Stories for December 2009

Thursday, December 31

No Room at the Pier

The day after Christmas, I took a friend to the beach in P.B. Near Crystal Pier, I was talking about the cottages built there in the ’30s. I noticed a bunch of people with walkie-talkies ...

Victorious Seals

Wednesday morning, December 30, volunteers from Seal Watch (an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting harbor seals) manned their posts in the cul-de-sac above the La Jolla Children’s Pool. “The most current news is unfortunate,” ...

Tag — You're It

According to a sheriff's press release, deputies arrested a prolific graffiti tagger at his Vista home on December 28. The 16-year-old suspect was booked into the San Diego Juvenile Detention Facility on 232 counts of ...

Contamination Remediation

The Centre City Development Corporation announced on Tuesday, December 29, that environmental remediation work will soon begin on an agency-owned location on the 700 block of Market Street. The East Village site is a 187-car ...

Almost All Aboard

While purchasing a train ticket in Oceanside shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 27, I witnessed some of the chaos of this holiday travel season. An Amtrak passenger had been left behind after she ...

Wednesday, December 30

The little pills that sent me on my journey

Every time, the pharmaceuticals win.

I take my chances with a bottle of small blue pills. They’re intended for my grandfather, but since he isn’t here anymore, he won’t mind sharing a couple, maybe three or four. Ten minutes into ...

Black Gold: Oil City, Pennsylvania

Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, Oil City might just be the most relevant small town in the world today. Here lie the remnants of the world's first commercially successful oil wells, dating from the 1860s. ...

Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam is a maze. Each hour, my friend Billy and I lost ourselves in alleys, canals and cobbled streets. The lanes connected at odd angles; they changed texture, defied logic. Where we expected to find ...

December 24 Crossword Contenders

Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 13. Thanks Reader for a great year! Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 13. This healthcare legistration in the senate is making me sick! Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 13. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 13. Love to ...

December 24 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 13. Hmmmmm.... Barack-DEMS were 4 PUBLIC-OPTION be-4 they were against it? Paul Brugger, Downtown, 13. Would sudoku streak survive? With Jan's help its still alive * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, ...

Magic Kingdom

There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out. — Lou Reed Heading north on the 163, I yawned and blinked my eyes. It was nice to have the road ...

Squirrel Nut Zippers

JamBase.com says that L.A.’s KROQ aired the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ 1996 single “Hell,” a giddy calypso thing with Sunday-school overtones, as a joke. But “Hell” became a hit. “Now the d and the a and ...

New Year's Resolutions

“I’m not looking back — I’m looking forward,” Nancy proclaimed. “I try not to think of the resolutions that I have broken. My main problem is I make a resolution and then there is a ...

Year-End Quiz

Grandma Alice is pretty happy to have Christmas done with. She says we’ve taken all the fun out of it. Shopping for the elves is always a chore. This year they asked Santa for their ...

The Plaintiff Knew Nothing

‘If I am guilty of anything, it’s of being a good lawyer and advocating for the rights of the disabled,” proclaims Lynn Hubbard III of Chico, who has filed, by his own reckoning, 2000 lawsuits ...

Nonprofits Nonplussed

At the Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista, things are humming along as they have since the center was founded in 1932 as a settlement house for families of Italian and Portuguese fishermen. Having moved ...

The Year in Restaurants

Famous Chinese curse: “May you have an interesting life.” It’s been an interesting year, the financial weather a perpetual windstorm batting restaurants around along with the rest of the economy. Newspapers are flapping in that ...

Mount Zion Loop

On the Mount Zion loop hike, you get to discover plenty of wild territory tucked back into the steeply rising “Front Range” of the San Gabriel Mountains. Why Front Range? Because these fortress-like ramparts form ...

Conceptus, Monkeys in Space, City Limits

Artist: ConceptusSong: “Which Way” (from myspace.com/conceptus)Heard by: Lorenzo Ochoa, North ParkIt reminded me of the Mamas and the Papas. It seems influenced or inspired by them. It has a soft melody to it. The guitar ...

Intensive Care

On December 20, Long Beach indie-rock band Crystal Antlers arrived at the North Park home of 24-year-old Matt Kelly with their gear ready to play a show that Kelly, former guitarist of local punk trio ...

Tackling Local Radio

A decimated radio business has triggered the fire sale of three radio stations to a former NFL linebacker who an insider says might take one of those stations out of music and into sports. John ...

Letters

Christmas Coauthor The name of Thomas Reifer, coauthor of our December 24 cover story, “This Is Christmas, Damn It! What Happened?,” didn’t appear in the byline. We apologize to Mr. Reifer for the omission. Thomas ...

Over a Billion Served

Pathology’s newest singer, Pascual Romero (Strangled by Strangulation), marks the metal band’s third vocalist this year; Mason Gregory left in early ’09, and Matti Way departed in September, coming after the previous defection of singer-guitarist ...

Night Marchers

A few years ago, San Diego punk-rock hero John Reis decided that he was tired of playing in two or three bands at the same time. He disbanded both Rocket from the Crypt and Hot ...

Revive the Vibe

“We’ve been planning a Big Mountain album,” says singer-guitarist Quino McWhinney of his dormant reggae band. “But what it’s gonna be, we’re not sure.” McWhinney and his brother James have remained the nucleus of Big ...

Two Stories

I’ve been scrapbooking 2009 sports stories. Let’s see…Yankees win the World Series, A-Rod admits taking steroids, Michael Vick signs with Philly, Kobe wins one without Shaq, and so on. Here’s one that might entertain: Serena ...

In Sum

One thing seems clear. The surprise announcement in June of the expansion of the Oscars’ Best Picture category to ten nominees, a virtual Ten Best list exclusive of foreign films (not just second-class citizens but ...

Standouts

Greatest achievement of 2009: though double-teamed by a rotten economy and the swine flu scare, our theaters survived, though many by the slimmest of margins. Many of 2009’s finest productions were ensemble efforts: each actor ...

The Vegan Word

“This place is run by a ‘Supreme Master’?” says my buddy Lee. He’s driving us to a vegan eatery with an innocent name, “Loving Hut.” “Yeah,” I say. “But we’re cool. It’s the food. Good ...

El Cajon Wesleyan Church

Sunday was assistant pastor Dave Holmquist’s last at El Cajon Wesleyan. After the opening worship — a singer/guitarist and a bongo player alone on the vast, spotlit, blue-green stage — he took his place down ...

Tuesday, December 29

One for the Bicyclists

On December 17, a group calling itself the Clairemont Residents for Common Sense called a meeting with City of San Diego senior traffic engineer Gary Pence to discuss the loss of two lanes on a ...

