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Twenty-Five Years Ago A new instructor in the San Diego State economics department assigned his students Macroeconomic Models and Policy, which costs $22.95 and was written by department professor Yiannis Venieris. What aroused the ire of several students was that the instructor later told the class that the expensive book was supplemental, and that everything the students needed to know would be covered in class lectures.One student bought the standard text by author Paul Samuelson called Economics for use in a San Diego State class last semester. The student, who is not an economics major and who has no use for the book outside the class, purchased the then-current edition for 17 dollars and was unable to resell it to the bookstore at the end of the semester because a revised edition of the same book was already on the shelves. -- CITY LIGHTS: "PROF MARGINS," Mark Orwoll, October 2, 1980

Twenty Years Ago "The problem for journalism in Mexico is three words," explains Jesus Blancornelas, editor of the investigative weekly Zeta in Tijuana. "Tell the truth. Those three words are the problem." Blancornelas believes that his paper told the truth two weeks ago about direct links between Baja state police officials and drug smugglers who were shipping a ton of marijuana into the U.S. every day (allegedly via tanker trucks and illegal aliens crossing into San Diego), but a funny thing happened to Zeta on its way to the streets of Tijuana: almost 20,000 copies of the paper were pre-empted by the cops. Blancornelas and his editorial staff are certain that state police agents purchased almost half their press run of 40,000; staff photographers shot pictures of the agents buying the paper by the hundreds from newsboys, and many witnesses called Zeta to report that known state police agents were purchasing the still-bundled papers in the river district and in downtown Tijuana. -- CITY LIGHTS: "READ ALL ABOUT IT (IF YOU CAN FIND IT)," Neal Matthews, October 3, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago "When I started, we had no real program, no real identity in town. We had a name -- St. Vincent de Paul -- that people identified with the homeless, with helping the poor, but it wasn't well known in the community. So we sold this 'hustler priest' image, this wheeler-dealer who'll do anything for a dollar. We sell Father Joe over and over again. If I go to a party, who's ever at the podium will always say, 'Hold on to your wallets, Father Joe's in the building.' That's a million dollars' worth of publicity, and I didn't even ask for money. "I'm obviously not there to say, 'You're a nice person.' I'm there to get some money. So I've sat down and they've said, 'OK, I'll give you $100,000, now let's enjoy lunch.'" -- CITY LIGHTS: "HUSTLER'S SERMON," Paul Krueger, October 4, 1990

Ten Years Ago This is how it happens. The little guy finds a fish. Not just any fish, but a special fish with a special taste and special size. He shows the fish to the lady of his choosing. Sometimes she gets annoyed. Sometimes she's got someone she likes better. But sometimes she looks the guy over and waits for what comes next. -- "THE LEAST TERN SAYS SOMETHING OMINOUS IS COMING," Stephen Dobyns, September 28, 1995

Five Years Ago San Diego is an ocean of pleasures, a paradise to live in or see. Only lately, though, has it started to be a great place to eat. My assignment, should I choose to accept it, was to come down from San Francisco (where I've been a restaurant critic since the Bronze Age) and eat out anonymously until I'd identified and interviewed San Diego's ten hottest chefs. All too casually, I accepted the challenge. -- "HAPPINESS ON A PLATE," Naomi Wise, September 28, 2000

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