Stories for January 2009

Saturday, January 31

Change We Can’t Believe In

Barack Obama wasn’t the only politician campaigning for change last year. San Diego city councilmember Donna Frye and then-councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio spent most of last summer canvassing the city, holding public town-hall meetings, asking San ...

Friday, January 30

Toilet Vandals

Torrey Pines State Reserve is one of San Diego's treasures enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Behind the scenes, the park is maintained by a dedicated crew of rangers and maintenance specialists who work year-round ...

San Marcos Soap Opera

In San Marcos, the wounds from last November’s elections need more time to heal. Some of those wounds were reopened at a January 27 city council meeting while the council deliberated on Councilmember Mike Preston’s ...

Wednesday, January 28

Smugglers at Torrey Pines?

At approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009, a lifeguard discovered a 28-foot vessel abandoned at the edge of the surf in the Torrey Pines area close to Tower 7. Local agents followed tracks ...

Hi. I used to live here. Can I come in?

What a house means.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Freud pointed out. He would never have said the same thing about a house. Certainly Carl Jung would not. In my case, as I approach my former address ...

Wild and Woolly

The dim month after the year-end Oscar drive — Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Bride Wars, The Unborn, Notorious, My Bloody Valentine, Inkheart, Outlander, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, et al. — looked to be brightened ...

They're Back

The Box will step aside while the hive swarms toward Super Bowl 43, not wishing to excite the gaggle while it’s feeding. Instead, for your sports-minded consideration, I’ll offer up a column about two merry ...

In Bloom

Singer-songwriter Mary Dolan — a fixture in the San Diego music scene in the ’90s — was off the local radar for several years. “Our son Jack was born in November 2004, the day before ...

Lollipop Guild

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. — George Bernard Shaw Bella was the first to notice me. She waved one hand high above her head and used the ...

Tweakers Took My Speakers

Drummer Andy Robillard has been playing in local bands for 15 years, including Butch Wax Duo and gogogo airheart. His latest band the Tighten Ups rents a room at the Universal Sound practice complex near ...

Cornerstone Church of San Diego

Sunday at Cornerstone Church of San Diego was bright with promise. It was also bright with spotlights and searchlights, glowing now white, now green, now pink during the opening half-hour of praise. The lights matched ...

John Mayall

John Mayall is, at 75 years of age, tireless. With 56 albums to his credit (not including compilations), he says he will record number 57 soon and, following that, take his new band on the ...

Butt-Cracked

My friends and I have a game that we invented in our group. It’s called “butt-cracked.” Being butt-cracked is when you accidentally see someone bent over with pants that don’t fit well and you see ...

All campaign, all the time

The San Diego County Lincoln Club had mixed results in the November elections. Its heavy spending helped to easily oust Democratic city attorney Mike Aguirre. But some political insiders say that the club — composed ...

Letters

Good Mosquito Report Geoff Bouvier did a great job on the West Nile cover story on January 22 (“Deadly Mosquitoes Breed in Our Urban Drool”). I am a physician, so have an interest in this, ...

Parking Lot Thrashers

Sometimes, on a Friday night, if you’re a kid and you live in the wilds of San Marcos, all you have are your friends, your skateboard, and a 7-Eleven. Here’re four guys; we’ll call them ...

When People Lost Their Ideals

In the theater, said Marlon Brando, “You can have a universal experience of fear, of anger, of tears, of love, and I discovered that it’s the audience, really, that’s doing the acting.” Audiences can also ...

Sushi Secret

Remember the guy who hijacked a tank and drove it through the streets of San Diego? They say this is where he got the tank, at the National Guard Armory in Linda Vista. And not ...

Jim and the Volcano

After nearly nine years in San Diego, I’d never been to any of the Bully’s restaurants and felt a tad guilty about my ignorance of a local institution. The mini-chain was established back in 1967, ...

Adriana Smith and Ghost in the Graveyard

In 2007 Rolling Stone ran a cover story marking the 20th anniversary of Guns N’ Roses debut studio album Appetite for Destruction. That same year Marc Cantor, early-days photographer for GNR, wrote a book, Reckless ...

San Diego, Texas

Thirty Years AgoGOOD WOMAN STILL LOOKING, the Saturday after this appears, I’ll be in the science exhibit next to the Space Theater, same time. I wear a turquoise windbreaker with white trim. Ask for Mike. ...

Hiiii-Ya!

“It’s outrageously hot on stage inside our ninja outfits,” says keyboardist Matt Liebowitz, one half of “karate-rock” duo Ninja Love. “Black pants, black shoes, black T-shirts, black hoodies with the hood up at all times, ...

Clouds on SDG&E’s Sunny Plans

When it comes to fighting global warming, San Diego Gas & Electric and its parent company, Sempra Energy, are accomplishing the neat trick of being both first and last. Sempra, for its part, has built ...

Green money

Leaders of those two local environmental groups who just cut a deal with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders not to oppose a sought-after waiver of federal sewage-treatment requirements are making pretty decent money. According to ...

Not So Quiet on the Set

While much is being made of pop stars Beyoncé and Mos Def portraying music icons Etta James and Chuck Berry in the movie Cadillac Records, several San Diego artists have also had stints impersonating hit-makers ...

