Stories for November 2001

Thursday, November 29

Did Casey Gwinn Try to Get Don Bauder Fired?

This hasn't been the best year for Casey Gwinn, San Diego's city attorney. The 41-year-old graduate of UCLA law school, who was elected in 1996 and reelected four years later with no opposition, began 2001 ...

Grisly Grinders in Wildcat Canyon

Highway Patrol officer Gwen Goodwin steers her black-and-white Ford squad car north on Ashwood Street past Lakeside's El Capitan High School until she comes to a four-way stop. Straight ahead, the road starts to climb. ...

Relating to the public Embattled

Relating to the public Embattled San Diego Unified School District superintendent Alan Bersin has tapped the ranks of local public relations professionals to come up with his new "Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations." ...

Can we nuke every computer in the country with one well-placed bomb?

Matt: Is it true that a well placed nuclear bomb detonated over the central United States would erase the hard drive of every computer in the country? I guess no one would really care whether ...

Where is Old Zealand?

Old Matt: I know where Old England is, I know where Old York is. I know where to find Old Hampshire, Old Mexico, Old Orleans. But where is Old Zealand? --Clueless, the Net New Zealand ...

Why does Mickey Mouse only have three fingers?

Hey: Why do Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy have only three fingers instead of four? I know Donald Duck has a wing, so that can be drawn with as many fingers as ...

Why does a mint make a drink of water seem colder?

Matt: Why does water seem colder when you drink it after eating mints? -- Fern, somewhere unspecified So you've been spending a lot of time sitting around the family room, sucking Wint-O-Greens with a Sparkletts ...

Where exactly are the boonies?

Hey, Mr. Matt: Where are you from if you're from the boonies? -- My Hometown, the Boonies Nobody was from the boonies before the mid-1960s or so. That's when the word "boondocks" was shortened to ...

Ramble with map and compass amid the tortured landscape of Palm Wash in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Thousands of years of cutting and polishing by flash floods and winds have produced the intricate rock formations and slot-like ravines you'll discover at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains in far-eastern San Diego ...

Thursday, November 22

Hard Freedom: Life After Foster Care

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

Wednesday, November 21

Hard Freedom

Leaving home is one of the defining events of growing up. The first taste of freedom from parental boundaries can be exhilarating. But for teens in San Diego County’s foster care system who have lost ...

Fear for My Life

It's Veterans Day at Lindbergh Field -- the morning of the American Airlines explosion in Queens. The parking lot at terminal two is half empty, and only five taxis are lined up for arrivals. Yousef ...

Too Many Mansions

Bart Boyer says he was always aware that the vacant acreage behind his Allied Gardens house of 21 years was going to be developed someday. But when you find out how much effort, time, and ...

Cash and carry (2)

The Partnership for Student Achievement, the political committee that last year funneled more than half a million dollars into a negative TV advertising campaign against San Diego Unified School District board member Frances Zimmerman, is ...

Why do some birds tweet and some birds screech?

Matt: Why do some birds make song, where others hoot (owls), caw (crows), or coo (pigeons)? What is the explanation for such a range of sounds from similar species? -- GC in LJ What's the ...

How do you get out of a sinking car?

Dear Matt: My friends and I were talking and started wondering how to escape a sinking car. In the movie stunt people seem to escape with ease, yet in newspaper articles it seems that many ...

Can a big meal temporarily affect your hearing?

Dear Matthew Alice: I recently heard that eating a big meal can affect a person's hearing. After a person has eaten, he cannot hear as well. Is this true? -- P.S., San Diego Can you ...

Hike or bike to pleasantly forested Henninger Flats, in the San Gabriel Mountains overlooking Pasadena.

Park-like Henninger Flats is a cool "sky island" in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains, just behind and above the cities of Pasadena and Altadena. The flats and slopes hereabouts have been the ...

Thursday, November 15

Chargers Vets

On my desk is a book that contains the name of every man who ever played for the San Diego Chargers. Hundreds of names. Under each name are three lines of text, the historical remains ...

Dot-Com Survivor

Bob Tommaso's view of the San Diego job market is grim. At 56, he is one of San Diego's many victims of the dot-com implosion, out of work since September 2000. "I was working at ...

