Stories for December 2012

Monday, December 31

Encanto: Gualberto's Fish taco replaces cow’s hoof?

Search for Caribbean delicacy uncovers hidden fish taco treasure.

Honestly, it was the cow’s hoof. That’s the only reason I hopped off the Orange Line trolley at Encanto and headed for the rack of stores beneath the clay cliff that runs up the valley ...

Starbucks coffee machine swiped at Fashion Valley mall

Busy store, busy hands

During the days leading up to Christmas, employees at the Fashion Valley mall's undersized Starbucks pulled out their new Verismo coffee machine and demonstrated its coffee- and espresso-making abilities for passing patrons and customers. On ...

Rosie the Riveter to depart San Diego

An exit interview with Sarah

Sarah has been the old lady down the block since I moved to Point Loma a decade and a half ago. She’s an active old lady, her '90s-vintage pearl-white Thunderbird an often enough sight in ...

Sunday, December 30

Tenant alerted to La Mesa house fire

Dog doesn’t make it

December 26 started out in a horrible and terrifying way. I was awake for less than ten minutes when someone started pounding on my door and screaming for me. It was a neighbor, telling me ...

Hipster is not a real job

But there are jobs out there for the young and hip

A used food truck can cost between $20,000 and $40,000. A new food truck can be as much as $100,000.

Saturday, December 29

A Visit to Assisi

St. Francis and I are kindred spirits. I was traveling through Europe with my dog Maya, her kennel, and an old-fashioned trunk. Visiting Assisi was a must. It was a chilly November evening. A lone ...

Sandy Hook Elementary School Memorial in San Marcos

Little angel plaques and trees

In the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, the country was left devastated. One San Marcos man wanted to express more than his own grief by ...

The Soft Pack storm the Griffin

Former San Diegans the Soft Pack stormed back into town for a one-off at the Griffin in Bay Park. Playing short, sweet, three-minute pop-punk songs, the band entertained the sparse rain-dampened crowd for over an ...

Mike Gao's Beta World Peace

Elaborating on textures from his 2011 debut, Sun Shadows, Beta World Peace sees a continuation of Mike Gao’s signature lurching bass lines, asymmetrical percussion, and glowing synth leads, orchestrated, in part, by his brainchild, Polyplayground ...

The life coach speaks

If one goes out looking for work coming from a place of exhaustion, worry, and resentment, that is what he or she will give off.

House fire in Ocean Beach

Birds die; dogs and woman saved

On Thursday, December 27, flames broke out in the living room of a house located on the 2300 block of Seaside Street in Ocean Beach. At least a dozen birds died in the blaze. Although ...

Friday, December 28

Top 12 Reader Stories of 2012

The year's most popular reads

1) Take a Hikey, Mikey — Namesake radio-show host Mikey Esparza fired amidst flurry of speculation as to why. 2) Don't Embarrass the Hells Angels — No, they don’t use an apostrophe in the name, ...

Thursday, December 27

Windy times at Big Bay Balloon Parade

Woody Woodpecker kisses pavement

Despite Wednesday's rain, the streets of downtown dried up in time for the Big Bay Balloon Parade on Thursday, December 27, but high winds made it hard to control some of the giant balloons. Moderate ...

Palm Patrol gathers downed fronds in Midway District

Road hazard eliminated

What many locals refer to as the “Palm Patrol" was out in force on Thursday morning, December 27, scouring the streets of the Midway District and Ocean Beach for palm fronds that litter the streets ...

Wednesday, December 26

But he seemed so... single!

He looked good onscreen

“I never thought I would actually meet someone I’d want to marry from one of these sites.”

The man behind the Lennon conspiracy van

Stephen King did it?

On Christmas Eve, I stumbled upon this van (pictured) on Newport Avenue, parked on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. The website “www.LennonMurderTruth, com” was written loud and clear on both sides of the van; and ...

Parental Guidance: Let the gags begin

A nonstop joke machine (Billy Crystal) and his equally overbearing wife (Bette Midler) are forced to spend time with their work-obsessed daughter (Marisa Tomei), son-in-law (Tom Everett Scott), and a trio of estranged grandchildren, all ...

Buena Vista Park — Arroyo Vista Trail

An urban park opens to a natural, semi-wild area with a creek and a dense riparian forest. No virgin forest, but there's shade in Buena Vista Park.

No.

When I tell friends I don’t “do” Christmas in the traditional gift-exchange sense, the most common reaction is, “How do you get away with that?” They never ask why — they just want to know ...

Charcoal House

Charcoal House Restaurant in La Mesa offers the Wrinkle Room, full of cougars and saber-toothed tigers.

Record-release roundup

Americana popsters the Midwinters will drop their sophomore EP All There Is on January 7. Two preview tracks are streaming online and available as free downloads: “Resign” and “Gets You By.” According to singer/guitarist Paul ...

Happy New Beer: 2012's Best Breweries

There were more new brewery openings than there were months in 2012, and the field is as varied as it is extensive, ranging from veteran brewers looking to challenge the big boys to guys with ...

Rosie Flores has something to hide behind

Rosie Flores apologizes for not making her scheduled gig at Queen Bee’s last year, but she got a counteroffer to play with Chuck Berry at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Claudeo's goal to eat ice cream across America

Indie electro-pop duo Claudeo recently returned from their first U.S. tour.

