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News Ticker Entries for December, 2012



Will Chargers hire coach with L.A. star power?


Media speculate next team coach may have to have L.A. glamor

Yahoosports, quoting "multiple sources with an understanding of the Los Angeles and Chargers situation," says the Chargers — now that they have fired coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith — may look for a new coach that will …

Subsidized sports: Arizona asininity


Glendale, Arizona, which financed hockey team, faces higher taxes, layoffs, debt penalties

Bloomberg News reports this week on more woes of Glendale, Arizona, a city of 230,500 west of Phoenix. The city agreed to pay $308 million over the next 20 years to keep the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes, which had …

Mexican peso ending year on high note


Peso making progress against U.S. dollar as 2012 ends

The Mexican peso made a strong comeback against the United States dollar after seeing all time lows in June of 2012. According to a December 31st report by the Wall Street Journal, the bank of Mexico’s final reference price for …

Best of the worst: bad news San Diego audits of 2012


Largely overlooked audits described waste, danger and overcharges caused by city and federal agencies and UCSD hospital

Audit reports are often the only way for the citizenry to find out about the foibles of their government. But the green eye shade types typically bury their gloomy findings deep inside voluminous reports loaded with legalese and accounting jargon, …

New Year's DUI crackdowns begin, SDPD officer injured by suspected drunk in Santee


Law enforcement was out across the county over the weekend, getting an early start on massive DUI enforcement efforts leading up to New Year’s Eve, but their efforts didn’t stop a potentially drunk driver from seriously injuring one of their …

Green eggs, green coal?


Dr. Seuss Enterprises dislikes name of new coal company

According to the publication "Think Progress," a new coal gasification startup may be trampling on a name developed by San Diego's beloved Dr. Seuss. A Massachusetts company has raised more than $1 million in seed capital to launch the green …

Tequila bottle meth bust in Tijuana


Two suspects caught with 83 pounds of meth hidden in liquor bottles

Two suspects were arrested in Tijuana on Thursday, December 27th, after state police discovered a couple transporting approximately 38 kilograms (83.7 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine. The narcotics were found hidden in numerous tequila bottles. According to state authorities, police found …

Port pushing forward with decorative lighting for Coronado Bridge


The Port of San Diego is pushing forward with its plan to install decorative lighting along the Coronado Bay Bridge, turning to The San Diego Foundation for assistance in managing fundraising for the project, expected to cost between $6 million …

Top 12 of 2012


Most popular blog entries of the last year

1) Big Screen: Project X Interview: Alexis Knapp by Matthew Lickona 2) News Ticker: Holmes's Father Is Anti-Fraud Scientist by Don Bauder 3) Jam Session: FM 94/9 Cancels Morning Talk Mikey Show by Barnaby Monk 4) Big Screen: Warner Bros. …

Gang member, sex offender arrested attempting to re-enter country


Both men had previous criminal records, had previously been deported

El Centro area Border Patrol agents are touting the capture of two particularly undesirable foreigners attempting to illegally cross the border east of Calexico on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Around 4 a.m. on December 24, agents intercepted a citizen …

UCSD ranks 4th in return on investment for public universities


UC San Diego was recently ranked fourth among 850 public universities for potential return on investment, comparing increased earnings expectations to the cost of education, a recent salary report from the website reports. There are a few caveats, however. …

After losing millions of dollars, contract for ambulance services finally goes to bid


City Attorney clears City to issue "request for proposal" for ambulance services.

The contract between the City of San Diego and Rural/Metro Corporation, the emergency medical services provider for the City, is set to expire on June 13, 2013, putting to rest years of legal and financial wrangling and allegations of wrongdoing. …

Pharmaceutical firm pays to settle kickback charges


San Diego's Victory Pharma to pay $11.4 million to settle charges of paying kickbacks to doctors

The Justice Department announced in Washington today (December 27) that San Diego-based Victory Pharma Inc. has agreed to pay $11.4 million to resolve civil and criminal liability from its marketing of pharmaceutical drugs Xodol, Fexmid, and Dolgic. The government alleged …

David Copley owned Lugosi home


Late publisher bought horror movie star's home last year; it's now on market

Last year, David Copley, former owner of the Union-Tribune, purchased the Hollywood home of Bela Lugosi, the former horror film star whose greatest hit was the title role in "Dracula" in 1931, according to the publication "Under the Hollywood Sign." …

Crew members of U.S.S. Ronald Reagan sue Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company


Plaintiffs from San Diego-based ship claim they were lied to about radiation levels while assisting during Fukushima Daiichi disaster

Eight crewmembers of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, home-ported in San Diego, have sued the nation of Japan and its Tokyo Electric Power Company, claiming Navy rescue workers at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation …

Filner's frank talk and Doug Manchester's Navy Complex lobbying plan


Will having outspoken ex-congressman as mayor throw a monkey wrench into city's well-oiled contract lobbying operation in Washington?

Yesterday's blast by San Diego Democratic mayor Bob Filner at president Barack Obama and his former Democratic colleagues in congress has been burning up the Internet, and could make life more interesting than usual for the city's D.C. lobbyist in …

San Onofre restart plan hits a snag


The plan to resume power generating activities at the long-idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station hit a snag yesterday, as Nuclear Regulatory Commission staffers indicated that plant operator Southern California Edison’s proposal to operate a single reactor under partial load …

Producer of the failed horse show, Valitar, slapped with more lawsuits


Mark Remley, Valitar's producer, named in another lawsuit.

