Vista Stories

God seen in both gutters and high-rises

Pastor Derek DaPena of New Community Church of Vista

Membership: 250 Pastor: Derek DaPena Age: 35 Born: Bellflower Formation: Biola University, La Mirada; Azusa Pacific University Seminary, Azusa Years Ordained: 8 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor Derek ...

The science of wild ales

Toolbox brewer Ehren Schmidt crafts beer in a lab

Vista barrel-aged and wild ale specialist Toolbox Brewing Company has enjoyed a year of recognition and growth since bringing on head brewer Ehren Schmidt last summer. The four barrel brewhouse expanded into an adjacent industrial ...

The only cemitas shop in San Diego

Cemitas Fandanguero takes on New York

While chatting with a friend in New York recently, he told me, “I know you don’t think we have good Mexican food in the city, but I just got the best cemita in Brooklyn.” “Yeah, ...

Belching Beaver getting big

Six-packs, sours, and a full restaurant in the works

Belching Beaver Brewing has been in serious expansion mode this spring. In March, the company more than quadrupled its capacity by moving in to a 30-barrel production brewery in Oceanside. Meanwhile, its original 15-barrel Vista ...

Pro skate park opens in Vista

Pro Neal Mims says, “It’s about the kids and the community."

In a nondescript warehouse in Vista’s Business Park district, pro-skater Neal Mims opened his new indoor skatepark. The March 30 reservation-only session was a preview to the park’s public opening on April 2. About 40 ...

San Diego breweries and bands pair up

Vista's rock scene goes with craft beer

Hangovers aside, the proliferation of craft beer in San Diego has made little impact on its local rock scene. But for some areas of the county, breweries hosting live shows have established music venues in ...

When Jesus was found in the Monkey Place

Interview with Pastor Rob Savlato

“Some will ask, ‘How can a loving God send people to hell?’”

Fill up on gas and ribs at Vista Chevron

When Pigs Fly brings barbecue to an unlikely location

When I moved to Vista in the 1980s, there was a barbecue place located in a run-down shack on S. Santa Fe Avenue which served great food, but the venue took some getting used to. ...

San Diego deputies "obviously intoxicated"

Undercover operation stings 4 out of 8 liquor stores visited

Undercover sheriff deputies in Vista found plenty of liquor-store clerks willing to sell booze to "obviously intoxicated" patrons, according to the results of a sting on Saturday afternoon (December 5). "An undercover deputy entered a ...

Beer and science collide in Vista

Wavelength tasting room hosts lecture series

Just before Thanksgiving, Vista Village's Wavelength Brewing issued its beer in bottles for the first time, offering three stash-in-the-fridge options: a vanilla bean variation of its Off Kilter Scottish heavy, its Ad Astra Belgian quadrupel ...

Anastasia Kirkeby sentenced to therapy

Drug house burned down in July, killing Shelby Ann Black

On the day set for her misdemeanor trial, Anastasia Kirkeby, 50, a woman plagued by multiple drug-related arrests at her home in Encinitas, made a plea deal and was ordered to get counseling. That hearing ...

This just in: Episcopal churches to be sold

“The fact that church attendance is dying in America isn’t news."

Two North County Episcopal churches, both over 60 years old, were told last week that due to declining attendance and compounding red ink, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has decided to fold them. The ...

Vista goes easy on the tat shops

"The whole reason we limited it to one is so we can have some control."

Vista is about to get its third tattoo establishment — after a careful vetting process by a panel of city-council members, economic development folks, and the chamber of commerce. With downtown redevelopment underway, the city ...

Yield vs. Stop sign debate in Vista

"What about speed-bumps?"

After years of watching cars speed through the intersection by her Vista home, Betty Haver got her traffic sign on Tuesday, October 13. After much discussion, the Vista City Council voted unanimously to place “Yield” ...

Vista’s beer buzz

Breweries propel North County city’s makeover

Some residents like that Vista is still sketchy in parts.

Bewitching trip though time and fantasy

Big Fish at Moonlight Stage is a magical winner

A new musical that has been compared to The Music Man and The Wizard of Oz — entitled simply, Big Fish — is currently bewitching audiences at the Moonlight Amphitheater. The story shifts between two ...

Pigs fly in Vista

Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

Pork is highlighted at this new “pub & kitchen” in Vista’s Paseo Santa Fe district, but I decided to go with the tri-tip. A good decision. First I ordered a light fare of ham and ...

I can’t recommend this place for cheesesteaks

Hungry Bear’s signature sandwich disappoints

When I visit a restaurant for the first time without knowing much about it, my usual MO is to ask a server for recommendations. When I got to the Vista location of Hungry Bear Deli ...

