Stories for February 2009

Friday, February 27

Hay for the Gourmet

In a non-descript Rancho San Diego parking lot, a group of people known as the Hay Elves busy themselves. This group of dedicated volunteers spends two Saturdays each month packing hay for the San Diego ...

Thursday, February 26

Felony Stop

According to transmissions on a police radio scanner, at about 11 p.m. on February 24, San Diego officers working a call on 50th Street and Skyline heard four shots fired. The officers on the call ...

tenSHUN!

A Cal State San Marcos study group held a public forum on Tuesday, February 24, to hear the pros and cons of allowing a ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program on campus. The study group, ...

Game's End

The parents of a boy who entered an elderly neighbor’s home in the La Presa neighborhood of eastern Tijuana in search of his soccer ball ended up in jail on homicide charges after a fight ...

Whither the Shine?

On the wall above the mayor’s chair, inside the La Mesa City Council chambers, is a mural of the city’s seal. At the top of the mural reads “City of La Mesa,” at the bottom: ...

February 19 Puzzle Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 7. "Be looking good Warriors...all the way back to Coney." Cecile Alcaraz, Chula Vista, 7. "Looking forward to Legoland!" Mary Arana, Encinitas, 7. "Try Hand and Foot card game." Stuart Aunger, ...

Considered Beautiful

In 1810, a black Khoisan woman from South Africa named (by her slave-master) Saartjie Baartman was brought to London and became an entertainment sensation. Kept in a cage, she was exhibited seminude in sideshows and ...

Wednesday, February 25

How much can you say in 7 letters?

Vanity plates examined.

In some countries, you aren’t allowed to personalize the license plates on your vehicle. Other countries changed that rule when they saw the revenue it created. Some countries let you bid on numbers. The highest ...

Baja Cop Messes Up

An off-duty Tijuana police officer, allegedly driving his green Jeep Cherokee while under the influence of alcohol and speeding, struck and killed a 37-year-old woman selling newspapers on a street corner on Monday, February 23, ...

Supervalu Blues

On Friday, February 20, Albertsons corporate parent Supervalu Inc. closed the Albertsons store at East Orange and Melrose Avenues in Chula Vista. On April 9, the Clairemont store at Balboa Avenue and Clairemont Drive will ...

Chicken Milk Alien Babies

When the Homeless Sexuals play the Radio Room Friday night, it’ll be their first show in nine months. “The band was breaking up,” said singer Davit Buck. “The other four members wanted to do other ...

Fish Creek Mountain-Bike Ride

Fish Creek Wash is the gateway to a fascinating labyrinth of rugged canyons, twisted arroyos, and mud hills covering the stark and desiccated Carrizo Badlands in a remote corner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Why ...

Emery Byrd

Album: Mrs. Young Versus the Modern Ones (2008)Artist: Emery ByrdLabel: self-releasedWhere available/price: M-Theory in Mission Hills for $9.99. Online at emerybyrd.com, iTunes, and Amazon for $9.99Songs: 1) No Scene Like This 2) Busy Doing Nothing ...

F'tchou!

F’tchou! It’s a noise you can use to mean whatever you want. It’s a sound. It’s a placeholder for whatever word you can’t think of. Chills McGillicutty means it’s cold outside. It’s freezin’ outside; it’s ...

Help Obama. Borrow. Buy.

American consumers and American financial institutions are suffering dyspepsia from an extended trip to Las Vegas. The consumers drank and ate too much, and the banks gambled too much and lost big. Now, to keep ...

At Last, True Thai

Before I write specifically about Sab-E-Lee, you need to know a little about the Thai region called Isaan, Isan, Issan, or Esarn — in English it’s spelled every which way — and get an idea ...

Attention deficit

Ten of the 13 members of San Diego County’s Commission on the Status of Women are appointed by the board of supervisors. According to the commission’s website, there are currently 7 vacancies. But that hasn’t ...

Sister Carrie and The Magic Mountain

What are you reading? “Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser.” Tell me about the plot. “It’s about a young girl who moves to Chicago around 1890. She’s from a small town, and she finds out how ...

M-Theory Punks the Chains

Long before the current economic downturn, music retailers had a tough time keeping their heads above water as CD sales have dropped off while downloads, many for free, have become the typical method for fans ...

Lots and Lots of Body Parts

“I don’t have many crazy stories, as this is the band’s 30th anniversary tour,” said Dave Wakeling of the English Beat. “To me, a nice time is hot chocolate with a few friends. But speaking ...

Close to the Source

Born to Americans living in England, Marc Hashagen grew up in Great Gidding, a farming village in Cambridgeshire. “A hundred houses, one pub, one butcher,” he recalls. “The public bus would come through on Wednesdays; ...

Turn in Your Twinkies

Thirty Years AgoIt was Saturday, and we had stopped in at the New Seed, the Pacific Beach natural foods emporium, to check up on the junk-food trade-in.... Cake mixes and frostings seemed the most popular ...