Jessica Crosby’s in her cups

Jessica Crosby’s YouTube music video of her doing a cover version of “Cups” from the film Pitch Perfect.

The history of sports, abridged

End times edition

End-of-the-world sports wrap-up, giving a final tip of the hat to the biggest sports stories Earth has ever known.

Hilarities and incompletions in 2012’s theater productions

THE YEAR IN REVIEW. The world’s most anticipated drama — its end — came and didn’t. Advocates of the apocalypse are probably scrambling for a new Day of Doom so they won’t have to face ...

Takes some green to chase away the holiday blues

A list of things to do over the holidays in San Diego.

“Viejas Outlet Center has the largest outdoor skating rink in Southern California.”

B-Side Players

We pause now at year’s end for a visit with some old friends: the B-Side Players. A trusty bunch of local loyalists, the Players have been a part of the hometown music scene for years. ...

I try to never wear the same thing twice

“When people ask what my favorite decade is, my answer is ‘Now.’”

Economy for 2013: San Diego worse than state, nation?

Are you tired of sluggish economic growth? Well, you could live in Europe, which is in a recession, or Japan, which has been struggling since 1989. Local economists look for slow growth in the United ...

Manchester's La Jolla restaurant rattles neighbors

"If I could tell you there was going to be a restaurant there, or an art gallery, an office, or a bank — I would. I will tell you there is no definite plan for ...

The Reader's Inbox

Border Moguls I was reading your Neighborhood News article, “Border Bounty: Federal government settles border land lawsuit with county and state,” concerning Border Field State Park. That land that they’re disputing — in 1984 I ...

Verna Clark is never really sure how fast she's going

Name: Verna Clark Car: 2005 Chevy Cavalier What do you like about your car? It gets good gas mileage. Is there anything you don’t like about it? It’s kind of a piece of junk, but ...

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in ...

Sponge for knowledge of all things weird

Imperial Beach blogger says she loves taking a stroll down everyone’s crazy block.

To God

To God How many things they say about you — that you created the expanding universe, or was it that the world’s people created you? Whose side do you choose? The rich — who take ...

Tuesday, December 25

House fire above garage in Point Loma

Firefighters save ocean-view home

Christmas Eve was not a festive time for residents of a Sunset Cliffs home in Point Loma. A smoky fire was reported just after 2 a.m. on December 24 at a home located on the ...

Monday, December 24

Stolen Corvette surfaces from Morena storage unit 24 years later

Cops okay eBay auction?

A 1989 Chevrolet Corvette that was stolen from a Morena car dealership when new was for sale on an eBay Motors auction this week. The Corvette was reportedly taken off the C&M Chevrolet lot and ...

Two water-pipe breaks in two days in Midway District

Early morning and Sunday traffic lessen impact

The weekend before Christmas 2012 was not kind to water pipes (or traffic) in the Midway District. Two incidents of burst pipes and localized flooding occurred: one along Sports Arena Blvd on Saturday, December 22, ...

Sunday, December 23

Leonard Knight and His Mountain

Revisiting this labor of love in the Southern California desert.

Mahatma Gandhi believed that we should not let the idea of seeing individual actions as insignificant deter us from contributing to and participating in the changes we wish to see. Apparently, he isn’t alone in ...

SDG&E customers lose power in Cardiff

Only a 20-minute blackout

About 2000 SDG&E customers in Cardiff were without power for a short time on Saturday night, December 22. The east-of-the-freeway neighborhoods of Park Place, Poinsettia Heights, and Sea Village were affected by the 8:30 p.m. ...

Saturday, December 22

John Cale's Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood

John Cale is not psychic! (Unless he is.) The man couldn’t have predicted Steve Albini’s second-motioning those mundane haters of Cher’s “Believe”; but he intuited that tipping point where the hip(sters) went (reflexively) bleech at ...

Rockabilly cats bring the Whammy! down on Casbah

In the beginning of MTV it seemed that any band with a video got airplay, then "genres" caught on. One of those was the rockabilly revival spearheaded by three main "Cat” bands; the Stray Cats, ...

Check thieves target apartment complexes

Thwart them with gel ink

Four apartment complexes in Carlsbad have recently experienced thefts of checks and money orders totaling nearly $50,000 from rental payment boxes. Police have notified local property managers of the thefts. National City, Vista, and Oceanside ...

Friday, December 21

Man’s wheelchair struck by car in Ocean Beach

In crosswalk next to fire station

An elderly man in a wheelchair was clipped by a car in an Ocean Beach crosswalk on Tuesday, December 19, at around 11:00 a.m. As the man crossed Voltaire Street at the Ebers Street intersection, ...

Christmas in Cleveland

See the real-life "A Christmas Story" house (and leg lamp).

What am I going to do in Cleveland? That was my very first thought when my boyfriend asked me to go there with him for a friend’s wedding. Since he was part of the wedding ...

Thursday, December 20

Humorous Humanitarian Dispatches from a Ukrainian Border Town

In the thick of night, you can almost always hear the tree branches rattling in a rhythmic chorus of nighttime symphonies. A tap starts at your window; a breath of air shakes a group of ...

Bieber tickets lead to police action in Midway District?

