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Latest Stories

     
12/17/10   Broadway Pier - the hard facts behind the soft spin.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

I will assume that each of my readers are familiar with the ups and downs of the troubled Port District project on Broadway Pier, so I will confine myself to "the facts behind the spin". The basic fact is that cruise ships and public use of the Broadway Pier are incompatible. To illustrate this reality I recorded the following video in early 2010 which clearly shows the inappropriateness of using the Embarcadero as a cruise ship terminal.
More>>>
 
12/07/10   The TRUE story behind raising the CCDC cap.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

The California State Legislature created a process whereby cities can borrow against future property tax revenue for the primary purpose of expanding the supply of low-and-moderate-income housing. The process is called "redevelopment". More >>>
 
11/17/10   A "rogue" CCDC CEO, Fred Maas aided by a "rogue" Deputy City Attorney, Kendall Berkey.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

This video clip shows the craziness of City Council delegating management of hundreds of millions of tax dollars to an un-elected body like CCDC, headed by an unelected private developer like Fred Maas. When asked a simple question by Carl DeMaio, Maas arrogantly characterized the questioner's ethics as "Hale-Bopp". That was one of the worst displays of disrespect for an elected body I have ever seen.
More>>>
 
11/05/10   Who is right? DeMaio or Aguirre on bankruptcy?
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Councilmember Carl DeMaio's "Roadmap to Recovery", published today, says regarding the pension problem:

"Until the city reforms its pension liability, no tax increase will be big enough…no service cut will be deep enough…to satisfy the skyrocketing debt service on the city’s pension system. Like a bankruptcy reorganization plan, the Roadmap to Recovery is committed to restructuring and reducing our net liabilities in the pension system through reform of benefits for both existing and new city employees."
More>>>
 

11/03/10   Tony Young "explains" his position on WalMart.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

"There was a lot of folks who were disingenuous today"
said Tony Young during his own absurdly disingenuous "explanation" of why he voted for a measure that will all but guarantee that WalMart will not be coming to a San Diego site near you anytime soon.
More>>>
 
10/28/10   CCDC's hidden power renders your vote irrelevant.
     

Who is the most powerful person in San Diego today?
Fred Maas. Few voters even know his name. 
More >>>
 
10/19/10   Prop D is only the beginning of the war to preserve city pensions.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

The Mayor sent out this Notice yesterday:

"Beginning tonight, top city officials will hold a series of town hall meetings to discuss proposed impacts to the city’s budget. Participants will include Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone, Police Chief William Lansdowne, Fire Chief Javier Mainar, Library Director Deborah Barrow, Park & Recreation Director Stacey LoMedico, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Public Works Dave Jarrell and Chief Financial Officer Mary Lewis."
More >>>

 
10/17/10   Today's U-T Editorial is a "Wet Dream".
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Today, the U-T editorial staff printed this "We have a Dream" opinion. If this is the best our only daily "news" paper can come up with, then, like Apollo 13 said to Houston, "San Diego, we have a problem".
More>>>
 
10/15/10   Sanders is summoned to face the wrath of the City Council. It will be "Homeric".
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Here is the full SB 863 that sparked the outrage. Section 7 was inserted in the dead of night by Mayor Sanders and his developer friends without the knowledge of either the San Diego City Council or the San Diego City Attorney. It was then voted as part of the State Budget.
More >>>
 
09/30/10   Port CEO Charlie Wurster's sudden departure.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Charles D. Wurster, President/CEO of the Port District:

"I served in the Coast Guard 37 years. Also, the 100 yard security zone is the standard guideline and is most important on the surface of the water. (This space allows distance and time for security forces to make shoot/don't shoot decisions--regarding possibly hostile approaching vessels--during times of high alert.) Ashore, the practicalities of existing infrastructure are taken into account by the Coast Guard "Captain of the Port" who may approve a plan that provides adequate security with less set-back. That is the case for us here in San Diego."
More >>
 