Letters

Cockroach Brain Speaks Maybe it is because I spent several years cold canvassing business firms that Cami Adair’s piece rang true for me (“Please Let Me Sell Them Pest Control,” Cover Story, February 12). She ...

Viva la Restitution

Steven Soderbergh’s atonement for the Ocean’s capers: a four-and-a-half-hour worship service in honor of Che Guevara, conducted in Spanish with English subtitles. Or rather, if Full Frontal and Solaris were atonement for ...Eleven, and Bubble ...

Burger in the Sky with Mushrooms

Cc,c,c,c,cold. I stand out in the slush and snow, trying to decide if I can afford this place, a joint for sophisticates, by the looks of it, even way up here in the mountains near ...

The Duhks

“We’ve forgotten what’s sacred in this fast-paced world,” belts out singer Sarah Dugas in the Duhks’ “Fast Paced World.” Judging by the accompanying video, what’s sacred is the right to wear push-up bras and put ...

Without a Word

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. — Barnett R. Brickner It’s not that I’m a disciple of the supernatural — it’s only human ...

Les Claypool

If you don’t already know Primus, then there is no easy way to describe them. When they were an active band, Primus was one of my daughter’s favorites. She was around 15 at the time ...

Downtown God Group

“Our roots are downtown,” said Bob Buschman, pastor of First Assembly, now located on a nine-acre campus in Mission Valley. “In 1921, they brought an evangelist named Aimee Semple McPherson into downtown, and she preached ...

Changing of the guard

If ex-superagent Jeff Moorad concludes his proposed deal for the Padres, local Republicans may send up a cheer. Current team owner John Moores is known for giving big money to California Democrats, who returned the ...

Rocks, Cancerous Animals

Heymatt: Traveling down the freeway of life, the latest wrinkle on the road are sand and gravel trucks with a sign claiming, “Not responsible for damage to windshields.” Huh? Did the truckers’ lobby manage to ...

A Rebel's Revolution

Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death has such a contemporary feel, it’s almost impossible to believe he wrote the play — hailed by many as “the best first play in world literature” — in 1835, at age ...

Cute Little Thing

I am writing this the day before that God-forsaken Hallmark idiocy, Valentine’s Day, and it is Friday the 13th. This seems to spell doomed love. There are other kinds of real affection. I have several ...

Wedding Transportation

My efforts to help my stressed friend Barbara prep for her upcoming nuptials continue. Her plea: “I want to arrive in style!” “We have a white wedding trolley, the ‘Felicity,’” said Erica Frost with Old ...

World Baseball Classic 2

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) had an uneasy genesis in 2006. A year earlier, baseball, along with softball, was voted out of the Olympics, ordered to make its last appearance at the Beijing Games. Baseball ...

Unknown Korn

Before the Casbah’s month-of-January reunion shows becomes a hazy memory, owner Tim Mays, manager Ben Johnson, and doorman Ben Heynes offer stories about the Casbah’s 20-year legacy — a few tales of near disasters, spoiled ...

Lawyers’ holiday

How miserable is San Diego’s hotel and convention business these days? So bad, apparently, that the grand old Hotel del Coronado has gone to court against a big Washington, D.C., law firm for canceling a ...

Show Them You're Nuts

Thursday 26Dance-beats duo N.A.S.A. launch at Casbah. Dudes’re Sam Spiegel (Spike Jonze’s brother) and Zé Gonzales (a pro skater), and, man, did they get Pitch-slapped last week, with a pitiful 1.6 for Anti- debut The ...

No-Tech Dabbers

There’s one thing missing on the Dabbers' MySpace profile: songs. The two-piece, consisting of Kill Me Tomorrow’s Zack Wentz on drums and vocals and Shelby Gubba on bass, don’t have any proper recordings of the ...

Admiral Baker Says No!

Last spring, Lee Campbell was looking for an apt way that Friends of Tierrasanta Canyons might participate in River Days. The celebration is staged annually by the San Diego River Park Foundation and was held ...

Hat Trick

My girlfriend spent $20 on a pirate hat for me to wear to a party. I gave her crap because I didn’t think I’d ever wear it more than once. Then, three months ago, a ...

Where's the Sushi Joint?

During recent rains, as our nation continued to struggle with signs of a falling economy, businesses at a Poway strip mall were faced with a falling sign. Kevin Yang, a sushi chef at a nearby ...

Green vs. Board of Education

At the beginning of last year, the San Diego Unified School District cut $53 million from their budget. Six months later, the board members approved an additional $33 million in cuts. So, when the State ...

Tuesday, February 24

Truck Wins Again

At 1:31 p.m. on Sunday, February 22, at the intersection of National Avenue and 31st Street in Logan Heights, a motorcyclist became trapped underneath a truck after the two vehicles collided. The motorcyclist had been ...

Monday, February 23

For Whom the Tolls Irk

Seven years after the toll for the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge was dropped, a controversial proposal to bring it back is in the works. The toll would fund construction of an underground tunnel or underpasses ...

School District Slashes

The South Bay Union School District held a special board meeting on Thursday, February 19, in Burress Auditorium, adjacent to the district’s offices. The district is facing a potential budget shortfall of $5,690,000 for the ...