Handcuffed woman asks for help

San Diego police descended on the Stonewoood Gardens apartments, located on the 3800 block of Midway Drive (where it intersects with Sports Arena Boulevard), early on the morning of Wednesday, December 19. Four police cars ...

El Cajon pit bull attack goes unpunished, unpaid for

Little T-Bone saved but separated from owner

At 7:00 in the morning on November 6, on a quiet block of houses in Lemon Grove, three pit bulls escaped from their yard. They attacked a seven-year-old, tan "cha-weenie" mix named T-Bone, who was ...

Jurassic Park, Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude is a good movie to screen for friends once you get to know them better. After all, love it or hate it, you should be able to say something nice about Harold ...

DVD Picks: The Song Remains the Same, Holiday Inn

My first movie is a holiday classic, Holiday Inn. It was made in 1942 and features Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. For my family and me, it’s a tradition to watch this movie when the ...

Leo's Candyland

Quentin Tarantino fails to do for slave owners what he did for Nazis in this, his long-awaited western (southern?) follow-up to the epic war comedy Inglourious Basterds. Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz returns to the Tarantino fold ...

Nevermind the Resolutions — Set Goals and Deadlines

You’ll need to commit to a deadline. This is going to be the true measure of your goal.

O.B. Surf & Skate won’t have homeless problem

Retail musical chairs over

The Apple Tree Market in Ocean Beach is closing at the end of the year and a new Foodland Market is said to be moving into the 4949 Santa Monica Avenue location. The Hirmez brothers, ...

Wednesday, December 19

We went to Mexico to get ahead. We smuggled cheese to get back.

An American couple moves to Tijuana to avoid the high cost of living in the U.S. They become food smugglers for Mexicans living in the U.S.

San Diego County’s post-office beeline

Two minutes or forty — you choose

Lori Ruedi of Carlsbad exited the long line at the Aviara Parkway post office on December 11 and said she would return in the morning. Then she decided to try a self-service kiosk that had ...

Ghost stories and slurpy food in Old Town

The ghost comes and sits in Chanel’s husband’s chair. “I heard the chair creak. Then I looked, from ten feet away, right here by the curtain, and I saw it, the empty chair, bounce back ...

San Pedro el Cortez — cooking without a recipe

They were new last year: the San Pedro el Cortez band, home-based in Tijuana, where there is currently a resurgence of rock bands that follow different camps: shoegaze, psych, British mod, American garage. SPeC fit ...

Author & Punisher Tristan Shone's got a Human Cud Bag

The deafening, complex roar of urban movement finds kindred company in Tristan Shone’s homespun sound machines.

Sprucing up the Arena — that's a wrap

Photographer Rick Gould’s ’70s concert photos were made into art for the interior of Sports Arena.

Christmas, island style

A memory of a Christmas spent on Mexico’s Isla Mujeres

At my desktop computer, I have clicked over to YouTube and typed in “Christmas music.” First up is, “Christmas Music Playlist Part Two For Your Christmas Party.” I click again. The party begins with Elvis ...

Secret Agent

She’s got the goods

I’m into delayed gratification. For example, if someone gives me a cookie, I’ll rarely eat it right away; instead, I’ll save it for a time when I’ll get maximum enjoyment from eating it (such as ...

Solar-powered parking

Another piece of unfinished business for new San Diego mayor Bob Filner: deciding what kind of expensive new-fangled solar-powered, radio-controlled parking meters to buy. “The City still has approximately 4,700 single space parking meters that ...

Peppermint-themed birthday party turns up Peeps and Pop Rocks

My youngest daughter always feels ripped off at this time of year because her birthday comes just three days after Christmas. She gets a second dose of presents, but we’re usually too wiped out to ...

Real housewives, fake band

Tim Foley is best known in San Diego as a multi-instrumentalist performer with the Celtic-folk group Skelpin and for his solo work, but for his appearance in the upcoming season eight of Bravo television’s reality ...

Christmas ¡con queso!

Thursday 20“Rex Everything” is in town at the Shakedown. Bassist Nick Oliveri has one hell of a heavy-rock résumé, including stints with Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Dwarves. These days the Palm ...

Seen on DVD: Alien & Super Troopers

I picked Alien because it’s a perfect example of what a horror movie should be: tight, dark corridors, the crushing black of space, and a creature you never quite see until the end. This one ...

Tale of a stealthy super PAC

Tale of a stealthy super PAC. During the days leading up to last month’s election, a mail piece was dispatched to voters in San Diego’s third county supervisorial district, where Republican Steve Danon was facing ...

How ducks find each other

Heymatt:I live near two parks that have hundreds of ducks that pair up during mating. When they all scatter from kids or dogs chasing them or from someone feeding them, the ducks quickly rejoin each ...

ResMed: Please refuse to play the subsidy game

Sleep-apnia device-maker ResMed threatens to leave San Diego because CEO says it’s too hard to run a business in California. Valid gripe or jobs blackmail for taxpayer funds?

Near-beer bust

Nonalcoholic drinking and driving

Hey Matt! I’m an alcoholic and I’ve recently cut down my consumption to the point that I’m not hammered all day every day. Well, I’ve converted to nonalcoholic beer for the daytime — ’cause I ...

Why the Yukon will continue to kill divers

Staci Johnson, a 26-year-old Marine , recently became the fifth diver to die while diving the Yukon, a Canadian escort ship sunk off of Mission Beach in 2000. Because the vessel is on its side, it is disorienting.