Grub on the Run

On a chilly morning last weekend, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System unveiled a new food kiosk on the platform of the Fashion Valley Transit Center. The retail kiosk — dubbed Station Shop — replaces ...

More People, More Stuff

Last Sunday afternoon, December 27, Eric Olson and his wife Takako, each armed with a metal detector, scoured the sands of Mission Beach. "We’ve been doin’ this for about a year and a half now,” ...

Rifts

The one-man space-ambient project of Daniel Lopatin, Oneohtrix Point Never, is more concerned with the background than the foreground. His debut Rifts smothers you with arcane haze, apocalyptic drone, and dementia-inducing synth for 27 difficult ...

Monday, December 28

H1N1 - You Swine

According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the number of cases of the H1N1 virus is on the rise. Last week, the county released news that four people who had ...

I Have Hands

I Have Hands should appeal to Residents fans who need something to embellish their burns and to know-it-alls who've "heard everything." The Bran Flakes is a mix/mash-up creature conceived between 'zinesters in 1992. The resulting ...

The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Mika's second album dials down excess (just a few hairs) to prove that nothing succeeds like forthrightness. Even more than his three-strip Technicolor debut Life In Cartoon Motion, Boy works best as an Original Cast ...

Sunday, December 27

Sosua, Dominican Republic

"My friend, my friend!" the men called as we passed. They started as the sun rose, drifting out of their kiosks. "You are hungry, yes? Here is a menu!" "Pretty necklace for the lady?" "See ...

Avila Beach, California

We recently returned to a Central California beach town that’s changed significantly since our first visit about 20 years ago. Avila Beach is located in San Luis Obispo County between the county seat and Pismo ...

Saturday, December 26

Red Christmas

On Christmas day, from the boardwalk in PB, I saw set up on the beach a one-man camp punctuated by an American flag that snapped in the wind. Sitting beneath a tattered umbrella was a ...

Tree by the Sea

On December 24, someone erected a Christmas tree on the sand at Cardiff State Beach. On the sunny Christmas Day, hundreds of people stopped by to have their picture taken next to the tree, with ...

Wednesday, December 23

This is Christmas, damn it! What happened?

The richness of giving and worship.

I’m sitting here looking at a photo taken shortly before Christmas 2008. It’s a very good photo: dramatic and sharply focused. It’s a December afternoon in downtown San Diego: trees dotting a vast swath of ...

Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is one of those American towns with a truly unique flavor. Artists have long embraced this historic community. Adobe architecture and a well-preserved nature contribute to its status as a hub of culture ...

Dangerous Skate-Rats

Three San Diego police units responded to a report of an assault at the Santa Fe train depot on Monday, December 21, at about 5:15 p.m. The incident happened at the north end of the ...

Crazy Louie’s Idea

Although Encinitas homeowner Donna Miano has never claimed to have a record-setting Christmas tree, no one else in San Diego claims a taller living Christmas tree. Perched on the ocean-view bluff overlooking Moonlight Beach, the ...

Gaga for the Lady

"The freaks are outside, and we've locked the doors!" whoops Lady Gaga during Monster Ball, the show created as a safe place for her “little monsters,” as she refers to her fans who displayed a ...

Hey, Cowboy

Move over, Matthew McConaughey, and make room for 60-year-old Jamie Trivisonno, whom I discovered on my way to the gym on Monday afternoon, December 21. Shirtless and with a cigar in his mouth, Trivisonno danced ...

Living Like a Local in Venice

My infatuation with the city of Venice could be considered the longest love affair of my life. It began when I was just a teenager; I arrived by train during my high school student exchange ...

Ringtone Rappers

When Swagg was nine years old, the rapper’s father shot his mom and then himself. He’s grown up around gang violence. “I’ve seen people get shot in my street,” he tells me. Born as G. ...

Fabiani Talks

The young son of a prominent government official boasted to his father that he had saved 25 cents by walking home instead of taking the bus. “Tomorrow, save $10 by not taking a taxi,” cracked ...

Everyone Hates Us

“It seems like we don’t fit in with what’s going on in San Diego and everyone hates us,” says John Wayne Gacy Daycare singer Davit Buck. “Maybe it’s our name,” he says, referring to the ...

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish has been playing ska-punk since the early ’90s and is best known for the 1997 hit “Sell Out,” but to me they will always be the band that created one of my ...

Mushrooms & Manure, Jeez Louise

Heymatt: I read recently that mushrooms (commercial mushrooms) are grown in hay and straw that has been used in the stalls of horse barns. So, I presume that they are also grown in horse manure, ...

Letters

Building In An Uproar I’m calling on behalf of everybody in my building. We are very, very disappointed in the cover of the Reader today (“I Had the Rocket Launcher,” December 17). This violence… Kids ...

Lofty, Bizarre

A woman named Cynthia was having a birthday party downtown. I was told we were supposed to bring something, so I bought cupcakes at the store. When I arrived downtown, I parked far away from ...

Mom’s Banana Walnut Salad

Recipe from Chris Idso, executive chef, Pacifica Del Mar One of my biggest accomplishments as a chef has been to use the local food that grows in San Diego. It was a challenge when I ...

Milan Modern

Bice (pronounced “BEE-chay”) had been open only five weeks when I ate there, because I didn’t have the patience to wait the standard, tactful three more weeks before trying it — not just because the ...

She Has 1984 on Vinyl

Margaret Noble says local clubs gave her the cold shoulder when she set out to become a DJ here. “The Underground Lounge was the most receptive. Bar Dynamite was a great place to play, and ...

St. Luke's Lutheran Church

Got an unusual press release last week. It began: “On Sunday, December 13, 2009, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in La Mesa, Calif., held a legally called and conducted meeting to take its second and final ...

Stop Calling Me Otis

When blues-rock duo the Black Keys asked San Diego sound engineer and record producer Mark Neill if he would load up his vintage recording equipment and bring it to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama ...

As a Man Thinketh

What are you reading? “I just got a book by James Allen called As a Man Thinketh. The main thing in it is that your thoughts pretty much determine the outcome of your life. If ...

Chameleon

“I was married in Virginia when I was 23, with a career and a business suit, but I gave it all up to play music in Southern California,” says singer-songwriter Megan Combs, who arrived in ...

Camper Van Beethoven

Camper Van Beethoven is a California band and were somewhat big in the ’80s. CVB integrates country rock, psychedelic, and faux ethnic things with violin. Imagine the Grateful Dead doing a Strawberry Alarm Clock retrospective ...

Look What Santa Brought

The last of the last. A Single Man. The Christmas movie for holiday depressives (who after all deserve one, too), an adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel detailing the planned last day of a homosexual ...