Good Stuff

I'm a part-time clerk at an AM/PM in Mira Mesa. Saturday is busy, but, this past Saturday at 8 p.m., the store was empty and my coworker and I began to relax behind our registers. ...

Sunday, February 22

Where's DeMaio?

On February 21 at 9:00 a.m., residents of City Heights and surrounding areas filed into Hoover High School’s dimly lit auditorium on El Cajon Boulevard. They were there for the San Diego City Council Budget ...

Saturday, February 21

Good Day to Drown

As Carlsbad residents took advantage of a sunny Friday morning at the beach, paddling into head-high waves, jogging and biking on the boardwalk, a group of Orange County firefighters plunged into the channel at the ...

Towers Land in North County

Beachgoers are noticing the changes on the sand at Seaside, Cardiff Reef, Ponto, South Carlsbad, and Tamarack beaches. A California icon, the classic lifeguard tower, has had an extreme makeover. The old, less-angular fiberglass towers ...

Friday, February 20

Camp Gitmo, California

Several weeks ago, during the public comment portion of an Oceanside City Council meeting, a concerned citizen asked the mayor and four councilmembers to take a stand on the potential closure of the detention facility ...

Claiming City Heights

Author: Elizabeth Salaam Neighborhood: City Heights Age: 35 Occupation: Writer/program coordinator I was training for a marathon when I found out I was pregnant. Back then, even my short runs were long enough to take ...

Thursday, February 19

Don't: Ask, Tell, Discriminate

At Cal State San Marcos, controversy has been raised over the possible introduction of Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) courses to the curriculum. Similar to the ROTC programs of many surrounding high schools, classrooms ...

Show Me the Trust

At Chula Vista City Hall in early December, this correspondent attended a special budget hearing on ways the city could slash $4 million from this fiscal year’s budget and $20 million from the budgets of ...

February 12 Puzzle Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 6. "Oro who? Oro Solido Yen. Solid Gold." Cecile Alcaraz, Chula Vista, 6. "Give me a holler if you're a Pinoy puzzle fan." Mary Arana, Encinitas, 6. "Laugh out loud." Stuart ...

Exxon on Top of It

In the movie Minority Report, police use supernatural methods to solve crimes and arrest criminals before the crime is committed. In Encanto, something similar has happened. In this case, however, the “criminal” was a defective ...

Wednesday, February 18

Bertha Bugarin Heads to Jail

Why did she want to practice medicine so badly?

In October 2007, Michael Varga, a police officer assigned to the Chula Vista Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit, began interviewing women about the abortions they had received at a local clinic, Clinica Medica para la ...

Backsides to the Wall

To find a restroom downtown, you can wander into hotel lobbies...and Horton Plaza has restrooms located on the top floor of the food court and at all the bars and restaurants. But the mall’s bathrooms ...

Mi Casa es Seal Casa

During the past 15 years, seals have taken over La Jolla’s Casa Beach. The beach that was established as a swimming area for children in 1930 became a hotspot for seals to “haul out” and ...

Fistful of Feathers

On February 14, Horton Plaza became a flurry of pillows as 40 people gathered at the fountain to participate in the first annual Valentine's Pillow Fight. "It's intense. I couldn't tell who was hitting me," ...

Cold Dip, Cold Trail

Imperial Beach -- A 40-year-old male went missing after heading into the water 30 yards from the Tijuana river mouth on February 15. According to transmissions over the police radio scanner, at 8:30 p.m. a ...

Letters

Bar Walmart I was surprised at the poor journalism displayed in your “They’ve Taken the Dive Out of Dive Bars” story last week (Cover Story, February 5). The idea of the piece was great — ...

Weekday Warrioress

Name: Michelle Mendoza Age: 26 Lives in: Hillcrest Surfing: La Jolla Shores Favorite surf spot: Miami Pre-surf music: MGMT Worst beach pickup line: “Want help waxing your board?” “I thought I could catch a few ...

Juniper Berry Brined Pork Chops

Recipe by Danny Bannister, executive chef, Red Marlin. I’ve been a chef my whole life. It’s always been inside me. My mom hates it, but I attribute it to her because she’s not that good ...

Hanging by a string

As if it didn’t have enough problems trying to unload the struggling Union-Tribune, the Copley Press has been hit by a lawsuit claiming that it is violating state labor laws by treating its newspaper carriers ...

Those Are the Breaks

Thirty Years AgoWHITE QUEEN: I’m a Queen fan, but what do Queen fans do besides buy records and attend very very very loud concerts? DCB. SAVOY TRUFFLE, Zoot and Dingo: Will see you at the ...

Pat Travers

A friend of mine summarized Pat Travers best when he said, “Somewhere during the ’80s, ‘Boom Boom’ replaced ‘Louie Louie’ as the party song.” He was speaking of “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights),” a ...

Horribly Obsessive

Any dolt with half a brain can see that humankind has gone insane. — Dr. Horrible I tried to hide my satisfaction when Janet ordered the burger. I was thrilled she had placed such trust ...

