Stories for November 2012

Friday, November 30

County's most interesting sign is in Ramona

This is the most interesting highway sign in the county. For years I have been noting the political winds of change on the southeast side of Highway 78, about three miles east of Ramona. The ...

Why My Daughter's Middle Name is Vienna

An ode to the city and its opera.

When people find out that my daughter’s middle name is Vienna, the first question is inevitably some variation of, “Oooh, you didn’t name her after that mean chick from the Bachelor, did you??” So, no. ...

A Love Affair with the Freeway

My Dearest Freeway Five, Having spent most of my life in New York City, I have never truly known someone like you. But I came out here for new and exciting experiences, and boy am ...

Oceanside Code Enforcement Fines Homeowner

Last month, Oceanside businessman Steve Amster bought a house at auction. The boarded-up house, in the 1400 block of Dubuque Street in Oceanside, had been gutted by the city before auction. A few days after ...

Escondido Hashes Out Food Truck Issues

On November 28, a meeting was held at Escondido City Hall to consider opinions and concerns from the public regarding mobile catering trucks. Currently, city regulations do not allow food trucks. Food-truck operators say that ...

Harsh Words for RV Driver at Liberty Station

Motorhomes are quite unwelcome on at least one street in Liberty Station. In fact, if you park your RV on Truxton Road, the street in front of Vons and Trader Joe’s grocery stores, a security ...

Beauty Restored in Ocean Beach

The scraggly-looking display of succulents along the sidewalk at the foot of Santa Monica Avenue and Abbott Street have been spruced up. The little corner area near the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Tower has the San ...

Thursday, November 29

Baby Saved at San Ysidro Border

Border Patrol to the rescue

On Tuesday morning, November 27, at about 6:30, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro border crossing helped save the life of a month-old baby who appeared to be suffering from serious ...

Kanas, China: Following Genghis Khan

See ancient monoliths erected by Khan's Mongol army.

In the northwestern corner of China, where a pointed finger of land pokes into Russia and separates Kazakhstan from Mongolia, the last physical remains of the army of Genghis Khan stand watch. The area is ...

G Street Pier Overhaul

The San Diego Port District is replacing pilings and renovating the outer facing of the G Street Pier. Many of the old logs used as pilings along the outer edge of the structure are being ...

Discover Bolivia

Bolivia is unique. It is the only country in the “New World” where the indigenous still predominate. Imagine if 65% of our population was still Native American (versus the less than one percent we have ...

Ocean Beach Grocery Store Won’t Close Until End of Year

The Apple Tree market in Ocean Beach recently won a brief reprieve from their scheduled November 27 closure. The longtime grocer located at 4949 Santa Monica Avenue “will now be open until December 31, 2012,” ...

Groveland's Gold-Rush Era Watering Hole

Step into the past at Iron Door Saloon, the oldest bar in California.

Sitting approximately 25 miles from the western gate of Yosemite National Park is Groveland, CA. The town straddles highway 120 and is as rooted in the past as any other you will see on this ...

The Complete Columbia Albums Collection of Sarah Vaughan

I purchased After Hours, one of the four freshly minted CDs in the Complete Columbia Albums box, many years ago, on vinyl. Shouldn’t having the original — the cover of which is minutely replicated, as ...

An evening with Rush has few equals

Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee struggled to hit the high notes on the opener, keyboard-centric “Subdivisions,” which was no surprise considering the studio versions helium-high voice. However, Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart were so ...

Wednesday, November 28

Bay dreams

Good and ghastly ideas for our waterfront

What could we do with our waterfront, if we really put our thinking caps on?

Sweetwater University to “Open” Soon?

Last year, the Sweetwater Union High School District board voted to support a vaguely worded concept about an institution called “Sweetwater University.” The latest gambit for Sweetwater U is online college courses offered to high ...

O.B. Christmas Tree Arrives with Police Escort

The O.B. Christmas tree arrived at the foot of Newport Avenue yesterday, November 27, with a police escort. An Obecian donated the tree — a star pine — from their front yard. While O.B. has ...

Low Volts' iron man Tim Lowman

The way Tim Lowman tells the story, it is not surprising to learn that his one-man act Low Volts may have been shaped in part by his great grandfather Doc Lowman (he was a gospel ...

Great-white chomp

Ed Bedford gets a burger at the Alamo Mexican Cafe and then hits Churchill Cigar Lounge before last call.

A bomb dropped at home

Carl Durant releases a new single and video for his song “(Not Our) Ride Home,” about 22 sixth-graders killed in Swiss Alp bus accident earlier this year.

Bar West's Drunken Monkey

Inspired in part by hip-hop and in part by “wheat pop,” one of Bar West’s best-selling drinks, the Drunken Monkey, developed from the beer-and-fruit combos already sliding across the bar most nights, says bartender Scott ...

Now you know: Dirty Sirens

The Dirty Sirens are rock ’n’ roll’s fallen angels amplified.

The Kopecky Family Band has not one Kopecky!

If you had heard nothing about the Kopecky Family Band except their name, you would be forgiven for not having high hopes about this Nashville six-piece. It doesn’t help much to learn that none of ...

Pipes and tobaccos

Put this in your pipe and smoke it

Contentment and pipe smoke filled the air in the late-night hours after the Thanksgiving feast. My brother Bill, visiting from Kansas, puffed merrily away on our patio, reveling in the mild California evening. Patrick, meanwhile, ...

Death-metal support group

Interview with Ghoulgotha founder/guitarist Wayne Sarantopoulos about death doom metal.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

Overlooks with dramatic views

Up to you: leisurely stroll or heart-pumping workout in the Elfin Forest.