Breaking Dawn

What are you reading? “Breaking Dawn [by Stephenie Meyer]. It’s the fourth installment in the Twilight series.” Tell me about it. “I’m only about 20 pages in, but it’s really good. It’s about a younger ...

When Wilson Went on the Lam

In June 1978, Beach Boy Brian Wilson — without telling his wife or bandmates — decided to escape his life and hitchhike to Mexico. He wound up in San Diego, according to Steven Gaines’s biography ...

Rattled

One hundred thirty-one thousand baby rattles made in China for Infantino, LLC, a Sorrento Valley–based baby toy company, were ordered recalled on January 15 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The “Lamb and Lion ...

Not Fade Away

Thursday 29Not fade away. With the emergence of Mr. Tube, rebirth of Three Mile Pilot, and almost three years of radio silence casting a...pall over Pall Jenkins’s soul-wrecked rock act Black Heart Procession, hometown fans ...

A Charmed Life

Anthony Terlato — importer, distributor, marketer, and now winery owner — never intended to write a book about his life in the wine business. He was content being the guy in the background who made ...

Ollie's Giant Robot Army

This miserable “era of peace” has nearly bankrupted my giant robot army before I’ve even had the chance to get any of them out the door. I’m sittin’ on 45 giant robots in a National ...

Waterproof Cast Covers

Hooray! We’re going to Palm Springs for a weekend at a friend’s place! Boo! My 11-year-old broke his elbow during his first-ever game of pads-free backyard tackle football! “I knew it was a bad idea,” ...

Pinyon Mountain

The late-winter midday sun gently simmers the lowest elevations of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, yet it more coolly illuminates the 4000-foot plateau of Pinyon Mountain Valley, lying high in the park’s central mountain range — ...

Goldsmith’s Guillotine

On February 25 of last year, professional skydiver Alan (Buzz) Fink and his wife Kristina, who are not residents of San Diego, gave a total of $640 to Jan Goldsmith in his run for city ...

Eagles of Death Metal

Eagles of Death Metal don’t sound like the Eagles, and they don’t sound like death metal. But with this band it’s not just the nonsensical name, it’s the whole package of ridiculousness. It’s the cheesy ...

Deion Disses L.T.

When I learned Harrah’s Rincon was opening up a sports bar called the Sports Pit in late September, I decided to hit it. They offered lots of free food and drinks and two former NFL ...

January 22 Crossword Puzzle Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 3. "Buy Keith Urban's cds at Best Buy." Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 3. "Even the most organized can misplace things!" Cecile Alcaraz, Chula Vista, 3. Mary Arana, Encinitas, 3. "It's all about ...

Beach Cleanup

On Saturday, January 24th, 2009 from 9 to 11 a.m., volunteers gathered in Ocean Beach eager to participate in the San Diego Coastkeeper’s beach cleanup program, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Twice monthly, ...

Gold for Books

Tenika Garteiz of High Tech High in Chula Vista is on a quest for gold, the Girl Scout’s Gold Award that is. Yet it’s really her school that will reap the reward, in terms of ...

P.B.: Party Capital or Family Community?

The Beach Area Community Court held its Volunteer Training on January 27, 2009, inside the Discover Pacific Beach headquarters located at 1503 Garnet Avenue. The court is a voluntary prosecutorial diversion program for adult offenders ...

Groundbreaking for New YMCA

After more than a decade on the planning books, ground was broken on January 27, 2009, for construction of a new YMCA in Rancho San Diego. Located adjacent to the Rancho San Diego Towne Center ...

Tuesday, January 27

You Down with O.L.P.?

Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood overlooking Mission Valley, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (O.L.P.) is a Catholic High School for young women. The private institution, founded in 1882, relocated from downtown ...

Carpenters Union Protests Pacific Honda

Members of the Carpenters Local 1506 union are demonstrating in front of Pacific Honda in Clairemont using a huge banner and handing out fliers in protest of Pacific Honda’s use of a contractor with whom ...

Sunday, January 25

Girls’ Varsity Soccer Conference Game

On Friday, January 23, 2009 at 3 p.m., the Mission Bay High School girls’ varsity soccer team competed against Clairemont under overcast skies and on slightly soggy fields. Mission Bay coach Jorge Palacios said, “It ...

Young Playwrights

The Playwrights Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting literacy, creativity, and communication skills through drama-based activities, in conjunction with the Cygnet Theatre Company, held its 24th season of Plays by Young Writers, January 15-25, ...

Murder Arraignment in Vista

A Vista Superior Court judge has found enough evidence for an Oceanside man who allegedly murdered his roommate to face trail. The judge, Joel Pressmen, bound over Jesus Borja, age 28, on one count of ...

Tall Ships Battle on San Diego Bay

January 24 saw another spectacular afternoon maritime show, Canon Battles on San Diego Bay, sponsored by the San Diego Maritime Museum. Four 19th-century tall ships roamed the bay firing smoke canons at each other to ...

Is Your Child Passionate about School?

On Saturday, January 24, 2009 the San Diego Unified School District held a Magnet Schools Fair at the Recital Hall in Balboa Park from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The fair provided information regarding educational ...

The Promised Land

Author: Valentine Cardinalis Neighborhood: Imperial Beach Age: 23 Occupation: Software tester Ever since the 1800s, people have been crossing the American West in an attempt to create a better ­life. I grew up in the ...

