Event Picks of the Week

Total Kick

Inside Alliance Gym, near downtown Chula Vista, Eric Delfierro bustles from one end of the gym to the other, sweating almost as much as the 15 mixed-martial-arts fighters he is training. Of those 15 fighters, ...

Ivy and Concrete

“Squash is associated with Ivy League schools and expensive athletic clubs,” says Renato Paiva, executive director of Surf City Squash. “But that image is changing. Right now there are 55 colleges in the country [with ...

Popcorn, Pole Dance, Mosquito Net

“You should keep it to no more than six kinds of wine at a party,” says Christopher Silva, president and CEO of St. Francis Winery and Vineyards of Sonoma. “You don’t want your guests to ...

Longboards on Asphalt

“Anybody who is first learning how to ride should get a longboard,” says skateboarder Brad Harvey. “It’s definitely more stable, like a longer snowboard or surfboard would be. Bicyclists think we’re nuts when they realize ...

Help for the Kelp

“One of the most important predators in the kelp forest is the California sheephead, a fish that changes sex during its lifetime,” says marine ecologist Edward Parnell. All California sheephead begin life as females and ...

Can’t Get Enough

“I’m not sure if Animal House is as cult-y as Harold and Maude — it might be a little bit more mainstream,” says Lauren Turner, marketing and communications coordinator for the Museum of Photographic Arts. ...

Bellies and Hornpipes

“American Tribal Style is an inclusive belly-dance form,” says dancer Sandi Kay. “The dancer in the lead position can cue the dancers on what move they’re going to do next, so every dance ends up ...

Tiki Time

“A tiki party is different than a luau,” says Otto von Stroheim, publisher of Tiki News magazine. “Luaus have hula dancers and Hawaiian-style music and a roasted pig. At a tiki party there’s bongo music, ...

Charity Checkers

“Some people will flat out tell you, ‘I don’t want anything too hard,’” says Kathryn Smith. “With most people, you can just kind of tell what games they’d be good at. I had one crowd ...

Women in Summer

“In the past, if we had a French exhibition, we’d show French films,” says Golda Akhgarnia, public relations coordinator for the San Diego Museum of Art. “This year we’re celebrating a ‘summer of women’ theme ...

Thrashers

“I grew up on a farm in Cole Camp, Missouri. I enjoyed watching amateur rodeos, but my family wasn’t a rodeo family,” says professional bull rider Matt Bohon. “I’d see bareback riding, bucking horses, calf ...

Bugs in My Brew

“Before brewers became cognizant of microbiology and sanitation, I imagine there were a lot more sour beers,” says Mitch Steele, head brewer for Stone Brewing Co. “It’s not only bacteria but wild yeast as well ...

Peek at a Penguin

“For the full-moon paddle, sometimes there’s phosphorescence in the water,” says Julie Hocking, office manager of the education department for the San Diego Natural History Museum. “It’s like a neon green. When I paddle I ...

How Not to Hit Each Other

“There are a couple of shoals in the bay — one at the south end of Shelter Island — that people run aground on,” says Jim Holmberg, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Education Officer. A ...

Armadillo for Dinner

“Once I ran out of dry underwear I started hitchhiking, which is something you can do easily on a bike,” says author Jim Malusa. “A bike evokes a certain amount of sympathy. And everyone knows ...

Trail Doggies

“If your dog cannot be commanded with ‘come’ and ‘stay’ 100 percent of the time, you should probably not have your dog on a trail,” says Allen Riedel, author and hiking enthusiast. “Most places in ...

Dying Ocean, Dying Bay

“In the mid to late 1990s, we saw a lot of contamination — from places like the shipyards in particular — flowing freely off those sites, like Southwest Marine and NASSCO [National Steel and Shipyard ...

Local Films, Local Responsibility

“Cottonwood Creek is the watershed in Encinitas that flows out into Moonlight Beach,” says Carris Rhodes, program assistant for the Cottonwood Creek Environmental Film Festival. “It used to be really smelly and dirty. Then [approximately ...

America's Own Instrument

“On the banjo, as on a guitar, there are pieces of metal — on ours they’re made of nickel silver — called frets,” says Carolina Bridges, director of public relations for Deering banjos. “They have ...

Fallbrook, the Beautiful

“I believe that in the history of the Fallbrook Music Society you would find a group of people who moved here, who enjoyed music and arts, and thought, ‘Boy, it’s a pain to have to ...

True Lagoon

“In June 2000, the highly invasive Caulerpa taxifolia — the aggressive algae which has destroyed thousands of acres of the Mediterranean Sea — was discovered [in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon], most likely dumped into the ...

Zydeco Is Like Oysters

“The word ‘zydeco’ comes from the Cajun-French song ‘Les haricots san pa sale,’” says Peter Oliver, musician and co-promoter of the Gator by the Bay Festival. “In French that means ‘the snap beans aren’t salty,’ ...

Livable Landscapes

“This neighborhood [Olivenhain] is what we call an ‘urban-wildland interface,’” says Nan Sterman, author of California Gardener’s Guide. “You have to be careful that what you do in your garden does not have a negative ...

Intimate Opera

“Operetta is a lighter genre; it’s somewhat bubbly and occasionally frivolous and comedic in nature,” says Tom Oberjat, coordinator and tenor for the Solana Intimate Ensemble, an opera singing group. Eight members of the San ...

Fruit Rare and Tasty

“The jaboticaba comes from Brazil; in South America they call it the black cherry,” says José Gallego, San Diego chapter chair for the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. “They’re expensive because they can take several ...