A.C. Newman

Carl Newman is better known as the main man behind four albums by Vancouver supergroup the New Pornographers, but he has also released two solo albums as A.C. Newman. The first, his excellent release The ...

Sycamore Canyon Falls

Big Sycamore Canyon in coastal Ventura County’s Point Mugu State Park is famous for its miles-long promenade of magnificent California sycamore trees. Higher up and farther inland, hidden in that same drainage, you can find ...

The Joy of Sax

Saxophonist Keith Jacobson is adept at playing alto, tenor, and soprano. He’s spent many hours taking lessons from Grammy award–winning saxman Eric Marienthal. “Those were great sessions, true cardio workouts on the sax,” says Jacobson ...

Conspiracy Is an Ugly Word

The Westminster Dog Show was on TV last week. Here are the facts: Smooth-haired dachshunds have been showing at the Westminster since 1877, and not one — not a single one, zero, zip, nada — ...

Matt Commerce, Wayne Riker, Janell Rock

Artist: Janell RockSong: “The Black Cat Cries” (from the CD Performer)Heard By: Silvia Flores, College Area I liked the bass in the beginning. Instead of just keeping the rhythm, it actually played the melody. The ...

Milk Cows, Panorama, Recycled Paper

Heymatt: What would happen if I owned some cows and I milked them every day for a while and then I stopped milking one of them? Would that cow explode or what? — Bearman, via ...

All Around You

WILL NO ONE MOURN THE CARTER? The Cassius Carter Centre Stage is no more. The Old Globe demolished its intimate theater-in-the-round to make way for a state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant arena. Named for its generous donors, the ...

Do Tell

Fresh from the Jewish Film Festival, Avi Nesher’s The Secrets starts a theatrical engagement this Friday at the Reading Gaslamp. (Not to be confused with the singular A Secret, also Jewish-themed, that played there in ...

Worms Eat My Reader

Some readers want us to eat our words. David Shean worries about what happens when he eats them. “I eventually feed [the Reader] to my worms along with my kitchen scraps,” Shean writes us in ...

Pop Overthrow Intl.

Thursday 19Jayceon “the Game” Taylor brings his play to Crib of Blues tonight. The Compton kid has racked three CDs in his six-year career — all on Billboard’s top ten, two at numero uno. The ...

Mount BBQ

Oh, man. Gonna faint. Just ran a hundred steps up one side of the convention center, two at a time, I swear, and down another hundred to the bay side. Keep jogging along the Embarcadero ...

Strange bedfellows

What does San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders have in common with Bill Maher, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, and Brad Pitt? He was named a “Hero of Love” to those fighting Prop 8, last year’s anti-gay-marriage ...

The Big Eat

I’d been eating in low-down dives for months. Some were high-rent dives, with coastside views that give them an exaggerated sense of their own value, and I was tired of swallowing slop at any price. ...

Price of justice

The position of U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, based in San Diego, has long been a political football. Whether the job was held by Alan Bersin, an L.A. lawyer swept into town ...

Penetrators Redux

"The trip made me realize how much I miss my friends in San Diego,” says Penetrators singer Gary Heffern, now back home in Finland after a January 24 reunion performance at the Casbah. “Playing with ...

Pacific Beach Scoundrel Time

In June of 1999, Nicholas Charles Herbert (aka Nick Ashton and Nick Hanson) was jailed in San Diego and charged by the district attorney’s office with selling homes out from under the owners — elderly ...

People-Watching

In these harsh, Bush-shadowed times as the sun sets on the empire of the two Georges from Texas, it is not surprising that our Friday nights may find us with a shortage of funds slated ...

Cardinals, Steelers, Dangerous Dolphins

Each year I go to two Super Bowl parties. I leave the first party at halftime, which I don’t mind doing if the TV halftime show includes musical guests such as Bruce Springsteen. This year, ...

Sheep and Goats: Unity Center

Many churches of a certain age feature, at the back of the Sanctuary, a full-body baptistery — some sort of tank into which the believer may descend in order to be raised up into new ...

Reverend Horton Heat

The Reverend Horton Heat, or “Jim,” as I like to call him, is a true rock ’n’ roller harking back to the good ol’ days of the era. Some call him psychobilly and some say ...

Photo Restoration

My husband Patrick’s grandparents’ wedding photo, taken in 1917, sat on the bookshelf with water damage. The damage got me thinking about photo restoration. Only a handful of heirloom photos have survived on Patrick’s family ...

Back to the Urban Underground

“The shooting that happened at Static Lounge during the DayGo Unity event last summer was due to the outside scheduling of gang members as headliners,” says local promoter Jimmy Powers. “It resulted in [Static Lounge] ...

Record Release Roundup

Pop songstress Miz Mandy’s sophomore album Today’s the Day was released last week on BabyLove Records. “We did a soft release in December for presales to the fan club,” says Mandy (real name Mandy Gasparich), ...

Monday, February 16

New Park for I.B.?