Saturday, January 24

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It

During the past year, city officials in Imperial Beach have tried to pass an ordinance banning the sale of tobacco paraphernalia commonly used to smoke illegal substances. Last October, deputies raided two “smoke shops” for ...

Friday, January 23

Downtown Real Estate Report

The median price of a resale condo downtown was $564,700 for the 30-day period ended January 21, up $9,600 from last month, and higher $9,100 from the same period in January 2008 ($555,600). The number ...

KFMB Channel 8 Blood Drive in Kearny Mesa

On Friday, January 23, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. through 6:30 p.m., San Diego residents waited in the parking lot of the Kearny Mesa Walmart to help replenish the dwindling supply of blood at the San ...

New Year’s Day at the Laundromat

New Year’s Day was, if you can remember, a rainy day. Most businessess were closed or had limited hours of operation. The local laundromat in Mission Hills was no exception. They were open, but without ...

Tax Increase Too Costly?

Can Chula Vista afford the costs of a tax increase? A lone member of the city's five-member council doesn't think so. Councilman (also current Deputy Mayor) John McCann said "this is not a good time ...

DeMaio’s Demands

To address the city’s bleak financial future, Mayor Jerry Sanders asked city-council members to take a hard look at their district and try to find areas where the city could save some cash. On January ...

Rainbow in the East

Rancho San Diego witnessed an unusual sight at 5:15pm on Thursday, January 22, 2009: a full-color rainbow fitting just under a ceiling of gray rain clouds. This rarity occurred on a dark, cold, and wet ...

Balboa Park Enters the Information Age

Balboa Park's new touch-screen information kiosks are providing visitors with a high-tech way to navigate the park's myriad venues. The kiosks, which were funded by the Friends of Balboa Park and approved by the City ...

Thursday, January 22

Rowdy Trolley Kids

The 11th Ave. and C St. trolley station situates itself at the bottom of the new Smart Corner condominiums. San Diego High School and Garfield High School are located down the street off of Park ...

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

Clouds loomed over Old Town on Thursday, January 16th as residents said goodbye to the sun. “It’s about time,” one resident said. “We could sure use the rain!” According to the San Diego County Water ...

What You Missed at the Latest Pacific Beach Town Council Meeting

Proactive business owners and residents met Wednesday, January 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Pacific Beach Recreation Center with the collective intent of deciding upon and implementing a variety of strategies aimed at improving both ...

Upgrading a Grade School

The computer lab at Spreckels Elementary School in University City needs some upgrades. The 33 antiquated Macintosh desktops, purchased in 1997, are running on old operating systems and crashing on basic commands. The computers are ...

Wednesday, January 21

Deadly Mosquitoes Breed in Our Urban Drool

A war fought one puddle at a time

A few days after an autumn picnic near Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, a local grade-schooler comes down with the flu. Fever, chills, headache, and he can’t bring himself to get out of bed. His mother worries, ...

The Real Neil

“I always knew that someday I would shake [Neil] Diamond’s hand and get to tell him how much he inspired me,” says David J. Sherry, the Diamond Is Forever bandleader and Escondido resident who met ...

Nine Sinking Cities

This month and in early February, city managers and finance directors in cities across San Diego County are appearing before their respective city councils to report significant budget deficits. Of the county’s 18 municipalities, 14 ...

Builder at Home, 1953

Robert Golden and family, 1953. The son of local construction magnate Morley H. Golden, Robert took over as company president in 1956. Though Robert Golden’s 1991 Union obit emphasized his philanthropic endeavors and love of ...

Don't Be the Cactus

Singer-songwriter Megan Combs — now an Ocean Beach resident — was 24 when she left Virginia on New Year’s Eve in 2007. She blogs about leaving her home, job, and husband behind: “I didn’t have ...

January 15 Crossword Puzzle Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 2. "Eligible donors: help up to 3 people and give blood.” Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 2. "Happy Birthday to my husband Michael.” Cecile Alcaraz, San Diego, 2. "Being fourth on the list ...

Self-Probe? Ha!

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency that is supposed to protect investors from Wall Street predators, says it is going to investigate how it missed the Bernie Madoff scam. San Diego’s Gary Aguirre, ...

Half Man Half Pie

Thursday 22Octet Ozomatli checks in at Belly Up for three in a row through Saturday night. Get back with the Latin-funk dance jams of these L.A. Grammy winners (Best Latin rock/alternative album for 2005’s Street ...

High Comedy

Thirty Years AgoI am supposed to be conducting an “exclusive” interview with Cheech and Chong between sets.… Cheech Marin informs me that they are “all interviewed out” so I end up with only one worthwhile ...

Sewing Machinery

Stitches have played a big part in my life — sewing stitches, that is. In college, there was a wrap cocktail dress I whipped up for the spring dance. After our first baby’s birth, homemade ...

Spin Dry

On a recent Friday I was at Interfaith Community Services in Escondido, where I encountered some beatific (I think that’s the word) people, a diabetic seizure, two movies, and some dozen or so miracles. The ...

Oi-o-Oi

Early on January 10, 25-year-old Christopher Hawthorne of Santee was shot and killed near O’Connell’s bar in Bay Park. Police reports say Hawthorne got into a fight outside the club, then was chased by a ...

