Thirty-Five Years Ago
Local land developers...have been closely following the attempts of a citizens’ group to halt the construction of a multimillion-dollar housing project in the hills of La Mesa.
The subject of the showdown is Helix Lake, an 18.5-acre piece of land bordering a 3.2-acre reservoir.
Familiar to many San Diegans, the lake is located on the northern slope of Mt. Helix and is one of the few remaining wildlife sanctuaries in the county. Thirty-six different kinds of plants, nineteen species of birds, including flycatchers, roadrunners, and mourning doves, and eight species of fish inhabit the area.
— “FIXING MT. HELIX,” Paul Krueger, July 10, 1975
Thirty Years Ago
Another performance of the topless mermaid show at the Stardust Hotel has just concluded.
Initially, the three abjured wearing face masks in an effort to heighten the dramatic image. “But when you swim without a mask, you have to let your sinuses fill with water. It’s hell on them.”
— CITY LIGHTS: “THAT’S SOME FISH TANK YOU’VE GOT THERE, BARTENDER,” Jeannette De Wyze, July 10, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Nobody, I think it is safe to say, except perhaps for animal trainers, trick riders, and others with a vested interest, can have been rooting more fervently than I have for the announced return of the Western; and all hope hasn’t yet been abandoned. A last, latest inventory, together with long-range prognostics on the future of the genre, would wisely be put off until after the arrival this week of Silverado.... Two more shovelfuls of dirt on the half-filled grave of the genre will not be counted by me as part of any hope to revive it.
— MOVIE REVIEW: “THE NEW OLD WEST,” Duncan Shepherd, July 11, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
Talk showman Roger Hedgecock has been cheerleading the local border skirmishes in which large groups of patriots have assembled at night to try to prevent Mexican migrants from crossing illegally into the Promised Land. Despite his gringo penchant for reveling in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Puerto Vallarta, Hedgecock’s radio talk show has become a lightning rod for those who fear the incoming brown hordes. But now he may become a border casualty himself; a group of Mexican professionals in Tijuana has petitioned the Mexican federal government to declare Hedgecock a foreigner non grata, making it illegal for him to enter their country.
— CITY LIGHTS: “HEDGECOCK, GO HOME,” Neal Matthews, July 12, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
Some of the loftiest — and least visited — mountain country in San Diego County lies on the 25,000-acre Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. You won’t find casinos here, but you will discover San Diego County’s highest point, Hot Springs Mountain. With an elevation of 6533 feet, it beats the better-known, 6512-foot Cuyamaca Peak by a whisker.
— Roam-O-Rama, Jerry Schad, July 6, 1995
Ten Years Ago
No one knows who named the nine-block area around San Diego’s original harbor district the Stingaree. But the name, from a raylike fish with stinging barbs, fits. The district evolved outside the law. Around the docks, wharves, and shanties built by itinerant fishermen, saloons sprung up, and houses of prostitution (often with “cribs, stables,” and “bullpens,” collections of small cottages in the rear), opium dens, and everything that comes with them: police raids, arson, and murder.
— UNFORGETTABLE: “SAN DIEGO’S CHINATOWN AND STINGAREE DISTRICT,” Jeff Smith, July 6, 2000
Five Years Ago
Space, energy, time, you name it: San Diegans are hard-pressed to afford it. A modest, boxy house with no yard in La Jolla costs the same as an estate sprawling across numberless acres in upstate Connecticut. Gas runs 35 cents a gallon higher in San Diego than in Oklahoma City. A #1 Value Meal at a McDonald’s in Iowa City costs $1.60 less than it does on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.
And why is this the case? Two words: sunshine, baby. Perfect weather. Never too hot, never too cold. We all want to live here, and we’ll pay an arm and half a leg to do it.
— “ABCs of San Diego,” Geoff Bouvier, July 7, 2005