Del Mar Stories

Del Mar’s super brew of politics

Jerry Brown appointee recuses himself from fair-board brewpub vote

“If one vice doesn't work, try another” appears to be the motto of the Del Mar fair board, the gubernatorially appointed body that runs the state's 22nd District Agricultural Association. After years of dismal financial ...

Dog surfing in S.D.

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, September 4-September-10

Share a newly finished or in-progress poem, painting, dance, audition piece, or even a blog post. Receive feedback and plan your next steps. Three-session class: Thursdays, September 4, October 2, November 6. Enjoy food and ...

Serious Manhattan

Mia Francesca's take on the classic aims to be richer and more flavorful.

Every so often in life, paperback utility ought to give over to leather-bound editions; the joy of a Swisher Sweet to the experience of a Romeo y Julieta; the usual Manhattan cocktail to nothing less ...

Happy horses

Barb chooses the wrong hat for the Del Mar racetrack.

Someone else, having overheard our conversation, piped in, “Most of these horses have stylists, massage therapists, and veterinarians constantly catering to their every need.”

Wiener Dog Nationals: San Diego Finals

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, August 28-September-3

More than a dozen majestic windjammers and other vessels from around the world, led by a vessel from the United States Navy, will parade into San Diego’s harbor, part of the 2014 Festival of Sail. ...

Racehorse trainers and PETA agree

It’s not Del Mar’s turf track — the animals are being pushed too hard

A week before horses started dying more often than normal at Del Mar, on July 18 a California Horse Racing Board member expressed his concern about the racing surfaces at another California race track — ...

Beyond Squaresville

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, August 14-August 20

The San Diego Museum of Man and local breweries host this one-year anniversary of BEERology and the closing of the exhibit Empowering Women. Enjoy tastings from leading local breweries and sample food from women-run businesses. ...

Horse Branding at Old Del Mar

A special guest editorial from Del Mar Racing VP of Marketing Greg Dodo: In 2001, I was tasked with beating a dead horse back to life. The glory days of the Del Mar Racetrack seemed ...

Fish taco versus California burrito

Getting the best of a local chain

When you say "berto's", I think burrito. Adalberto's or Filibertos? Burrito. Aliberto's, Humberto's, or Rigoberto's? Burrito. Or if there's no drive-thru, maybe some rolled tacos. It's just a fact of living here: at some time ...

The public doesn’t like dead horses

The cost of doing business

The tenth horse died at Del Mar on Saturday, August 2. This one was Chattering Gambler, a three-year-old colt who collapsed during the third race as he drove toward the finish line. This makes 10 ...

It doesn't get any better than this* (*if you have $17.5 million)

35 feet of ocean frontage in the heart of Del Mar

Current Owners: David and Lori Sykes Listing Price: $17,500,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 5 Listing materials for this week’s home invite would-be buyers to “take your front row seat to the spectacular Pacific Ocean and California’s ...

Some of that California money

Manchester hosts cash roundup for Texas candidate — $5000 gets you in

Doug Manchester, who intends to build a long-delayed hotel in Austin, is putting on a glitzy fundraiser for Greg Abbott, the Republican who is running for Texas governor against Democrat Wendy Davis. Manchester and his ...

"Made in America"?

Consumers sue, say it ain't so

The Del Mar Law Group is suing blue-jeans companies over "Made in America" labels. In one suit that the firm hopes will be certified as a class action, the plaintiff states that "fabric, thread, buttons, ...

Comic-Con spilling over like so many suds

Sampler flight of beer events from July 22 through 28

July 25-27 | 4th Anniversary Extravaganza: Every year, Urge Gastropub goes big with its anniversary, starting with its celebratory burger, which weighs at least a pound and is piled high with exotic ingredients. Ditto the ...

Where the suds meet the turf

Ballast Point takes over former Oggi’s space at Del Mar Fairgrounds.

There’s nothing quite like a day spent at the track, picking the ponies and, hopefully, taking home some cash. For the longest time, doing so meant settling for Del Margaritas. I know, I know…first-world problems. ...

Tough bet

Opening day at Del Mar racetrack

Two hours before the 2:00 p.m. post time, traffic for opening day at the Del Mar racetrack was jammed in every direction; southbound I-5 crept down from La Costa Avenue. Northbound I-5 was very slow. ...

