Stories for July 2011

Sunday, July 31

John Wayne is on my plate

I pull up to the line where "occasional" vendors purchase a spot, and am greeted with a "got a sellers permit?" by a less than enthusiastic employee of the swap-meet. After securing a space, I ...

Napa: Prager Winery and Portworks

As I drive south out of Napa Valley after a weeklong housesit, I stop at Prager Winery and Portworks in quaint St. Helena on the recommendation of a friend. The tasting room is in a ...

Saturday, July 30

Please Explain

It's my belief that it's only polite to affix an explanatory license plate holder around an ambiguous license plate. If I can't decipher your jumbled, vowel-free catchphrase at a glance, your money has been wasted. ...

Thursday, July 28

Stopover in Manila, Philippines

You might find yourself in Manila on a stopover on your way to some of the country’s most pristine beaches – or on the way home from Thailand. Whatever your reason, Manila does have some ...

A World Away on Catalina Island

I’m always surprised at the number of Southern California residents who have never been to Catalina Island. My family spent quite a few summers on the island, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get away ...

Buff Bandits

When I saw “Card Services” on the Caller ID, I assumed spending money on the other side of the country had spooked one of my credit card accounts into thinking there was a possible fraud. ...

Interview with a Google Maps Street View Driver

The Google Maps “Street View car” was making it rounds on Eighth Street in Imperial Beach on July 27 when it pulled into Veterans Park and stopped. The driver introduced himself as “Google Mike” and ...

Water Balloon Strikes in Bird Rock

Two individuals have reported being hit by water balloons thrown by youths from vehicles while on the 4800-5200 blocks of La Jolla Boulevard. A renter living in the 5100 block claimed to have been hit ...

Wednesday, July 27

Hoctails at Stout Public House

“There are a lot of hockey fans in San Diego because there are a lot of people here from somewhere else,” Stout Public House bartender Daniel McCullough tells me. “Since they don’t have anywhere else ...

Golden Hill's Counterpoint

My friend Audrey and I hadn’t been in touch of late and finally settled on a time to catch up. “Where shall we meet?” she asked. “I really just want to hang out but also ...

O'Bistro Café on Voltaire

Who can resist eavesdropping? Not me. Debbie, the owner of an O.B. eatery named Tower Two; Elsa, the interior designer; Melalee, the kindergarten teacher; and Brenda, who, along with her husband Jong, owns this joint ...

Swimmer Guy

So, last week, the Box introduced Monarch School, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade public/private school (don’t ask) for homeless children and children affected by homelessness, located in downtown San Diego. This is the outfit Blair Cannon, aka swimmer ...

Zulayka: Puerto-Rican Brooklyn

“I call my music ‘Brooklyn style,’” says Puerto Rican vocalist Zulayka. “I mix R&B, Latin, house, hip-hop, traditional Spanish, Caribbean, and reggaeton sounds in a synth-driven pop/dance format. After 15 years in the music business, ...

Where's Flickerstick?

On April 2, 2001, VH1 debuted a competitive reality TV show called Bands on the Run. The concept was to have four unsigned bands compete for a prize package that included $150,000 in cash, equipment, ...

The Who's Tommy Unleashed at the Rep

You may remember him as Tonex (pronounced “To-nay”). The young mega-talent, who won a Craig Noel Award for Dreamgirls in 2008, changed his name. He’s now B. Slade. His skills have changed a bit, too. ...

Would You Like Five Free Cell Phones?

I’m choking on the drifting smell of Mrs. Fields cookies as I stare into the eyes of the middle-aged woman. Her look conveys doubt as I reach out and place my hand on her wrist. ...

Captain America Gets Ready to Avenge

In 1991, director Joe Johnston brought us The Rocketeer, in which a decent All-American guy chances upon the means to become a superhero. This enables him to take on the Nazi menace and its plan ...

Mortero Palms

Take a walk through Mortero Palms in the Jacumba Mountains of Anza-Borrego.

From the trailmaster’s favorites folder. "Limmipedes,” my three-year-old son called them, those many-legged survivors from the Mesozoic era, marching across the sand in seemingly random directions, oblivious to our flashlight beams. Our land of limmipedes, ...

Last and First

The deed is done. Last night David and I slept in our new home for the first time. We have moved the bulk of our things from the Egyptian (the name of our old condo ...

Free Fun in the Summertime

“Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the street.” And today is as summer as you get in this city. Pop lyrics are triggered, which is a major improvement on heat rash ...

Brohemian Grove

My roommate Eli’s birthday falls on the same day as the Cremation of Care ritual at the annual elite getaway in Bohemian Grove, where politicians, bankers, and reptilian overlords spend two weeks pissing on old ...

Amplifier Fryers

Thursday 28<br>Three nights of pissah punk-n-roll shows as that hooligan haberdasher Brixton brings its fourth annual Johnny Rad Fest to Uptown this weekend. It kicks off tonight at Til-Two, where Seattle’s “punk for the people” ...

Gary Holt's Grandmother Test

After decades of choral experience that included singing with the Tucson Boys Chorus and at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Missouri, Gary Holt became artistic director for the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus in ...

Alleged Rapist Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge, Is Released From Custody in Vista

Giovanni Abarca, 18, pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor, in exchange for dropped felony charges — including rape of an intoxicated person — according to prosecutor Kate Flaherty. Abarca ...

The Hanging Question of Coronado

Rarely has Coronado been so abuzz. In the early morning of July 13, a young naked woman hanged herself (or did she?) at the Spreckels mansion on Ocean Boulevard. Two days before, a six-year-old boy ...