08/31/10   Is Broadway Pier a Sanders' dirty deal? If so, with whom?
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Here is a letter from Christine Anderson, the Port's VP of Operations, dated July 27, 2007. In it she advises the Port Commissioners that Bill Anderson, the Mayor's Planning Director, had attended a meeting of the NEVP Joint Powers Authority (JPA) the day before. Anderson had advised Port staff that his boss the Mayor was unhappy with the Port's plans for a temporary cruise facility on Broadway Pier, that he wanted a permanent building there.
More >>
 
08/30/10   Carnival did not want Broadway Pier! Is there a hidden agenda?
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

On November 27, 2007 Carnival Corp sent this letter to the Port of San Diego regarding their shared vision for the future of the cruise ship industry in San Diego. Carnival warned that changes in the cruise ship business environment warranted changes in their joint vision. Carnival worried whether the Port's plan to spend $164 million in planned improvements to B Street Pier could be supported through long term cruise ship usage. Carnival pointed out that it could not "get close to the passenger figures" that would be required.
More >>>
 
08/25/10   The School District budget crisis - an analysis.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^


The San Diego School Board will meet in special session on Tuesday 5:00 P.M. August 31st to discuss this letter from the County Superintendent of Schools, Randolph Ward. The letter imposed a September 8, 2010 deadline for the District to adopt a revised budget that will be acceptable to the County Superintendent. In the meantime the District is operating at the pleasure of the Superintendent. He has the power to declare the District to be "not a going concern" at any time.
More >>>
 

08/19/10   The dirty deal nobody wants to talk about - Carnival Cruise Lines.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

This is the dirty Agreement that is spawning multiple lies about the Embarcadero Oval Park. The fact is that a Panamanian company, the Carnival Corporation, advanced the Port District $12 million at 4.5% interest to construct two home ports, one on B. Street Pier and one on Broadway Pier. The sole source of funds for repayment of this loan, which must be repaid in full by April 30, 2015, shall be a Special Facility Fee charged to each passenger while Carnival branded vessels will receive preferential berthing rights.
More >>>
 
08/17/10   Jeff Greene threatening lawsuits may not clear his name.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

On August 6, 2010 I called on the Florida media to investigate the sale and financing by Jeff Greene of 300 condo units in Ridgecrest, California that I had investigated and written about back in April 2009, long before Greene announced that he was a candidate for U.S. Senator from Florida. Greene had sold 300 converted condos in a former military housing project in which he is still the landlord for a substantial number of rental units.
More >>>
 
08/06/10   The Jeff Greene - Jim McConville connection
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^


What is a colorful Los Angeles real estate mogul/playboy doing running for the U.S. Senate from Florida? I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Jeff Greene's fast-talking, smiling face on national TV touting his qualifications to represent the State of Florida in the U.S.. Senate. Where did this guy get his cojones?
More >>>
 

06/07/10   Chula Vista's Prop G - an analysis.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

The heated arguments over Chula Vista's Prop G have centered around whether Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) increase or decrease the cost of public works projects. Both labor and developers accuse each other of increasing costs through exclusionary labor practices. But I think there is more to it than that. I think the truth is much deeper. This is not about cost.
More >>>
 
05/24/10   Would Lorie Zapf bring "strategic fraud" to City Council?
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

Lorie Zapf, a candidate for City Council District 6, is attempting to turn a bust into a boon. Last week Dave Maass of CityBeat broke a story busting her for being in default on her family home in Clairemont. Responding to CityBeat Ms. Zapf tried to paint herself as the champion of all families who are attempting to negotiate a modification of their mortgage with their lender.
More >>>
 
05/06/10   Strong Mayor = Insider Deals.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

I went to a strong-mayor forum (Prop D) last night at the San Diego County Health Complex sponsored by Common Cause and Empower San Diego, with guest speakers Donna Frye and Carl DeMaio. It was well attended, informal, with lots of great comments and questions. Carl and Donna are a great double act and the crowd loved it.
More >>>
 
05/04/10   The CCDC tax increment "cap" game.
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^

As my contribution to the public debate called for by City Council on April 27, 2010 when it postponed a decision until June 22, 2010 about whether to extend downtown redevelopment by raising its tax increment "cap", I offer the following suggestion: the City Council should direct CCDC to concentrate on the area east of 10th Street outlined in red in the picture below.
More >>>
 
