Stories by Mark Sauer
What was it like to cover the destructive 2007 wildfires, to send reporters into danger, to get out critical information amidst crashing websites and without smart phones? Well, there was invention, cooperation and pure determination. And a new thing called Twitter.
San Diego city and county officials blame each other for the glacial reaction to the hepatitis A outbreak. The shooting of Alfred Olango is having a lasting impact. The proposed Sacramento Delta tunnel is a very big deal.
Miles of sandy beaches, perennially sunny skies and a worsening hepatitis outbreak: Is San Diego still attractive to tourists? Tiny homes face huge hurdles in San Diego. And a nasty legal battle holds up donations at the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
San Diego took emergency measures this week, as the city tries to address the deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A. The traditional wildfire season is here, but lots of local fire personnel are elsewhere, battling fires up north. And, is the Catholic Diocese in San Diego doing enough the protect kids from predators, 10 years after settling 144 sexual abuse lawsuits?
The Trump administration takes on immigration reform, by announcing the popular DACA program will wind down over the next six months. What does that mean for San Diego "Dreamers"?
The U.S. Navy looks for answers after a string of accidents. Two judges recommend SDG&E bear the costs for the 2007 wildfires. And Mission Valley sees something different in its future.
The president's take on vestiges of the Civil War raises eyebrows and drops jaws in the wake of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville. Local leaders brace for adjustments to NAFTA. And SeaWorld is changing with the times, but is it too late?
The number of temporary work visas increases, as does the number deportations. Three women scientists have now filed gender discrimination suits against the Salk Institute. And tiny Imperial Beach sues global conglomerates.
There are new and familiar faces vying for County seats. Important bills on housing and SANDAG reform advance in Sacramento. And are the new faces on the Padres helping them advance?
Kevin Faulconer has been mayor of San Diego for just over three years. Is he going anywhere? San Diego teams up with the county and others for a new homeless initiative. And SDG&E works to save power — its own.
City Attorney's SoccerCity strategy memo is leaked. Is Qualcomm Stadium surplus property? SDUSD staffing rises while enrollment shrinks. Looking back at Sweetwater scandal. The Zoo looks ahead -- to Africa.
The secret senate healthcare bill is finally revealed. Genetically modified algae takes a step closer to the gas tank. And San Diego begins a plan to drastically reduce traffic deaths.
There will be no special election for the city of San Diego this November. Probably. A plume of toxic contaminants lurks under El Cajon. And how can we tell who is driving while high?
Project Concern International is now in 16 countries and helps millions each year. It was started in the San Diego-Tijuana region 55 years ago.
On Monday the San Diego City Council passed the budget without funding a special election this November, potentially dooming SoccerCity and a tax increase for a Convention Center expansion.
The U.S. may have withdrawn from the Paris climate deal, but not California. Raw sewage from Tijuana is fouling San Diego waters. San Diego Mayor Faulconer met privately with SoccerCity investors. California's gang database is flawed.
The SoccerCity initiative easily qualified for the ballot. But the San Diego city attorney does not like it that much, and SDSU has left the building. Meanwhile, critical funding to help human trafficking victims almost disappears.
On the Roundtable: allegations of grade inflation at a celebrated San Diego charter, the district attorney's chosen successor and the botched Stephanie Crowe murder case, and dividing cities into council districts to comply with state law.
The fallout from the Comey firing is not dying down yet. The AFL-CIO takes over a local labor group and ousts its leaders. The district attorney is ordered to give back a family's savings.
Was the University City shooting a hate crime, or not? District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis wants Summer Stephan to take her place. Q: When is a county jail something else entirely? A: When it's a huge mental health facility.
There are more homeless in the county this year. Now you see a government shutdown, now you don't. The Marines United scandal is hanging on like a bad cold. And a retired Marine general takes over the Secret Service.
What in the world happened to border activist Hugo Castro? Local companies want to build the border wall. Tuna fishermen and Seaport Village plans. The Holocaust memorial that won't be built.
Roundtable on schools: San Diego Unified's budget, coming layoffs and astounding graduation rate. Also: a proposal to change the election process for SDUSD's Board of Trustees and endangered funding for homeless students.
Bad water is bad news for San Diego schools. And another round of voting on the San Diego Convention Center is coming right up! Trading higher gas prices for better roads. San Diego and Tijuana want to work together, no matter what.