Hot Mafia loot from La Jolla

Some stray uranium from La Jolla's own General Atomics, formerly known as General Atomic, has apparently found its way into the hands of the Sicilian Mafia, setting off alarms across Europe. The Guardian in London ...

How did six feet become the standard burial depth?

Hey, Matt: How did six feet become the standard burial depth? -- LB, Poway Was it ever? Don't think so. S'mattera fact, there's no law in California or in most other states that says a ...

Dogs can smell better than people, but exactly how much better?

M: While sipping on a cocktail, my Uncle Crazy was babbling scores of unproven facts, when out came the claim that our best friend, the dog, as a sense of smell 200,000 times better than ...

Experts predict 2001's Leonid meteor shower will roar.

Will the annual Leonid meteor shower deliver a last hurrah this year and next or fade toward insignificance sooner rather than later? By analyzing new data provided by the observed performance of the shower in ...

Thursday, November 8

Corpus of Joe Bailey

The beginnings of a lost San Diegan.

A novel from Mission Hills.

Interview with Oakley Hall

In 1953 Judy Garland made a splendid appearance at the opening reception for the Kentucky Derby. She was wearing a navy-blue, full-length coat; navy-blue, calfskin opera pumps with very high heels; white china beads; and ...

Julian's Apple Survivors

At this time of year, the pies in Julian are made with fresh apples from Julian orchards. The Julian Pie Company gets its apples from Crown Orchards in the Farmer's Road area north of town. ...

Condos Invade Little Italy

Ten years ago, construction was completed on the Rob Quigley-designed La Pensione Hotel, which sits at the intersection of India and Date Streets in Little Italy. The four-story hotel, recalls Quigley, was "by far the ...

Payback time

One of the most enthusiastic backers of 1998's Proposition MM, the San Diego school district's $1.51 billion mega-bond issue, was the Union-Tribune, repeatedly editorializing in favor of the measure, which had been packaged by district ...

Why do we eat chickens and not, say, seagulls?

Matt: How did humans come to their regular raising and consumption of chickens? Why not pigeons, seagulls, or crows? How long has man been eating chicken, and why is this particular type of fowl so ...

Who decides what songs are played on oldies stations?

Heymatt: By now the role of "independent promoters" in funneling record company money to radio stations in exchange for a coveted spot on their extremely limited play lists is pretty well known. But what's the ...

Explore the rich tidepools of Little Corona Beach in Orange County

Some of the finest tidepools in Orange County — indeed in all of Southern California — await you on this short, absorbing, and possibly time-consuming walk north of Crystal Cove State Beach. Successful "tidepooling" requires ...

Thursday, November 1

How Bob and Amy and Chris and Samantha and Ted and Roy and Kurt and Becky Found Love on the World Wide Web

BOB | Age: 35 Q How did you meet your Internet date? A I met her when she responded to the ad that I placed on Love@aol. She’s the only girl who responded to me. ...

Kolender's Friends Chip in

It's been seven and a half years since Bill Kolender, backed by almost every member of San Diego's downtown establishment, demolished Sheriff Jim Roache's reelection hopes. Four years earlier, Roache had defeated John Duffy's hand-picked ...

Maienschein and Butkiewicz

With the fate of the downtown baseball stadium hanging in the balance and many of the city's other construction projects and pay boosts threatened by recession-induced budget problems, proponents are seeking to influence the spending ...

What's the deal with girls' bikes?

Dear Matthew Alice: Why are there men's and women's bikes? If the center bar was originally placed to accommodate "ladies wear," then what gives? I saw a newer design this week, and it was not ...

Why are some envelopes marked "Place Stamp Here"?

Dear Matthew Alice: I was paying my bills when a question occurred to me that only you could answer. Why is it that envelopes that come with bills are always marked "Place Stamp Here" or ...

Did Dr. Laura lie to me?

Dear Matt-Al, Knower of Any and All Stuff Profound and Minute: A couple of months ago I watched Dr. Laura on a cable news commentary program. She stated to her hosts that her TV show ...

Take a spin on a bicycle over the flat roads of Borrego Valley.

The sun-blasted desert days of summer are over, and Borrego Springs now boasts salubrious temperatures along with its bone-dry air. This community of several thousand residents (in the winter season, at least) squarely placed in ...

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