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Thirty Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice:
With the biggest proposition in years coming to the vote June 6, I’m completely bewildered over what could, should, or would happen if Proposition 13 passes.
G.A.B.
North Park

The thunder of debates between state leaders has already rolled out of town, but local politicians will meet for a squall tonight at 7:30 at Mission Bay High School, where Councilman Tom Gade will speak in favor of Prop. 13, debating Assemblyman Larry Kapiloff, who stands opposed.

As my rent has increased twice since December, I shall promise to vote for Prop. 13 when the owner of some apartment building steps forward to offer me a portion of the money he will save through tax reform.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, June 1, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
This Friday evening I am going to free my art from the closet. I am going to leave my tedious job as a missile polisher at a prestigious local defense firm and cast off my dress-for-success overalls. Then I am going to clad myself in a fern-green turtleneck sweater, aqua tights, and billowing pink polypropylene pantaloons. I may also strap my pet pelican to my head before I march downtown to where my creation, Surrounded Torso, can be appreciated as art.
“ANOTHER OPENING OF ANOTHER SHOW,” Kathryn Phillips, June 2, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
San Diego has approximately 1000 restaurants that are located on sewer lines with a history of stoppages. The worst areas are Old Town, Hillcrest, Shelter Island, the coastline between La Jolla and Mission Beach, and the University Avenue/El Cajon Boulevard strips. In La Jolla, the department used a video camera that traveled through the sewer pipes, which measure between six and eight inches in diameter. “You could see grease hanging down the [pipes] under certain restaurants,” says Rod Rippel, director of the industrial waste division.
CITY LIGHTS: “GREASE IS THE WORD,” Brae Canlen, June 2, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
A Sunday evening in April. Traveling north on foot from that section of San Diego called Little Italy. My destination is Balboa Park. My goal is to seek out and live among San Diego’s homeless. Another goal is truth. The one absolute. And honesty. If I am to pry into the affairs of these modern-day Misérables, invade the world of people whose lives are invaded without end, I must have a noble cause. My efforts cannot be for the sake of further parading before the public eye the disadvantages of the disadvantaged.
“RADIANT CITY,” David Rioux, June 3, 1993

Ten Years Ago
Despite the Internet’s growing popularity as a worldwide BBS, some refused to give up on the local BBS scene. A few sysops kept their bazaars running, and those loyalists with modems continued to call. Below are thoughts on the dwindling San Diego BBS scene.

How do you feel about the Internet?

I like the Internet from time to time, although it can be difficult to reach files of a particular theme. I go on the Internet only to get tired of it. Try doing a search for “Cigarette Butts,” and you’ll get every adult advertisement you could think of.
CITY LIGHTS: “SAVE THE LOCAL BBS SCENE,” Tamara Bradford-Kiskaddon, June 4, 1998

Five Years Ago
Ugh, Anne Albright. There’s got to be something more interesting in life than having another baby, number six. And everybody’s praying and crying. I think I read the same thing every week: praying and crying about something different every week. And now we have to put up with it for probably six more months, until you have the baby, and then we all get to pray and cry about the baby when it’s born.
LETTERS: “ANNE’S CRITICS AMUSE BABY BORE,” Jennifer Schroeder, La Jolla, May 29, 2003

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