Stories for April 2000

Thursday, April 27

What the Ears Love

Chick y Breier was there when it all began. This was after World War II, when the concept of “hi-fi” — or “high-fidelity” — was so new that most people didn’t even know what the ...

School Daze

A Kansas City charter school operated by San Diego-based School Futures Research Foundation, which is backed by South Bay billionaire John Walton, has flunked a state-university audit and may be forced to close unless it ...

Going Native

The cold rain, propelled by a strong northwest wind, lashes against our faces. Each icy drop feels like a pinprick as it hits my cheeks. We're not dressed for this. Native plant landscaper Greg Rubin ...

Battle of the Tongues

Lorena González doesn't want to use the "B" word. " 'Bilingual' has too much history attached to it," she says. "And besides, from what I've heard, you're very anti-second-language out on the West Coast. Especially ...

Mystery team

Who really owns the Padres? A limited partnership registered in Delaware, San Diego city officials say. In response to a recent request for public records about the team, Deputy City Manager Bruce Herring said the ...

Tortillas

A college friend of mine who hailed from England harbored both disgust and distrust toward burritos. He thought of them as seeping, seething sacks of food, secretive and primitive in an unappetizing way. I, however, ...

Why do digital things bounce up and down when you eat something crunchy and other things do not?

Dear Matthew Alice: Try this: Eat something crunchy (such as corn chips) while staring at a digital clock (such as on a microwave). The numbers bounce up and down! Why is this? And why don't ...

Why do planes flash their lights before landing?

Oh, All-Knowing One: I live in the flight path of Lindbergh Field in South Park (I love saying that), and I was wondering. Sometimes planes will flash their lights when approaching. Is it because there ...

Steer your mountain bike over 20 miles of rural roads southwest of Julian - near Eagle Peak and Cedar Creek.

Real mountain bikers don't putter around on pavement, which is why (if you identify with this description) you should try the following route on mostly dirt roads through the western foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains. ...

Thursday, April 20

Fairy Shrimp, the City of San Diego, and the Mayor of Poway

Royce Riggan Jr., a biological consultant in San Diego for 25 years, was driving back to his office at RBRiggan and Associates one Sunday afternoon in January. His route, from the west end of Miramar ...

Some Assembly Required

At 8:30 on weekday mornings, several small buses drop off 200 passengers at 9575 Aero Drive. The buses move at a brisk pace even though most of the passengers need some assistance getting off. By ...

We'd Like to Know More About Our Policemen

The man who decided to drug-test all the cops in Tijuana is satisfied. Marco Antonio González Arenas says the front-page color photos of police officers lining up at a table loaded with their urine samples ...

Breslin's Raspberry

Once again the Pulitzer Prize recipients have been announced, and once again the San Diego Union-Tribune has been shut out. Though the San Diego Evening Tribune won two of the coveted journalistic awards before it ...

How sanitary is money?

Dear Matt: How sanitary is the money that passes through our hands every day? I recently got some change back at the store, and one bill appeared to be spattered with blood. I was reminded ...

Are the parking meters near Seaport Village run by the Port District?

Matthew Alice: Saw these parking meters near Seaport Village. They blink red when expired. This is Port District property. How unusual. What gives? -- Downtown Sam, downtown (where else?) Jetted down there hoping for a ...

Are there more earthquakes now than there were 60 years ago?

Dear Matthew Alice: I've enclosed an ad from the San Diego Union-Tribune which provides "8 Compelling Reasons Why: Christ Is Coming Very Soon!" I'm interested in your take on Item 4, which states, "A recent ...

Climb to Orange County's high point the viewful summit of Santiago Peak via Holy Jim Canyon.

Santiago Peak is Orange County's point of highest elevation, offering probably the best urban/mountain/ocean view in all of Southern California. Under good atmospheric conditions, you can trace the coastline from Point Loma to Point Dume, ...

Thursday, April 13

Raised Not to Hope Too Hard

Sherley Anne Williams was delighted when the New York Times listed her novel on its recommended reading list. The book had gone into a third printing, and her publisher had nominated the novel for a ...

Take a leisurely trek through oak woodland in Poway's Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.

Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, 700 acres of oak woodland and sage-covered hillsides purchased by the state for open space some 12 years ago, has become a bright star in Poway's constellation of city parks and ...

Alex's Interlocutor

Timing is everything. For self-employed journalist Evan Weiner, it was good. For Chargers football team owner Alex Spanos, it was bad. Their chance encounter and brief conversation in the luxurious Breakers' hotel in Palm Beach, ...

Bonita's First Blood

When the kids get off the trolley at San Ysidro these spring evenings, you sense the bravado. With so much news about murders, cartels, allegations of government corruption, it's impossible to think about Tijuana the ...

Backward Investor

When it comes to her personal investing habits, San Diego mayor Susan Golding used to be mired in the so-called "old economy" of chewing gum (William Wrigley Jr., Inc.) and ready-made dessert cakes (Sara Lee). ...

Is there adhesive in paint?

Heymatt: My silly friend D says there is adhesive in paint. I think that is ridiculous! I read your column in the Reader today and thought you might know. What do you think? -- Groverg1rl, ...

There is an English Planetarium, circa 1810, is it accurate?

Matmail: I went to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for my birthday, and I noticed something odd. Upstairs they have, in a glass case, what they call "English Planetarium, circa 1810." It's really nice, ...

Who picks up after guide dogs for the blind?

Hi, All-Knowing One: Who picks up after guide dogs for the blind? Does the dog's blind master carry a pooper-scooper or plastic Baggie? If so, how do they know where the waste matter is located? ...

Thursday, April 6

Sellout

It's not easy to take on the likes of San Diego Unified School superintendent Alan Bersin. Subject of endless rounds of favorable coverage in the Union-Tribune and the darling of its editorial board, son-in-law of ...

Hike to Monrovia Canyon Falls just above the San Gabriel Valley community of Monrovia.

Tucked away obscurely in two shady canyons behind the San Gabriel Valley community of Monrovia is one of the most beautiful parks in the Los Angeles area: Monrovia Canyon Park. Adding spice to the rich ...

The Guns of Mexico

Gun ownership is illegal in Mexico. This statement has been heard more than once on Southern California talk radio. Sometimes a host or caller will qualify the comment by saying it is handguns that are ...

Chicago Does L.A.

When Otis Chandler, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, agreed to speak at Point Loma Nazarene University, he didn't anticipate his appearance there last month would be noteworthy, much less newsworthy. But only days ...

Feathering the Nest

The day Neon Systems, a Houston-based software maker, went public on March 5, 1999, its price shot from $15 to almost $27 a share, according to news accounts. And San Diego City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings ...

To Sir With a Whole Lotta Love Boat

‘We’re gonna work on our Jewel set now.… It’s called Jewelmania. Then we’ll do a spoken-word thing where each of us will interpret one of her poems. I’m doing mine in dance,” says José Sinatra ...