developer or mismanagement by the City, or a combination? I suspect there's joint and several liability.

BTW I agree with you Johnny, it's in the city's best interest to find a solution to this case, at least that way it can accounted for on a balance sheet.

Now back to my original point, all this spin, certainly makes me dizzy, blurring facts from dreamed up political fiction. Will we ever get ethical, honest, sincere and forthright folks running our local government? Or is it ordained San Diegans must suffer with incompetency, ignorance, compounded with corruption and greed?

July 10, 2008

It is great that aguirre is being endorsed, but remember the fat cats are going to fight hard and they will fight unfair. If we arent paying attention to the very flawed registrar of voters system, this election will also be rigged. We have to get rid of the Diebold optical scanners scanning the paper ballots and the 2 criminals running the show--Seiler and Vu. SD didnt hire them for nothing in May 2007, they hired them to buy an election and get Aguirre out.

July 10, 2008

Response to post #29: I never thought Roque had a case but I admit I had so many battles with him through the years that my judgment may have been clouded. I have written about his financial antics for probably a dozen years, both with the U-T and with the Reader. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Response to post #30: In San Diego, incompetence and corruption are ingrained. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Response to post #31: You are correct to keep after this topic. San Diego hired two election administrators who had run into trouble in Cleveland. One has connections to Diebold. Keep hammering. Best, Don Bauder

July 10, 2008

Response to post #16: "If count the votes for and against Mr. Aguirre during the recent primary there were Total Votes: 212035 JAN GOLDSMITH 68326 32.22% MICHAEL J. AGUIRRE 61257 28.89% SCOTT PETERS 43295 20.42% BRIAN MAIENSCHEIN 26267 12.39% AMY J. LEPINE 12687 5.98% That's 71% for someone other than Mr. Aguirre and 29% for him."

Those numbers also show that republican candidates lost to democrat candidates by over 10% (44.61% to 54.69%). Considering that there was extremely low voter turnout in a republican dominated minor election (because of Sanders vs Francis, republican vs. republican for mayor), it is arguable that Goldsmith is not in a very good position come fall with the Obama factor increasing turnout in a presidential election.

Remember that the Republicans whole plan was to sneak through Goldsmith with 50% of the vote with a big republican push in a minor election, so they could avoid a runoff. They always knew they would have a tough fight in a November runoff. Mainschein scuttled those dreams.

July 13, 2008

Response to post #35: While 71 percent didn't vote for Aguirre in the primary, 68 percent didn't vote for Goldsmith. I think your analysis is sound, but there will definitely be surprises before election day. Best, Don Bauder

July 13, 2008

Don, I am not predicting that Aguirre will win easily, or even win at all. I was just pointing out how silly the "percent who voted against" argument is in a 5 person race where they all polled a significant percentage (even Lepine at 6%).

What I really want to know is why the democrats are so inept in this town. They can't even leverage Obama-mania to gain any traction, and they routinely field nonviable candidates.

Just what is in the water in San Diego that allows a filthy rich republican minority to co-opt the labor unions and has people like Bonnie Dumanis, Tracy Jarmin, Fred Sainz and David Copley towing the republican party line for the same masters who want a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

On a related note, does anybody know the nature of the boyfriend/girfriend relationship of Ronne Froman and Linden Blue? Maybe I am just overly cynical and jaded at what goes on in this town, but it seems odd that a man in his position that would usually be on a series of trophey girlfriends/wives would instead be dating an older career navy woman. If it is real, then god bless them, but it seems a little too convenient.

It does seem that the impetus for the defection of so many people who would normally be part of the Democratic party relates directly to the "filthy rich" part of the local republican power structure. It is sad that ideals come so cheap in San Diego.

I also remember vividly that during the Andrew Cunanan episode the UT's silence was deafening. They were reprinting stories from all over the country, but sourced almost nothing here where he was from. Don, you worked for the UT then, right? How obvious was it that reporters were not to investigate anything to do with Cunanan locally?

This is such an odd town....

July 13, 2008

Andrew Cunanan....there's a name no one wanted to hear again....11 year anniversary......

July 13, 2008

Response: Yes, the Cunanan story was not going to be reported locally -- or, let's say, would be only cursorily reported. A book was written about the Cunanan incident. I was quoted, but what I said was innocuous. An excellent reporter, Kelly Thornton, was also quoted; her remarks had more bite. Best, Don Bauder

July 14, 2008

Response to post #38: Don't expect Cunanan to be disinterred by the U-T. Best, Don Bauder

July 14, 2008

Paul,

The only solution to the ineptness of our local political parties is to go out and choose some candidates you like and volunteer with their campaigns.

Money is for buying television and radio, but it doesn't put feet on the sidewalks.

The Republicans seem to be led by religious thugs, while the Democrats seem so torn by jealous groups jockying for position that they don't mount convincing campaigns not just for office, but for the ideological battleground.

The city of San Diego has had a Democratic registration majority for well over a decade. Yet even when the city council is composed of a majority of Democrats, it's indistinguishable from previous Republican majorities.

The most prominent and well respected Democrat in San Diego is Donna Frye.

She got to be that way without the party's help.

Here in San Diego there are too many factions: LGBT wing, the Union and Public Employees wing, Minorities, Environmentalists, Youth, Urban Professionals, Teachers...and so on.

Due to a lack of cohesion, they are easily splintered. It would take a strong leader to put them together. Donna doesn't seem to want the hassle.

Who else is there to herd these cats? Even the Chair of the Democrats was so little known that he wasn't re-elected to the party central committee last month.

South of the 8, if you look at the results from the last election, the Democrats are dominant. It is long past time the party expanded northward to challenge the longtime monopoly of the downtown elite on San Diego.

The independents are ripe for the taking, disgusted by four years of Bush nationally, and a decade of mismanagement and corruption locally.

So, Paul, it's a great time to get involved if you're not already. Here are two Democratic candidates north of the 8 who deserve your support:

Marti Emerald's campaign welcomes volunteers.

http://www.martiforsandiego.com/

It sure would be great to get Brian Bilbray out of Congress this fall. Go walk a few precincts for Nick Leibham.

http://www.picknick08.com

See you on the campaign trail friend,

Fred

July 14, 2008

Response to post #41: Democrats: there are your marching orders. Best, Don Bauder

July 14, 2008

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