The Logic of a Landslide

Brian Burke was agonizing over whether to appeal the court’s decision in the Mount Soledad landslide case. “Have you ever been too close to something to decide wisely about it?” he asked. He raised the ...

Germ Warfare

There are always germs, and you’re never going to get rid of all of them. — Cheryl Mendelson I scrutinized the underside of David’s shoe as it dangled in the air. The sole and its ...

Just in Time

This column is for readers who will do their shopping on Christmas morning for the first time. Hold your heads high, people! Remember the three noble precepts: you can’t be picky, you can’t care about ...

Rockhouse Canyon and Valley

Straddling the San Diego–Riverside county line, Rockhouse Canyon and the broad, sloping alluvial basin drained by it — informally known as Rockhouse Valley — constitute one of Southern California’s truly forgotten places. Not much more ...

80-Year-Old Xmas Card

Christmas card by J.M.F. Haase, 1929. “Joseph Malta Frederick Haase joined the Navy in 1911 and was chief photographer at North Island Naval Air Station for much of his career in the 1920s and 1930s,” ...

December 17 Crossword Contenders

Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 12. Merry Christmas to my family Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 12. Little miss Kris- sorry your born so close to Christmas Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 12. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 12. Welcome Eric to ...

December 17 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 12. Joe Lieber-"FOOL" is "DROOL" 4 Healthcare "MULES"-4 Profit Corporations! Jean Bradley, Spring Valley, 12. Robert Bradley, Spring Valley, 12. Paul Brugger, Downtown, 12. Was this week's puzzle hard? Or ...

Monday, December 21

2009: A Wasted Year

I have been unemployed for over a year now. I left, of my own volition, a company where (1) I didn't really have to work, yet still got paid, and (2) where I was told ...

North Pole, Alaska

I love the street names in North Pole: Snowman Lane, Kris Kringle, Mistletoe, Blitzen, Donner, Saint Nicholas Drive, North Star Drive. Residents say that this is where “the spirit of Christmas lives year round” and ...

World’s Largest Auto Museum of Convertibles and Americana

When a full plate of entertainment at the Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo or Sea World isn’t feasible, but you want to get out and do something, the “World’s Largest Auto Museum of Convertibles ...

Claim Jumper

On Friday, December 18, my girlfriend and I went out for dinner to Nick's at the Beach on the corner of Mission Boulevard and Thomas Avenue. When we arrived, there weren’t any parking spaces available ...

Sunday, December 20

Son Voltage

I feared the cheerful Christmas lights decking the stage at Belly Up would be too incongruous to the sepia tones of rust-belt Americana act Son Volt, but the band tore through their set with an ...

Saturday, December 19

Distrackted

“I was on the Blue Line trolley heading south to San Ysidro around 5:30 a.m. when it hit a guy talking on his cell phone,” said college student Jennifer Tull. The County of San Diego ...

Dogfight in Encinitas

Encinitas resident Steve Meiche believes he's sniffed out corruption in city politics. On December 13, the father of two lodged a formal complaint against Encinitas city manager Phil Cotton and director of Parks and Recreation ...

Friday, December 18

April in Winter

Before April became my ex-wife, she worked at a hair salon in Pacific Beach. As Thanksgiving approached, the owner of the salon was suddenly overcome with feelings of civic philanthropy and decided it would be ...

Prop the Arts

At a December 16 meeting, the Escondido City Council voted to write off a $530,731 loan given to the California Center for the Arts Foundation in 2001. "[I]f we haven't been paid back by now," ...

Explosion on Midway?

“Late Sunday night, I was sleeping in my car beside the liquor store when I heard a loud explosion,” said Steward Marshall, who moved to San Diego to attend college. “I was still kind of ...

Don't Truck It — Pipe It

District 2 San Diego councilmember Kevin Faulconer and Mayor Jerry Sanders announced on December 15 a new recycling program — the first of its kind in California — for a more environmentally safe method of ...

World-class Oslo, Norway

Before visiting Oslo, I viewed the city as primarily a gateway to the fjords, but upon arriving I was pleasantly surprised by the attractions it has to offer. Be prepared for steep prices, as it’s ...

Thursday, December 17

In the Unlikely Event

A funk-infused, wah-drenched guitar riff surrenders to a prog-rock progression as lead vocalist/guitarist Thomas Erak screams, "I f*ing hate myself." With unmitigated audacity, the power trio of Erak, drummer Andrew Forsman, and bassist Frank Ene, ...

Jingle Ball

Jingle Ball 2009, a Star 94.1 fundraiser concert for women's shelter Becky's House, was an acoustic triple bill featuring Ingrid Michaelson, Uncle Kracker, and Michelle Branch. The three artists played in that order and provided ...

Surfer, Actor, Purveyor of Weed

I was walking through Pacific Beach on December 15 at about 6 p.m. and stopped to admire an enormous painting on a brick wall at 1421 Garnet Avenue when a voice called out to me, ...

Pills and Eggs

A person was reported for using narcotics at a table at the Denny’s restaurant in the 2100 block of Pacific Highway at about 3:50 a.m. on Tuesday, December 15. An SDPD dispatcher told responding police ...

Wednesday, December 16

I Had the Rocket Launcher, He Had the Chain Gun

How the e-gamer won.

I stay in open hallways where I can see Rocketboy coming. I hear a single footstep, so I dart off in the other direction. He lands a perfect grenade right at my feet and blasts ...

Hot for Pot

"Join the revolution!" says “Big Kahuna” from his post in front of Target on Auto Park Way. "Legalize marijuana!" Kahuna (who says he was born in Hawaii) has gathered signatures at Target, Walmart, and grocery ...

The Bay Area's Best Kept Secret: Capitola-by-the-Sea

What? Never heard of Capitola? If you haven’t yet ventured that far north, you’re missing one of the Bay Area’s well-kept secrets. A quaint, colorful village, Capitola-by-the-Sea, ten minutes south of Santa Cruz, is slightly ...

California Girl

Tristan Prettyman brought her brand of country-surf-folk-pop to the Belly Up Monday night. Not normally a show I'd hit up on a Monday, but I bought the tickets for my girlfriend the day they went ...

91X Wrex the Halls

The lineup for Wrex the Halls 2009 provided something for everyone in attendance at Viejas Arena. Festivities began with a great set by local act and battle of the bands winner Chasing Claymore. Followed by ...

Zero 7

Producers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, with their project Zero 7, have long been leaders in the field sometimes called downtempo music. The genre mixes the electronic and the organic, the modern and the retro, ...

Time and Space

Experimental electric-soul songsmiths Children of Nova came together in summer 2007, featuring members of Atlas of Id and Temperature Delete. After releasing a three-song EP, they bought a van and spent much of 2008 touring ...

