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Stories by Pat Finn

Editors Roundtable

Roundtable On Mexican Farm Labor, Border Traffic, Chula Vista Politics

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Mexican export farms exploit and abuse laborers who harvest produce for the U.S. Do shorter waits at San Ysidro border crossing mean more freeway traffic? Chula Vista has a mayor and a new school board and now it has a full city council.

Roundtable: Gloria Out, Lightner In; Transportation Plan Appealed; Padres Get A Slugger

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Todd Gloria is out as council president -- Machiavellian coup or business-as-usual? A state appeals court overrides SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan. The San Diego Padres spend some money on a slugger at the winter meetings.

Roundtable On SDPD Deadly Shooting, Toothless Water Restrictions, Small Fire Crews

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A lawsuit over a deadly 2012 police shooting is given life by a federal judge. The city's "mandatory" water restrictions have no teeth, as yet. And the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is trying two-person crews to improve response times — over objections.

Roundtable On The Issues That Won't Go Away In San Diego

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They are the issues that just won't go away in San Diego, a region allergic to raising taxes: the crumbling infrastructure, a small downtown airport, the cross on the public land of Mt. Soledad and the circa 1967 Chargers stadium.

Roundtable Analyzes Obama's Plan, Wastewater Recycling and The Millions Given To City Heights

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President Obama announces executive action on immigration, drawing cheers and jeers. The prolonged drought has made it easier to recycle wastewater. And when philanthropists drop billions in one neighborhood, what can they expect?

Roundtable Digs Into SDPD Pay, Reporting Campus Rape, Vets Charities

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San Diego Police Department pay ranks low compared to most other California cities, reporting sexual assault on campus can be a huge ordeal and some well-known veterans charities get failing grades.

Roundtable Reflects On The 2014 Midterm Election

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With Scott Peters now ahead in the 52nd Congressional District contest, the post-election Roundtable looks at the vast sums of money spent on a race that won't change anything in Washington and the nastiness of that campaign. It will also look the results of other elections in the City of San Diego, the county and the state.

Roundtable Rounds Up Election Races, SDUSD Graduation Rates

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Scary news this Halloween: 40 percent of seniors in the San Diego Unified School District may not graduate in 2016; a candidate for judge embellished his resume; and the election is not over yet.

Roundtable Digs Into DeMaio Scandal, Water Bond

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Carl DeMaio finds himself in the midst of a scandal which, like a Star Trek shape-shifter, morphs daily into something else. And Proposition 1, the state's proposed $7.5 billion water bond, is either the answer to California's water prayers, a good first step or completely inadequate.

Roundtable Looks At Props 45 & 46, SDPD Body Cameras, Minimum Wage Reboot

Props 45 and 46 are either unfair and will cost consumers big bucks or will save consumers money and level the medical playing field, depending on which side you're on. About 300 San Diego cops are now wearing body cameras. And the San Diego Chamber of Commerce trumps City Council on minimum wage.

Roundtable Analyzes Peters-DeMaio, Cate-Kim Races And San Ysidro Teachers Strike

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The hottest spots in San Diego this week are not trendy restaurants. They are the 52nd Congressional District, the 6th City Council District and the elementary schools of San Ysidro.

Roundtable Investigates End-Of-Life Care, San Diego's Climate Plan, Measuring Warming Damage

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More than 4,000 nursing home patients are on life support in California, costing Medi-Cal $636 million annually. Mayor Kevin Faulconer released his climate action plan to general approval. And the benchmark climate researchers have used for years to measure environmental damage might be the wrong one.

Roundtable Analyzes Convention Center, Storm Water Fines, Taxi Open Market

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Do we or don't we need a bigger Convention Center? San Diego faces big fines and upgrade costs for storm water violations. And a City Council proposal would make the market for taxi permits wide open.

Roundtable Looks At Power And Weather, One Paseo, La Mesa Politics

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The recent heat wave was no joke, but no rolling brown-outs resulted. Some SDG&E customers aren't finding the proposed rate structure funny, either. Carmel Valley votes down One Paseo. Longtime La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid wants a seventh term.

Roundtable: On ISIS Strategy, Death In Jail, Violence Among Pro Athletes

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The president wants to arm and train warriors against ISIS. A review board blasts the San Diego County Sheriffs' Department over the recent death of an inmate. Violence among professional athletes goes much further than Ray Rice.

Roundtable Analyzes Debates, Fracking, Testing Violations In Chula Vista Schools

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The Brown-Kashkari debate gave off some heat, but did it enlighten voters? Carol Kim and Chris Cate both want the same City Council seat. The Bureau of Land Management uses an incomplete and flawed study to OK fracking in California. Chula Vista Elementary ignores state law when it tests students.

