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Stories by Ken Harrison

Slimy blue things die on Cardiff beach

What were the little, deep-blue slimy things that washed up on Cardiff by the Sea’s beaches last week? There were several hundred of them deposited on the sand above the low-tide line in front of ...

City dog blues

Near Idyllwild, Aslan of San Marcos gets caught between boulders

Sara Norris of San Marcos was camping at Thousand Trails in Pine Cove (near Idyllwild) on May 21 when her female golden retriever, Aslan, disappeared. After searching for hours, Norris called the emergency line at ...

Gladys was there

San Dieguito Heritage Museum opens doors to almost-finished Teten House

For the first time since they began its restoration nine years ago, on May 23 the San Dieguito Heritage Museum opened the doors to its almost-finished Teten House, perhaps Encinitas’ oldest original house remaining. Fred ...

Tickets issued for crossing train tracks

“Trains travel through at 35 to 73 miles per hour… Sometimes a ticket educates.”

The North County Transit District has started writing tickets for people who illegally cross their railroad tracks. The enforcement carried out by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. covers all train tracks from the Orange ...

The upscaling of North County

“It’s not like when the old Encinitas families used to own it," says business owner

Early in the morning on May 19, the 7-Eleven at 1446 Encinitas Boulevard closed permanently. It’s been a fixture near the El Camino Real corridor for decades — since the 1970s. According to 7-Eleven’s director ...

After the fires...

Good news and bad following last year's North County disasters

Last year, on the morning of May 14, humidity levels were down to 5 percent, morning beach temperatures already up into the high 80s, and strong Santa Ana winds were blowing from the east. Over ...

The word is totally bird

Western snowy plovers hop Coast Highway to set up on beach

The western snowy plover must not be able to read. For the first time in years, the federally endangered bird has jumped across its well-signed and protected nesting areas in the San Elijo Lagoon, on ...

Where are the trout in California?

Fishing-license revenue often raided by other state agencies

A 2015 fishing license will set you back $47.01, plus a $5.21 ocean fishing stamp. Out-of-state residents will shell out $126.36. Sportsmen active in the politics say the increasing cost of fishing licenses is due ...

Gas in the morning is best

Though we still pay the most, can we hope for a price drop on July 1?

On May 6, San Diegans may have seen the past 20-day gas price run-up come to an end. Gas prices began to rise sharply, for the second time this year, on April 16. In the ...

All that's missing is water

City of Oceanside completes fountain project, but it will remain dry

When is a public fountain not a fountain? That’s the dilemma facing the City of Oceanside, as it was prepared to turn on its civic center fountain after a seven-month, $378,000 refurbishing. The city’s water ...

American flag graffiti incident resolved

Vandalism victims reach end of ordeal that began last summer

Three victims of graffiti and vandalism that struck an Oceanside neighborhood have finally seen justice served, and their property — American flags — returned. Last July 17, neighbors in the Oceana community, Virgil Hardin, Michael ...

Secret sauce plus power bait win June Lake contest

Six inches of snow on opening day of trout season

The Eastern Sierra trout opener on April 25 turned out like last year — a predicted record opener, then a spring snowstorm dumped six inches, and seemingly ruined all the big fish hopes and expected ...

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. ...

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