Stories for February 2005

Thursday, February 24

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

Tax dollars fund airport blitzkrieg.

The state law that created the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority says nothing about hiring a small army of pollsters, political consultants, and public relations people to sell voters on moving the airport. That, ...

Meat, Tomato, Lettuce

Movies reviewed this week: Inside Deep Throat and Nobody Knows

Cab Queen

“It’s something I would like to drink; I like how it has tropical, perfumey, floral qualities to it.”

Surprise Ending

I went to a party last year when local author Jennifer Coburn released her first book, The Wife of Reilly. I was surprised when she had a party for her next book, Reinventing Mona, coming ...

"Gonzo"

"Gonzo" journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson shot himself in his Aspen home Sunday. My friend Doug called me four months ago and asked if I wanted to go meet Thompson in L.A. He was doing a ...

According to Troy Johnson

According to Troy Johnson on February 3's Fox Rox, "In March Clear Channel Communications is going to spin off four of its San Diego stations, including 91X. Our inside source says that 91X is being ...

Is Blink-182 Still a Band?

Questions about the future of Poway's most successful musical group began to percolate after the trio blew off a well-publicized tsunami benefit concert last Friday at the Pond in Anaheim that featured Linkin Park, No ...

Kuumba Fest 2005

Kuumba Fest 2005 at the San Diego Rep's Lyceum starts tomorrow, Friday, February 25, and includes African drumming, jazz, and gospel. "Each band is made up of young people," says Daj-ahn Blevins, artistic director. Acts ...

"I Know Atheists Who Love Gospel Music"

"I know atheists who love gospel music." Lord Chris, 56, is now on Tijuana's XRCN (1470 AM) as of February. "We are the only English-speaking show on that station." Heard Sundays from 7 to 8 ...

"He's Dead in the Water"

"He's dead in the water," said an insider last week about recent developments concerning Mike Glickenhaus and his attempts to purchase Clear Channel's Mexican stations. "He can't get the money. I heard he paid a ...

I Called the Casbah and Asked for a Refund

"I called the Casbah and asked for a refund, and they flat out said no," e-mails Sam Sheppard about the Razorlight show on January 24. "The singer sounded like he had the flu or something, ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Who among your readership knows enough about such obscure references as a "vacant Tunisian landscape" or "Hawks's (movie) His Girl Friday of 1940" or the "genteel fiction of Eudora Welty" to make ...

February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America

February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America. North Point Press, 2005; 166 pages; $22. FROM THE ...

Think Persian

“I’m sitting. Don’t think my legs’ll hold up for how long this is gonna take.”

Skinless Mystic

Life-size paintings of men, women, gods, goddesses, and human anatomy convey the convergence of the spiritual, medical, and psychotropic influences on Alex Grey's portrayal of the divine. These paintings are on display for Grey's five-year ...

Harding Canyon's rain-swollen stream leaps over boulders and tumbles through the Santa Ana Mountains.

The "Seven Pools hike" into the upper reaches of Harding Canyon will simply amaze you -- assuming you go before summer's heat and drought dries up the canyon's lively, crystalline, spring-fed stream. It's almost unbelievable ...

Gambling Gourmand 2: Go Back, Jack

When the Santa Anas sent the downtown air pollution score to a choking 106, my partner and I drove an hour north for a few days of good country air and culinary research at Harrah's ...

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. -- Marion C. Garretty 'I want to make a toast," Jane said, lifting her glass, "to our guys. All of us are ...

Red, white, and drugged

A Department of Veterans Affairs audit has discovered rampant irregularities in the handling of narcotics and other controlled substances at La Jolla's V.A. Hospital. According to the report, the VA Inspector General Office's "collaboration in ...

Alex the Greek

Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos, the megamillionaire who reportedly wants San Diego taxpayers to give him 60 acres of prime Mission Valley property as part of his latest stadium scheme, has turned Hollywood mogul. The ...