Mark Remley's court appearance may soon outnumber the number of performances that his failed horse-human acrobatic show Valitar had at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. On December 18, Remley, his on and off again wife Tatyana, and their production company Equustria …

New bike lane on Nimitz in Ocean Beach


A buffered bicycle lane was added over the weekend thanks to BikeSD efforts

Part of Nimitz Boulevard was refurbished with new buffered bike lanes between Oliphant and Evergreen Streets over the weekend. According to, the effort was spearheaded by BikeSD board member Nicole Burgess, who brought up the issue with Councilmember Faulconer …

Tijuana misdemeanor detainees released on Christmas Eve


Over 100 detainees with minor charges were released from detention by order of the mayor

Over 100 detainees were released on Christmas Eve in Tijuana by the order of the mayor, Carlos Bustamante, due to an annual act of kindness to release those held in jail over minor crimes to be with their families. 101 …

Fore!Ward thinking? City proceeds with expensive overhaul of Balboa Park Golf Course


Despite a $2.5 million operating loss, City is moving forward with new clubhouse and site plan for Balboa Park Golf Course

City officials are calling on architectural consultants to help design a new clubhouse and site plan for the Balboa Park Golf Course. This, despite the fact that the public course has yet to crawl it's way out of the financial …

Christmas shooting in Lemon Grove


A La Mesa woman and her ten year-old son escaped injury yesterday after their car was struck by gunfire in Lemon Grove. Shortly after 7 p.m. yesterday evening, according to a report from the Lemon Grove Sheriff, the unidentified woman …

San Diego mayor takes to L.A. public radio to blast Obama and Congress


Newly ensconced in city hall, former congressman takes apart the Tea Party, Democrats, and the president, saying half of Congress doesn't believe in science

San Diego mayor Bob Filner - who came in for some tough treatment of his own from San Diego State University-owned public broadcaster KPBS during this year's campaign - has given an interview to Los Angeles public radio station KPCC …

Housing: SD beats other metro areas


Home values sink in October, but not in San Diego

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller housing data, released this morning (Dec. 26), show housing values dipping 0.1% for the 20 major metro areas in October. San Diego, however, was up 1.3%, topping all but two of the cities. In October, San Diego …

Instagram sued


SD law firm files suit over new policy, despite backtracking

San Diego's Finkelstein & Krinsk has filed a proposed class action lawsuit in San Francisco against Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook earlier this year for $715 million. According to the publication Business Insider, the suit charges breach of contract, …

San Diego super-lobbyists battle behind the scenes for video billboards


New mayor expected to make the final call as big money campaign quietly ramps up for giant animated signs

San Diego, which once pioneered the way for tough sign regulations across the country, can get ready for some really big billboards if some of the nation's largest outdoor advertising companies manage to have their way with city council and …

El Cajon man admits to importing, selling fake Nike Air Jordans


This year’s holiday season isn’t turning out so well for Steven Ray Holliday of El Cajon. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the owner of the Staxxs on Deck clothing store on the 500 block of El Cajon Boulevard was targeted by Immigration …

Phone full disclosure


State senate bill would require warning that consumers being ripped off

Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance has introduced Senate Bill 50 that would require pay phone signage warning credit and debit card users in California that a 20-second call might cost them $20. The bill arises in part from two …

Flasher in Fallbrook arrested


Man exposed himself to at least five female hikers

San Diego Sheriff’s deputies in Fallbrook have arrested 20 year-old Austin Harper after connecting him to a series of crimes in the area in recent weeks. During the week of December 10-16, five reports were received of a white male …

San Marcos DUI checkpoint


Sheriff deputies checked 2,781 overnight, 2 arrests reported

Deputies conducted a drivers’ license and DUI checkpoint in San Marcos last night, into the early morning hours of today, according to a statement by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. From 7 p.m. Friday night until 2 a.m. Saturday morning, …

Teachers' union favorite from San Diego gets a top senate education post


Marty Block raked in $4,694,412 in campaign contributions during four year period, independent tally shows

Democrat Marty Block, who bested his GOP rival George Plescia in this fall's battle for the 39th district state senate seat, was named today by senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to chair the education subcommittee of the Budget and …

DUI patrol yields few intoxicated drivers following Poinsettia Bowl


Results are in for the initial DUI “saturation patrol” targeting a Qualcomm Stadium event this holiday season, and at first glance they seem underwhelming. San Diego Sheriff’s deputies, along with officers from the National City, San Diego, Oceanside, Coronado, San …

Baja disappeared persons misrepresented in PGR reports


Only 15 people declared missing in Baja California despite much larger numbers

Statistics recently released by the Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Propuesta Cívica, which allegedly reflect official statistics by the Mexico attorney general’s office, have revealed the massive number of disappeared persons in Mexico over the last 6 years. According to …

SD unemployment rate drops


County gains 7,600 jobs in month, 24,600 in year

The county's unemployment rate dropped to 8.3% in November from a revised 8.6% in October, according to the Employment Development Department. A year ago, the rate was 9.4%. Local government jobs surged 2,100 in the month, primarily from the education …

Scott Peters tapped to join House Armed Services Committee


Joins local Duncan D. Hunter, projects San Diego will be spared from most of the coming spending cuts

Congressman-elect Scott Peters, who narrowly defeated incumbent Brian Bilbray in last month’s contest for the newly-drawn California 52nd District, has one of his first committee appointments. On Thursday the Democratic Caucus tapped him to join the House Committee on Armed …

Tourism up in Baja California


Numbers showing positive results overall for the state

Tourism numbers have slowly risen during 2012 for the Mexican state of Baja California, showing a 5% increase over the year. Juan Tintos Funke, the secretary of tourism for the state, released the positive numbers on Thursday, December 20th. Results …

Sportin' life: how billionaire owners make out


Billionaire-dominated NFL owners have raked in $18.6 billion of taxpayer funds

Bloomberg News has an excellent story today (Dec. 20) noting that since 1992, taxpayers have committed $18.6 billion to National Football League owners in the cost of building stadiums, foregone real estate taxes and the like. There are 32 teams …

Mayor Filner accused of caving to "NIMBY" concerns. Stops construction on University Ave


Filner stops transit friendly project years after project was approved.