Who Watches the UCAN Watchdog?

The website of local watchdog Utility Consumers’ Action Network (UCAN) has a photo of executive director Michael Shames. Underneath, it says that Shames “serves as an expert witness and attorney on behalf of UCAN.” (Italics ...

Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile at the Casbah

When I first heard of Kurt Vile, I thought he must have taken his stage name in honor of Kurt Weill, the composer best known for The Threepenny Opera. (Weill’s name is pronounced “vile.”) I ...

Filner's Road to Paris

Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, who has declared his candidacy for mayor of San Diego, took a free trip to Paris last month courtesy of a group of Iranian-Americans from Colorado tied to a controversial organization ...

San Diego, TX

Piggybank Heist. On Friday, July 1, Alice police officers arrested a man for stealing ten dollars from a child’s piggybank. Daniel Zurovec was part of a work crew installing screens at a residence. Two juveniles ...

"Woman's Constancy," by John Donne

Now thou hast loved me one whole day. Tomorrow when thou leav’st, what wilt thou say? Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow? Or say that now We are not just those persons which we ...

Record-Release Roundup

Pharmacy’s release party for No Drugs Included happens Friday, August 5, at the Go Lounge in La Mesa. “One of the covers we plan on doing is an old Zeros song,” says frontwoman Kitten Johnson. ...

Letters

Gardening Tips Kudos to Susan Luzzaro on her article (City Lights: “How Did We Get in This Mess?” July 21). It is probably worth peeling the onion one or two more layers when it comes ...

Comic Book Bash

Thirty-Five Years Ago<br>SAM: WE’RE THROUGH, you airhead. Jack is meeting me this Friday at City College to see “That Scoundrel Scapin.” Eileen. ANGEL, SORRY we couldn’t finish the voyage, but rock and roll is calling ...

The Blitz Brothers' Roach Factor

This year there were two milestones in Richard Livoni’s life. He turned 60 in July and, following a hiatus of nearly 30 years, he decided to resurrect rock trio the Blitz Brothers. “We’re gonna do ...

“What’s Different?” Eyelash Extension

“What’s different?” asked Patrick. “I didn’t have time for mascara this morning.” “Oh.” He didn’t say any more, but I knew what he was thinking: She really does look better with mascara. “A lot of ...

Lao-Tzu

The appearance of Virtue in its fullest exuberance is no more than the result of compliance with the Tao. Tao, considered as an entity, is obscure and vague. Vague and obscure! yet within it there ...

Slightly Stoopid and Ocean Beach

Slightly Stoopid says the band is a master of the “stealth groove.” That’s when you sneak a melodic hook or two into a long-winded jam. Otherwise, the laid-back Jack Johnson imprint abides. More skatepunk in ...

Ridgeview Church

Membership: 600 Denomination: Independent Christian Pastor: Bill Trok Age: 49 Born: Chicago Formation: Talbot School of Theology-Biola University, La Mirada Years Ordained: 20 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor ...

July 21 Crossword Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 4. Mary Arana, Encinitas, 4. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 4. L. Barling, El Cajon, 4. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 4. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 4. Rick Chambless, San Diego, 4. Leslie Chase, Campo, ...

July 21 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Carl Baltrunas, Milpitas, 5. Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 5. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 5. Felix E Charfaurs, San Diego , 5. Greg Chauncey, La Jolla, 5. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 5. Michelle Dutra, Serra Mesa, ...

July 21 Brainstorm Contenders

Ed Barno, San Diego, 4. Felix E. Charfauros, San Diego, 4. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 4. Richard Hutchings, Santee, 4. * Ai Sawada, San Diego, 4. Everything turns into a puzzle when my glasses are ...

Tuesday, July 26

Will Sleep on Floor for Comic-Con 2012 Tickets

About 2400 Comic-Con attendees crowded into a ballroom at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel every morning of the world’s largest comic convention July 21–24, some arriving as early as 1:00 a.m. They were there to ...

San Diego Judges Allowed to Park in Red Zone?

On July 22 in downtown San Diego, several expensive cars and SUVs pulled up to the red curb in front of the Family Court building at 1555 Sixth Avenue and parked. A man who identified ...

Doing Europe: Croatia

After living in Prague for over a year, my Czech girlfriend, Katka, and I wanted to get out of the city and go on a summer holiday. At the time, in 2000, it was relatively ...

Monday, July 25

The Watching Birds

Just the other day, late in the afternoon, I was sitting on the couch, reading the Reader (yes, really!), when I sensed something large watching me through the front picture window in our living room. ...

Baby Got Sauced at the Seaside Stage

It takes a strong set of binoculars to see past North County privilege and beautiful women in stupid hats to catch the new Seaside Stage at Del Mar. Only those with focus could ignore the ...

Rubblebucket's Omega La la

Just in time to thwart the summertime blues comes the auditory salve of Rubblebucket's sophomore full-length, a collection of prog-pop glory that often sounds like an indulgence-free Yes. Kalmia Traver provides captivating, ethereal vocals for ...

OMG Adorbz

As with most people who hover over a computer for hours on end, I have my visual vices. Unlike dudes, who probably go straight to the porn sites (I'm not saying I don't, just that ...

Just Like Dad

It’s a common question: “What’s your dad do?” It’s natural for people to inquire after another’s parents, to gather information to assist in making those assessments of others that are in our nature to make. ...

The “Experienced Only” Problem

If you have been searching for a new job you have probably run across phrases such as the following, which I’ve taken directly from published job openings: Minimum of 10 years EXPERIENCE in property management, ...