The Objective Is to Dominate

On the north side of the Tijuana River, across from the Zona Rio, stands a shopping center with a department store, a dozen or so nondescript shops, and "World Famoso" Señor Frog's nightclub. Between the ...

Will Clean Giant Nab WD-40?

For more than three decades, San Diego icon WD-40 didn't have to worry about competition. It sold a legendary lubricant by a name that came to be used in 80 percent of U.S. homes. Profits ...

Wild Truth

"We just couldn't all get it together in the same place at the same time."

The ManKind Project

Galloping Horse, Soaring Eagle, Temple Badger, and Powerful Jaguar are some of the 30 graduates of the New Warrior Training Adventure. The New Warrior Training is a weekend retreat facilitated by The ManKind Project (MKP). ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"I WANT TO GO ON OPRAH AND HAVE HER ANNOUNCE ME AS 'The Man Who Made Wearing Skirts Okay,'" David gushed. The others at the party hardly noticed the frilly petticoat purposefully pouring from his ...

Geezer Sports

There are senior tours for golf, tennis, billiards, and bowling -- sports that are normally not identified with broken clavicles, necks, and spines. In other words, sports that have nothing to do with rodeos. On ...

Housecleaning Services

When my husband Patrick sneezes, the house rattles. And it's rarely just one sneeze; three seems to be the minimum. His attempts at sneeze control are all in vain, and his schnozz is getting more ...

Ft. Knox: plenty of tanks, maybe no gold

Hey Matt! How much gold is in Fort Knox? Is it true that it hasn't been physically audited since the Eisenhower administration? Why can't we sell off the gold now and fund Social Security or ...

Sour Cream and Onion Doritos: just a dream?

Dear Matt: Did Doritos ever have a sour cream and onion flavor? I could swear they had them when I was a kid, green bag and all, but my friends say it never existed. Please ...

Thursday, February 17

Barbarella Sweeps the Beats with the Highway Patrol

The diva gets sweet on the CHP.

"Attention, San Diego units. 11-Boy requesting backup — he's on the shoulder of 805 southbound just north of Balboa Avenue, dealing with an irate citizen." That's us, I thought. "Is there a unit in the ...

At Issue

Movies reviewed this week: Born into Brothels, The Sea Inside, and Travellers and Magicians

Fun Smell

“My dad kept asking me, ‘When are you going to make money out of your hobby?’”

Jeff Gaulton

Jeff Gaulton, a talent buyer who used to book the now-defunct Bacchanal from 1983 to 1990 and has been the talent buyer at 4th & B for the last seven years, has moved into that ...

"Security Wouldn't Even Let Residents In With Their Own Alcohol"

"Security wouldn't even let residents in with their own alcohol. You had to buy it from an inside vendor," said one Gaslamp Quarter denizen. February 8 was the first downtown Fat Tuesday where -- reminiscent ...

"If Moshing Begins, the Concert Ends Right There"

"If moshing begins, the concert ends right there," says Aliah Lieras, recreation program supervisor with the City of Santee. "If the bands aren't supportive of the rule, they won't be asked back. Our staff tech ...

David Swift

David Swift, vice president and general manager of House of Blues Concerts for San Diego, just signed a new multi-year contract to stay in San Diego and oversee his local staff of 12, despite their ...

We Were the Numbskulls

"We were the Numbskulls from 1994 to 2000," said Skillet, lead singer of the Oceanside punk band now called Wanted Dead. "We figured we had the rights [to the name] when we put out the ...

We're changing our name to 'Rouge'

"We're changing our name to 'Rouge,' like Moulin Rouge," says Tori, a waitress at the Hustler Bar-Grill on 624 E Street. There is a rumor that the restaurant is being shut down due to pressure ...

John Zorn

John Zorn has never played San Diego. The jazz sax player seldom comes out west, so his appearance at the Disney Redcat Center in downtown Los Angeles was a rare appearance outside New York. The ...