Roundtable On Minimum Wage, Bill Fulton and Bud Selig Plaza

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The San Diego City Council passed a minimum wage increase by a 6-3 vote and then overrode Mayor Kevin Faulconer's veto. But now the city is in the midst of a referendum drive to negate all that. Bill Fulton, the smart-growth guru called a "planners' planner," is gone from city hall. And the Padres renamed Palm Court Plaza the Selig Hall of Fame Plaza, to fans' dismay.

Roundtable Tackles Iraq Dilemma, Incentives For Businesses, Escondido Golf Course

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says no to more boots on the ground in Iraq. Are businesses leaving San Diego for greener tax pastures or do they stick around for the talent and expertise? A developer wants to build houses on a dying Escondido golf course.

Roundtable On Useless SDPD Surveillance System, No Convention Center Expansion, San Diego Court Backlogs

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SDPD's Secure San Diego surveillance program is nearly useless. The plan to fund the Convention Center expansion was shot down by an appeals court. San Diego will get no relief from drastically cut court budgets.

Roundtable Tackles Migrant Crisis, Congressional Politics, For-Profit Colleges

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On the Roundtable: House conservatives block Obama's funding request; Carl DeMaio runs against the Republican platform; and the state says for-profit colleges target vets.

Roundtable: Minimum Wage, Six Californias, Water Restrictions, Pride Week

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There's a new minimum wage for anyone working in San Diego, a proposal to divide California into six states with unimaginative names, mandatory water restrictions for us all and a celebration of LGBT Pride for everyone.

Roundtable: More Darrell Issa, More Funds For County Supervisors, No Shelter In Escondido

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Is Darrell Issa a watchdog? A grandstander? A little of both? Escondido says no to sheltering immigrant children. County supervisors say yes to doubling their discretionary funds and more development in the Cleveland National Forest.

Roundtable: Tony Gwynn, Hit-And-Run Accidents, Congress and Guns

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We celebrate Tony Gwynn, a magnificent baseball player and better human being. There's a worrying uptick in deaths from drivers who flee the scene. The American people seem to want better control of the nation's guns. Will Congress do anything?

Roundtable: Teachers, Iraqis, NCTD Knocked For A Loop

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It didn't take long for a judge to dismiss tenure and other teacher job protections in California or for Sunni militants to overrun Mosul and head toward Baghdad. It may take some time, though, to fill all the managerial vacancies at the North County Transit District.

Roundtable: Analyzing The Primary Election, Concern Over Solar Power

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The voters of San Diego tell Barrio Logan what they can do with their plan. Incumbent District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis cruises to an outright win. The City Council make-up is yet to be decided, as is the race between County Supervisor Bill Horn and challenger Jim Wood. And accessing renewable energy could get tougher in California.

Roundtable: Who Says Primary Politics In San Diego Is Boring?

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For those who think the 2014 primary election in San Diego is a snooze, here's evidence to the contrary. The 52nd congressional race already is fraught — with money and attack ads. The entire city is voting on a revised community plan for one neighborhood. Two new San Diego City Council members could change the balance of power. And Bill Horn has a challenger.

Roundtable: Race For San Diego County District Attorney

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On a special edition of The Roundtable, the candidates for San Diego County district attorney talk about prison realignment, the death penalty and other issues facing that office.

Roundtable: Wind & Fire; Minimum Wage; Sterling Racism

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The marine layer disappeared this week, and suddenly May seemed like your typical October. Donald Sterling was outed as a racist by TMZ, and banned for life by the NBA. Dueling minimum-wage proposals will duke it out, unless they won't.

Roundtable: More Drama At San Diego Opera Unfolds

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Journalists analyze the spell-binding tale of the San Diego Opera, part cliff-hanger, part soap, part farce and part whodunnit. Will the sum of these parts end up a heroic saga or a tragedy?

Roundtable: City Budget, Climate Change Politics, Vets And Painkillers

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San Diego's 2015 budget increases public safety, infrastructure expenses. The U.N. says action on climate change is needed urgently, but the political divide is wide and deep. San Diego's VA leads the way on curbing painkiller abuse among vets.


Roundtable: San Diego's Olympic Dreams; Sailing into Trouble; District 6 Candidates

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Some San Diegans want the city to host the 2024 Olympics. Others want the Chinese to fund local start-ups. The Kaufman family is on dry land and under heavy criticism. Candidates for City Council District 6 are already debating.

Roundtable: Fewer Fire Engines; More Opera Intrigue; Scarce Ensenada Water

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San Diego Fire & Rescue has 32 reserve engines in case of a major wildfire, but only three of them are ready to roll. The intrigue surrounding the San Diego Opera's demise is somewhat, um, operatic. Ensenada is facing a water shortage.