Sulo King buys Black Box Studio, changes name to Iacon Sound

We buy a lot of bulbs

“I realized that booking and promoting shows was a risky business to be in, and it wasn’t a sufficient way to make a living,” says Sulo King, whose career in concert promotion included a trouble-plagued ...

Santa art sought from Del Mar to Oceanside

One painting depicts St. Nick smoking pot

After seeing a window painting of Santa smoking a pipe and a snowman holding a water pipe at an Oceanside smoke shop, I decided to see if there were any other businesses that had pictures ...

A Closer Look at the Chula Vista Courthouse Flag

Heymatt: Why is a Mexican flag included at the courthouse at Third and H streets in Chula Vista? Does this mean some courtrooms there follow the “guilty until the level of extortion has been satisfied” ...

Letters to the Editor

Border Clarifications The news titled “Border Patrol to the Rescue” (Neighborhood News, December 6) is almost certainly misleading. When crossing the border by car you will be inspected by a U.S. Customs Agent. Very rarely ...

A Meditation on the Lord's Prayer

O good Father in Heaven, albeit there is nothing that we greatly fear, having the merciful unto [sic] us and while mutual love and charity each with other maketh us thy children of more strength ...

Marisa Siervo's Facebook: Sale

An estate sale makes the author sad for the deceased’s scattered fragments of life.

Reuben Bright

Because he was a butcher and thereby Did earn an honest living (and did right), I would not have you think that Reuben Bright Was any more a brute than you or I; For when ...

Tuesday, December 18

Mexican lawmaker urges database to track young border crossers

Over 237,000 adolescents returned by U.S. in 2011

In a December 17 posting on El Sol de Tijuana’s website, it was reported that a member of the PRI political party stated that a reliable database must be created to keep track of children ...

Cambodia's Creepy Crawly Market

A "Bizzare Foods"–like quest in Siem Reap.

While on a recent visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to see friends, I got to know my tuk-tuk (taxi) driver rather well and relied on him to take me places most tourists don’t get to ...

Swank in Switzerland

Experience the Alps in first class at Gstaad Palace.

Built in 1913, Switzerland’s Gstaad Palace is an icon of Old World charm. By the ‘50s the posh hotel was attracting an international jet set, playing host to singers like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. ...

Redevelopment of Fourth Avenue Professional Center in Bankers Hill

Here come some condos

The Fourth Avenue Professional Center in Bankers Hill is no more. Boarded up and overgrown with weeds, the Spanish-style building with a clay-tile roof will soon be remodeled into a condo complex in the Park ...

Don’t mess up a job interview with a shabby appearance

Every employer’s crazy about a sharp-dressed man… … (or woman.)

Wear little or no cologne or perfume. What smells good to you may not smell good to the interviewer.

Life as a professional mediator

There is no greater feeling than the satisfaction you get from helping people resolve a dispute.

Imperial Beach sand project creates seawater pool near homes

Cast-iron pipes at risk?

Some Imperial Beach residents who own beachfront condominiums are worried. They say they have been complaining to city hall for months after high-tide water started pooling in an area of beach that was rebuilt with ...

Monday, December 17

Copalis Beach

On the road in Washington state.

There’s only one place to drink in Copalis Beach. The river winds through a short slough to the ocean and, just south (as "just south" as it could be), sits Green Lantern Tavern. The nondescript ...

Southwestern College professor Philip Lopez dies

Heart attack befalls teacher/activist/accordionist

Friday, December 14, on the eve of his 65th birthday, on the last day of the fall semester, Southwestern College English professor Philip Lopez suffered a heart attack and died. Many people consider Lopez an ...

Swim with the Sharks in Bora Bora

Just eight hours from LAX.

Part of Tahiti and French Polynesia, Bora Bora is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Although it's just an eight-hour flight from LAX, visiting Bora Bora is like stepping ...

Helsingborg, Sweden

Ikea’s hometown is a favorite of royalty, tennis stars, rock stars and foodies.

The city of Helsingborg, Sweden, is a lot more charming and laid back than you would imagine Sweden’s busiest fruit port, the place where Nicorette was invented and still made, and the headquarters for Ikea. ...

Sunday, December 16

Lindo Lake refilled with recent rainwater

Until the other day, the upper pond at Lindo Lake Park had been dry since the beginning of last summer. The pond is full of water once again, thanks to the storm runoff from this ...

Saturday, December 15

Long Lines at San Ysidro Border Crossing

Seasonal congestion and construction in progress

Long lines and long waits appear to be the daily order at the border this holiday season. Earlier this week, pedestrians stretched back a quarter of a mile; those waiting to cross in cars went ...

South Bay businesses face fines from California water-quality board

Annual reports weren’t filed

The taxpayer-funded Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve was the only public entity on a list of 31 outfits that received a warning letter from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for not filing ...

Friday, December 14

No Starbucks Geisha coffee in La Jolla

Wait for that $7 cup

While at the Starbucks in Pacific Beach this week, I overheard some of the employees saying that the La Jolla Starbucks was selling the new, $7-per-cup "Geisha" coffee. The new brew getting a lot of ...

