Stories for July 2004

Thursday, July 29

Grrrrrrrrrrrr

Pit bulls mix it up.

RILEY has had trouble sleeping ever since he was left in this pen, its gate locked, its concrete floor hosed off every morning. He hates the constant barking either side of him, that deep ruff-ruff ...

A ticket to ride

Heymatt: Doesn't the U.S. government pay the airfare when they deport someone? Let's say a Chinese guy is here illegally, and then one day he decides he'd like to go home. Couldn't he just advise ...

Sigh...

Hey, Matt: Why do we sigh? And on an unrelated note, do the toilet seat covers in public restrooms actually do anything? — Amy, sitting and sighing In with the good air; out with the ...

Don't buzz Mickey!

Hey: On all my visits to Disneyland, I have never seen an airplane or helicopter fly over the Magic Kingdom. Was Disneyland able to get some kind of ordinance prohibiting aircraft from flying over? Does ...

Trolley Trap Nails Drivers

Leihua Smith figured that the man who volunteered to be a witness for her in court must have been an angel. "I gave him a kiss on the cheek after the hearing," she says, "but ...

America's Second Loneliest City

Sociologists lament San Diegans' lack of political participation and social cohesion. The overlords celebrate it -- secretly, of course. Four years ago, Robert D. Putnam, Harvard professor of public policy, authored a book, Bowling Alone, ...

First Naderite

At least one rich local Democrat won't be climbing on John Kerry's bandwagon anytime soon. Developer, ex-state horseracing boardmember, and former port commissioner Harvey Furgatch, who lives in a house on the beach in Del ...

Climb Old Baldy, a quintessential destination for hikers in Southern California, by way of the easiest route.

No Southern California hiker's repertoire of experiences is complete without at least one ascent of Mount San Antonio, or "Old Baldy." At 10,064 feet, Baldy's summit looms large over the eastern Los Angeles Basin, the ...

Thursday, July 22

Site 151’s Four Million Dollar Mansion

Wealth has nothing to do with luck.

Ralph Genovese doesn't use the word "mansion" to describe the three dwellings he will construct on a mountaintop in Rancho Santa Fe. He prefers "estate." He's building one of the homes for himself, and he ...

Whazzup? North

Matt: On a recent road trip I was navigating while my friend drove. At one point, I turned the map upside down, since we were going south and I was having trouble remembering to switch ...

The Presidio's Pentagram

Hi, Matt: As a punk rock kid, up to absolutely no good, I used to hang out in the parking lot of Presidio Park and drink cheap beer. Well, in the parking lot across from ...

The why of fingerprints

Heymatt: What's up with fingerprints? Why do we have them? Other than using them to catch crooks, what good are they? -- Knight Life, San Diego You should be grateful every time you pick up ...

Sex and cash

San Diego State University is known the world over as one of America's biggest party schools. The academic playland has made the list of Playboy's ten most sexually active campuses twice over the past decade. ...

Bad News for Sizzling San Diego

It's not a question of if there is a real estate bubble. It's a question of whether it bursts or slowly leaks air. It may expand for more than a year, if interest rates only ...

Enjoy salt-laden breezes and abundant bird life along the shore of Batiquitos Lagoon.

Just beyond the placid north shore of North County's Batiquitos Lagoon, white flecks of shell glint in the sunlight where the land begins to rise. Prior to around two centuries ago, and back as far ...

Thursday, July 15

We Looked Ridiculously Fabulous

Barbarella goes to Hollywood

Looking down the row of colorful fan-filled T-shirts, holding my sign high for all to see, I experience a moment of concern at being among so many cultural castaways. And when I stand to take ...

Jell-O forever

Dear Matthew Alice: When I had my tonsils taken out (a rite of passage in the 1930s), I was served a helping of Jell-O. With the birth of each of five children, the hospital tray ...

Why do pants come in pairs?

Heymatt: Why are underwear and pants always referred to as a "pair"? Yes, there are two leg holes or pant legs, but a single shirt has two arm holes or sleeves but is never referred ...

Picking up pennies�pass?

Matt: Settle an argument. My friend and I were walking across campus the other day, and I stopped to pick up a penny. My friend thought it was stupid for me to go to all ...

Cashing in (2)

A controversial member of the administration of ousted Democratic governor Gray Davis has turned up on the payroll of the San Diego State University Foundation. Rudy Murillo -- onetime aide to ex-congressman Lionel Van Deerlin, ...

Let Him Break Rocks

The online publication of "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz's journals has a San Diego man on the hot seat. "Wilson," not his real name, says he turned down interviews by Today's Katie Couric, the ...

