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Scam Diego Entries for April, 2009

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Who's Lurking Behind That Petition?

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Call it non-disclosure politics. Chula Vista Citizens For Jobs And Fair Competition and its parent, the Associated Builders And Contractors of San Diego, have accused the City of Chula Vista of placing unconstitutional limits on how initiative petitions can be ...

Tom Hayden vs. La Jolla's Institute of the Americas

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Former Democratic state senator and 1960s radical Tom Hayden is still on the warpath against the evils of capitalism. Lately he’s been attacking Jeffrey Davidow, president of the La Jolla-based Institute of the Americas, who got time off to work ...

Union-Tribune Circulation Drops 9.53 points

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Monday through Friday average circulation numbers for the San Diego Union-Tribune have dropped 9.53 percent for the six months ending March 2009 from the same period the year before, according to numbers just released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, ...

The San Diego Pot and Coke Connection at work

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With the convention business squeezed by recession, ever wonder who’s filling all those airline seats to San Diego? Likely suspects: drug dealers. A lot of news coverage here highlights the Mexican side of the drug trade, but a recent report ...

George Munger and the Golden Girl: Memories of J. David Dominelli's Ponzi Scheme

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Wednesday's death of restaurateur George Munger at age 69 has brought back memories of his link to J. David Dominelli, San Diego’s most notorious Ponzi swindler. In the early 1980s, Piret’s was the place to be seen for up and ...

New Padres ownership raises conflict of interest questions for a CCDC board member

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As we reported last month, new Padres owner Jeff Moorad has yet to tell the city all the namesof his partners in the deal to buy the team from divorce-embattled John Moores. Ex-city councilman Bruce Henderson warned that keeping the ...

Got Questions? Twitter the Guv today

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Got questions for Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger? Unless you're a lobbyist like Bob White or the other well-heeled influence peddlers of Sacramento, the best bet may be to submit via Twitter today with the hash tag #askGS during Arnold's "Ask the ...

NBC News shuts down Sacramento bureau

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With the Union-Tribune sale pending, locals are worried about losing the paper's Sacramento bureau, which could be folded to reduce costs for the new owners, Platinum Equity of Beverly Hills. But there's a more immediate threat to an informed local ...

Norv Turner's dinner in Los Angeles

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Chargers coach Norv Turner has been spotted in Los Angeles, pitching the team to 40 to 50 would-be season ticket holders during a "meet and greet" dinner that the team threw at Home Depot Center--and fueling rumors that the team ...

Stamper stumps for pot

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Ex-San Diego assistant chief of police Norm Stamper, who lost out to Jerry Sanders for the job of top chief way back in 1993 before leaving for Seattle to become chief of police there, is now blogging for the Huffington ...

Public retirement fund chiefs got huge bonuses

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The Sacramento Bee breaks the word today that California's two biggest public employee pension funds awarded millions of dollars in bonuses last year to their execs and money managers, despite huge losses in the market.-mp From the Bee: "The biggest ...

Bersin Undercover

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Ex-San Diego schools chief and former U.S. Attorney Alan Bersin, who never seemed to be much of a fan of the press unless it was well controlled, is off to a familiar start in his new role as the Obama ...

Bauder Gone Until May 10; Rose, Potter Take Over

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Beginning tomorrow (April 20) at noon, I will be traveling until mid-day May 10. I will be incommunicado -- no phone, fax, email. Those in the house will not answer messages. Craig Rose will take my column for four weeks. ...

Copley Pension System Solid, Strategy Intelligently Conservative

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Copley Press (Union-Tribune) employees and retirees got good news Friday: the pension plan is in sound shape, and is following a conservative investment strategy. The plan was 111% funded in 2006 and 103% in 2007. At yearend 2008, assets were ...

USD's Partnoy Has Winning Book on Ponzi Schemer Ivar Kreuger

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University of San Diego law professor Frank Partnoy is out with his third book on financial flimflammery -- this one titled "The Match King." Swedish financier Ivar Kreuger was one of the most colorful business characters of the 1920s -- ...

