Stories for December 2008

Wednesday, December 31

Dog Beach Closed Due to Sewage Spill

A sewage spill in to the San Diego River on Monday, December 27, prompted the closure of Dog Beach in Ocean Beach. The affected areas of the beach were still closed four days later. The ...

Scrooged!

For the last eight to nine years a small ceramic Santa has stood in our front yard during Christmas time. Santa was nothing fancy: he was purchased years ago while crossing the TJ border back ...

Tuesday, December 30

Why Local Radio Is No Longer Local

If San Diego has a voice, it may be the plummy bass of Chris Cantore. Until December 2007, the Brooklyn native was an audible fixture on 91X’s Cantore in the Morning, his 5:00–10:00 a.m. show, ...

Like an Eagle

“I’ve lived in San Diego all my life,” says singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin, “and I consider it my city — although I don’t mind sharing it with a few million people.” Before writing songs for the ...

Snake Sighting

Tonight’s headliners at the Belly Up, the Night Marchers, San Diego knows well; three quarters of the band’s members were together from 1999 to 2005 as Hot Snakes. The fourth Hot Snake was singer-guitarist Rick ...

Cuyamaca Ski Routes

Skiing in San Diego County’s mountains? Fact or fiction? The answer in any given winter season varies, but it is typically “fact” for one or two brief periods of time per year. The type of ...

Slain?

Nine years ago, Francisca and Jorge Alvarez started selling Slayer T-shirts, pentagram necklaces, and Dimmu Borgir pins at Kobey’s Swap Meet and at weekly swap meets in North County. Six years ago, they opened the ...

Cheap History

Almost 29 years ago (1/2/80), Cheap Trick played to a sold-out crowd at the Sports Arena. Exactly one year earlier (1/2/79), the band’s Civic Theatre concert attracted around 1000 patrons (this was before the release ...

In My Room

“For the past six months, I’ve been toying around with live Internet broadcasting from my home,” says singer-songwriter Michael Tiernan. “In the past couple of months, my audience has really begun to grow.” Tiernan’s “interactive ...

Goodbye Again

William “Doc” Hunter, 70, jazz pianist, Chicago Six, South Market Street Jazz Band. d. 1/8/08. Bob Finch, 82, jazz bassist and bandleader for the Chicago Six. d. 1/12/08. John Stewart, 68, member of the Kingston ...

Backyard Adventures

Post-Christmas blahs have set in. Children are lolling about the house, and I got a couple of nice checks for Christmas. Time for a jump start. Steve Wymore is manager of Backyard Adventures in San ...

New Latino Squared

This restaurant is closed. Should I or shouldn’t I? I stand at the base of the steps. Up top, a couple of “log” fires are burning in their chimeneas, kivas. Beautiful People sit around them, ...

This Just Sounds Dirty

Halley’s Comet appeared when I was nine. It came late at night. I was watching TV on the couch, dozing. There was a big fuss about it; every commercial break, a news anchor would tell ...

The Time Machine

It was a Sunday morning, the last in November and just after Thanksgiving. The Time Machine, the 1960 George Pal version, came on one of the classic-movie stations, and I could not get out of ...

Mike Watt and the Secondmen

Old punk rockers who are still willing and able: that list would include Mike Watt. But unless you were a fan of the Minutemen or fIREHOSE or ’80s Southern California punk revival in general, you’ve ...

This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb

Political folk-punk band This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb has been around for more than ten years, but it feels weird to be writing about them in a big weekly newspaper. In an age of ...

Favorite Few

Short of the outlying fields of basketball playoffs (the Jayhawks, the Celtics) and Presidential campaigns (Obamanos!), strictly confined instead to my assigned field, the year just past felt pretty dismal. On the personal front, Manny ...

Winners and Losers

Dallas is the great loser. Like a schoolmarm who has run out of patience with the class dullard, Dallas players brought home their message of quit with a slap to the face. The Boys were ...

Lindsay Hail

Album: Into My Soul (2008) Artist: Lindsay Hail Label: self-released Where available/price: Cow Records in Ocean Beach and Music Trader in Point Loma and Pacific Beach for $9.99. CDBaby.com for $12.97; iTunes and Digstation.com for ...

Letters

Applause X 2 Excellent article by Barbara Davenport on Reality Changers and Christopher Yanov’s effort to help young people like those in the story (“Gangbangers to College Students,” Cover Story, December 24). I applaud Mr. ...

Snow Sniveling

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this ...

2008: The Year in Food

Where has all the foie gras gone, long time passing? These are bad times! Don’t it just make you wanna throw your shoes at someone? A year ago, the glitzy openings of Quarter Kitchen at ...