Lane Kiffin's new job

Chargers head coach Norv Turner’s history of poor performance.

Yellowcard — still popular in soccer towns

Sean Mackin checks in by phone from Albuquerque to talk about the Yellowcard tour. “We’re killing time right now,” he says. “We’ll probably do some go-carting before sound check. Team-building activities. Stuff like that.” How ...

In Sickness and in Health

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots at La Jolla Playhouse

“It’s almost like the disease has to win in order for her soul to survive. Or something like that.”

Sci-fi-surrealist-soul

Interview with musician/author/publisher Zack Wentz about his (Charles) Book&Record project.

The scourge of plastic water bottles

Hey Matt: Watching the tube the other day, I thought I caught a commercial from a water-filter outfit that said the USA uses enough plastic water bottles to circle the Earth 19 or 119 times ...

Don we now our gay apparel

Thursday 29David Eugene Edwards (“DEE” to his faithful fans) was the biblical baritoned bard behind big band 16 Horsepower. When that alt-country powerhouse called it quits in 2005, Edwards dedicated himself to turning the New ...

In Your Facebook

David and I braced ourselves for the nippy, nighttime New England air as we stepped off the ferry and onto the ramp, headed toward the luggage cart. It was 10:30 p.m. on Martha’s Vineyard, more ...

Burp pressure and fart ownership

Hey Matt:The elves will love this one! After a few hours and many beers in the garage I could not devise a system for measuring the pressure of my burps. We’re talking good, forceful, thundering ...

Will SD power structure accept climate change?

San Diego big business and the City whistle past the greenhouse-gas graveyard.

Neighbor helps nab hit-and-runner

A hit-and-run driver in Rancho Santa Fe is reported by a neighbor who noticed extensive damage to the vehicle.

Killer dolphin gig

For the not so princely pay of $17.67 an hour, graduate students at San Diego State University are being offered the opportunity to work for Uncle Sam’s top-secret military dolphin program, according to a recent ...

$400,000 woman

San Diego State University president Elliot Hirshman’s $400,000 salary came in for a lot of criticism when it was announced earlier this year. Even Democratic governor Jerry Brown got into the act, telling university trustees ...

Pre-election victory grub

While election fights raged this past summer, some California pols who were safely ensconced in their seats or faced easy ballot battles partook of some heaping hospitality from the Barona Band of Mission Indians, operator ...

Good Samaritan Episcopal Church

Interview with Episcopalian pastor Chris Chase

Don’t be distracted by all the shiny, glittery things.

Letters

Life on Life’s Terms I am also a product of the streets of Southeast SD, and of growing up in the prison system. At the very smart age of 14, and being the smart gangster ...

Hometown horror

This guy’s seen it all: military impostors, wife killers, and clown therapy.

Sonnet XVII

Who will believe my verse in time to come, If it were filled with your most high deserts? Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb Which hides your life, and shows not ...

November 22 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 3. * Carl Baltrunas, Milpitas, 3. Holiday sales have begun Thinking of having great fun Whether you buy online or enjoy waiting in line Remember that you are the one! ...

November 22 Crossword Contenders

Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 3. * L. Barling, El Cajon, 3. Some how I can think only of food. Getting stuffed to the gills isn't crude: To attack with great zeal A big holiday meal Compliments ...

Tuesday, November 27

Imperial Beach Center Memorializes Boys

The Jonathan Sellers & Charlie Keever Outdoor Education Center opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, November 26, at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of 13th Street along ...

Assault in Ocean Beach Goes Unreported

An Ocean Beach woman left a bar on Newport Avenue in the early morning hours of November 1, only to wake up covered in blood and being rescued by her neighbors. She told me she ...

Madrid: The City that Always Sleeps

For a city known for nightlife, Madrid's residents sure like to sleep. Don’t expect to accomplish much in the land in la mañana. I remember hearing stories during a city tour: it took city workers ...

Vandals Smash Cars in Vista

Located on the 200 block of Smilax Road Vista, Mariposa Apartments has been the site of countless vehicle damage and vandalism incidents since the spring of 2012. Situated in a park-like setting, the complex is ...

Monday, November 26

Tijuana Fútbol Fans Pumped After Win

On Sunday, November 25, the Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles arrived in Tijuana to play in the national fútbol finals and make history by beating Club León 3-0 in Caliente Stadium before a sell-out crowd. In the streets, ...

Cheap (Foodie) Thrills in T.J.

Is it worth crossing the border for a salad? Answer: yes.

Less than ten years ago, Tijuana was a cultural mecca for the salty, surf-inspired natives of San Diego. A gateway to the Baja Peninsula touting cheap drinks and cheaper thrills, promising an unforgettable experience with ...

Effort is not enough

Job searches require smart strategy as well

While older workers are less likely to be laid off than younger workers, they arre about half as likely to be rehired.

Sunday, November 25

Mayor Cox Cozy with Chula Vista Developer

Although the Chula Vista Redevelopment Corporation has come to an end, the legacy of a past redevelopment project continues to play out. In June of 2011, the U-T published an online story titled “City-subsidized building ...

Trapped? Stressed? Burned out?

Find relief without quitting your job

Sometimes, having a job is not all it’s cracked up to be. Just look at the findings of ComPsych’s survey of 2,000 employees. It reports more workers than ever claiming signs of job burnout. According ...

Saturday, November 24

The Proper Handshake

...and other "soft skills" that will help you get and keep a job

Robert Coleman, executive director of the Second Chance program, offers tips and resources for the “hardest to employ.” First, please tell me about Second Chance. Second Chance is dedicated to creating opportunities for self-sufficiency. We ...

