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News Ticker Entries for December, 2011

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Convention Center Glut Billowing, Says Journal

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"From Boston to Austin, politicians spend money on fancy white elephants," says the Wall Street Journal in a piece dated Dec. 31. The Journal gives some compelling numbers: in 2010, the nation's convention centers had 86 million attendees. That compares ...

Three Arrested at Occupy San Diego; SDPD Sgt. "Was Hearing Voices"

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At around 7:30 p.m. on December 29, San Diego Police officers raided the Occupy San Diego general assembly of approximately 25 people at the Civic Center Plaza and arrested three protestors. A witness identified the arrestees as Hex, “British Will," ...

Bank of America to Stand Trial for Alleged Truth in Lending Act Violations

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A San Marcos couple will get a second chance to take Bank of America’s Countrywide lending unit to task over alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act. Judge Michael M. Anello had originally dismissed a complaint brought by Victor ...

Copley Goes for Romney; Burnham and Spanos Pick Perry

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As noted here in September, new San Diego Union-Tribune owner Doug Manchester is backing the GOP presidential cause of Mitt Romney, owner of the beachfront La Jolla house where Democratic ex-mayor Maureen O'Connor once lived. So is former U-T proprietor ...

Naval Hospital Sees Increased Number of Spice Users

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The Associated Press reports the Pentagon is cracking down on the use of synthetic-drug Spice throughout all branches of military. According to the report, military officials have investigated over 1,100 personnel for using Spice. Some of those investigations included Spice-busts ...

Local TV Station Fights Proposed FCC Disclosure Rules

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Four television broadcasters, including San Diego’s KUSI, have filed a protest to a new proposed Federal Communications Commission rule that would make it easier for the public to discover whether stations are engaging in “pay to play,” a tactic that ...

Alvarez Stands Alone at City Hall in Support of Refocusing Redevelopment

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The state government can order redevelopment agencies shuttered, but it cannot force them to redirect funds to cover shortfalls at the state level, the California Supreme Court ruled this afternoon. The decision has been met with dismay from many local ...

New State Law Prohibiting Street-Corner Sale of Puppies Goes Into Effect

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Complaints about puppies being sold on street corners are being phoned in to San Diego's Department of Animal Services at rapid rate now as a result of a new law that deals with animal abuse and prohibits street-corner sales of ...

Supreme Court Knocks Out Redevelopment Agencies

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The California Supreme Court today (Dec. 29) gave a knockout punch to redevelopment agencies in a long-awaited decision. The court also knocked out a compromise measure that would have permitted agencies to continue operating if they shared some revenues with ...

San Diego 9th "Drunkest City" In The Country

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San Diego throws down...a whole bunch of drinks. "America's Finest City" is the 9th drunkest city in the country, according to a list comprised by online news and entertainment site The Daily Beast. The publication used data from a market-research ...

Maienschein Lends His Campaign $50,000 on Christmas Eve

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Former San Diego city councilman Brian Maienschein gave himself a Christmas Eve gift in the form of an interest-free $50,000 personal loan to his campaign for state Assembly, according to a December 27 disclosure filing with Cailfornia's Secretary of State. ...

Port Tenant to Install Shore Power System

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The Port of San Diego, continuing its “Green Business Challenge,” has announced that tenant Flagship Cruises & Events will install a $2.5 million shore power system. Construction will begin in January and should be completed by mid-2012. The new system, ...

SD Tourism Lags Behind Other California Metros

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San Diego tourism did not fare very well in November. Although there are improvements, the county lags behind other California metro areas, according to Smith Travel Research statistics. The San Diego occupancy rate was 60.8% in November, the same as ...

Car Seizures From Unlicensed Drivers to End Jan. 1

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A new state law taking effect next Monday will ban the practice of impounding vehicles caught at sobriety checkpoints if the driver’s only offense is not having a license. The law was introduced by Gil Cedillo, a Democratic state Assembly ...

Navy Study Tests Neck Injections

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Doctors at Naval Medical Center San Diego believe a shot in the neck may ease the shock from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The team of doctors say injecting an aesthetic into a bundle of nerves called the Stellate Ganglion located ...