A Florida Newspaper Writes

A Florida newspaper writes, "Louis XIV, a San Diego foursome set to release its major-label debut on Atlantic in April, is better when it locks into a tight, retro groove: Big, dumb, loud rock 'n' ...

Michael Robertson

Michael Robertson, founder and former CEO of San Diego's mp3.com, launched his newest digital music venture February 9. Headquartered in San Diego, mp3tunes.com offers around 300,000 songs from more than 22,000 artists (although most, at ...

The Sound of Music

I had two parties one night that couldn't have been further apart in the music spectrum. The first was for a heavy metal band, and the second was hosted by a woman who works at ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago All I wanted to do was see Taj Mahal in concert again, and I figured at a college campus it would be a pretty easygoing experience. Outside the gym at San Diego ...

In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic

In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic FROM THE DUST JACKET: Howard Norman spent the fall of 1977 in Churchill, Manitoba, translating into English two dozen "Noah ...

Dreaded Moments

“He always wanted to open a place which gave you the real street food from Tijuana. No frills.”

Gambling Gourmands, Part I

Eight restaurants under one roof! That's what Harrah's Rincon promises not only to gamblers, but to residents of the restaurant-starved area around Valley Center, five miles northeast of Escondido. What drew me northward was the ...

Tour the Tijuana Estuary National Estuarine Research Reserve for a look at some of the 400+ species of birds that visit or nest here.

Four square miles of marshes, tidal creeks, and sage-and chaparral-covered hillsides in and around the Tijuana River Estuary enjoy federal protection under the tongue-twisting title "Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve." The area includes Border ...

Remedial math

San Diego Unified school board chairman Luis Acle, elected this past November, has lost a round against Uncle Sam in U.S. Tax Court. According to an opinion dated June 23 of last year, Acle, representing ...

Something Happened to Michael

'At the beginning of his term, [San Diego District 2 councilmember] Michael Zucchet stopped Sports Arena redevelopment, which already had requests for proposals out," says John McNab. "I'll give him credit for that. But later ...

Ketching Up with Dad

How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea... All that is required to feel that...here and now is a ...

Chatterbox Agenda

On air: beware. Cock an eyebrow at money advisors who flaunt their expertise over the airwaves. They may be getting secretly paid to tout a stock or have an undisclosed relationship with a firm they ...

Rootsy Americana

"We love that music and, as soon as we thought of the name, we couldn't resist."

Anchor Point Church

"Nobody wants to talk about failure," said Pastor Ryan Sharp. "As a new church, you try hard to build it and then you slap God's name onto it, so there is a certain sense of ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"I GOTTA GO SEE ANGIE TODAY," Isaac said. "For what?" "Because, she's gonna give me something." "What?" "What do you think?" "Oh. Well, we better get this truck back together. Hand me the half-inch socket." ...

Walking California

Carlisle Pryce is a naturalist. Old school. He reserves for himself one day every week and hikes seven, eight, nine miles. He paints and takes photographs. He knows the names and characteristics of all the ...

Flooring

Our 1930s house feels cramped. We love the elegant living room with its coved ceiling, candlelit alcoves, and art deco fixtures, but it doesn't hold a big gathering well. No more than six diners can ...

The spit-pee connection

Hey Matt: Why is it that when a man is standing at a urinal urinating, he indulges himself in the urge to expectorate? I do it, I'll bet even you do it! I've seen it ...

Ups and downs in the queen business

Dear Matt: My boss says that Queen Victoria died by being crushed by a horse in an unusual kind of "riding accidentl" He says she had a stallion rigged up I some kind of a ...

Sunday, February 13

Big Cheese, Good Times

When the time came for Randy Gruber to name his first restaurant, a corner eatery on Del Mar's main drag, he chose Americana because "the name rolls off your tongue and it works well for ...

Thursday, February 10

When Your Love is Locked Up

Brave and lovely and found guilty of murder.