For years planners at the City have been pushing for a more pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly city. During that time, North Park's busiest thoroughfare, University Avenue, became the number one target to make that happen. In early 2010, City …

San Diego wins one


CPUC thumbs down SDGE's attempt to get customers to pay 2007 fire costs

Quick action by irate San Diegans was almost certainly a factor in today's (Dec. 20) decision by the commissioners of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to turn down San Diego Gas & Electric's attempt to get ratepayers to cough …

Report says downtown bias colors debate over costly new San Diego city hall


San Diego auditors say they can't substantiate claim that most downtown city workers use public transportation

San Diego city auditor Eduardo Luna is out with a report challenging the prevailing wisdom of basing so many city workers downtown and building an expensive new city hall to hold them all, long a pet project of ex-mayor Jerry …

San Diego's Church of Latter Day Saints Temple looks to expand


Church officials propose new 18,000 square foot visitor center on the 7.2 acre site near La Jolla.

Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints visiting San Diego's ornate temple may have a new 18,000 square-foot visitor center to enter upon their arrival. The church has submitted an application to the City for the necessary permits needed …

Outrageous scam by CPUC


Last-second maneuver by regulator may permit SDGE to pick your pocket of $1 billion

I have been reporting on financial fraud for almost 50 years and seldom if ever have I seen a scam like the one that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) appears to be pulling on San Diego utility ratepayers. San …

Arellano Félix kidnapping kingpin caught


Wanted criminal apprehended after years on the run

The leader of a feared kidnapping ring was arrested after years on the run by Baja state police in Tijuana on Tuesday, December 18th. Juan Diego Alcaráz Muciño, also known as “El Yeyo”, has had numerous arrests warrants since 1996 …

The 411 on San Diego's 311 "pothole" app


The contract for the one-stop shot smartphone app has expired and the Mayor has not given any word whether he plans to renew it.

San Diego 311, the smartphone app that allows residents to report potholes and graffiti by snapping a picture on their smartphone camera, appears to have fallen into the cracks left by changing of the guard at City Hall. The contract …

Sports scam


But it's not the owner extortion racket: two indicted for defrauding fans.

The U.S. Attorney's office announced today (Dec. 19) that San Diego twins Anthony and Leopold Casias were arrested yesterday by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents for defrauding sports fans. According to documents related to indictments, the two got clients of …

Disbarred attorney leaves San Diego County


Divorce attorney took money from two clients’ trust accounts

An attorney who admitted taking funds from two trust accounts has failed to make a single restitution payment, and recently requested a jurisdictional transfer to another county where she has a new home, according to documents in her court file. …

Gun seizures, assaults, and rapes escalating at SDSU


Latest monthly San Diego State University police report sheds new light on school's chronic crime problems

As Don Bauder noted here last month, San Diego State University was high on the list of "The 25 Most Dangerous Colleges in America," as compiled by Business Insider magazine, with 27 violent and 575 property crimes per year. The …

Homeless man released from custody


Admitted attempted theft near Oceanside pier

A homeless man has been released from custody, after he admitted an attempted theft from a female passerby, near Oceanside pier last summer. Moore was taken into custody the same day as the alleged incident, August 22, 2012. Calvin Grey …

Edison grilled by federal regulators over San Onofre restart proposal


Members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission grilled Southern California Edison representatives yesterday regarding their plan to restart one of two nuclear reactors at the long-idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at a Commission meeting held yesterday in Maryland. A main …

Recycling robbers escape


Sheriff’s Deputies from the Lemon Grove station are searching for suspects in to the robbery of a recycling center on the 1000 block of Elkelton Boulevard in Spring Valley yesterday. Responding to a call at around 10:30 a.m., deputies were …

Home values keep rising


San Diego tops nation in monthly, yearly gains

San Diego area home values rose 1.3% in November, topping the nation's 0.6%, according to figures released this morning (Dec. 19). San Diego's year over year gain of 7.3% also beat the nation's 5.2%. The median value of a …

Guns for groceries trade offered by Sheriff's Department


No-questions-asked event offers to trade guns for grocery store gift cards this Friday

Looking for a way to get a few extra bucks for groceries this holiday season? Have a gun? The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has got a deal for you. This Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. deputies will be …

Mexico increases minimum wage for 2013


Agreement to increase minimum wage made, yet rate is below inflation

The minimum wage commission of Mexico agreed Tuesday, December 18th, to hike the current minimum salaries by 3.9% nationwide. While the raise may seem like an improvement, it is less than the 4.2% increase last year and less than the …

Like Uncle, Like Nephew. Bob Filner's nephew follows in his footsteps.


Matt Filner, Bob Filner's nephew, makes political waves in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Mayor Bob Filner has been called a lot of names during his 30-plus years in politics. "He’s abrasive, aggressive, impolitic, caustic, truculent, brash and, according to one memorable formulation, “the Grand Canyon of assholes," read a July 30 article in …

Bank robbery suspect arrested in Imperial Beach


Claimed to be armed with a gun and bomb

The Navy Federal Credit Union in the Southland Plaza Shopping Center on Saturn Boulevard in the South Bay area of San Diego was robbed at about 4 p.m. Monday, December 17, according to the San Diego Police Department According to …

Revised route for Big Bay Balloon Parade


The 2012 Big Bay Balloon Parade, one of the events leading in to the annual Holiday Bowl, will go forward despite construction ongoing along the traditional Harbor Drive parade route downtown. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Thursday, …

Happy Holiday Bowl, Bridgepoint!