Mexican Cartels Recruit San Diego Teens

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Mexican drug cartels are turning to San Diego’s youth to function as drug mules, the Latin American Herald Tribune is reporting. Eleven percent of the more than 5000 youths that have been incarcerated in San Diego (many of them Hispanics ...

Issa Gets a Pass in U-T Story on Pols' Wealth

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On Dec. 27, both the Washington Post and New York Times had big takeouts on the wealth of members of the House of Representatives and Senate. The Washington Post put a long story on page 1. In it, the Post ...

Mike Garcia Gets Off the Couch to Occupy San Diego

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If you’ve been following Occupy San Diego at all, you’ll probably recognize Mike Garcia. The well-dressed and articulate 48-year-old drug-abuse counselor has acted as a prominent media liaison with the group of protesters for “social and economic justice” alongside Ray ...

State Prisons Appear to Fall Short on Overcrowding Reduction Order

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Today is the first benchmark date for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reduce prison overcrowding as per a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. CDCR has until January 10 to prepare and provide a report on the progress of ...

UCSD Physicians Slow to Adopt iPads, Report Says

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According to a report on the website of Kaiser Health News, less than ten percent of UC San Diego Health System physicians are using iPads. The device has been hailed by some as a breakthrough in patient care, offering everything ...

Local Suit Filed Against Jobfox Résumé Website

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San Diegan Suzanne Werden has initiated a class action suit against McLean, VA-based Jobfox.com, according to a Courthouse News Service report this morning. According to the filed complaint, Jobfox is marketed as a free job search tool, but “the primary ...

San Diego Home Values Keep Falling

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The nation suffered "broad-based declines" in home prices in October, according to Standard & Poor's, as it published its last Case-Shiller home price indexes in 2011 today (Dec. 27). Average prices in the largest 20 metro areas dropped 1.2% in ...

Video Conferencing Could Replace San Diego-Sacramento Travel

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Bad news for San Diego hotels and restaurants: a government report suggests its workers spend less time here. Travel between San Diego and Sacramento by employees of the U.S. Department of Interior has gotten so costly that the department's office ...

Occupy San Diego Riders Raid Malls, Port

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“The concept of the bike raid is simple,” writes Nexus Watts in an Occupy San Diego Riders mall raid event invite. “First you pick a few targets, set a date, and make related signs, banners, and flyers. On the day ...

New Design for Wind Turbines Debuts in San Diego

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San Diego Gas & Electric has installed a vertical axis wind turbine for testing at Harbor Island Park, the Port of San Diego reported yesterday. The device, about eight feet in diameter and mounted on top of a 30 foot ...

San Diego Tops Nation in DUIs

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San Diego leads the nation in drunken driving, according to a new report from Insurance.com. The same source also ranked San Diego at the top of its list of 20 major metropolitan areas in 2010. To assemble their list, the ...

Cost of Police Mobile Command Vehicle Grows

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Bids are in to build a new high-tech "Mobile Command Vehicle" for San Diego police, and the tab is considerably more than the $250,000 estimate orginally posted on the city's procurement website last month. As we reported in November, the ...

Senior Citizen Patrols to Check on Homes for Holidays

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Members of the Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol will busy patrolling neighborhoods during the holidays checking on homes while people are out of town. More than 400 volunteer officers will check for any unlocked doors, broken windows, and will hide newspapers ...

PG&E Ordered to Complete Seismic Studies, Same Sought for SCE/SDG&E

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The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday dismissed a request from Pacific Gas & Electric to pass on its cost of relicensing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the state’s central coast, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility reported yesterday. On ...

Estancia Hotel Warns It Could Lay Off 295

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The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, recently bought at what was considered a low price, has told the California Employment Development Department that it could lay off as many as 295 employees. The highly-rated facility is at 9700 N. ...

French Gourmet Heads Get Probation, Fines

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Owner Michel Malecot and manager Richard Kauffmann of the La Jolla restaurant French Gourmet were sentenced in federal court today (Dec. 22) to probation and fines for knowingly employing more than ten undocumented aliens over a one-year period. Malecot got ...

Alan Bersin's "Our Border" Site Goes Offline

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In the wake of the departure of San Diego's Alan Bersin from his job as U.S. Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, one of his favorite projects at the federal agency has suddenly disappeared from the web. Visitors to "Our ...