During the two days that the jury deliberated, the rest of the world seemed on freeze-frame, and I spoke with no one besides Dee's mom. We spent the time on uncomfortable wooden benches outside the ...

In the Meantime

Movies reviewed this week: Bride and Prejudice, Hitch, Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, and The Wedding Date

Rough Stuff

“If we vinify like Australia has been doing, we’re going to end up with hedonistic wines.”

For the Birds

A lot of writers at the Reader don't go into the office much. With computers, we can all work from home and send in our work. It's a shame. None of that office camaraderie. Oh, ...

Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood

Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood. Ballantine Books; 2005; 309 pages; $23. FROM THE DUST JACKET: "We're born in blood. Our family histories are contained in it, our bodies nourished by it ...

High-Energy Mullets

'I t seems that everything's gone wrong since Canada came along. Blame Canada! Blame Canada! With all their hockey hullabaloo, and that b***h Anne Murray too! Blame Canada! Shame on Canada!" On Saturday, February 12, ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Dear Matthew: Would you be able to find out what our city officials get paid? The members of our city council did indeed get a raise, from $5,000 to $12,000 annually. Our ...

Boulder-hop to the top of Granite Mountain, overlooking the Anza-Borrego Desert.

Granite Mountain massively swells along the western edge of the Anza-Borrego Desert, its flattish summit presiding over hundreds of square miles of brown desert to the east and the timber-dotted Laguna and Cuyamaca Mountains toward ...

Hit the road, Jack

Ex-San Diego city manager Jack McGrory has been sued for divorce by Cheryl, his wife of nearly 20 years. McGrory's controversial relationship with the Padres, for whom he went to work as a lobbyist and ...

Let Them Eat Cake

"Valentine's Day is our Christmas," says Karen Krasne, chef-owner of Extraordinary Desserts. "It's the busiest day of my year." Her original dessert café on Fifth Avenue has recently expanded into a second, larger location in ...

Out and About

Between 2000 and 2003, the Metropolitan Transit Development Board closed down Dial-A-Ride programs around the county. As budget crunches hit, the transit board had to choose between cutting fixed bus-route service or the Dial-A-Ride programs ...

Weak Mayor, Lots of Power

'Enron by the Sea" is outdated. Next up: "Buffoonery by the Bay." In an attempt to attract industry and capital, the San Diego establishment placed a special advertising section in the January 3 issue of ...

Tantalizing Tootsies

A man is like a cat; chase him and he will run. Sit still and ignore him and he'll come purring at your feet. -- Helen Roland We stopped at the store for chocolate and ...

Nasty Stuff

"We want people to leave their worries outside - check that at the door, rush the stage, and ROCK!"

Pastors' Convention

Over 1350 pastors and church leaders from around the world attended a pastors convention in San Diego last week. The dual National Pastors Convention and the EmergentYS Convention were held at the Town & Country ...

Dogs Welcome

"Wanted: A good woman who can clean, sew, cook fish, dig worms, and owns a boat and motor.”

The Reader's Eye on Television

"Well, you're right on time," I said to the back of a hooded red rainjacket. "Oh, my God," the coat squealed, then spun around. "I thought I'd lost you," Cassandra shouted into my shoulder as ...

White Crane Spreads Its Wings One Year Later

It's been 12 months since I wrote a column about taking up Tai Chi Ch'aun. I promised to report back after a year. The teacher, Sifu Yee Yuen, is somewhere between 75 and 100. He's ...

Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day chez Kelly has always been a quiet, at-home affair. Patrick brings me flowers and dessert. I cook him dinner after the kids are in bed, and we break out the crystal candlesticks we ...

I...Build a Stage

"I...build a stage. It takes me all day to set up for a show and all day the next day to put it back the way it was." By day Nicholas Lynch is a carpenter. ...

