Stories for October 2002

Thursday, October 31

Grateful to the Dead

Not long after my brother died and was buried in Oregon, I found myself in the depósito de cadáveres, or morgue, at Tijuana’s Autonomous University of Baja California. My hand rested on the handle of ...

Felons and their underwear: The truth revealed.

Mr. Alice: Once in jail, one receives issued clothing, to include underwear. What is the average life of that one-issued daily underwear, from one inmate to another, having been washed and worn for each inmate? ...

Squirrel Crash

During the past few years, San Diego's rural tree squirrel population has nearly reached extinction. Their population is apparently coming back, even though few people seem to know exactly why they died off in the ...

A Bicycle Isn't a Toy

The name police have given the crashes is "vehicle versus bike." Dave Rierson, who works at Mission Hills Bikes on West Washington Street, has been in three of them in the last six months. And, ...

Money club

In the final weeks before next Tuesday's election, downtown real estate mogul Malin Burnham has been pumping big money into the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, a Republican campaign committee that, according to its ...

Thursday, October 24

It Was the Biggest Mystery

It was the biggest mystery of the most controversial and expensive schoolboard election in San Diego history. Why would two obscure East Coast liberal foundations unite with some of the most conservative and wealthiest of ...

Danged gravel! I'm gonna sue!

Heymatt: Traveling down the freeway of life, the latest wrinkle on the road are sand and gravel trucks with a sign claiming, "Not responsible for damage to windshields." Huh? Did the truckers' lobby manage to ...

Interesting Trivia!

To: Heymatt From: Foxman Re: FW: Interesting Trivia! 1. Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors. 2. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. 3. Shakespeare invented ...

The color of sweat.

Matt: This is probably a really weird question, but when I work up a sweat at the gym, there's always some yellowish stain around the collar of my white T-shirt. Why does the sweat make ...

Who are you? (Who-who? Who-who?)

Matt: Who are you? I find no Matthew Alice in the staff listing. A nom de plume? An alias? Are we more than one person-- "Matthew" and "Alice"? I am plagued with doubt and can ...

Tijuana Germs Surf North

I n San Diego County, treated sewage is discharged four miles out to sea from six treatment plants dotting the coast from the border to San Onofre. In Mexico, one treatment plant at San Antonio ...

Do I Live in the 53rd?

Sarah Wells and Elizabeth Moore got a lesson in the way an American election works by assisting this year in the California primaries at their Spring Valley polling place. Neither could vote at the time, ...

Nonappearance

While Union-Tribune editorial page editor Robert Kittle is busy on KPBS radio and Cox Cable, boosting the downtown business establishment's candidates for San Diego school board and flaying their foes, reporters for the newspaper have ...

Hike to the summit of Garnet Peak for a comprehensive view of the Laguna Mountains and the Anza-Borrego Desert.

Although Garnet Peak isn't the highest peaklet along the steep eastern escarpment of the Laguna Mountains, its exposed position makes it a fine place to view both the pine-clad high country and the raw desert ...

Thursday, October 17

Real Hardcore True Punk

The roots of the San Diego music scene run deep. Musicians who began gigging around town in the mid- to late 1980s later became the bedrock of the diverse early ’90s scene, which included bands ...

Do ants sleep?

Matt: I have a question for you-- do ants ever sleep? Bill Goehring, San Diego Rust never sleeps, but ants do. At least that's what bug researchers say, and we'll have to take their word ...

Sex-swapping fish.

Hey, Matthew: My friend swears that he heard that all goldfish are born female but some of them eventually turn into males. Could this possibly be true? -- Ron, Santee I hope your pal's quit ...

TV frustration.

Matthew Alice: As a member of the San Diego press, I hope you will be able to answer this. Why can't the Union-Tribune obtain the correct starting times for many cable channels. All of their ...

How Do You Like Our Moonscape?

As we drove through the San Felipe Valley, Ann and Tom Keenan pointed out a lone house ringed with greenery on the blackened hillside. A small circle, saved. It's one of several hundred homes that ...