Slump Rock

All local concert venues listed on Pollstar’s year-end summary showed a decrease in business last year, with the Sports Arena and SDSU’s Open Air Theatre showing the largest declines. Cricket Wireless (formerly Coors) Amphitheatre came ...

Trouble in Texas

I’ve liked Ozomatli from the start. They’re a very politically conscious band. The name of the band stands for the Aztec god of music and dance, and that kind of drew me to them in ...

Mussels with a View

"Ho, ho, ho.” He sits four chairs down, at the end of the bar. Cherry cheeks, white mustache, Burl Ives beard. Would make a perfect Santa Claus, but you can tell he’s saying it out ...

Z Outbreak

Zombie hunting used to be grueling business. I never thought I’d be a zombie hunter, but then again, I’m typing this on a square of light that sits in my lap. If you’d asked me ...

Sidney's Son

Flan and Ouisa Kittridge verge on having it all: two children at Harvard, one at Groton; a grand Fifth Avenue apartment near Jackie O’s; a couple of Mark Rothkos and a two-sided Kandinsky on the ...

Letters

Train Pain Even the title of this article hit home for me (“Where Can I Get Some Peace and Quiet?” Cover Story, January 15). My wife and I live downtown in a building where the ...

Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne seems like a weird choice for an all-acoustic set at Anthology. The band’s songwriters, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger, are best known for writing irresistible, catchy power pop with jokey, name-checking lyrics ...

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have a sound on loan from the heart of the ’60s. It is a brassy inner-city soul/funk flavored by the Civil Rights movement and the church, a sound that was ...

Soft suit

The San Diego County Office of Education has sued a Minnesota software firm for failing to produce a working “Student Information System” that it had promised to provide by January 2007. According to a breach ...

Porkers

The Associated Press broke the story last week that software glitches in Department of Veterans Affairs computers caused incorrect doses of medicine to be administered to patients at V.A. hospitals across the country. In San ...

Starting money

The inauguration committee of Barack Obama picked up more than a few major contributions from San Diegans. Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs gave $25,000. But his wasn't the biggest donation: Michelle Lerach, wife of now-imprisoned plaintiff ...

Forsaking Friendships

Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone — but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming. — William Hazlitt ...

Head South for No-Frills Dentistry

I saw them up ahead, blatantly assessing the border traffic coming into Mexico, four older teens who looked tough enough to leave alone and a couple of hombres in their 20s who looked even rougher. ...

Highland Avenue Baptist Church

The Sunday service in the well-used sanctuary at Highland Baptist ran the gamut of the Christian experience. Well, maybe not the gamut — the gamut is pretty huge — but a fair swath of it. ...

The Shreddar

Name: Cheryl Woodhouse Age: 51 Lives in: Coronado Post-surf food: Carne asada burrito “with salt!” Favorite surf movie: Step Into Liquid Surfing: Coronado Cheryl got her nickname (“The Shreddar”) by way of a prank played ...

Kellis, Marasol, Social Green

Artist: KellisSong: “When You Love Someone” (from the Doodles EP)Heard By: Bill Wesley, South Park I thought it sounded a lot like Johnny Cash — sort of old-school country-western but with a better recording. His ...

Pigs at the Post

I get invited to a lot of art openings and recently had to tell some friends that I was burned out on them, recalling a couple of art parties from a few months back. One ...

Hummingbird Trail

The viewful Hummingbird Trail starts at the extreme northeast corner of Simi Valley (both the valley and the city of same name) and deviously ascends boulder-studded slopes to the crest of a long ridge leading ...

At Last

Deep in the fourth quarter, when Donovan McNabb reared back and threw his fourth consecutive incomplete pass, things turned suicidal at NBC headquarters in Manhattan. The hideous stomach-dumping nightmare had become fact. To wit: the ...

Loud in Japan

This collaboration was born at the UFO Club in Tokyo,” says Bruce McKenzie, one half of the local experimental duo Buzz or Howl. “We met famed Japanese psych-noise artist Astro through a mutual friend.… The ...

Cats 'n' Water, Rainbow Gold, Bullet Heat

Hey, Matt:My cat is obsessed with water. He’s an ex-stray I found shivering in the rain a year ago, and he’s been a housecat ever since. I turn on any tap — kitchen, bathroom — ...

Enero Zapatista Activist Benefit

City Heights pulsed with purpose on January 16, when the San Diego Free Skool, a local activist collective, threw a benefit for a struggling Tijuana nongovernmental organization. “CITTAC (El Centro de Información para Trabajadoras y ...

Monday, January 19

Sweeping in the New Year

Leaders from Talmadge Neighborhood Watch Block and the Talmadge Patrol suggested that the neighborhood literally "sweep in the New Year." In a matter of a few days, the neighborhood was scouted, alleys were identified for ...

NSSA in Ocean Beach

The NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) held the first part of its South West Conference today in Ocean Beach with men's and junior's competitions beginning at dawn and ending at dusk. Skies were sunny and ...

Chula Vista Can Still Afford to Buy Land?

Amidst budget cuts and sacrifices of city employees to give up their mandated pay increases, the staff of the City of Chula Vista is recommending the adoption of a resolution that will appropriate $1,400,000 from ...