Julian apple pruning class

You can’t make money growing apples

The December 8 meeting at the Peacefield Orchard on Wynola Road was described by the Julian Apple Growers Association as a lesson in pruning trees. About 30 people showed up. Ray Meyer, acknowledged as the ...

Bulgaria in Translation

The wonders of scented toilet paper and much more.

“Wind of Change” by the Scorpions was on Bulgarian radio again. I listened while staring out the window at Sofia’s graffiti-speckled buildings on the taxi ride back to my downtown apartment. The next song sounded ...

Battle Born, by the Killers

Nevada's finest are back in action with guns blazing. After nearly four years, the Las Vegas-based alt-rock band the Killers released their fourth studio effort, Battle Born. After the band's previous release, Day & Age, ...

Chris Isaak a-crooning, ladies a-swooning

The “Chris Isaak Christmas Show” rolled into town for two nights at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. The Stockton, California, native and swoon-worthy crooner charmed a sold-out crowd with an energetic set that ranged ...

Thursday, December 13

Homeless couple rescued from Tijuana River

Others left before flood waters got worse

A posting today on the Tijuana Press website reported that, following heavy rains in the border area overnight and throughout the morning, a homeless couple had to wait around four hours before being rescued from ...

Storage Wars host Dave Hester spotted at Kobey’s Swap Meet

YUUP! he was fired, but unfairly, he says

One of my favorite TV shows is called Storage Wars, and I like to go down to Kobey's Swap Meet at the Valley View Casino Center (Sports Arena) to look for the collectibles I like ...

Tricksy Orcs

It would be easy, and it is certainly tempting, to use a review of The Hobbit as the occasion for an all-out assault on High Frame Rate (HFR) digital cinema. HFR is, after all, the ...

Tweed Ride includes penny farthings, costumes, and grand piano

Jolly good time, indeed

San Diego took a step back in time on Sunday, December 9, as over 125 people of all ages donned vintage clothing and rode old-school bikes in the fourth annual San Diego Tweed Ride. It ...

Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua

Ever been volcano boarding? Consider adding it to your bucket list – especially if you're in Nicaragua. Volcan Cerro Negro is 25 kilometers from the colonial city of León, Nicaragua. The country is populated with ...

Wednesday, December 12

Digiplex agrees to purchase 5 local UltraStar Cinemas

Poway, Bonsall, Temecula, Oceanside, and Mission Valley cinemas soon to be under new ownership

UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center. Has there ever been a less appealing name for a theatre? Wasn't this digital transformation supposed to make it easier on all of us? The birthplace of "Pure Digital ...

We couldn't have built it without Kickstarter

Love and money from a website

San Diegans have had varying degrees of success raising money for their business ventures through Kickstarter.

Sweetwater school board avoids campaign donations talk

Confronted three times in past year

After the fanfare was over at the Sweetwater Union High School District meeting on December 10, after San Diego mayor Bob Filner stood by recently reelected Pearl Quiñones's side as she was sworn in (referring ...

The Unarius Movement, then and now

Heymatt:I was born and raised in San Diego County. Now I am living in North Carolina and I NEED an answer to my question. Back in the 1960s there was a late-night/early-morning television show. The ...

Carla and Ed compete at Bistro d'Asia

Bistro d’Asia in Coronado was a Mexican restaurant when Marilyn Monroe and Errol Flynn came to dine.

Pacifica's Peruvian Ceviche

Stephanie O’Mary-Berwald’s halibut ceviche recipe speaks for itself.

No SeaWorld fireworks after Mission Bay Parade of Lights

The annual nighttime holiday boat procession known as the Mission Bay Parade of Lights, held on Saturday, December 8, was not what it was advertised to be. Some websites stated approximately 100 boats would participate, ...

Eggnog taste-test party

Since when is straight eggnog not good enough?

Dancing in the bones

Did you hear the one about the triathlete who crashed and broke her arm trying to ride her bike down the sidewalk? I did. Heard it straight from the bruised party’s mouth at the third ...

Temple Solel

Interview with Temple Solel associate rabbi Josh Burrows.

Behind the vinyl curtain at El Uno Bar

If you’re not ready for Tijuana, try El Uno Bar in City Heights.

Brit-punk in the Blood

Colin Smith emails from London that when the Blood plays San Diego, they plan to open with “Megalomania.” That was the band’s first single, a short little blast that ridiculed the Pope. It almost sounds ...

Save some tail

Thursday 13Need some art? Want to save some tail? Well, look no furrrther than El Dorado downtown, where lo-fi electro-pop duo Lion Cut is hosting an art auction slash benefit for big kitties. The pair ...

OnStage Playhouse has Persuasion

Jane Austen’s characters read each other like novels. They inspect qualities, every human chapter and verse, and sum them up in lists of checks and balances. In Persuasion, Austen writes, “Her manners were open, easy, ...

Ornament Brigade

My nephew Brian greeted us just inside the door to my mother’s house. On his head was a fuzzy Santa hat, and in his hands he held a black plastic camera. “Say, ‘Cheese,’” he said ...

Buzz, not static

La Jolla millionaire R.B. “Buzz” Woolley, the charter-school advocate and founder of the Voice of San Diego online news site, didn’t exactly have a great political year. The labor-union foe and hotel investor was one ...

Should Jack stay in Mexican foods?