I'm Too Junkie for That

I say “I’m too junkie for that.” It means that you are too cool for something or too hip. It’s not a drug reference, though. I think I made it up about two months ago. ...

Congregation Dor Hadash

Shabbat was over; the spare, clean-lined synagogue at Dor Hadash was empty. Instead, the community gathered in the adjacent room, decorated for a party. Tinfoil runners gleamed over blue-and-white tablecloths; clusters of silver-and-blue-foil dreidels hung ...

College Area Kookout

There was a story on CNN about the controversy surrounding a public Christmas tree in Washington, D.C. In the interest of fairness, apparently, an atheist group was permitted to place a sign up in the ...

No More Bragging Rights

The San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System always likes to brag about its investment performance. It endlessly points out that among its peers (other municipal employees’ funds) and among benchmarks by which various funds are ...

The Uncertain Fate of the Falls

Mel Vernon leans against a black steel fence behind Quarry Creek Shopping Center, on the border of Carlsbad and Oceanside. Above him towers a massive signpost facing the traffic on State Route 78. Below him ...

Hoover High Towers

Seventy-year-old Hoover High School wants to make some major renovations to their sports facilities, including new bleachers, restrooms, a press box, new entrances to the fields, and 90-foot light towers so they can host nighttime ...

Sunday, December 28

The Perils of Paradise

Author: Philoméne Offen Neighborhood: La Jolla Age: 61 Occupation: Retired Several years ago, as part of a kitchen remodel, we opted to add skylights around the house as a way of reducing the mildew that ...

Saturday, December 27

Merry Christmas, Ted

Christmas Eve was easy. Rocio’s parents opted for an early meal, breaking with their traditional midnight dinner, and they ate tostadas up the hill while I cooked up two large pots of clam chowder down ...

Friday, December 26

On the Road

At a December 17 Oceanside City Council meeting, councilmembers Jerry Kern, Rocky Chavez, and Jack Feller voted in favor of awarding La Mesa's Helix Environmental Planning, Inc. an extra $247,000 for an environmental impact report ...

Wednesday, December 24

Hedonistic

The line, maybe 400 people long, ran back along Seventh Avenue from the entrance to the Hillcrest Whole Foods. An unusual sight for a winemaker bottle-signing, which made sense, because it was an unusual winemaker ...

Tuesday, December 23

Gangbangers to College Students

On a winter night in 2002, Christopher Yanov, the founder and sole staff member of Reality Changers, sat with a handful of eighth graders and their college-student tutors in a meeting room in the Iglesia ...

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

There’s a funk band playing just about every night in some packed club somewhere, and the best or most famous funk bands tour all the time. But funk bands typically don’t sell a lot of ...

Happy Anniversary?

Lou’s Records, about to enter its 30th year of business, is in “serious financial trouble,” according to a store employee. The source and others say that the Leucadia record store is experiencing at least temporary ...

Give the Kid a Job!

Last Saturday, the San Diego African American Musician Heritage Foundation inducted local jazzman Jesse Davis into its hall of fame. Davis shares this distinction with local luminaries such as Fro Brigham, Hollis Gentry III, Carl ...

Bubbly Fish, "Old McDonald"

Dear Matt: Why does my fish blow bubbles? Sometimes it will just be hanging out and all of a sudden it will cut loose with a bubble from its mouth. How does air get in ...

Rain Made a Clown of Me

Rain made a clown out of me. Not one of those funny clowns, if there ever was such a thing, but rather a sad-faced, hobo clown who forever looks as if his coffee is cold, ...

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!Thy leaves are so unchanging...Not only green when summer’s here,But also when ’tis cold and drear... Hubby Patrick heckled me with his singing because our Christmas tree’s leaves were anything ...

Anna Troy

At the age of 14, Anna Troy and her 13-year-old sister Lindsey performed as a duo called the Troys. They cut a demo and landed a major recording contract with Elektra. “The Troys were going ...

Finish Line

Don’t open before Christmas: The Reader is the trite and true story of a once fat and sassy alternative free weekly, now struggling for survival amidst a plummeting economy, skyrocketing paper costs, shrinking page size, ...

Pie A-Peel

I admit it: I’m moth to the flame. Just ambling down Garnet, around 8:00 at night. Place is buzzing with life. But right across from Longboard’s rowdy crowd, I start feeling the pull of this ...

Hellman Wilderness Park

The rambling Puente Hills, overlooking the San Gabriel Valley to the north and Orange County to the south, interrupt what would otherwise be a continuous spread of flat, nondescript suburbs. Rising no higher than 1500 ...