Roundtable: SANDAG Investigation; Transit Hits, Misses; Disappearing Affordable Housing; Vegas Raiders
The story of SANDAG's faulty revenue projections has reached the investigation stage. Taking a bus is getting easier — and harder. Watching affordable housing disappear. Las Vegas welcomes Oakland's Raiders.
President Donald Trump's proposed budget has ramifications for San Diego, positive and negative. And somewhere between 30 million and 240 million of gallons of untreated sewage drifted north from Tijuana. Why?
Looking into the city's forgotten transparency law. Two Republican Congressmen have an interesting weekend. The Navy wishes it had never met "Fat Leonard." And when is a hotel not a hotel? (When it's an apartment.)
Who is harmed the most by strict border enforcement? It might be a toss-up. Rep. Darrell Issa talks — and listens — to his constituents. And the San Diego Unified board gets an earful about potential budget cuts.
Was the near-disaster in Oroville a result of negligence? Some express concern about Sweetwater Dam here. Local labor leader Mickey Kasparian is sued for harassment and retaliation. Is Carlsbad getting a power plant that's unnecessary and obsolete?
San Diego Association of Governments staff kept quiet about their faulty revenue projections. Many Tijuana residents who routinely cross the border to spend money are staying home. And Edison is now burying nuclear waste from San Onofre, in spite of efforts to stop it.
President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration was received with shock, awe and general chaos. And it turns out that veterans are still waiting a long time for health care.
The number of homeless persons living on the streets has been growing for several months. Why? And where is the political will to put a stop to the misery?
It's a big day, and there are big local issues, too, including District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' big decision, continuing (and big) gas protests in Mexico, the big mess of storm water rules and the big dearth of affordable housing.
The San Diego Chargers skipped town, took a powder, left us in the lurch. So we have to find out how to be a big city without an NFL team and figure out what to do with all that Mission Valley property.
About 17 million Californians receive some benefits from Obamacare. What happens if it goes away? The City of Poway says no to 22 affordable homes for vets. Trump's choice to head Education is a fierce advocate for charter schools.
California, a state that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, is getting ready for a fight — or several fights — against the Trump administration over climate, marijuana, immigration and health care.
Election squeakers in the 49th and 3rd Districts. Victory for pot, defeat for the Chargers. Desperation for the homeless, frustration for renters and home buyers. Fear for migrants without papers. Worry for climate scientists.
Myrtle Cole will lead the San Diego City Council. The city of San Diego's plan to expedite affordable housing often fast-tracked mansions. Zinc, copper, pesticides and bacteria flow from Chollas Creek to the bay, possibly forever.
Democrats at the state capitol launch an offensive on the proposed immigration policies of President-elect Donald Trump. Will retired Gen. James Mattis be a good fit for Secretary of Defense? And the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in the state is already having effect on criminal justice in San Diego.
Punaro, a former Hillary Clinton supporter, is one of many unofficial advisors to work with President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team.
What happens when the news media is widely distrusted and largely ignored? How disgusted is San Diego with its professional sports teams? And what happens when San Diego's opera and symphony try to find new audiences?
The election of Donald Trump promises change and upheaval for California. There's some action on one of the Trump University class-actions. And Balboa Park's going to get a makeover.
Who could have predicted a President Donald J. Trump? Turns out some people did. Measures C and D lost, predictably, but the size of the win by opponents to Lilac Hills, not so much.
Roundtable: Update On Local Races, Putting Presidential Race In Perspective And Politics At The Movies
What can an analysis of "Citizen Kane" tell us about the presidential race? And how will history remember the 2016 election? Find out on the Roundtable.
Election Day is fast approaching. Do you know enough to make an informed decision on the local measures on the ballot?
Presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to flirt with the idea that he won't concede the election, should he lose on Nov. 8. Will there will a Trump Effect on San Diego races? And is California ready to say goodbye to the death penalty...and hello to recreational pot?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's troubles include sexual assault allegations now filtering into San Diego races. The race for supervisor in District 3 should have been a cakewalk for the incumbent. Measure to increase sales tax has an uphill road. Lilac Hills could bloom, or not.
Author John Fleck says that states and individuals don't fight over water so much as they conserve it and cooperate over how much to use.
Darrell Issa's congressional race is closer than he would perhaps like. A local company refers a patient for a costly, unproven stem cell treatment. And Barrio Logan braces for a very large new neighbor.
The San Diego Police Department has a backlog of some 2,400 untested rape kits. The San Diego Zoo has a huge bank account and a taxpayer subsidy. Suburban cities like Poway and La Mesa have more and more cases of opioid and heroin abuse.
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