High Flying Careers

Pilots who have worked for a company for 10 years could have annual earnings close to $300,000.

Friday, November 23

Extreme Value Retailer to Open…Soon

A chain-link fence, lots of scaffolding, and a face-lift now separate would-be shoppers from the soon-to-open Point Loma Grocery Outlet in Midway Towne Center. "Point Loma Grocery Outlet is coming!” read a recent company Facebook ...

Another Closure at Chula Vista’s Otay Ranch Center Mall

Another store in the Otay Ranch Center mall will be closing its doors soon. Coldwater Creek, an upscale women’s clothing store, and Coldwater Creek Spa, a full-service salon, will be going out of business on ...

The Only Place, by Best Coast

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast donned herself “Bratty B” in her rowdy yet sweet debut Crazy for You. She wrote catchy teen love songs that included her cat Snacks and a bunch of weed. But ...

Mike Watt and the return of Hyphenated-Man

Mike Watt and his loyal Missingmen landed in San Diego for a second time this year to deliver an encore performance of the band's rock opera Hyphenated-Man. The trio tore into the piece with a ...

Windmills of Change in Ocotillo

Many readers have probably driven out to SR-2 just north of Ocotillo and taken Dos Cabezas Road to its western terminus in order to hike Goat Canyon and see the wood railroad trestles and tunnels ...

Thursday, November 22

Church Chips in to Maintain Ocean Beach Skatepark

If the Ocean Beach Skatepark is looking a little less ragged lately, you can thank Newbreak Church in Ocean Beach. The newly opened church on Cape May Avenue has a volunteer gardening group that gets ...

Mexico Celebrates 102 Years Since Revolution

At around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 2, traffic became snarled in Centro de Tijuana, with all incoming vehicles on Calle Tercera diverted onto Calle Madero. Mexico marked its 102nd year since the revolution of ...

Wednesday, November 21

Twinkie Sales Report from Clairemont

After the Hostess Company suspended operations and closed its three San Diego County outlet stores this week, most other stores were cleared of their products by fans and those who sought to profit from the ...

Barb, MD

A squawky, unintelligible, robot voice emanated from my phone — my latest ring tone. When I answered, my sister Heather said, “Well, I guess you need to let me know what night is good for ...

Monumental: SDSU War Memorial

Sponsored by the SDSU Alumni Association's Veterans War Memorial Committee, the war memorial at San Diego State is one of few such tributes of its kind to be erected on a U.S. college campus. Located ...

Tuesday, November 20

We sing for bling

Busking highs and lows

Danger and sometimes $100 an hour.

Shades of Sweetwater at Calexico Unified School District

As the San Diego County grand jury opens an investigation this week into allegations of corruption in the Sweetwater Union High School District, new intrigues play out in Calexico with Sweetwater’s former attorney firm, GCR, ...

The Seychelles

In search of a secluded beach on the island of Mahé.

I signed up for a wildlife volunteer project in the Seychelles. In order to get accustomed to the time change and to get my PADI, I went a few days early. Another volunteer for a ...

Record-release roundup

A limited-edition vinyl pressing of P.O.D.’s new full-length, Murdered Love, drops this week. It’s available in two colors: transparent red and clear with red splatter. On November 30, the Tin Can Alehouse will host the ...

Tryptophantastic!

Thursday 22Clozz-zz-zzed for Thanksgiving. Tryptophantastic, I’m tired. Friday 23Need to get your groove on and work off a couple extra holiday ell bees? Well, shine up your skids, kids, because funky soul brother Karl Denson ...

Cow chip bingo?

Helix High School band directors get creative in the absence of funding, including mattress sales and cow-chip bingo.

Trackin' critters on Fiesta Island

Hike on a man-made island in Mission Bay where invasive plants dominate the landscape.

Brian Lyng on getting in and out of P.B.

Name: Brian Lehman Lyng Car: 2003 Acura TL How’s your commute? I live in Pacific Beach. It’s about seven miles to downtown, maybe ten miles to SDSU. And it is crazy everywhere I go. There ...

Topless males vs. topless females

Where it’s OK for females to go shirtless (and bra-less) in public?

Nena Anderson's full of surprises

We talk by phone, Nena Anderson and I, about her winter vegetable garden. She’s been working in her yard, getting ready for the coming cold front. A single mother, Anderson works as a designer, a ...

Is this mic on?

Are Arbitron’s Portable People Meters fairly measuring the San Diego listenership of FM 94/9?

Calculating Attendance at the I.B. Sandcastle Festival

Hi Matthew:I read that the Sandcastles Festival here in Imperial Beach had over 400,000 visitors during the three-day weekend, more than any previous festival. Any clue how they can possibly calculate that figure and how ...

The Earthen Berm East of Amboy

Hey Matt:Can you find out why an earthen berm was constructed along the north side of the National Trails Highway/Route 66 for many miles east of Amboy, CA? Does it still serve any purpose? Was ...

The Press Box

Rancho San Diego’s Press Box Sports Lounge has a beer selection that outshines any sports bar for at least ten miles in any direction.

The adult-oriented Pony Death Ride

‘We perform musical comedy inspired by burlesque, vaudeville, and punk rock,” says Jaye MacAskill, who cofounded Pony Death Ride with her husband Joe in 2009. “As a multi-instrumental duo, our songs reference a variety of ...

The oddball aesthetic of Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve’s song “Redeemer,” from the new Positive Force, is an original, but it sounds like an oddball cover version of the instrumental theme song from some forgotten 1980s TV drama (I’m thinking Hill Street ...

