Clairemont Stories

Don't worry, old-timer, cell phones don't cause cancer

Low-income seniors misinformed about rooftop work?

A little before 7:30 a.m. on July 23, a crane as well as eight commercial and flatbed trucks were parked in the middle of the street in front of Sorrento Tower, a 14-story low-income senior ...

Clairemont Coco’s out, Chick-fil-A in

Some satisfied, some dismayed at approval of "another fast-food joint"

On July 19, representatives of the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain gave a presentation to the Clairemont Community Planning Group with the latest rendition of the drive-thru proposed to replace the Coco’s Restaurant at 5955 Balboa Avenue. ...

Biker accident victims win $375K settlement

Claim says city failed to "designate, place, situate, sign, stripe, mark, paint, delineate, illuminate, design, construct..."

On Tuesday, July 19, city councilmembers will approve a $375,000 settlement for a couple who were injured in a 2013 motorcycle accident that occurred at an intersection outside of a Walmart in Clairemont Mesa. Garrett ...

It was a perfectly healthy tree in Clairemont

Mature jacaranda chopped down in error

Henrietta Valens (not her real name) left Clairemont for Vegas with friends on June 28. On June 30 at 8:46 a.m., her 90-year-old mother called to tell her that some guys were getting ready to ...

Gripes over Clairemont's new bike-lane barriers

“The dividers have provided pedestrians with a false sense of security."

On May 24, the city installed white plastic barriers along the bike lane on one side of Balboa Avenue (east on Clairemont Drive heading toward Genesee Avenue). Within a few days, the barriers started getting ...

Future of Clairemont Keil's grocery store undecided

“We are all just kind of figuring it out as it goes.”

After 26 years, in January the lease expired on the Keil’s grocery store located on Clairemont Drive (there's another in San Carlos). An extension was granted until April by Kleege Enterprises, which purchased the Clairemont ...

Condo dwellers put the kibosh on smoked meat

Mike's BBQ shuts down rather than face costly penalties

Not long after Mike’s BBQ opened their second location at 3055 Clairemont Drive, residents in the condos next door started complaining about the smoky smell. The first complaint was lodged on July 5, 2015. According ...

Suicide in Clairemont

Man jumped from 14th floor of seniors' residence

At 1:00 p.m. on April 19, I witnessed an elderly woman with short dark hair sitting on an overturned shopping cart in the Clairemont Village parking lot. She was crying and distraught and being comforted ...

Bay Park remains a mere neighborhood

Quest for signage turned up fact that it's not considered a community

On February 18, city traffic engineer Gary Pence gave Dave Potter the long-awaited news that neighborhood signs for Bay Park had been ordered. I met with Potter on March 15 at Tecolote Road and Morena ...

The Jewish Film Festival has some winners

Remember, Natasha, Projections of America, Dealing With the Devil

Normally it takes eight to ten films to find the three or four needed to pad a film festival overview, but this year’s San Diego Jewish Film Festival hit me with four winners right out ...

Tecolote Canyon is crappy

Bicycle lane the refuge of car drivers avoiding “horrible” road

"I’ve lived in San Diego since 1973 and I've never seen our roads this horrible," said Clairemont resident Linda Loveland on January 27. "I use Mount Acadia Boulevard every day to go to and from ...

He used the Force, the Force won

Star Wars fan robs bank, makes successful getaway (for now)

On January 9 at 2:00 p.m., the Wells Fargo Bank located within the Vons at 4725 Clairemont Drive at the Clairemont Square shopping center was robbed. The bank teller told police that prior to the ...

Tecolote Canyon’s history writ in stone and sediment

A pleasant walk along the southern section

Tecolote Canyon, featured on area maps for almost 200 years, is designated a natural park 6 miles in length, .25 to .5-mile wide, with a 2-mile tributary totaling just over 900 acres. Elevations range from ...

Bible in one hand, newspaper in the other

Pastor Jonathan Doolittle of Concordia Church takes some questions

Clairemont Lutheran Church Membership: 800 Pastor: Jonathan Doolittle Age: 50 Born: Columbus, OH Formation: Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL Years Ordained: 21 San Diego Reader: How long do you ...

Clairemont corner eyesore

Graffiti magnet at major Balboa Avenue intersection

The corner lot on Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue was covered in graffiti again on December 4. It wasn't the first time Stephanie Pfaff of Bay Park had seen the vacant buildings behind the chain-link ...

Let's call this one the floppy-hatted filcher

"We were a good mark: we had two kids with us who were jumping around."

On Wednesday afternoon (December 8), Jill Marr of Clairemont was getting groceries at the Smart & Final on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard with her houseguest from Atlanta, Stacy Allen. Marr said on December 9, "We were ...