Pre and Post Prom

PROM TIPS AS SEEN ON NBC'S STREETSIDE SAN DIEGO TRANSPORTATION: Warm up your dance moves on the way to the prom in a party bus! Top Dog Limo: $140 (plus 20% tip) for bus max ...

Bound by Fear

“Gated communities are created for different reasons, but the reasons are all about fear,” says president of the American Anthropological Association Setha M. Low. “In places like California, where the cities can’t expand their tax ...

Eight Oars in the Water

“Rowing isn’t a huge thing for most high schools, so we mainly get kids with no experience at all,” says head coach of the University of California San Diego men’s crew, Zach Johnson. “UCSD just ...

Watch the Birdie

“There is a kind of goofy stereotype of birdwatchers, that birders always have that funny hat and something like a fishing vest with all those pockets,” says biologist Tom Troy. “I don’t have one, but ...

The 8000 B.C. Deerhunter

“Only one other fluted point has ever been found in San Diego,” says George Kline, graduate student in archaeology at San Diego State University. Kline describes a fluted point as an arrowhead with a “channel ...

We Know We're Not White

“Scientifically, there is nothing meaningfully different about people in different racial groups,” says Laura E. Gómez, professor of law at the University of New Mexico. “Race is socially constructed; it’s not rooted in biology. Race ...

Rancho Romance

“We chose these movies because this particular branch has an 80 percent Hispanic-of-Mexican-descent population,” says Catherine Greene, librarian for the Mountain View/Beckwourth branch library. “They like taking these movies out, particularly the classics, and I ...

Get a Natural Clean

“I see people all the time spraying Windex on their countertop and then slapping down a sandwich — they don’t realize all the chemicals that are left on the counter from the Windex, like petroleum ...

Poway Mint Under Threat

“People who camp out there are not wilderness people, they’re more like transients and drug addicts,” says city ranger John Garwood. “We’ve found needles and pipes. The most common [items found] are plastic bottles, vegetable ...

Arnold Understands

“The reason it’s a bloodier sport than boxing is that you’re allowed to use elbows and knees,” says Eric Del Fierro, chief operating officer for Total Combat Entertainment, a San Diego–based mixed martial arts event-production ...

Hot, Miserable, Amazing

“The first thing I learned was that the man who has water on the mountain is king,” says hiking enthusiast Dana Law. “Water is absolutely the most important thing you’ll have in Southern California, because ...

Desert Maneuvers

“How do you establish camps, find water, and fight long-distance when it’s 110 degrees? If you’re not acclimatized, you’re fighting your environment and not your enemy,” says Fred Jee, supervising ranger for the Anza-Borrego Desert ...

To the Editor:

“The North County Times has a unique policy of printing virtually any letter they get, as long as it is 200 words or less and has no profanity or slander,” says Dick Eiden. “After a ...

The Vanishing Bees

“Colony collapse disorder is an immune system disorder. The bees’ immune system is compromised, which might be due to the stress [commercial beekeepers] are putting on the bees,” says beekeeper Diane Busch. “It’s big business. ...

The Blue Barrel

"The Miramar landfill is set to reach capacity by 2013," says Steve South, president of Edco Disposal, a waste-collection and recycling company headquartered in Lemon Grove. "This means we're going to have to recycle more ...

A Night on Mars

"Mars has a lot of lava tubes from when it was geologically active. You can go in there, spray plastic on the walls to make it airtight, and you've got a house," says Gerry Williams, ...

Action Adjustment

"One of the reasons I've been able to pay my rent is a procedure called 'neck-angle reset,'" says Bill Meyer. "That's removing the neck from the guitar and changing the angle that the neck is ...

Strange Revival

"The Salton City 500 began in 1961 and ran for ten years," says Scott B. Davis. The 500-mile boat race was held on a triangular course in the Salton Sea, a 35-mile-by-15-mile saltwater lake located ...

Splat! You're Dead

"The Marines got into it just recently," says Ryan Greenspan, founding member of the professional paintball team San Diego Dynasty. "They see it as a militant sport because guns are involved. I don't think there ...

Union Thugs and Warren Buffett

"According to government legislation, people aren't responsible enough to survive doing anything," says Frank H. Steensnaes. "What if footwear was determined to be a crucially important element of human survival and the government decided to ...

Patterns, Poems

"Poetry is somewhere between singing and speaking," says neurologist Ani Patel. "It's using the voice in a regulated way, with pitch and time. The Iliad and the Odyssey, before they were written down, were transmitted ...

Defensible Landscape

"With the fires, we saw just how dry it is," says Marty Eberhardt, executive director for the Water Conservation Garden. "We only get 10 percent of our water locally." At least 85 percent of the ...

Save the Sea

"The main thing we have to worry about is how to get phosphorous out of the water coming in," says Sherrie Nuyen, special project coordinator for the Desert Shores Improvement Association. Desert Shores is a ...

Design Trumps Function

"Weavers are more at ease, more laid back maybe, and very patient -- warping a loom can take four to six hours," says Palomar Handweavers' Guild member Lynn Ely. "Everyone is so hypered out now ...

Bourbon Laws

"Before bourbon goes into the barrel, they char the inside by literally lighting the barrel on fire," says Sheri Haupt, Southern California area manager for bourbon distributor Future Brands. "They char it to a depth, ...

Arts without Agenda

'The Salvation Army insisted on seeing a purely cultural event with political eyes and then complained that the event was political," says Manal Swairjo, co-organizer of the concert featuring Lebanese oud (Arabic lute) composer Marcel ...

Ssssssssssss

'There are so many people that seem to fear snakes. They think they're all venomous or dangerous," says Shawn Silva, president of the San Diego Herpetological Society. "A large part of that is that most ...

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