Sunday, July 24

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Offers Free Charging Stations in Clairemont

On July 22, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 celebrated the installation of two new electric-vehicle charging stations powered by solar panels on their building’s Clairemont Mesa roof. Senator Christine Kehoe and representatives ...

The Open Road is Calling You As a Truck Driver

Bonnie Trown of United Truck Driving School explains how you can get your foot in the door as a truck driver. Let’s start with a brief rundown of your school. United Truck Driving School has ...

Saturday, July 23

Worst Dressed

“Oh, boy, guess what!” Robert called from his living room throne, a modern recliner on which he is stationed much of the time. Ency, David, and I were in the next room, hunching over a ...

You Don’t Have All the Answers, Mr. Manager

The latest victim of the stormy U.S. economy seems to be the management that runs our companies. Maritz Research of St. Louis reports that its latest employee poll found 25 percent of workers have less ...

An Absolutely True Story of Being Deported at Age 14

At first, I was scared to share this story about me getting deported. First of all, I am not a good writer yet. I am only 16 years old. English is my second language. Spanish ...

Friday, July 22

Man Splashed Gasoline on Ex-Wife in Oceanside

Danny Vinci splashed gasoline on his ex-wife in a parking lot full of witnesses, on March 11, 2010. The woman had gone to an Oceanside dance studio to pick up her granddaughter, as she always ...

Thursday, July 21

Badwater Salt Flats in Death Valley, California

Death Valley is just that – a low-lying valley cradled between three monstrous mountain ranges. And frankly, there isn’t another way to describe it other than to assure you that it is bloody majestic! The ...

Buzzing on Starbucks in Rio

Warning: the following may make you feel the full weight of the modern guy/gal's addiction to well-produced, low-cost goods consumed en masse. (Yes, Starbucks.) Our last night of holiday travel, we were in Ipanema and ...

Mexico's Awe-Inspiring Copper Canyon

The Copper Canyon region is 25,000 square miles across almost one-third of the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. The Chihuahua al Pacifico train route from Los Mochis passes through the farmland of Sinaloa and ...

Stonemason at Work Between Talmadge and City Heights

Ukrainian-born stonemason Sam Kolivayko, 48, has spent the past two months building a series of stone pilasters at the junction of the City Heights and Talmadge, on the northeast corner of Fairmount and Meade avenues. ...

Wednesday, July 20

Crime Problem in Tijuana's Zona Centro Addressed

An increase in the number of robberies in Zona Centro — the downtown sector of Tijuana — has aroused the ire of local businessmen who believe the uptick in crime is bad for business, especially ...

Borders Bookstores Prepare to Close

Tuesday, July 19, was an ordinary day in the National City Borders store. Customers at the Westfield Plaza Bonita location were browsing, studying, and drinking coffee. When asked, few people realized that the Borders chain ...

Boeuf Bourguignon

Recipe by Rene Herbeck, executive chef, Au Revoir Bistro My dad was in the Foreign Legion and when he was in Vietnam, he met my mother. I was born there and lived in Vietnam until ...

Dogs' Lifted Legs, Astrological "Facts," Kiwi Fruit

Heymatt: My dog lifts his leg to pee. My cats don’t. I don’t know about other animals. Why does my dog do that, or why don’t my cats do that? Do any other animals lift ...

Good People

It’s going to take a little while to get there — “there” being the sports side of things. But, on the happy side of the street, we’re already two sentences closer. I’ll begin with Joel ...

Punk Love at Awesomefest

Punk Love. “It actually started as a joke,” says Kyle Pagel. He is a promoter of punk shows and part owner of an indie punk label in Riverside called Muy Autentico. “There’s a guy we ...

Songs for Lovers

Thirty-Five Years Ago<br>At a mock Hollywood party in one scene of Rodgers and Hart, the pleasant musical revue at the Carter Centre Stage, a drunken partygoer makes the bold confession: “I’m heterosexual!” This is a ...

Hello, So Long, Au Revoir

I’d spent most of a hot muggy afternoon at the dentist’s office, getting inspected and x-rayed and filling out a long, nosy form that began with “Are you alive? Y/N.” The obvious thing to do ...

Avenue Subs in Coronado

“Okay, Goldilocks. Have a nice hair day.” That’s me to Carla. It’s my day off. We’re in the Crown City — Coronado — for her date with Diane, “the greatest stylist in the universe.” “Hair ...

A Little Help from Jenna Fischer

I regret missing A Little Help, which last fall won Best Narrative Feature at downtown’s San Diego Film Festival. Still, a pleasure deferred is not always lost, and the revelation of the picture is Jenna ...

Letters

Dave? Is That You? I would like to comment on “Where Do They Go When the Races Are Over?” (Cover Story, July 14). First, I think society should be more evolved so that races are ...

Sounds of Sunset Strip

On July 30, Lestat’s Coffeehouse will rock and jangle in homage to the Los Angeles music scene centered around the Sunset Strip during the mid 1960s, featuring music by Love, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and ...

Geek Week

Thursday 21<br>It’s geek week here in America’s Finest, the one week each year that I actually feel pret-ty darn cool. For fellow nerf herders not into “Con,” read on... SanFran’s garage-rock one-man band Ty Segall ...

F**ked Up Comes to Life

Toronto’s prolific Fucked Up is simultaneously the most punk rock and most un-punk rock band in the world. On the punk side, of course, there’s a name that’s unutterable on the radio or TV. There’s ...

The Unintentionally Authentic Michael McGraw

“I’m an East Coaster,” says Pennsylvania native Michael McGraw at the Alibi in Hillcrest. “I have a little moodiness and I’ve come to embrace it. The music we’re making now is true to that.” McGraw ...