Three More Arrested at Occupy San Diego

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A police raid at Civic Center Plaza shortly after midnight this morning resulted in the arrest of three more Occupy San Diego protesters, who continue their round-the-clock demonstration, now in its third month. In video footage attributed to activist Eugene ...

Chicago Sun-Times Bought for About $20 Million

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The Chicago Sun-Times, that city's second largest newspaper with daily and Sunday circulation of around 400,000, has been sold for a bit above $20 million. The deal include a string of Chicago area daily and weekly newspapers and more than ...

U.S. Dentist Fears Patient Safety, Income Loss From Cross-Border Competition

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American dentists are feeling pressure from their Mexican counterparts, an article in the magazine RDH, which caters to the industry, seems to suggest. Titled Dental Tourism: Is the risk of ‘foreign’ dental treatment worth the savings?, the article first cites ...

Failure to Report Student-Teacher Sexual Relations Costs SD Unified $1.25 Million

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The California Court of Appeals has confirmed a $1.25 million judgment against the San Diego Unified School District, a decision filed Tuesday reports. The case stems from the District’s failure to report suspected sexual abuse while plaintiff A. Wieder was ...

Roger Hedgecock Criticizes Negative Ad Campaign Against Carl DeMaio

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Conservative radio personality Roger Hedgecock has come out swinging against what he considers "shameless" attacks" on mayoral candidate and councilmember Carl DeMaio. Today, Hedgecock sent out a mass email alerting voters to an effort from "special interest lobbyists" and "government ...

San Diego Realtors Slapped for Repeated Lobbying Law Violations

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The San Diego Association of Realtors has agreed to pay $500 to settle charges it violated the city's lobbying law by repeatedly failing to file quarterly disclosure reports on time. According to a December 15 stipulation agreement posted online by ...

Fewer Parolees Returning to Prison

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California’s recidivism rate (the proportion of state prisoners who return to incarceration) fell to 65 percent, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reported on December 21. While still amounting to nearly two-thirds of offenders returning to custody, the ...

Failure to Extend Payroll Tax Break, Jobless Pay Could Hurt, Says Economist

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"The U.S. is in recovery, but it is relatively mild and weak, and certain things could derail the recovery," says economist Ross Starr of the University of California San Diego. "Failure to extend unemployment benefits and failure to extend the ...

Lawsuit Filed Over Stolen "Boobies" Logo

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Carlsbad-based Keep A Breast Foundation, a local award winning non-profit, filed a lawsuit today in federal court alleging trademark infringement on its popular “I (heart) Boobies!” logo. Keep A Breast alleges that Rhode Island Novelty, without the group’s permission, commissioned ...

Sanders Endorses Sherman For 7th District Council Seat

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Mayor Sanders officially announced his support of Scott Sherman to represent the 7th district today. The endorsement is a major one for Sherman, whose other endorsements include the San Diego Republican Party and councilmember Kevin Faulconer. "Scott Sherman is committed ...

Wine Tasting with Filner, Issa plays Tagg for Holiday Fundraising

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Democratic congressman Bob Filner, running for mayor of San Diego, has been relatively scarce of late around Capitol corridors, so much so that he's failed to give a dime from his small congressional campaign war chest to the Democratic Congressional ...

Anti-Smart Meter Group Touts PG&E Decision To Offer Analog Meters

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San Diego Gas and Electric customers opposed to the use of smart-meters are celebrating a decision by Northern California energy giant Pacific Gas and Electric to offer analog meters, even if that option requires them to pay extra fees. The ...

Tijuana Entrepreneur Creates Drug-Trafficking Inspired Clothing Line

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Narcocorridos, the Mexican ballads inspired by the violent and much-glamorized lifestyles of the country’s drug trafficking cartels, have in turn birthed a new trend in fashion, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports. Antrax (Anthrax) is a new brand of clothing ...

Man Who Sent Threats to Dumanis Released on Probation

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Frankie Corleone, the man who threatened district attorney Bonnie Dumanis as well as other law enforcement officials after being convicted of stalking his ex-girlfriend, signed a deal he couldn't refuse. Today, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, a federal ...

Protesters Say Defense Bill Will Gut Bill of Rights

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Members of various local progressive groups gathered this morning for a “sit-in” at the Democratic Party’s local headquarters in protest of President Obama’s indication that he would sign the controversial National Defense Authorization Act. The act includes provisions that the ...