Great Whites Might Be Victims

In late 2007, when local shark researcher Michael Domeier teamed up with a television crew and National Geographic to tag great white sharks off Guadalupe Island, Patric Douglas took an interest. Douglas runs a cage-diving ...

Christmas Assistance

“What if we skipped Christmas cards this year?” I asked my husband Patrick. “What if we just told the kids Santa had swine flu this year?” he replied. “You’re just stressed. Let’s take care of ...

Open to Page One

Thirty Years AgoMost Philosophical Opening Sentence: “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.” V.S. Naipaul has emerged this year as the ...

We Won the Gong Show

“The African American Musicians Heritage Foundation was formed to recognize the life and legacy of local African-American jazz musicians,” says Hollis Hassell. “It’s a part of the dynamic ministry,” he says, “of the Church of ...

What's in Your Wallet?

When Genghis Con-Job singer-songwriter Frank Drank filmed his part as a Viking in a Capital One commercial, he had to show up an hour early. “Visigoths don’t have tattoos,” says the 6’4”, 290-pound tough guy ...

My Bono

Guitarist-vocalist Adam Gimbel has been performing under the name Cover Me Badd since 1995 and uses the name as an umbrella “brand” for his tributes to pop groups Depeche Mode, Oasis, and Weezer, along with ...

Ho-Ho-How About a Cookie?

I found out from a friend with a six-year-old son that one of his playmates has a mom who throws elaborate Christmas parties. I drove up to Kimberley’s condo in Peñasquitos, and from there we ...

New World Disorder

The reviewer of Avatar seems honor-bound to declare which Avatar he is reviewing. Me? 2-D, no. 3-D, yes. IMAX, no. I’m in no position to gauge the differences. Viewers who opt for 2-D, and for ...

First Presbyterian Church of San Diego

In my line of work, I see a lot of stained-glass windows depicting either scenes from the life of Christ or various Christian symbols. But until I ventured into the gothic wooden grandeur of First ...

Dinner with Bibi

With the holidays approaching, what better way to get into the spirit of the season than with a free trip to Tel Aviv? Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis embarked on a three-day tour of Israel, from ...

Retired fat

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s got the biggest California state pension of them all? In San Diego County, apparently it’s El Cajon’s William Garrett, at $254,745.72 a year, or $21,228.81 a month, according to ...

Lobbyists Rule

Some enterprises signal what’s going on inside by hanging a red light outside. Mayor Jerry Sanders has revealed what’s going on inside his administration by setting up a group of committees to carry out his ...

Payback's a Bitch

THE FAKE MEMOby Josh Board, Rancho PeñasquitosI used to work on a morning show for Magic 102, a former classic rock station here in San Diego. I usually got to work before the other DJs, ...

Unwritten Law

In 2002, someone planted some homemade bombs — dry-ice sealed in plastic jugs — at the apartment of Unwritten Law guitarist Steve Morris. MTV’s website said that the bombing was the result of a feud ...

Lobby leavings

Ex–Democratic assemblyman turned insurance industry lobbyist Juan Vargas quietly kicked off his bid to replace termed-out incumbent state senator Denise Ducheny last week by personally making a $100,000 loan to his own campaign fund, state ...

Letters

So Many Questions Re “Gompers Takes a Bow” (Cover Story, December 10). Excellent article. As a person who attended Gompers in the seventh grade, I understand the landscape in which these kids must survive. I ...

Blowing in the Wind

Conductor Robert Zelickman hopped on the podium and performed an impromptu jig — or was it the twist? With that, he fiddled with the microphone and announced the night’s first selection, “Suite of Seven Dances” ...

Sweet Smell

Barbecue. It’s the only cooking smell that actually wafts through the air like a well-flung fishing line, grabs you, and hauls you in by the nostrils. I mean, there I was at sunset, hoofing it ...

Pinky Swear

If you wish to converse with me, define your terms. — Voltaire "We could have watched a movie in the time it’s taken you to pick one,” I said, failing in my attempt to make ...

Behind the Wagon, Helen Earth Band, Steam Powered Giraffe

Artist: Behind the WagonSong: “Have Some Fun Tonight” (from the CD 11 Songs by…)Heard by: Beth Borwell, Austin, TXI thought it was a little cheesy. They sound like a random 1990s band that made it ...

Invictus

The letter read, “You’re on your own.” It was typewritten on blank white paper and undated. The missive was from my magazine editor. She explained that if something happened to me the magazine was not ...

Las Virgenes Canyon

Upper Las Virgenes Canyon, near Calabasas at the edge of the San Fernando Valley, is one of those places where you can make the sight and sound of a huge metropolitan area simply disappear after ...

The Native Quarter

Oh, boy, has Paris Hilton ever left the building! Khloe Kardashian (as they say in N’awlins, “Who dat?”) may or may not show up at the Ivy Hotel’s nightclub, Envy, but Quarter Kitchen’s celeb hangout ...

Lovers Are Lunatics

Thursday 17You say night-zer, I say nit-zer... Industrial dance band Nitzer Ebb flows into Brick by Brick tonight. The trio has experienced resurgent interest in their throwback beats and dark clang on the turntables of ...

December 10 Sudoku Contenders

EVIL Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 11. Greed +Â incompetence + immoral + nonsense + blind ambition = Sarah Palin + George Bush!"Â *Jean Bradley, Spring Valley, 11. Reader a day late- hope this's in time! ...

Late-Night Oxycontin

The Rite Aid pharmacy located at 535 Robinson in Hillcrest was robbed early on December 15 by a man with a knife demanding narcotics. San Diego police responded to the pharmacy after a robbery was ...

Good Driver Wanted

At about 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, a driver speeding down Sixth Avenue lost control of his car after taking a sharp turn onto Palm Street. The errant driver’s car hit and smashed a ...

Hickman the Hero

On December 4, 1959, at about noon, an F3H Demon piloted by Ensign Albert Joseph Hickman, 21, crashed into a Clairemont canyon. The pilot deliberately stayed with the aircraft to avoid crashing into Hawthorne Elementary ...

December 10 Crossword Contenders

Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 11. The Point Loma Mazarene Choir really hendeled the messian! Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 11. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 11. Love to Eric Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 11. Stupid sadistic and suicidal- the ...

Tuesday, December 15

Tow-tow-tow, Merry Christmas!

"I was not illegally parked. I urge you to explore not my unjust treatment, but the Mafia-like collusion of tow companies and the City of San Diego; $15,000 for a few hours of work smells ...

Monday, December 14

Can't Stop Not Knowing

Great band name. Great CD title. Great Consequence of Sound report of TNL shut down by the NYPD for rocking so loud it was disrupting the concentration of neighboring CMJ Festival performers (if John Cage ...

