Stories for April 1999

Thursday, April 29

A Sword for Its Army and a Lily for Its Heart

The eccentricities of iris love.

Walt swipes at his watering eyes. "Yeah," he says, momentarily gaining control of himself. "Oh yeah. We have stuff to talk about besides iris." "Ah-boy," says George. "Ahh, boy." For some reason George’s sighing tickles ...

Gumshoe vs. SDPD

John Stevens is a driven man. Back in the late '80s in Portland, Oregon, he taught David Stevens the ways of private investigation. Now, 12 years later, his pupil is dead. Last December 23 on ...

Website of the Unknown Surfer

Lance Cottrell, the CEO of Anonymizer.com, a La Mesa-based Internet service that masks the identities of its users while they are on the World Wide Web, wasn't always obsessed with online privacy. In fact, the ...

Golding's Piggy Bank

A city-subsidized plan to build executive jets at Montgomery Field may end up costing local taxpayers a bundle in lost revenue. Century Aerospace, a tiny Albuquerque-based outfit that has yet to build an airplane, is ...

Along the Mason Valley Truck Trail hikers and mountain bikers trace the route of an eighteenth-century Spanish traveler.

Two hundred twenty-seven years ago, a small party led by the Spanish Colonel Pedro Fages chased after army deserters from the Presidio of San Diego, trekking through a narrow declivity known as Oriflamme Canyon on ...

Are all police dept silhouettes that are used on shooting ranges black?

Dear Matthew Alice: A friend of mine has pointed out that at the shooting range of the San Diego Police Department all of the silhouettes the police practice shooting at are black. She maintains that ...

Why can't you flip a video cassette and use the other side?

Dearest Matt: Why can you flip over an audio cassette and use the other side, but you can't do that with a videotape? -- Reese, San Diego Reese, my friend, you can't flip over an ...

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

Hey, Matt: Why, why, WHY is there an expiration date on sour cream? It's already sour. -- JBee, Encinitas It's already a little sour. After three weeks or so, it gets reeeeeeely sour. Then the ...

Wednesday, April 28

Oriflamme Canyon

Two hundred twenty-seven years ago, a small party led by the Spanish Colonel Pedro Fages chased after army deserters from the Presidio of San Diego, trekking through a narrow declivity known as Oriflamme Canyon on ...

Thursday, April 22

Cunanan's Curse

The closeted connections of San Diego's notorious gay serial killer.

When Vulgar Favors, Maureen Orth's book about the murderous saga of Andrew Cunanan, hit the best-seller lists last month, a national audience was offered a sinister portrait of San Diego, far different from the image ...

Primal Silk Screen

You'd think that after three decades of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the people of Arkansas would be pretty tuckered in the outrage department. But Winona Martin, the owner of two San Diego tattoo parlors, recently ...

Turbulent Water

'I have a dream for Tijuana," says ex-mayor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán. We're sitting in Osuna's office on the fifth floor of a glass complex in the Rio zone of Tijuana. With its trees, plazas, ...

End of a Stalking Run

It had to come someday: the cancellation of Silk Stalkings, the trashy sexy-girls-and-hunky-detectives series that was the pride of San Diego's taxpayer-funded motion picture bureau and ran for eight years on the USA cable network. ...

Panoramic views prevail atop Pinyon Ridge, overlooking Borrego Springs and much of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Pinyon Ridge stands just high enough on the Anza-Borrego desert rim -- and therefore gets just enough rain -- to support a sparse growth of pinyon-pine trees. Hiking along this ridge, you get expansive views ...

What is the combined load capacity of all the pickups in SD county?

Matthew Alice: I'm new to San Diego, having just moved here from England. There seems to be a fascination with pickup trucks here, but I've yet to see one carrying a load. What is the ...

Were there any quarters produced in 1975?

Matt: My son is four. He loves to earn quarters. While sorting through his cache of coins, I was trying to put together a sentimental set of one quarter from each year since my birth ...

What happens to un-purchased milk?

I was buying milk at the grocery the other day when I realized a habit of mine. There's always "newer" milk mixed in with the older milk, y'know? There's milk that's due to spoil a ...

Thursday, April 15

This Man in Black: Why did they love him? Why did they fire him?

A religious life.

On a bright October day in 1962, two men stepped from the street into the front yard of a large brick house in Amherst, Massachusetts. Except for the fact that both wore black (and the ...

Busted Scanners

Bill Cheek has been fiddling around with radio equipment and monitoring the airwaves in one way or another since the 1950s, when, as a kid, he pried open a brand-new transistor receiver, tinkered with the ...