Bob Filner Dunned by Nancy Pelosi

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Leaders of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, facing a hostile electoral climate in many parts of the country and chronically hard-pressed for cash, are turning up the heat on incumbent members who haven't coughed up for the cause. According to ...

City Auditor Finds Pacific Beach Business Improvement District Failed to Comply With City Contract

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Six months back, I wrote an article about the Pacific Beach Business Improvement District, managed by the Pacific Beach Community Development Corporation, also known as Discover PB. At the time, a group of residents and shop owners expressed their frustration ...

DUI Checkpoints Result in 19 Arrests, 41 Impounds

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The San Diego Sheriff Department has released figures concerning four DUI checkpoints it conducted over the weekend in Santee, Lemon Grove, Vista, and San Marcos. While three of the operations were billed as focusing specifically on impaired drivers in separate ...

San Diegans to Save the Bill of Rights Sit-in

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According to an email from San Diegans to Save the Bill of Rights: In protest of President Obama's promise to sign the National Defense Authorization Act, San Diegans to Save the Bill of Rights are holding a sit-in at the ...

Women of Occupy San Diego Bring Occu-carols to Mission Valley

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“Were are a group of women who love Occupy and we’re bringing our message to the people,” says Kristen Smith, 47. “We want to meet people who would not necessarily go to the Civic Center, but who are still interested ...

Four Plead Guilty in Loan Modification Scheme

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Four people who operated Oceanside's 1st American Law Center, a loan modification scheme, pleaded guilty today (Dec. 16) to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. Those pleading guilty were Gary Michael Bobel of Carlsbad, Scott Thomas Spencer ...

Utility Workers Across California Protest Sempra

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Southern California Gas Company employees rallied across the state yesterday to protest a proposed labor agreement brought forth by the company’s parent, San Diego-based Sempra Energy. Picketing took place at Sempra facilities in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Compton, Visalia and Redlands. ...

US Court Rules for Iran's Defense Ministry, Against Local Firm

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A decision filed yesterday in the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, affirms a $2.8 million judgment against San Diego-based Cubic Corporation, a supplier of military technology and training. Prevailing in the suit is the Ministry of Defense and ...

County Gains 8000 Jobs in Month

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San Diego County gained 8000 jobs between October and November and 26,600 jobs from a year earlier, according to the California Employment Development Department. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.2% in November, down from a revised 9.7% in October, and ...

Audit Finds Lapses, Double Payment in County Asset Handling

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An examination by chief of audits James L. Pelletier of San Diego county's fixed assets has turned up a host of major flaws, including failure to adequately account for the fate of property marked for disposal, failing to document assets ...

Brown to Visit San Diego Solar Facility

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Governor Jerry Brown will visit the San Diego offices of Soitec this morning, and will give a speech around 10 a.m. The company, a French technology firm and manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, is dedicating its new solar production facility, ...

Filner Comes Out In Support of 'Plan B' Contraceptive

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Congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner joined 43 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to oppose a recent decision by sSecretary of Health and Human Services Katleen Sebelius to keep the "morning after pill," "Plan B," from women ...

Do Manchester, Lynch Read Economic News?

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New Union-Tribune owner Papa Doug Manchester and his chief executive, John Lynch, discussed their plans for the newspaper today (Dec. 15) on KPBS Midday Edition. Manchester, local hotelier, and Lynch, radio entrepreneur, have had their ups and downs in business, ...

Accused NorCal Marijuana Grower Linked to North Park Dispensary

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A man from Concow, CA, a town of 700 residents about 90 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe, is facing trial on charges of growing “vast amounts of marijuana” to supply North Park’s 30th Street Patient Collective dispensary, the Chico Enterprise-Record ...

SD to Grow Slowly; Jobs Still a Problem

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Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research predicts that inflation-adjusted growth in San Diego in 2012 will be 1.8% -- moderate, but the best in six years. Employment will grow by 1.8%, but as more ...

Is San Diego County's Pension Fund Too Transparent?

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The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association is knee-deep in controversy, fending off allegations by whistleblower Jeffrey Baker, a former staffer who has alleged he was wrongly terminated after going public with fears that the agency was taking risks with ...