The Music for the Locally Produced

The music for the locally produced Clown Porn DVD was scored entirely by Chris Spoto's five-man band, Little Big Porn. Spoto is the lead singer and plays theremin. Spoto says all of his future Ramco ...

Master P

Master P, 37, and Silkk the Shocker, 29 (Master P's brother), were arrested on felony gun charges by L.A. police January 27. P, whose real name is Percy Miller, played for the San Diego Stingrays ...

Local Talking Head Bree Walker

Local talking head Bree Walker can be seen on HBO series Carnivale. She plays a circus sideshow character called Sabina the Scorpion Lady, which debuted last season and can be seen in three upcoming shows ...

M-Theory Music

M-Theory Music, on 30th Street, was robbed on January 30 at 4:15 p.m., according to San Diego police report #05-006701. The responding officers spoke to cashier Chealsea Marie Daniel, who was the only employee in ...

A Local Firm, Genius Products, Inc.

A local firm, Genius Products, Inc., is licensed to produce music CDs based on PBS's popular TV show for preschoolers, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, which hit retail shelves this month. The CDs will feature ...

Area U2 Fans

Area U2 fans who joined the band's fan club (for $40) at www.u2.com in order to get "preferred access" to "some of the best seats available" for the March 28 Vertigo tour opener at the ...

"The Streets of Downtown Aren't Safe Without the Blues."

"The streets of downtown aren't safe without the blues." A man carrying a case of Budweiser shouted this out to bluesman Pete Kelly. Kelly has been a street musician in the Gaslamp for 13 years, ...

Public figure number one

Dear Matthew Alice: Every time I watch the show Cops, I wonder why the arrestees would consent to being on TV. There is a disclaimer at the beginning that says, "All suspects are innocent until ...

Subaru stars

Hey: I've always wondered about the Subaru six-star logo? What's the deal? Is it a constellation? -- Tad, the net It's a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. We call it the Pleiades. It's actually ...

Is that a hip replacement, or are you just smuggling guns?

Hello: My dad has had a broken hip which he recuperated from with the basis surgery. Recently he sets off the alarms as he goes out of most every store. His hip surgery was about ...

Thursday, February 3

Caution: Young immigrants lose hope

The hopped trains, took buses, spent long days walking. When their path took them through remote areas, they went hungry.

Trophy Exit

“I don’t want to stare at bottles simply because they’re that special.”

Intercourse Wine

I found my notes on parties I went to in December that I forgot to write about. I figured when I wrote about New Year's I was done with 2004. But this night of partying ...

Grandma Hash

“He struck oil several times. Trouble was, there was always salt water with it.”

American Writers at Home

American Writers at Home. Text by J.D. McClatchy; Photographs by Erica Lennard; Library of America and The Vendome Press, 2004; 224 pages; $50. FROM THE DUST JACKET: American Writers at Home affords an unprecedented opportunity ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago I believe that it was in the autumn of the year 1973 that word reached our Society of the existence of certain remarkable works of hydraulic engineering, or the ruins thereof, to ...

I'm in the Tub

'This is no 'feel-good' philosophy, obviously. It will cause anguish, anger, fear, and hopelessness in the majority of those who understand it. Many will not even dare read it; many others will be forbidden to ...

Seek out a melodious waterfall in Eaton Canyon, at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.

On October 27, 1993, the floor of lower Eaton Canyon (along with 118 homes in surrounding neighborhoods) was reduced to white ash and black cinders by the fast-moving Altadena Fire. By the following spring, which ...

U-T stylebook 101

Our town's secretive "business leaders" are at it again, but just who in the dickens are those pesky devils, anyway? "San Diego business leaders are putting together their own proposal, but they have declined to ...

Too Good to Be True

Always assume that promoters claiming they're out to do good are out to do well. And companies whose mission is saving the world are trying to pocket your savings. Last week, Amr (Anthony) Elgindy, a ...

They're Trying to Kill Us

The electricity transmission industry has long recognized that surrounding underground power lines with a metal shield is the most effective way to block their emissions of magnetic field radiation. But on August 3 of last ...