Till We're Old and Gray

Blackout Party singer/songwriter Brian Holwerda chats with me between waiting tables at Café Japengo and finishing BP’s second album, Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed. “In my late teens I played in a band called Fine ...

"Clean Needles for Mice," by Regina Morin

Mickey Mouse has AIDS! The 64-year-old, four-fingered rodent with the big, black ears, was infected with HIV in the first experiment of its kind in the U.S.A. "I don't know how it happened," said the ...

Grace Lutheran Church

Membership: 1450 Pastor: Jim Young Age: 65 Born: Los Angeles Formation: Concordia University, Seward, Neb.; University of Lincoln, Neb.; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. Years Ordained: 35 San Diego Reader: How long do you ...

Liturgy’s Transcendental Black Metal

If hell has a jukebox, it plays black metal. Taken as a whole, the genre’s anti-Christian, pro-Satan polemic — with distorted guitars, bursts of drumming, and vocals that resemble the howling of a tormented beast ...

Key to the Comic Kingdom

“This is the first year that I’ll be coming in under a professional badge,” says local comic writer Carolyn Watson Dubisch. “My plans are to hand out preview copies of my books and, as dorky ...

Lafayette Hotel

Originally known as Imig Manor, the Lafayette Hotel opened in 1946 and hosted Bob Hope as their inaugural guest. The hotel closed its doors 14 years later and, in 2010, began a $4 million overhaul ...

Citizen Gores

Fans of the movie Citizen Kane will remember the “declaration of principles” read by publisher Charles Foster Kane, played by Orson Welles, to his prep-school buddy, Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten), right after they take over ...

Corporations Honor Issa, Filner, Hunter

The nonprofit Sunlight Foundation is out with some interesting new information about a relatively little-known but popular practice: big corporations and unions giving large sums of money to charitable activities favored by congressmembers, senators, and ...

If You Don't Dig

A Medusa has moved into my neighborhood. I live in San Francisco, three blocks from Haight Street. I don’t go down there much because it’s sordid with shoe stores, out-of-towners, homeless folk, and all-purpose muckiness. ...

Bilbray Hobnobs with T. Boone

GOP congressman Brian Bilbray, fresh from his skeet-shooting fund-raiser in the hunt country of Virginia last month, will soon be back among Southern California’s landed gentry with a genteel fund-raiser set for July 23 at ...

Facial Party

The story is as old as Avon. A salesperson slips into your social sphere, and the “social” invitations follow. But these aren’t casual, gather-round-the-teapot chatter fests – they’re nets cast far and wide, for the ...

Pet Peeves

We all have them — just like opinions and that other thing to which opinions are often compared. I’m speaking of pet peeves. You may deny it, like Debra Johns, 26, of Chula Vista, who ...

Wall Street Thrives on Main Street Pain

Over the past two years, the economy and stocks have generally gone in opposite directions. In the economy, we have suffered the steepest downturn and the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, but since early ...

San Diego’s Pink Army

Pink Army began as a trio of Tween girls in 2008 — Charisma Kain, Alicia Randolph, and Lia Johnson. The group is modeled after Disney Channel/Nickelodeon stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. “Our ...

How Did We Get in This Mess at Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union?

On June 21, Sweetwater Union High School District bought out superintendent Jesus Gandara’s contract for $416,675. Last November, Southwestern College paid superintendent Raj Chopra $100,000 to walk away from his contract. Prior to the buyouts, ...

Hilaire Belloc

Europe is the Church, and the Church is Europe. It is immaterial to the historical value of this historical truth whether it be presented to a man who utterly rejects Catholic dogma or to a ...

July 14 Brainstorm Contenders

Susan Morfey, Little Italy, 4. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 3. Ed Barno, San Diego, 3. Felix E. Charfauros, San Diego, 3. Elliott Estrine, Poway, 3. Richard Hutchings, Santee, 3. Stephen McLaughlin, Carlsbad, 3. Michael Rewa, Allied ...

July 14 Crossword Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 3. Mary Arana, Encinitas, 3. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 3. * L. Barling, El Cajon, 3. Spring & Fall are season opposites. So why don't we have Summer & Subtractor or Loseter ...

July 14 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Carl Baltrunas, Milpitas, 4. Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 4. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 4. Felix E Charfaurs, San Diego , 4. Greg Chauncey, La Jolla, 4. * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 4. Some marriages are ...

Tuesday, July 19

Dead, Tortured Dog Found in Ramona

My daughter and I went on a Sunday drive July 17 on Black Mountain Road. We came to a large flat rock and decided to get out of the car and sit in the sun...but ...

Monday, July 18

Del Mar Dog Beach Child Molester Admits Guilt

Today, July 18, at the Vista courthouse, a 61-year-old Carlsbad man admitted to molesting a 5-year-old girl on Dog Beach in Del Mar more than a year ago. William Wright Harris was free on his ...

Facebook Poll Suggests Retirement for Padres Announcer Dick Enberg

At 9:00 p.m. on July 13, Steve Adler, founder of Friarhood.com, a website for Padres fans, posted a poll on the site’s Facebook page: Should the Padres bring back Dick Enberg for the 2012 season? ...

Sunday, July 17

Terribly Absurd

When things go so wrong, when the chasm between expectation and reality reaches such ludicrous depths, the only sane thing left to do is laugh. Hysterically. This is especially easy to do when you realize ...

Grocery Workers Geared to Strike

On July 15, more than 200 people rallied in a Vons parking lot in Serra Mesa in support of grocery workers. The local chapter of the United Food & Commercial Workers and the San Diego ...