An analysis of Jack in the Box’s involvement with Qdoba, a Mexican food chain the company acquired in 2003

Soft Moon rising

The video for “Into the Depths” by the Soft Moon is filmed in grainy black-and-white, with claustrophobia-inducing camera work. It shows a woman who keeps looking over her shoulder in fear as she runs through ...

Pardon our dust

Little Italy venue Anthology to close in 2013 for repairs and renovations

Feral Elephants

Hills Like Elephants headed to South by Southwest

Chimney Flats loop from Doane Pond

One of the finest trails in Palomar Mountain State Park is this loop with great surrounding views and interesting plants.

Oprah or O.J., just not Norv

Now that Chargers coach Norv Turner and manager A.J. Smith will be shown the door at the end of the season, who will be the next coach?

Tuned to teach

Besides performing Wayne Riker teaches guitar at Coleman Tech High School in Kearny Mesa.

Marisa Siervo's Facebook

Marisa Siervo writes about Orestes, the seven-foot-tall Italian-Greek pen pal she couldn’t fall in love with.

Deck the halls with big-buck donors

It’s December, what better time to be looking for a gift-raiser? San Diego State University is in the market for one. “The primary responsibility for this position is to raise major gifts for the College ...

Ex-boyfriend, meth, a knife, a death

Hot pizza started it, maybe more than one knife ended a conflict involving an ex-boyfriend, another man, and crystal meth in Escondido

The last gift report

Former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders left office last week in a familiar way, reporting the gift of a free Chargers ticket he made to a fellow pol. The final disclosed recipient of Sanders’s largesse: ...

Ramona – San Diego’s cheapest gas prices?

Gasoline Alley

Ramona’s main street, named Main Street, is where Highway 67 from the south merges into SR-78 coming in from Oceanside on the way to Julian and the desert. The eucalyptus on the west end of ...

Letters

Enough of Apple Pie Don Bauder’s November 21 article, “Hispanic vote calls shots in San Diego (City Lights),” regarding changes to voting demographics, was definitely a factor in the recent election. However, I believe that ...

In Defense

Taking little notice of her womanly ambitions he captured her with words of love and all of the positions, explored her beauty bodily from lip to breast to bottom, but left her mind a mystery, ...

December 6 Crossword Contenders

Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 5. L. Barling, El Cajon, 5. Johanna Barry, Pine Valley, 5. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 5. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 5. Leslie Chase, Campo, 5. * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 5. There's a ...

December 6 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 5. Patrick Driscoll, Santee, 5. John Markey, San Diego, 5. Hiroshi Miyazaki, Normal Heights, 5. Jim Piburn, Point Loma, 5. Michael Rewa, Allied Gardens, 5. Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 4. Vincent ...

Tuesday, December 11

San Diego backcountry folks double taxed for fire protection?

As San Diego County’s due date for paying the first installment of property taxes loomed on December 10, an additional $150 tax bill began arriving in property owners’ mailboxes. The new per-parcel tax, sent to ...

Prague: A Vampire, a Sunset and an Electrocution

It was our second night in Prague, and the Old City shops were closing early and making me angry. Mark, my husband, and I were delayed by my dives into shops whose proprietors had not ...

A Guide to Zion

Experience Utah's arguably most scenic national park (7 hours from S.D.).

Just don’t get sidetracked in Vegas. That’s the key to arriving in Zion National Park from San Diego within a day with enough daylight left to explore the canyons. The park, located in the southwest ...

Jerry Sanders watch: Kensington Starbucks

Tuesday morning, December 11, about 8:40 at the Kensington Starbucks: "What? No more big black Escalade with the entourage following you around?" Laughter at the counter. I look up and see former mayor Jerry Sanders ...

Seven-term city treasurer nearly defeated in Escondido

Yes, the general election was over more than a month ago. And although Carl DeMaio, Brian Bilbray, and several other candidates had to wait a few days to know their fate, 23-year old Michelle Fawcett ...

Monday, December 10

Posada celebration at Friendship Park draws a crowd

Border Field State Park was the scene of cross-border Christmas prayers and songs on Saturday, December 8, as more then 200 people gathered for the 19th annual Posada, formally the celebration of Joseph and Mary's ...

Tanzania: Meeting the King

On safari in Tanzania, a close encounter with the king of beasts moved from a wonderful experience, to an ordeal, then finally a funny story. Spotting a pride of lions, our guide parked us within ...

June Lake's Open for Business

Twenty minutes and a world away from Mammoth.

Even with the unexpected winter closure of June Mountain*, skiers and snowboarders are finding June Lake village to be a welcome getaway – to get away from the crowds of nearby Mammoth. While Mammoth's skiing ...

Sunday, December 9

Train collides with tow truck, kills driver in Cardiff

A tow-truck driver was killed in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon, December 8, when a southbound Amtrak plowed into his rig. At around 2:30 p.m., the tow-truck driver had just turned off of Coast Hwy. 101 ...

Saturday, December 8

San Diego County’s final election results

Even though the general election was over a month ago, it took the past four weeks to count thousands of provisional and absentee ballots that were cast just prior to, or on, election day. When ...

Friday, December 7

Scout to fix lifeguard hazard in Imperial Beach

A 16-year-old Eagle Scout candidate from St. Charles Church Boy Scout Troop 211 is going to fix a tripping hazard outside the lifeguards' entrance to the Dempsey Holder Safety Center. The Imperial Beach City Council ...