Reengineering the City

After blaming his predecessors for mishandling the city’s pension and benefit system, outlining his dedication to work with the city’s labor unions, and praising the hard work and sacrifice from city employees, Mayor Jerry Sanders ...

Friday Night Lights

At a January 14 meeting of the Kensington/Talmadge Planning Committee, committee members took an official stance on the proposed improvement project for Hoover High School. The committee unanimously agreed to write a letter in opposition ...

Water to Gas

Run our cars on water? Yes! Anyone can build (for 50 bucks, or buy one already built for 90 bucks) a unit that converts water (H2O) into” hydroxy” (HHO) and adds it to your car's ...

San Diego Multicultural Festival

On Saturday, January 17, 2009, thousands of people gathered in downtown San Diego after the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade to celebrate diversity at the 11th annual San Diego Multicultural Festival. More than 100 booths ...

Saturday, January 17

Highway to the Danger Zone

Carlsbad city councilmember Matt Hall stood before the Encinitas City Council on Wednesday, January 14, and asked for their support in opposing a proposed power plant near the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad. The applicant, ...

Thursday, January 15

Downtown Crash

On Saturday, January 10 at 11:10 p.m., at the corner of 9th Avenue and E Street, a white Mercedes Benz crashed into a grey Nissan Altima, causing the Nissan to smash into the corner of ...

Stolen Old Glory Replaced

The 40 X 60 foot American flag that flew over the Escondido Auto Park has now been replaced after being stolen sometime between New Year's Eve and New Year’s Day 2009. Tim and Tom Brecht ...

2009’s Biggest Full Moon

2009’s Biggest Full Moon The full moon on Saturday, January 10, was touted by NASA as the “biggest and brightest one of 2009’’ The NASA statement continued to say that this month’s full moon will ...

Wednesday, January 14

Where Can I Get Some Peace and Quiet?

Hard of hearing in the city

My cell phone was apparently assembled at gunpoint by drunk Yugoslavians in the year 1984. The only way for it to receive any sort of discernible transmission within my house is for me to hold ...

Continuation School Sports

I spent the morning calling small high schools in East County, asking if our state-budget debacle has affected their sports programs. This led me to Calexico, California, the person of principal Dan Plough, and his ...

Pizza Nut

There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will. — Robert Frost I felt a twinge in my stomach and looked ...

Hobby Lobby

My favorite slang word comes from a Leslie Hall skit. She calls a place the Hobby Lobby. My friends and I took the term “hobby lobby” and started using it to mean something that is ...

Backyard Bow-Hunting in La Jolla

I live in La Jolla, once a scrub-covered area of sandstone hills and arroyos, now covered with homes that, come a half inch of rain or so, slide down said hills into said arroyos. No ...

Most Downloaded, December

“All I Got,” by Astra Kelly, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of December. Below is an interview with the songwriter. What inspired you to write “All I Got”? Astra Kelly: The ...

Letters

Bouncers, Side Two I take great exception to the article “Bouncers” by Michael Hemmingson (Cover Story, January 8). He portrays club bouncers in almost romantic, heroic terms. I have lived in San Diego since 1975. ...

No Rock and Roll Excess

Liquid Blue became the greenest band in the world in 2008,” according to bandleader Scott Stephens, “as we installed solar panels at our office and recording studio and implemented many other green programs.… “We use ...

In Your Face, MySpace

Ross May, singer-guitarist with Faded Chroniclez, played twice at West Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go last year. Each gig cost his band $600. “We had to drop a deposit of half up front when we ...

Happylicious

Happy Ron’s appearance on Sunday, January 18, at Clairemont’s Blarney Stone Pub will be his 1000th open-mike performance. “I started in 1997, and believe it or not, poetry open-mikes are the most borderline violent,” says ...

Dream Burgers

“It’s demeaning,” says Carla. “Treating them like sex objects. And the men! They look so stupid, like kids spying on a nudist camp.” Part of me agrees. On the other hand, my buddy Frankie — ...

Crossroads Church

“You don’t argue with a calling,” said Pastor Matt Ortiz before the service in the refurbished school auditorium. “We started out in west Chula Vista, but God called us into National City. I was talking ...

Eventual Rebound Girlfriend

Nam Chi Vu of San Diego’s Riboflavin is a rare multi-threat talent. As a bassist, she’s among the city’s two or three best, comfortable playing classical, jazz, and rock. Now she’s involved in a local ...

Pisco Sours and "Kung Fu" Squid

Vagabond was a sensation when it opened in the spring of ’06. As the realtors say, it had a huge edge: location (times three). Restaurateurs Philippe Beltran and Jerome Gombert chose to open an eclectic ...

Unfree Wheelers

Another few stragglers from the year gone by.... Revolutionary Road comes confusingly too soon after Reservation Road, a mere year apart, although in fairness the novels on which they were based (by Richard Yates and ...

Farmers

In the summer of 1983, Dan McLain approached Jerry Raney about forming a band. Raney, a guitarist, was fresh out of the Shames. McLain, who used the name Country Dick Montana both on and offstage, ...

Doubt and Indecision

In the past minute or three I’ve been trying to determine what it is that so distinguishes one month from another. What is it that transpires from January to February? For comparison, I’ve thought of ...