Moz and the Men in Black

Morrissey was in a fine mood at Copley Symphony Hall. After a few songs, he acknowledged to the crowd of over 2000 that his last two San Diego performances were "a bit rough." (Morrissey walked ...

How Great Is Your Love

Sean Ardoin, heir to the Zydeco throne of Bois Sec Ardoin, calls this the first Christian Zydeco album, and indeed (at least) I can't think of any others. As one of the several rappers dropping ...

Sunday, December 13

Phil's Fish Market, Moss Landing, California

Catch this! If you’re on a constant search like I am for tasty cioppino, head to Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing, Monterey County, for delicious seafood using old-world family recipes. Phil’s Fish Market, in ...

Liechtenstein!

Liechtenstein – small for a county and too small to be a country! Have you heard of it? Tourists often overlook this small country for all of its glorious neighbors nearby. Slightly larger than Manhattan ...

Charleston, South Carolina: Sea to Shining Sea

Charleston, South Carolina, is on the Atlantic approximately 2,500 miles east of San Diego. My favorite haunts there are Folly Beach, a six-mile long barrier island, and neighboring uninhabited Morris Island. Folly has a Holiday ...

Solemn Nights in Austria

Austria’s Christmas (Weihnachten in German — literally, "Solemn Nights") starts officially on the fourth Sunday before Dec. 25. This is the beginning of Advent, traditionally a time of fasting but today a period of boisterous ...

Sea Sew

Lisa Hannigan, best known for her work with Irish folk-rocker Damien Rice, presents a quirky solo debut In Sea Sew. Well orchestrated, the music is a blend of Irish folk and indie pop. Clever lyrics ...

Gloom Boy's Band

It is rainy and cold on Fern Street in South Park, about as gloomy as San Diego gets. Local death-rockers Blessure Grave set up in the tiny anteroom at the Whistle Stop in front of ...

Beacons of Ancestorship

Listening to Tortoise used to be a jazzy dreamscape of complex percussion, layered strings, and otherworldly electronic loops and licks. Their new album, Beacons of Ancestorship, shows a departure from that form into one that ...

Thanks, Grinch

About a hundred families at the Hollywood Palms Apartment Complex on Home Avenue may have a dismal Christmas thanks to a real-life Grinch who broke into a storage area at the complex sometime this week ...

All for Façades

The Carlsbad City Council, on December 8, approved the initial appropriation of funds for the implementation of the Village Storefront Improvement Grant Program. The dollar-for-dollar grant program allots Carlsbad Village business owners a maximum of ...

Battle Studies

John Mayer’s fourth studio set is mix of mid-tempo soul-pop, melancholy blues, and romantic serenades that combine to provide a genuinely satisfying experience. Taylor Swift joins Mayer on the poppy "Half of My Heart" that ...

Brutal John

During a December 9 meeting at the Mission Bay High School auditorium, Bill Kowba, interim superintendent for the SD Unified School District, addressed 2009/2010 budget cuts: “$183 million has been cut in the last two ...

Saturday, December 12

Let There Be Light

It's been years since the 16 light posts that run the length of the Adams Avenue bridge over Interstate 15 have emitted any light. Some Kensington residents claim the lights along the bridge were never ...

In-Solvent-See at HOB

Stepping into the world of Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key is like stepping into a Dadaist electro-performance-art thrill ride. The show began with a crippled Ogre entering the stage. He was hunched over supporting himself ...

Thursday, December 10

Cast Iron Calamity

“I was [on] Durant Street and saw water flooding the whole intersection near 35th and Durant,” said Noah Gates about a broken water main incident in Mountain View on Wednesday, December 9. “The water came ...

No Sell Motel

The Vista City Council decided on December 8 to follow through on a plan to increase sales-tax revenue by purchasing four properties, including the site of North County Ford, then leasing the land back to ...

Preemptive Scorch

Approximately 30 police trucks were torched by a group of armed arsonists early Tuesday morning, December 8. The newly equipped vehicles were located in a Mazda agency on Via Rapida Poniente and were being prepared ...

Quiet Trains

Frustrated by delays, about 50 representatives of businesses and homeowners’ associations met at CityFront Terrace condos on December 8 to campaign for construction of the long-proposed quiet zone along the downtown railroad tracks. Quiet zones ...

Wednesday, December 9

Gompers Takes a Bow

From predatory to preparatory in five years.

"I remember my first encounter with a student here. I was wearing a suit, and a student comes up to me at lunch with a crowbar in his hand. Tapping it against his leg, he ...

$21M Firehouse

In a public hearing held on Monday, December 7, the San Diego City Council and San Diego Redevelopment Agency approved the use of tax increment funding from the Centre City and Horton Plaza Redevelopment Agency ...

River Valley Mall

Monday's downpour and ensuing floods might have hindered holiday shopping when the San Diego River overflowed its banks and inundated acres of low-level parking garages at Fashion Valley Mall. The flooded parking spaces — numbering ...

Invisible Girl

Garage-rock duo the King Khan & BBQ Show ignite a blast from the past with their new In The Red Records disc Invisible Girl. The collection taps doo-wop, retro garage, and bold punk for a ...

Wolfmother Lays a Cosmic Egg

After three years of silence, Wolmother returns with their sophomore effort, Cosmic Egg. Singer-songwriter Andrew Stockdale channels his inner Robert Plant for track after track of in-your-face 1970s hard rock. Larger-than-life riffs, extended guitar solos, ...

Paula Goes to Poway

When Paula Cole performs, it's part concert, part group meditation. Fans were entranced watching the singer-songwriter croon her poetic, self-revealing lyrics at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Between songs, Cole's emotional interludes further ...

The Good Earth

The Feelies’ second album was released in 1986, six years after their Crazy Rhythms debut, a gap mystifying a lot of people but not bandleaders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million, who said, long story short, ...

Crazy Rhythms

The Feelies sure look like geeks against the ocean-blue on their debut album cover (yes, Weezer ripped it off), and Glenn Mercer’s lightly clogged intonation suggests Jonathan Richman’s taking the lonely boy in the corner ...

December 3 Sudoku Contenders

EVIL Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 10. "Osama has tricked Obama into being another warmonger!" Jean Bradley, Spring Valley, 10. I am blessed and highly favored- how are y'all doing? Robert Bradley, Spring Valley, 10. Desert ...

December 3 Crossword Contenders

Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 10. I still love the majic of Christmas Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 10. Tiger Woods apparently chose the wrong drivet last week Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 10. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 10. Welcome Eric ...

Rock and Roll Survivor

“Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp decided that because it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” says Laura Roppé, “they should have a spot for a breast cancer survivor, so they contacted the Keep A Breast foundation ...