What the fair will bear

The San Diego County Fair may not be known for its adventuresome booking of bands, but few can claim that the annual expo underpays the acts. It was reported in 2007 that one of its ...

Obama’s Del Martian loophole lobbyist

Less-than-transparent nonprofit gets money from lobbyist client

How transparent is Organizing for Action, the big-money "issue advocacy" committee closely associated with Barack Obama's White House? Not enough, suggests the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit based in Washington DC that runs OpenSecrets.org, ...

Fair fanatic's guide

Don't be duped and save a buck

By Wednesday, June 11, the third day of its four-week run, the San Diego County Fair was in full swing. Traffic was backing up on northbound I-5 by 10:30 a.m. As a regular fair fanatic, ...

First hour of the San Diego County Fair

The Beatles were there — hurry, hurrayy...

For the 29th consecutive year, Escondido’s Margaret Austin, known as the “Pink Pig Lady” for her rolling collection of pink pig memorabilia, was the first to walk through the front gates on June 7 — ...

Casa Sol y Mar: Technicolor Mexico

Del Mar restaurant serves up the tortillas without the border wait

I am perfectly happy eating every meal at a taco shop with some variation of “bertos” on it, but yellow-and-red-striped huts with Formica tables and vending machines for 50-cent tattoos are only going to appeal ...

San Diego County Fair Food Advance Peek

From Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers to bacon-wrapped whisky churros

The San Diego County Fair officially opens June 7, but members of the media were able to get an early taste. Here is a rundown of some of the goodies that “carnie-vores” can gobble during ...

Non-locals only at the county fair

Why not have local musicians?

If you want to sniff an Encinitas-grown rose or pet a Ramona-bred goat, come on down to the San Diego County Fair. But if you yearn to grab an earful from the county’s best musicians, ...

Cardiff is the new Del Mar? Says who?

Cardiff-by-the Sea was named for Cardiff, Wales; Del Mar was originally built to resemble an old English Village. But is the British connection where the similarity ends for these two North County beach towns? Realtors ...

On the bluff tops of Olde Del Mar

Almost $7M will buy you a pizza oven by the pool (and more!)

Current Owner: Gary & Carol Arnold Listing Price: $6,795,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 4 “This entire home from the front curb to the rear fence was completely renovated” since it last sold in 1999, boast the ...

Del Mar's North Torrey Pines Bridge retrofitted

Four-year-long project makes span good for at least another 50 years

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Tuesday morning, April 15, marked the completion of the lengthy restoration process for a historic bridge between San Diego and Del Mar. The North Torrey Pines Bridge, named in 1996 at ...

Runners wrecking the trail in Torrey Pines

Volunteer guards the southernmost entrance

While hiking in the Torrey Pines state reserve a few days ago, I saw a volunteer "guarding" the entrance to the southernmost trail (which was taped off). She said she was there to physically prevent ...

Bookstore to close — but not why you think

Mall owner needs parking space

All over the country, brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing because the industry is increasingly getting its sales online. But this July, a very successful Barnes & Noble store will close in the Del Mar Highlands Town ...

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon mouth full again

Recent storm, high tides create sand bar that inhibits tidal flow

The entrance of the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon has silted shut again. The recent high winter surf along with high spring tides moved in a large sand bar and the lagoon is no longer emptying into ...

Coast to Crest Trail — Old Coach Staging Area to Raptor Ridge

Hike to Raptor Ridge and see many species of raptors from this viewpoint.

Kumeyaays’ “valley of the eagles” still worthy of the name.

What's the delay at Manchester's Austin hotel?

Papa Doug's son says financing still not nailed down

Texas media are wondering what's holding up the beginning of Papa Doug Manchester's 1035-room hotel in downtown Austin, to be named the Fairmont. A headline in the Austin Business Journal this week asked, "Hotels abound ...

San Diego's best events for the week of January 16–January 22

Ancient cultures from around the world brewed many types of beer, and modern breweries have re-created those classics. Dogfish Head will be pouring tastings of brews from their Ancient Ales series. Fine jewelry, precious and ...

Produce is a vehicle for our souls

Pesticides kill bugs — how can they not be killing people? San Diego — indeed, California — is a leader in the production of organic vegetables and fruit.

