Stories for April 1998

Thursday, April 30

Triumph of Hope Over Experience

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Wrong Way Love

It was one of the worst shootings in Michigan for a long time. On November 14, 1996, Gerald Atkins, a 29-year old ex-soldier and glassmaker, shot his way into a Ford auto plant in Wixom, ...

Child Sex in Tijuana

A shocking report from the United Nations claims Tijuana is the child-abuse capital of Mexico. And San Diego is part part of the problem. The report, delivered last week in Geneva to the 54th session ...

Lies, lies, lies

City hall sources are scoffing at City Manager Michael Uberuaga's promise in last week's Union-Tribune to hold the cost of the proposed taxpayer-funded convention center expansion to $216 million. "What hogwash," says an insider with ...

Serene Barker Valley, hidden on Palomar's flank, attracts hikers and backpackers to its stream and waterfalls.

Tucked into a dry and isolated corner of the Cleveland National Forest, the oak-rimmed oasis of Barker Valley is an incredible surprise. The perennial west fork of the San Luis Rey River gurgles through the ...

Why do planes leave a vapor trail?

Dear Matt: Why do some high-flying large planes leave vapor trails that remain long after the plane is out of sight, while others leave vapor trails that dissipate quickly just a short distance behind the ...

How do they make toothpicks?

Dear Matthew Alice: How do they make toothpicks? I asked my dad, but he doesn't know. He said to ask you. -- Brian, age 7, San Carlos Hi, Brian. Welcome to Matthew Alice's neighborhood. Can ...

What causes hiccups, and what is the cure?

Matt: What's with hiccups? What are our stomachs doing down there? And once and for all, what's the cure? -- C.F., Spring Valley Our stomachs? Our stomachs are just hanging around digesting, I guess. And ...

Thursday, April 23

San Diego Confidential

Should You Read This Story? Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. — Mark Twain Should you read this story? Let me help you answer ...

Eat Your Luminous Greens

If San Diego's Mycogen Corporation has its way, you'll soon be eating food from fluorescent plants and wearing fluorescent cotton T-shirts. Even Disney World in Florida is celebrating the invention. This month and next, Disney's ...

Possession Obsession

To his parishioners in Old Town and Rancho Bernardo he was just another aging priest come West to enjoy a good-weather parish. A reward for years ministering in frigid Minnesota. To the fellow priests he ...

Insider news

Newest members of the San Diego Taxpayer Association's board of directors: Jeanne Bonk, chief financial officer of the Chargers, who handles details of the team's stadium-ticket guarantee, and Nancy Chase, a political consultant who's been ...

Roberts Ranch Opens its Gates to Hikers in Cleveland National Forest

Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinet-maker Duncan McFetridge, affectionately known by some as the "Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest," two inholdings (islands of private property inside public-domain lands) near Descanso are being added ...

Thursday, April 16

Who'll Pay the Piper? The Room Tax Fraud

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Pixel Envy

Question: "Can people really get addicted to cybersex? I am spending more and more time at porn sites. My wife walked in on me a few weeks ago, only to find me in a compromised ...

Enemy on the Vine

Does the blue-green sharpshooter spell doom for San Diego's nascent wine industry? The question is serious for the county's largest winery, Escondido's Orfila Vineyards. This year, with a combination of a warm, wet winter and ...

Bones to pick

Chargers owner Alex Spanos is in hot water over some Native American bones that workers dug up at the site of a $6 million home the multimillionaire is building across the street from his current ...

Chaparral blooms in the springtime at Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve near Lakeside.

East County's Oak Oasis Open-Space Preserve covers 397 acres of oak woodland, boulder-studded hillsides, and mature stands of chaparral. Try visiting as soon as possible this month, when almost every living thing in the plant ...

What is the origin of the word "Bogart?"

Oh Wise and Benevolent Matt: The other day my friend and I were pondering life's little mysteries, and the word "Bogart" came up. What is the origin of this word? Is it in reference to ...

Is the crow population growing, and how do we control it?

M.A.: Greetings from Poway, the land of many crows. Speaking of crows, it seems that over the past few years, the crow population in the county has grown dramatically. (Or maybe they are ravens.) Anyway, ...

What qualifies as Stainless Steel?

Dear Matthew: I'm fascinated by stainless steel, the remarkable metal that doesn't rust...and yet I know so little about it. To qualify as stainless steel, what must it contain? Some stainless steel items are attracted ...

Thursday, April 9

Then Gabriel Said: The Pipe Organs of San Di

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Water splashes over small waterfalls at Black Canyon near Ramona.

In Black Canyon water has amply illustrated its mindless yet artistic ability to sculpt stone. Every once in a great while, a great gush of sediment-laden water tears through the canyon bottom, carving and polishing ...

Can a grill be put on jet engines? 9

Dear Matthew: From time to time, we see news reports about some jet going down after a flock of geese is sucked into its engine. This may be a dumb question, but couldn't jet builders ...

How do pictures get commissioned on US stamps?

Dear Matthew: Are pictures on U.S. stamps commissioned by the government, or do artists submit their work for consideration as with any other widely published media? Do the artists receive royalties, or do they just ...

Who Owns the Bay?

Lawrence Graf says the San Diego Unified Port District has no right to build any convention-center extension on land reclaimed from San Diego Bay because it's an illegal authority. The bay belongs solely to the ...

Diary of a Hypochondriac

I am a hypochondriac. I have been one for ten years, ever since I was diagnosed with lymph cancer. I was 35. Up until that time I was immortal. Now, I sit here wheezing, coughing, ...

The Northern McCoys

John Moores and his San Diego Padres haven't yet said the "V" word out loud, but plenty of other locals, including sports writers and editorialists for the Union-Tribune, have been mouthing it. The word is ...

Thursday, April 2

Jacumba: 90 Miles East of Here

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Enjoy bird and wildlife watching in the desert at Agua Caliente County Park's Squaw Pond

With nothing civilized around it for miles, Agua Caliente County Park/Campground feels like a true oasis amid the vast and desolate dry lands of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Tucked against the skeletal Tierra Blanca Mountains, the ...

Beginner's Luck

A few years ago a friend of Lou’s and mine planted a vegetable garden for the first time. George and his wife Sally lived in an old house high on a hill with an ocean ...

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Dear Matthew: This has been bugging me for years. What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider? They are in identical jars, except for the name. They have identical ingredients listed, and they ...

Should You Buy Diesel in Tijuana?

The fact that diesel fuel prices in San Diego are now as low as they've been for a while does not allay Michael Morgan's anxiety. Morgan owns AFM Transportation, a trucking company in Point Loma. ...

Golding's Tainted Money

Mayor Susan Golding's race for the United States Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer is over, but its ghost seems likely to haunt city hall for some time to come. Raising questions are the methods ...

Pro-growth and con men

As new population floods into San Diego, clogging freeways and beaches, pro-growth advocates often can't resist boasting of all the jobs and money that will follow. During the election fight over whether to build the ...

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