From under the radar: Antojitos Colombianos

Cali, as in Colombia

In spite of the ever-rising price of gas, I try to get out of my neighborhood(s) and see what’s going on elsewhere. And so, one morning about three months ago, I took a drive along ...

To serve big government

The local branch of Service Employees International Union, the giant public employees union, has been in the market for a new employee. “We’re looking for a Political Organizer to work in our San Diego office ...

Waiting for Lightning

A little board, a giant wall, a good movie

About Danny Way, the North County resident who jumped the Great Wall of China on a skateboard.

Teeter-Totter

The Old Globe's Measure for Measure

“The comic and tragic parts equally border on the hateful.”

Leave it to me

Ed leaves his order to Cool Hand Kate, Miss Sushi

Kate Murray went to sushi school against the advisement of men who told her raw fish begins cooking in women’s hands because they’re warmer than men’s.

Hispanic vote calls shots in San Diego

Does San Diego’s great awakening include Republicans?

I call it blunk

SDSU student/musician Ariel Schwartz says Associated Students has stopped paying to host bands and only includes DJs for entertainment.

Thanksgiving Volunteering Opportunities in San Diego

Lose yourself in the service of others.

My son recited a Gandhi quotation at dinner. “‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let ...

Job security, priceless

Though the Obama administration’s second-term housecleaning begins soon, one controversial San Diegan is given good odds to hang around another four years in one capacity or another. Alan Bersin, currently assistant secretary of international affairs ...

Bank-card fees heaped upon child-support recipients

It was a good year for collecting child support in California. More aggressive collection efforts helped the state bring in $38 million more in the fiscal year that ended in June. San Diego ranked 22nd ...

Letters

Standing Up for Servers I have been an avid fan of the Reader for over ten years. You have written great articles about my friends, local bands, I love the food reviews, etc. But this ...

Birthday fantasy

In a public gym on a Stairmaster having an erotic fantasy.

Owls

Owls glide off the thin Wrists of the night, And using snow for their feathers Drift down on either side Of the wind. I spot them As I camp along the ridge, Glistening over the ...

November 15 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 2. Carl Baltrunas, Milpitas, 2. Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 2. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 2. Patrick Driscoll, Santee, 2. George Elam, Vista, 2. Vincent Lee, San Diego, 2. * Ralph Levy, ...

November 15 Crossword Contenders

Mary Arana, Encinitas, 2. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 2. L. Barling, El Cajon, 2. Johanna Barry, Pine Valley, 2. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 2. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 2. * Leslie Chase, Campo, 2. There once was ...

Monday, November 19

Work Continues on Point Loma High’s Stadium

Behind green shade cloth at Point Loma High School's Bennie Edens Stadium, a snack bar and bathrooms are being built. Due to ongoing construction of the Prop. S–funded project, the field gate on Voltaire Street ...

St. Petersburg, Russia

Exhaustion from traveling had taken its toll. I craved sleep, but was not comforted by the platform posing as a bed, shaking as the night train made its way south to Moscow. Sightseeing in the ...

An American in Dalat

(Before Americans were allowed in Dalat.)

“Welcome to Dalat. Please give me your passports. You are American? How do you come here?” Not an unusual greeting from the young female receptionist in a white ao dai local dress at the Dalat ...

Navy to Remove Polluted Soil in Imperial Beach

Tons of contaminated soil will be excavated from two sites at the southern border of Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Imperial Beach within the next month, according to Michael Pound of Naval Facilities Engineering Command ...

Urban Retreat: SF's Angel Island

On a recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, we decided to escape the congestion of the inner city. If you’ve never visited Angel Island, it should be on your priority list when visiting ...

Saturday, November 17

A Love / Hate Letter to the Chargers

Dear Alex (Spanos), After almost 34 years together I’m starting to think this relationship isn’t working. I’ve given you my unconditional support, my precious time, and my hard-earned money and in return you’ve given me ...

Save Syrian Children Marches in Balboa Park

The Save Syrian Children contingent of the Syrian American Council marched in Balboa Park today, November 17. For the past two years, the group has held demonstrations to draw attention to the ongoing civil war ...

Three-Day Walkers Arrive in Ocean Beach

All the whooping and hollering and horn honking started early on Saturday morning, November 17, in Ocean Beach, as approximately 3500 people came through the community as part of a three-day walk to benefit the ...

Friday, November 16

El Monte Valley Bobcats Caught on Video

Early on the morning of November 15 in El Monte Valley, I was driving slow like always, hoping to see a cat. Thursday was my day. I stopped my car when I spotted a young ...

Gothenburg, Sweden

A Scandinavian arrival on the global foodie scene.

Gothenburg, Sweden, is the country’s second-largest city, and yet it’s not on most Americans' radar. It should be! It’s an important commercial port, Volvo’s headquarters, a college town, a gourmet food destination and a fashion ...

Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, by Godspeed You! Black Emporer

Since 1997, Godspeed has sounded like a prodigious teen's imagination: splaying the guts of the world with youthful abandon. The band had painted the sounds of life with a better view. Godspeed explored great heights ...

Japandroids yell like hell to the heavens

Like a juvenile Neil Young, guitarist/vocalist Brian King cast electrified chords to the night sky over UCSD’s (partially open-air) Porter’s Pub. As the last blast drifted on the wind, the ample crowd applauded. King beamed, ...

Thursday, November 15

Border Pedestrian Bridge Gets Makeover

In the past year, various reinforcement and remodeling efforts have been applied to the old pedestrian bridge crossing the Tijuana River, the quickest and most efficient walking route to downtown Tijuana. The bridge, built decades ...