Hallucinatory Bouillabaisse

In 1953, Tennessee Williams sent the equivalent of a neutron bomb to Broadway. He wrote Camino Real to demolish theatrical realism. Don Quixote, the archetypal antirealist, falls asleep and envisions a new kind of theater, ...

Born Like This

Leather-clad misfits from suburbia massed outside the California Theatre. Like angry hornets they formed a large hive around the front door of the concert hall, spilling onto the sidewalk. All members of the various tribes ...

The Pall on the Mall

Window-shopping at Helzberg Diamonds in Westfield’s North County Shopping Mall, Grace, the manager of nearby John’s Fifth Avenue Luggage, says, “I’d think twice before plunking down $10,000 on a ring in this economy.” She enjoys ...

Booze, beasts, and juice

Last week, Anheuser-Busch, the onetime icon of American beer that was snapped up a year ago by the Brazilian-Belgian international brewing combine InBev, finally unloaded its chain of theme parks — including San Diego’s SeaWorld ...

Steak and politics

Hard times will soon shutter Rainwater’s on Kettner Boulevard, the fabled red-meat eatery. Over the years, politicos of all stripes dined gratis at the bistro, thanks to well-heeled special interests. February 2004 was typical. GOP ...

What a Crash

Incredibly, Tiger Woods may not have enough money to buy his way out of this. Or, to put it another way, how many degrees of fucked can one man be and still find somebody to ...

Anberlin

Anberlin plays Viejas Arena on Sunday, December 13 (91X’s “Wrex the Halls” concert including AFI, Rise Against, and 30 Seconds to Mars) I started listening to Anberlin in 2005, when they weren’t that big. I ...

"Adam" by Michael David Lewis

“Adam (Beautiful Boy)” by Michael David Lewis was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during November. Below is an interview with the songwriter. There seem to be a lot of layers to this song. How many ...

The Mayor and the Dirty-Money Guy

Did Mayor Jerry Sanders get his money out of a scandal-ridden private equity group whose chief executive has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy? It’s an intriguing question. For the past several years, Sanders has ...

Letters

Make Art, Not Clowns Dress up like a clown, go to a football game, and, voilà, you’re on the cover of the Reader (“Nuts and Bolts,” Cover Story, December 3). If you’re an artist, forget ...

The Zen of Flop

Thirty Years Ago“Apocalypse At Last,” Duncan Shepherd’s long-awaited review, which appeared in the November 29 Reader, once again demonstrates his clannish and misinformed view of American film. Apocalypse Now is unquestionably the best American film ...

Tape Deck Mountain

On their website, you can watch a video of Tape Deck Mountain playing a cover of Danzig’s “Mother” that’s both inappropriate and perfectly right. These unassuming San Diego indie rockers seemingly couldn’t have any less ...

'Round the World

The Ambassador is the stage name of singer-guitarist Stephen Gabriel Lewis. “I adopted the title because of the passion I have for travel abroad,” he says, “and because of something my mother used to say ...

Ukha (Fish Soup)

Recipe by John Skorepa, executive chef, Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant I have a long and checkered career. After graduating from San Diego State with a BS in biology, I worked in the plumbing and mechanical business ...

Good Dog

The guy in the wheelchair sits at the corner of Fifth and G, waving his “Hot Dogs!” sign toward G Street. That’s all you need. You can see the crowd halfway down G, clumping around ...

Seafood and Splendor

Let’s have one more chorus of “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” The hellish economy is kickin’ out the jams in the restaurant biz, especially in upscale hotel restaurants that locals tend to overlook, thinking they’re ...

The Milky Way, Before Sunrise, The Pillow Book

Dan Whitworth Writer and reformed projectionist Neglected Russian filmmaker Larisa Shepitkov’s debut Wings stars Maya Bulgakova as a former Soviet fighter pilot now serving as a school administrator in the early 1960s. Disappointed with her ...

Chicken Nuggets

“The breading is the swaddling clothes, the chicken is the Christ child, the steam piping off the nuggets is the breath of the animals gathered around the manger, and the fries are the angels’ wings,” ...

Campaign Trail

Here they come, “for your consideration,” clear through Christmas, elbowing each other to the finish line. So consider in haste. Invictus takes its title from the Henley poem of the same name: “my unconquerable soul... ...

"T4M"

The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out. — Thomas Babington Macaulay We suspected something was up. “We” being Corinne and the ...

Star Power

I was able to hit two parties recently because one involved a student film festival, and the kiddies don’t usually party into the late hours. The event, a fundraiser at Isabel’s Cantina in P.B., was ...

Ms. Branch, Your Yoo-Hoo Is Here

When Michelle Branch plays the Star 94.1 Jingle Ball at Anthology on Sunday, December 13, the band dressing room requires a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts (“plain glazed only”), a pack of flip-tab tuna in water ...

Kiss My Baby with My Fist

“About a year ago, I decided I wanted to form a country band,” says Tim Raldo, best known for his confrontational and scatological stage antics fronting the punk band the Filthy Fuks. “The Ramblin’ Outlaws ...

From a Daffodil to a Fowl

It’s been three years since singer-guitarist Ben Jerman parted ways with the Daffodils. At the time, the band played monthly gigs at the Casbah and were within weeks of recording their first EP; it was ...

Heart-Rending Reunion

This, as far as I can tell, is a true story. I did not have a tape recorder for Jack Burnham’s story, and my own memory is increasingly unreliable. This took place two weeks before ...

The Christmas Sweater

video

On December 3, Fox News personality Glenn Beck broadcast a live performance of The Christmas Sweater: A Return to Redemption to movie theaters nationwide. (Tickets were $20.) I was curious — the mention of redemption, ...

Schism on the Dial

Thursday 10L.A. darkwave dance band the Moving Units drop their load at Casbah tonight. Fronted by Blake Miller as Ian Curtis, the quartet stumble into Joy Division hits without commercial menace (looking at you, Interpol) ...

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Grace Potter, a Vermont organist-guitarist and singer, showed up on the indie scene five years ago with a rock quartet and the usual stuff: a strong appreciation for the music of a generation that was ...

Bug Bites, Pale Lips

Matt: Why do bug bites itch? And if our reflex is to scratch it, why doesn’t scratching stop itching? Sometimes it seems to make it worse and it just itches forever. — Bitten Barb, via ...

Sunrise, Sunset

An observer’s guide to the best sunrises and sunsets around San Diego.

Winter is an often-ideal time for watching the sun rise or set in and around San Diego. Picture yourself on a clear late afternoon, perched atop a seaside bluff or on one of the hills ...