Good and Sometimes Bad

"It is really fun taking a group of strangers and making them join your cult."

To Boldly Go...

Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all. -- Scotty, explaining how he got rid of the tribbles ("The ...

Born on the Bayou

Remember the legendary white chocolate bread pudding at the late, lamented Bayou Bar and Grill? Well, it's back, and so is the man who brought the recipe here from his native New Orleans. Bud Deslattes, ...

Covenant Baptist Church

"One of the things that really irks me is the recent fad of poor end-times beliefs," Pastor Cook replied when asked if his church teaches that the end-times are near. "One of the more popular ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

I couldn't sit there for half an hour watching my garments whirl in circles. So I bought some spare time with a handful of quarters, walked out of the "Launder-O-Mat" into the drizzling rain, and ...

"My Band Was the First to Put on an All-Ages Show There"

"My band was the first to put on an all-ages show there," said guitarist Brandon Turner of Parkhurst about the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos. "We played there before for a 21-and-up crowd, and we ...

Super Bowl Alert

Here's the guts of it. Super Bowl XXXIX is hours away, and Janet Jackson's right breast is unaccounted for. I have warned the NFL by fax and by phone. I have called the Jacksonville police, ...

"I'm Going to Replace Her."

"I'm going to replace her." Belly Up Tavern owner Steve Goldberg says he will miss Diana Martinez, who is leaving her position as Belly Up talent buyer after ten years. Not counting owner/founder Dave Hodges, ...

Onetime Grateful Dead Mainstay Bob Weir

Onetime Grateful Dead mainstay Bob Weir brings his band Ratdog to 4th & B Wednesday, February 9, demonstrating he's gotten over his longstanding grudge against the city, or at least against its police department. "For ...

Is Rock Radio Dying in San Diego?

The recent Arbitron ratings showed that the three local rock stations -- Rock 105, 91X, FM-94/9 -- each showed a significant decrease in listeners for the October-through-December quarter. Rock 105 lost 41 percent of its ...

Music Can Cure Diseases

Music can cure diseases, according to Dr. Jason Liu (Ph.D., O.M.D.) at the Mind-Body Science Institute on Camino de la Reina. "Through pulse reading, the doctor is able to know everything about your health condition," ...

"I First Saw Stomp! When I Was 14"

"I first saw Stomp! when I was 14," Chris Rubio tells me via phone from New Haven, Connecticut. He is in the current production, which will be coming to San Diego in March. "I started ...

Former San Diegan Michelle Williams

Former San Diegan Michelle Williams can be seen on the CD cover to the soundtrack of Wim Wenders's latest movie, Land of Plenty, but she won't be viewable in North American theaters anytime soon because ...

Winter Gardening

My friend Bernice reigns as gardener-queen of our neighborhood. Her rose plants grow like big bushes; her citrus trees hang heavy with fruit, and her vegetable garden produces more than her family can eat. We ...

Invisible dreams

Heymatt: What do people who are blind from birth "see" when they are dreaming? -- Troy Dante, La Mesa Well, Troy, they don't see nuttin'. At least according to Cousin Wildomar Alice's neighbor's niece Loretta. ...

K in K Mart

Matt!: Quick, before they disappear completely. I've always wondered what the K in Kmart stands for. Do you know? -- Rex, the net Kafka? Knackwurst? Kinky? Kayak? Knucklehead? Kudzu? Was the emporium founded by a ...

Whose idea was salt and pepper?

Heymatt: Salt and pepper. Salt and pepper. Never anything different on the table. Why salt and pepper? How long have we been in this culinary rut? Why salt? Why pepper? Why not tumeric and chervil? ...

Waking up with a jerk, part II

Help!! Twitching!! My left eye is twitching because my husband twitches every night before completely sound asleep! I have been married 20 years and love my husband dearly, but I would love to know why. ...