On Thursday, February 12, a mostly senior crowd attended an exploratory meeting to discuss the potential for a new park in the Oneonta neighborhood. At the Oneonta Elementary School cafeteria, Imperial Beach public works director ...

Crash Utilities Vehicle

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Friday, February 13, a green sedan traveling on South Second Street veered off the asphalt, hopped the curb, and crashed into a number of utilities’ service facilities. A witness reported ...

Second Worst

Author: Sandra Keener Neighborhood: Downtown Age: 60 Occupation: Retired Well, there it was last summer for all to see and read, an article in Forbes entitled ­“America’s Worst Cities to Be a Sports Fan.” It ...

Sunday, February 15

You've Been Served

In the opening line of her state-of-the-county speech last Wednesday evening, Dianne Jacob, chairwoman for the County Board of Supervisors, promised the audience a “no B.S. speech,” implying she would give an accurate depiction of ...

Friday, February 13

Eye on Escondido

Escondido city hall was packed with onlookers on Wednesday, February 11, as Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler gave her annual state of the city address. She said Escondido's revenue continues to decline and there's uncertainty about ...

Casey's Place

A town meeting took place Thursday night, February 12, at Casey's Place in San Carlos. The purpose of the meeting was to publicize the financial plight of Casey's Place, a privately owned, not-for-profit community center ...

Corner Dancer

For what seems like a couple of years now, the corner of Jamacha Road and Cuyamaca College Drive West in Rancho San Diego has included an entertaining sight. From a distance, it appears to be ...

Thursday, February 12

No Double Dipping

San Diego city councilmember Carl DeMaio says he was shocked when he saw some of the payments made to retired city employees, so shocked he thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. On Tuesday, February ...

Shooting in I.B.

At approximately 11:45 a.m. on February 12, shots were fired in an apartment building on Elder Avenue just east of Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. A 21-year-old woman was shot in the stomach ...

Wednesday, February 11

Please Let Me Sell Them Pest Control and Not Screw It Up

Who's got bugs?

Sometimes I feel as if we’re the bugs, a colony of cockroaches, and Suite C is our secret lair. Every morning, I exit the freeway at Miramar Road, coil my way through the traffic, then ...

Crime Cam Stolen!

On January 21, at 10:00 a.m., upon hearing loud, repetitive knocking at her front door, a Torrey Highlands resident looked through the peephole and saw a man outside. She assumed the person might be a ...

Oh, Hail!

Conditions were optimal for a brief, mild hailstorm in Spring Valley on Monday, February 10. A series of rapidly moving clouds headed east had caused off-and-on rain throughout the day. At 4:19 p.m., a sudden ...

Get Your Own Trademark, NXNP

The operators of the South by Southwest annual music fest have had to sue to keep others from using their name. “We have to deal with people wanting use East by East West and any ...

Sperm, Universe, Fingerprints

Matt: Why do humans produce so much sperm if only one will fertilize an egg? And why are they in competition with each other? It would seem simpler to have fewer with less competition. — ...

Crabby Mood

This is the winter of my discontent, following the autumn of my growing grouchiness, and the summer of my increasing reservations. It’s the economy, stupid — the stupid economy. For seven months, I’ve been trying ...

Total Tapas

“Spare change?” says the guy sitting on the sidewalk. Must know I just cashed a paycheck. It’s Friday night, around 6:00, at Sixth and C. Me, I’m staring at a sandwich board in front of ...

John Adams, Topsy-Turvy, Commando

Natalie WalshSenior producer, KPBS-FM’s These Days, kpbs.org I’m a history buff, and I loved the series John Adams so much that I was sad when I finished the last episode. As I watched the inauguration ...

Can't Get Enough Journey

What is it about the ’80s that keeps us looking back? Michael Mahin, guitarist for San Diego–based Neon Nation, an ’80s cover band, has a theory. “Most ’80s music was utterly escapist,” he says. “It’s ...

February 5 Puzzle Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 5. "Mabuhay Auntie Lorna." Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 5. "Happy Valentine's Day to everyone in UGME!" Cecile Alcaraz, Chula Vista, 5. "How about a puzzle maniacs' get together?" Mary Arana, Encinitas, 5. ...

Choke, Bombai, and Puka

I am from Hawaii, so most of the slang words that I use are pidgin. Choke means that you have a lot or a bunch of something, like I have choke Christmas presents to wrap. ...

The Road to Perdition

One recent Friday your columnist started out from San Marcos after five days with his disturbed son — maybe ten hours’ sleep, total. The whole five days. Fear and heartbreak inform the ride to Carlsbad; ...

Rock Her Heart, Paint Her Toes

Thursday 12Drummer Damon “the Octopus” Che and his Chicago-based instrumental trio Don Caballero are back together and bringing their time-bending jazz-punk dynamic to Casbah tonight. This is your dad’s math-rock, dood. Don Cab’s been jamming ...

Animal Liberation Orchestra

Years ago, when I was trying to decide where I wanted to go to college, I took one look at UC Santa Barbara and said, “This isn’t going to work.” How on earth would I ...