Dave Alvin's Eleven Eleven

Given the lyrical content of his songs on Eleven Eleven, you'd expect to find Dave Alvin in a joint that reeks of cheap beer, second-hand smoke, and maybe the coppery scent of freshly spilled blood. ...

Music Is a Weapon for Tinariwen

By the time the soundman got the mix right, which was about four songs into the set, a near-capacity crowd had climbed over numerous spilled drinks and filled every nook and cranny of the Belly ...

Saturday, July 16

Serenity Found at San Onofre State Beach

There’s one thing I don’t understand about San Diegans: why would you want to go to the beach on the 4th of July when you can go there 365 days a year? I mean the ...

Friday, July 15

Gangsters’ New Paradise in Point Loma?

Some colorful, detailed graffiti that was painted on a retaining wall overlooking Kellogg Beach in La Playa earlier in July has been painted away. Concerned neighbors called police gang units to come out and take ...

Thursday, July 14

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester is usually a sleepy seaside town, known for commercial fishing and tourism. But when my girlfriend and I visited our friends Courtney and Chris, who recently moved to the area, the town was thronged ...

Pre-Circus Protesters Speak Out for Welfare of Elephants on Sports Arena Blvd.

A crowd of about 80 protesters lined Sports Arena Boulevard on the afternoon of July 14. They were there in anticipation of the opening of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ four-day run at ...

Wednesday, July 13

Crime Spike in Kensington

According to reports and SDPD community relations officer Rene Murillo, Kensington has experienced an increase in crime from January through June, with most of the crime spiking in April and May. In this five-month span, ...

Dog Still Missing from 4th of July?

This black lab is one lucky dog. She was one of 20 dogs taken to the Humane Society’s facility in Oceanside in the two days after the Fourth of July weekend. Her relieved owners came ...

The Fleetwood's Gentleman Smash

According to the Fleetwood’s bar manager and head bartender Mike Garcia, the stirrers and shakers at the eatery have revamped the menu to accommodate good times and higher temperatures. Bartending for 12 years, Garcia says ...

Comic Concerts

Plenty of musical events are happening at and around Comic-Con next week. On Thursday, July 21, Japanese rocker Yoshiki (X Japan) will debut his Blood Red Dragon #0 comic, cocreated with former Marvel mainman Stan ...

R.I.P., Red Velvet

On June 4, I awoke to an otherwise awesome Saturday, fired up the ol’ email, and clicked open a message from one of San Diego’s finest local chefs. What I saw horrified me. One of ...

Slow Down at Caffe Vergnano 1882

"Everything here is imported,” Kaitlyn says. “Everything?” I ask. “Everything, except for Ferrila and me.” Ferrila, the other barista, gives a little wave from the strangest espresso machine you ever did see. It’s like a ...

Chase Catania Legends Before His Time

“My first race was at Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino. I was 15 and it was Legends cars.” El Cajon’s Chase Catania, now 20 years old, is talking into a tinny cell phone from ...

Jeremy Messersmith, Gently

Jeremy Messersmith has a voice so gentle that it makes Elliott Smith sound like Tom Waits. It’s the kind of voice that’s made for lullabies, and I once saw Messersmith use it to charm a ...

Blue Hair, Dumpster Diving

Hey, Matthew: Why can’t we have blue or green hair? We can have blue or green eyes, and isn’t melanin responsible for coloring our hair and our eyes? So why no blue hair? — Anonymous, ...

Bill Ray Drums

Drummer Bill Ray has played with dozens of local groups (Tubby, Playground Slap, the Wild Truth), though he’s probably best known from Ike Turner’s band, having appeared on the late rocker’s Grammy-winning 2006 album Risin’ ...

Where do they go when the races are over?

And where do they go — not after the gates spring open — but after the race is run, after all their races are run? After the society matrons’ $1000 hats are back in the ...

Seen on DVD: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Battle of Algiers, Freedom Riders

Ralph De Lauro Film program director, Central Library and Cinema Under the Stars Napoleon, by Abel Gance. All sparks and pinwheels. Gance’s silent thrill ride is long, sentimental, and simplistic, yet it’s bursting at the ...

So Long, Harry Potter

The great deed is done. Seven novels published, selling 450 million copies. Eight movies made for over $1 billion, their income over $6 billion and soon rising to over $7 billion as the last film ...

Rosa/Luisa: The California Whirlwind, Part Two

“Strange things are happening to this land,” said Luisa Moreno in 1949. “Yes, tragically the unmistakable signs are before us…who really love America. And it is we who must sound the alarm, for the workers ...

The TJ Cliché

“We knew it from the get-go,” says Electric Healing Sound rhythm guitarist Ricky Soltero when I refer to the Velvet Underground. “We even cover ‘Waiting for My Man’ live. We don’t hide our influences.” Soltero ...

Continental: Lou Reed vs. Gram Parsons

Continental is Rick Barton’s newest band. They are presently on the road and would like to crash at your house. It says so on their Facebook page. “We have sleeping bags, will need floor space.” ...

Letters

Correction The story on the Reader website titled “Helix Water District’s Info Flow Questioned,” by Grant Madden, included many factual errors. We regret posting it with minimal fact-checking. Lucid Brews Ed Bedford’s “Beer Heaven” cover ...

The Tempest at Old Globe; Poster Boys at Diversionary

Since The Tempest opened in 1611, people have wondered where Shakespeare located its strange, enchanted isle. Prospero’s enemies are returning to Naples from a wedding at Tunis. A storm blasts them onto the rocks of ...