Loma Portal Gas Station Robbed

A suspect who robbed a Loma Portal gas station on Wednesday, November 14, at around 10:00 p.m. was still on the loose Thursday afternoon. The Shell gas station on the corner of West Point Loma ...

Groovin' with Bob in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert

After a week of photographing remote volcanic lakes in the desert of Ethiopia, Irene was tired and elected to stay with the vehicle while I went to shoot one last thermal pool. Assured of her ...

Striking a Balance: The Falklands

Keith the Kelper grapples with the wires, yanking some down, twisting them, forwards, backwards and then finally wrapping them tightly around the post. “It’s those cows that do this, they chew the signs I suppose ...

Wednesday, November 14

We don’t belong to Mexico and we don’t belong to the U.S. We are our own universe.

We’re loud in anything we do

Few have captured Tijuana's cool new vivacity like filmmaker Aaron Soto.

La Mesa to Vote on Pot Shops; Council Reviews Crime Stats

A ballot item approved in a 4-1 vote at the November 13 La Mesa City Council meeting means voters will decide in November 2014 whether medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in the city. Mayor ...

Drill, Baby, Drill in Hillcrest

Patrons at the Uptown shopping center were treated to several hours of deafening noise today, November 14, as Boart Longyear Drilling Services drilled 147 feet below the surface of the parking lot. Workers on the ...

Sweetwater Schools Forum Makes Policy Clear as Mud

Concerned Sweetwater Union High School District parents and residents lined up to ask superintendent Ed Brand questions at a November 8 meeting. They wanted an accounting of the money they have paid into the 17 ...

Spider invasion, peculiar freeway foam, scars and tats forever

Heymatt:I’ve been living in my house in University Heights for 65 years and I’ve never had a spider problem like this one. These little buggers are festooning the roof tiles like Christmas tinsel. They’re on ...

Portobello Mushroom Flatbread

Recipe by Cliff Pleau, culinary director, Seasons 52 My earliest memory of wanting to be a chef was when I was about four years old. I was still sucking my thumb and my dad was ...

In Ida's time

Chris lifts up Guinness number 66. “I’m aiming for 100,” he says. “You get five free pints for every 100 pints you drink, and your name on that ‘Guinness Century Club’ plaque.” He indicates a ...

Thanksgiving Turkey

‘Don’t cook for Thanksgiving this year,” said Patrick’s mother. “You know what?” I answered. “I’m not going to fight you on that. It’s been a long year.” “So, where should we go? Our treat.” I ...

Whaling Bar & Grill's Sazerac

According to the Whaling Bar & Grill’s bar manager Scotty Moises, the establishment took its name when it opened in the early 1950s from the mural that hangs over the bar, The Whale’s Last Stand. ...

Commune to quit

San Diego club-goers who smoke cigarettes take part in quit groups started by Rescue Social Change Group, funded through a grant from the University of California, San Francisco.

No air guitar!

Interview with Steve Weinberger, author of the book No Air Guitar Allowed.

Time to jam

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos did his last Wednesday-night gig at El Camino bar/restaurant on October 31.

Boz Scaggs

The song that transformed Boz Scaggs’s career is simple to the point of monotony. Except for the guitar break, there are two chords: an Em9 that resolves into a jazzy A13 over and over and ...

Dripping Springs Trail

This Agua Tibia Wilderness hike has dramatic vistas and a variety of vegetation types.

For the Bounty We Are About to Crush

Thursday 15“Opinions expressed are subject to being personal, unfunny, and full of typos.” Rosemary Bystrak, blogger and all-around all-arounder, will celebrate six years of her very excellent reportage on the San Diego scene @SD:Dialed In. ...

Future of the Left plots against common sense

A couple of weeks before the election, I looked up a Future of the Left video online, but before I could see it I had to sit through a campaign ad for Rep. Michele Bachmann. ...

Blood money

Thom Beebe, owner of Guitar and Bass Land/Skin City Drums in El Cajon won’t deal in used musical equipment anymore due to an increase in secondhand/pawnshop permit fees.

NFL Gambling Edition

Wager Nation needs allies

New Jersey moves to legalize betting on football. Will they be stopped?

Mildly Hallucinated

Disturbing strangeness at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Imperial Beach Access to Border Park Closed After Rains

Just a month after the U.S. Border Patrol promised better public access to Monument Mesa in the historic Border Field State Park, the gates to the mile-and-a-half-long road from the park entrance to the mesa ...

Guilt Bot

I don’t usually listen to voicemail left by robots, but this one was from my health-insurance company, so I stayed on the line long enough to jot down the 800 number I was instructed to ...

What am I doing here?

Meet Buddy, an East Coast transplant, cultural chameleon, and private Peace Corpsman who knows the joy of being alive.

Tierrasanta Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Found at a 1984 Padres game: God

Membership: 525 Pastor: Gary McCary Age: 60 Born: Needles, CA Formation: La Sierra University, Riverside, CA; Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI Years Ordained: 33 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to ...

Big bay secrets

The bayside Point Loma mansion lavishly remodeled by Mavourneen O’Connor, the secretive twin sister of onetime San Diego mayor Maureen O’Connor, is up for sale for a cool $6,825,000. “195 feet of prestigious water frontage ...

Three-time rapist earns 417 years

Escondido rapist Jeremy Ryan Stutzman said he hated it when his victims cried.

Art by the numbers

Lame-duck San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders has backed off plans to expand the City’s controversial red-light camera enforcement program, leaving that decision to mayor-elect Bob Filner, according to a recent report in U-T San Diego. ...

