Del Mar Stories

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.

First Hour at the San Diego County Fair

Mainstays and middle-aged hip-hop ladies

For the 28th consecutive year, Escondido’s Margaret Austin, known as the “Pink Pig Lady,” was the first to walk through the front gates at the opening of the San Diego County Fair on June 8. ...

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon reopened to ocean tides

Two months since saltwater flowed

At 7:00 this morning, California State Parks personnel began the process of opening the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon in Del Mar. On hand are Natural Resources personnel as well as heavy-equipment operators, lifeguards, and maintenance crews. ...

Got a permit for that, Manchester?

Doug Manchester needs no permits, just lawyers and ineffectual city government.

Food-truck fight in Del Mar

Del Mar City Council delays permitting of food trucks within city limits.

John Moores' house can be yours for $23 million

You could have a moat!

Former Padres owner John Moores’ Del Mar pad up for sale.

Del Mar Racetrack’s long lost airport

You could take a plane

If the recent plan to have a train stop at the Del Mar Fairgrounds falls through, resurrecting the adjacent former airport is certainly a nonstarter. Located on the San Dieguito River wetlands between the Del ...

Story poles and oleander along I-5

Hi Matt: Travelling between San Diego and Oceanside via the 5 I’ve noticed a couple of things. At the Via de la Valle turn-off on both sides of the freeway there are white PVC pipes ...

Crazy Tree

Will you map the distance from Mia and Kerry’s place to the theater?” I called to David from the bathroom, where I was busy patting my head with wet hands to de-frizz my hair. “Why?,” ...

Accessible Gourmet Fare

Mid-range restaurants, gastropubs, and shops taking things to the next level.

Nowadays, I spend much of my time eating in restaurants or locked up in my office documenting those experiences. But before I wrote my first word about food, most of my time was spent in ...

Crest Canyon Open Space Park

Walk among Torrey pine trees through coastal sage scrub and chaparral plants.

Dangerous/Classy Fans at Offspring’s Del Mar Show

The Offspring show at the Del Mar Racetrack on Friday evening, August 10, kept sheriff's deputies, medical officials, and Elite security guards on edge all night. A large, boisterous crowd waited for the concert to ...

First Hour at the San Diego County Fair

Margaret Austin of Escondido was the first person in line at the fair's front gate and said she has been for at least the past 25 years. She woke up at 3:00 a.m. to board ...

Media Men and News Babes Gather, Gobble, Report on San Diego County Fair

A preview of this year's San Diego County Fair in Del Mar was hosted Friday night, June 1, along the midway of the fairgrounds. The exclusive invitee list included hundreds of local members of the ...

Big Deals at the San Diego County Fair

When the San Diego County Fair paid $80,000 to Gym Class Heroes to be a Grandstand headliner in 2007, one talent buyer said the New York hip-hop quartet was paid $45,000 more than they would ...

Jerry Brown’s Gift Horses

The true source of the bulk of a $15,000 contribution given to the 2014 reelection bid of Democratic governor Jerry Brown by the Thoroughbred Owners of California PAC has finally been revealed. As we reported ...

Carl Hilliard Goes Off to the Races

Lawyer and Del Mar mayor Carl Hilliard, now running for third district county supervisor in a crowded field that includes Steve Danon, aide to GOP congressman Brian Bilbray, and Democratic Solana Beach deputy mayor Dave ...

Jerry Brown’s Horse Race

The election isn’t until 2014, but Democratic governor Jerry Brown is already out raising money for his reelection campaign. Recent donors include beer-making giant Anheuser-Busch, with a $25,900 donation on January 28, and the California ...

Secret Love

“Once, I had a secret love/ That lived within the heart of me./ All too soon, my secret love/ Became impatient to be free.” So sang Doris Day in the Eisenhower-era film Calamity Jane. My ...

That's Not Rockabilly

Newly appointed Del Mar Fair trustee David Lizerbram says he wants the fairgrounds to host more major music events. That’s just not going to happen, according to promoter Garry Thayer, who organized the Hellbilly Fest ...