Mixed reviews on new Clairemont bicycle lanes

"It's practically a suicide mission reversing out of the driveway."

On November 24, the Clairemont Community Planning Group voted to change Clairemont Drive between Balboa Avenue and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard from two lanes into one to accommodate a bicycle lane. The deputy city engineer, Brian ...

Church of God's mission: Win. Build. Send.

“The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.”

Something pure and holy about downtown’s streets.

'Tis the season for porch shoppers

After absconding, thieves leave behind packaging (and undesired present)

Walking her dogs at 6:00 a.m. in Bay Ho on November 19, Stephanie Rosenbaum spotted a package ripped open in the bushes halfway down the 4000 block of Kamloop Avenue. "It was a light green ...

Riley Elementary special-needs student victimized

District bus driver accused of performing "lewd and lascivious acts"

The San Diego Unified School District has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a parent who claims her child, a special-needs student at Riley Elementary in Clairemont Mesa, was sexually assaulted by a district ...

Trader Joe's gets it, Clairemont

Residents bug company execs with pleas for a store in their town

Earlier this year, Clairemont Town Council boardmember Steve Innis was told by Trader Joe's real estate manager Doug Yokomizo that calls can help get certain parts of town on their radar. Subsequently, in May, Clairemont ...

Clairemont and Eastlake softball teams burgled

Equipment theft occurred during short hiatus, suggestive of inside job

On Friday, August 14, a softball-team manager discovered that the storage shed for the Clairemont Girl's Fastpitch Softball League had been broken into. League president Marie Wiggins said on August 17 that the theft happened ...

Rattlesnakes percolating from dry Clairemont canyons

Leave 'em alone

A few hours ago, Shannon M. of West Clairemont alerted neighbors via NextDoor.com that one of his Mt. Acadia neighbors had found two different rattlesnakes in his back yard within the past 24 hours. A ...

Clairemont speeding irks residents

Elderly and handicapped at risk on Cowley Way

Shortly after hearing about a 77-year old woman who suffered a hit-and-run in La Jolla while crossing the street last Saturday, I saw two Western tow trucks pull up in my neighborhood. I watched one ...

Zapf's Clairemont swampland

Median eyesore on Balboa Avenue

Clairemont Mesa residents have had enough. Joel P. shared on NextDoor.com, "Ever since they redid the entire median on Balboa from Morena to 805 with landscaping years ago, we have been blessed with the only ...

Burglars rifle cars for remotes

Cash, iPods, and other valuables left behind

A few weeks ago, eight houses on Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa were all hit on the same day. A garage door opener previously stolen from one Black Mountain resident's car was used to ...

Hawaiian plate lunch at Homestyle Hawaiian

The siren call of macaroni salad in Clairemont

Macaroni salad is a guilty pleasure of mine. Here I write about all kinds of food, and I demand some semblance of quality. But apparently I’m easily won over by a little cold pasta and ...

Child beggars of Point Loma

Median walkers and parking-lot strollers under a watchful eye

Leaving the Sprouts Market in Clairemont last week, I saw a young blonde woman standing at the parking-lot exit with a cardboard sign and a stroller. As I approached the exit, she leaned into the ...

Neighborhood hood gets a new look

Uptick in Clairemont crimes prompts resurgence of vigilance program

Due to an escalation of criminal and suspicious activity in Clairemont, there has been renewed interest in Neighborhood Watch, a nationwide program introduced by the National Sheriff’s Association in 1972. A press conference was held ...

Neighborhood Watch, mobilize!

Suspected shady activity in Clairemont precedes meeting

They look like they are checking out sticker prices at a car lot. The thing is, none of the cars they are checking out are for sale. I have witnessed what appears to be cars ...

That's one nasty rash, Clairemont

Door-to-door thieves and would-bes use the lost-dog ploy

Wednesday afternoon (June 17), several homes were broken into or targeted in the Clairemont area. Emma Erlich of West Clairemont warned her neighbors on NextDoor.com that two teenagers hid in their bedroom on Mt. Carol ...

Reel Kids series offers big-screen fun at rock-bottom prices

There’s a good chance your children have never left the house to visit the Emerald City

Looking for a low cost way to engage the kids and beat the summer heat? Reading Cinema’s Reel Kids Summer Movie Festival may be the ticket. Starting June 17 and continuing for nine weeks, Reading’s ...

Drought relief suggestion shot down

Water running down city streets can't be saved — not cost-effective

“So, we are in a drought,” ranted Lisa Hudson Barth as she snapped photos of water flowing down Mount Acadia Boulevard in Clairemont on April 10. “And the mayor requested that we cut our water ...

Adult sporting leagues out of Clairemont!