Bankruptcy May Be the Only Option

Great Expectations. Charles Dickens wrote the classic. San Diego, going to the dickens financially, could write a sequel, Inflated Expectations. The city got into its pension amess because, among many unwise things, it had the ...

Climb Tahquitz Peak in the San Jacinto Mountains, and visit one of the few active fire lookouts remaining in Southern California.

Tahquitz Peak celebrates a legendary demon who, in the oral tradition of the Cahuilla Indians, used to dine on maidens and create crackling bolts of lightning over the San Jacinto Mountains. At an elevation of ...

Thursday, July 8

Left Behind

The Apocalypse keeps Tim LaHaye busy.

Car bombings, murders, earthquakes, floods, wars, famines, plagues.

Hooray for the Dow!

Hey Matt!! This has been bothering me for YEARS!! Every night the local news shows the stock market results...let's say on Monday the Dow goes UP 10 points; Tuesday DOWN 50; Wednesday DOWN 150; Thursday ...

Sue and Ike get dissed

Dear Matthew Alice: I work in retail and occasionally a customer will give us an Eisenhower or Susan B. Anthony dollar. Other customers usually don't like them given back as change, so we put them ...

Bury, not praise

As the race for San Diego city attorney heats up, termed-out incumbent Casey Gwinn has gone to bat for his protégé Leslie Devaney, who is running against civilian attorney Mike Aguirre. Gwinn has been bashing ...

Pay It and Go on With Your Life

San Diego County used-car dealers, particularly in Oceanside, were already hurting, thanks to the deployment of local military personnel to Iraq, when more bad news arrived in the form of lawsuits. The suits, filed by ...

Titan Dodges Allegations

San Diego's Titan Corp. -- left at the altar by giant Lockheed Martin -- must rebuild its management and reputation. In a conference call with the investment community today (July 8), it is spelling out ...

Indian Flats, in the Cleveland National Forest near Warner Springs, offers mellow summer camping.

What better way is there to pique a child's interest in nature than to introduce him or her to a shallow, lazily flowing river full of tadpoles and frogs? At Indian Flats Campground, you can ...

Thursday, July 1

Men's Summer Swimsuit Issue

Protect your thighs from board rash.

HEY, LADIES! Let's hear it for men! Give a shout out now to the body masculine! Here's to five o'clock shadows, Adam's apples, square jaws, and rough skin. To testosterone, to the Y chromosome, to ...

Giant ceremonial scissors seen in Encinitas

This just in -- "Cottonwood Creek Park Opens (North County Times, 6/15/04) ENCINITAS-- Mayor Maggie Houlihan used giant, ceremonial scissors to cut the ribbon at Monday's ceremonies to open Cottonwood Creek Park.�" Giant ceremonial scissors? ...

Where's Vaudeville?

Hello Matt: My friend Mitchie and I have a disagreement about "vaudeville." Was there actually a town called Vaudeville or did someone just make it up for some illusionary special effect for their circus act? ...

Cats are gods

Heymatt: Who was the Roman god of cats? -- Maria Sanchez, Escondido Hmmm. Romans believed just about everything was invested with a spirit and therefore worthy of honoring for good luck, if for nothing else. ...

What other white meat?

Hi, Matt, from Russia! If all mammals' blood is red, at least us and cows, why is pork, veal, and poultry meat white? -- Scott, St. Petersburg, Russia Matt: Is pork really "the other white ...

Lb.? Why lb.?

Dear MA: How is it that the abbr. for a pound of weight is lb? None of my English instructors could answer this but I'm confident you can. -- Dave-O, the net That's the attitude ...

Traverse a new bridge on the latest completed link in the bicycle route encircling south San Diego Bay.

Some three decades in the making, the bicycle route encircling the south end of San Diego Bay is nearing completion. The past decade has seen the construction of new bicycle paths along the bay shore ...

Scripps Digs Florida Money Pit

Scripps Research Institute's overhyped and overblown plans for a Florida biotech research facility could possibly go overboard, particularly since taxpayers suddenly realize they will be hit with more than $1 billion in costs, almost double ...

Nobody Talks, Everybody Walks

All the recent commotion about U.S. atrocities at Abu Ghraib Prison and elsewhere got me thinking about Ka-Bar knives, which in turn got me thinking about former senator and now member of the 9/11 Commission ...

Kerry's cash cavalry

President George W. Bush has his fat cat Texas "Rangers," who have corralled $250,000 or more each for the Bush cause. Now presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry can claim 171 "Patriots," each of ...

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