Craft-beer clubhouse planned for Vista

Bear Roots Brewing soon to open supply shop and do-it-yourself facility

A new craft-beer concept plans to launch in Vista this month. Bear Roots Brewing Company will open in September as a home-brewing supply shop before adding a brew-on-premises workspace and brewery/tasting room later this fall. ...

The fight for freedom of street sleep

Vote this week to determine lawfulness of bans to shut-eye in vehicles

After dark, parking a home is a problem. That was clear in 2010, when advocates for the houseless opened the first overnight safe parking lot. And the need goes on. “The program was a direct ...

Gigantic proportions

Shrek: The Musical is noisy, bright, and beautiful

Shrek: The Musical is part romance, part twisted fairy and all irreverent fun, and the large cast is currently strutting their stuff at the Moonlight Amphitheater. Based on the Oscar-winning film from Dreamworks, the show ...

Puppy supply line threatened

Vista City Council delays vote that would spell out source requirements

Even though pet-store operator David Salinas's legal bills are mounting, cities are outlawing his puppy-supply pipeline, and animal-welfare activists continue to bite into him, he plans to continue selling puppies. "If you run a small ...

Blunderbuss (hopefully) heard 'round the county

Barrel Harbor tap handle bludgeons beer writer with charm

Keeping track of all the breweries in San Diego County is tough, whether you're a beer reporter or attentive enthusiast. When I think about it the other way around, I marvel at how many have ...

Moonlight's delight

Tradition cuts both ways for The Music Man in North County

There is something magical about the open-air setting of Moonlight Stage Productions’ The Music Man: a perfect spot for the classic American musical. Taking place in River City, Iowa, the story centers around the interactions ...

In fact, there's not a doctor in the house

Kaiser psychiatrist claims constructive termination

Laura Wakil, M.D., a psychiatrist, has sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and related Kaiser organizations for violation of the state health and safety code, retaliation, negligent supervision, and wrongful constructive termination. (Constructive termination is a ...

Sloppy cops and robbers

After caught casing a bank, thieves continued with spree

According to documents filed in federal court, two men, Thomas Ferguson of La Mesa and Duane Bowen of Chula Vista, are responsible for a spate of bank robberies in San Diego and Riverside counties. Also, ...

July is busting out all over!

Theater preview for the month to come

T’is the season. Count some of the ways: NOW PLAYING: La Jolla Playhouse: Come From Away. The world premiere musical, by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, creates a comedy within a tragedy. On the morning ...

Broadway style will bring a smile

Moonlight's All Shook Up stands firm despite shaky foundation

Moonlight’s latest effort, a new musical comedy about a guitar-playing, hip-swiveling roustabout, makes the stage come alive with songs that Elvis Presley made famous. Conceived by Joe DiPietro, the man partially responsible for the musical ...

Our number-one mission is to win other folks to Christ

Every man needs grace and salvation

Membership: 300 Pastor: Philip Clark Age: 61 Born: Covington, KY Formation: Great Plains Baptist College, Sioux Falls, SD Years Ordained: 39 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor Philip ...

Tased into submission and amputations

Sheriff and deputies sued for excessive force, causing brain damage

Attorneys for a man who suffered permanent brain damage after being repeatedly stunned by a sheriff deputy's taser are suing the County of San Diego, two deputies, and sheriff William Gore for failing to properly ...

Vista’s Belching Beaver to construct second brewery in Oceanside

Damn, the Beav sure is growing fast!

Few brewing companies have shown such a burning desire to grow — and grow now — as Vista-based Belching Beaver Brewery. Less than a year after their early 2012 debut, they became one of the ...

Clinton Democrats back Issa staffer tour

$3000 European junket paid for by "Third Way" DC think tank

It used to be that San Diego County's most traveled congressional office belonged to Democrat Susan Davis, who over the years has run up an impressive string of tabs, picked up by special interests, to ...

Not (yet) enough kegs from the Toolbox

Brett specialists keep it exclusively adventurous

Though my initial visit to Toolbox Brewing Company didn’t yield beers that cashed in on the brewery’s ultimate potential, they were promising, and I’ve made it a point to check out their beers whenever an ...

Moving, shaking, brewing

Urge Gastropub owners move on from Vista bowling alley to O-side brewpub

It’s been nearly two years since Urge Gastropub co-owner Grant Tondro announced a grand scheme to convert a former Vista fitness center into a combination brewpub, bottle shop, and bowling alley. That ambitious interest was ...

