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Scam Diego Entries for December, 2010

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Detective "Vaguely" Recalls Threat against Kessler, Family

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Daniel Vile, the police detective who, with the FBI, did a major study on alleged corruption by Little Italy powerhouse Marco Li Mandri and felon Paul (Joe) Mannino, in a deposition April 8 testified that he "vaguely" recalled a Mannino ...

Sen. Harkin Cites Bridgepoint's Shocking Dropout Rate

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Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has been holding hearings on the abuses of for-profit colleges, which have only 10% of university-level students but account for 44% of loan defaults. Harkin's research team is called the HELP committee. In a recent appearance ...

Home Values in San Diego, Other Metro Areas Decline

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Home prices in all 20 major metro areas decreased from September to October, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller data released this morning (Dec. 28). "The double dip is almost here," says S&P economist David Blitzer. "There is no good news ...

For-Profit Colleges, Including Bridgepoint, Boost Lobbying

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San Diego's Bridgepoint Education closed Thursday at $18.48. That's up from $15.26 on Dec. 1. According to Bloomberg News, for-profit colleges like Bridgepoint are boosting their spending on lobbying to thwart funding restrictions proposed by the U.S. Department of Education. ...

Grantville Redevelopment Money Transfer Ruled Permissible

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The Grantville Action Group, a group fighting redevelopment and eminent domain abuses, has lost a suit against the city, its redevelopment agency and the county. The Grantville group, which has long argued that its area is not blighted, filed a ...

Half SD Households Can Afford Homes, but We're Still Expensive

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As the housing bubble inflated amazingly earlier in the decade, only 7% of San Diego households could afford to buy a median priced home, says Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Now that the ...

Gin's Lead Indicators Inch Forward in November

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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, edged up to 110.3 in November. They had been stuck at 110 for four straight months beginning in July. The indicators moved ...

AT&T Agrees to Buy Qualcomm's Spectrum Licenses for $1.93 Billion

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No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider AT&T this morning (Dec. 20) agreed to buy mobile television spectrum licenses from San Diego-based Qualcomm for $1.93 billion. The band covers more than 300 million people in the U.S., according to Reuters. AT&T ...

Michell Told She Can't Lobby City for a Year

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The Ethics Commission yesterday (Dec. 16) told Kris Michell, former top aide to Mayor Jerry Sanders, that she can't lobby her former City colleagues for a year after she leaves Sanders's side, which will be Jan. 14. Michell has been ...

San Diego Unemployment Rate Remains in Double Digits

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The San Diego County unemployment rate was 10.4% in November, compared with 10.3% in October and 10.4% a year ago, according to the California Employment Development Department. This compared with 12.4% for California and 9.3% for the U.S. in the ...

Police Sorry They Brought Frivolous Lawsuits, Suing Their Lawyer

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A superb story on KPBS.org demonstrates perfectly how San Diego operates. The story was written by Kelly Thornton of Watchdog Institute, which is affiliated with San Diego State University. Gist: the San Diego Police Officers Association has filed a malpractice ...

Blackwater to be Sold as Similar Firm Fights Opposition in Ocotillo

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Blackwater, the mercenary firm (now named Xe Services) that residents of East County's tiny Potrero thwarted, may be sold today (Dec. 17) according to the New York Times. The company wanted to put a large training center in Potrero in ...

San Diegan Provided Insider Information, Says Department of Justice

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The Department of Justice announced this morning (Dec. 16) that Walter Shimoon, 39, of San Diego has been arrested and charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in an insider trading case brought by the government. Three others, not from San ...

Escondido Council Approves Ballpark -- with Reservations

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The Escondido city council last night (Dec. 15) approved by 4-1 a tentative deal to shell out $50 million for a ballpark for the Padres's AAA minor league team, but councilmembers want changes before the deal is finally approved in ...

Dumanis Met with Sanders to Tell Him She Wouldn't Prosecute Li Mandri, Mannino

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The deposition of Mayor Jerry Sanders in the Kessler vs. San Diego suit indicates that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis had a meeting with Sanders to tell him she would not prosecute the thoroughly-researched case against Little Italy political powerhouse Marco ...

Portantino's Criminal Lawyer Talks of DA Investigation, Discussion over Charges

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San Diego lawyer Marc Carlos, who represented the late Michael Portantino in the district attorney's investigation of Portantino's Gay & Lesbian Times, says that discussions of how Portantino would be charged were ongoing with the DA's office. Carlos was talking ...