Shooting Call Leads Cops to Pot-Growing Operation

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Around 8 p.m. last night, San Marcos sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting during what was described as a “home invasion robbery” in the 100 block of Bosstick Boulevard in San Marcos. On arrival at a woodworking business at the ...

SD Unified Gives Locals Preference in Construction Bidding

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The San Diego Unified School District agreed unanimously yesterday to extend its Project Stabilization Agreement to include all projects funded by state dollars and Proposition S, a $2.1 billion bond measure passed in 2008 to repair and renovate district schools. ...

Family Seeks $56 Million From Military In 2008 Jet Crash

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Don Yoon, the man who lost his wife and two baby daughters as a result of a military jet crashing into their home in 2008, is seeking $25 million from the federal government. Yoon's father-in-law, who also lost his wife ...

Pondering the Fate of Alan Bersin and Obama's Border Policy

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A post today on Security Debrief, a website produced by Adfero Group and the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, points out that "barring an unanticipated miracle" the appointment of Point Loma's Alan Bersin as commissioner of Customs and ...

Chargers

Junior Seau to Promote NFL in L.A.

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Chargers fans sifting the tea leaves for hints about whether the team will soon be moving north may want to head to downtown Los Angeles this Sunday for a visit with Junior Seau. The Chargers ex-linebacker--who in February 1997 called ...

Chula Vista Takes First Step In Fight Against Spice

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Elected Officials in Chula Vista took the first step in their march against psychoactive drugs on Tuesday when councilmembers and the mayor approved a policy that allows law enforcement officers to confiscate synthetic drugs during routine investigations. Deputy Mayor Rudy ...

San Diegan Seeks Salvation Army Bell Ringing Record

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Captain Kenneth Perine will face off against 23 other Salvation Army bell-ringers nationwide when he attempts to set a world record for consecutive hours of bell ringing outside the Walmart on Shawline Street in Kearny Mesa. The record for 36 ...

November Foreclosures Drop, Illustrating Seasonal Trend

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November’s foreclosure numbers are out in a new report from Foreclosure Radar, and they show a fairly typical trend: activity slowing around the holidays. Lenders in November and December tend to run at lower staffing levels as employees use up ...

Economic Survey Finds Plurality of Californians Supportive of Occupy

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Support for the Occupy Wall Street movement remains higher than its opposition, a statewide survey that primarily focused on Californians’ view of government released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California reports. State residents are more likely to support ...

San Diego Ranks 38 in Best Cities for Business Study

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San Diego placed 38th in a recent Marketwatch study that surveyed the best cities for business. The study looked at 102 cities across the country with populations in excess of 500,000 people. It factored in the revenue output generated by ...

Defense Contractor Sued Over Theft of Personal Data

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Robbins Umeda LLP and Blood Hurst, & O’Reardon LLP, law firms with local offices, have filed a class action suit against government contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) on behalf of retired Marine Colonel Mark Losack and others. The suit, ...

Jerry Sanders Seeking New Arts Advisor

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San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders is in the market for someone to tell him how to draw up a new city arts policy and find ways to spend arts funds collected from developers by the city, according to a request ...

Chargers' Fabiani Joins Cancer Company Board

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Add yet one more lucrative gig to the resume of Chargers special counsel and La Jollan Mark Fabiani, who has handled the personal travails of everyone from Al Gore and Bill Clinton to cyclist Lance Armstrong and rocker Madonna. Besides ...

So Who's Less Clothed?

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Will X. Walters, who was arrested and jailed for public nudity at the July 16 Gay Pride event, is making a cogent case that he was less scantily-clad than the women who wear G-strings at the Over-The-Line tournament, and are ...

Chula Vista To Discuss Psychoactive Drug Ordinance

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The Chula Vista city council tomorrow will discuss allowing police officers to confiscate psychoactive drugs known as Spice and Bath Salts while patting down suspected criminals and while conducting truancy sweeps or other investigations. The City and its police force ...

Federal Government Sued Over 2008 Marine Corps Jet Crash

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A Korean family is suing the federal government for compensation in relation to a Marine Corps jet that crashed into a University City neighborhood in 2008, destroying the family’s home. In the crash, Don Yoon lost his wife Youngmi Lee, ...

