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Stories by Ken Harrison

Pencils make a comeback at San Dieguito

Reintroduction of dispenser, discovery of Gimpy's graffiti

Little did Encinitas resident Norm Keith know that his 1953 act of high school hi-jinx would be discovered in 2015. Keith was a senior at San Dieguito High School in the early '50s when he ...

Overweight San Salvador launch sunk

Don’t want to use two competing cranes to launch San Salvador

The planned floating of the full-scale replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s 1542 ship, the San Salvador, was grounded prior to its highly anticipated April 19 launch date. Engineers discovered the 151-ton ship weighed too much. ...

Cartman, where are you?

Accumulation of shopping carts awaits pickup at Encinitas city yard

Residents along Encinitas’ Santa Fe Drive may be wondering what’s going on with all the shopping carts. The 19 carts have been sitting for weeks in front of a San Dieguito Water District’s maintenance yard ...

Big trout predicted for Eastern Sierra opener

Hundreds of San Diegans are getting ready for the Eastern Sierra trout season opener on April 25. The annual six-hour trek up Highway 395 turns out thousands of anglers from Southern California in search of ...

Where there's hope, there's a fire station

Encinitas community and businesses consider new use for empty building

For sale or lease: one used fire station. The City of Encinitas is looking for another use for the old Cardiff by the Sea fire station. Built in 1960, the 1600-square-foot, two-truck station was the ...

Spock lobster

Trekkies on Encinitas council unmask themselves, declare territory for Spock

No, it was not an April Fool’s joke or a Cardiff Kook prank. The City of Encinitas officially proclaimed a Vulcan Avenue block for its favorite Vulcan — Mr. Spock. “Spock Block” was proclaimed for ...

He lay in wait with packing tape

Solana Beach parents of attempted kidnap victim email urgent warning

The parents of a seven-year-old Solana Beach girl, who was the victim of an attempted kidnapping on March 23, are speaking out to area residents via an email plea. The botched abduction occurred at 3:30 ...

If it's about water, it's about a fight

Fallbrook district tries to gobble Rainbow's

Residents of Rainbow and Bonsall feel threatened by what they say is a hostile takeover attempt of their water district by the Fallbrook Public Utility District. The mostly agricultural community of Rainbow, east of Fallbrook ...

Pacific View saved

$10 million for 2.8 acres of Encinitas bluff top? Not bad

On March 12, the City of Encinitas offered the public their first walk-through of the former Pacific View Elementary School site. The public got see what their $10 million purchased. Closed since 2003, the 2.8-acre ...

The last bookstore opening ever?

Garage shop in Carlsbad has low-low overhead. And soul.

Bucking the trend of old-school small businesses being killed off by technology and the internet, Sean Christopher recently expanded his love of books into a freestanding garage bookstore, named Lhooq Books. The small space offers ...

Cardiff's unwelcomed wall of ugly

Barriers on bluff top rankle residents and just about everyone else

Cardiff by the Sea residents noticed last month the placement of what they described as, “ugly,” “intrusive,” and “view-blocking” barricades along San Elijo Avenue, which has an elevated view of the ocean; over a two-block ...

Port hole

Oceanside police received an emergency call around midnight on March 10. A boat was sinking in the Oceanside Harbor at the L Dock. Officer John Hoover arrived shortly to find a 34-foot Tollycraft boat submerged ...

Cookie time is over, people

Girl Scouts end 2015's national bake sale

March 8 was the close of the 2015 Girl Scout cookie sales season. Cookie lovers who couldn’t resist buying boxes of Peanut Butter Patties, Do-si-Dos, and Cranberry Citrus Crisps also noticed the price increase — ...

Gas price sag

ISIS fighters and refinery explosion in Torrance fail to jack up prices

The dramatic rise in gasoline prices cracked on Thursday, March 5. Just as oil-industry watchers predicted, there was no true explanation for the daily price increase that occurred in San Diego County during the past ...

Don't play ball then?

Likely the last year Little Leaguers can use Magdalena Ecke YMCA fields

With opening day of the 2015 Encinitas Little League baseball on March 7, until last week, the league wasn’t sure it would hear “play ball” this year. And this may be the last year they ...

When reporting a fire, best to use a land line

Olivenhain incident shows the downside of using a cell phone

Friday night, February 20, a eucalyptus tree caught on fire in the 600 block of Windmill Ranch Road in Olivenhain. Around 8:00 p.m., residents Nadine and Robert noticed what they described as a “giant torch” ...

