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Stories by Ken Harrison

Chargers now on KFI AM 640

Spanos and Rivers gave hints.

Los Angeles’ KFI AM 640 radio announced on April 26, it will be the flagship radio home of the Los Angeles Chargers. The 50,000-watt powerhouse station can be heard throughout San Diego County. The afternoon ...

Decision on sportfishing landing at Oceanside Harbor postponed

Sea Center and Helgren's won't occupy same space.

After stalling for almost eight months, on April 19, the Oceanside city council has kicked the can down the road for another six months regarding which firm will operate the sportfishing landing at Oceanside Harbor. ...

DeMaio enlists KFI’s John and Ken in recall of Josh Newman

KOGO’s talk jock hopes to use Gazelle Plan against gas tax increase

Upset over the legislature’s imposed 12 cents per gallon gas tax (20 cents for diesel) passed on April 5, Carl DeMaio, on his April 10 talk show on AM 600 KOGO, announced his “Gazelle Plan” ...

Solana Beach Antique Warehouse ceding ground to Williams Sonoma's West Elm

Until 1977 it was Tri-City Roller Rink

With the recent closure of Solana Beach’s Antique Warehouse, in the Cedros Design District, the 35-year old business brings up memories of years gone by. Not necessarily from only the customers and renters of the ...

Oceanside’s fountain, turned back on, comes into view

City eyes Camp Pendleton front gate for water source

A five-foot high, decorative wrought iron fence erected around the Oceanside Civic Center’s large plaza’s fountains has finally come down. The 400-foot of temporary blue fence was first erected in April of 2015 to help ...

OSH - another big box first for San Marcos

In competition with Lowe's and owned by Lowe's

San Marcos will soon be the first North County home to OSH – formally known as Orchard Supply Hardware. The 86-year-old boutique home center chain has been centered primarily in the Bay Area, with 91 ...

Tungsten smaller, lead cheaper

"Show me one fisherman that has ever been diagnosed with lead poisoning. Hasn’t happened."

Ryan Zinke, President Trump’s new interior secretary, announced a reversal of the Obama administration’s ban on lead used in fishing sinkers and tackle on federally controlled waters one day after his March 1 confirmation. In ...

State to San Diego fishermen: Drop dead

Recreational fishing closed off during massive study

Over 100 people gathered in Pacific Beach on March 20, for the release of data from a five-year, $4 million study of the state’s South Coast Marine Protection Areas. The study began in 2011 and ...

Cardiff walled off by Amtrak double track project

Chesterfield Drive your only way to the beach

Orange is the new color seen around Cardiff-by-the-Sea as the North County Transit District and Caltrans have blanketed the town with miles of orange construction fencing. Most of Cardiff’s four miles of train track right-of-way ...

Gas from the past now pumps in Coronado

Sinclair's dinosaur mascot first walked the earth in 1932

The Valero gas station in Coronado switched its branding last week. And it has some customers reminiscing about family road trips through the Midwest. The station, at 400 Orange Avenue, had been a Valero station. ...

California Boater Card to be required starting 2018

One more regulation

The California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, has announced new, mandatory, safety-training courses for anyone operating a motorized recreational vessel. The state’s new California Boater Card will become required starting January 1, 2018, ...

Borrego's bloom boom

"We couldn’t get into any restaurants to eat. But the flowers were beautiful."

For the second time in a week, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department issued a traffic advisory for the Borrego Springs area March 17 — too many visitors in town to see the desert wildflowers. ...

Big Bear hot for winter trout

District hopes to become its own hatchery next year

While hundreds of San Diegan anglers wait for the April 29 trout opener in the mountain lakes of the Eastern Sierra, Big Bear Lake, in the nearby San Bernardino Mountains, is producing some large, high ...

Remember the name of Santee teen Julius Ballo

Southern California Silver Glove champ wins national boxing title

Thirteen-year-old Julius Ballo may be a normal teenager at his Tierra Del Sol middle school in Lakeside, but in the boxing ring, he’s a national champion. The Santee resident started boxing when he was three. ...

Not your typical industrial park

“Even during the recession, we had 95 percent occupancy.”

A nondescript industrial center near Palomar Airport looks like every other in the vicinity. Yet, the nine-building Carlsbad Gateway Center at 5650 El Camino Real is vastly different. “We have 80 businesses that create, innovate, ...

New North County transportation situation

Bus drivers look forward to management change and...raises?

The North County Transit District has announced a new firm, MV Transportation, will operate and maintain its regular bus routes, paratransit, and special transportation services. The contract includes the hiring, training, and employment of bus ...