Occupy San Diego Protester on Hunger Strike Arrested

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Occupy San Diego media liason John Kenney, who is in his 33rd day of a hunger strike, was arrested at around 12:30 this morning at the Civic Center (dubbed Freedom Plaza by occupiers) for “illegal lodging.” Eye witnesses report that ...

How For-Profit College Lobbyists Bought Congress

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The New York Times today (Dec. 10) has a story on how the for-profit college industry spent $16 million to soften government plans to rein in industry corruption. The lobbyists won, as usual. This means another debt crisis is coming. ...

DA Rejects Sexual Assault Case Against El Cajon Police Sergeant

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On August 28, the El Cajon Police Department learned it was the subject of an investigation being performed by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in relation to an incident occurring the day prior, a release by the ECPD acknowledged ...

Reaper Drones Take Flight

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The U.S. Air National Guard has begun training flights on the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle, Aviation International News reports. The Reaper, developed by San Diego’s General Atomics, is a larger, more powerful version of its predecessor, the Predator drone. ...

Layoffs at Voice of San Diego

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The past month has been a crazy month for San Diego media outlets. First, hotel magnate and developer Doug Manchester purchases the city's sole daily paper, and now online news org, Voice of San Diego, announced it was cutting down ...

Union-Tribune Headquarters Sale Valued at $42.5 Million

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How much did developer and now media mogul Douglas Manchester pay for the San Diego Union-Tribune? He's keeping details secret, but a deed and trust deed filed as security for a mortgage -- along with leasing agreement related documents recorded ...

Sales VP Mark Ficarra Out at Union-Tribune

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Los Angeles blogger Matthew Fleischer, who writes "FishbowlLA" at MediaBistro.com, has posted a memo from new Union-Tribune chief operating officer Mike Hodges regarding the departure of Mark Ficarra, former Torrance Daily Breeze publisher and current VP of sales and marketing ...

Transgender Woman Tasered by BLM Ranger

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A court hearing has been set for Brooke Fantelli, a transgender woman who claims her being Tasered in the crotch by a Bureau of Land Management ranger was an act of discrimination, the Imperial Valley Press is reporting. Fantelli, a ...

Sigh. Another SD Alleged Fraud

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Robert L. Holloway, a San Diego investment manager, has been arrested in Salt Lake City for his alleged role in a $25 million investment fraud, according to the U.S. Justice Department. According to the indictment, Holloway ran US Ventures LLC ...

Petition Drive In Opposition To SDG&E Rate Increase

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As representatives from SDG&E make their rounds defending a proposal to raise rates on solar-users, environmental activists and residents are petitioning the state's energy commission to deny the rate hike. The proposal, if approved, will allow SDG&E to restructure their ...

Audit Finds San Diego School Inspectors Filed False Reports, Absent from Sites

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A report released today by California state auditor Elaine M. Howle concludes that inspections of school construction projects for earthquake safety by the state architect's office have been severly deficient, jeopardizing student and teacher safety. The problem has been especially ...

Planning Commission Rejects Interim Height Ordinance

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Uptown residents encountered a setback on Thursday when planning commissioners rejected a proposal to extend the Interim Height Ordinance, an ordinance that limits buildings in areas of Uptown to under 65 feet. Residents believe the ordinance is needed to preserve ...

UCSD's Fresco Drilling Is Marketing Ploy, Italian Critics Say

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A furor over whether UCSD's Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology should be boring holes in a priceless Giorgio Vasari fresco in search of a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece thought by some to be underneath is shaking ...

Canada's National Post Details Alleged Gaddafi Conspiracy

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As pieces of the alleged plot to smuggle Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s playboy son Saadi into Mexico begin to come together, newspapers around the world have been checking in with details of the accused conspirators. According to an account in ...

Less Than Half of Californians are Middle Class

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The middle class has shrunk to include less than half of all Californians, according to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). In 1980, 60 percent of Californian families were considered middle-income, a figure that had ...

Man Suffers Burns in Ocean Beach RV Fire

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An RV caught fire in Ocean Beach early this morning. The owner, asleep in the back of the motor home when the blaze started in the front of the vehicle, suffered burns to his hands and face trying to escape, ...