Scientifically Proven Jams

“Two of us are lab-coat-wearing PhDs at Scripps Institute of Oceanography,” says Guava Belly bassist James Traer. “Mike [Pritchard, singer-keyboardist] works in the climate research group, building computer models to simulate cloud formation and understand ...

Not-So-Fine Arts

In early September, Ian Campbell, general director and artistic director of San Diego Opera, was in London to discuss a possible coproduction with the prestigious Royal Opera, known as Covent Garden. He then went on ...

While Everyone Lied

This is a good day for Jose Canseco. Three of the four lead actors in baseball’s steroid melodrama — baseball commissioner Bud Selig, union boss Donald Fehr, and former senate majority leader George Mitchell — ...

Clipped Wings

It’s an inconvenient time for titans of industry and commerce to be caught luxuriating in the cabins of their executive jets. Late last month, Starbucks became the latest behemoth forced to try to unload its ...

Black Canyon to Pamo Valley

The easy-going, mostly descending (450 feet of elevation gain/1200 feet of elevation loss), east-to-west, one-way walk or mountain-bike ride on the Santa Ysabel Truck Trail near Ramona is fine for a cool day in February, ...

Human Enough

As an explanation of romantic incompatibility, the catchphrase title, He’s Just Not That into You, is stunningly unilluminating, no matter which of its six words is stressed. (On screen, the third one stands out in ...

Undiagnosed

Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic. — Martin H. Fischer It began on Sunday morning. From my first bite of oatmeal, whatever I put in my mouth turned bitter on my tongue — ...

Most Downloaded, January

"Goodbye,” by the City Limits Band, was the most downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of January. Follows is an interview with songwriter Les Allen. This is obviously a “love lost” song. I like ...

Party Like a Barack Star

Barack Obama was predicted to win the presidency. Nobody was surprised when he did. I was surprised at how many inauguration parties there were. I don’t recall any presidential race ending with so many parties. ...

Bands on the Run

Pann, singer-guitarist with circaNow, says the musicians who rented space at Universal Sound rehearsal complex near the Sports Arena were not happy when they found out they had to vacate the property. “We got notices ...

I Cover the Watercress

Thirty Years AgoMay we introduce you to Burl Stiff, bon vivant, man-about-town, who’s sitting at the moment in the Whaling Bar at La Valencia Hotel? You recognize the face, which tops Stiff’s Union society column ...

Politics, Chicago Style

Democratic assemblywoman Lori Saldaña is already raising money to run for her next office, which she currently identifies as a seat on the state Board of Equalization. A November 8 fund-raising event at Hillcrest’s Terra ...

Money Made Off With

The president of the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has shown up on a 162-page list of apparent customers of accused Ponzi-scheme swindler Bernie Madoff. The revocable trust of John Todd ...

The Gathering Place Church

Pastor John Ettore crouched down by my seat to welcome me, his hand heavy upon my shoulder, granite intensity in his face as he told me about Alan Vincent, an Englishman-turned-American and the guest preacher ...

Susan Tedeschi

I’ve had to revise my first impression of Susan Tedeschi. Over a decade ago, when she was touring the country via chick band tours (e.g., Lilith Fair), I thought Tedeschi was just another out of ...

Letters

Shame On You, Don BauderShame on you, Don Bauder! I have loved reading your reporting/opinion pieces/ columns, however you characterize them, since you left the U-T. However, the article about Fiesta Island (City Lights: “Battle ...

Wedding Day Fitness

‘Fat girls need love too!” crooned Barbara as she sashayed into my kitchen, waving the ring on her left finger. “Oh, hush — you’re not fat,” I chided her before offering my congratulations on her ...

Free Eats

The state’s economy is seeing hard times, but legislators and state officials can always count on lobbyists for a free meal, golf, and sometimes even a decent concert, according to recently filed lobbying disclosure reports. ...

Singer Wanted, No Marshmallows

Local alt-country singer John Meeks says he searched long and hard before he found the female vocalist to accompany him on his country duets. He had two songs ready but no singer. He looked all ...

Monday, February 9

Should Call Him Khem

In defense of food (and porn) in Paradise Hills.

Author: Rachel Vaughn Neighborhood: Paradise Hills Age: 27 Occupation: Website Content Editor/Freelance writer I salvaged a Lonely Planet Thai language phrase book years ago, a souvenir of my ­father’s long-ago Navy travels in Southeast Asia. ...

The Big Fill

Residents of University Heights refer to the canyon underneath the Vermont Street Bridge (over Washington Street and near the onramp for Highway 163) as the “dead zone,” a trash-filled netherworld covered with dried-up palm fronds, ...

Sunday, February 8

Trolley Makes Emergency Stop in Cemetery

A San Diego Trolley was forced to make an emergency stop in the middle of Mt. Hope Cemetery early Tuesday, February 3. At the time , the peak-hour Orange Line trolley was traveling between the ...

Saturday, February 7

I'd Like to Mail This Here Pistol

At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Friday, January 30, I was the second customer in line at the Pacific Beach post office on Cass Street. In front of me was a slender man in his 50s ...