Say bye to Oceanside Digiplex's squeaky seats

Theater giant buys small chain to add to its big one

On January 31, as I sat in the Oceanside Digiplex Theater at the Mission Market Place, I couldn’t help but be bothered by the squeaky seat behind me; I also noticed a seat covered up ...

Who will drive the trout to Escondido next season?

Tailwalkers' trip from Nebraska no longer economically viable

Unfortunately, this may be the last year for large, record-setting Nebraska Tailwalker trout at three local lakes. The three-year contract with the Chaulk Mound Trout Ranch hatchery in Bridgeport, Nebraska, ends April 19, the last ...

McDonald's sauce hunters swoop on local restaurants

Big Mac gravy seems a good investment — oh, 2017, you...

McDonald’s pulled off a nationwide marketing stunt on January 26, releasing 10,000 bottles of its Big Mac “secret sauce.” The free 11.4-ounce bottles could only be obtained at few undisclosed restaurant locations and by stating ...

Trader Joe narrowly avoids disaster

Elderly driver felt bad, didn't intend to create a drive-through

Around 3:00 p.m. on January 26, a woman in her late 80s backed into the Trader Joe’s in Encinitas, injuring four people. Two victims were transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, one to ...

Farewell, elder statesman

Oceanside politico Sam Williamson departs for the great beyond

Sam Williamson, 80, passed away on January 8. Back in the early 1980s, when Oceanside’s downtown was a crumbling, rough-and-tumble military town, the former Marine and longtime resident stepped up to help start the city’s ...

No news is bad news in North County

Print runs cease for Seaside Courier and SD Discover

The upper-middle income areas of coastal North County, a desirable region for media advertisers, recently lost two print newspapers; another has cut back publication. The monthly Seaside Courier did not print a January edition. Reportedly, ...

Car freaks hit car show

“Jay Leno already has one.”

The darling of the 2017 San Diego International Auto Show that opened yesterday (December 29) was Ford’s new production vehicle, a bright red GT with gull-wing doors that pumps out 600 horsepower with a twin-turbo, ...

Tree to table woodworker in Encinitas

Lumber from 50-foot Aleppo pine won't go to waste

Carlsbad resident Chris Platus tries to save trees — but not from being cut down. The retired California State Parks ranger, now a woodworking hobbyist, seeks out old trees that developers are going to take ...

The business of Santa

Don't tug on the beard, it's real

For the first time since 2003, one of Oceanside’s real bearded Santas, James Wornia, will not be working this Christmas season. Due to health reasons he’s had to cut back. But if the real Santa ...

Lake Wohlford opener angers anglers

Fishermen lose patience

Last week, the City of Escondido stocked Lake Wohlford with 6000 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker rainbow trout for the annual trout opener on December 10. The lake had been closed since December 4, and the ...

Dixon Lake record-breaking trout opener

“It’s a good day when ten- and twelve-pounders are being knocked off the leaderboard.”

December 2 was opening day for Dixon Lake’s 38th annual Trout Derby. With 6000 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker rainbows stocked earlier in the week, derby and lake records were broken over the three-day event. Four ...

Cardiff hippie shop readies for fade-out

Shopping center rent spike could threaten VG's, the Office, and barber

A self-described “hippie shop” that's been around for 37 years will be closing next April. Cardiff by the Sea’s Good Morning store is being forced out because of a tripling in rent. Owner Darreld Kitaen, ...

How supervisor-elect Gaspar avoided the jinx

Road trip!

After a drawn-out vote count that began after election night (November 8), earlier this week county supervisor Dave Roberts called Encinitas mayor Kristin Gaspar to concede the District 3 seat. It wasn't looking so good ...

Trestles toll-road plan dead in the water

Settlement reached after two years in the making

The battle to complete the Highway 241 toll road into San Diego County is finally over. Planners for the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies announced last week that they are dropping future plans to extend ...

Pauma Valley farmers rule

Votes still being counted, but water district board is changed already

Of San Diego's 153 county, city, school, and special district races on the November 8 ballot, Pauma Valley’s Yuima Municipal Water’s 2nd district seat had one of the highest voter turnouts in the county — ...

La Paloma Theatre restoration in progress

Tiles removed, replaced, good for another 80 years

The arts and music community of Encinitas recently got together and held a benefit concert to kick-start the restoration of La Paloma Theatre, built in 1928. "Love the Dove" (paloma is Spanish for dove) featured ...

Suspected drug-smuggler nabbed at Denny's

"Driving with expired tags, that’s just stupidity.”

Just after midnight on November 17, Oceanside police officer D.K. Williams was cruising through the parking lot of the Denny’s restaurant at 487 Harbor Drive when he noticed an expired registration tag on the license ...

