Stories by Pat Finn
We shine a spotlight on local investigative reporting: The fallout from an ineffective whooping cough vaccine; how the cozy relationship of SoCal Edison with the CPUC affected customers; and ineffective fire alarms in Sweetwater schools.
The recently approved $2.2 billion plan to expand the San Diego International Airport will increase its capacity to 61 gates and replace the ancient (in airport terms) Terminal One.
San Diego's water rates are rising. "Fat Leonard" is singing about bribery and kickbacks to Navy personnel. Roque de la Fuente's marathon lawsuit against the city is finally settled.
The weather will be big news in San Diego this winter, as strong El Niño-driven storms encounter already-high tides, and a warm water zone (known as "The Blob") sitting off the Northern California coast causes more trouble.
SeaWorld says orcas will no longer jump through hoops. Bonnie Dumanis says no charges for Officer Neal Browder. Residents near the airport say enough with the airline curfew violations.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made his case in New York. The Chargers and Raiders hired Disney's CEO. A sports columnist said San Diego could have a pro football team: the Raiders.
Brian Turner's extraordinary poems convey the adrenaline rush, the boredom, the flash of fear and horror of war. Turner was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. A teacher now with a peaceful life in Florida, he continues to tell the story of war through his words.
Author Simon Winchester likes big topics. He has followed up on his 2010 book on the history of the Atlantic Ocean with an even more enormous subject, the Pacific.
Numerous tax measures on next year's ballot could confuse San Diego voters. Many storm drains are choked with overgrowth and debris as we head into a big El Niño winter. And, the city's troubled ambulance service that's been missing response-time targets has been sold.
Cory Briggs takes the initiative -- and then changes it. For next year's primary, there are either too many Democrats running, or not enough. And SeaWorld is putting up a whale of a fight.
The mayor wants to repair 1,000 miles of streets over five years, but the current backlog is in the billions. Big solar is encamped in a big portion of the Imperial Valley. So who's benefiting? The evidence in shaken-baby cases is sometimes far from concrete, yet prosecution is relatively easy.
It's not that San Diego's trolley stops are bad, it's the lack of density around them, says a new study. There was a huge landslide in Sacramento this year — of new laws. And the new executive director of the San Diego Opera is accused of causing the Gotham Chamber Opera to shut down.
The San Diego Unified School Board President is in some hot water. Women Marines fighting for combat-readiness. The California Public Utilities Commission has a new chair, if that makes a difference. San Diego County Supervisors want nuclear waste out of San Onofre — now.
Austin Beutner leaves the newspaper biz unwillingly. Cory Briggs' lawsuit against INewsource is thrown out of court. This year's El Nino still looks really big -- could it bust the drought?
Manchester's Navy Broadway complex is one step closer to breaking ground. Toni Atkins has lost her speakership. Two county supervisors find themselves fighting for their seats. And Poway Unified's superintendent altered a critical report.
Local police departments have issues to deal with. The killer of SDPD officer Archie Buggs is up for parole — again. Chief Shelley Zimmerman's efforts at transparency, especially with videos, have come up short. A lethal shooting in Oceanside highlights how little cops know about mental illness.
Huge planned developments are riling up residents of Carlsbad and the rural backcountry near Valley Center. Meanwhile, three luxury hotels on Harbor Island may not be built at all, unless developers can comply with a little-known law.
Southern California Edison vs. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over who's to blame for San Onofre. The city's stadium financing plan may (or may not) be moot. And new life-saving drugs are available, but cost as much as a house.
Edison's in hot water over secret meetings with utility regulators, while ratepayers foot a huge bill for San Onofre's closure. The CEO of the North County Transit District is under fire and in court over charges of age and gender bias.
It's only 48 years old, but Lindbergh Field's Terminal One is approaching the end of its life. Being detained by ICE means entering an alternate legal universe. And should downtown public toilets stay? Or should they go?
Increased competition and other factors led Qualcomm to announce layoffs this week and perhaps consider a restructure. A San Diego Superior Court judge has ruled that UC San Diego prevented a student accused of sexual assault from getting a fair hearing. And hopes are high that the Balboa Park Conservancy can raise millions for needed repairs.
The San Diego City Council authorizes $2.1 million for an environmental report for a new Chargers stadium. Who's running against the mayor? So far, nobody. UCSD sues USC over alleged poaching of an Alzheimer's study. Chula Vista breaks itself into four districts.
Is a new Chargers stadium a bad deal for the city? California may ban holding juvenile offenders in solitary confinement. And a proposed expansion of State Route 94 runs into opposition.
The CPUC is changing electricity rates, which won't be good for the solar industry. A lawsuit over concealed weapons permits is in the 9th Circuit. A local high school says students can learn to speak English and master other subjects at the same time.