SD October Jobs Outlook Improves

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The workforce index published by the San Diego Workforce Partnership rose beyond the normal seasonal increase, according to Mark Cafferty, president of the partnership. Indeed.com job availability leapt from 74,580 in September to 88,212. The county unemployment rate inched downward ...

Distributor in San Diego-St. Louis Heroin Ring Denied Appeal

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Ronald E. Jones, convicted on counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession with the intent to distribute, along with a firearms charge, has been denied an appeal by the United States Court of Appeals’ Eighth District. Jones had argued ...

Bilbray Wants Four Debates Before June 5 Primary; Saldaña Calls for Six.

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Congressman Brian Bilbray is asking that candidates for the 52nd congressional district agree to participate in four debates, all to be held before the June 5 primary. Bilbray, a conservative congressman, is seeking to get reelected to Congress; this time, ...

County Supervisors Discuss Limiting Role of Community Planning Groups

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County Supervisors received recommendations to streamline the land-use permitting process from the Red Tape Reduction Task Force on Wednesday. The task force spent months drafting the recommendations after interviews with county employees, and poring over county documents. Among the recommendations, ...

Brandes Lays Off More Than 40

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Brandes Investment Partners, a large San Diego money manager, has laid off more than 40 employees, mostly in the local office, according to former employees. The company did not respond to queries about the layoffs. Curiously, the layoffs seem to ...

Local Couple Sues Bank of America Over Improper Penalties

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San Diegans Rick and Susan Dolfo have launched a class action suit against Bank of America, claiming breach of contract, unfair competition, violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and violation of the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act. ...

SDG&E Defends Solar Rate Hike At County Hearing

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Representatives from SDG&E appeared at a county hearing on Tuesday to defend a proposal to increase solar rates for 15,000 customers. The energy company claims solar customers are not paying for the energy infrastructure, leaving non-solar customers to foot the ...

Occupy San Diego Protester Joins Hunger Strike in Response to Alleged Police Brutality

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Occupy San Diego will march from the Civic Center to the San Diego Police Headquarters on Broadway Ave and 14th Street at 6:30 tonight in protest of what they’re calling “police brutality” at the ongoing peaceful protest which began in ...

Ricky's Army Seeks A Few Good Marrow Donors

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Ricky Martinez has an army. When the nine year-old Murrieta boy was stricken with aplastic anemia, a disease that causes bone marrow to produce blood cells at a reduced rate, CSU San Marcos professor Scott Landow urged his two Creativity, ...

Fire Department, Burn Institute Urge Holiday Safety

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December and January are typically the busiest of the year when it comes to local fire departments responding to house fires, with an estimated 250 Christmas trees and 170 faulty holiday light strings setting American homes ablaze annually. To demonstrate ...

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against UCSD Medical Center

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The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against UCSD Medical Center for discrimination against employees who are non-U.S. citizens. The lawsuit alleges that the medical center discriminated against the foreign eomployees by requiring them to verify, and sometimes re-verify, their ...

Moss Out of New U-T Lineup

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The Union-Tribune's masthead today (Dec. 6) reveals moves the company is taking under Papa Doug Manchester, new owner. On Monday, Ed Moss, who had been brought in May 12, 2009 as president, was still listed as president. Today, a day ...

Bar Gives Shames Warning Letter

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The State Bar of California has issued Michael Shames, head of Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN), a warning letter for identifying himself as an attorney when he was an inactive member of the bar. Shames had dropped out of the ...

Patriotic Wristband Maker to Launch Veterans' Clinics

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Bands For Freedom, a nonprofit manufacturer of patriotic silicone wristbands, today announced the January launch of its National Veterans Wellness Program, which will be based in San Diego. The program aims to provide support both to soldiers who’ve suffered physical ...

Battle Over Tall Buildings Continues In Uptown

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Residents of Uptown are preparing up for an all too familiar fight. On Thursday, a group of Uptown denizens will lobby San Diego's planning commissioners to recommend yet another extension of the Interim Height Ordinance in Uptown. The ordinance, which ...

Records Show Local Congressmen Lobbied for Pardons

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The non-profit investigative news website ProPublica.org has just posted an interesting series of records documenting how congressmen have sought pardons for their constiuents and others over the years. On the list are longtime incumbent Democrat Bob Filner, currently a San ...

