Stories for June 1999

Thursday, June 24

Explore the riparian woodland of San Clemente Canyon (Marian Bear Park) in Clairemont.

Eastbound in the right lane of Highway 52, the San Clemente Canyon Freeway, you can look down upon a long, slender, almost unbroken swath of natural vegetation: massive sycamores, stately live oaks, climbing vines, and ...

La Cosa Nostra Condo

It was March 10, 1998. A Tuesday. Early afternoon. Jim Schield and some colleagues pulled up quietly outside a block of condos in the tongue of land that hangs down into Mission Bay with Ingraham ...

Sisterhood of The Damned

Can Palermo, Sicily, help save Tijuana from its crime wave? The surprising answer is maybe, even though Palermo is known as the headquarters of the Sicilian Mafia. Tijuana teachers are learning that, as in Sicily, ...

George's Next Cause

With the downtown baseball stadium all tied up in knots, what's the next big municipal controversy to hit San Diego? Insiders say its charter reform. According to several reports, a group of self-appointed civic leaders, ...

What would happen if two Y chromosomes were fused?

Dear Matt: What would happen if two Y chromosomes were fused together? If XX is female, and XY is male, what would YY be? -- SB at college You'd think that a YY baby would ...

Why, when, and how did they use rabbits for pregnancy tests?

Mattaboy! My wife and I found out recently that she is pregnant, which brought to mind that old phrase, "The rabbit done died." This got me thinking about that wacky scientific/medical practice of using rabbits ...

Smashed Heritage

Baseball versus history

When leaders of the National Trust for Historic Preservation met in San Diego in March, they were heartened by the city’s efforts to revitalize North Pork via the trust’s Main Street Center program. They also ...

Thursday, June 17

Diver Down

Where the ultrahip go for liver damage.

February 16, 1999: Fat Tuesday. This afternoon, downtown in the Gaslamp, aren’t letting on that they spent the workday at work. They hustle across Fourth Avenue and yell excitedly at friends as police construct roadblocks ...

Ramble 8 miles along the Indian Creek and Pacific Crest trails in the Laguna Mountains

Summer is finally arriving in upper-elevation San Diego County. At mile-high elevations you can still find lingering bursts of wildflower color amid the somber pines and bright-green black oaks. For a wide-ranging introduction to the ...

Barney's Parting Toast

Kheder "Barney" Attisha gently refuses to sell a customer a pint of vodka. "You can't buy no alcohol. You drink it and sleep in the street," he explains. "I'm so cold. I'm so tired," the ...

Villa of the White Powder

Last week, a big marijuana bust in Chula Vista led to the arrest of ten suspects and the seizure of two tons of marijuana, estimated street value, $45 million. It made all the TV newscasts. ...

Visionary Costs

It has an extravagant name, and it turns out it carries a very big price tag. It's the "North Embarcadero Visionary Plan." Approved by the San Diego City Council last December, the plan has been ...

How is parking money tracked at Qualcomm Stadium?

Dear Matt: When I took my guests from Chicago to a Padres game, they were amazed at the "honor system" in the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium. Just hand your money to someone who crams ...

What is the fastest time up Cowles Mountain?

Dear Matt: Here's a question I'd like to know. What's the fastest time on foot to the top of Cowles Mountain? I started hiking up this mountain a few months ago, and one man, aged ...

Why do girls throw like girls and boys like boys?

Matt: I've been watching a lot of kids play baseball this summer, and I've been wondering why most girls throw like girls, while very few boys do. Are girls' arm muscles different? Does it have ...

Thursday, June 10

Hillcrest, Homosexuality, History

They pay their rent on time, they take care of the property, they’re clean, they’re quiet, they make it fabulous on your rentals

The crest of the Brass Rail rises into the sky, an insistent purple and flesh-pink-deco-kitsch rectangle, colors mounting colors. It might be the prow of a ship — a purple, flesh-pink, and terracotta ship, with ...

Explore obscure Crest Canyon, a buffer of open-space on the east edge of Del Mar.

Crest Canyon, an open-space park within the city limits of San Diego, helps insulate woodsy Del Mar from the upscale, bustling sprawl of Carmel Valley to the east. The canyon, rather like a shallow bowl ...

Zero-Percent Solution

Birds chirrup in the canyon where ernesto Dominguez's car exploded in flames. a month after someone shot the 21-year-old and rolled his Oldsmobile Cutlass over a 30-foot cliff on Otay Valley Road, a new meadow ...

Riders of the Del Mar Sage

I thought they were a myth. I didn't know wild horses, or mustangs, even existed. Turns out, 38,000 of them roam the open ranges of the 11 western states. What's more, you can buy a ...

Jawbone

Next Monday is the date set by a state appeals court for oral arguments on activist Jerry Mailhot's lawsuit to set aside last November's vote on the downtown Padre baseball stadium and John Moores's mega ...

Are chickadees and "tits" of the same species?

Dear Matthew Alice: A friend from Scotland told me of the coal tits that frequented her back yard. The bird book reveals that Europe abounds in tits: blue tits, marsh tits, great tits, willow tits, ...

Why does my telephone pick up other poeple's phone calls?

DMA: How is it possible that I can pick up my phone and feed into someone's living room/office? This has happened several times, sometimes without even dialing, sometimes after dialing only the prefix, sometimes after ...

Thursday, June 3

Tijuana Postcards

The boy has the ball in the air, right where he wants it, just high enough so he can drop his left foot and lift his right to keep it in the air (though he ...

Venture off the car-clogged two-lane ribbon of Highway 78 and take a bike ride on Black Canyon Road near Ramona.

North and east of Ramona lie several back roads offering splendid late-spring bicycle riding for those who care to venture off the car-clogged two-lane ribbon of Highway 78. Black Canyon Road is perhaps the best ...

Kingdom of the Padres

Like many merchants in downtown San Diego's East Village, former city councilman Tom Hom didn't know he was skating on such thin ice by doing business there. Hom thought he might benefit from the construction ...

Tijuana Head-Rush

'Yes, we have it," says Victor Ramírez of the Botica Sherr pharmacy at Third and Constitución. "It costs $10.09 per pill." He's talking about what some say will be Viagra's first real competition, a new-generation ...

Bazooka Gwinn

San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn has blown a huge loophole in the city's new lobbyist reporting law, allowing the legion of influence peddlers, who often ply their trade by buying food, booze, and gifts ...