The Street lists "The 5 Strangest College Bowl Sponsors." One sponsors the Holiday Bowl

Wall Street publication "The Street" looks at the 5 strangest college bowl sponsors. One, of course, is San Diego's highly-controversial Bridgepoint Education, sponsor of the Holiday Bowl. The publication notes that the contestants, Baylor and UCLA, are "actual universities. They …

Deportation numbers dropping


Number of Mexican nationals deported down 10% in 2012

According to statistics released by the Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Institute of Migration or INM), the number of Mexican nationals being deported from the United States are down 10% for the first 9 months of 2012, compared to the …

San Diego city council to appeal $1.1 million religious school verdict


Costly battle with Catholic high school over its controversial North Park development plans to continue

The San Diego city council has quietly voted to appeal a federal jury's $1.1 million verdict in favor of North Park's Academy of Our Lady of Peace, virtually guaranteeing that the long-running development and religious controversy will remain on the …

Foreclosures continue to fall in San Diego


Total foreclosure inventory in California, including properties in default (the first stage of foreclosure), with trustee sales scheduled (the second and final stage), and already owned by banks (known as REO, or Real Estate Owned), fell again in November and …

Suspicious person going door-to-door in Encinitas


Sheriff advises citizens to beware of fake utility worker

The Sheriff’s department issued a warning this morning stating that a man was seen going door-to-door in Encinitas, pretending to be a worker for a water utility. It was a Thursday morning, December 6, when someone told a resident in …

San Onofre restart decision may come in March, repair engineers testing wrong tubes


A decision on whether or not the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow Southern California Edison to fire up one of its nuclear reactors at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station may be made by March. At that point in time …

Manchester sued over sale of NextWave Wireless


Douglas Manchester and board of directors for NextWave Wireless involved in class-action lawsuit over deal with AT&T

Douglas "Papa Doug" Manchester has become infamous for ignoring the rules. Whether that be violating FCC rules by installing unlicensed cell-phone towers at the Grand Del Mar, building a vintage auto museum inside the headquarters of the U-T San Diego …

Library exposure


"His pants' zipper was unzipped," according to Escondido police.

“I noticed that somebody kept following me,” the pretty 30-year-old Latina testified today. She said she went to the Escondido library last month, on a Tuesday afternoon. First she went to the search computer and then she went to get …

Cox's everlasting political money machine gears up for 2016


First district county supervisor starts fundraising for 2016, less than seven months after winning easy re-election bid

As noted here back in February of this year, GOP county supervisor Greg Cox has long proved to be a dedicated fundraiser for himself, even if his electoral competition is virtually nonexistent. By this time last year, Cox had …

Northern California rapist sought in Baja


Man who was convicted after fleeing is believed to be hiding in the Tijuana area

A Northern California man, who was convicted on rape charges despite recently disappearing, is being sought in Baja California after his mothers vehicle was recorded crossing into Mexico on Wednesday, December 12th. Spencer Scarber, the 20 year old convicted rapist …

McGrory to Borrego's rescue?


Former city manager, other SD investors want to buy former Casa del Zorro, but face snags

A group of San Diego and outside investors is attempting to purchase Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa, formerly La Casa del Zorro, but is running into multiple snarls. The deal went into escrow and has fallen out, but the investors …

Nintendo sued over "annoying" controller rattle


Local lawyer brings federal class action against video game giant for alleged failure to disclose/correct product defects in new "Wii U" gaming system

San Diego lawyer Roy Katriel and his client Joubin Rahimi have launched a class action suit against Nintendo in federal court, claiming that the company’s new Wii U controller rattles annoyingly while in use. The GamePad controller is the big …

Escapee caught


Inmate who escaped almost 10 years ago recaptured in Ensenada

A highly wanted escaped inmate was recaptured in Ensenada on Monday, December 10th, after being on the run for over 9 years. Rubén Quintero Madrid, the 35 year old escapee, was arrested after authorities received information on his location. Quintero …

Hikers rescued via helicopter


Pair was ill-equipped for weather, conditions

Santee Sheriff’s deputies were called upon to employ a Search and Rescue team along with a department helicopter over the weekend in the rescue of a pair of hikers who became lost on El Cajon Mountain, which actually sits to …

SDGE maneuvering


Group charges utility furtively trying to nail ratepayers with 2007 fire costs

On December 20th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will decide a long-running case in which San Diego Gas & Electric wants ratepayers to pick up the tab for uninsured costs from the 2007 fires, for which the utility was …

Non-traded REITs -- again


LPL Financial charged with violations by Massachusetts official

According to the Boston Business Journal, San Diego-based LPL Financial has been charged with dishonest business practices by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. An administrative complaint was filed against the firm December 12, and Galvin seeks a cease-and-desist order …

Gangster bailed out


Target of Oceanside Police drug-and-gang sweep last October was released

A 24-year-old Oceanside man alleged to be a member of the Posole Locos street gang made bail, two weeks after he was arrested on a half-dozen felony drug counts. George Leno Orozco, who is reputed to go by the gang …

Former coach in court


Hearing for Oceanside High School PE teacher who admitted sex with student

A former physical education teacher for Oceanside High School was in court this month, requesting unsupervised visits with his 15-year-old daughter. A San Diego County Superior Court judge denied that request, although supervised visits were allowed. Corey Lane Hogue, now …

