Stories for April 2001

Thursday, April 26

They Dabble in Stocks, Chow Down for Free

Over the past year, novice investors learned the hard way that the stock market can be a tricky place to make money. Yet judging from their recent financial disclosure filings, San Diego County elected officials ...

S.D. Cash Showered on L.A. Pols

For most San Diegans, the mayoral race of the year 2000 was right here at home, between Judge Dick Murphy and county supervisor Ron Roberts. More than $3 million was lavished on the campaign by ...

Gelded age

Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky won't be a player at this year's Kentucky Derby after all. Molasky built -- along with the late Cleveland-raised mobster Moe Dalitz and Barbara Walters's ex-husband Merv Adelson -- the ...

Union Blue and Dixie Grey

San Diego's Civil War Veterans

While the revolver was in my grasp, the weapon was discharged, blowing out the end of the scabbard. Before I looked up, General Coon, sitting beside me, gasped, “You have killed me, Grovesteen; I am done for!”

Critic of Inward City

New Work by James Hubbell

“San Diego doesn’t have the faith in itself that a place like New York or San Francisco has,” he said. “It’s partly the result of history. San Diego turned in on itself when the railroad went to Los Angeles.”

Long Waits, Big Fines

San Diegans who cross into Mexico by car are used to waiting an hour and a half to clear customs when coming north But local fishermen, whale watchers, and sailboaters who have traveled by boat ...

Descend the V-shaped gorge of Tenaja Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains, where water splashes and newts waddle.

As the gloom of a late afternoon descends upon the deep-cut, linear furrow of Tenaja Canyon, dozens of orange-bellied newts waddle determinedly uphill and across the trail, oblivious to my footfalls. The cute faces and ...

Thursday, April 19

Raptured

At the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, bathed in a strange orange light, George Lewis guides a reporter through a gallery of sludge pipes. Later this afternoon, Lewis — the composer, trombonist-improviser, computer musician, and ...

Our Students Don't Kill

'We currently have 20 kids here who've committed homicides. We get about one a month. In every case except one, it was an armed assault, usually a robbery, involving money, drugs, or both. The one ...

Dirty business

The Federal Communications Commission is using an old censorship case involving San Diego's KGB, now owned by Texas-based Clear Channel Communications, as an example of how not to run a radio station. Last week, the ...

Visit Palomar's Love Valley during the peak of its vernal splendor.

After a wet winter, the shallow ponds in Love Valley hold the shimmering, upside-down image of a classic California landscape: a weathered barn nestled at the far end of an Ireland-colored meadow, rounded foothills studded ...

Thursday, April 12

The John Moores Exemption

Why did Stallings take the fall?

The grimy facts behind Valerie Stallings' guilty plea.

Environment of Distrust

Patients get testy.

As I was completing my instructions to a diminutive 70-year-old Filipino gentleman with congestive heart failure, a knock at the door cut me short. “A patient is having a seizure.” Jo, a medical assistant with ...

How many bathrooms are there in the White House?

Dear Matthew Alice: How many bathrooms are there in the White House? In second grade, somebody told me there were 365. -- Silviano, Harborside School, downtown Here's a tip. Don't look at that kid's test ...

What is a lifeguard supposed to do when it sees a surfer get nailed by a great white shark?

Hey, Matt: If a lifeguard all of a sudden sees a surfer just get nailed by a great white, what is lifeguard protocol? Does he have to go try to save the guy, risking becoming ...

What is the meaning/origin of the word "honcho?"

Matt: I've looked through Spanish dictionaries and I can't find the meaning of the word "honcho." What is the origin of the term? -- Jake, San Diego Hey, gringo, not all words that end in ...

Is it really illegal to remove a shopping cart from a grocery store's parking lot?

Hey, Matt! Someone in our apartment complex is slowly amassing a collection (five so far) of shopping carts out front near the street. Yes, true, it's unsightly, but this person has no car and needs ...

Pio Pico's Disastrous Addiction

The Man Who Sold San Juan Capistrano

While he was governor, from 1845 to 1846, he sold or leased the missions. He needed the money to run things. He sold the mission at San Juan Capistrano to his brother-in-law for $750.

Roomful of Pain

One of San Diego's busiest emergency rooms is Kaiser Permanente in Grantville. At 7:30 on a Tuesday night, the parking lot is illuminated by an arcade of food vendors under bright neon signs. Inside, there ...

Wednesday, April 11

Circle to the summit of Condor Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, and return by way of Trail Canyon.

The all-day, 14-mile-loop hike up to the viewful summit of Condor Peak and back by way of verdant Trail Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains is well suited to properly conditioned hikers but punishingly difficult ...

Thursday, April 5

Traffic Spares No One

Traffic drives San Diegans to the brink

“We’re doing really good compared to other cities. We still enjoy something here in San Diego. If you travel outside peak commute times, it’s pretty much free-flowing. You can’t go to L.A. and do that.”

The Hidden Murphy Donors

John C. Funk, a Harvard-educated environmental law attorney with the law firm of Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava MacCuish in Los Angeles, represents some of the biggest companies in California, including the ubiquitous Allied Waste, the ...

Why is the alphabet in alphabetical order?

Mattster: Why is the alphabet in alphabetical order? -- A2Z, the net Hey, Matt: Something that has troubled me since childhood: Why is the letter w called "double U" when it is clearly a "double ...

Why aren't there mile markers in California?

Hey, Matt: You suggested that people check their speedometers using highway mile markers. As a recent transplant from the Midwest, I am used to all of the interstates having mile markers. But here in California, ...

Alejandra's Difficult Choice

'Let me explain it to you slowly, because my life is very complicated. When I was 15 years old, I went from my small town in Puebla to Tecate, where I crossed into the United ...

Soft money on steroids

If Arizona senator John McCain's campaign-finance reform bill outlawing soft money becomes law, one big-spending San Diego diet-drug outfit may not be happy. Metabolife, founded by Michael Ellis and Michael Blevins, once convicted on charges ...

Take a serene bike ride on Lakeside's El Monte Road, and get a glimpse of San Diego County's rural past.

If you're a bicyclist with an antipathy for steep hills but a love for rural scenery, you'll appreciate El Monte Road. Few rural roads in San Diego County can offer as long a stretch of ...

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