Political funding

As election time nears, campaign contributions continue to pour in from the rich and locally famous. In the race for district attorney, Joseph Wambaugh -- the ex-cop and crime novelist from Point Loma who, along ...

Climb Ryan Mountain for a comprehensive view of Joshua Tree National Park and environs.

Elongated Ryan Mountain rises above the boulder-studded plains of Lost Horse and Queen Valleys in Joshua Tree National Monument. The view from the top is arguably the best in the national park, encompassing the blocky ...

Thursday, October 10

This Isn’t the Same Country, This Isn't the Same Town

“On the morning of January 20, 1974, the police came. The neighborhood’s name was Tierra y Libertad, ‘Land and Liberty.’ The police marched right into the neighborhood. Perhaps they were state police. I’m not sure. ...

Burn Him Alive

While David Westerfield prepares for life in prison or an endless series of appeals from death row, most San Diegans have overdosed on opinions about his guilt or innocence. One group that has not been ...

Octopus Devours Chula Vista

Last summer's revelations about ex- port commissioner David Malcolm's conflicted relationship with Duke Energy should be instructive. It's no secret that developers have been in Chula Vista for a while; South Bay developers seem willing ...

Whose big idea were the wedding vows, anyway?

Matthew Alice: Who created the marriage vows "to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till ...

Secrets and lies

The strange case of Kotaro Nakamura got a bit stranger last week with the latest denial by the San Diego Unified School District of a reporter's requests for records outlining Nakamura's company's financial dealings with ...

Why can't I find cashews in the shell?

My Friend Matt: Why don't I ever see cashews in the shell? Do cashews have shells? Peanuts in the shell are cheaper than peanuts out of the shell, so wouldn't cashews be? Why can't I ...

Are jelly beans healthier for you than salt water taffy?

Hi Matt: Halloween is coming up. What's the healthiest kind of candy for me to eat? I like salt water taffy, but I've heard that jelly beans are your best bet. I'd like your opinion. ...

Bag San Diego County's highest peak-Hot Springs Mountain-on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.

Some of the loftiest -- and loneliest -- mountain country in San Diego County lies on the 25,000-acre Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. You won't find any casino here, but you will discover San Diego County's ...

Thursday, October 3

Does the City Care How Much Water You Use?

In recent years, the 855 employees of the San Diego Water Department have faced scandals, alleged mismanagement, media scrutiny, and the rebuke of the city council. All this began in 1999 when news stories appeared ...

La Villa de Hubba Hubba

By all accounts, Archie Moore was more or less an old-fashioned kind of guy. The "Old Mongoose," who died on December 9, 1998, just short of his 85th birthday, was the world's light heavyweight champion ...

Reading, Writing, Real Estate

No matter how troubled or dysfunctional its educational policy may seem, the San Diego Unified School District is still big business. With an annual operating budget of just over a billion dollars and another $1.5 ...

Party hearty

This hasn't been the best of years for San Diego State president Stephen Weber. Budget Group, the big Florida-based rental-car outfit on whose board he sits, was forced into bankruptcy, and the company's stock fell ...

How did they draw the eastern border of California?

Hey: How was the border between Nevada and California determined? Basically, it's an imaginary line drawn in the sand. -- Peter Torrance, San Diego For an imaginary line, it sure caused a ruckus. When Spain ...

House cleaning for kangaroos

Hello, Matt: I saw a documentary about kangaroos, and they said the baby kangaroo spends about six months in the mother's pouch before it comes out into the world. The one thing they didn't tell ...

What's the official state dance of California?

Matt: I read somewhere that California has an official state dance, the Western Swing. Can this be possible? -- Wondering, San Diego In Sacramento, all things are possible. But right at the top, to fend ...

Meander along the densely wooded Walnut Creek Trail at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Walnut Creek and its associated parkland stretches through the San Gabriel Valley communities of San Dimas and Covina. A wide and well-traveled equestrian and hiking trail goes the length of the park, crossing the streambed ...

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