The Guacamole Crisis

Throughout last winter and spring, one could put one’s ear to the wind almost anywhere in North County and hear the buzz of chainsaws as avocado farmers cut down their trees. While this tropical fruit ...

Football Yes, Libraries No

"The pride and presence of a professional football team is far more important than 30 libraries.” Intelligent people laughed when former pro-football-team owner Art Modell made the comment. Now San Diego, painfully broke, is the ...

Know Your Enemy

Accused of attacking several local goths, James Eric Benham was sentenced in late November for two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of assault. Victim James Howard of the Gothic Volunteer Alliance says the Navy ...

Tinsel on a Palm Tree

Christmas is on my mind. As a season in San Diego it is to me as cruel as April was to the poet T.S. Eliot. New Year’s, I maintain, does not matter so much. My ...

Zank, Jack, and Ron

Artist: ZankSong: “Sorry” (from the CD Without a Bridge)Heard By: Abe Sanchez, Rosarito, Mexico It’s not bad. It’s something I’d definitely listen to on the radio, but I don’t know if I’d go out and ...

The Ten Roads to Riches

What are you reading? “The Ten Roads to Riches, by Ken Fisher. Also, 50 Prosperity Classics, by Tom Butler-Bowdon. And Seinology, by Tim Delaney.” Tell me about them. “Ken Fisher is one of Forbes’ 400 ...

Tiny Bubbles

There was an October wedding in Coronado with a reception on Soledad Mountain. A guy named Jeff called to suggest I crash the Hawaiian-themed affair. I wore a Hawaiian shirt to fit in. The problem ...

Virtual Water Cooler

“Someone smells a little too human at Trader Joe’s.” — Shindotv on Twitter I bowed forward 90 degrees and slowly lifted my right leg into the air behind me, like a ballerina only not as ...

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Wednesday 24Old schoolers, DJ Heather Hardcore hosts a Christmas Eve git together at Radio Room, whose Space page bills it as an “’80s new-wave dance party.” Spin me right 'round, baby.... Old, old schoolers, like ...

Nuke the Atoll

Christmas Island was formed in August 2007. “Lucy [Wehrly] and I had already been dating awhile when we decided to play music together and record some songs,” says Brian Island. Brian’s on guitar; Lucy’s on ...

Strange Stage Moments

Randy Seol/Strawberry Alarm Clock: “We got to play the big music festival, Cal Jam II [in 1978], on a side stage. It was a big production, with modern dancers and backing singers. For some reason, ...

Timberlake: Very Impressive

Heavy Glow recently recorded an EP at Velvet Revolver’s L.A. studio with guitarist/producer Stevie Salas. “Slash’s guitar was there,” says front man Jared, “and I played it while we recorded. I met [GNR/VR drummer] Matt ...

Letters

Listen To Louie’s Re Louie’s Suds n’ Sun (“Use Me, Then Lose Me,” “City Lights,” December 18). I hope the Reader keeps covering this story. I graduated from SDSU in 2006 and will always fondly ...

Restaurant Porn, Italian Style

Olivetto is no relation to the fabled Oliveto up north in the Rockridge District of Oakland — there’s no Paul Bertolli in the kitchen, creating legendary handmade salumi from scratch. But, with that out of ...

Quaint Past

Each holiday season, Lamb’s Players presents an annual Christmas show at its resident theater and a three-hour extravaganza, An American Christmas, at the Hotel del Coronado. Set 100 years ago, the program for American Christmas ...

Christmas on the Loop

Christmas is getting harder to dodge as a topic, and I may have outwritten that one. I think I have columns running right past that date. Either way, allow me to indulge in a favorite ...

Playoff Scenerios Bought and Sold

It’s still a Norv Turner team, make no mistake, but in spite of that, the AFC West championship now lies in San Diego’s hands. Or Denver’s, depending on your point of view. If the Chargers ...

Monday, December 22

Shoring Up Slowing Contributions

Three years ago, Del Mar Unified School District decided to sell off a 5.3-acre parcel of surplus property located in the heart of the city, at Ninth Street and Camino del Mar, for $8.5 million. ...

Friday, December 19

Rumor, Innuendo, and Dumpster Diving

During the December 17 Encinitas City Council meeting, the city’s state lobbyist, Jonathan Clay from the Carpi and Clay government relations firm, gave a year-end legislative summary to the council. “The governor, because of the ...

No Butts About It

Every Saturday for the past year and a half, a group of Escondido teenagers have been meeting at 8:00 in the morning to pick up cigarette butts strewn about 11 of Escondido’s city parks. So ...

Wednesday, December 17

Would You Pay $750 for a Bike with No Brakes?

