Articles by Brad Racino

Security gaps continue at local shipyard

HII San Diego Shipyard continues to ignore federal rules designed to protect billion-dollar Navy warships it repairs, despite an inewsource investigation last month that revealed shipyard security lapses and drew the interest of a local congressman. San Diego is the principal homeport of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and waterborne security threats have been a top priority for the Navy since the deadly terrorist bombing of…


HiCaliber Horse Rescue bites the dust

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, which has faced animal cruelty and fraud allegations for months, is being evicted from its Valley Center ranch and sued for more than $4 million. Brenda Markstein filed the lawsuit in Vista Superior Court on Nov. 26, alleging damage to the property, breach of contract and negligence. The suit names HiCaliber and its founders, Michelle Knuttila and Romney Snyder. The Brenda Markstein…


Dangerous human research at local VA?

Rep. Scott Peters on Monday requested a congressional hearing into allegations of dangerous human research at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, as detailed in an inewsource investigation last week. If Peters’ request is granted, Congress will investigate the allegations of two whistleblowers – Martina Buck and Mario Chojkier – who said former San Diego VA division chief Dr. Samuel Ho performed unapproved liver research…


VC horse rescue wracked by fraud, abuse

Attorney General’s Office halts HiCaliber’s fundraising, spending for failing to file tax docs HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit embroiled in allegations of fraud and animal abuse, can no longer raise or spend money until it submits proper financial disclosures to the state. The California Attorney General’s Office sent HiCaliber a letter Friday stating the nonprofit is considered “delinquent” for failing to submit federal…


Local bus drivers say show us the money

Bus drivers and mechanics for San Diego’s North County Transit District allege they are owed thousands of dollars in accrued vacation, sick and personal time from First Transit, a national company that operated NCTD’s bus service for the past seven years under a $178 million contract. It’s unclear how many people are affected and how much money is at stake, though interviews with drivers and…


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…


What happens to San Diego institutions if Trump guts federal arts funding?

President Donald Trump’s staff is proposing to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency that has funded art performance, research and accessibility since its formation in 1965, according to a recent report in The Hill. To understand how that decision would affect San Diego, inewsource dug into NEA grant data and spoke with local arts leaders. Here’s what we found: In terms of general operating…