Career criminal back to prison


Offered robbery loot to girlfriend in recorded jailhouse phone call

A 36-year-old man who began his criminal career when he was 18 years old has been sent back to prison for more than 17 years, after he admitted his most recent crimes, which occurred in Escondido last summer. Torrence Andrew …

Sempra inks power deal


Sempra U.S. Gas and Power, a subsidiary of locally-based Sempra Energy, announced yesterday that it has secured agreements with the cities of Los Angeles and Burbank to purchase power from Copper Mountain Solar 3, an array of solar panels the …

UC logo "suspended," UCSD chancellor makes big outside bucks


The University of California, beset by controversies all around, still manages to award its executives huge salaries

Besieged on all sides, the University of California decided today to suspend its new logo, a weird wormlike blue and gold graphic. "The controversy has been fueled in large part by an unfortunate and false narrative, which framed the matter …

Dumpster diving D.A.'s


District Attorneys statewide announce judgment against Walgreens for illegally dumping hazardous materials, customers' private medical information

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis joined other district attorneys from across the state yesterday in announcing a judgment of just under $16.6 million that was lodged against the drugstore chain Walgreens in Alameda County. Illinois-based Walgreen Company was …

Copley land still for sale


Copley Press developing land adjoining late Helen Copley's estate

The La Jolla Light reported this week that Copley Press, what's left of the old publishing empire, is still trying to develop the acreage next to the Fox Hill (also called Foxhill) estate of the late Helen Copley. According to …

Ex-Solyndra lobbyist gave last minute money to Vargas


Former advocate for bankrupt recipient of $535 million federal loan guarantee antes up in South Bay congressional race

Democrat Juan Vargas had an easy time of it in this year's general election bid to replace Bob Filner in congress. Having knocked off fellow Democrat Denise Ducheny in June, the former state legislator and insurance company influence peddler handily …

Attorney attacked in court


Defense attorney reportedly slashed with razor in front of judge and jury

A criminal defense attorney was slashed across the face with a razor by his own client this morning, about 10:20 a.m., according to a statement by the San Diego County Superior Courts. Attorney Bill Burgener was cut on the cheek …

ACORN: A tough nut to crack


Darrell Issa (R) committee finds ACORN now operating under a new name.

It turns out ACORN was a tougher nut to crack than previously thought. In a 2010 report from Congressman Darrell Issa's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, ACORN, formerly known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, never …

High on housing


Potential buyers optimistic about improving values, but modest gains mean a slow climb back to previous highs

Potential home buyers are feeling a bit more optimistic these days, at least according to a California Association of Realtors survey released recently. A quarter of potential home buyers responding to the 2012 survey were confident home values would improve …

Wife will go to trial for murder


Judge noticed the husband was shot from behind

A judge said the behavior of a Carlsbad housewife immediately after her husband was shot tended to show consciousness of guilt, rather than justifiable homicide. Judge Robert Kearney also noticed that the deceased was shot from behind, at the end …

Walk this way


New bay front path opened from Shelter Island to Harbor Drive

A new promenade providing access for pedestrians and cyclists to Shelter Island in Point Loma was opened to the public yesterday. Tom Driscoll of Driscoll, Inc., which owns Driscoll’s Wharf and the Driscoll Boatyard on Shelter Island, was joined by …

Robo-signing settlement


Subsidiary of San Diego's Encore Capital to pay $500,000 to Minnesota

Midland Funding LLC, a subsidiary of San Diego's publicly-traded Encore Capital Group, has agreed to overhaul its collection practices and pay Minnesota $500,000, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune. Midland faced allegations that it robo-signed paperwork in collection lawsuits without verifying, …

Big border busts


Large seizures along California-Mexico border over weekend

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), over $4 million worth of narcotics and currency was seized along the California border over the weekend of December 7th. CBP officers reported 19 seizures, which included marijuana, cocaine, …

SD middle class vanishing


Middle-wage jobs in San Diego depart, and wages drop, more rapidly than in state or nation.

"The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (or stay relatively the same), and the middle is disappearing," is how economist Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research synthesizes his new study of the San Diego …

Back to seeking ban


Activist once again seeking ballot initiative that would effectively halt nuclear power in California

Santa Cruz resident Ben Davis Jr., who was behind a failed initiative that would have effectively shuttered California’s two nuclear power plants after proponents were unable to collect enough signatures to place it on the 2012 ballot, is back with …

EPN visits


Mexico’s president visiting Tijuana Wednesday

Mexico’s newly elected president, Enrique Peña Nieto (commonly referred to as EPN), will be visiting Tijuana today, December 12th. EPN will be landing at 10:50am, at the Aeropuerto Internacional Abelardo L. Rodríguez, aboard the Presidente Juárez presidential plane. The president, …

Oligarch at sea


Mega-yacht owned by controversial Russian billionaire ties up at the B Stret Pier

San Diegans who want to see how a Russian oligarch and one of Vladimir Putin's friends lives don't have to go far today. Just truck on down to the B Street pier, where a yacht belonging to Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich, …

Stubborn as a mule


Valitar producer Mark Remley slapped with another lawsuit for unpaid production expenses.