Letters

Race v. Rally Ahoy, Reader. In your Neighborhood News you made a serious error in terming the Baja Ha Ha a race. I think they call it a rally. The participants can use motors and ...

Hollyhocks

Three days after my mother died, her hollyhocks tumbled down under their own weight. My father disappeared. I had eaten the last of her meatloaf wrapped in wax paper. She had waved me out of ...

November 8 Crossword Contenders

Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 1. Mary Arana, Encinitas, 1. Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 1. L. Barling, El Cajon, 1. Johanna Barry, Pine Valley, 1. Evelyn Bowser, Hillcrest, 1. Bob Carlson, Serra Mesa, 1. Leslie Chase, Campo, ...

November 8 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 1. Carl Baltrunas, Milpitas, 1. Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 1. David Brokiewicz, Spring Valley, 1. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 1. * Larry Clark, Clairemont, 1. Aztec roundball has started the season, ...

Tuesday, November 13

Man Has Seizure at Dog Beach

A man and his dog were enjoying the day at Dog Beach November 13 when the man fell to the ground and began having a seizure, according to the Hubble family who witnessed the incident. ...

Horton Plaza Project Approved, but Planned Art Unfunded

The San Diego City Council on November 13 unanimously approved authorization to “advertise, bid, award, and construct” the multimillion-dollar Horton Plaza Improvement Project. The council acted in its role as the successor agency to the ...

Midnight Attack in Ocean Beach

On November 9, around midnight, a 26-year-old Ocean Beach woman was attacked on the 1900 block of Ebers Street. She said she noticed a man walking near her and told him not to walk so ...

Baja Is Still Baja

A food-centric tour of iconic Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo and Ensenada.

On our first of what will be many journalistic journeys south of the border, we explored the towns of Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo and Ensenada to check out some of the upper Baja’s more renowned spots. ...

Rats…Everywhere!

Just the other evening, my husband and I were walking through the business area of El Cajon, on our way to a steakhouse, when a rat ran right in front of us. Doesn't that just ...

Monday, November 12

Reality Shift in Hyderabad

As much as we see globalization happening on every continent, I have seen a place as-of-yet unaffected. Hyderabad, India, has yet to be conquered by McDonalds, Wal-Mart or Starbucks. You won't find much tourism there ...

Monterosso al Mare

Hiking trails connect this village with the rest of Italy's Cinque Terre.

Monterosso al Mare, within the popular tourist destination of Cinque Terre, Italy, is a gem. I was here in September 2012 and was struck by its simple beauty. Most tourists had gone, and those here ...

Fire in Sports Arena Warehouse/Shop Area

A fire was reported at 5 p.m. on November 11 at a two-story commercial building on the 3500 block of Hancock Street in the Point Loma/Sports Arena area. The conflagration soon drew over 60 firefighters ...

Sunday, November 11

Car-Smashing Criminals Caught (on Video) in Mira Mesa

Between 1:45 and 2:15 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7, thieves smashed the windows on several cars in a Mira Mesa neighborhood. Kim’s car was damaged and her Nook reading tablet was taken. She confirmed other ...

Car Rolls into Kensington Block Party

At about 7:00 p.m. on November 10, during a neighborhood block party on Bedford Drive in Kensington, a man driving a red Honda sedan slowly but deliberately drove through three barriers that blocked off the ...

Saturday, November 10

Three Days Later, San Diego County Ballots Remain Uncounted

Even though the 2012 general election was held almost a week ago, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office — as of 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 9 — still had not counted 27 ...

Lopez Island, Washington

Z and I arrive by evening ferry at the nondescript dock of Lopez Island. A sign by the terminal advises that “All at large dogs will be detained” – curious, to say the least. We ...

A Man and His Mules Find Lakeside

A lone drifter, age unknown, rides into Lakeside, California, with his three mules. He says they wander the country, guided only by the love of the Earth and its creatures. The man goes by the ...

Miss Goodwrench

Opportunities for Women in Automotive Repair

Blair Littleton had such a negative car repair experience while she was a senior in high school that after graduation she decided to attend a vocational school where she was certified as an auto technician. ...

Friday, November 9

On the border of University and Nowhere Park

I woke up this morning, knowing that everything on my uncovered porch outside was going to be saturated by the evening rain...Why was everything outside uncovered and unprotected from the rain you ask? BECAUSE THIS ...

Stuck Truck in Midway District

An enormous moving truck was stuck in the Point Loma Villa condos’ driveway in the Midway District on Friday morning, November 9, at around 11:00 a.m. Heavily laden with household items, the T & R ...

Who’s Ever Heard of Ukraine?

"Dude, I think I want to go to Ukraine,” I told a friend over a beer-battered fish taco in cloudless San Diego. "What are you looking for in Russia? Women of dreamy, unworldly beauty, cheap ...

Kenya for Carnivores

An African dining experience.

Although a bit out of your way for nightly dinner reservations, if you happen to be in Nairobi, Kenya, this restaurant is not to be missed. In fact, it’s hard to avoid, as it seems ...

Think Before You Reveal Too Much About Yourself

You might find that you’ve shared information that doesn’t sit well with the boss.

Let Your Website Find You a Job

The biggest no-no is creating a website that looks like you did it yourself.

Thursday, November 8

Fried Chicken Sandwich Lovers Camp in Encinitas

On the morning of November 7, the Royce family from Oceanside lined up outside the Chick-fil-A on El Camino Real in Encinitas. By 10:30 a.m., a tent city had sprung up in the parking lot, ...

Date Rape Reported in Ocean Beach

A rape reportedly occurred in the 5100 block of Muir Steet in Ocean Beach on November 2, according to crimemapping.com In an interview with San Diego police Lt. Natalie Stone, she said the victim met ...

