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Scam Diego Entries for September, 2010

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Pssst! Howd'ya Like to Retire with $300,000 a Year of Taxpayer Moolah

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The retirement packages of City of San Diego employees are even more outrageous than earlier reported. When you add in the quintessential double-dipping caper called Deferred Option Plan (DROP), plus other emoluments, Eugene Gordon, a former assistant city attorney, is ...

Price Slashes, Improved Team Haven't Helped Padres

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The San Diego Padres play their last two 2010 games at home today and tomorrow with an average attendance of 26,251. The team has a record of 87-70 and all season has been in the running for the playoffs. Last ...

Even After the Bloodbath, SD Home Values High

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Census Bureau figures released today (Sept. 28) still show San Diego with high home values, even though they are down 35% from the late 2005 peak. Median property values in the county (San Diego, Carlsbad, San Marcos metro area) are ...

Richest 20% Get 49% of County Income; Poorest 20% Get 4%

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More than 100,000 San Diego County residents fell from the middle class into poverty or severe economic hardship in the past two years, according to the Center on Policy Initiatives, which interpreted U.S. Census data released today (Sept. 28). The ...

San Diego Home Prices Keep Rising. But...

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Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price indices published this morning (Sept. 28) show San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles home values continuing to rise stoutly on a year-over-year basis, but S&P's David Blitzer says those expecting a return to ...

Government Manipulate Stocks? Greenspan's Faulty Memory

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USA Today says that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan thinks a stock market rally will do more to boost the economy than various direct stimuli. Huh? He must be slipping severely. The federal government and Federal Reserve have been ...

Tourism Up Moderately

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Americans are traveling again, although the rebound is mild. According to Smith Travel Research, U.S. hotel occupancy is up 5% thus far this year while the average daily room rate is down 1%. In San Diego, occupancy is up 5.9% ...

Volcker Says Financial System "Broken"

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker yesterday (Sept. 23) ripped up the speech he was to deliver to the Chicago Fed, and blasted the financial system, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. He said the financial system ...

Lawyer Assisted Currency Trading Scam, Says SEC

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In San Diego federal court yesterday (Sept. 21), the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Escondido lawyer George Gustav Bujkovsky with assisting a foreign currency trading scam run by Sharanjit and Mohit Khanna. Investors in the $35 million MAK 1 scam ...

La Jolla 5th Most Expensive Home Market in Nation

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According to a Coldwell Banker report released today (Sept. 22), La Jolla is the fifth most expensive residential real estate market in the nation. Coldwell toted up average prices for 4 bedroom, 2 bath homes in 300 markets between February ...

Did Platinum Pay $30 Million for U-T, or $52 Million?

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Tom Gores, head of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, owner of the Union-Tribune since 2009, is getting plenty of press attention now that he appears to be in the running -- maybe at the front of the line -- to buy ...

SEC Seeks Contempt Order Against Vassallo

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today (Sept. 21) filed in federal court to get a civil contempt order against Alfred Louis (Bobby) Vassallo, one of San Diego's egregious characters operating in the last two decades. In the 1990s and early ...

How Recession Wallops Visual Arts

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The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, with facilities in La Jolla and downtown San Diego, had contributions and grants of $4.5 million in 2008, according to Internal Revenue Service records, down sharply from $9.7 million in 2007. Investment income ...

As CalPERS Sank, Its Executives Raked in Bucks

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As its portfolio plunged by almost one-fourth, the nation's largest public pension fund, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) awarded its portfolio managers five- and six-figure bonuses, according to a study by the Associated Press. As returns plunged in the ...

El Centro Hospital Charged with Medicare Fraud

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The El Centro Regional Medical Center agreed today (Sept. 20) to pay $2.2 million to settle charges that it defrauded Medicare, according to the U.S. Justice Department. According to the government, the 165-bed acute care hospital fraudulently inflated charges to ...

Gores Going Digital. Pro Basketball Next?

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Beverly Hills-based Tom Gores, whose Platinum Equity private equity company owns the Union-Tribune, is on the acquisition trail in uncharacteristic areas. Platinum Equity and the Gores Group, a private equity group run by Tom's brother Alec, purchased Alliance Entertainment this ...

Dodd-Frank Gives SEC Exemption from Providing Documents

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San Diego attorney Gary Aguirre has an article in the September edition of "Wall Street Lawyer," a publication for securities attorneys. Aguirre describes how the Dodd-Frank Act gives the securities agency "unique FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] exemptions available only ...

Arena Tanks on Bad FDA News

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Stock of biotech Arena Pharmaceuticals is down 38.83% to $4.19 this morning on bad Food and Drug Administration news on the developmental weight loss drug "lorcaserin." A staff review indicated three safety issues, including valvular heart disease, neuro-psychiatric and cognitive-related ...

City Wants Consultant for Managed Competition

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The City of San Diego Purchasing & Contracting Department sent out a request for proposal Thursday (Sept. 9) for a consultant to assist in the City's managed competition program. Questions and comments are due Sept. 23 and the proposal closes ...

NY Pension System Underfunded; State Broke

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Today's (Sept. 11) New York Times has an op-ed piece that should shake up the home state. The lead paragraph states, "New York's pension system is underfunded by tens of billions of dollars and...as a result, the state is essentially ...

Times Highlights Malecot Indictment

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Today's (Sept. 8) New York Times has a front page article featuring Michel Malecot, the owner of Pacific Beach's French Gourmet restaurant, who was indicted in April for hiring 12 undocumented immigrants and continuing to employ them even after he ...

Spanos Really Wants L.A., Says Yahoo! Sports

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In a Sept. 3 article, Yahoo! Sports quotes a National Football League owner saying that Chargers's head Dean Spanos's "dream is to go to L.A., and it may happen." The writer says that a few years ago, the other NFL ...

Now Venter Wants to Create Algae That Could Replace Fossil Fuels

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The New York Times gives a big writeup today (Sept. 5) to the attempt by Dr. J. Craig Venter to create living creatures -- bacteria, algae, or plants -- that are designed from DNA. Venter wants these living creatures "to ...

Accounting Group Disciplines Former City Auditor

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Last year, the California Board of Accountancy withdrew the license of the former El Cajon-based accounting firm, Calderon Jaham & Osborn. (Sorry to be so late reporting this, but I just learned of it.) The firm had been auditor of ...

Auditor Finds Flaws in Risk Management Department

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A report by City Auditor Eduardo Luna says that the City of San Diego's Risk Management Department "does not analyze systematic risks or follow Enterprise Risk Management system methodologies or other enhancing practices, nor does it maintain documented processes. Furthermore, ...

U.S. Jobs Report Weak, but Better Than Expected

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U.S. nonfarm payrolls dropped 54,000 in August as the unemployment rate rose to 9.6% from 9.5% in July. This was fueled by more people entering the job force looking for jobs. The jobs loss was about half what economists had ...

CEOs Who Chopped Most Heads Raked in Most Pay

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Chief executives who slashed payrolls the most took home 42% more compensation in 2009 than the average chief executive of Standard & Poor's 500 companies, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank ...

Gin's Lead Indicators Rise in July

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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by economist Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, rose to 109.9 in July, up from 109.6 in June. The indicators have now moved up steadily since reaching 100.7 in ...

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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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