Wave goodbye to the Chargers and hello to a new Padres manager. Plus, why are SDG&E's electricity rates the highest in Southern California, and is it true that many San Diego restaurants regularly steal from their workers?
Supervisor Dave Roberts' troubles threaten his seat on the county board. Is the city's call for a Dec. 15 vote on the stadium genuine? The skirmish between homeowners and beach protectors in North County heads to court.
There's unhappiness in the air. The Feds are not happy with the way the North County Transit District administers contracts and grants. People who love Balboa Park are not happy with its condition. Tijuanans are unhappy about renewed drug violence. Baja California farmworkers, however, are happier than they were Thursday.
San Diego attorney Cory Briggs seems to have a problem following state and federal rules with his multitudinous nonprofits. San Diego city lifeguards are not happy. They would like to get the same presumptive medical coverage firefighters and police get. And Denti-Cal reimbursement rates are so low, dental clinics are opting out.
A compromise between rival developers is reached on One Paseo in Carmel Valley. But so far nothing of the sort is in the works between the city and the Chargers on a new stadium.
- May 15
- By Pat Finn
Ah, the irony. A Roundtable on the effects of our severe drought broadcasts as we take cover from a drenching rainstorm. Wildfires and more severe water rationing may be postponed a bit, but they're coming to this semi-arid corner of the Golden State. And that will mean changes in priorities, lifestyle, and growth and development, for starters.
"Papa" Doug Manchester sells his baby, U-T San Diego. With more than $4 billion in construction funds, SDUSD often favors stadiums over classrooms. A sewage backup at Balboa Park last Sunday is emblematic of a huge maintenance backlog.
It's May 2015. Do you know where (or who) your political candidates are? Chula Vista's trouble completing its city council is not over. And water use among public agencies in the city of San Diego went up by 19 percent.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer talks about the chances of the Chargers staying in San Diego, his proposed 2016 budget, and enforcing mandatory water restrictions.
The mayor proposed a budget for 2016. Most observers liked it. The farmworkers' strike in Baja California has ended, but the ramifications for U.S. companies continue. A Marine's widow files suit over her husband's suicide in the Vista Jail.
The results of the federal audit of the SDPD are in. Government leaders in Baja are accusing a newspaper chain of extortion. And the Salton Sea is still in deep trouble and the consequences more apparent.
Aaron Harvey could spend the rest of his life in prison based on his presumed association with gangs. Want to rent a room to a vacationer? It's harder than it seems. And El Centro Regional Medical Center has contracted for abortion services with Planned Parenthood spurring protests.
The California Supreme Court struck down part of Jessica's Law. State and federal authorities are investigating whether California public utilities commissioners were too chummy with those they regulate. And surprise! It takes less time to get a development permit in San Diego than it did nine years ago.
Prominent San Diego attorney Cory Briggs is involved in some real estate deals that some find questionable. The controversial One Paseo development in Carmel Valley sails through the San Diego City Council. The Marine Corps is exploring whether women can take on combat roles.
The Chargers have entered into a surprise agreement with the hated Oakland Raiders to occupy a stadium in an L.A. suburb -- together. Landlords with rafts of health and safety code violations aren't called to account by the city.
Bribery accusations highlight the prolonged battle between Mexican businessman Jose Azano and Sempra Energy. Will increased take-home pay mean more San Diego Police Department officers stay here? And what's up with all the waterfront proposals?
The improbable rise of measles in California. Building a new stadium turns out to be a questionable business decision for the Chargers. Several tax increases may land on the June and November ballots in 2016.
It takes over three years to stop a dentist who harms patients in California. The County Board of Supervisors finally moves to implement Laura's Law, mandating treatment for the dangerous mentally ill. Law enforcement can seize your car, cash, and weapons without charging you with a crime.
On Roundtable: Plans to bury San Onofre's nuclear waste along the coast; costs that drive San Diego businesses crazy; challenges facing SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
The State of the City speech was heavy on task forces — Chargers/convention center expansion, jobs' skills — and somewhat light on the details. Meanwhile the plan for an NFL stadium in LA moves forward. And the sheriff's department is using intelligence to target ex-offenders likely to commit crimes.
The governor goes greener — and fiscally leaner. A concussion last fall at a La Jolla High football game has ramifications. And the FBI is on the case of corrupt Calexico cops.
2014 wasn't all bad. Of course, it wasn't that good either. The national issue of campus sexual assault plagued SDSU. The SDPD had nearly stopped collecting racial data. San Onofre will close, but only with a lot of money from ratepayers. And there's still a drought.
In 2014 there was drama in the 52nd Congressional District, behind the scenes at the San Diego Opera, and among taxi owners and drivers. But pretty much none at all in the residential housing market, which is a good thing.
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.
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.
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.