San Diego Unemployment Soars to 9.3%. County Loses 44,600 Jobs over Year

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The San Diego County unemployment rate zoomed to 9.3% in March, up from a revised 8.9% in February, and far above the 5.2% of a year ago, according to the California Employment Development Department. The county lost 300 non-farm jobs ...

Pension Pros Warn That Hocus-Pocus Could Be Used to Lower Annual Payment to System

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Mayor Jerry Sanders has named three new members of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System. Three veterans are stepping down. Accountant April Boling warned a meeting of the City of San Diego Retired Employees' Association April 14 that, "As ...

Icahn, Other Big Shareholders Want Amylin's Chairman Cook to Step Down

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Billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn today (April 15) called for the chairman of biotech Amylin Pharmaceuticals to step down. Icahn owns about 9.43% of Amylin. Eastbourne Capital owns 12.5%. Icahn claims that Eastbourne and Howard (Ted) Greene, a co-founder of ...

SDCERS Board Member Who Spoke Up, Pressed for Full Disclosure, Jettisoned by Mayor

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William J. (Bill) Sheffler, the board member of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System who pressed the staff and his colleagues for transparency and full disclosure, has been dropped from the board. He got a call from Jay Goldstone, ...

Brandes Extremely Bullish. But Is That Comforting?

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Brandes Investment Partners in its first quarter message to investors says it is "unflinchingly enthusiastic about the values we are finding" in the stock market. Today will be looked upon as one of history's "most timely and rewarding periods to ...

Charlotte Russe Is One Bright Spot among Nation's Ailing Retailers

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Stock of Charlotte Russe, which sells fashion merchandise to women in their teens and early 20s, is up 14.63% this morning (April 9) on the basis of better-than-expected results. The company, which has 487 stores, announced Wednesday that its adjusted ...

City's Pension Fund Returns Compare Poorly with Those of Peers

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The San Diego City Employees' Retirement System may get away with telling the Union-Tribune that it is doing relatively well, but the boasts are belied by the system's own numbers. SDCERS' report for the year ended December 31, 2008, shows ...

Two Dozen Charged with Operating Largest Real Estate Scam in Local History

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The U.S. attorney's office today (April 7) unsealed an indictment charging 24 individuals with running a mortgage fraud scheme involving 220 properties that collectively sold for $100 million. One of the lead defendants, Darnell Bell of Chula Vista, is currently ...

Entrepreneur Who Bribed SPAWAR Employee Gets Two Years

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Pamela Banks, who paid off a SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems) employee or his spouse between $70,000 and $120,000 in return for contracts was sentenced today (April 6) to two years in prison. She paid a 30 percent kickback ...

Pay Drops for 200 Chief Executives -- but Not the Two in San Diego

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The Sunday (April 5) New York Times lists compensation for 200 chief executive officers in 2008. Their median pay went down 9 percent and average down 5 percent. This was decidedly not true for San Diego's two CEOs on the ...

Recent Good News Really Isn't So Great, Say Two Pros

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The stock market has moved up 20.35 percent in the last four weeks -- the biggest percentage gain since 1933. Bulls are exultant. But gains or losses that are the biggest since the Great Depression aren't so confidence-inspiring. Last fall, ...

Overwhelming Majority of Lifeguards Want to Leave MEA, Join Teamsters

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More than 70 percent of lifeguards have signed a petition to leave the Municipal Employees Union and affiliate with the Teamsters, according to Ed Harris, a lifeguard who is working on organization issues. The lifeguards went to the City's labor ...

Total Bailout Bill to Date: $12.8 Trillion

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The U.S. government and the central bank, the Federal Reserve, have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion to battling the current downturn, the longest recession since the 1930s, according to Bloomberg News. The total annual output of goods and services, ...

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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