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Scam Diego Entries for April, 2011

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Ailing Callaway May Buy Conglomerate's Golf Business

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Reuters is reporting that Carlsbad's Callaway Golf, which has just reported poor earnings and prospects, may join with Wall Street's Blackstone Group to buy the golf business of conglomerate Fortune Brands. Fortune announced late last year that it would sell ...

State Bar Yanks License of Carlsbad's Michael Pines

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Michael Pines, the Carlsbad lawyer who has advised clients to break into their homes after they have been foreclosed upon, and sometimes assisted them in the process, lost his license today (April 28) in a hearing before a State Bar ...

Case-Shiller Home Data Dismal -- Even in San Diego

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February home value data from Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller strongly suggest a coming double-dip nationally. The composite of 20 major metro areas was down 3.3% from February of 2010. "San Diego, which had posted 15 consecutive months of positive annual rates, ...

Judge Grants Injunction to End NFL Lockout. Victory for Players

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According to the New York Times today (April 25), Minnesota federal judge Susan Richard Nelson granted players an injunction to lift the National Football League lockout by the owners. In Brady (quarterback Tom Brady) vs. NFL, the judge denied the ...

Fire Department Compensation Far Higher than Private Sector's: Study

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Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf today (April 21) released a study that purports to show that Fire Department compensation is far higher than comparable -- the key word is "comparable" -- jobs in the private sector. The two councilmembers ...

Pessimism Worst in Two Years, Says Poll

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The New York Times/CBS poll said today (April 21) that the nation's economic mood has sunk to its lowest in two years. A full 39% think the economy is getting worse -- 13% higher than a month ago. The percentage ...

$1 Million Targeted for Homeless Will Be Diverted to L.A. Football Stadium

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According to LA Weekly News, $1 million in federal block grants intended to help the Skid Row homeless in Los Angeles will go to subsidize the architect of the proposed new downtown football stadium. The big San Francisco-based architectural firm, ...

Home Prices May Have Bottomed. But...

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Radar Logic, which tracks national home values, notes that San Diego home prices rose 3% from January to February, but were down 4% compared with a year earlier. That was a better performance than most metro areas. The price per ...

Qualcomm Reports Great Earnings, Helps Lift Market

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San Diego-based Qualcomm reported smashing quarterly earnings today (April 20). So did Apple Computer. Qualcomm's chips are inside Apple's iPhone and more than half of all new smartphones based on Google's rival Android system, according to the Associated Press. Smartphones ...

Major League Baseball Will Run Dodgers

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Major League Baseball is taking control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a once-solid team that is paralyzed by the extremely messy divorce of its owners. As ESPN.com points out, the Dodgers "have been consumed by infighting since Jamie McCourt filed ...

Frye Gets Highest Grade on Environmental Voting

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The League of Conservation Voters, San Diego, today (April 20) released its grades for councilmembers and the mayor for 2010. Former 6th District Councilmember Donna Frye got a perfect 100% score and an A+ grade -- the only councilmember to ...

Some Copley Retirees May -- Repeat, MAY -- Get Refunds

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In 2006, Copley Newspapers offered an early retirement package to a group of veteran employees. The company warned that if enough people didn't take the offer, there would be layoffs. A sufficient number took the deal. They got 25% of ...

Gores Brothers Finalists in Bidding for Warner Music

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Los Angeles entrepreneurs Alec and Tom Gores are reported this morning (April 18) to be among three final bidders for Warner Music Group. Tom Gores's Platinum Equity owns the Union-Tribune and recently bought the Detroit Pistons basketball team, along with ...

Ex-IRS Agent Turned Tax Preparer Nailed for Laundering

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Steven Martinez, a former Internal Revenue Service agent who has been running a tax preparation business, was arrested today (April 15) and charged with 49 counts including mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false tax returns, and money laundering. The ...

Local Unemployment Rate Up, but Jobs Rise

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The San Diego County unemployment rate rose to 10.2% in March from a revised 10.1% in February, according to the state Employment Development Department. The rate was down from 10.8% a year earlier. Although the unemployment rate rose, the county ...

Online Advertising Overtakes Newspapers, Cable TV

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Online advertising expanded by 15% last year to $26 billion, according to the industry annual report prepared by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2009, online advertising had dropped 3% because of the recession. The $26 billion passed newspapers, which came in ...