Hungry Boyz

When Boyz II Men appear tonight at the House of Blues, they want only “white meat chicken, no fried.” They’d also like baked salmon, steamed lobster, grilled jumbo shrimp, grilled tuna, and pasta (“prepared in ...

Is Moores Jumping Out Just in Time Again?

In the past, pro sports has been considered somewhat recession-proof. Not this year, and perhaps not in 2010. Attendance is already sagging, despite the slashing of some seat prices, even in the affluent National Football ...

Knuckle Bonus-Jacks

Twenty-nine years ago this week (1/18/80), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sold out downtown’s Golden Hall. It was the band’s first time in San Diego since playing SDSU’s Montezuma Hall two years earlier. Concert reviewer ...

Some Should Die

More people should die. Our only problem as a society is that we lack the moral resolve to let it happen. We have no distinguishable line to draw — everyone on this side we will ...

In and under the hood

With state budget problems festering and vital services being cut left and right, attention has inevitably turned to the state-subsidized leased wheels used by most members of the California legislature. On the assembly side of ...

Bust out

KPBS, the public broadcasting operation run by San Diego State University, is out with its financial report for the 12 months ending in June of last year, and it reveals that cash dedicated to actual ...

Pols in the headlights

In recent news from the state capital, Lori Saldaña, assembly Speaker pro tempore, has moved into Capitol office 3152, “known for having some of the nicer window views in the Assembly,” according to Capitol Weekly. ...

Beach House

Beach House is the name of the band, but “Bleak House” is more like it. The duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally specializes in beautiful but slightly unsettling music built on slow drumbeats, droning ...

Rockin' Around the Block

When I was four, I formed two distinct memories of events that happened at Christmastime. The first was when my mom, newly single, took my older brother and me to see Santa Claus. We didn’t ...

To the Marrow

When American Buffalo premiered on Broadway in 1977, critics had to devise new terms to praise David Mamet’s craft. It wasn’t simply realistic, they said; it was “micro-real” or “hyper-real” or even “really real.” Mamet’s ...

Bayside Trail

The Bayside Trail, sweeping downward from the old lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, offers an incomparable view of the city of San Diego and its watery environs. Amid the sweet-pungent sage scrub ...

Cover Crops

“I could break a Mack truck’s windshield with some of these grocery-store tomatoes,” griped my gardener friend Shawn. “I hate buying produce at the grocery store. This is San Diego; I should be able to ...

E-Trash Treasures

It’s not yet 9:00 a.m. on September 6, but the late-summer sun is already baking the blacktop of the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. It’s hot and promises to get hotter. Sweat drips from the foreheads ...

Linguine with Sea Urchins

Recipe by Gordon Smith, private chef and former owner/chef, Gordon’s Basil St. Cafe. I’ve always been a chef in San Diego for San Diego. In the ’90s, Basil St. Café was one of the first ...

Dog Sense, Hair Loss

Matthew: My dog, a sweet, goofy retriever, can always tell when my husband is coming home. He heads for the garage door every night about five minutes before I hear his car. I know lots ...

The Inside Story

Thirty Years AgoSo you think Dylan is a has-been/ And Ronstadt is adolescent cheesecake./ Well, bein’ dumb is no original sin,/ But you still gotta live by the choices you make./You know critics are frustrated ...

Three Mile Pilot Touches Down

Thursday 15X sideshow. Doe, Cervenka, and Alvin kick off one of their infrequent Knitters tours at Belly Up tonight. The cowpunks infuse bluegrass and folk into their trademark punkabilly for something old-timey but timeless. Novel ...

January 8 Crossword Puzzle Contenders

Ken A, Ocean Beach, 1. "Let's trade our lazy street kids for migrant labor." Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 1. "Alphabetical order is the way to go." Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 1. "Hope I can do all ...

New Stephen Birch Healthcare Center Unveiled

On Saturday, January 10, 2009, the new Stephen Birch Healthcare Center at Sharp Memorial Hospital was officially unveiled to the public. Hospital staff members were on hand at the 315,000-square-foot, 334-bed facility to provide tours ...

Monday, January 12

A New Dog Park Worth Barking About

If you have ever wondered what dogs dream about when their tails start tapping the floor during deep sleep, retrieving tennis balls and making friends at the new dog park in Rancho Peñasquitos is it! ...

Little League Tryouts

Rancho Peñasquitos Little League held baseball tryouts at Canyonside Community Park on Saturday and Sunday, January 10-11, 2009. Players aged 8 through 12 demonstrated their batting, catching, throwing, and running skills in both the infield ...

Saturday, January 10

Emergency 91910

The Chula Vista City Council signaled for financial rescue during a January 8 meeting, officially declaring the city is in a fiscal emergency. The reason for the declaration, according to newly appointed city manager Jim ...

Pay Perception

Escondido Councilmember Sam Abed changed his mind. He wants to give back 5 percent of the 10-percent pay increase he supported for the city council back in 2007. At a January 7 city-council meeting, Abed ...

Friday, January 9

Ariel Suites Raises Issues at Pre-Design Meeting

A 19-story, 143-apartment, and 9,618-square-foot retail proposal drew varied responses at the Centre City Advisory Committee pre-design subcommittee meeting on January 7, 2009. The development replaces a parking lot on the southwest corner of Beech ...