Vassallo Has Serious Criminal Exposure, Says His Lawyer

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In a declaration filed today (Dec. 10) with U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez, attorney John Lemon, attorney for Alfred Louis "Bobby" Vassallo, said he had talked with David Brown of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Phil Halpern, assistant ...

Cypress Stock Surges as Hedge Fund Ups Bid

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Stock of biotech Cypress Bioscience is up 20.69% this morning (Dec. 1) to $4.90 as hedge fund Ramius LLC raised its offer for the company by 29%. The stock had already risen 16% since Ramius first offered to buy the ...

NY Times Questions For-Profit Colleges' Exploitation of Veterans. Bridgepoint Criticized

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Today's (Dec. 9) New York Times has a front-page story challenging how for-profit colleges exploit special benefits given veterans. San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education comes in for strong criticism. The story notes that since Congress jacked up tuition payments to veterans ...

Ex-Gay Community Publisher Portantino Takes Own Life

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A battle in the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender media ended tragically last night when Michael Portantino, owner of the now-defunct Gay and Lesbian Times, committed suicide by jumping off the Park Manor Suites. His death was confirmed to me by someone very close ...

Two Plead Guilty to Insider Trading in Sequenom

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Brent Cohen, a Baltimore business consultant, and his uncle, David V. Myers of Cleveland, pleaded guilty today to criminal charges of insider trading in the stock of scandal-plagued San Diego biotech Sequenom. The two face as long as five years ...

Orexigen stock up 108.1% as FDA Panel OKs Weight Loss Drug

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Stock of local biotech Orexigen Therapeutics is up 108.1% to $10.13 this morning (Dec. 8) as a panel of experts of the Food & Drug Administration voted 13 to 7 to approve the company's Contrave weight loss pill. The stock ...

Chargers

Chargers to Play 2012 in L.A., Says Columnist

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T.J. Simers, sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, says the Chargers will announce shortly after Feb. 1, 2012 that they will start the 2012 season in L.A., probably playing in the Coliseum. The eventual aim is to play at ...

City to Spend $200,000 in Kessler Suit

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The city council is voting today to authorize spending an amount not to exceed $200,000 in the city's defense of the wrongful termination case brought by Scott Kessler. The matter is on the consent agenda so it is all but ...

La Madrid Trial Begins Feb. 8

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Matthew "Beau" La Madrid and his brother, Lance La Madrid, will go on trial Feb. 8 before U.S. District Court Judge William Q. Hayes. An indictment by the U.S. Attorney's office charges the brothers, who operated out of El Cajon, ...

Padres Trade Gonzalez, Say ESPN, U-T

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The Padres have traded star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox, according to various sports media. ESPN broke the story this morning (Dec. 4) but as of 10:26 a.m. is still quoting "sources" on the deal. The ...

So-Called Recovery Sputters. Unemployment Rises, Jobs Barely Up

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Those expecting the national economy to spurt ahead were disappointed by today's (Dec. 3) employment news from Washington DC. Employment in November grew by only 39,000; economists had expected a gain of 155,000. The unemployment rate jumped to 9.8% from ...

Local Lawyer Explains Profit in Federal Lending Program

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The New York Times revealed today (Dec. 3) a list of Americans who profited from a Federal Reserve lending program launched in November of 2008 to support the market for student, auto, credit card, and small business loans. One of ...

Who'll Buy LA Times? Platinum? More Likely Murdoch

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Doug Page, columnist for the media news publication, News&Tech, says that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. may be the most likely buyer of the Los Angeles Times. Thanks to Matt Potter for sending along this clip. First, new creditors are about ...

Gamblers Betting on Orexigen Diet Pill. Be Careful

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Stock of La Jolla-based biotech Orexigen Therapeutics is up 13.7% this morning to $5.56. As Bloomberg News points out, option traders are heavily betting that the company's developmental prescription diet pill, Contrave, may get the nod from the Food & ...

Is Federal Reserve "Banker to the World?"

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Bloomberg News has come out with banking numbers today (Dec. 2) that raise disquieting questions about the U.S. Federal Reserve's role in the world. The central question: is the U.S. the banker to the world? Bloomberg quotes Federal Reserve data ...

Federal Pay Freeze Could Clip Almost $200 Million Annually from Local Economy

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President Obama's proposed federal pay freeze could cost the local economy $108 million yearly in direct economic impact and $190.3 million annually in total economic impact, according to economist Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. ...

Lead Indicators Flat; Private-Sector Employment Zooms

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The October lead indicators of the San Diego economy have been flat at 110 for the fourth consecutive month, according to Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, who compiles the report. The indicators were 109.7 in June and ...

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