The Deal with Farmers' Markets

“Someone making great handcrafted yogurt would be in like Flynn.”

Homer, Alaska

Escape from it all in the "halibut fishing capital of the world."

In 1896, Homer Pennock arrived in a sleepy seaside hamlet in southern Alaska hoping to strike a fortune. He managed the Alaska Gold Mining Company, but his mining ventures ultimately failed. Pennock left the area ...

Tucson, by Giant Giant Sand

Rarely has a format seemed as fitting as “country rock opera” does for Giant Giant Sand’s meshing of folk/jazz/rock/blues/country with offhand theatricality. Based on the group’s most dependable obsession/location — the Southwest — Tucson is ...

Diamond Rings glitters at Soda Bar

John O’Regan, who has sanctioned the stage name Diamond Rings, brought his ’80s pop show to Soda Bar. In support of his sophomore release, Free Dimensional, the Canadian had been opening for the band Stars ...

Wednesday, November 7

That’s life, and life’s not easy

Gangland style

Curtis Howard writes about his time as a gang member and his struggle to leave that life behind.

Gas Truck Rear-Ends Car On I-15

On November 3, at approximately 1:10 p.m., a motorist was injured on the southbound I-15 between the Centre City Parkway on-ramp and Via Rancho Parkway off-ramp. A gas-cylinder delivery vehicle was unable to stop in ...

Natural peanut butters

Sometimes you like to get raw and wild with your peanut butter.

Queen Cheese

The Cheese Shop doesn’t specialize in cheese, they were too embarrassed to tell Mr. Cleese.

Fall Forward

San Diego beer-pairing with autumnal cuisine.

Autumns are short in America’s Finest City. The transition from summer’s dog days to mall-Santa season seems like it happens in the blink of a sunglass-shielded eye. But it’s worth taking time to enjoy this ...

Now you know: Penis Hickey

All about Penis Hickey, “an anarchic steel-toe to your earballs.”

Daley Ranch Pond View Trails

The cooling, welcoming sight of a pond while hiking in the chaparral on a hot day.

The Sea and Cake

Sam Prekop checks in by phone from his home in Chicago. I gather he is rocking in the proverbial sense, meaning in an old-fashioned chair. Every so often, I hear the tell-tale creak of wood ...

Back to School

You’d think I’d remember the layout better,” I said to the top of David’s smoothly shaven head, which was hovering over a small map of San Diego State University’s campus. “Then again, I was only ...

If I were a ewe

Thursday 8Guitarist/singer Jon Spencer cut his teeth in seminal punk ’n’ roll outfits Pussy Galore and Boss Hog, whose swampy blues-punk hoodoo informed his latest and longest tenure with the NYC-based Blues Explosion, featuring the ...

Titus Andronicus rethinks punk

Punk is getting interesting again. This year, the Russian provocateurs in Pussy Riot proved that punk is still a polarizing political and cultural force. But, musically, punk is thrilling in a way it hasn’t been ...

They'll spank you at Babycakes

Babycakes is a good place to start the day with a cocktail, a pastry, and a spanking.

Singing for their supper

Commercial local media outlets are increasingly forced by the economy and the disruptive impact of the internet on reading, viewing, and listening habits to cut staff, but San Diego State’s taxpayer-backed KPBS public broadcasting operation ...

Why we say “bless you” when people sneeze

“Bless you,” San Diego’s crooked 30th Street, horsepower, all explained

South Park's crooked 30th Street

Heymatt: Why in the world does 30th Street morph into Fern Street between Juniper and Ash streets? Not only that, 30th doesn’t disappear during its run as Fern but actually continues as an entirely separate ...

It's a raid!

Show Palace gets raided by multiple agencies on night of Alejandra Guzman show. Nothing was found, show proceeded. Insiders suggest state bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control was exerting pressure.

Let them eat Chargers tickets

It’s Chargers football season, time once again for San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders to quietly give close friends and political allies free tickets to premier seats at Qualcomm Stadium. For the October 15 game with ...

All about horsepower

Heymatt:Why are car engines measured in horsepower? What does horsepower mean and how much horsepower does one horse generate? — Motorhead, Escondido Engines have been measured in horsepower since James Watt, who refined early steam ...

Lobsters and mustard

Axe body spray pays Ninja Love for use of a song in a South American ad campaign.

Where did the news junkies go?

Fewer people than ever are reading newspapers; electronic media are not making up the difference. Are the old media trying to shove Beethoven down the throats of hip-hop fanatics?

Goodbye, college boy. Hello, Pink Floyd Experience

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” takes Tom Quinn, of the Pink Floyd Experience, to a beautiful place.

King of the road Bob Woolly

Name: Bob Woolly Cars: 2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0; 1969 Chevrolet El Camino How did you decide to buy the GT? When I came back from Vietnam, I bought a ’68 Shelby 500 KR. “KR” ...

$7.6 million city parking contract, not priceless

Money may be tight, but San Diego’s mayor and city council have no shortage of ways to spend tax dollars, according to a list of top contracts posted online by the City’s purchasing department. The ...

Transit plan includes more air pollution

Total miles traveled and air pollution will increase in San Diego as part of the San Diego Association of Governments’ 2050 plan.

Dead

Whichever neighborhood has no clergyman I shall die there. Let no one see how beautiful Are all the things I have, my feet, my hair. In the name of the dead, free and immaculate, A ...

Recuerdo

We were very tired, we were very merry — We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry. It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable — But we looked into ...

Resonate. Local

Life goes on and things work out for this gal.