Downtown Lions Hear Upbeat Economic News

Amid the barrage of bad news about our economy, the San Diego Downtown Lions Club heard surprisingly good news at their first meeting of 2009. Alan Nevin of Market Pointe Realty Advisors spoke at the ...

Thursday, January 8

Yolanda

Author: Rob Pink Neighborhood: Oceanside Age: 60 Occupation: Winemaker Oh, Yolanda, Yolanda, just speaking your name sends shudders of loving emotion resonating through my body. Come closer to me, my love, I must have you ...

Like a Good Neighbor…National City Is There

Another day, another Chula Vista City Council budget meeting. Over the past three months, the city’s held meeting after meeting trying to resolve a $4 million deficit for this fiscal year and a $20 million ...

Wednesday, January 7

Bouncers: 97% Nothing, 3% Hell and Terror

No Slashed Tires “It’s nothing like Road House, there’s no Patrick Swayzes,” says Ted Washington, who divides his time as a bouncer between Winstons in Ocean Beach and at the Casbah in Middletown. Other bouncers ...

Signs of the Times

MC Flow’s new “Created Equal” video continues the project born on November 5, after Californians opposing legalized marriage between gay couples voted Proposition 8 into law. Flow responded in verse, with a video for the ...

Tijuana Shark Attack!

Name: Chase Edwards Age: 26 Lives in: North Park Surfing: Black’s Favorite surfing buddy: Jameson, his son Girls in the water okay?: “If they can keep up.” Chase was surfing at Playas de Tijuana last ...

Braised Chicken with Green Olives and Roasted Peppers

Recipe by Victor Jimenez, executive chef, Cowboy Star. The idea for Cowboy Star came from my partner Jon. When he told me this idea, I was taken aback at first. Then he started to describe ...

That's the Holiday Spirit!

Thankfully, mercifully, wonderfully, I rejoice that the holidays are over. This year I was called everything from a “lamer” to a “scrooge” because I don’t enjoy the time from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Well, ...

Slumberous Growth, Tire Treads, Pinkies

Hey, Matt: My friend read in a book somewhere that people are taller in the morning than they are at night. Is that possible? The book didn’t say why. Do you know why if it’s ...

Pittsburgh

The Chargers play Pittsburgh on Sunday at their place, Heinz Field. The way San Diego has been playing lately, taking six points is tempting. I was born in Pittsburgh, Mercy Hospital, at 3:06 in the ...

Back When the Electorate Heeded the Call by Its leaders to Break the Bank

Thirty Years AgoRe: Greg Kahn’s piece, “Seventy-eight Reasons Why San Diego Isn’t All That Bad” (“Year In Review,” December 21), I love San Diego, but howzabout some New Year’s resolutions? Here are 79 reasons why ...

The Comeback Clint

This is the interval when the Year That Was in the centers of civilization drags on into the Year That Is in the boondocks. The interval of overlap. Clint Eastwood, for the occasion, has repeated ...

Meat Puppets

Taken as a whole, the real-life history of the Meat Puppets reads like the first round of edits of a James Crumley crime novel. Edits, as in stuff that would have been rated too grisly ...

The Chain of Spain

Spain’s on the same latitude as New York, so in winter the rain in Spain must mainly be a pain. I love eating Spanish food in rotten weather — all that warming olive oil and ...

What Poor Writers Like

“…White people are obsessed with being in the right neighborhood and the Internet is no exception.” The above is from a popular blogsite called “Stuff White People Like” (“This blog is devoted to stuff that ...

Da Bears, Modern Rifles, Hotel St. George

Artist: Da BearsSong: “Regal Beagle” (from the CD Classics Never Die/Cowardly Cobra)Heard By: Justine Marzoni, Imperial Beach I really liked it. It reminds me of Of Montreal; it was dance-y and happy. I liked the ...

Al Kooper

Imagine a story where a guy is invited to watch Bob Dylan in the studio one day in 1965. Despite not knowing how to play the instrument, the guy sits down at the organ and ...

Nightcaps

I had three parties to hit one December night. Maybe the stores were taking a hit from the bad economy, but it wasn’t cutting down on the number of people partying. I went to a ...

Perishable

This column’s late. I got bit but good by that bug going around. “Re-view” a year — would that were possible, literally re-see favorite shows and performances of 2008. But they’re gone. Live theater is ...

Poor Man's Copyright

San Diego rapper Kayo self-released his first EP, Konfessions of a Kriminal, in 2005, at the age of 22. At least four other recording artists in different cities are calling themselves Kayo. The Kayo in ...

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church

“Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany,” declared the reader before the beginning of Mass. “The focus of today’s liturgy is: ‘We need to proclaim God’s glory.’ The first reading tells us of the New ...

Dreaded Music Theory

“The Mboard I use in my two bands is patented, and we’re in negotiation to get it mass produced,” says Bill Wesley of the Array Orchestra and Vaginals. “The Sensor Array MIDI Controller Mboard will ...

Young and Innocent, The Nun, Wall-E

Michel RothComposer, San Diego Rep’s production of production of Doubt Young and Innocent — early Hitchcock from England — is great. The use of the song “No One Can Like the Drummer Man” to reveal ...