Bordering on Narco-Chaos?

'I would hate to be the president of Tijuana tourism board." So says Andres Oppenheimer, 48, Pulitzer prize-winning Argentinian-born Latin American correspondent for the Miami Herald. He was in town recently to speak at San ...

Eye of the Beholder

Noted Point Loma artist Robert Irwin, 70, suffered a minor catastrophe last week when one of his famed acrylic sculptures was shattered after it mysteriously fell from a wall at the Denver Art Museum. "We're ...

The most isolated stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail within San Diego County traverses the Caliente Wilderness Study Area.

San Diego County's 135-mile portion of the 2600-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) starts at the Mexican border near Campo, zigs and zags from one rounded ridge to another, and passes into Riverside County near the ...

Can you make a list of the steepest streets in San Diego?

Matt: Would you do a favor for all us bike riders and make a list of the steepest streets in San Diego? -- A. Rider, San Diego Dear Matthew Alice: What are the steepest street ...

Who was the original April Fool?

Matt: Who was the original April Fool? Where did the day come from? -- The Weaver Family, La Mesa Nobody's positive, but best evidence says it was a Frenchman. It's 1564, and the French king ...

Why isn't there keg beer in Mexico?

Why is there no keg beer in Mexico? -- S.B. in Clairemont Ah but there is, my friend. Not much, but some. In a few big Mexican clubs, mostly. Especially those run by Americans. Both ...

Thursday, April 8

I Have an Amish Blacksmith's Water Ladle Tha

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

A Walk Through the Badlands

The mesquite bushes are thick and sharp. Agent Gabriel Arias weaves up through them, climbing the steep trail ahead of me. He pulls the black pistol out of his back left jeans pocket. Click-clack! He ...

Flaco's Glass House

'But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." -- Matthew 6:6 The ...

Good Old Boys

Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger, that politically well-wired downtown public relations and lobbying shop, is expanding its empire once again. This time, the Republican-based firm that has handled clients such as the Union-Tribune, Susan Golding, Pete ...

Surreal landscapes of stacked boulders amaze hikers on a trek through Myer Valley near Jacumba.

Have you ever driven down Interstate 8 east of Jacumba and, eyeing the immense boulder piles that rise on both sides, wondered what it would be like to clamber over them? Here's your chance. Follow ...

Thursday, April 1

Mother Lawrence

It's not getting much ink in San Diego, but last week's "Inside the Beltway" column of the Washington Times had this spicy local tidbit: "A stork tells Inside the Beltway that Shelia Lawrence, the petite, ...

Fishy Game

State investigators are looking into "irregularities" in the sale of hunting and fishing licenses in the California Department of Fish and Game's South Coast Region, which is run out of headquarters here in San Diego. ...

Never a Dull Moment

The very busy hereafter.

Why go to heaven? When you consider the popular “Family Circus” image — sitting on clouds, playing harps, singing hymns, and watching the doings on earth as if they were some reality-based TV show — ...

If watching the Easter-Sunday sunrise piques your interest, here are some suggested peaks to climb.

You trudge ever upward with steady footfalls, steering clear of barely seen rocks and roots. Night vision rules, monochromatic and flat, supplied by the light from a three-quarter moon sinking in the west. As you ...

Brain Damage and The Border Patrol

'Slow down! You're not carrying animals back here!" It was the last thing Roberto Alvarado Galindo remembered yelling. The accident happened just before midnight on September 4, 1995. It bore a haunting similarity to last ...

The Masked Men Come to Tijuana

They come out of the chilly night. When they arrive in the pool of light at the top of the stairs, their dark eyes appear more startled and startling because that's all you see. Masks ...

Safe at Last

Under mysterious circumstances, Tijuana kidnap victim Georgina Romero de Crespo was released last week, a day after the Reader wrote about her monthlong disappearance, and is safe at her home in the Coronado Cays. No ...

What does evolution have against the tail?

Matthew: I was lying awake the other night wondering where tails went. Almost all of the dinosaurs had tails -- tails aplenty, tails to write home about, even the fast and agile dinosaurs, for whom ...

Why does raspberry syrup become "globby" when added to coffee?

Dear Mr. Alice: I am a barista at a local coffeehouse. Among the common items one finds on our menu are flavored syrups used to enhance the various coffee drinks: vanilla, hazelnut, and so forth. ...

How do you explain the seemingly parallel universe phenomenon?

Dear Matt: This question has puzzled me ever since I moved to Southern California. I am in my car waiting for the light to change to green. I am about 10 to 15 cars away ...

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