Stories for March 2000

Thursday, March 30

Goodbye To Booze, Hooch, Juice, John Barleycorn, Firewater, Rotgut, Spirits, A Drop Of The Creature, The Hair Of The Dog, A Stiff Belt, A Cold One, A Cocktail, A Snootfull

It is 9:30 on a crisp morning in Hillcrest. The sun is out after a chill rain yesterday, and I notice for the first time that the monkey flowers beneath my window have blossomed the ...

Survey San Diego County's southern inland domain from the craggy summits of Lawson and Gaskill peaks.

Lawson and Gaskill Peaks, near Alpine and Jamul, help define the serrated mountain skyline we San Diegans see on the sunrise side of our county. Atop either peak, on a clear winter or spring day, ...

The Land Invaders

Don Manuel lives where the border fence ends, in the mountains east of Tijuana. He's heard about the murder of the police chief, about the execution of the lawyer who represented the man allegedly behind ...

A Local's Colors

San Diego has been host to a number of public-art fiascoes. Most recent was Nancy Rubins's boat-hull leviathan, which was planned to span Harbor Drive. Public outcry sank that before it happened. That revived memories ...

Going to the Source

With narco-related violence raging in Tijuana and beginning to cross over into San Diego, a big real estate project along the Mexican border -- complete with conference center, hotel, swimming pool, and a shopping center ...

Does KFC use test tube chickens?

Heymatt: One of my loopier friends, Brian Kitlinger, claims that Kentucky Fried Chicken uses genetically engineered "tube chickens" instead of real chickens for their tasty meals. Since Brian puts such faith in your wisdom, could ...

If water finds its own level, can you explain the need for the Panama canal?

Dear Matthew Alice: Who do I turn to when no one else has the answer? You, of course. Water finds its own level, right? RIGHT! Then explain the need for the Panama Canal. Except for ...

Wednesday, March 29

Discover Orange County's Oak Canyon Nature Center and try out its short trail system.

Oak Canyon Nature Center, a 60-acre natural park tucked amid the hilly housing tracts of eastern Anaheim, offers small kids (and their interested parents) plenty of room to roam on its tightly nested five miles' ...

Thursday, March 23

Never Die

Like many newly married couples, Cristen and Jeffry Hays wanted to get pregnant soon after their wedding in 1992 but felt it best to wait. They used birth control until Jeffry finished three years of ...

Learn how you can ascend San Jacinto Peak from base to top, an elevation gain of more than 10,000 feet.

Did you know that the trail hike with the greatest elevation gain in all of America lies only a hundred miles from San Diego? The starting point is the west end of Ramon Road in ...

    Jack Got a Much Bigger Present Than He Thought

    I turned 38 last week. I had a quiet birthday. Last year for my birthday, I got a babysitter and took myself to the Belissima Day Spa in Escondido for an hour massage. This year, ...

    Punk Danish

    I once walked into a dermatologist’s office with a nasty, unnatural-colored inflammation around my fingertips. Right off, I thought it was leprosy. The doctor looked at it in a cursory way, not too interested, and ...

    Art of Glass

    For the past 25 years, Peter Dreher, an artist from Freiburg, Germany, has painted the same 100-year-old, half-liter glass 3200 times. Dreher's method is simple: in either day or night, in either artificial or natural ...

    Legalize It!

    As you'd expect of an architect, Héctor Osuna Jaime explains what he means by drawing on his paper napkin. Two football teams. "This is them. The narco-traffickers. They know everybody on their side is on ...

    Mobbed Up

    The Brooklyn native with ties to the mob (busted here two years ago by U.S. Marshals as he attempted to flee from his posh Pacific Beach hideout) has been convicted of attempted murder and obstruction ...

    What is the Yellow Rose seen from Highway 94 about?

    Hello, Matt: Thanks for taking my call. First-time caller; long-time listener. What's the story on the sculpture of a large, single yellow rose on the western outskirts of Lemon Grove? The sculpture in question is ...

    Thursday, March 16

    Drive to the Sky

    “How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!” Hart Crane, the great and doomed American poet wrote in astonishment about the Brooklyn Bridge, which he loved not only for its architectural beauty but also because ...