Gone Fishing?

Tim Green, captain of the 80-foot sportfishing vessel Premiere, has been motoring paying customers from San Diego Bay to the Point Loma kelp beds for over 20 years. His anglers catch calico bass, halibut, white ...

Will the Horse Drink?

Almost everybody prefers inflation to deflation. Certainly, economists and politicians do. And the general public prefers inflation too. Why do you think Viagra sells so well? But you have probably noticed that those TV ads ...

Blowin' Away?

Might Canes be leaving its beachfront address this year? The lease on the 900-capacity club in Mission Beach expires in October. Canes owner Eric Leitstein says he will move the club and its 100 employees ...

Unkind History

Twenty-nine years ago this week (1/10/80), Styx appeared at the San Diego Sports Arena, with opening act the Babys. “When a band as seamlessly mediocre as Styx can draw one of the larger crowds assembled ...

Colored Pencils

Colored pencils evaporate in the Kelly household — here one day, gone the next. When my son sat down to work on a drawing last week, three pencils sat in front of him. Can’t do ...

Mambo Mambo

Thursday 8Just in time for the cold snap, Lucy’s Fur Coat comes out of the closet for a couple at Casbah, which is hereby and forthwith celebrating its 20th anniversary. Wicked pissah. Anyway, Lucy’s is ...

Skywriting in the Clouds

The winter season in San Diego County is accompanied by fairly frequent instances of unusual optical effects in the sky. Many are associated with high clouds consisting of microscopic, hexagonal ice crystals which bend or ...

Supposedly Endless Summer

Here is a post-holiday column possibly welcome only to readers who spend inordinate amounts of time taking the rectal temperature of cats. It is about winter, after the holidays. There are other names for it; ...

On the outs

UCSD alumnus and part-time La Jollan Craig Venter, famous for his race with the federally sponsored Human Genome Project to decode the human genome back in the 1990s, is also well known for making more ...

Big bills for Bill

Gateway computer founder and La Jolla resident Ted Waitt turns up on the until-recently secret list of contributors to the Clinton Foundation, set up by the ex-president to advance his personal charitable agenda. The great ...

Pizza and Politics

Is this where Obama won the election? The little pizza shop was a hotbed of political debate for the longest time before the Great Victory. Everyone’s committed, one way or the other. Ivan, one of ...

Letters

Just Another Business While I am just as sorry as anyone that the likes of Chris Cantore and so many other radio veterans were sent packing, I still don’t see the big surprise of it ...

Unplugging DeMaio

Self-promotional plans by freshman San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, seen by many insiders as the most politically ambitious member of the council since Mayor Pete Wilson first aspired to higher office in the 1970s, ...

A Christmas Carol

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. — Gail Lumet Buckley Despite a resolution to skip all holiday hullabaloo, I agreed to celebrate ...

The Numbers Game

Inside San Diego City Council chambers on Monday, January 5, five certified public accountants — already vetted by the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst — vied for three positions on San Diego’s Public Audit ...

Tuesday, January 6

Happy Birthday, Spreckels Organ!

San Diego’s unique and historic outdoor pipe organ in Balboa Park celebrated its 94th birthday on Sunday January 4, 2009, in honor of which the San Diego Park and Recreation Department, in cooperation with the ...

OB Vacation = Damnation Station?

Yeah, that right. It’s OB baby, a haunted seaside saltdream floating across the space-time grid like a languid spectre in blank half-smile. An anachronistic funhouse full o’bleary-eyed skellys shuffling down Newport in search of something ...

Saturday, January 3

No Justice, No Peace

On the afternoon of January 2, 2009, at Broadway and Front Street, a demonstration was staged with approximately 500 demonstrators holding signs and chanting "No Justice No Peace." "These demos have been staged to inform ...

The Pirates of Chula Vista

The City of Chula Vista’s financial ship is sinking. With a projected deficit of $20 million for the next fiscal year, the city is slashing services and tossing programs overboard, trying to stay afloat. One ...

Playoff Fever

On the afternoon of January 2, 2009 at Seau's in Mission Valley, it was apparent that NFL playoff fever has already taken ahold of San Diego. Hundreds of Chargers fans gathered inside and outside of ...

Thursday, January 1

    Mission Ridge Apartments

    Mission Ridge Apartments 1320 Via Terrassa Encinitas, CA 92024 Pricing: 2 bedrooms from $1425; 2 bedrooms with den from $1700. Number of Units: 196 Parking: Covered Pets: Cat friendly. Call for specifics. Lease Terms: 6 ...

    Homeless Man Struck Down

    At approximately 8:30 pm on Tuesday, December 30, 2008, a pedestrian was struck by a red pick-up truck near the intersection of Washington Place and Randolph Street in Mission Hills. Witnesses to the accident said ...

    Free Rice!

    On December 13, 2008, Thuan Phat Market celebrated its grand opening in Linda Vista at the site of the former Vien Dong Vietnamese supermarket at 6935 Linda Vista Road. The first 500 lucky shoppers on ...

      Neighborhood Blog Contest

      A few years ago the Reader held a writing contest. Topic? Your neighborhood. Over 600 San Diegans submitted essays from around the county. Now it's a monthly contest. Any time you post a blog on ...