Fixies connect you to the road.

The bike is brown. It’s light in my hands; I can lift it over my head, which I do, just to try it, and it’s easy. Walking it out of the back door of its ...

Up in the Air

I can’t believe this. I’m looking down — way down — at the kelp beds off La Jolla. Brown bruise on blue ocean. Jet fighter zooms out to sea — underneath us! Chopper whirrs by, ...

Use Me, Then Lose Me

For the past ten years, Louie Holton has owned and operated Louie’s pub at Aztec Center at the southeastern edge of the SDSU campus. While serving beer and wine to students weekday afternoons and evenings ...

Hurricane P

About four months ago I was having Mexican food at a vegan place at Sunset Cliffs — I have friends who are vegetarians, and this is one of the places that we all enjoy — ...

A Tone of Entitlement

We have all by now — or most of us anyway — found ourselves familiar with the phrase “random acts of kindness.” I first saw it on a bumper sticker some years ago: “Practice Random ...

Dog Days, Dog Nights

‘It’s an international organization. We promote the training and ownership of hunting dogs and hunting itself. We go out once a month and do training days and hunt tests. There are 50 members in our ...

1978, Year in Review

Thirty Years AgoReal estate has been very high for the past 28 months, but if you had bought on the coastline early this year, you would have an irreplaceable resource. Also, getting into an apartment ...

Crash and burn

Earlier this fall, Dan Schroeder and his wife Lisa gave Union-Tribune real estate writer Roger Showley a VIP tour of their extravagant new La Jolla abode. Showley’s October 30 story described “a marvel in concrete, ...

I Get a Kickback Out of You

When a San Diego hotel concierge recommends a restaurant, he or she may be getting a fat kickback. “It’s an extortion ring. Like the Mafia. Restaurants are bribing concierges in hotels. It’s a bidding war,” ...

Shrek You!

A nation doesn’t leap off of a cliff and fall into chaos; it slides over the course of months. In 2001, Argentina started that slide. By 2002, the price of food had rocketed 200 times ...

The eyes have it

The Orange County Register has put up a new online search engine on its website, allowing lookups of the salaries of all employees of the University of California who make more than $25,000 a year. ...

Overdue

It’s a long way from swinging 1969 London, but over the past few months at Earthling studios in El Cajon, publisher/musician Mike Stax and producer Mike Kamoo have been working on an album of 12 ...

Fog of war

The sentencing of Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, who loomed large in the bribery scandal that brought down GOP congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, has been delayed until January 29 of next year while Foggo’s lawyers fight to ...

Stretch Drive

Counting down the final movies till Christmas.... Doubt, from the prize-winning stage play by John Patrick Shanley, is an ambiguous drama of possible priestly pedophilia at a Catholic school in the Bronx. The playwright, perhaps ...

New Virus Killer at the Zoo

When a 12-year-old polar bear at the San Diego Zoo died of unknown causes a year ago last July, a team of investigators, led by Dr. Mark D. Schrenzel of the zoo’s Center of Research ...

Wayne Hancock

When I read Wayne “the Train” Hancock called himself “the stab wound in the fabric of country music,” I knew that I had to talk to him. What is the problem with country music? In ...

Calcite Mine

Millennia of geological weathering and erosion have cut and polished the landscape into the striking forms you’ll discover while visiting Anza-Borrego’s Calcite Mine area. A highlight of the hike is the mine itself. During World ...

Twisted Sister

If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. — Linda Sunshine Jenny was ...

Apes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath, you probably remember from high school, is John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 novel of the working poor. The novel exposed some of the nightmares behind the California dream and helped win Steinbeck ...

Bitter Candy

Notes from a local stagehand who worked on Madonna’s recent concert at Petco Park: “We were 50 feet away, in the tunnel, and they made us turn the other way, toward the loading dock, so ...

What I Did Last Summer

“I had just seen the Muslims and Wild Weekend at the Belly Up,” says Embalmers singer-guitarist Gordo about a night in late July. “I stopped at a few more bars. I got pulled over on ...

Writer

Album: Blood Drops (2008)Artist: WriterLabel: self-releasedWhere available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas, Off the Record in North Park, M-Theory in Mission Hills, Spin Records in Carlsbad, and live shows for $8.Songs: 1) Matthew 2) Anymore 3) ...

We Got Nuthin'

I saw a band called the Dateless Losers at the Ould Sod on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. I liked their songs and their sense of humor. After their set I asked Tim Curns to ...

