Stories for September 1999

Thursday, September 30

The Mr. San Diego Follies

San Diego has become an overbuilt theme park, a hollowed-out pleasure dome noisy with professional sports teams and the brouhaha of drug- and booze-fed street festivals generated for tourists, conventioneers, and high-tech moguls. Unemployment is ...

Ramble amid the fast-disappearing rural landscape of Twin Oaks Valley on a 12-mile bicycle ride.

North County's rural character hangs by a thread outside the rapidly urbanizing communities of Escondido and San Marcos. What better way is there to recapture the feel of that fast-disappearing atmosphere than on a bicycle? ...

Porn Again Christians

Buck Narrows is a musician with a cockeyed sense of calling. Armed with a guitar, a wah-wah pedal, and a brain a bit below his belt buckle, Narrows has set out to create a get-down ...

Cathedral Spirits

The parrot cocked its head to the right and smiled like your favorite grandmother. Its eyes were black and deep and wide open with myopic kindliness. Cloaked in green, it perched in a cage on ...

Chasing the Big O

The Union-Tribune has been scooped once again in its coverage of Padres owner John Moores's attempts to expand his sports empire away from San Diego. Last month, the U-T waited three weeks to report, without ...

Why do restaurants serve 5-7 rolls of bread when there are 2 of us?

Stardate 092199.1401 Oh Great All-knowing Guru: My significant other and I eat out twice a week. If we eat in a restaurant that serves bread or rolls, invariably they give us three or five or ...

Why aren't there any Vietnamese names in the Obituary column of the UT?

Matmail: Why is it there are never any Vietnamese names in the obituary column printed in the San Diego Union? -- Mort Schwartz, Clairemont According to the local Union of Pan Asian Communities, to find ...

Thursday, September 23

Deadly Weapon: Murder at the Burlesque

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

Enjoy scenic vistas of the Borrego Badlands from Font's Point in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

Like crepuscular creatures emerging at dawn and dusk to seek their prey, photographers are drawn to Anza-Borrego's Font's Point vista early and late in the day, seeking warm, low-angle light. Font's Point overlooks a shockingly ...

Gallery of Friends

What do you do if you're a superior court judge and you want to be mayor of San Diego? You take an unpaid leave of absence and ask your friends for campaign money. On a ...

Adela Does America

Adela Navarro Bello wants to know what the Americans' problem is with her people. "What gives? Are they afraid of us? Do they fear that, little by little, we Mexicans are going to take back ...

Dirty Zappa's Dirty Little Secret

In the mid-1950s a high school kid from El Cajon named Frank Zappa read an article in Look magazine that said Sam Goody was so good at selling records, he could unload a copy of ...

Why do some dogs get along and others don't?

Dear Matthew Alice: I have a question about dogs. Why is it that sometimes all two dogs have to do is look at one another for there to be a fight, while at other times ...

If everyone were a drop of water, how big a pool are we talking?

Matmail: If each person in the world were a drop of water, how large the swimming pool? If the water level is rising, how big the garden hose? Paint me a word picture. -- Doctrbones, ...

Thursday, September 16

Am I the First Human Ever to Pay Attention t

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

The Dog’s Cute, But the Owner Needs Work

Turn the knob, open the screen door… Wham! A roiling ball of shelties hurtles against it and slams it shut. Yipyipyipyipyipyip! Jumpjumpjump. Yip. Yip. Jumpjumpjump. Yip! “Scat, Jazz, Riff. Hey, guys. Quiet down.” Yip. Yurp. ...

How to Rate the Ratings

Labor Day Monday, the last day of the unofficial "Summer of Raunch," Megan Reina, a 10th grader at Montgomery High School in the South Bay, saw The Blair Witch Project with 11th grader Susan MacKnight ...

The Drug Dealer and the Real Estate Men

Cocaine and real estate often go together in San Diego, especially along the dusty strip of border land known as Otay Mesa. Some of the district's biggest land deals were financed by drug money. One ...

Unsafe

Ex-city councilman Mike Schaefer is off and running again. The convicted wife-beater who was once sent to jail in Los Angeles for being a slumlord has traversed the country over the past decade, campaigning for ...

Climb the back side of Palomar Mountain, from foot to head, by way of the Oak Grove Trail.