Brawley's Ex-Mayor Is New Warden at Donovan

The ex-mayor of Brawley, Daniel Paramo, has been appointed acting warden at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa. A San Diego State University graduate and a former Brawley city councilman, Paramo has ...

Battle for Lindbergh Field Concessions Is Gold Rush for Lobbyists

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s master concession agreement with HMSHost is expiring next year, and the battle over a replacement has turned into a gold rush for local lobbyists. With the competition reportedly ...

Carlsbad Jewelry Thief Does His Homework

Gaylene Taylor and Mary Hyde opened the jewelry store as usual at 9:00 a.m. on an overcast Wednesday in October. Taylor, 52, and her coworker Hyde, 55, were longtime, trusted employees at Mulloys jewelers, which ...

What? No War?

Once again, Americans are beginning to talk about guns versus butter. Do we want to remain a military superpower, or do we want our social safety net and our corporate welfare programs? In San Diego, ...

Fishermen Cited at Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Three fishermen at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon were nabbed by the Department of Fish and Game for fishing violations on July 12. Acting on a tip, wardens confronted the suspects on the banks of a ...

NUG: Homegrown Radio

“We’re not just a weed station that talks about weed all day.” Michael “Ras Mike” Callahan is co-owner of Nug Radio (NugRadio.com), an offshoot of marijuana advocacy publication NUG Magazine. Call­ahan’s broadcast partners include NUG ...

El Cajon Boulevard Church of Christ

Contact: 2528 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego; 619-299-6812; ecbchurchofchrist.org Membership: 130 Pastor: John Manor Age: 43 Born: Monterey Formation: San Diego State University Years Ordained: 3 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing ...

Larry Keough's Mime Music

“I don’t know of any other mimes that have written songs, unless you consider Charlie Chaplin, who did write and record music for his movies,” says singer/songwriter Larry Keough. Having spent over a decade as ...

Jane Kenyon

“Mosaic of the Nativity: Serbia, Winter 1993” On the domed ceiling God is thinking: I made them my joy, and everything else I created I made to bless them. But see what they do! I ...

Lawn Mower Repair in S.D.

“According to Tim Allen, the only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance,” smiled my friend Kate, gazing at our overgrown backyard. “And grilling and serenading wives,” I added, winking at ...

Archie Bunker Would Have Thrived in Lakeside

Thirty-Five Years Ago Jerry Ford and Ronald Reagan use them. So does the Chicano Federation. As a matter of fact, almost no political happening would be official without them. Security guards are the new symbols ...

July 7 Crossword Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 14. Mary Arana, Encinitas, 14. L. Barling, El Cajon, 14. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 14. Leslie Chase, Campo, 14. * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 14. Gene Simmons taught me humility and ...

July 7 Brainstorm Contenders

Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 14. * Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 13. Did you know that the lowest zip code is 00501? It's Holtsville, New York. Susan Morfey, Little Italy, 13. Ed Barno, San Diego, 12. Michael ...

July 7 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 15. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 15. Felix E Charfaurs, San Diego , 15. Greg Chauncey, La Jolla, 15. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 15. Patrick Driscoll, Santee, 15. Michelle Dutra, Serra Mesa, ...

Tuesday, July 12

Backyard Chicken Movement Scratches Around Ocean Beach

Would it be okay if an O.B. resident kept a couple chickens in their backyard? Rachel Hiner of the Urban Food Network posed that question last week at the monthly meeting of the Ocean Beach ...

Taos, New Mexico: Natural Hot Springs on the Rio Grande

Although a longtime fan of hot tubs, my first experience in a natural hot spring was outside of Taos, New Mexico. As the sun was setting over the mesa, I climbed for an hour on ...

Joy Ride

You just can’t trust people. Beneath every bit of apparent altruism, of friendliness and good intentions, under the layers of pretense we spend a lifetime collecting and carefully positioning...we are, each of us, in every ...

Road Trippin' to Palm Desert

“It's like everyone is on a vacation. An extra pep is in the air.” This statement came from an acquaintance of mine who opened up a restaurant in Palm Desert. His customers continually wore smiles ...

The Real Cancun, Mexico

“It’s totally safe, man,” said Sergio as he swigged his beer bottle and sucked on a cigarette. “Women walk around at night. Kids play in the streets. No problem.” My friends in Pittsburgh were horrified ...

Monday, July 11

The Problem of Overqualified Workers

Everyone knows that it is an employer’s market today. High unemployment continues, and the people who hire workers have never had such abundant choices. Downsizings and business failures of the past three or four years ...

Sunday, July 10

Potty Humor

I looked at the device in my hand and then up at my father. “There’s no picture, it’s just all black,” I said. “I know, I know, it’s just sound. Go on, press play.” He ...

Small Sewage Spill in Ocean Beach

Right when the weather and water get warm enough to enjoy refreshing ocean swims off Bermuda Beach (at the foot of Bermuda Avenue in Ocean Beach), “contaminated water” signs go up — both at the ...

Saturday, July 9

Interview with I-5 Muralist Outside of Old Town

A few days ago I spent some time with the artist that will be painting four large murals on the walls below the I-5 bridge outside of Old Town. To be called the Gateway Mural, ...

Sweetwater Union Interim Superintendent Ed Brand’s Past

One day after buying out departing superintendent Jesus Gandara’s contract, the Sweetwater Union High School District board chose Ed Brand to serve as interim superintendent, paying him $20,000 a month. Brand served as Sweetwater’s superintendent ...

Waterworks

Yesterday, I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes dry. It began with the right one. Because my right eye has been leaking on and off for months, I assumed that’s what it was doing -- ...

