Stories for October 2000

Thursday, October 26

Out of This World at Mt. Hope

The San Diego Union headline read: “Death Calls Founder of San Diego. Alonzo E. Horton, Beloved Father of City, Succumbs After Lingering Illness.” The date of the paper was January 8, 1909. He looked at ...

Warrior from Oblivion

When I asked Luis Valdez, the playwright and filmmaker, about his creative process, he said his work is often influenced by the Mexican muralists of the 1920s -- Siquieros, Orozco, Tamayo. "The murals of these ...

City Hall Confidential

For years, Mel Shapiro, a retired accountant who spends much of his time as a watchdog of the goings-on at San Diego's city hall, suspected that the city council was not being straight about what ...

Small nexus of friends

Some interesting San Diego business connections are coming to light as a result of the controversy over who paid for those TV spots against school-board member Frances Zimmerman. A venture-capital fund called Sorrento Associates -- ...

Visit Anza-Borrego's Mortero Palms, and make the arduous trek to the giant San Diego and Arizona Eastern railroad trestle if you dare.

As temperatures cool in the desert east of San Diego, campers and hikers are again fanning out over the spacious 1000 square miles of territory in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. If it's solitude you're looking ...

Thursday, October 19

Happy Endings

If you walk into a restaurant with Lee Ann Kim, it is a bit like that fabulous and continuous shot by Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas. In the movie, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) escorts his date ...

What is in the building at the corner of Ash Street and Fourth Avenue?

Hey, Matt: At the corner of Ash Street and Fourth Avenue there is a strange-looking, Gothic-style building. I've never seen anyone go in or out. Over the front door it states "SDG&E." What goes on ...

What's the deal with the house on the corner of Chateau and Verley in Clairemont?

Mr. Alice: In beautiful Clairemont, behind the DMV on Chateau Drive, there's a strange-looking triangular building at the corner of Verley Court. It's encircled by a fence and has security screen doors at either end. ...

How does a house in Mission Valley still stand in office-building land?

Dear Matthew Alice: On my drive home, I pass by a house that's in a weird spot. It's a yellow house that sits between Camino del Rio South and Interstate 8, just east of where ...

What is the deal with the name "Oliver" spelled out with white rocks off I-8, above Adobe Falls in Del Cerro?

Dear Matthew Alice: Off I-8, above Adobe Falls in Del Cerro, there is a house with an assortment of white rocks that spell out the name "Oliver." This landmark has been visible from the freeway ...

Who owns the gigantic yellow biplane at Montgomery Field, and why is it there?

Hey, Matt: At Sandrock Road and Aero Drive, on the Montgomery Field light aircraft parking lot there stands a gigantic yellow biplane with a four-blade prop. It's big enough to carry maybe 15 passengers and ...

Be Happy You Have a Kidney

Perky, energetic, and alert, Julie Hotz-Siville doesn't look as if her health is in danger. Her cheerful demeanor betrays no sign of worry or fatigue. It's hard to believe that at 45 she has already ...

Odd Bedfellows

When word broke two weeks ago that a group of local fat cats was paying for more than half a million dollars' worth of TV ads against San Diego Unified School District boardmember Frances O'Neill ...

Tax and spend

Dick Rider, the taxpayer-activist who went to court back in 1997 in a failed bid to throw out the now-controversial Chargers stadium deal, is out with a cutting critique of the San Diego Taxpayers Association's ...

Hike, run, or bike to the summit of Sierra Peak high above Corona in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Wait for a late fall or winter storm to clear the air, then try this viewful trek to Sierra Peak, a rounded promontory anchoring the north end of the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange and ...

Thursday, October 12

Leave Aside This Absurd Sadness

Like two predatory birds performing a mating ritual high above the mountains, twisting and looping around one another before they lock together and fall hundreds of feet, still spinning, until they break apart moments before ...

Fine Day for Sewage

In the time of Junipero Serra, Adobe Falls, at the east end of Mission Valley, was a year-round source of water for the padres and Indians at the Mission San Diego. Until the 1920s, it ...

Through the Air into Darkness

As San Diego police sergeant Boyd Long stopped on the Coronado bridge to check a stalled car, he immediately noticed something was amiss. The stranded motorist stepped away rather than beckon for assistance. "Then it ...

Computer cash

Contributions to the campaign of county supervisor Ron Roberts, a San Diego mayoral hopeful, from county data-processing contractors keep rolling in. According to disclosures made public last week, employees of Science Applications International who gave ...

Find out where to see and photograph the magnificent rising of the full moon over San Diego's city skyline.

Every 29 or 30 days -- weather permitting -- the natural rhythms of the sun and moon, plus the glassy exteriors of San Diego's tallest buildings, deliver a visual feast to those who are in ...

Thursday, October 5

The Art of the Cash Harvest

The politicians of San Diego have a well-earned reputation for laundering campaign contributions. In the past six years, no less than five major funding scandals have erupted, resulting in a series of five- and six-figure ...

I'm Always on the Go

The first thing you notice about Bob Guthrie's appearance is his hands. They're huge -- the hands of a man who's worked hard using them. His physique is unusually hard and lean for a 59-year-old ...

A Big Message

On concluding its December 6, 1999, session, San Diego City Council honored a community volunteer, but few people knew Janice Kay Loesel or how she died. Councilman Juan Vargas described her as a tireless member ...

How long will it take for the sugar in my hummingbird feeder to ferment?

MA of Reader: I was just looking at a hummingbird feeder outside my window, and I began to wonder if the sugar mixture would eventually begin to ferment. If so, how long would it take? ...

Unforgiven

Hollywood is promising a forthcoming movie about a famous scam artist who currently lives in San Diego, and now they can add a new twist to the story. Barry Minkow, who did a seven-year stretch ...

Where are lifeguard stations 7 through 9 in Mission Beach?

Dear Matthew: Over the years I've walked most of San Diego's beaches and noticed the lifeguard stations have numbers on them. I've seen them as high as the 20s and 30s. On Mission Beach, just ...

Why would people be interested in moldy corn from our fields?

Dear Matthew Alice: We grew a lot of corn this year, and some of it got this gross-looking gray and white crud on the ears, so we picked all those and put them out to ...

Hike to Lone Tree Point above Avalon on Santa Catalina Island for a great view.

The languid pace of life on Santa Catalina Island reflects its aloofness from the increasingly frantic business of living on the Southern California mainland. A weekend visit there is truly relaxing, whether you choose to ...

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