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Thirty Years Ago
Was the hunt for little Jimmy Beveridge botched? Since the conclusion two weeks ago of the biggest search in San Diego County history — an effort which failed to prevent the lost boy’s death from exposure on Mount Palomar — a number of veteran searchers have quietly been suggesting just that. Even more disturbing, some are saying that the leaders of the sheriff’s search and rescue unit were warned years ago that their procedures could lead to tragedy.
CITY LIGHTS: “THE SEARCHERS,” Jeannette De Wyze, February 26, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago
[Frances] Ryan was born in Escondido, and ever since childhood it has pained her to see the area’s native trees gradually disappearing under a stupefying tide of housing projects and citrus and avocado groves. Fourteen years ago she learned that Engelmann oaks not only have a limited range but are actually becoming uncommon. To Ryan it was time to act. She became the Oak Lady.
“THE OAK LADY,” Gordon Smith, February 27, 1986

Twenty Years Ago
A pregnant, 35-year-old Superior Court Research Attorney II, employed at the courthouse for seven years, annual performance evaluations spotless...Cheryl Peterson becomes so frightened of then-presiding judge Michael I. Greer, so scared he will (in Peterson’s words) “corner me and let loose with one of his high-volume monologues” and that this “letting-loose” will bring on miscarriage that Peterson goes to Radio Shack and buys a tape recorder.... Peterson does all this thinking that if Judge Greer waylays her and starts screaming, she can hush him up by holding up the recorder and warning him he must reduce decibels or she will flip on the tape.
CITY LIGHTS: “HEY, JUDGE, DID YOU EVER HEAR THE STORY ABOUT THE BIG-MOUTHED FROG?” Judith Moore, February 28, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago
For seven years Bob Wilson was the light tech at the Bacchanal, in good times making $1500 a month. Lately, he sleeps under the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard Bridge.

“I did B.B. King’s lights four or five times at the Bacchanal, and one time he came up to me and said, ‘You know, I’d give you a pin for that hat, but you don’t have anywhere to put it.’ And I said, ‘I’ll put you on the brim of the hat, B.B., and you’ll come back and you’ll see that you’re the only one on the brim.” He came back a year later and said, ‘Where’s my light man? Where’s the hat?’ I said, ‘Here it is, B.B., and you’re the only one there,’ you know? He just went, ‘You’re right on.’”
“BANDS WANTED ME TO DO LIGHTS,” Robert Mizrachi, February 22, 1996

Ten Years Ago
Sixty-six gophers met their doom the year my husband Patrick was “gopher killer” for his college work-study job. Every day, he patrolled the campus looking for fresh gopher mounds. When he spied a mound, he dug down until he discovered the “run.” He’d then plant two traps attached to a pink stake, drive them into the ground, and re-cover the hole.

After a few months of this, the school decided that poison would be more efficient. And it was, but at a price. The college president’s golden retriever, which had been trained (at a cost of $10,000) to protect the president’s epileptic son in case of a seizure, ate some of the poison and died.
BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, February 22, 2001

Five Years Ago
There is no way you can host an international baseball tournament and not invite the country that is the defending world champion and has won three of the four Olympic gold medals ever awarded in that sport. So, Cuba was invited.

And the United States Treasury blocked their participation.... What turned them around, officials claimed, was Cuba’s offer to donate any profits from the tournament to Hurricane Katrina victims. The tournament money, if any, is nothing...is laughable, a fig leaf. Cuba’s offer was a slap at Bush, a reminder to the world how badly the American government treated, and continues to treat, its own citizens.
SPORTING BOX: “WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC,” Patrick Daugherty, February 23, 2006

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