Merry Hangover

Thursday 18It’s time for hometown hit Gary Shuffler’s (Honey Glaze) birthday extravaganza, when Shuff dons his “screwed-up eyes and screwed-down hairdo” as Ziggy Shuffledust and the Spiders from Mars. If you’ve never seen a Shuffler ...

Letters

No More Sobs My wife just brought home the Reader, and I’m looking at your cover story “Go Directly to Jail…and Die” (December 11). I’ve read the first paragraph of the darn thing, and I ...

Woe Plus Meanness

Hooo-boy… Christmas is just around the corner, yet the residents of Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas — even counting “greater” Tuna — are so low on holiday cheer it won’t wet the dipstick. The ...

Sushi for All Seasons

After looking over the interesting, many-page menu at Azuki, and after trying the miso soup and the first “test roll” (uni, of course) to the accompaniment of lilting Brazilian pop, I made a firm decision: ...

First Congregational Church of Ramona

Ramona held its annual Christmas-tree lighting on the evening of December 13. At nine the next morning, the bell in the brown wood steeple above the First Congregational Church clanged out a summons to the ...

Sexting

“Sexting” is when somebody —probably somebody who’s drunk — texts you on your cell phone and the subject matter is overtly sexual. So instead of “texting” you, they’re “sexting” you. “Sexting” is sort of the ...

Bones, 1960

Anthropologists study ancient skeletal remains found at La Jolla Cove, 1960. No indexed information pertaining to this discovery is available at the downtown library, but prehistoric bones have been found “in the Cliffs at La ...

Holiday Goose

We don’t argue politics at Kelly family gatherings; we argue menus. I want something exotic for Christmas dinner, something fancy. Ma Kelly insists on something traditional. Husband Patrick just wants something that tastes good, “and ...

Tylenol, Sweat Scents, Volcano Incinerator

Dear Matthew Alice: While I was waiting for the Tylenol to kick in and stop my headache, I decided to read the ingredient list on the bottle. Active ingredients: Acetaminophen. Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, ...

Them Boots

“The Russians really do drink a lot of vodka,” says Carnifex drummer Shawn Cameron of the patrons at Moscow’s Tochka Club, where the band appeared December 1. “And the stuff with labels written in actual ...

Weekend Beer Bread

Recipe by Benjamin Moore, executive chef, Parallel 33. I like to take everyday food and pair it in unique ways people wouldn’t think of. I taste something and think, Oh my gosh, this would go ...

Monday, December 15

How Much Green To Go Green?

At the December 10 Solana Beach City Council meeting, councilmembers adopted a resolution that requires all publicly funded building projects within city limits to meet minimum “green” building standards established by the Leadership for Energy ...

Sunday, December 14

Down in the Valley

Author: Steve Kerrins Neighborhood: Mission Valley Age: 23 Occupation: Law student I have to admit that after 18 months here, I actually kind of enjoy living in Mission Valley. Still, I feel strangely guilty writing ...

Thursday, December 11

DeMaio Brings Rochambeau-Style Reforms to City Council

In the months leading up to his December 8 inauguration to the San Diego City Council, Councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio was outspoken about the role of the city-council president. He believed the position — created in ...

Wednesday, December 10

Go Directly to Jail...and Die

Prison bureaucracies deny basic medical care.

Francisco Castaneda came to the United States from El Salvador during its civil war of the 1980s. Fleeing the violence, his mother crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in 1982 with Francisco, aged 10, and his ...

Firehouse Swing Dance Video

Swing Dance Performance from the Bal-Swing-Boogie Bugs at the Firehouse Swing Dance 10-year Anniversary Party, December 10, 2008.

Homies

The arrest last week of Esteban Núñez, the 19-year-old son of ex–Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, in connection with a murder during a late-night rumble near San Diego State, has brought new focus on the former ...

After the fall

The tarnished legacy of ex–University of California president Bob Dynes — the onetime UCSD chancellor who was forced from UC’s top job following a series of high-profile payroll and administrative scandals — has taken yet ...

Good for the Harp, er, Heart

“Music played on the harp has several unique healing properties,” says Christina Tourin, founder and director of the International Harp Therapy Program. Based in San Diego, the program trains students to provide comfort and healing ...

My Happy Ass

According to drummer Bill Ray, “My friend called and said, ‘Hey, I’m watching this Smithsonian Channel program narrated by Morgan Freeman, and you’re on it!’ I was, like, WTF?” The TV show, Sound Revolution, included ...

They Out-Draked Drake

Bill Drake, who created Boss Radio, the Top 40 format that dominated American radio from 1965 to about 1972, died November 29 of lung cancer. The radio pioneer was 71. Drake’s fast-paced Boss Radio format ...