Accident on the Boardwalk

On Thursday, February 5, at approximately 2:30 p.m., outside Joe's Crab Shack in Pacific Beach, a car wound up on the boardwalk, nearly running over at least one passerby. An Oregon couple visiting the area ...

The Death of Leisure Life Apartments

The normally quiet, suburban community of Rancho Peñasquitos is battling blight that seems to be worsening daily. The Leisure Life Apartments (near the corner of Carmel Mountain Road and Peñasquitos Drive) are not providing much ...

Friday, February 6

Fire at Tenth Avenue and Broadway

On January 30 at around 3:30 p.m., a fire blazed through a second-floor apartment in the Sharp Senior Home on Tenth and Broadway. First on the scene was Cojack, the maintenance/manager of the building who ...

Cut to the Bone

On a breezy Wednesday evening — February 4 — hundreds of residents from San Diego’s District 4 filed through the glass-paned doors of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation to attend the first of four ...

Thursday, February 5

Oleanders are Dying in San Diego

A bacterium commonly identified with grape vines (Xylella fastidiosa) is the suspected cause of “oleander leaf scorch,” which is resulting in the slow deaths of thousands of oleanders in San Diego County. Likely vectored by ...

Back to the Drawing Board

This past December, the Uptown Planners agreed on the vision for the West Lewis Street Mini Park in Mission Hills. They didn’t want concrete walkways or planters or bridges; they wanted the design to be ...

Wednesday, February 4

They’ve Taken the Dive Out of Dive Bars

And put in...romance?

“No matter what happens,” Chris Heaney declares with a grin, “no matter if the economy’s good or bad, you’ve got to drink.” He stands behind the bar at Club Kadan, the Adams Avenue bar he ...

Bird and the Bee

Son, it’s time we had a talk about The Bird and the Bee. You see, sometimes a man meets a woman, and together they form a musical duo. Let’s say this man is Greg Kurstin, ...

Show Some Brain

Thursday 5“Shake it like you just don’t care...and show some brain” when Angelino dance duo The Bird and the Bee bring the buzz to Casbah tonight. They’re not IDM, but they’ll do ya some intelligent ...

Pedal It Somewhere Else

Thirty Years AgoCity traffic engineer Joe Casteneda says stretches of road which racked up the highest bicycle-accident rates (in the five-year period from 1969 to 1974) include Clairemont Mesa Boulevard from Highway 805 east to ...

Ponzi Pawns

All financial markets are Ponzi schemes set up to take money from the unwitting and give it to insiders. All numbers concerning stocks are manipulated to give rich people more money; they’re lies. So, you’ve ...

Light Load

Although movies had been set in Minnesota before Fargo (notwithstanding its misleading North Dakota title), movies as disparate as The Farmer’s Daughter, The Heartbreak Kid, Purple Rain, Grumpy Old Men, it was the Coen brothers ...

Very Thai

I’m confused. Here I am, top of India Street, breezy Friday, trying to decide between Mexican and Thai. El Indio and Saffron. Each one’s a sort of record-holder. El Indio’s one of the oldest taco ...

Rancho Vista Church

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,” read Dwain Bostic at the outset. “‘Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” Hearing ...

Some Enchanted Evening

Valentine’s Day is the year’s biggest night for restaurants. Who doesn’t love love? For some it’s proposal night; for others, a renewal of vows. Or snuggle-up time. Or hoping-to-get-lucky night. The chefs await you with ...

Letters

Long-Distance Lance I am not an oaf, as Mayor Sanders famously said, therefore I don’t love professional sports. But on the eve of my favorite shopping day of the year — Super Bowl Sunday — ...

Charity hole

The San Diego Foundation, an aggregator of charitable donations that have sometimes gone to questionable causes, such as a fund for school superintendent Alan Bersin that was used in part to buy fine wines for ...

Autoette in the News

Okay, football is over. Now what? Well, pilgrim, can’t you hear the slap of leather and pop of a beer can? Hell, yeah — Padres pitchers and catchers report for spring training next week! Peoria, ...

Formerly of NBC 7/39

A couple of years ago the company changed my computer login to a series of numbers instead of my name; I should have realized the foreshadowing. Local news viewership is down and advertisers cut their ...

Sarah Petite, Canobliss, the Shake-Ups

Artist: The Shake-UpsSong: “Sex Exchange Operation” (from the CD Breathing the Flood)Heard By: Adam Goodson, La Mesa I didn’t like the xylophone thing, but I think it was all right. I could kind of hear ...

Battle on the Beach

There is a doozy of a donnybrook over usage of the southwest corner of Fiesta Island. It’s a real bitch. Or a real beach. Well, actually, those two words capsulize the battle: dog owners who ...

Help Too Much

Diane lost her husband, a “brilliant” CEO, in Africa. Now the socialite wants to sell the house, land a job (her first), and sever all connections with her past. Diane’s in such deep denial, her ...