Mark Remley, the producer of the failed horse acrobatics show Valitar, is "missing in action" says a spokesperson at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. But Remley, who pulled the plug on the show after just four showings, will have to come …

Prison riot


Imperial Valley facility on restricted access after weekend riots send nine to area hospitals

California State Prison officials are investigating a riot that broke out over the weekend at the Calipatria State Prison in the Imperial Valley east of San Diego involving about 115 inmates that sent nine to local hospitals. According to preliminary …

LA Times for sale


Manchester, OC Register owner interested, says Reuters

Reuters is reporting tonight (Dec. 11) that U-T owner "Papa Doug" Manchester and Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner are interested in buying Tribune Company's papers -- particularly the Los Angeles Times. Long-bankrupt Tribune Co., which owns the Times, Chicago …

UCAN raising funds


Troubled Utility Consumers' Action Network resumes fundraising, discusses lack of funds

Utility Consumers' Action Network, the watchdog that is under investigation of more than one governmental agency, will be sending out a fundraising letter soon. At a monthly meeting last evening, one board member believed the current proposed letter is too …

Mother-in-law testifies


Carlsbad woman is accused of shooting husband while children played downstairs

The mother-in-law of a woman accused of murdering her husband, was in the witness box more than two hours today, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse. Defendant Julie Elizabeth Harper, 39, is accused of shooting her husband Jason Harper, …

Will Filner cotton to Chicago moneyman's cash pitch?


Wall Street lobbyist hits up San Diego city hall for private equity cash just before liberal Democrat takes control

It may not seem exactly a marriage made in heaven for new Democratic Mayor Bob Filner, but a big New York private equity outfit run by a headline-grabbing Chicagoan has signed up to lobby the city of San Diego regarding …



How is the alleged smuggling plot of Saadi Gaddafi linked to the recent airplane crash that killed Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera?

A plane that crashed on its way to Toluca Mexico killing Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera and six other people is alleged to be owned by former Coronado resident Christian Eduardo Esquino-Nunez. Esquino-Nunez has been in the public eye lately because …

Out of reach


Nuclear Regulatory Committee schedules next meeting on San Onofre restart in Maryland venue

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has called another meeting to discuss Southern California Edison’s plans to resume power generating activity at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, idled since January following a failure of one of the twin reactors’ steam generators …

MX stock surge


Mexico seeing record highs in stock market

Mexico’s benchmark IPC index, which contains the nation’s leading 35 stocks, hit a record high by the end of trading on Monday, December 10th. The index broke past the 43,000 barrier, for the first time in history, as Mexico continues …

Ready or not


Police busts Point Loma medical marijuana dispensary before they are officially open for business

Yesterday afternoon, medical marijuana advocates took to Twitter and Instagram alerting people to a raid on the Greenworks San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensary located at 3990 Hickok Street in Point Loma. "RAID IN PROGRESS AT GREENWORKS SD. 3990 Hickok Street, …

Less-lethal force?


Group questions decision by Sheriff's deputies to kill dog while serving warrant

A local animal rights group is questioning the shooting of a pit bull mix in Ramona earlier this month by San Diego Sheriff’s deputies upon their arrival at a home on the 15700 block of Brandiron Street. According to Detective …

Meet the new bosses...


County Republican Party returns cast of familiar faces for 2014 election effort

The Republican Party of San Diego County has just announced their leadership team for the 2014 election cycle, which remarkably resembles the 2012 team. Derrick Roach of Chula Vista will remain on as Secretary, while Oceanside city councilman Gary Felein …

Foreclosure ends


Rancho Santa Fe spread owned by U-T's John Lynch went into foreclosure and quickly out. He is living there.

On December 4, a home at 6311 Clubhouse Drive, Rancho Santa Fe, went into foreclosure. Owner John Lynch, chief executive of the U-T, his wife Catherine and the family trust were warned in a Notice of Trustee's Sale, "You are …

Circus murder


TJ singer and lion tamer shot to death in trailer

A Tijuana circus entertainer and singer was killed in his trailer Sunday evening, December 9th, after gunmen burst into his home. Jesús Apolo Fuentes Rodríguez, who goes by Apolo Fuentes, was shot three times by a .45 caliber weapon around …

Waiting for an update


City extends timeline for completion of community plan update in Uptown

As Tom Petty once sang; "The waiting is the hardest part." For the residents living in Uptown communities of Hillcrest, North Park, Golden Hill, and South Park waiting for an update to their community plan, they know just how hard …

Drunken decoys


Plainclothes officers simulating intoxication able to purchase booze more than half the time

Alcohol Beverage Control agents and Sheriff’s deputies spent Saturday afternoon conducting a “drunk decoy” operation, in which they sprayed an undercover officer’s clothing and body with alcohol and sent him into a liquor store where he proceeded to act intoxicated …

Report: UCSD's troubled cancer center deal collapses


Operation trumpeted a year ago as "a partnership between California and Nevada in offering lifesaving cancer care" may be near death

A plan to allow the UCSD Health System to partially exit its $18 million investment in the Nevada Cancer Institute of Las Vegas has unraveled, the Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting. As noted here last month, the R-J broke …

Telcel makes way into U.S.


Carlos Slim continues to slide into U.S. mobile market by offering new plan by Telcel

Mexico’s leading wireless provider, Telcel, has began offering a $60 a month unlimited plan in the United States which will include calls to Mexico. Telcel, which does not offer an unlimited plan in Mexico, hopes to prosper on its name …

Norv Turner's $1.2 million beach pad


Reportedly soon to be fired Chargers coach purchased well-appointed South Mission Beach unit in April

Chargers head coach Norv Turner apparently has more confidence in San Diego real estate than the team-owning Spanos family ended up having in him, judging from a $1.2 million South Mission Beach condo purchase the floundering football figure made in …

People vs. Parking Garage


Another lawsuit filed against financing plan for parking garage behind Organ Pavilion.