Roundtable: More On Balboa Park Flameout; Minimum Wage; Homeless Housing Under Fire

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There was less to the Balboa Park party plan than met the eye -- much less. There's a campaign afoot to raise the minimum wage in San Diego. And San Diego's approach to housing the homeless may lead to penalties.

Roundtable Opera Bows Out; Water In Imperial Valley; Sweetwater Troubles

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The San Diego Opera will close next month. There may be a drought in California, but not in the Imperial Valley. And the Sweetwater Union High School District seems to be swamped with difficulties.

Roundtable: Decisions At SDPD, Death In Assisted Living, Killer Whales At Sea World

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A discussion of the big questions that face SDPD, an investigation into assisted living facilities and Sea World's game of defense.

Roundtable: Balboa Park Fizzle; City Email Reversal; Affordable Housing Fee; Padres Hopes

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We've spent three years and more than $2 million for a Balboa Park party that may not happen. San Diego wants to purge official emails older than a year. Developers don't want to pay more for affordable housing. And it's spring, which means baseball!

Roundtable: New Top Cop; Rules For Pot; Pentagon Budget Cuts

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On Monday, Shelley Zimmerman takes charge of the San Diego Police Department dealing with personnel and funding challenges. The city of San Diego finally has regulations for selling medical marijuana. And how will the heavy budget cuts proposed by the Pentagon affect San Diego?

Roundtable: Alpine Teachers Strike; More SDPD Troubles; Local Vets Get Help

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Negotiations went nowhere, and now Alpine teachers are striking. The SDPD finds itself with a third case of sexual misconduct on its hands. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan get help to avoid homelessness.

Roundtable: Faulconer's Win; Sex Crimes & SDPD; Surveillance in San Diego

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Kevin Faulconer gets a valentine from San Diego. Another San Diego cop gets arrested. And our region is getting good at watching us all.

Roundtable: Tactics, Turnout And Money In San Diego Mayor's Race

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The San Diego mayoral run-off election is Tuesday. Do you know where your candidates are -- on the issues, on tactics, in the polls? What can their personal finances tell us about who they are and how they will govern? And how come the lowly referendum has become the tool of corporate interests?

Roundtable: Marine Faces Another Murder Trial; Uncovering Financial Scandals; San Diego's Economy

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Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins will be retried for a murder in Iraq seven years ago. How anyone with a computer can investigate campaign finances. And how does the state of San Diego's economy compare to President Obama's State of the Union?

Roundtable: Campaign Finance Scandal, PACs In Mayor's Race, Draining Lake Morena

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The Feds charge three men in an alleged -- and quite bizarre -- conspiracy to shovel illegal campaign funds to San Diego candidates for mayor. Meanwhile, legal political action committees are also giving big money. And Lake Morena is slowly being drained by the city, to the chagrin of the county.

Roundtable: Mayor's Race; Arevalos Victim Accused; State Of The State Of The City

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The San Diego mayor's race gets nasty quick. A victim of convicted San Diego Police Officer Anthony Arevalos is accused of bribery. Assessing the state of the State of the City address.

Roundtable: Vets React To Fallujah Loss; Racial Profiling And SDPD; Chargers In Denver; Jerry Coleman

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U.S. Marines fought fiercely for Fallujah, and now it's gone. The SDPD says racial profiling is not a problem. Will the Broncos be a problem for the Chargers? And, we remember Jerry Coleman.

Roundtable: City Code Breakers; More One Paseo; 2014 Economic Outlook

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A group you've never heard of is shaping city development codes. This year, the rubber meets the road at One Paseo. And San Diego's economic outlook for 2014 is not too shabby, experts say.

Roundtable: San Diego's Top Stories of 2013

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The top story of 2013? Mayor Bob Filner's resignation, no contest. But others also left a big impression on our region, including the closings of San Onofre and San Diego Hospice.

Roundtable: Use Medical Pot, Lose Your Kids; Somalis Appeal Conviction; Pope Francis Simply Appeals

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In San Diego County, using medical marijuana can cost you your kids. Four Somalis convicted in San Diego file an appeal. Pope Francis seems to appeal to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Roundtable: Filner Sentenced, Revenge Porn Busted, Car Culture Questioned

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Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was sentenced to house arrest and probation. The San Diego owner/operator of a revenge porn website was arrested for extortion and charges. A North County summit takes on the automobile.

Roundtable: Tuite Not Guilty; Genetic Testing Shutdown; Drones Coming To San Diego?

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Will San Diego County be one of six drone-testing sites? The FDA tells a California company to stop selling genetic test kits. And Richard Tuite's retrial for killing Stephanie Crowe lurches toward a close.

Roundtable: Rolando Megadorm, Bitcoin Fever, Holiday Films

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Is the new construction at 63rd Street and El Cajon Boulevard a megadorm or luxury apartments? Bitcoins are virtual, pricey and, right now, relatively useless. And are any films worth our time and money this season?

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