    Discover spectacular desert views, sandstone sculptures, and marine fossils in the Domelands of the Coyote Mountains near Ocotillo.

    Caught in the grip of faults and folds, the corrugated landscape of the Domelands exposes millions of years of geologic history. This is a good place to view marine fossils aplenty, but you can't collect ...

    Scandal Town

    That burgeoning scandal in the office of District Attorney Paul Pfingst is threatening to suck in some big names from the San Diego establishment, among them attorney and University of California regent John Davies. According ...

    How many variations are there of the fast-food Mexican restaurant Roberto's?

    Dear Matthew: How many variations are there of the fast-food Mexican restaurant Roberto's in San Diego County? I've seen Royberto's and Humberto's, to name a couple. Is there any relation between the various mutations? -- ...

    Thursday, March 9

    Explore Swiss-cheese rock at Mojave National Preserve's Hole-in-the-Wall recreation site.

    East Mojave National Preserve, a vast, empty sprawl of desert sand, alkali flats, cinder cones, and skeletal mountains, lies wedged between Interstates 15 and 40 east of Barstow, south of Baker, and west of the ...

    Doors to Open, Doors to Close

    How much does the world care that 80 people have been murdered in Tijuana in the last two months? Not much, except when one is Tijuana's police chief, says Victor Clark Alfaro, director of Tijuana's ...

    Fishy Delivery

    It's the stuff of urban legend, like sharks swimming through city sewers: the dead catfish delivered to the Reader offices on India Street the day after the paper featured "Are the Padres Married to the ...

    Barbie vs. Luce, Forward

    San Diego's Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps, the venerable downtown law firm, is being sued for slander and libel in a Los Angeles court by none other than Mattel, Inc., the maker of Barbie dolls. ...

    How many spiders do you eat at night when you are sleeping?

    Hey, Matt: About a year ago on the radio there was a call-in trivia question that went something like this. "Every year, the average person eats four of these in their sleep." The answer was ...

    Who are the Gideons?

    Dear Matt: Who are the Gideons? Are they a cult? How do they get the Bibles into the hotel rooms without anyone seeing them? Are they ninjas or something? Should I be scared of them ...

    Thursday, March 2

    San Diego Danger Zones

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

    Cycle-tour the back roads of Guajome and Morro Hills, north and east of Oceanside.

    Bicycle riding in the hills north of Oceanside is like touring the roof of North County -- at least on a clear day. Views stretch east to the Palomar Mountains, west to the ocean, and ...

    Old Skin

    When I drove for the Red Cross it was my job to pick people up at their homes and drive them to their doctors’ appointments or to restaurants or grocery stores. Convalescent groups were more ...

    No Drive-Through in My Driveway

    The fast-food vendor that owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is concocting a new recipe for San Diego's Golden Hill community. Tricon Global Restaurants Inc. proposes to rebuild its aging Kentucky Fried ...

    Danger at Quick-Death Canyon

    The Lariat is on the verge of sliding. You can feel it. Celso Rodríguez grinds to a halt. He gingerly eases the Ford truck back down the hill. At the bottom he gets out and ...

    Leap of Faith

    San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell has had her hands full lately, what with trying to decide the fate of all the lawsuits and motions that have piled up in the matter of John ...

    A Lesson For Us All

    This morning’s news flash states that bridge will be a demonstration sport at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Those pointy-headed Olympic bureaucrats obviously don’t understand that tournament bridge is a contact competition. ...

    Do you get more wet by walking or running in the rain?

    Hey, Matt: This has been a puzzle to me for a long time. Since it has been raining lately, I'd appreciate your help. How do you stay drier, by walking through the rain so the ...

    What is the 80/20 theory?

    Mattman: I find the 80/20 rule to be very useful and applicable to many situations I run into. A friend once told me who came up with this concept and the name of the book ...

    Could you tell me why, since "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die," I'm stuck in Folsom prison, in California?

    Dear Matthew Alice: Could you tell me why, since "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die," I'm stuck in Folsom prison, in California? -- J. Cash, San Diego The true episode ...