San Diegans for Open Government, the government watchdog group, is not backing down from a fight over a new four-story parking garage proposed for Balboa Park. The pay-for-parking garage will cost approximately $22.4 million when all is said and done. …

Nursing battle to court


Muscular dystrophy patient files lawsuit seeking continued funding for in-home care

Lawyers for Pablo Carranza, the 21 year-old younger brother of Raul Carranza, who the Reader profiled last March, announced this week that a suit has been filed on his behalf against Toby Douglas of the California Department of Health Care …

Coyote hunts and Burning Man showers up for fair board backing


Pitch for funds by tiny Northern California "sister fair" also includes squirrel and bird hunts, plus "eccentric items"

Modoc County is about as far away as you can get from San Diego and still be in California, 744 miles by car, to be precise. But the cash-strapped Modoc District Fair, located in the tiny town of Cedarville, is …

Looking for singles?


Lowest male marriage rate in Imperial Beach, says Census

The United States Census Bureau yesterday (Dec. 6) released 2007-2011 neighborhood data from its American Community Survey. Some high and low nuggets from the San Diego metro area: in Imperial Beach, only 42.9% of males are married; in Lemon Grove, …

Cops will be watching


List of upcoming anti-DUI activities announced, including post-football crackdowns

Law enforcement groups around San Diego have announced a schedule of DUI crackdown efforts they’ll be engaging in over the holiday season as part of the ongoing “Avoid the 15” campaign, so named for the 15 law enforcement agencies participating. …

Unemployment rate falls


U.S. adds 146,000 jobs in November, brushing off Hurricane Sandy

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 7.7% in November, the lowest level since December of 2008, according to the Labor Department. However, the lower rate was caused largely because people dropped out of the labor force and stopped …

New Peters chief of staff from Pennsylvania


Democratic congressman-elect hires chief of staff of Pennsylvania congressman defeated in April primary

Ex-San Diego city councilman Scott Peters, who narrowly beat out G.O.P. incumbent Brian Bilbray for California's newly formed 52nd district, has hired his chief of staff from the office of a Democrat who lost his own redrawn district primary race …

Non-permitted non-profits


Non-profit fights a city proposal to do away with exemptions for entertainment permits for not for profit organizations.

The San Diego Police Department hopes to raise some extra cash by eliminating the exemption that allows non-profit organizations to throw fundraisers and other entertainment events without having to pay for a city permit. To boost their argument, San Diego …

Water recyclers


East County water district seeks scientists to implement and monitor water nutrient program

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District announced yesterday that it is seeking bids from environmental contractors to develop a plan to manage “salts, nutrients, and other significant chemical compounds” throughout the Santee Basin aquifer, a term describing the groundwater table …

Valitar-promoter threw haymaker at horse trainer


Mark Remley, promoter of Valitar, was accused of assaulting horse trainer for having an extra-marital affair with his wife

Mark Remley, the promoter of the failed human-horse acrobatics show Valitar, is reported to have left the cast and crew high and dry after dismal box-office sales forced the cancellation of the show. The show's demise was partially blamed on …

Out with the old...


Chula Vista's newly sworn in council member, Mary Salas, anxious to repeal ordinance

At a December 4 Chula Vista council meeting, incumbent Pamela Bensoussan and Mary Salas were sworn in. A short time later, during council comments, Salas declared that she was not happy with an ordinance passed in November regarding Legislative Council …

Murders down


Mexico seeing its first drop in drug war murders since 2006

Mexico is on pace to see a drop in drug war related murders for the first time since the campaign against organized crime began in 2006. The Economist reported earlier this month, based on statistics kept by Grupo Reforma, that …

33 Shots fired


Three CHP officers shot 33 bullets at El Cajon man following pursuit and crash, incident may have been 'suicide by cop'

Anthony Osorio, a 27 year-old resident of the unincorporated El Cajon community of Crest shot and killed by California Highway Patrol officers over the weekend, had over 30 bullets fired at him after refusing orders to stop and advancing upon …

Scathing report on U-T San Diego


U-T a "corporate shill," says respected media publication

"The Fall of the San Diego Union-Tribune" is the headline in a story today (Dec. 6) in the publication Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog. The year since "Papa Doug" Manchester took over the paper has been …

Gonzalez seeks Assembly seat


Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez, the figurehead of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, last night announced her intention to seek a California Assembly seat in the 80th District, encompassing portions of southern San Diego County. “I’ve hammered out …

Courtroom revelation


Repeat felon admitted meth problem to the judge

The man blurted out to the judge that he just realized he is “an addict” and wanted to plead guilty to methamphetamine possession, in San Diego’s North County courthouse yesterday. Jack Edward Henson made the statement to Judge Richard Mills …

Tickets save lives - Part 2


The La Mesa Police Department is once again comparing the issuing of tickets to directly saving the lives of the drivers caught engaging in potentially deadly behaviors while behind the wheel. Last Friday, officers engaged in the second “Traffic Safety …

Pat's Corner issued 30-day notice


The staple North Park antique and collectible shop falls to "hipsters" and "gentrification"

"It's a mom and pop operation with just mom," says Pat (last name withheld) of North Park antique and collectible shop Pat's Corner. The staple boutique has been at its current location on 30th and Upas for eight years, offering …

Fugitive nabbed


U.S. criminal on the run arrested by Baja state police

A wanted United States fugitive was apprehended in Tijuana earlier this week after a request by the ATF law enforcement agency helped locate the criminal. The 39 year old suspect, David Torrado, was arrested on bulevar Sánchez Taboada, in the …

Fabiani and Filner’s Knife Fight?