It’s a Convenience Charge, You Oxymoron

If you bought a ticket through Ticketmaster to see the Wu-Tang Clan last Friday, you were helping Ticketmaster’s bottom line almost as much as you were patronizing the House of Blues. If you bought a ...

Rock to Riches

Mission Beach author Lee Silber has a radical idea when it comes to starting up a new business in today’s economy: aspiring business owners might be better off using Jimmy Buffett’s business model over billionaire ...

Nightwatchman

Thursday 11Rolling Stone in 2003 named Harlem-born guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave fame to its coveted list of “top 100 guitarists of all time.” Morello’s effects-heavy play is only outdone by his ...

Food and the Law

And then the Great King came forth, and he did spake, saying, “Let There Be Law!” Thirty-seven centuries later, I’m lookin’ him in the eye, raising my glass mug of chai, and saying, “Sir, you ...

French-Kissed Comfort Food

For a few decades — roughly Carter through Clinton — old-fashioned French restaurants seemed increasingly vieux chapeaux, in view of the lighter, cleaner-flavored “new French” cuisine fermenting during those years. That was also the period ...

Most Downloaded, November

"Bench to the Bus Stop," by Nature of the Beast, was the most-downloaded mp3 from SDReader.com during November. Below is an interview with members of the group. Ollie: I just gave Nature of the Beast ...

Nook and Cranny

The natural suspicion surrounding any and all of the “alternative” programs at the Reading Gaslamp (né Pacific Gaslamp) is that these must be films that the Landmark chain turned up its nose at. Rejects. Undesirables. ...

Wrapped with Care

“Every single gift must have its proper folds,” says Lisa Koide Halverson. “In America, on Christmas, you don’t wrap a present in black — usually red or green. On Easter it’s usually wrapped in pink ...

Just For Men

I will (the mountain or Allah willing) have turned 58 years old by the time this appears, assuming it does at all. Anything I might be ready to carve in stone looks increasingly like folly ...

Hang in There, Baby

People have called me a “hater” because I’m quick to give my opinion on most everything and usually within my stated opinion the word “crap” pops up. If you ask me, “What did you think ...

Fabulous Femurs, Aluminum Boots

I remember the first time I came in to a little money as a teenager and went to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family. I went to the Fashion Valley mall and remember walking ...

Christmas Films

Our street is aglow with candy cane lights, snow globe Santas, and icicle lights. The chilly nights bring the smell of wood fires in the fireplace. The Kelly family is beginning its holiday traditions. With ...

Poetry's Big Daddy

Thirty Years AgoVictorian melodrama, on the other hand, does not lie high on anybody’s list of significant art. It is not even a current art, one worth attacking in order to raise the quality of ...

The Villain Is Gluttony

Almost everyone has awakened one morning filled with remorse over the previous evening’s behavior. Perhaps it was the time, drunk as a billy goat, you bepissed the boss at the office Christmas party. That’s what ...

Metallica

Call them guitar geeks. They are mostly middle-aged white working-class guys who have a thing for guitar heroes past and present. After an evening of guitar pyrotechnics, they will crowd around the bar and pound ...

Rite of Passage

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life. — Sophia Loren To say I was “looking forward” to Thanksgiving would be a gross understatement. I was giddy with anticipation. This would ...

Canyon Trails Traffic Jam

Trail biking in a north San Diego canyon seems to be running up against its own popularity. Deer Canyon is part of a new preserve in the City of San Diego’s open-space system, whose management ...

Low tech

La Jolla’s General Atomics, which makes the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and is working on a new generation of experimental nuclear-power reactors, has entered into a deal with Eastern Kentucky University to make fuel from ...

Green Valley Church

The wall of windows looking into Green Valley’s vestibule was frosted around the transparent words: “Believe, Belong, Become...self-control, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, patience, peace, love.” Inside the vestibule stood a painting of what looked like a ...

House Money

Gentlemen, please remove your hats. For the first time in Sporting Box history, I am pleased to offer congratulations to the A-R-I-Z-O-N-A C-A-R-D-I-N-A-L-S. Funny how that name rolls awkwardly off the tongue, making a strange, ...

Secondhand Transplants, Foot the Bill, Triboluminescence

Mattster: Say somebody has a liver transplant and then they die a while later in an accident. Can they take out the transplanted liver and give it to someone else? What would happen if somebody ...

Nuptials in the Sand

Name: Sunshine Granaldi Age: 28 Lives in: Gaslamp Quarter Surfing: Ocean Beach Post-surf food: Pho Ideal surf vacation: Thailand “Surfing almost ruined my wedding. My husband and I got married in La Jolla two years ...