The Secrets to Freelance Writing Success

Anne Wayman, of AboutFreelanceWriting.com, explains the basics of getting started as a freelance writer. First, let’s talk about you. What’s your background and your experience with freelance writing? I started writing sales letters and classified ...

Friday, July 8

This Could Be the New Face of Computer Science

So ladies, are you tired of everyone telling you should go into teaching or nursing because, well, you know, you’re a girl? And pretty? Well those professions are perfectly wonderful careers. But if you want ...

Thursday, July 7

Teen Driver Backs into Car, Killing Elderly Man

The traffic-related death of a 77-year-old man in the early hours of July 7 has caused much sadness among his acquaintances in the Midway District area. According to a story on Channel 10 news, police ...

Surf & Volunteer in San Juan del Sur

"The 328th most awesome thing in the world,” according to the book One Thousand Awesome Things, is to “feel our shared histories softly swirl together through old books and stamped checkout cards as you smile ...

Extreme Painting

I think David is trying to kill me. If I’m right, he’s a sadistic bastard for choosing such a slow and agonizing method. In a bid to do as much as he can to make ...

Calistoga, California

I woke to overcast skies and decided it would be a good day to hike. With a hot cup of Roastaroma in hand, a quick Google search led me to several trails within an hour’s ...

Eighty Is the New 65

You’ve probably heard the same thing in recent years that I have from beleaguered workers in their 50s and 60s: “If I can just make it to 65, I’ll be OK.” For more than half ...

Wednesday, July 6

Lyric Opera Poised to Sell North Park Theatre

Lyric Opera, which owns Birch North Park Theatre, struggles to pay the mortgage and operating costs, which run more than $50,000 monthly. Now, the nonprofit organization is close to unloading the property. According to Lyric ...

Teen Shredders Advance in Nationwide King of the Blues Competition

In June, two guitarists from San Diego advanced to the district finals in the nationwide King of the Blues competition sponsored by Guitar Center. Of them, 17-year-old Joshua Vasquez of Chula Vista eliminated Scripps Ranch ...

Beer Heaven: Hoppy Daze in San Diego

"I like my beers like I like my women," says the guy on the stool next to me. "Bitter and strong." Chris Dunn’s in the military. He’s here with Betsy and Clementine. Uh, they’re not ...

Letters

Correction Last week’s “Best Buys” column on mobile pet groomers stated incorrectly that Chad Davidson of Pawlished Paw Mobile Grooming works in the Oceanside area. Davidson is based in Coronado, and he works in communities ...

Ryan's Good at Gyros

It’s the kid. Kole. Three years old with a giant cheeseburger in his mitts. Tries to take a giant bite. Gets ketchup and mayo all over his nose and cheeks. Then looks up to his ...

Comical Bahamas

Valhalla High grad and college dropout Matt Bahamas (née Barajas) cites “babes” as a major inspiration: “Here in San Diego, they’re wearing low-cut shirts and short skirts...turning heads. The chase is the most fun, and ...

Seeing Stars, Voodoo Hit Man, Lottery Odds

Matthew Alice: Why do people see bright lights and funny things when they hit their head? — Wesley, Fourth Grade Hi, Wesley. Matthew Alice’s friends just get younger and younger. Anyway, when we “see stars,” ...

End of the Trail

I began writing the Reader’s “Roam-O-Rama” column on January 28, 1993, with a description of a wild and lonely campsite in the Anza-Borrego Desert called Mortero Palms. This “Roam” column, my 861st, is the last ...

Desert Songs, City Songs

“Mexican food is huge. It’s definitely what I miss. I still bring tortillas with me back to New York.” When Brooklyn-based Sandra Velasquez and her band Pistolera host a CD-release party July 22 at Balboa ...

Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts: Larry Crowne

Tom Hanks cowrote, directed, and stars in this novel pleasantry about a 50-something, all-too-amiable employee of the month. He works at a Walmart-style retailer called UMart (their slogan is “I Love U”). Hanks’s title character ...

The Noir Side of Our City

One of my favorite reviews — that is, reviews of my own work — came in 1987, from Art Salm for the Union-Tribune (or possibly the Union; they were two different papers not long ago) ...

Mexicali Sex Workers Establish Safety Guidelines

So far this year, eight prostitutes have been murdered in Mexicali, and according to Carlos Martínez Vieyra, president of Unidos en Apoyo a Grupos Vulnerables (“United in Support of Vulnerable Groups”), 16 “sexoservidoras” are still ...

To the Cloud!

Wine Vault and Bistro is one door south of Saffron, up three short levels of stairs. It opened in 2005, mainly as a wine shop, with tastings of wine and cheese. Then it expanded into ...

John Davies, Quintessential Rainmaker

A big fan of high-tech policing, San Diego sheriff Bill Gore is in the market for an elaborate, new, state-of-the-art, Star Wars–style computer and video console system for his watch commanders. According to a recent ...

North Park Clean and Safe: Good for Business, Bad for Residents?

As San Diego’s budget deficit has grown, the list of basic services that the City provides has shrunk. To address the increased number of overgrown trees, trash-strewn sidewalks, and rundown business centers, dozens of communities ...

Bob Filner Picks Up Sizeable Change

In his final quarter of collecting congressional campaign funds before he announced for mayor, Democrat Bob Filner picked up sizable change from a variety of contributors, some with San Diego interests. Pauline Foster, mother-in-law of ...

The Waterfront

“Our liquor license goes back to the end of Prohibition, so we don’t know how long the bar was actually in business,” says Waterfront Bar and Grill co-owner Chad Cline. “We have the oldest license ...

