Stories for May 2002

Thursday, May 30

The Scandal That Is The Stadium

As Ronald Reagan might have said, there they go again. Seven years after then-San Diego mayor Susan Golding proclaimed on May 15, 1995, that she had engineered an ironclad contract to keep the Chargers in ...

Embalmed Angel

Could the current '80s pop-cult revival include a resurgence of PCP use? Hitting its peak in the early '80s, PCP, or "angel dust," had notoriety as the drug that made its users so violent that ...

Mexico's Bargain Babies

'I probably average two calls a week inquiring about Mexico," says Brent Yoder, director of the Mission Valley-based international adoption agency Adoption Options. "I'm one of the few agencies that even indicates that I can ...

Cash and carry

When Amr Ibrahim Elgindy, the financial advisor from Encinitas, was busted by the feds last week for allegedly conspiring with crooked FBI agents to fix stock prices and extort money from companies, District Attorney Paul ...

A peek behind bathroom doors (assuming they haven't been stolen).

Dear Matthew Alice: Why do restrooms in public buildings have those special screws that can't be removed? All the stalls seem to be put together with them, and I can't figure out what they are ...

Where did the term hat trick come from?

Hello Matthew: I'm a hockey fan, and I've always wondered why when a player scores three goals in one game they say he scored a hat trick. What do hats have to do with it? ...

How do race horses get those goofy names?

Hey Matt: Why all the goofy names for race horses? They've got names like Harlan's Holiday, Essence of Dubai, Itsallinthechase, etc. Why not Blacky or Mr. Ed or Wildfire? --Pete Collins, San Diego Rich people ...

Climb San Jacinto Peak the easy way, with a generous headstart via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

San Jacinto Peak ranks a close second after San Gorgonio Mountain on the roster of Southern California high points, but its more sharply defined and imposing bulk makes it instantly identifiable from almost anywhere. Upon ...

Thursday, May 23

Desperately Seeking Blondie

“It’s humbling to be beaten by Blondie,” says David Fogel, who many times has stayed up late to play checkers with her. I tell him I wouldn’t be humbled if Blondie beat me. I don’t ...

Big Bite

Gary Sehnert works as the United States representative and distributor for several wineries in the Guadalupe Valley -- the Napa Valley of Mexico -- ten miles inland from Ensenada. Though he operates from his home ...

I'd Fight

America saw a return to patriotism after the 9/11 tragedy that managed to raise enlistment rates in the military. But will the escalation of aggression in Israel stimulate the same response from American Jews? As ...

Cave canem

Honchos on the so-called executive committee of the San Diego Unified School District have authorized use of dogs to sniff out drugs, weapons, and other contraband at inner-city Hoover High, and the practice may soon ...

Can news vans park anywhere they like?

Heymatt: My job takes me down by the courthouse occasionally. The curb facing the courthouse is restricted to three-minute passenger loading and unloading. As often as not, this entire curb will be taken up by ...

Coming attractions are called trailers because...?

Movieman Matt: Why are coming attractions called "trailers"? If they come before, how can they be trailing? -- Meetoo, the net Once upon a time, looooong ago in Hollywoodland, movie theaters showed two (yes, two!) ...

Do airlines not serve chili so passengers don't stink up the place?

Heymatt: Airline passengers are packed together in tight quarters breathing recycled air. Do the airlines make sure to serve food that is less likely to cause gas so passengers aren't fumigating each other during the ...

How to improve your radio reception.

Hey, Matt: Why do radios get better reception when you hold or touch the antenna? -- Breaking Up, San Diego All the world's a big radio wave receiver. Figure a way to hook an amplifier ...

Published May 23, 2002

At least a dozen Native American villages existed in the Cuyamaca Mountains until about a century and a half ago. These were the mountain villages or summer camps of the Kumeyaay tribe, who divided their ...