UCSD Program Turns Pond Scum To Gasoline

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This March, up to 55 students will begin attending classes at UC San Diego Extension and Mira Costa College, learning to transform algae, colloquially known as pond scum, into car fuel. “That's what petroleum is – it's ancient algae,” said ...

Bonnie Dumanis and the Wisdom of Ladder-Climbing

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Republican Bonnie Dumanis, currently trying to climb the local political ladder from her post as county District Attorney to San Diego's mayor, has been noted for tutoring others in the ways of political combat. According to the website of the ...

Suicide Kit Peddler Dodged Taxes

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El Cajon's Sharlotte Hydorn pleaded guilty today (Dec. 3) to not filing federal income tax returns since 2007. During the period, Hydorn, a retired school teacher, brought in more than $150,000 in income, including from the sale of helium hood ...

USD Releases Report on Mexican Justice

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The Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego yesterday released its November report from the Justice in Mexico Project, detailing various happenings in the world of crime and enforcement for the nation immediately to San Diego’s south. Among the ...

Steve Breen and Roger Hedgecock Deck the Halls for GOP

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It's the holiday season, time for politicians of good cheer throughout San Diego county to make the rounds of fundraisers and benefits everywhere. Tomorrow it's "Christmas for the Corps," a pancake breakfast featuring GOP congressman Brian Bilbray at Miramar's Marine ...

Lemon Grove Considers Logging on to Social Media Sites

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Officials in Lemon Grove feel the days of residents visiting the City website to look for upcoming events are over. During a hearing in October, city councilmembers and the mayor directed staff to draft a policy to use social media ...

Unemployment Rate Falls; Job Growth Disappointing

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The U.S. created 120,000 jobs in November, a bit less than the 125,000 economists expected, the Labor Department reported today (Dec. 2). The unemployment rate fell to 8.6%, the lowest in two and a half years, but economists said that ...

Suspicious Bottle Outside Issa's Office Not a Bomb

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Representative Darrell Issa’s office is reporting that it received a call threatening that “something had been left outside that would explode,” according to the Riverside area Press Enterprise. The alleged bomb threat came after a protest outside the congressman’s office ...

SD Housing Prices High, but Market Sticky

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The price of San Diego area homes was $204.02 per square foot in September, topping Las Vegas ($66.15) and Phoenix ($74.28) where the bubble popped, and Detroit (64.33) and Cleveland ($65.35) which are in long-term depressions, according to Radar Logic. ...

Wind Triggers Power Outages in Ramona, Barona

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San Diego Gas & Electric is reporting that high winds have caused power outages in the East County regions of Ramona, Iron Mountain, and Barona. Other areas at risk of outage include the northeastern San Diego regions of Mesa Grande, ...

Conservative Group New Majority Endorses Fletcher

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Since announcing his candidacy for mayor, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a Republican, has received praise from all sorts of unlikely sources. Alt-weekly San Diego CityBeat praised Fletcher for his pragmatism, despite giving "boos" for his support of managed competition, and Comprehensive ...

Richard Russell Recovering from Hip Replacement

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Richard Russell, 87, publisher of one of the longest-running investment newsletters, Dow Theory Letters, is recovering from hip replacement surgery. He fell in the shower on October 22. Russell started Dow Theory Letters in 1952 and has published it from ...

Sheriff to Purchase and Install Surveillance Cameras Along Coast

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The Sheriff's Department is in the market for some good surveillance camera equipment. On Tuesday, County Supervisors will consider allowing the Sheriff's Department to accept $600,000 in federal grant money to purchase and install cameras and a microwave transmitter along ...

Manchester A Step Closer to Union-Tribune Takeover

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La Jollan Doug Manchester appears to be nearing his takeover of the Union-Tribune, based on an action disclosed yesterday by the Federal Trade Commission. A document posted on the FTC website entitled "Transaction Granted Early Termination" lists Manchester and two ...

Miramar College Completes Environmentally Friendly Police Substation/Parking Garage

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San Diego Community College District yesterday celebrated the completion of a new 828-space parking garage and 5,108 square foot police substation at its Miramar College campus. Constructed by the McCarthy company, which bills itself as “one of the nation’s leading ...

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