Beagle brigade rolls into Encinitas

Over 30 dogs rescued from hoarder who called to request help

Just before 11:00 a.m. on February 23, 35 beagles arrived at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas. Taken from the home of a hoarder, the dogs were brought in by four vehicles, with the ...

"Philosophical differences," as usual

Oceanside city manager "steps down" following closed-session meeting

Following a February 18 closed-door session of the Oceanside City Council, city manager Steve Jepsen “stepped down.” “He’s gone. He’s completely gone, out,” said an employee arriving for work the next day. Jepsen was city ...

If a tree falls in an suburban forest...

Massive eucalyptus blows over in townhome parking lot

A fairly new Cardiff by the Sea family got a welcome-to-the-neighborhood wake-up with last week’s Santa Ana winds. The National Weather Service had called for a two-day high-wind alert. Bursts of up to 80 miles ...

Beware: Publishers Clearing House scam

Lt. Aaron Doyle of the Oceanside PD has nothing to do with it

There seem to be a lot of Publishers Clearing House $100,000 Sweepstakes winners in Oceanside. According to the Oceanside Police Department, elderly or live-alone residents have been receiving calls from a “Lieutenant Aaron Doyle,” claiming ...

What's the hang-up with the San Salvador?

Ship out of water, still

The full-scale replica of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s Spanish galleon, the San Salvador, is ready for launch. But the champagne bottle won’t be broken just yet. Originally planned for fall of last year, the re-creation of ...

Nature slinks through the neighborhood

Bobcat caught on camera in Cardiff

Most residents in the neighborhoods east of I-5, in the vast amount of open space near the San Elijo Lagoon and its Escondido Creek watershed (flowing between Olivenhain and Rancho Santa Fe), purchased homes in ...

Sigh… Remember lowering gas prices?

Better go fill up — that romance may be ending

Uh-oh! Gas prices are on the rise. Late Friday afternoon, January 30, gas prices at three Cardiff by the Sea stations — Valero, Chevron, and USA — shot up six cents a gallon more than ...

Listen, this is a life and death matter

Prominent citizen flames Encinitas Fire Dept. for mismanagement

Last week, Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident Bob Bonde showed the Encinitas City Council how the city could save $2.5 million. He’s been telling the same story to the council for years. And the city’s firefighter’s union will ...

What's poppin? Not corn

Hardware store's popcorn machine shut down by health department

Customers coming into the ACE Hardware store on Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas are missing something. Something that was as important as the wide selection of nuts and bolts, and friendly advice. The fresh, free, ...

Suckling at the pump

Cheap gas day at Escondido station forces tanker truck to wait

On the morning of January 16, the Escondido Vons gas station at 469 W. Felicita Avenue, at the corner of South Centre City Parkway, posted a price of $2.09/gallon for regular — a price far ...

Reality, Encinitas style

Car-shop owners expect success with TV pilot program

Encinitas may soon be the star in a new TV show. A pilot for a proposed “reality” series, entitled “Life on the Lot,” follows the lives of Gene and Karen Ventura; owners of EZ Cars ...

But the spirit of 76 lives on

Gas station off Tamarack demolished

An unsightly, out-of-business 76 gas station on Carlsbad’s Tamarack Drive/I-5 exit was demolished last week. The final demolition, removal of the 40-foot-high sign with the orange 76-ball logo, was taken down on January 11. The ...

Bluff collapse

Sandstone hillside in Cardiff slides toward staircase

A bluff collapse hit below the San Elijo State Campground in Cardiff-by-the Sea on Friday, January 9. No one was injured below. Cheryl, who walks daily along the beach, said she walking down the wooden ...

Gas-price bloat

County's nine most expensive stations asked why they buck the trend

With gas prices falling every day in San Diego, averaging $2.63 a gallon on January 9 (according to gasbuddy.com), motorists may wonder why nine stations in the county seem to be bucking the declining-price trend. ...

Move along, people...just a retirement party

Strong motorcycle cop presence in Encinitas

In the early afternoon on January 8, 25 clean and shiny San Diego police motorcycles parked in formation in front of La Paloma Theatre and the D Street Bar & Grill. Those passing by on ...

Gargantuan grocery-store shakeup

Cerberus owns Albertsons owns Vons/Safeway

The merger between Albertsons supermarkets and the parent company of Vons — Safeway — will cause the closing of numerous stores in San Diego County, it was recently announced. To avoid lack-of-competition pressure from the ...

