Stories by Pat Finn
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?
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The U.S. may have withdrawn from the Paris climate deal, but not California.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.
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.)
- March 10
- By Pat Finn
Big stories are affecting our corner of the U.S. this week: Replacement of the Affordable Care Act, another attempt at an immigration ban and a looming fight over free speech in the pulpit.
- March 3
- By Pat Finn
Getting something — anything — built on the Qualcomm site is a tough goal to reach. A local traffic court and its collection agency seem pretty hard-hearted. Why are the Navy and Marines still using live animals for trauma training?
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.
- Dec. 2
- By Pat Finn
Kristin Gaspar and Darrell Issa get some final answers. SANDAG's leadership is questioned; SDPD defends its traffic stops. And the number of downtown homeless keeps rising.
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.
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.
For the first time since 2002, the 49th Congressional District is at the center of a fiercely contested political contest. The incumbent Republican Darrell Issa makes his case on Midday Edition.
Issa's opponent, a retired Marine colonel, was unknown in the 49th Congressional District until this year.
A sudden $50,000 contribution to the county Republican Party is connected to Measure B on the ballot. When squalid, illegal apartments are rehabbed, not everyone benefits. The Haitian refugees at our doorstep cope with changing rules.
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.
- Sept. 20
- By Pat Finn
In San Diego sportswriter Jay Paris' new book, 21 Chargers stars reveal the game that was most important to them. Not all the games were wins.
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.
- Sept. 14
- By Pat Finn
Carl Hiaasen is in town to explain — if he can — his home state of Florida and talk about his latest comic crime novel, actually, comic novel crime. In this case, it's one perpetrated by the "Razor Girl" of the title.
The Mt. Soledad cross case is finally over. San Diego's housing crisis is getting worse. San Diego's living wage ordinance is a 10-year success. Downtown public toilets are often not functional.
These days there seem to be hackers rummaging around in databases everywhere: department stores, banks, hotels, the Democratic Party, the Ukrainian power grid, even the formidable National Security Agency. So why aren't we more alarmed?
If recreational pot becomes legal, San Diego wants to tax its sales. The city's Climate Action Plan predicts thousands will quit driving to work. And San Diego's school district makes pre-K available to all — for a price.
Two bills closing loopholes in California's laws governing rape have been sent to the governor. Both were inspired by the recent Brock Turner case.
As the 2016-17 school year begins, some charter school funds are running out, preschool can be pretty darn expensive, and the chronic absence rate — for teachers — is high.
An officer's deposition reveals a surprising outcome in the 2015 shooting of Fridoon Nehad. The Chargers defend their stadium plan. And does more funding mean less traffic?
At 32, Dan McSwain found himself living on the streets, addicted to drugs and alcohol. He told his story of degradation and redemption in The San Diego Union-Tribune this week.
The museum's La Jolla location gets ready to shut down for a major remodel — with a new gallery space, terraces and an expanded sculpture garden in its future.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association concluded the Chargers' ballot measure won't raise enough money. The city's Independent Budget Analyst says it will — if estimates are accurate.
In 2012, some cities in the region struggled to find enough candidates to make local races competitive. That's not the case now. Plus, an upscale hotel is coming to Escondido.
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