Stories by Pat Finn
A 44-year-old book looking at how to preserve San Diego’s uniqueness has been re-released. “Temporary Paradise?” is as relevant today as in 1974.
- June 13
- By Pat Finn
The iconic mall, which opened in 1985 as part of a plan to clean up and revitalize downtown, is in escrow and the subject of a lawsuit.
There's a big offer from Broadcom to buy Qualcomm Inc., big financial troubles for the San Ysidro School District and SeaWorld, and a big mess along the San Diego River, where the homeless are migrating.
The San Diego Housing Commission says there's a reason its sitting on $278 million in unspent funds. El Cajon cracks down on the homeless. The FBI cracks down on Americans who travel to Tijuana for sex with children. And a lawsuit on behalf of California sex workers reaches federal court here.
SDG&E keeps asking to bill its customers for the remaining 2007 wildfire costs. The city of San Diego has had 2 1/2 years to create rules for short-term rentals but nothing has been decided yet. And the new homeless campground near downtown San Diego has unexpected tenants: children.
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.
John Witherspoon, who helped create the Public Broadcasting Act 50 years ago, was KPBS’s first general manager and the first president of the board of National Public Radio, has died.
- Oct. 13, 2017
- By Pat Finn
President Trump said he wanted to make a deal with Democrats to save DACA and then seemed to make a deal impossible. Dianne Feinstein will keep running. Hepatitis A keeps making people sick. And the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District appoints a novice to fill a vacant seat.
Another mass shooting in America. Same aftermath? The leaker of a confidential memo comes forward. A city law meant to increase transparency gets a boost. A homeless man gets a jury trial for sleeping on the street.
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.
- Sept. 1, 2017
- By Pat Finn
A California Supreme Court ruling may make it easier to build a football stadium -- or a highway. The Salk Institute is facing a lot of challenges. SDUSD begins a new year with old problems. Ditching remedial math may make sense.
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.
On the border: a young man dies from drinking liquid meth; the Tijuana taxi wars are quiet, for now; but "carmageddon" is coming. And finding housing here for refugees is as hard as you might think.
President Donald Trump suddenly tweets a major policy change for transgender troops. There's a housing crisis in San Diego, made possible by, well, all of us. And a website that debunks fake news is in real trouble.
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.
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, 2017
- 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, 2017
- 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, 2016
- 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.
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