Fancy feast

An upscale dining adventure at Addison Del Mar

Though my man and I dine out frequently, we tend to save the super-high-end foodie adventures for special occasions, such as David’s birthday. Last year, we splurged for what ultimately turned out to be a ...

Off to the freebies

Members of the board that runs the Del Mar Fair were, as usual, generous with their free ticket handouts to this year’s July 17 opening day at the track. Board president Adam Day, assistant tribal ...

Charity and VD begin at Del Mar

It’s time to tally up the annual take of Del Mar’s so-called charity race days, representing the net proceeds required by law to be turned over for worthy causes during certain designated days of each ...

Old new media

“The open-source movement and creative-commons licensing have been central to my ongoing learning and creative practice,” says computer-music grad student, educator, and do-it-yourself instrument designer Brendan Gaffney. Open-source software and creative-commons licenses offer alternative approaches ...

Canfield-Wright house escapes razing

420 Avenida Primavera | Del Mar, 92014 Current Owner: Douglas O. Allred Listing Price: $22,900,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 10 The Canfield-Wright House, a 101-year-old mansion named after its first owner, oil tycoon Charles Canfield, sits ...

Mustang hunter at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Thousands attend Good Guys Car Show

The largest custom-car show in Southern California, the Good Guys Fall Nationals, attracted thousands of car enthusiasts to the Del Mar Fairgrounds November 22–24. More than 1500 cars and trucks were on display, and the ...

Best of Beer Week: November 6

Kicking off the second half of San Diego Beer Week with a bang

12 Brewers, 12 Casks, 12 Mallets: Drop in on a simultaneous tapping of a dozen specialty casks of familiar Stone Brewing Co. beers augmented by myriad ingredients including blueberries, heather, elderflowers, Thai chilies, milk sugar, ...

Bottom Scratchers with spearguns

I started to get dizzy, started to see lights

San Diego spear fishermen of today come from a lineage that began in the ’30s, with the Bottom Scratchers of La Jolla. Today there are less fish but the equipment is superior. Nevertheless, it’s easy to drown when a big sea bass takes you for a ride through a kelp ball.

Fashion Week San Diego Spectators

I am a strong believer that disasters come in threes. On Friday night my first disaster came in the form of a robbery--the self-pay parking machine ate my $5 bill. The injustice left me $10 ...

Coast to Crest Trail, Del Mar

Early morning or late afternoons are the best times for birding on this section of the Pacific Flyway.

The Birthday Diaries

Forty things to do before 40

Birthday girl Sarah divulges the secret to picking winners at the track — check out their butts.

Street Style Del Mar: Extreme Hats

One of the most popular events on Opening Day at the Del Mar racetrack is the Hats Contest. Entrants are judged in five categories: 1) Most Glamorous 2) Best Fascinator 3) Best Racing Theme 4) ...

Opening Day at the the Del Mar Racetrack

Hats, hats, and more hats

Opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack was packed. True to San Diego form a wide variety of spectators were in attendance. There were young 20-somethings, the middle-age set, families with young children, tourists, and ...

Horse Croquet

It was a perfect day in Rancho Santa Fe — wisps of white clouds floated through an azure sky and a cool, easy breeze complemented the warmth of the sun. The only thing missing from ...

Fair board pays its pipers

Performers at this year’s county fair in Del Mar are getting a variety of compensation, judging from a sampling of entertainment contracts taken up by the board of the state’s 22nd agricultural district, which operates ...

Papa Del Mar

Grand del Mar resort owner and GOP publisher Douglas Manchester’s U-T San Diego appears to have gotten itself a pretty good deal from the board of the fair district. According to a board report on ...

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon sand removal, redux

Release of “urban drool” necessary for salt marsh health

San Diego city crews started sand removal from the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon on the morning of June 11. Less than a month ago, California State Parks did an emergency lagoon opening to release stagnant water ...

Del Mar cat fight

Wrist-slaps for Border Patrol agents who should have known better

Border Patrol agents Kallie Helwig and Gerald Torello were both accused of being involved in a sex act in public at the Del Mar Fairgrounds last year that resulted in a physical altercation between Helwig and an accuser. A jury found Torello not guilty; Helwig got probation.

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