Billboard image of Bonnie Dumanis defaced

On December 3, drivers on Interstate 8 west saw an addition to the picture of district attorney Bonnie Dumanis on the 14-foot tall, 48-foot wide billboard near the El Cajon Boulevard exit. On the billboard ...

Balaklava, Ukraine's Golden Beach

The coast was stark and abandoned. We'd discovered a natural wonder with no foot traffic – a landscape of vibrant colors and fluid sunsets that belonged in a watercolor. Before my eyes, the Black Sea ...

Scott Walker's Bish Bosch

Seventeen years ago I put on Scott Walker’s album Tilt for the first time; the real-life Phantom of the Opera began to sing as I watched a storm overtake a city center, from my picture ...

Delta Spirit rocks the vote at House of Blues

Matt Vasquez for president! That’s what I was thinking as Delta Spirit rocked House of Blues on election night, giving fans of the band a much needed break from politics. Delta Spirit delivered a full-throttle ...

Ocean Beach plans for lifeguard statue

A project to enhance and upgrade O.B’.s main lifeguard station with a bronze statue is being suggested for the lawn adjacent to the tower on Abbott Street. At the December 5 Ocean Beach Planning Board ...

Be the next great American entrepeneurs

Follow the example of these greats

Starting with two bicycles and $100 in capital in 1907, James E. Casey went on to build United Parcel Service.

Thursday, December 6

New pedestrian inspection station soon at Tijuana border 

New rectangular columns of steel rebar sprout into space from a plot of land on the Mexican side of the border at San Ysidro. The columns, easily reaching the height of the multistoried office building ...

Stalled in Gan, Norway

I visited Norway for the first time this summer with my girlfriend Kat. The story starts in Gardermoen, Norway, with a man named Werner Hålien. We’d met Werner in San Diego through the hospitality exchange ...

Pat's punted

“Hipsters” blamed for North Park gentrification

"It's a mom-and-pop operation with just Mom," says Pat (last name withheld) of North Park antique-and-collectible shop Pat's Corner. The boutique has been at its current location on 30th and Upas for eight years, offering ...

Where the People are Nice, and Paychecks are Fat

The Canadian oil industry is recruiting in California

Besides jobs in the oil fields, job seekers can find gigs in construction, health care, and even hair salons.

Santee resident bilked in Disney ticket scam

Seeking a bargain on Disneyland Hopper Tickets, Kim posted a want ad on Craigslist. Now the young woman from North County is telling others, through a subsequent ad, doing so may not be a good ...

Wednesday, December 5

Still fat

I didn’t know who this poor girl was to be so hated by Jimmy, but I felt sorry for her. I was the lucky girl who got to share a desk with him. “It’s YOU!” ...

Carlsbad power outage prompts reminder

Last Friday, November 30, I was reminded of the dangers of electricity as I ignored orange safety cones and approached SDG&E workers at an open transformer box at Melrose Drive and Rancho Santa Fe Road. ...

Federal government settles border land lawsuit with county and state

On Tuesday, December 4, the federal government agreed to pay $7 million to the county parks, state parks, and California Coastal Conservancy for land that was condemned in order to build additional layers of border ...

Weird noise manglers

Marcelo Radulovich of Nice World creates music on his iPod and iPhone.

Ma's the backbone

Ma Eugenia’s Kitchen in Logan Heights prepares several traditional stews daily.

Steve Haney has found himself in some wild, unexpected places

‘My band Jungle Fire was recently asked to make an appearance on the Showtime season finale of their show Dexter,” says Mission Valley percussionist Steve Haney, who also plays with the Anthology House Band and ...

Le Pew

David’s parents seemed surprised when, upon entering their house, David remarked, “So, Riley got skunked again, huh?” “How did you know zat?” Ency asked. “What do you mean, how did — I can smell it,” ...

The atomic weight of the Mountain Goats

My phone conversation with Mountain Goats mastermind John Darnielle gets off to a bad start when I ask him about his love of black metal. He corrects me: he is a fan of death metal, ...

Concussions trump guns in the NFL

Sympathy for Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher; minimal thoughts for his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins after Belcher’s act of murder-suicide.

Gina Granier's Prius has bells and whistles

Name: Gina Granier Car: 2008 Toyota Prius Do you like it? I love it. I like its fuel efficiency and its comfort. I think Toyota has done a really good job making a sedan that’s ...

Alcoholic Pass Trail

A short, steep desert trail gives bird’s eye view of canyons and mountains.

Video stars of city hall

No one’s naming names, but somebody over at San Diego city hall wanted to be video star. Before the recording began, however, an opinion from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was sought. “Does a member of ...

Dropping trou in North County

Coda Reactor frontman Miles Orff gets ejected from Boar Cross’n for dropping his trousers in protest over his band’s abbreviated set.

4th & beyond

With the court’s recent 4th&B verdict, will Public Enemy still take the stage at the downtown venue on December 12?

Have all San Diego mayors been weasels?

Hey Matthew:Has there been a mayor in the history of the San Diego who hasn’t been generally considered a self-serving weasel?— Fred I guess it’s a general rule of thumb for any public official: give ...