Metallic skinny pants and G-ma prints — San Diego fashions just around the bend?

November 1 Crossword Contenders

* Martha Awdziewicz, Clairemont, 12. I don't want to feel too hesitant, But I am a San Diego Resident I'll speak my voice and vote my choice and by Wednesday we'll have elected our president. ...

November 1 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 12. * Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 12. The election is in the can So farewell to the also-ran, I don't not wish him harm, Yes, he did have some charm, It's ...

Tuesday, November 6

Letters

Burned by Bensoussan Re “The View of the Lake,” (Neighborhood News, November 1). I regret the time I spent campaigning for Pamela Bensoussan, and for voting for her in 2008. As soon as she was ...

Day Trip to NYC: Art + Food

There are lots of reasons why you might like to have a handy day-trip plan for NYC. Perhaps you’re sitting bored out of your tree in one of the many cities that supports a super-discount ...

Cruising Down to Ensenada

“16 miles! Please tell me you’re kidding?” It’s 12:30 p.m. and I’m at the first break spot along this 50-mile Rosarito–Ensenada Bike Ride. I’ve been on my $40 Craigslist-bought beach cruiser (the title doesn’t lie) ...

Mexico's New Border Crossing Fails Grand Opening

The newly opened border-crossing facility dubbed El Chaparral opened its 22 gates to the full flow of Mexico-bound vehicle traffic on Friday, November 1, and motorists were forced to endure “embotellamientos” (traffic jams) in various ...

Monday, November 5

Monumental: POW Liberation Memorial in Miramar

Dedicated on September 16, 2011, the POW Liberation Monument is located at the Miramar National Cemetery. Designed by artist Richard Becker, the memorial is a 15-foot tall, bronze, concrete, and stainless steel sculpture, a tribute ...

Xi'ian's Silent Army

Once in a great while, the simplest of acts, even performed inadvertently, can have far-reaching effects. In Xi'an, China, there is a massive army that has stood in silent formation for more than two-and-a-half thousand ...

Demre, Turkey: The Sea is Free

Island-hopping in the Turkish Mediterranean.

Before my sister, Stormy, began college at UCSD, I thought it imperative that she have an adventure. So for the summer, I flew her to Antalya, Turkey, where I had been living. For her 18th ...

Saturday, November 3

Shoestring Travel: Barcelona

Taking you to European destinations on a dime (6 of 7).

After traveling all around southern Spain this past year, we figured it was finally time to give some love to northern Spain. We started with 3 days in Spain's Catelonian capital, Barcelona. The minute we ...

Former Charger Seeks Seat on Sweetwater Schools Board

Though many people want to see corruption and mismanagement cleaned up in the Sweetwater Union High School District, few people stepped into the November 6 election. One interesting candidate who wants to try his hand ...

Garbage Truck Spills Load in Golden Hill

Sometime between morning trash pick-up and 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 1, a loaded city trash truck malfunctioned and spilled most of its contents onto the street on the corner of 26th and A streets, ...

Friday, November 2

CBP Interrogation

After two hours in the pedestrian line, waiting to cross into the US, I'm often a bit knackered by the time I get to the CBP Agent Interrogation desk. I have my papers in order, ...

U-T Asks to Renegotiate Street Hawker Program

With the U-T’s purchase of the North County Times, the firing of 80 staff employees and writers, and the merging of the publications on October 15, one aspect of the transition has so far remained ...

Tijuana Water Outage Planned for November 7

Beginning at six o'clock in the morning on November 7, approximately 95 percent of the greater Tijuana area will be without running water. The service is expected to resume normally 12 hours later, according to ...

Thursday, November 1

Homicide caused one of two recent Santa Ysabel deaths

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office has determined that one of two elderly individuals found dead in a Santa Ysabel residence on the 25200 block of Mesa Grande Road on Monday is the victim ...

Trying to Fit In at the Củ Chi Tunnels

An American in Vietnam.

Vietnam is a unique country in many ways. First, it’s Southeast Asia’s “skinniest” country. Second, the country is still divided over geographical, political and cultural lines. The North and South divide is an active component ...

Oz's West Coast – and the Unexpected

When you think of a national park, your mind rarely conjures up images of people falling in love. The classic boy-meets-girl scenario is usually left to Hollywood's far-fetched romantic comedies. But here’s a story about ...

Halloween Violence on Newport Avenue

Halloween on Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue produced a woman getting her cheek bitten and a man lying unconscious on the sidewalk. In the cheek incident, Steve Perez said he and his girlfriend were enjoying the ...

Carlsbad Considers Ordinance to Limit RV Parking

Richard Shapiro is fighting a campaign on behalf of recreational vehicle owners against the City of Carlsbad. Effective January 1, 2013, the city intends to ban RVs on Carlsbad city streets due to complaints of ...

Eyewitness/Survivor of Tijuana Shootout Tells Tale

At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, at the corner of Coahuila and Niños Héroes, the area was crowded with people grabbing quick food from the taco carts. At first it sounded like firecrackers. After ...

Not your grandaddy's Jason Lytle

Ex-Grandaddy mastermind and current Montana mainstay Jason Lytle played an intimate show at the Casbah for a modest crowd on a late October night. Though there were probably 30 or so heads at the club, ...

Born to Sing/No Plan B, by Van Morrison

Way back in ancient history — the ’60s — I was living in San Francisco, and one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny day was driving the winding road to Stinson Beach. I ...

Zombie Steals from Kitty in Ocean Beach

On Halloween night at around 8 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market, Todo Mundo was performing in the street. A lot of people were wearing costumes, dancing, and enjoying the beautiful music and weather. ...