March 2017

20 years ago, Heaven’s Gate couldn’t wait

Dateline Rancho Santa Fe. March 26, 1997. A 911 call came into the San Diego Sheriff’s Communications Center. It was treated as a prank call at first. From what turned out to be a nearby payphone, the caller said something so preposterous that dispatchers took their time in relaying the information to central command. “This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the…


Turn Duncan Hunter over, he’s done

Step off Duncan Hunter, time to resign… You know the Monopoly card everybody dreads:  “Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.” Hello, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District). Looks like you got served. Hunter wasn’t playing with Monopoly money, unfortunately, but with $62,000 — that we know of now, it definitely was more — of campaign donor money illegally used for…


Hunter campaign finance gift keeps giving (Updated: Justice Department puts Hunter under criminal investigation)

UPDATED NOON THURSDAY:  “Rep. Duncan Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department over alleged campaign finance violations,” the House Ethics Committee announced Thursday. The Justice Department has now asked the Ethics Committee to hold off on any action against Hunter because of its own criminal probe into the lawmaker, according to a statement from Reps. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the chairwoman…


Don’t expect Lake Hodges Dam overflow

In a rainy season, Lake Hodges Dam last overflowed in February-March 2011 — it also overflowed in February 2005 — but despite the record rains this season, it looks to be standing tall and holding firm. The lake was at 75 percent capacity as of last week, according to the  City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department that has owned and operated the reservoir and dam…


California Congress members face quandary over Republican health plan (Issa flip-flops)

With the House expected to vote this week on the American Health Care Act, the GOP leadership’s first swipe at repealing the nation’s landmark health care law, California’s 14 congressional Republicans find themselves in a delicate position. Seven of them represent districts that voted for Hillary Clinton, and many of their constituents could lose coverage under the GOP health plan. Since the Republican bill was introduced…


Jig up for Duncan Hunter this week?

House Ethics Committee scheduled to consider Hunter financial affairs Wednesday Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) and his use of campaign funds for personal expenses is scheduled to come under review from the House Committee on Ethics at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. The committee announced the meeting in a Website posting Friday. However, before one gets too excited, consider that the committee previously set meetings…


Suspect arraigned in murder of church worker driving through gang war (Updated)

Documented gang member Dionicio Crespin Torrez Jr., 24, pleaded not guilty to murder, Friday, March 17 at the Vista Courthouse in connection with the murder of an Escondido woman who drove through a violent gang turf confrontation on the way home from Bible study. Torrez could face the death penalty. Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freehand denied bail citing “the allegations and my concern for public safety.” “On…


WorldStarHipHop founder Lee ‘Q’ O’Denat death due to natural causes, coroner rules

Rancho Santa Fe resident, and fabled founder of the popular and controversial street fight and music curated-video website WorldStarHipHop.com, Lee “Q” O’Denat died of natural causes as a result of severe buildup of plaque near his heart and obesity, the San Diego County medical examiner’s office said in a full autopsy report released this week. O’Denat, only 43, died suddenly on Jan. 23 of a heart attack at…



Financial interests behind San Diego deals worth billions still undisclosed

Despite overwhelming voter approval in 1992, three separate city attorney recommendations and an inewsource investigation, the city of San Diego is still not following a law mandating government transparency. After recent follow-up questions from inewsource, however, three city council members have agreed to address the issue. Section 225 of the city charter requires every person or entity doing business with the city to make a “full and complete disclosure of the…