All Hail Hueso

San Diego city councilmembers unanimously agreed to reappoint council president Ben Hueso to another term during the December 7 council meeting. Fourth district representative Tony Young backed Councilmember Todd Gloria's motion for reappointment without discussion ...

Tuesday, December 8

Sandstony Cliffs of Sunset

The December 7 meeting of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council was canceled due to storm-related power outages in the Point Loma area. On the agenda was a presentation by City Associate Engineer Paul Jacobs. ...

Saved From Suicide

“I was riding on bus 901 over the Coronado Bridge [on December 4] when I saw two guys who were fighting with an old man,” recounts Paul Borja. Actually, the “fighting” Borja saw was a ...

The Quest for Tequila & Dented Fenders

The day was finally here, the crown jewel of San Diego car shows… King of Clubs. Some buddies and I had finally agreed on a name and logo for a car club, and this was ...

Target: Doctor

An estimated 2000 marchers protested the Tijuana kidnapping and subsequent police impotency in gaining the release of Dr. Irán Cota Cota, medical doctor and secretary general of the Mexican government’s social security agency, the IMSS ...

Highway 1: San Simeon through Big Sur to Carmel

Fill up the car with gas and travel up the coast through Big Sur on Highway 1 to Carmel, one of the most scenic drives in the country. Starting at San Simeon, site of the ...

Kamakura, Japan: Surf and Zen

Just a short train ride from Tokyo, Kamakura is a small seaside town with a big green Buddha. Besides seeing the famous Buddha, there are plenty of temples and shrines dotting the hills and valleys ...

Monday, December 7

Shut Up

Gotta love a group claiming Don Knotts as a member. Gotta listen beyond "The Stadium Moves," which sounds like other disillusioned musicians...but these reference T. Rex and the Merseys, so leave the CD in the ...

Hello Hurricane

For his seventh studio session, homegrown rock star Jon Foreman reaches into his bag of tricks, pulls out all the hooks, and assembles them in a strategic fashion beneath an arsenal of lyrical bombs that ...

Sunday, December 6

For the Shills

Three masked members of Anonymous San Diego (xenu.net) demonstrated on December 5 outside the headquarters of the Scientology/Hubbard Dianetics Foundation on Fourth Avenue. The building is listed for sale. While it was a peaceful protest, ...

Festival of Car Lights

“December Nights” in Balboa Park kicked off with a lurch, leaving winners and losers in an all-night battle over parking. The two-day event opened Friday; a night to forget, according to a would-be attendee who ...

If Detoxified, Will They Come?

On December 2 at an Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, Centre City Development Corporation representative Sheila Harden spoke about the downtown site being considered for a San Diego Chargers’ stadium. Being studied is the feasibility ...

Young Mass Presents...the Best of Daygo City

Young Mass brought together San Diego’s hip-hop standouts on his new compilation The Best of Daygo City. Mass takes you on a trip around Daygo City's diverse hip-hop scene with 22 tracks showing off the ...

Saturday, December 5

Computer Creeper

“Hubert Dymitr Haraszewski Jr. molested me while were in a cave at San Onofre State Beach in October 2007,” the teenage victim testified on December 3 in a Vista courtroom. “We went in the cave ...

The Deafening Immortality of Beethoven's Ninth

Ludwig Van Beethoven was too deaf to hear his ninth symphony while he lived, but his most complex symphonic composition has acquired a deafening degree of immortality after his death. The first weekend of December ...

Friday, December 4

Deadly Ramification

A pickup-truck driver died in Mission Valley on Thursday morning, December 3. “While driving on I-8, I saw a truck racing with another car,” said witness Jackson Foreman. “It hit a Dodge Ram and almost ...

The Clerk Smirked

The Department of Motor Vehicles has been forced to close every second Friday of the month in order to help ease the state budget. This month, the DMV is closed for three Fridays and a ...

Thursday, December 3

Bongtroversial

The most heated topic at the December 2 Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting was presented by Dave Martin, member of the Medical Marijuana Task Force, an 11-member organization established by the San Diego City Council ...

No Hope for Hookahs

On December 2, the Escondido City Council declined to initiate a downtown zoning amendment that would allow hookah lounges to operate in the city. Within the past two months, the City has received four to ...

Glencar Lake, Ireland

The words “heaven on earth” have oft been used to describe places dear to a writer’s heart. Such a place of enchantment I’ve found in Glencar, County Leitrim, Ireland. Glencar’s two-mile-long lough is teaming with ...

An Enchanting Visit to Casa de Paz orphanage in Ensenada, Mexico

We were a small volunteer group visiting Casa de Paz (House of Peace). The director of the orphanage, Jonatán Lopez Sánchez, eagerly welcomed us and began a tour of the property. Surrounding a mini soccer ...

Wednesday, December 2

Nuts and Bolts

The football game is one thing, fandom is something else.

December 2, 2007: During his radio broadcast of the San Diego Chargers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, announcer Hank Bauer gave a shout-out to Charger fan Alfred Silva, who was battling cancer. (Silva’s brother-in-law ...

Repeat Thief?

The North Island Credit Union at 1101 Palm Avenue was robbed at about 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, December 2. A sheriff’s deputy at the scene acknowledged that the robber who fled the scene on foot ...

Japanese Tea Gardens, San Francisco

An oasis of serenity exists in the midst of bustling San Francisco. A feeling of peace will envelop you as you stroll through the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Meandering along quiet paths ...

On Alert

Residents of the southwest and southeast sections of La Mesa have been put on alert regarding burglaries that have occurred in at least 11 residential blocks since November 17. Authorities released the description of two ...

Saved from Fire

A mobile-home fire in Lakeside injured a woman and destroyed her residence early Wednesday morning, December 2. The fire at Willowbrook Estate East mobile park was reported at 6:35 a.m. According to sources at the ...

Cloud Forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica

Walking deep into a lush, primeval forest with a symphony of bird songs in the background is something everyone should experience at least once in their life. Costa Rica is at the forefront of sustainable ...

Temecula and Escondido Wine Country

In Greek mythology, Bacchus (aka Dionysus), the god of wine, is said to inspire artists, musicians and poets and bring an end to care and worry. Dionysus discovered the culture of the vine and how ...

The Big Switch

“There were maybe two venues in Harrisonburg for people to play,” says Inside Switch singer-guitarist Peter Hicks, who with bandmate and brother David Hicks (bass) moved the entire band from Virginia to San Diego last ...

Tornadoes, Orange Decaf, More on Aspirin

Hi, Matt: I’ve never heard of there being tornados in England or Greece or anywhere else except the United States. Is this true? Why would it be true? I can’t figure out why they would ...