Fairgrounds Just Got Fairer

A longtime member of the local music scene has been tapped to help run the Del Mar Fairgrounds. David Lizerbram occasionally sits in with Rio Peligroso when the Americana band plays the Riviera Supper Club. ...

Harvest Evangelical Church

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? PL: I think, on average, more than 20 hours. I usually follow a book of the Bible, choose a passage and study the words ...

All’s Fair in the Lobbying War

A newly formed lobbying outfit in Sacramento has picked up some of San Diego County’s heaviest political hitters as clients, including one very influential public agency. According to state disclosure records, Capitol Strategic Advisors, LLC, ...

Del Mar Dog Beach Child Molester Admits Guilt

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

Where do they go when the races are over?

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

San Diego County Fair Worker Calls for Backup

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

Flower Hill Cineplex to Close, Whole Foods to Open

With the recently announced closing of UltraStar Cinemas' Flower Hill four-plex in Del Mar, North County residents between south Carlsbad and Carmel Valley will be without a multiplex movie theater. The Flower Hill theater will ...

Very Good Flavor Del Mar

Jason Maitland was the final chef at Arterra before the Marriott fired him and everybody else to remake the restaurant from scratch. (I haven’t been to the new incarnation and can’t say I’m eager: for ...

Turkado, I Say, at Board & Brew

Another rainy day: Del Mar is not its usual sunny self. I’ve been sheltering in their grand old library. Big ol’ house. What a gem. Now waiting just across Highway 101 — they call this ...

The Big Rich, Part Two

In last week’s cover story, we described how two of America’s richest and most powerful oil barons took a small La Jolla hotel called Del Charro and turned it into an unlikely base for their ...

Oil and Politics in La Jolla

How two Texas oilmen ran Del Mar and national politicians from a La Jolla hotel.

Hotel del Charro: PART ONE It was the vortex of a dark universe, hiding in plain sight. “At La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya), San Diego’s northern suburb,” the New York Times reported on January 17, ...

Del Mar Retains Legal Counsel for Fairgrounds Purchase

During a January 3 meeting, city councilmembers agreed to retain former city councilmember Crystal Crawford to provide legal counsel, on a pro-bono basis, in their efforts to purchase the Del Mar Fairgrounds from the State ...

Del Murky Mar

On December 27, 3375 gallons of sewage gushed into the Zanja Creek after crews from San Diego's Waste Water Department unblocked a clogged sewage pipe in San Diego's Fairbanks Ranch community. Crews were unable to ...

Why Wild Bill Wins at Addison

Yes, I know. When I reviewed Addison in December 2006, shortly after its opening, I swore, “I wouldn’t go back there if somebody paid me — and somebody does.” Service conformed to some vulgar idea ...

With Betfair I Can Bet on That Nag to Come Last

"Something has to change at the track. We need new energy. We need to excite new people, and this new betting system is going to do that,” says Carl Hilliard in a soft voice. He’s ...

Del Mar and Solana Beach Are Off to the Races

Solana Beach city councilmembers gathered in council chambers on Thanksgiving eve expecting to review the response from Del Mar councilmembers about their proposal for both cities to combine efforts and buy the Del Mar Fairgrounds ...

Neighbors for a Transit Solution Address Del Mar City Council About Train Platform

A group of residents named Neighbors for a Transit Solution appeared before the Del Mar City Council on October 18 to protest the possible construction of a multimillion-dollar train platform between 21st and 24th streets ...

North County Transit Confounded by Photo of Del Martians

Justin Fornelli, Chief Rail Engineer for the North County Transit District, appeared before the transit system's board of directors on October 19 at NCTD’s headquarters in Oceanside to report on the status of the temporary ...

North County Transit Meets with Del Mar Denizens over Temporary Train Stop

Several Del Mar residents and members of the press surrounded a table in Nancy Fisher's Del Mar living room. At the table sat the executive director for North County Transit Matt Tucker, chief rail engineer ...

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