Twelves are wild

Thursday 6I’m not going to geek out on the Black Crowes or the super-soulful singing of that blues-rock jamboree’s ringleader. I’m not. (Dave crowed enough in this week’s Of Note for both of us.) I ...

Organic dream

I couldn’t believe the sunshine, 75 degrees, a soft wind playing over my skin. My husband and I grinned as we made our way from where we’d parked our car on Narragansett Avenue to Ranchos ...

Chris Robinson Brotherhood: where Southern twang meets rock and roll decadence

My favorite Chris Robinson story takes place in a beach bar, back when the Black Crowes was playing small venues. Someone in the audience had bounced a lime wedge off his brother’s dome. He stopped ...

You will get hoodwinked on stadium costs

Is Chargers PR flack Mark Fabiani feeding malarkey to taxpayers about the total cost of a stadium?

Give a man a fish...

Vista's Solutions Farms has a staff of formerly homeless people who produce lettuce and tilapia.

Letters

Sleepless in University Heights The comments printed with “Like Beirut,” News Ticker, support the repeated complaints I have heard regarding noise from helicopters — especially at night. Despite living in a relatively low crime area, ...

Desmond Smith on Grisham's King of Torts and numerology

What are you reading? “Two books, actually. I’m finishing up The King of Torts, by John Grisham, and I’m reading a book on numerology.” Tell me about the Grisham. “It’s about a lawyer. He’s, like, ...

Top-secret sky spies

National drone watchdogs have been having trouble getting details about San Diego County’s plans, if any, for robotic aerial intelligence gathering. But county documents confirm that Sheriff Bill Gore is eager to proceed with at ...

Developer gets cracking on unapproved Chula Vista project

Chula Vista residents who have been battling the city and the developer about a proposed 284-condo/apartment complex in eastern Chula Vista were alarmed last week when earth-movers appeared on the scene. Barney Reed, a spokesperson ...

Toxic county outsourcing

As the sheriff shops for high-tech spy gear, the county is looking to farm out its “response services to hazardous materials incidents,” according to a November 8 request for information from would-be contractors. “There are ...

Hometown horror, cont.

Tales from a San Diego landlord with shady tenants.

Love Poem to My Husband of Thirty-One Years

I watch you walk up our front path, the entire right side of your body stiff and unbending, your leg dragging on the ground, your arm not moving. Six different times you ask me the ...

November 29 Crossword Contenders

Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 4. L. Barling, El Cajon, 4. Johanna Barry, Pine Valley, 4. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 4. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 4. Leslie Chase, Campo, 4. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 4. Carolyn Clark, Lakeside, ...

November 29 Sudoku Contenders

Evil * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 4. All I want for Christmas is beer, And maybe a bottle of cheer, Whiskey, Scotch, Gin or Rye, I don't care what you buy, It will be enjoyed- ...

Tuesday, December 4

Captivating Casablanca

This culturally rich North African destination beckons.

Many tourists visiting Morocco overlook the sprawling oceanfront city of Casablanca and instead head for more exotic cities such as Marrakech. Morocco has retained its reputation of being the most stable country in North Africa, ...

Survey polls San Diego County residents on I-5 widening

Last week, North County coastal residents started receiving live telephone survey calls from the San Diego County Association of Governments (SANDAG) regarding questions on the upcoming I-5 expansion. Officially known as the North Coast Corridor ...

Tijuana fútbol fans flip over victory

The Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles (or "Xolos”) made history on Sunday, December 2, by beating the favored Toluca Red Devils in Toluca, 2-0. The Xolos, only three seasons into the first division of Mexican soccer, became the ...

Do You Say We, or They?

How you talk about your employer says a lot about how you like your work.

Surinam: Outpost for the Scottish Diaspora

The gravedigger noticed me looking a bit lost among the weeds and snakes of the old cemetery. He shouted to me. "Bakra, over there." I looked up. "More further," he said, wiping the sweat away ...

Tiny Talkeetna, Alaska

A welcome stop on the Alaska visitor's itinerary.

A short jaunt north of Anchorage, Alaska, is the quaint town of Talkeetna, considered the jumping-off point for climbers looking to tackle Mt. McKinley. Talkeetna suddenly swells in size starting in April through July. That's ...

Monday, December 3

Median magician marvels motorists in La Mesa

Wearing a gray fedora and dressed in a white T-shirt, vest, shorts, and black shoes with bright white laces, Joe Spelton performed magic tricks at on Thursday, November 29, for a temporarily captive audience. The ...

Foie Gras... or Faux Pas?

A trip to an Upstate N.Y. foie gras (now illegal in CA) farm sheds light on the process.

Whether you're a foodie, a farmer or an animal rights’ activist, you’ll learn a lot and clear up many misconceptions by visiting Hudson Valley Foie Gras. You may have seen the episode of No Reservations ...

Crash in Barnett Avenue merge lanes

The merge from the 2300 block of Midway Drive where it turns left to become southbound Barnett Avenue in Point Loma did not go so smoothly on the morning of Sunday, December 2. At around ...

Saturday, December 1

Midway shopping center’s spiky trees with soft name

Some people at the Vons shopping center at 3645 Midway Drive are puzzled by an odd-looking tree that is growing along the driveway behind Fantastic Sam's. Some mistakenly identified it as an avocado tree. This ...

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