Leucadia shop talk soon to stop

“With zoning, I don’t know if the owner can move.”

An eight-unit, three-story, residential, and commercial development in Leucadia will soon replace two businesses and a home, including North County Equipment, one of the last North County small-machine repair shops. The shop’s manager, Shane, says ...

Hey, this election isn't over yet

Votes still being counted by county registrar

With most eyes focused only on the presidential election, and the 30 state offices and propositions, there were also 153 city, school, and special district races in the county. At 4:30 p.m. on November 13, ...

Solar-power financing could spell trouble

"I hate to see people lose their homes over something I was involved with.”

The owner of a North County solar-power company says he sees the next housing bubble bursting on the horizon. While it’s the hand that feeds much of his business now, he says it’s the same ...

Digging it in Del Mar

Where they dumping all that sand?

Excavation for a 369-car, three-story parking structure at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center is in full swing, sending up to 40 semi-trucks daily onto the roadways of North County, according to a construction worker ...

Sea Center seeks to drop anchor in Oceanside Harbor

First, longtime charter business renegotiates lease with city

The battle for sportfishing in Oceanside Harbor may not be over. Although Helgren’s Sportfishing was scheduled to lose their 38-year-long lease in May of 2017, on November 2 it was discovered that the fishing-charter business ...

Encinitas loses longtime restaurants

“Normally you’d get three to six months to move. Thirty days? That’s ridiculous.”

October 26 was a sad day for customers of two longtime Encinitas restaurants: Kealani’s Hawaiian food and next-door neighbor Manhattan Giant Pizza both announced it would be their last day in business. On September 30 ...

Pepsi beats out Coke for Oceanside contract

Still not too late to force a hearing

The Coke vs. Pepsi war may be heating up in Oceanside. The city will most likely be switching to Pepsi as their official soft-drink provider, to the chagrin of some city employees. “I feel like ...

Encinitas gas station stories

USA to become Arco — both owned by Tesoro

On October 17, the USA gas station off I-5 at Birmingham Drive in Cardiff by the Sea was set to shut down and begin a makeover to an Arco branded station. In an Arco-less city ...

Next up out of Carlsbad's McClellan-Palomar Airport

“If you’re looking to link up with other airlines, JetSuite is not for you.”

Another new airline took flight out of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad on October 17. It is the fourth such airline to try doing business out of the North County airport since United Express pulled out ...

Vote for Gary Ernst (R.I.P.)

Recently deceased Oceanside treasurer gets endorsement from councilman

In Oceanside, a campaign has been mounted to encourage people to vote for a deceased candidate. City treasurer Gary Ernst passed away on September 22. The 61-year-old had reportedly been battling diabetes. Oceanside police found ...

Encinitas battle lines drawn

Rail Trail realities pump up interest in local elections

In Encinitas, in what is supposed to be a nonpartisan race for city council, the battle lines are now clearly drawn for November’s elections, with a slate of three candidates on both the conservative and ...

Gun-shop opening garners councilman's proclamation

“I’m not only a supporter. I’m a customer.”

On September 17, over 800 people turned out for the grand opening of the GS Glockstore in Kearny Mesa. The event raised over $6000 for fallen San Diego police officer John DeGuzman. Representing the Clairemont/Kearny ...

Oceanside Blade press runs again

"I’m getting thank-you notes."

Former Oceanside publisher Tom Missett, 75, couldn’t stay away from print journalism. After being out of the daily newspaper business for 19 years, he’s brought back a familiar North County newspaper: the Oceanside Blade issued ...

No Encinitas home for Mom or Pop

Longtime Mexican restaurant the next to close up

August 21 was the last day of business for Garcia’s, a longtime Mexican restaurant in Encinitas’ Village Square I strip mall shopping center, on the 1400 block of Encinitas Boulevard. According to neighboring businesses, the ...

Oceanside Harbor battle ended?

Fishing businesses chart courses for zero conflict

The battle for recreational sportfishing in Oceanside Harbor may be over. The long-standing dispute between "Captain Joe" Cacciola of the Sea Star and the landing’s operator, Helgren’s Sportfishing, has been decided. On August 19, it ...

Encinitas Kentucky Fried Chicken flies the coop

“I got to work and they were just gone.”

The Kentucky Fried Chicken at 266 North El Camino Real closed abruptly last week. The signage and familiar KFC logos were removed overnight. “I got to work and they were just gone,” said an employee ...

The haunted steakhouse and taller Oceanside tales

Capone, Shatner, and Gilligan linked to local lore

There are several stories that have been circulating around Oceanside for decades. Unfortunately, it's now been revealed that most are not true. Yet, there is that one about the Hunter Steakhouse being haunted... That one ...

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