Orange County Loses Fight against Deputy Sheriff Pensions

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Orange County's four-year fight against the so-called "3% at 50" pension plan for deputy sheriffs ended abruptly yesterday (April 13) when the California Supreme Court refused to hear it, according to the Orange County Register. The arrangement permits deputy sheriffs ...

San Diegan Canned for Airing NFL Sex Bombshells

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San Diego resident Gary Plummer, who has been the San Francisco 49ers radio color commentator for 12 years, got the heave-ho Tuesday (April 12) for remarks on a podcast about players' sex adventures, according to SFGate.com. Apparently, Plummer revealed the ...

Former USD Players, Assistant Coach Indicted for Point Shaving

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Two former University of San Diego basketball players and a former assistant coach have been indicted on allegations of participating in a point-shaving ring to rake in bundles of money on sports gambling. The indictment was unsealed by the U.S. ...

North County Times Parent Selling Junk Bonds to Survive

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The Wall Street Journal this morning (April 11) tells how Lee Enterprises, the severely debt-laden parent of the North County Times, is peddling junk bonds that could enable it to "pay off its obligations and give it a shot for ...

How Washington Post Licks Boots of Federal Government

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Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com wrote a brilliant article Sunday (April 10) on how the parent of the Washington Post must kiss the buttocks of the federal government, which its reporters are supposed to be covering objectively. The Post itself on ...

Qualcomm's Jacobs 26th Highest-Paid Executive

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Paul E. Jacobs, 48, who succeeded his father as chief executive officer of Qualcomm in 2005, was the 26th best-paid U.S. CEO last year, according to a compilation in today's (April 10) New York Times. Jacobs's total compensation was $17.6 ...

Tax Preparer Gets 11 Years in Slammer

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Saleh Mahmoud Zahran was sentenced today (April 8) to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion, multiple filings of false claims, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, Medi-Cal fraud and witness tampering, following a two-week trial in federal court. He filed ...

Union-Tribune Owner Buys Detroit Pistons

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According to the Detroit News, Tom Gores and his Beverly Hills-based investment firm, Platinum Equity, have announced today (April 8) a definitive agreement to buy the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association and Palace Sports and Entertainment. Platinum Equity ...

Parking Grosses $430,000 Per Chargers Game

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The City of San Diego yesterday (April 7) put out a request for proposal for companies to bid on parking services for Qualcomm Stadium. According to the request for proposal, the gross revenue from Qualcomm parking last year was $5,393,006. ...

Cunningham Says He Couldn't Have Had Sex; He Was "Almost Impotent"

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Former North County Congressman Randy (Duke) Cunningham has sent a letter from prison to blog Talking Points Memo and other media. He says he never had sex with a prostitute "and the [Department of Justice] bastards know it." As to ...

Japan Hit by Second Quake

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Early reports today (April 7) indicate Japan has been hit by another earthquake, although it is not as severe as the monumental one. Today's measures 7.4 on the Richter scale; the tsunami is generating waves 2 meters tall, compared with ...

SD Workforce Index Rises Sharply

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The San Diego Workforce Index, assembled by the Workforce Partnership, spurted 1% in February, its biggest jump since November, 2009. The index leapt to 83.75 in February from 82.95 in January. The most positive component of the index was a ...

Bridgepoint Most Shorted U.S. Stock

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San Diego's Bridgepoint Education, the for-profit university under Congressional attack as well as government investigation, is the most heavily shorted stock among 3,000 U.S. stocks, according to the publication Seeking Alpha. A whopping 58.79% of Bridgepoint's trading stock is short ...

State Bar Seeks to Yank License of Anti-Foreclosure Attorney

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According to the California Bar Journal, the State Bar has filed to lift the law license of Carlsbad attorney Michael T. Pines, who has advised clients to break into their foreclosed homes and resume living there. The Bar wants to ...

Top Exec Pay Soars; Average Worker Barely Staying Even

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USA Today, working with data from Governance Metrics International, reports that last year, chief executive compensation soared by 27%, while average workers in private industry had income gains of just 2.1% -- which is about even with inflation. Median chief ...

Gene Ray Makes Hall of Fame. Hmmm

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Gene Ray has become the ninth local executive to make the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Connect, a technology trade group. Ray "has brought billions of dollars and created tens of thousands of jobs for the San ...

U.S. Job Gains Top Estimate; Unemployment Rate 8.8%

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8% in March. According to the Labor Department, the nation added 216,000 jobs; economists had expected 192,000. Private employers contributed almost all of the gains. They have added 470,000 jobs ...

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