Policing the Police: San Diego’s Problems

By Doug Porter

As police departments nationwide are facing increasing scrutiny, local law enforcement agencies are finding themselves under the spotlight.

A news story based on internal documents obtained by the local NBC affiliate on use of force reveals the San Diego Police Department documented 16,238 incidents in which an officer used force in 2014.

A report in Voice of San Diego calls points out what I think are questionable “crime prevention” practices by the County Sheriffs Department at the Lemon Grove trolley station.

And then there’s the promise of a soon-to-be-released report from the Police Executive Research Forum under contract by the US Justice Department on SDPD practices instituted in the wake of several years of scandals and lawsuits regarding sexual misconduct.   [Read more…]

Is This Graffiti or Not?

Billboard Linked to OB Lawyer an Eyesore in East County

By Frank Gormlie

We all think we know what graffiti is when we see it, especially spray-painted tagging team symbols.

But aren’t there other types of graffiti?

How about the marking of public space by a group or company that mars that public space for a profit? That marking and marring of public space can be done by a commercial sign or billboard.   [Read more…]

Atheists Take a Stand in East County

Atheist Groups Sponsor Billboard in Lemon Grove

Right alongside 94 East is a new bill board in Lemon Grove. It’s quite a shocker if all you’ve ever seen are commercial ads, for this one is about religion – in a way.

It states very clearly:

Atheism – A personal relationship with reality.

The new billboard is sponsored by a coalition of groups that adhere to atheism and it went up at the end of January. The billboard is east and near the Federal Blvd freeway exit off 94. The groups include The San Diego Coalition of Reason and American Atheists, who spent $4,000 on the billboard – which did not appear lit up at night.   [Read more…]

Trying to Rent a Car From Lemon Grove Enterprise Without a Credit Card

As an attorney, I occasionally must attend court hearings in Imperial County, and when I travel that far east in this heat, I want a car with a good-working air conditioner. My ten year old PT Cruiser doesn’t pass that muster so, I decided that since I had a hearing at 1pm on August 14th, I had to ride to El Centro with a car with good coolant. I mean, my god, El Centro in mid-August!

First, I called Enterprise rental cars in La Mesa – thinking naively that my home town of Lemon Grove was too small to have its own rental car office. But was I wrong. I spoke to the guy at La Mesa Enterprise and told him I needed a compact car with good a.c. and that I did not have a credit card, but I did have a debit card. No problem, he said, all I needed to bring with my debit card was a utility bill with my name and address on it.

Well, I responded, I live with my partner in Lemon Grove, it’s her house and the utility bills come to our house with her name. Oh, the guy says, if you live in Lemon Grove, he advised, call Lemon Grove Enterprise and they won’t require the utility bill. Great, I thought, how convenient.
  [Read more…]

Lemon Grove Is Booming

Combination of Public and Private Funds Fueling Construction Boom in East County City

You can’t go from one end of Lemon Grove to another without seeing the telltale signs of a virtual construction boom. There are so many construction projects going on right now in this East County city of 25,000, just 10 miles east of downtown San Diego, that you’d think the recession was over and things were … well, rosier than they are.

Yet in Lemon Grove, there are half a dozen construction projects in process, exhibiting the fact that both public and private money are at work here. And on top of that, city officials broke ground yesterday at a ceremony welcoming yet another project – the promenade and park centered around the city’s primary trolley station, just next to Main Street and Broadway.

Let’s take a quick look at all these projects.

Another Pharmacy

At the southwest corner of the very busy Massachusetts and Broadway intersection, Walgreen Pharmacy is financing a new facility. I spoke briefly to superintendent Andy Dipalma of Savant Construction while inside his trailer. Being somewhat distrusting of strangers wandering through his site, Andy told me that the new pharmacy should be completed in September of this year. He estimated that the project employed about 45 people – bringing jobs to this sector of the economy.   [Read more…]