Residents rankled by San Diego Unified School District’s stadium rental deals

Residents living near Clairemont High had no reason to believe that the school and district had any intention of turning their newly renovated football stadium into a nightly playing field for adult soccer leagues. Why ...

Here's what we got for $40.5 million

Mesa College dedicates spiffy new building — "our school’s new center"

San Diego Mesa College faculty members and students cut the ribbon on its $40.5 million Social and Behavioral Sciences Building on February 11 — the latest in a years-long overhaul of the campus located where ...

This booze was saved to drink

"Tagay pa, alak pa!" yelled the group in broken harmony

Johnny and Wilfred were posted up by the side of the house chopping it up about their commonalities both being first-generation Filipino-Americans (naturalized in the 1970s and 1980s). Both lolos (“grandfathers” in Tagalog) were in ...

Barbie dog

Costumed man rapes woman at Big Lots store, woman sues

Discount retailer Big Lots needs to pay closer attention to its surveillance cameras, and the company's negligence is responsible for failing to prevent an attempted sexual assault at a Clairemont store in March 2014, according ...

Street-dumb phone stuck in the past

Consider this the formal goodbye to State Route 274

Motorists traveling northbound on 805 out of Mission Valley into Kearny Mesa may have recently noticed something covered up on the green freeway signs indicating the Balboa Avenue exit. Covered over in mismatched green is ...

If you can help me, I’ll give you my life

Membership: 2200 Pastor: Mike MacIntosh Age: 70 Born: Portland, OR Formation: Azusa Pacific University, Azusa; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 42 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor Mike ...

Fast-food workers’ hours cut —no idea why

“Hold your burgers, hold your fries, make our wages super-sized!"

Demonstrations from fast-food workers involved in the "Fight for 15" campaign (which seeks to unionize food-service jobs and set a wage floor of $15 per hour) continue to ramp up, as a crowd of over ...

Nothing else makes any sense for me

Pastor James West of Atonement Lutheran Church

Membership: 45 (regular attendance) Pastor: James West Age: 57 Born: Bismarck, ND Formation: Northwestern University, Evansville, IL; Lutheran Seminary, St. Paul, MN Years Ordained: 32 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your ...

Workers, clergy pour into Clairemont Taco Bell to fight wage theft

Rev. Lee Hill: "I could see tears welling up.”

Following up on a promise last month to ramp up actions against illegal labor practices in the fast food industry, activists descended upon a Taco Bell/Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Clairemont late Thursday morning, intent ...

Success amid a surplus of tofu houses

Getting to the bottom of a bowl of stew

It's probably best to make something clear up front: I am not reviewing the popular Convoy Street restaurant Tofu House. I visited a different establishment named Convoy Tofu House. Okay, they're both on Convoy, both ...

Meet Dogma Brewing Company

Husband, wife, man’s best friend working toward Clairemont nano

The eternal debate over religion and a German shepherd. These are the factors that led aptly named Michael Brewer to name his prospective business, Dogma Brewing Company. The homebrewer of more than ten years is ...

Photographs for Valentines' Day

The Bootylicious shoot is popular.

“Curves are in, and I am going to work on making those curves look delicious.”

Holiday fur fix

Petting tour of San Diego

The awe of nature or the snuggle of a warm snout or cute paw give us a fill of joy that we're looking for around this time of the year. For those of us without ...

All Things BBQ: Lightnin' Jack's

Clairemont barbecue joint dishes up huge piles of mediocre meat for cheap, proving that there's no way to cut corners.

Lightnin’ Jack’s (4705 Clairemont Drive) has some things going for it, not the least of which is the movie deal: 10 percent off if you show a same-day movie ticket from the Regal across the ...

Would-be meat thief strikes and escapes in Clairemont

Frozen turkeys and hams ditched at the door

The Vons at 4725 Clairemont Drive was the scene of an attempted heist on Monday, November 18, at 1:20 p.m., as a man attempted to steal a shopping cart full of frozen meat. An alert ...

Early voting opens for mayoral special election in San Diego

The polls have opened in San Diego to replace ousted mayor Bob Filner. Early voting began at the Registrar of Voters office at 5201 Ruffin Road in Clairemont Mesa on 8 a.m. Monday, October 21, ...

Mods Gone Wild! Clairemont High “Riot” of ‘82

Historical account of Manual Scan bopping like popcorn at Clairemont High School, c.1982.

College? No thanks.

Uneducated but not unlearned.

Young guys explain why they are passing on going to college. Absurd expense and subsequent debt is one reason, but even a young man from a well-off family sees other deterrents.

Sexagenarian skateboarder hits the bowls in Ocean Beach

But, Skater prefers ripping asphalt

You may know him, you may not. You may have heard about him, but if you haven’t, let me introduce the man, who is not a myth, but he is definitely a legend in San ...

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