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Scam Diego Entries for February, 2009

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KUSI's McKinnon Still Interested in Union-Tribune Purchase, but Industry Turmoil Slows Any Deal

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Michael McKinnon, whose McKinnon Broadcasting owns 82.5 percent of KUSI-TV, is still interested in putting together a group of buyers for the U-T, I have learned from a reliable source. Last summer, not long after the paper went on the ...

California Unemployment at 10.1%, Highest in Quarter Century

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The California unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 percent in January, according to the state's Employment Development Department. That's up from a revised 8.7 percent in December, and it's the first double-digit unemployment rate in a quarter century. The number of ...

SD Traffic Congestion Down 46.9% Last Year, Second Biggest U.S. Drop

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San Diego traffic congestion plunged 46.9 percent last year, according to Kirkland, Washington-based Inrix, which tracks congestion in metro areas. The county fell from 14th most congested metro area to 15th. However, this is a mixed blessing. San Diego was ...

Rocky Mountain News, Unable to Find Buyer, to Close Tomorrow

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The Rocky Mountain News, the daily tabloid which put itself up for sale in early December, could not find a buyer, and will close tomorrow (Feb. 27), owner E.W. Scripps announced today (Feb. 26). This leaves Denver with one paper, ...

CIA Official Challenging Competence of Foggo's Mistress Got Fired -- and Other Misadventures

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The federal government's sentencing memorandum in the case of San Diegan Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, filed yesterday by the San Diego U.S. Attorney's office in court in Alexandria, Virginia, is full of details of his transgressions. Foggo has pleaded guilty to ...

San Francisco Chronicle Will be Sold or Closed Unless Payroll Slashed Sharply

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Hearst Corp. announced today (Feb. 24) that its San Francisco Chronicle, the city's major newspaper (by far) will be sold or shuttered within weeks if the company can't achieve major personnel economies -- both union and non-union. The company says ...

San Diego Home Prices Still Plunging, but There Are Some Signs of Moderating Declines

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San Diego County existing home prices plummeted 24.8 percent last year, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes revealed today (Feb. 24). Of the 20 largest metro areas, only five did worse than San Diego: Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix ...

SDCERS Lowers DROP Interest Rate to 3.54 Percent, Says DeMaio

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The board of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System this morning (Feb. 20) lowered the interest rate on the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) to 3.54 percent, according to Councilmember Carl DeMaio. I was not able to get confirmation ...

North Dakota Relocation? Amylin, Biogen Idec Shivering at Prospect

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Billionaire corporate activist/raider Carl Icahn has suggested that San Diego biotech Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Massachusetts biotech Biogen Idec, which was formed in a merger with San Diego's former Idec, and still has operations here, should relocate to frigid North Dakota. ...

Kodak Down 5%. Brandes Takes Another Hit

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San Diego's beleaguered money manager, Brandes Investment Partners, is taking more hits this morning (Feb. 20). Eastman Kodak stock is trading at $3.39, down 5.04 percent on the day. As of Sept. 30, Brandes owned 9.61 percent of the stock, ...

Maybe Victims of This Scam Should Be Locked Up, Too

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Sometimes I think that the victims of certain scams should be locked up with the perpetrators. It might be the only way to protect naive folks from self-destruction. I am talking about Ponzi schemes in which victims are promised 100 ...

If Boston Globe Worth $20 Million, Is U-T Worth $15 Million?

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Rumors that the U-T is considering a bid for only $15 million were so startling to me that I was reluctant to post that suggested price in the blog entry below. However, it has been pointed out to me that ...

Rumored Copley Suitor Puts Out Racy, Alternative Publications, but Has Debt Woes

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Black Press Ltd. of Vancouver is once again rumored to be making a deal with Copley Press for the Union-Tribune, which has been on sale since July. As I reported last August, the owner David Holmes Black (no relation to ...

Japan's 12.7% Quarterly Economic Plunge Stuns World

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Japan's economy contracted at an annual rate of 12.7 percent in its October-December quarter, compared with the previous year, much worse than economists had expected. It was the biggest drop since one quarter in 1974. The number was down 3.3 ...

Names of $100,000 City Retiree Club

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On Wednesday, Councilmember Carl DeMaio released information on 86 retired City employees raking in $100,000 a year or more in pension benefits. DeMaio did not release any names. I have been provided a list from a source I believe to ...

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Down 91.42%, Dropping Lupus Drug

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Biotech La Jolla Pharmaceutical stock is down a whopping 91.42 percent this morning (Feb. 12) to 19.8 cents -- quite a half-day plunge. The company said it would stop developing its lead drug candidate, an experimental treatment for lupus. An ...

Pension Deficit $2 Billion, Funded Ratio 66.3 Percent

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The City has admitted that the pension system is just 66.3 percent funded and the unfunded actuarial liability is $2 billion as of Jan. 31. Today, Councilmember Carl DeMaio revealed that 86 former City employees are getting pensions of more ...

Here Are the Banks Using Your Tax Money for Pro Sports Naming Rights Scam

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Bloomberg News has published the names of the U.S. banks getting bailout funds while putting money in the pro sports naming rights swindle. The banks are getting Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds. The purchase of naming rights is a ...

List of Madoff Investors Now Public. Some San Diegans Tell Their Tales of Woe

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Names of thousands of apparent customers in Bernie Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme were filed in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court yesterday (Wed. Feb. 4). The amounts of money they had invested in the scheme were not revealed. The Reader's Matt ...

It Looks Like Copley Press Was Spending Money on Acquisitions When It Should Have Been Spending on Technology

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In the mid-1990s, Copley Press went into debt to buy some Illinois papers. In the early 2000s, the company strained its finances again by buying some Ohio papers. At the time, some in the company said top management should be ...

U-T Axe Was to Fall Friday. It Didn't. Newspaper May Need Employees to Slam Together Long-Delayed Pagination System

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Last Friday (Jan. 30), Union-Tribune employees throughout the Mission Valley building expected massive layoff announcements. In the advertising department, employees "were getting diarrhea, had bumps on their arms, were finding it hard to work," says an observer. Managers knew nothing. ...

Three-Way Battle for Control of Biotech Amylin Looks Possible

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Two investment groups have announced their intention to nominate five-member slates to the 12-person board of biotech Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Hedge fund Eastbourne Capital Management, which owns 12.5 percent of Amylin's stock, said this morning (Feb. 2) that it intends to ...

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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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