04/24/10   Cruise Ship Terminal Financing and Berthing Agreement
    by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 
This Agreement is a must read for anybody who wishes to understand what is happening on the Embarcadero. It makes the infamous Charger's Ticket Guarantee seem like a sweet deal for the City. With this Agreement the Port Commissioners tried to cede control of the Embarcadero to a Panamanian corporation. They thought that by signing this Agreement the NEVP was dead. But it is not. This Agreement is legally flawed. The Port cannot grant what it does not have.
More >>>
 
  04/19/10   Library Lease to School District - another giveaway.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


Today at City Council, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith paid off a 2008 campaign debt to Ben Hueso. In doing so he indulged in a type of tortured reasoning I hope he never allowed in his courtroom when he was a Superior Court Judge. 
More >>>
 

  04/15/10   The Mayor's Embarcadero Plan sunk by Cruise Ships.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


One of the biggest mistakes Mayor Sanders made was to fall for whatever slick sales talk Steve Cushman used to cajole him into backing this used-car salesman for a third term as Port Commissioner, despite term limits. It has now cost him the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan (NEVP). It lies in ruins because of Cushman's cruise ships.
More >>>
 

  04/09/10   The Union-Tribune has slandered Marti Emerald
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


The following sentence appears in today's U-T article regarding yesterday's much talked about ethics hearing involving an alleged Marti Emerald campaign reporting violation: "The delay allowed Emerald to collect contributions to cover a debt that had not been disclosed."
More >>>

 

  04/07/10   The Union-Tribune is negotiating for the Port District
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


Read
this Editorial in today's U-T.

In hiring Ron Powell, a veteran Union-Tribune reporter as its spokesperson, the Port hired the ability to get friendly editorials like this to run in the U-T at critical moments like this.

This is critical moment for the Port District's North Embarcadero (Cruise Ship Terminal) plan. It needs to pull off another switcheroo.

More >>>

       
  04/05/10   Are the Port District and the Convention Center giving away public money?
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


At its monthly meeting tomorrow the Port District will be asked to consent to the assignment and assumption of a lease from Fifth Avenue Landing LLC (FAL) to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC).
More >>>
 

  04/03/10   Coastal Commission's "April Fools" Staff Report.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


Yielding to intense pressure from Carnival Cruise Lines, a Panamanian Corporation, and its political allies, the Coastal Commission staff has issued this Report, "Approval with Conditions", in an attempt to provide political cover for the Commission to grant an illegal "conditional" permit for the Port's cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier.
More >>>
 

  03/28/10   Is there a McConville-White House connection?
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


It is very suspicious that Jim McConville, the notorious statewide "straw-buyer" mortgage scamster, has not only escaped jail but has had his enormous debts wiped out by the U.S. Government using bankruptcy, while all the time the FBI has enough evidence to arrest him 10 times over.
More >>>
 

  03/24/10   How the Mayor's staff lied about the $185 million bond.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


Have you ever had a sickening feeling that someone is lying to you but you can't quite put your finger on how they are doing it? That's how some members of the City Council must be feeling regarding the Mayor's contentious $185 million "lease-lease" bond issue - those who are not in on the lie, that is.
More >>>

 

  03/22/10   The City's $185 million bond issue would be illegal.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


The City Council has docketed its final approval of the $185 million "lease-lease" bond issue for this Tuesday as Item 50 on the Consent Agenda. That's right the "Consent" Agenda. I intend to go down and "pull" this Item from the Consent Agenda so that Council Members may reconsider.
More >>>
 

  03/11/10   Is Municipal bond debt the next Wall Street scam?
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


Last Tuesday, March 9, 2009, San Diego City staff from the Debt Management Department and from our City Attorney's office acted as salespeople for J. P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street moneylenders, arguing before City Council for a bogus financial instrument called a municipal "lease-lease" that would put the worst excesses of the real estate borrowing bubble to shame.
More >>>

 

  03/09/10   Voting while under the influence - of money.
      by Pat Flannery                                                              top^
 


A recent land use vote at City Council provides a fascinating peek into the moral characters of our six Democratic City Councilmembers. The issue at hand was a proposed street vacation in front of the La Jolla home of Democratic Party mega-contributors, Bill and Lisa Barkett.
More >>>
 

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