One for the books

For a little while, it sounded like great news. San Diego’s county library system was named to a national list of “Star Libraries,” compiled by Library Journal. The publication rated libraries coast to coast by ...

Radio Kaos

“I’ve done a lot of wild rock-star interviews,” says Kaos Tom, who hosts The Kaos Nation Show, a live video broadcast program at aiiradio.net. Regarding Metal Mike Saunders of the Angry Samoans, he says, “I ...

Bed-Sit Sing-Alongs

Thursday 3SanFran psych-pop band the Fresh & Onlys will bring the ampersand to Bar Pink tonight. The Onlys spill Nuggets-era vocals — complete with haunting female backup — over jangly garage-rock chord progressions, a sound ...

Clyde and Bonnie

I must admit a bias. Long before way back when, the Pacific Theatre in Santa Cruz audience-tested movies on Tuesday nights. A bunch of us went for free and filled out questionnaires after. We kissed ...

Gamblers

The Barona Band of Mission Indians hosted a high-powered group of state GOP legislators at the tribe’s Barona Resort and Casino on July 9, according to a recent lobbyist disclosure filing. Senators Tom Harman, Dennis ...

Letters

Bersin Bared I’m calling to compliment Matt Potter on his great, great article on Bersin that I read today in the Reader (“Obama Taps Alan Bersin to Oversee the Border,” Cover Story, November 19). It’s ...

Hillstreet Stranglers, Ryan Hiller, Josh Damigo

Artist: Hillstreet StranglersSong: “Madame Methlab” (from the Imaginary Baggage EP)Heard by: Andrew Smith, North ParkThey’re pretty good. I like that type of music — punk rock. I go to a lot of the local punk ...

War at La Jolla Farms

Life should be peaceful at La Jolla Farms, that tony area of 100 superluxury homes adjacent to Torrey Pines State Park.But war has broken out there. One resident controls a local biotech. A former resident ...

Mono Bizarro

“In my show, you touch and are touched,” says one-man-band Jeffrey Beringer, aka Mono Mono, whose cheeky act crosses KC and the Sunshine Band with the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. “The music is electronic and ...

Urban Church

“Fourteen years ago, when my wife and I were engaged,” said pastor Ben Brinkman, “we had the exact same experience at the exact same moment in a college chapel: God showed us having a church ...

Amy Wallen Will Give You Crickets

As I drove by the Swedenborgian Church around the corner from my place in Normal Heights, I saw people entering for some event that included balloons and a huge cake. It was a safe assumption ...

Stellastar

The major eons of rock: In the ’60s it was psychedelic, folk rock, and the British invasion. The 1970s were punk and new wave. The ’80s gave us glam and big-hair rock, and the ’90s ...

Fresh & Onlys

I first met Shayde Sartin when he was playing bass in a San Francisco garage rock band called the Hotwire Titans. Later I would occasionally run into him at the record store where he worked. ...

Play the Sneaky Development Game

An Orange County developer who led the effort to delay San Diego’s general plan update until his own project could be approved is one step away from his goal. On October 23, the San Diego ...

Rain-Gutter Maintenance

It’s a winter tradition: husband on the roof in the rain, pulling leaves out of the gutters and trying not to fall to his death. So far, he’s been successful. I hate to make him ...

Record Release Roundup

Crown City Sessions is the second full-length from the Riders, whose studio posse included Dire Straits producer Guy Fletcher and saxophonist Buddy Leach (George Thorogood and the Destroyers). “It was recorded on a rented mobile ...

Friend of Shamu

When Chris Cantore signed off from his shift at 91X on December 14, 2007, he told listeners that he was unsure if he would be returning to the job after a two-week vacation. Cantore’s on-air ...

Harper Canyon

A long and leisurely ramble up the sinuous course of Harper Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park leads hikers to Harper Flat, a four-square-mile valley hidden from casual view by rock-strewn ridges and peaks. The ...

Babbo Grande's Place

This restaurant is closed. Serge and Danielle. Always liked them. They were Uptown’s crêpe royalty. They had this uptown crêperie called Deli France. So, today I’ve come back. Boy. Be so mad if they’re gone. ...

Mystic Revelations

Word spread from foodblog to foodblog until it reached my friend Lynne, who reads loads of ’em. She emailed me: “This place sounds interesting.” The encomiums were for a newish Middle Eastern restaurant in La ...

Shelf Realization

Thirty Years AgoCHERRY COLA: I’m kinda open and I was hopin, to find someone like me, so we could just be, to write, talk or go for a walk. Sunny Days. NEEDED: MAIDEN IN DISTRESS! ...

November 26 Sudoku Contenders

EVIL * Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 9. "Hoo-Ray" 4 "Blu-Ray", it's a shame "Cathode-Ray" has gone away! Jean Bradley, Spring Valley, 9. What a wonderful Thanksgiving in the desert. Xoxoxo to all! Robert Bradley, Spring ...

Bent, Scalped

There was a minor accident on the 15 south off-ramp at Friars Road on Sunday, November 29, at around 11 a.m. The San Diego Chargers were in town and playing at the stadium. Traffic on ...

Interstellar Overdrive

Created in San Diego in 1995, the Loons have since become one of the best genre bands in the country, with their faithful take on Sixties psychedelic pop. A Tio Leos full house was treated ...

Rowdy’s End Point

At around 10:20 p.m. on Sunday, November 29, sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call about a shooting at an apartment complex on Holly Avenue in Imperial Beach. Inside an apartment, police discovered a 21-year-old ...

Get Outta My Segway, Mayor

At the December 1 Coronado City Council meeting, members rolled out some new regulations regarding the rental requirements of Segways. While all councilmembers agreed that regulations were needed and that the devices should be kept ...

Tuesday, December 1

November 26 Crossword Contenders

Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 9. What do you do between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Work out! Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 9. If Chicagoans spoke latin, their teamwould be the Ursi! Mary Arana, Encinitas, 9. Special delivery Martha ...

No Great Trolley Robbery

La Mesa police detectives are looking for two teenaged girls who hit a woman in the head during a robbery at the La Mesa Boulevard trolley stop at around noon on Sunday, November 29. The ...

Phrazes for the Young

A throwback to '70s arena-rock with '80s synth-pop dropped in for good measure, this melodic, angsty, and ultimately upbeat solo debut from Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas manages to find its modern sound. At points, one ...

Have a Seat (for $5K)

On November 30, Park and Recreation employee Jane Witzke informed me that its park-bench sponsorship program is "on moratorium" until a project manager can be found to administer it. When it reboots, you'll again be ...

Goin' Native

California State Parks and the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Foundation have been working on habitat restoration along the southern side of Carmel Valley Road since mid October 2008. The three-acre Carmel Valley Road Restoration Project's aim ...

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