Loudon Wainwright III

As a pop culture observer, I hate to hang a performer’s career image on a single recording about roadkill and for the sheer gusto with which he sang it, but so be it. In 1974, ...

Mira Mesa Meets Caltrans

Granted, Mira Mesa needs traffic relief, especially for entering and exiting the I-15. But how does Caltrans justify a project that is likely to increase already dangerous traffic next to a local elementary school? The ...

For the Team

“After the Chargers started to win some football games,” says Patrick Bernard of SD reggae act High Tide, “it was time to bring out our playoff song, ‘Chargers on a Roll.’ ” On January 3, ...

Price of admission

Is Jerry Sanders in thrall to his biggest political contributors? Some have thought so, especially as Sanders is said to harbor thoughts of running for statewide office in the not-so-distant future. Now there is evidence ...

Worms

Hubby Patrick is revving up for a banner garden year. His cover crop is in, and now he’s got a hankering for worms. “They say they’re good for composting,” he informed me. I hit the ...

Celebration of the Lizard

Last December 8 would’ve been Jim Morrison’s 60th birthday. Two of the surviving Doors threw a party in Hollywood at Barney’s Beanery, famous in the ’60s for the stars who hung out there. I wasn’t ...

All Mashed In

Mike Keneally was fronting local band Drop Control when the invitation came in 1987 to join Frank Zappa’s touring band as a “stunt guitarist,” replacing Steve Vai. “The multivolume work I’m doing now, Scambot, shows ...

Fingernails, Cactus, Poppies

Heymatt: The other day I tried pulling out my thumbnail. I just yanked on it for a while but nothing happened. Nails don’t look like the stuff around them. Are they just stuck into our ...

Stencil Does Sundance

On January 14, San Diego’s own celebrity correspondent and red-carpet rude boy, Bob Stencil, took his signature mustache, aviator sunglasses, and unorthodox interviewing style to the Sundance Film Festival for ten days of celebrity interviews ...

From Russia with Love

Sorrow Underfoot, a Christian band featuring Fallbrook sisters Brittany and Shannon Taylor and their brother Justin on drums, has made several tours of Russia as part of the Calvary Chapel Church’s Planting Missions program. “I ...

Makes Cents

After publicly feuding with their former lead singer, the Taz Taylor Band has replaced vocalist Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group) with another MSG vet, Keith Slack. U.K. guitarist Neil Taz Taylor moved to San ...

Do Right

I dug right down to the bottom of my soul... And cried. ’Cause I felt...nothing. — A Chorus Line “Your phone is ringing,” David said. “It’s your mom. Here.” Disoriented, I took hold of the ...

Elephant and Castle

On a recent Friday night I was staying at the downtown YMCA. Don’t ask. The irony in its being referred to as the “Y” for “Young” was not lost on me. I wondered if the ...

Basic Risotto

Recipe by Jeff Rossman, executive chef, Terra. I learned to cook on the job. My dad opened up Pam Pam Café and Grill in Hotel Circle, and I managed the floor at night. During the ...

Santiago Trail

Yesteryear, Old Camp was a popular rendezvous point for hunting parties using the historic Joplin Trail between the flatlands of Orange County’s Trabuco Canyon and Old Saddleback (the crest of the Santa Ana Mountains). Today, ...

More Radio Ga-Ga

After four years as KGB’s afternoon deejay, Ditch was fired on January 20. “The entire building was on lockdown that day. You couldn’t even walk into the lobby. You had to get buzzed in. What ...

Solana Beach’s Financial Straits

Back in the 1920s, Colonel Ed Fletcher took his brother in-law to the cliffs overlooking the ocean on his newly purchased land in what is now Solana Beach. Fletcher armed his brother-in-law with a fire ...

January 29 Puzzle Contenders

Ken A, Ocean Beach, 4. "Do't flick cig butts, pick up that dog poo." Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 4. "Thanks Broncos." Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 4. "Thanks Denise Le Strange!" Cecile Alcaraz, Chula Vista, 4. "Puzzle ...

Crystal Pier Set to Re-Open

The Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, which has been closed to the public for maintenance since early December, is set to re-open in early February. According to Jim Bostian, who has managed the pier for ...

Los Angeles-Type Traffic on the 76

My Dad works at JCPenney in Carlsbad. The drive from his house in Bonsall is approximately 12 miles. Normal drive time to work with no traffic is approximately 20 minutes. My Dad's current drive time ...

Monday, February 2

Old Town Celebrates Battalion Day

The sixth annual Mormon Battalion Day celebration took place in Old Town on Saturday, January 31, commemorating the 161st anniversary of the arrival of the first American military sent to San Diego. The battalion set ...

Picket Lines in Old Town

Picket lines paraded through Old Town San Diego in protest on Saturday, January 31. Approximately 30 workers beat drums, repeated chants shouted through a leader’s bull horn, and marched in and outside of the grounds ...

End of an Error

The North County Forum held their 12th annual Letters to the Editor Awards Night on January 31 at the Brengle Terrace Recreation Center in Vista. In tribute to the “End of an Error,” the ceremony ...

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