Letters

Give Us Happy Hours I am writing to make a suggestion. I think most of the restaurants Naomi reviews are too expensive for many of us, while Ed’s restaurants tend to be dives. I suggest ...

Jesse Johnson, Philip Treas, Extinct Animals

Artist: Jesse JohnsonSong: “Spread the Love” (from the CD Cause and Effect)Heard By: Peter Milmoe, New York City I thought he had a great voice. The song had a lot of movement, but it was ...

Darker My Love

Los Angeles five-piece Darker My Love takes their name from a song by the punk band TSOL, and one of their two vocalists used to be in the hardcore band the Nerve Agents, but that ...

Heartfelt and Saucy

Melissa Vaughan writes hopeful, heartfelt piano ballads reminiscent of Norah Jones by way of Tori Amos. “My songs have a lot of genres all crumpled together,” she says. “I have some jazz, some folk, some ...

Anything for a Laugh

Talk of Broadway surrounds The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea, an African retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fable. If the buzz refers to the cast, one of the finest ever assembled at the San ...

Rocky Oaks Park

Diminutive Rocky Oaks Park is typical of the many small properties that have been purchased or earmarked for future acquisition by the National Park Service in the continuing effort to flesh out the Santa Monica ...

Saturday, December 6

Madaffer: Live From The Dais

During a special council meeting on Friday, December 5th, only days after Mayor Sanders vetoed the City Council’s decision restoring the community centers and painter positions back in the current year’s budget, a compromise was ...

Thursday, December 4

Negotiating with Labor Negotiators

On December 1st, San Diego City Councilmembers voted 6 to 1 in favor of hiring two lawyers from the law firm of Burke, Williams and Sorenson as lead negotiators for fiscal year 2010 city employee ...

Diagnosing the Expansion of Scripps Memorial Hospital

December 8th is the last day the public can comment on the impacts the expansion of Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas will have on the community. The project consists of seven phases, over a 13-year ...

Wednesday, December 3

It's Getting Ugly Downtown

Downtown condos - kinda like roller coasters.

One Who’s Out and Wants In A man walks into the lobby of a downtown sales office on Sixth Avenue and G Street on a Sunday morning, wheeling his young son in a stroller in ...

Defense news

Republican Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser in the first Bush administration, has emerged as a key defense adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. The 83-year-old Scowcroft, a close buddy of such GOP military and ...

Mission Hills United Methodist Church

“The church was built in 1913, before there was even a street here,” said a congregant at Mission Hills United Methodist. “People love it for weddings.” Between the stained-glass dome, the Arts & Crafts woodwork, ...

Letters

The Present Craziness Thanks for the optimistic article “Can We Create New Life?” (Feature Story, November 26). One has to be suspicious of any government policy being fast-tracked, especially one as revolutionary as genetic-engineering promotion. ...

Judge for Yourself

“There’s no question that emotions play a big part in determining the outcome of a case,” says retired San Diego superior court judge Norbert Ehrenfreund. “The appearance of the defendant, for example, and the way ...

I Am Genghis Khan

I am Genghis Khan. Bill Bryson, in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything, explains how lineage works by starting out: “If your two parents hadn’t bonded just when they did — possibly to ...

Game of the Year

Mark ye well, the University of San Diego Toreros men’s basketball team goes up against the (San Francisco) Academy of Art University Urban Knights, 7:00 p.m., December 19, at Jenny Craig Pavilion. This is a ...

A Skeleton in San Diego’s Closet

Twenty-nine years ago this week (12/7/79), the city’s first punk venue, downtown’s Skeleton Club, reopened at 202 West Market Street. The original locale on Fourth Avenue, across from Horton Plaza, had been shut down the ...

Balboa Park Trails

Incremental improvements over the past couple of years in Balboa Park’s hidden corners are resulting in the park’s rebirth. Canyon slopes formerly choked with dense undergrowth and used as de-facto drug dens have been cleared ...

Saved by Commander Bell

An old nautical joke is that the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story is that the former begins “Once upon a time…” while the latter begins “Now this ain’t no BS!” Also, ...

Cool Clip King

It turns out that there are thousands of hours of vintage American jazz, blues, rock, and folk performances dating as far back as the ’50s stored in the videotape libraries of television stations in, of ...

Laura Roppé

Album: Girl Like This, 2008 Artist: Laura Roppé Label: self-released Where available/price: lauraroppe.com ($12 plus S&H), CDBaby.com ($12.97) or for download at iTunes ($9.99 for the full album, 99 cents per track), or Amazon.com ($7.99 ...

Not retiring

The University of California has decided to take a closer look at hundreds of its pensioners who are double-dipping — receiving fat retirement checks while working as temporary employees at their old jobs, in many ...