Rob Lowe flick offers new juice to political battle over Chargers prospective move to Los Angeles

As speculation mounts over how new mayor Bob Filner will handle the billionaire Spanos family's push for a taxpayer-subsidized Chargers stadium, a movie screening in Sacramento tonight may shed some light. "Knife Fight is about sex, drugs, money and how …

Nuclear warfare


Nuclear backers, opponents present opposing ideas on San Onofre

The World Resources Simulation Center played host Tuesday evening to an open forum: “Green Scene – the Costs and Benefits of San Onofre Nuclear Power in our Backyard.” The Downtown-area Center, described as an “immersive visualization center,” outfitted with a …

Judge rebukes SANDAG plan


Regional transportation plan for 2050 will have to be changed

Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor ruled Monday (Dec. 3) that the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) violates state law by permitting climate pollution in its environmental review. SANDAG's plan will increase greenhouse gas …

Drone purchase cutback?


Publication reports that government won't purchase 14 more Predator drones

The publication Homeland Security Today reported today (Dec. 4) that a highly-placed source says the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has no plans to go forward with purchase of 14 more Predator unmanned aerial systems to augment its current drone …

Jury selection


Kansas City man accused of robbing homeowner in Vista of marijuana and cash

Jury selection has begun for a Kansas City man accused of stealing three pounds of marijuana at gunpoint, more than two years ago, in San Diego County. The prosecution alleges that Phillip Esquire Miller IV, now 28, complained of the …

Case delayed again


Trial for man in 5-year-old cop shooting was moved from this month to February 2013

The trial date for a man charged with murder after cops reportedly shot and killed the female passenger in his car, was delayed again, this week. Trial was set to begin yesterday for Ronald Sisson, now 39. He was reportedly …

Call to overturn Supreme Court


City Council asks for Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

The San Diego City Council voted 8 to 0 today (Dec. 4) to ask Congress to get the ball rolling on amending the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission …

When a $900 campaign contribution ends up costing $10,000


Supporter of Chula Vista Councilman Steve Castaneda fined for illegal contributions

Some serious cash has been thrown down during this past election cycle. For one Chula Vista resident, her $900 in campaign contributions to city councilmember Steve Castaneda may end up being closer to $11,000 if the California's Fair and Political …

Questionable closure


Briny Brine Percent tell Oysterbamacare to shuck off

Photo: Guido, Creative Commons, via Wikimedia Commons Prices may be on the rise for a popular briney bivalve following a controversial 90 day eviction notice issued to Marin County's Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Last Thursday, the Point Reyes oyster farm …

Del Mar mayor hit with $1500 penalty


California Fair Political Practices Commission levies fine against former county supervisor candidate for campaign reporting violation

Carl Hilliard likes to watch the ponies at Del Mar. He even has a few of his own. But his luck off the track ran out earlier this year when the Del Mar GOP mayor was beaten by fellow Republican …

Loan modification scam


Head of fraudulent mortgage mending operation gets 92 months.

Gary Bobel, founder and head of Oceanside's 1st American Law Center, a mortgage modification telemarketing ring, was sentenced today (Dec. 4) to 92 months in prison. Telemarketer Scott Spencer (a.k.a. Thomas Cole) got 30 months in custody and telemarketer Travis …

Smashed in the face


La Mesa woman cleared to sue police officer for 4th Amendment violation, excessive force

La Mesa resident Drendolyn Sims has the right to sue La Mesa Police officer Mike Stanton over injuries suffered as a result of Stanton’s kicking in a gate on her property and striking her in the head, an appeals court …

Predator maker's radioactive soil contamination level remains unknown


Stealthy cold war "TRIGA" reactor disassembly and storage on General Atomics Torrey Pines campus audited by Nuclear Regulatory Commission

These days, San Diego-based General Atomics is most famous for its Predator drones, deployed in theatres of war around the world. Controlled by wealthy La Jolla Republican brothers Linden and Neal Blue, the operation also dabbles in rail guns, nuclear …

Cash block


City council considers resolution calling for Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

San Diego’s city council is set to vote this afternoon on a resolution calling on the federal government to consider an amendment to the Constitution that would reverse the ability of corporations and other entities to pump an unlimited amount …

Corrupt business as usual?


Filner says Chargers will stay, convention center will be expanded

Incoming Mayor Robert Filner gave his inaugural speech today at the Balboa Club. According to sources who were there, Filner said "We are going to make sure the Chargers stay in San Diego." He also said, "We are going to …

Reneging on refunds


Another deadline looms for Greater Golden Hill residents to receive refunds

The clock is ticking for the residents of Golden Hill and South Park to receive refunds for the illegally-formed maintenance assessment district. If residents don't file refund forms with the City by December 10, then the four-year statute of limitations …

Bike giveaway


Employees of defense firm give bicycles to children of service members

The San Diego offices of international defense contractor BAE Systems announced over the weekend that employee contributions over the last year have raised enough money to purchase 670 bicycles and helmets that will be presented to families of local Navy, …

Dumanis plea for post-election campaign cash


Report shows $50,000 in personal loans as fundraising hangover from costliest San Diego mayor's race in history continues after the election

As first reported here, Democratic mayor-elect Bob Filner is staging a fundraising bash at the Mission Bay Hyatt this coming Thursday, co-chaired by AFL-CIO honcho Lorena Gonzalez and Chamber of Commerce insider Mel Katz and his wife Linda. Entry-level tickets …



No conclusions from San Onofre safety meeting, but monks protest, radioactive material left near street, unions grumble, FBI investigates

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting to discuss the future of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating station went forward last Friday after being delayed when the originally contracted host hotel backed out over attendance concerns. No concrete plans were laid for …

Benvenuti bundle


SD company close to purchasing $800 million portfolio of Sacto developer

According to the Sacramento Bee, Westcore Properties of San Diego is down to short shakes in purchasing most of the portfolio of the late Sacramento developer Joe Benvenuti. It would be one of the largest purchases in Sacramento history. It …

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