Juan Vargas Takes Money From Real Estate PAC, Brian Bilbray Goes Skeet Shooting

Democratic state senator Juan Vargas is apparently cleaning up some old campaign debt before embarking on his run for the congressional seat being vacated by Bob Filner, who has announced he’s running for San Diego ...

The Generationals Do Actor-Caster

New Orleans is famous for its traditional jazz, funk, and R&B, not its indie pop. So it made some sense a couple of years ago when the city’s indie-pop duo Generationals appeared on the national ...

H.R.: All Jah

A rockumentary about London-born Paul Hudson has been in the works for years. Hudson, 55, better known as H.R. (Human Rights), formed Bad Brains with his brother Earl Hudson, Dr. Know (Gary Miller), and Darryl ...

Cabo Kibosh

“Our work permits weren’t in order when we arrived, and we were held in immigration most of the day Thursday and all day Friday,” says Scott Stephens of San Diego–based dance band Liquid Blue, which ...

Sun Protection for Your Lips?

Last summer I had a chunk of my eyelid removed, my first skin cancer. Even more fun, I got to go back a second time because the doctor didn’t get it all. Since then I’ve ...

“The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned ...

Palomar Heights Church

Denomination: Assembly of God Membership: 175 Pastor: Jon Allbaugh Age: 45 Born: Kansas City, Kansas Formation: Vanguard University, Orange County Years Ordained: 22 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor ...

Found in the Shuffle

Thirty-Five Years Ago If you drive south on Highway 5 and take the Pershing Drive off-ramp down to 26th Street, you will wind up on a narrow road through green hills and cool groves of ...

St. Bonaventure

The Ascent of the Mind to God It is possible to contemplate God not only outside us and within us, but also above us. Outside us we contemplate Him through His vestige, within us through ...

June 30 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 14. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 14. Felix E Charfaurs, San Diego , 14. Greg Chauncey, La Jolla, 14. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 14. Patrick Driscoll, Santee, 14. Michelle Dutra, Serra Mesa, ...

June 30 Brainstorm Contenders

Conway Redding, La Mesa, 14. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 13. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 12. Susan Morfey, Little Italy, 12. Ed Barno, San Diego, 11. * Michael Rewa, Allied Gardens, 10. For every complicated problem there ...

I Am Dumb, and So Are You

Thursday 7 “I’m in love, love with you baby...I am dumb and so are you.” SanFran folk-punk band Sonny & the Sunsets flip the dial through ’50s sock-hop ’n’ doo-wop, ’60s psych-pop, and ’70s novelty ...

Tuesday, July 5

A Walk on the White House Lawn

Every spring and fall, the White House South Lawn is open for a weekend for visitors to stroll about. The White House Garden Tour has been a tradition since 1972, but many visitors to the ...

Shenandoah National Park: Mountains that Whisper

“For me, it’s Yosemite and Shenandoah.” ~ Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker As I sit perched atop Blackrock Summit, the highest point in the Big Meadows area at 3,721 feet, I ponder the panoramic vista of ...

Summer Is for Kids

Sticky faces from melted ice cream, blood-shot eyes from chlorinated water, bathing suit wedgies and waterslide burns – not my idea of a fun way to spend the day, but the imagery does inspire in ...

Ocean Beach Marshmallow Fight Involved 600+ Pounds of Ammo

By ten in the morning on July 5, an estimated 600 pounds of marshmallows had been picked up from the sands of Ocean Beach. The annual marshmallow fight (which follows the Fourth of July fireworks) ...

Romantic Industrial

When David and I first moved in together, I deferred to his decorating style, not only because I liked it, but also because I had not really developed any of my own. My apartments had ...

Monday, July 4

What I Do Best

I’m embarrassingly terrible about moving. I have very little patience—scratch that, I have no patience. Whereas David will methodically organize items in boxes, tape them up, and label them, I’ll just sweep my arm across ...

Sunday, July 3

The Local Fuzz by the Atomic Bitchwax

Despite the standard '70s instrumentation, tricky rhythm burps manifest right out of the gate. It's not quite "math rock" but counterpoint enough to bring King Crimson and Polvo into the conversation. Chris Kosnik's soaring, echo-layered ...

That Tsunami of Sound Rush Hits Cricket

Phil Spector is credited for developing the recording technique known as the "wall of sound." After witnessing Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush, I would call what they unleashed in Chula Vista the "tsunami of sound." Three ...

Saturday, July 2

San Diego County Fair Worker Calls for Backup

Visiting the San Diego County Fair is always fun — an exception being Friday night, July 1, when my family and I were leaving the fairgrounds. As our van was parked up on Via de ...

Friday, July 1

Would-Be Carlsbad Pizzeria Thief Charged with Seven Felonies

Thomas Scott Ruth, 22, allegedly told Carlsbad police officer Shaun Lawton that he made a spur-of-the-moment decision to rob a pizzeria on State Street in February. Officer Lawton gave testimony in the Vista courthouse on ...

Tijuana Taxis Taken to Task

Ever since the introduction of the taxi libre cabs (a system that allows for cabs driven by independent operators), they have frequently been operated by unregistered drivers who have become a growing concern among consumers. ...

Travel with Your Dog: Pelee Island, Ontario

Sometimes, my dog and I need to get away from it all – maybe a little exotic jaunt to a Canadian island. You might be wondering about the logistics of traveling with your pup and ...

An Aunt's Role

These are the days I’ve been waiting for – all of my nieces and nephews (save for one, but he’ll catch up) have finally reached an acceptable level of maturation. No longer are they pre-ambulatory ...

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