Soba Noodle Salad

Recipe by Jim Pearson, Sous Chef, Rice I love Asian food. All types, especially Thai, such as seafood and pho. I love spice. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was always surrounded by Asian ...

Christmas Malling

Girlfriend Jill wanted to hit the malls, but she needed help. She’s pregnant and has a couple of little ones besides. I called around to see what was out there. Sonia at Mission Valley Center ...

A World Full of Wormboys

Thirty Years AgoI was astounded (but somehow, not surprised) to read of the $3 million suit being filed against your paper by Ted Giannoulas, the KGB Chicken, over a personal ad that appeared a year ...

Harbor Police, Reader Hoarding, and Animals with People Names

Hey, Matt: Last year I moved to Point Loma. I grew up in San Diego but never really hung out too much by the bay. My question is, what’s up with the Harbor Police? I ...

Hitting the road

Democratic state senator Denise Ducheny has been taking it on the chin from newspapers around the state for jaunting across the Pacific while the legislature wrestled with the budget crisis. She was among 15 of ...

Durts

EMBREY NEWMAN REQUESTED THE REMOVAL OF HER PERSONAL INFORMATION. OK'D BY JIM HOLMAN ON 3/27/09.

SDPD -- Got An Attitude?

Let’s say a man bit your finger so viciously that the flesh was torn away and the bone exposed. Let’s say it happened in a public place in front of dozens of eyewitnesses who prevented ...

Drunken Limbo

A few times a year, local party legend Bear Paw gives me the heads up on a party. His directions on my voice mail are always amusing. This one said, “I don’t know the name ...

Let Them Eat Cake -- the Sea and Cake

Thursday 4Roll tape. God Is an Astronaut, based in a place called Glen of the Downs, Ireland, is a post-rock instrumental trio that reads like Glasgow gang Mogwai but spins more synth-based ambient-to-explosive jams. The ...

Puck Rock?

Before founding Megadeth, veteran thrash-master Dave Mustaine (born September 13, 1961, in La Mesa, currently living in Fallbrook) was Metallica’s original lead guitarist before getting replaced by Kirk Hammett in 1983. These days, Mustaine has ...

Bad Brains

My dream list of bands to play at Barack Obama’s inauguration in January includes Bad Brains. Why not? They are controversial, they have a huge reputation, and Washington, D.C., is their hometown. They started there ...

Uglysuit

The Uglysuit is woefully misnamed. This Oklahoma City band clothes its songs in so much beauty it’s almost embarrassing. “Chicago,” the standout track on the Uglysuit’s self-titled debut album, has got a chorus so uplifting ...

What’s in a Name?

When Coors passed on the naming rights of SD’s largest local concert venue this year, the 20,000-capacity Chula Vista concert venue formerly known as the Coors Amphitheatre became the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. Now insiders say ...

That’s the Spirit

Delta Spirit had to cancel their November 21 show at Hailey’s in Denton, Texas, after bassist Jon Jameson was arrested. “Jon was arrested last night in Texas for possession of prescription medication,” read a post ...

Riding in Vans with Boys

Action sports channel Fuel TV has supplanted MTV as the best way for signed and unsigned bands to get international TV exposure. The Daily Habit airs four times a day on Fuel and features interviews ...

Dark Night

If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast: You may escape without a mauling. — Dr. R.W. Shepherd By the time I turned off the faucet, ...

Beepers and Omelettes

Nobody goes to the hospital unless they have to. Or their buddy has to. My buddy Cisco had to today. Tests. He’s like me: car-free. So our neighbor Linda offered her Nissan. Bless that gal. ...

Modigliani Mussels, Absinthe Fountain

The current may have swept away the Currant I reviewed glowingly a year ago, but it hasn’t drowned the restaurant’s civilized atmosphere. Last spring, big-shot chef Jonathan Pflueger departed (assisted by a gentle kick in ...

I Smoked the Weight of My Own Soul

Maitland is standing, fourth from the teller, on Friday afternoon at an undisclosed Hillcrest bank. He is holding a paycheck for $1050 and a deposit slip. His cell phone at his waist is ringing, a ...

What We Would Have Asked Andrea

On November 20, we got stood up by Andrea Tevlin, the independent budget analyst who reports to the council. She had agreed to do an interview at 2:00 p.m., but she called beforehand to tell ...

The Dark Knight, Shutter, Jack Frost

Janeane WhiteSenior, Mount Miguel High School For Christmas I have no idea what movie I’d want because I love too many films. I would probably pick a scary movie even though it’s the holidays because ...

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