Rat daddies skate their hearts out

Encinitas opens 44-acre park on last day of the year

Without any announcement or fanfare, the City of Encinitas, on December 31, took down all the security fencing surrounding its new, multiuse, 44-acre park. While under construction for over a year, once the skate park’s ...

Red-light flash fright unnecessary

It only looks like they're taking photos in Oceanside

It has been one month since the City of Oceanside turned off their red-light cameras. Yet, the camera units at four Oceanside intersections still flash and take pictures, and the signs are still posted. “The ...

Burger nation

Oceanside council approves second In-N-Out

On December 17, the Oceanside City Council approved a second In-N-Out Burger location for the city. A council well known for their divisive three-two vote splits on most issues, its members voted unanimously for the ...

At work on Christmas

What it’s like

Christmas Day seems to be the last sacred work holiday for most employees working in the retail, food, and service industries — for some anyway. Back in the 1970s, I worked several Christmases at the ...

Need for speed

$100K public relations tool

The Oceanside Police Department has a new crime-fighting vehicle for their arsenal. No, it's not one of those surplus, armored Humvees being given away by the federal government. It’s a sleek 2015 Nissan GT-R, one ...

We’re special

Most expensive gas in San Diego

Here’s one list a small business may not want to be on: the highest price gas in San Diego County. With global demand for oil decreasing, and U.S. production increasing, gas prices are falling daily. ...

I-5 to get a few more drivers

United Express stops flights into Palomar Airport

United Airlines announced this week that it will be closing its operation at Palomar-McClellan Airport. Operated as United Express through their partner, SkyWest Airlines, the up-to-seven flights daily to LAX will cease sometime before April ...

The only small appliance fix-it shop left in the county

Marts Appliance Service set to close after 50 years of business.

Paul and Marlene Page have owned Marts Appliance Service, at 7423 East Valley Parkway, since 1964. Since 2002, they have been the only small appliance “fix-it” shop left in the county. December 31 will be ...

First trout at Lake Wohlford

On Friday, December 12, Ben Holden of Escondido caught the first trout of Lake Wohlford’s 2014/15 season. The two-plus pounder Nebraska Tailwalker rainbow was snagged on a nightcrawler and garlic Power Bait, around 6:50 a.m., ...

Flooding in Leucadia damages three businesses

Heavy rain on the morning of December 12 damaged three businesses at 1002 North Coast Highway in Leucadia. After several hours of heavy downpour, employees arriving around 8:00 a.m. found four inches of water in ...

Today's makes way for Schooners Station

But the Encinitas establishment will no longer make way for music

When the owners of Today’s Pizza and Salad in Encinitas took over the restaurant four years ago, they decided that the long-established live-music nights should remain. The play-along, amateur musician nights attracted from 20 to ...

Wanted: one cheap deputy

Encinitas park host would be “eyes and ears” for sheriff’s department

Looking for a spot to park the RV? The City of Encinitas has a deal for you — an RV spot with free hook-ups. The city is looking for a “park host” for their new, ...

6,000 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker

Lake Wohlford record opener planned for this Saturday.

With opening day for trout fishing at Lake Wolhford this Saturday, December 13, Escondido’s public works department is making sure it will be a record opener. Lake ranger George Scako reports that 6,000 pounds 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 ...

Transition tower

Scaffolding provides perch for lifeguards until new structure is built

Folks on Coast Highway 101, passing by Cardiff by the Sea’s San Elijo State Beach campground, often ask what’s up with the scaffolding on the bluff with the lifeguard tower on top. The three levels ...

Appeal to "illegal tax" every year

Hope lives to overturn Cal Fire's semi-rural "Fire Prevention Fee"

This month, property owners in the county’s semi-rural areas are receiving their annual $150 bill for the state’s “Fire Prevention Fee.” Since the per-parcel fee was enacted in 2011, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association has ...

Oceanside gets H.O.T.

Two officers assigned to police department's street outreach team

On November 18, Oceanside’s police department rolled out their new H.O.T. unit — their Homeless Outreach Team. The mission of the officers assigned to the H.O.T detail is to interact with the city's homeless and ...

Ticketed air travel is broken

Surfair, a concierge membership airline, takes wing from Carlsbad

San Diego’s newest airline made its maiden flight into town on November 17. Arriving at Carlsbad’s Palomar-McClellan airport exactly at sundown, with Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me” playing in the background, Surfair officially began ...

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