Issa's new beard and an aide's free travel

House member vies for rock star status, takes shots at Hillary at SXSW

An assistant to North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa — whose failed bid for a repeat term as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been chalked up by some to his ...

Lupulin Against Lupus

Aztec brings back formerly local brewer to collaborate on charity IPA

Even though it was for the best, I was sad to see Kevin Buckley exit the San Diego beer industry. A former brewmaster at Vista’s Latitude 33 Brewing Company who also logged time at Alpine ...

For the most insatiable hophead

Mother Earth’s Primordial Imperial IPA a balanced powerhouse

Two weeks ago, while manning my beer beat at the latest meeting of the San Diego Brewers Guild, I took advantage of the hospitality of our host, Mother Earth Brew Co., and cashed in my ...

Cops and hops

Now read this if headed for malted barley along SR-78

“It’s not like we’re going to camp out in the parking lot of an establishment.” Lt. Eric Skaja, spokesman for the Escondido Police Department, maintains that the “Avoid the Eight on the 78” campaign isn’t ...

In honor of Ernie and all veterans

Vista gets started (and restarted) on military memorials

By the end of 2015, Vista will have two new military memorials. The Vista Hi-Noon Rotary Club recently broke ground to build a memorial wall that pays homage to all branches of the military. "This ...

Vista’s lavender vortex

While at a desert music festival last November, Jarrod Heidt hooked up with some of the bands he’d book at his new Vista venture. “It was the third annual Borrego Mi Diego. It was like ...

Beer Touring: Wavelength Brewing Company

New nanobrewery gives Old Town Vista its second craft beer dispensary

Most of the time, I try to suppress my enthusiasm over checking out new brewing companies, waiting long enough for them to get on their feet and get some brews under their belts before I ...

Best beer futures: Part II

The rest of the county’s most exciting upcoming brewery projects.

On December 18, I shared the top five most intriguing upcoming brewery projects in San Diego County. The following are the seven that fill out the dozen top brewery-owned works in progress. 6. Project X ...

When in North County, seek comfort food

Checking out Vista's top cinnamon roll

What drew me to the Curbside Café was its claim to be "Home of Vista's #1 Cinnamon Roll." Now, I can't speak to how many cinnamon rolls in Vista vie for this distinction, but seeing ...

Chinchilla rancher Lurlie Adams passes away

"Borrowed time" runs out for elderly woman suing PETA for false claims

“She’s 90 years old. That right there seems good enough to me. You know, she’s on borrowed time if you look at statistics. So, I am concerned about having this case drag on.” A superior ...

Young gangster wastes life

“The lengthy prison term is for defendants just like Mr. Flores.”

Fallbrook gang member Christopher Flores was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 30 years to life plus another 20 years in state prison on Monday, December 1. The total years were compounded because of ...

Walmart protest a call to unionize

But raising the minimum wage would lead to less jobs…right?

While thousands of shoppers were out on November 28 making Black Friday purchases, about 30 protesters were picketing the Walmart in Vista. A group of teachers, labor union leaders, students, and one priest gathered at ...

Everyday meth snorter at age 13

With multiple convictions behind him, Gregory Smith gets another chance

Vista resident Gregory Dwight Smith, 47, was given credit for time already served and ordered into three years of formal probation in San Diego Superior Court on November 13. Smith began his criminal history when ...

The cream soda of cream ales

Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co. has a vanilla-laced workhorse in its stable

When most brewers contemplate recipes for their beers, they envision Belgian abbeys, a rustic Germanic brewhaus, old English structures, or French farmhouses, calling to mind romantic notions of places where the world’s classic styles were ...

Dark Days at Iron Fist

Vista brewery set to debut a rum barrel-aged imperial stout.

As temperatures begin their annual, wintry decent — OK, so we’re only talking a few degrees in sunny San Diego, but humor me — thoughts of tropical isles are hardly top of mind. But Vista’s ...

"She was killed in a frenzy"

Vista man who used shopping cart to dump body found guilty

A man accused of wheeling his deceased girlfriend down the street in a shopping cart to dump her body near a trash bin was found guilty of first-degree murder this week. Kirk Leon Stapleton, 54, ...

A bona fide chinchilla rescue, asserts PETA

Animal-rights group says Vista breeder’s methods were cruel

An attorney in Virginia who stated that he represented PETA for more than 30 years, Philip J. Hirschkop, responded to questions about a multimillion-dollar civil suit filed in San Diego County last week by attorneys ...

Opens and annies

October 24 | Grand Opening: New centrally located 32 North Brewing Company will throw open its doors and throw down with a Day One inventory of core beers such as Landfall Berliner Weisse, Fly By ...

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