Thursday, May 16

If I'd Been Born a Woman

“Don’t be such a girl.” I hear the boys taunt each other at the playground near my house. “Don’t be such a girl.” Nothing could be worse. Most men agree. Sitting on the couch with ...

Their Mothers Cry Too

While Israel's war with Palestinian terrorists rages on, hopes for peace diminish. Some Jews in San Diego are hopeful, even if their hope is only philosophical. Alex Brauer, 79, knows a little bit about Israeli ...

Out of the ballgame

As the controversy over Peregrine Systems, the Del Mar Heights company closely tied to Padres owner John Moores, exploded last week, both the company and representatives of Moores were quick to deny that the software ...

Can I really make thousands of dollars a week stuffing envelopes like the telephone poles say?

Heymatt: Are the "Work at Home" ads legit or are they a scam? Does one who registers actually stuff envelopes at home and receive cash for every envelope that they mail out? I see them ...

Climb Mount Baden-Powell, the second highest massif of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Named in honor of Lord Baden-Powell, the British Army officer who started the Boy Scout movement in 1907, massive Mount Baden-Powell stands higher than any other mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains -- except for ...

Thursday, May 9

The Black Memory Market

When public television’s Antiques Roadshow rolled into the convention center the last weekend in June 2001, local collectors crowed. Suddenly San Diego seemed invested, artifact-wise, with the status of a major metropolitan center like Chicago ...

Will the Super Bowl Be a Super Bust?

With Super Bowl XXXVII only about 40 weeks away, San Diego city officials are scrambling to figure out how to stage the game the way they said they would three years ago. As time runs ...

School daze

San Diego's Kelsey-Jenney business college, the city's oldest institution of higher education, founded in 1887, has been placed on "warning" probation by its regional accreditor, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, reports the Chronicle ...

Does my dog have a belly button?

Your Mattness: I've always wondered, does my dog have a belly button? -- BJ, El Cajon Yeah, unless Phydo magically appeared full grown in his dog house one day, he had a mom, which means ...

When did network TV first show people in a double bed?

Hey, Matt: When did a TV network show people in a double bed for the first time? -- The Gang, downtown After a year or so of tracking a definitive answer to this one, we've ...

Do flies get sick?

Matt: Do flies get sick? Considering the environment they live in, you'd think they'd be fighting off bugs all the time. -- Bugged, La Mesa Heck yes, flies get sicker than dogs. But not very ...

Ramble along the Sweetwater River in the fledgling San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.

The little-known-so-far but ecologically significant San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes two units of coastal marshland along San Diego Bay, plus a much larger unit of inland territory near Jamul. Assuming that certain private ...

Thursday, May 2

Dirty Dancing

The Reverend Dr. Ted McIlvenna settles his massive frame into a large, overstuffed couch and invites a visitor to join him for a discussion about nude dancing, morality, the First Amendment, and political corruption in ...

Afghan Dust Jams Mouse Guns

Beginning with Vietnam, American soldiers and Marines have carried the M-16 rifle. And the virtues and vices of the black rifle have been argued by military men and gun enthusiasts ever since. The central issue ...

Copley Stadium

In most big cities, word that a Major League Baseball team had missed the first $45.8 million payment to a "public-private" partnership with city hall to build a $450 million-plus downtown stadium would merit screaming ...

I blew off that traffic ticket. Am I headed for jail?

Dearest Matt: I received a "red light" citation many months ago in the mail and never took care of it. A friend of mine also received a citation (hers was on a traffic stop) over ...

Peanut shells -- a new snack-time treat! (With a brief treatise on spit.)

Hey matt: I just love peanuts. I know they are good for you -- great protein, good type of fat -- just a great snack. My question is, can I eat the shell too? My ...

Visit the Peter Strauss Ranch, a would-be Disneyland in the wilds of the Santa Monica Mountains.

The 65-acre Peter Strauss Ranch, now a postage-stamp patch of open space within the gerrymandered Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, was purchased from its former owner, actor and producer Peter Strauss, in 1983. In ...

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