How's this for a challenging climb of Palomar Mountain from bottom to top? Start at Oak Grove, along the east base of the mountain, and climb steadily up 7 miles of foot trail and fire ...

Where does the Spanish Trail end in San Diego?

Matmail: I was in St. Augustine, Florida, and saw a cement sphere designated as the start of the Old Spanish Trail. It also said that the trail ended in San Diego. Do you know where ...

When San Diego sewer lines break, how do they know how much was discharged?

To: Matmail: When San Diego sewer lines break and spew their contents into the bay or ocean, how do they always know how much got discharged? Are there meters on all these pipes just in ...

Was there a First and Second Reich?

Dear Matthew Alice: Everyone knows about Hitler and the Third Reich. Was there a First Reich and a Second Reich? And what's a Reich anyway? -- Steve, the net Reichs, rails, gears, bases, rock from ...

Do Eskimos' have 20 or more words for snow?

Matthew: The question about Eskimos' surroundings [September 9] being always the same brought from dim memory something pertinent. Years ago I read in several places that Eskimos have 20 or more words for snow, slight ...

What happened to the small white deer in San Diego?

Matmail: What do you know about a fabled white deer that used to hang out in Balboa Park? -- Rick, the net I guess the white deer must be achieving fable status, because the details ...

Thursday, September 9

The sun is hot. The sun is yellow. The sun i

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

Downtown's Slow, Toxic Burn

As a biology student at the University of Colorado, Ken Rowland imagined becoming the next Jacques Cousteau, but a bout of seasickness on the way to Santa Catalina Island moored his career to land. Rowland ...

From Manhattan with Love

San Diego city councilwoman Christine Kehoe, who just missed knocking off Congressman Brian Bilbray last year, is off to a big fundraising lead in next year's race for the 76th District state assembly seat. As ...

Explore a geologic hodgepodge and an intriguing slot ravine at Anza-Borrego's Canyon Sin Nombre.

As daytime high temperatures in the desert sink from the 100s into the 90s during September, it becomes rationally conceivable to plan an overnight trip into Anza-Borrego's intriguing badlands. In fact, if you arrive in ...

Where did Ungawa come from?

Dear Matman: A few weeks back, a friend of my sons' came into my back yard, and when my black lab came up, he said, "Ungawa!" à la Tarzan. My dog sat. Does this really ...

What was the whirl tower used for?

Matt the Mystery Man: In Imperial County, not too far from NAS El Centro, is a "whirl tower" rising above the fields and dust. This tower has become a ghost of its former self over ...

Thursday, September 2

Waves Bigger Than Your House

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

God, Gays, and Casey Gwinn

'On Monday of this week in the San Diego Schools, at Pershing Middle School, where my daughter attends, I had to go and file a sexual harassment complaint against children who were harassing my daughter, ...

Cross-Border Columbo

Wyatt Earp couldn't. Texas Rangers couldn't. But Enrique Mercado can and does. He chases murderers and rapists and child molesters across international lines to wherever they're hiding out. In the past 12 years he's pursued ...

More Moores

Papers in Los Angeles and Orange County are full of news that Padres owner John Moores is scouting about for a new stadium in Anaheim. Not for the Padres, but for a National Football League ...

Find solitude at Potrero Regional Park, out beyond Tecate.

Potrero Regional Park hides in a spacious, live-oak-covered corner of Potrero Valley, near the forgotten south-county hamlet of Potrero -- east of the Tecate turnoff and west of Campo. The twisting but scenic drive to ...

Can you tell us about some of the music used in commercials?

Dear Matt: I was wondering where and who I can inquire about commercial soundtracks. For example, the nice jazz for the Infiniti car commercials or the beautiful operatic piece on the original Bellagio hotel commercial. ...

Why do clowns scare people?

Matthew, Guru of All Worth Knowing: I have a question that I'm sure most people in this sunny region are wondering themselves. Why do clowns scare the hell out of people? Any folklore or myths ...

Is there a basic self-defense class for men in San Diego?

Matmail: What ever happened to ordinary, basic self-defense training? What to do when an assailant swings a fist at you, jumps on your back, grabs at your lapels. Is such training available for civilians anywhere ...

What is the sound made by boxers when there is a punch?

Dear Mr. Alice: My friends and I were watching a boxing match the other night and we came to the collective realization that we are all at odds as to the source of that strange ...

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