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Stories by Ken Harrison

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 ...

It's a scam!

There is no “Lieutenant Woods of the Oceanside Police Department.”

On November 11, the Oceanside Police Department received 18 calls throughout the day seeking clarification about failing to appear and pay the fines for red-light camera infractions; 15 callers were residents of Oceanside and 3 ...

Eternally peaceful

Sea Star burials at sea.

Normally the deck hands of the Sea Star charter fishing boat are hard at work off the kelp beds of coastal North County, helping their passengers get hooked up on yellowfin, sea bass, bonito, and ...

And they're off (again)

Del Mar racetrack's Bing Crosby Season opens

From a weather standpoint, the November 7 opener of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Cub’s “Bing Crosby Season" was better than its regular late-July opener. But even with temperatures in the 80s, missing were the throngs ...

Oceanside anglers use a lot of line

Members of the Oceanside Senior Anglers fishing club, as part of their conservation platform, have joined a nationwide monofilament fishing-line-recycling program. Since last April the local club has recycled over 20 miles of used fishing ...

Mom breaks up knife attack on son

Teen suspects caught hiding behind Oceanside Starbucks

The Starbucks at 845 College Boulevard was the site of an attempted stabbing on November 5. Oceanside police reported that around 8:20 p.m., Sandy Rivas looked outside the store’s window to see her 16-year-old son ...

Any Pebble Pups in the house?

San Dieguito High School reunion yields historical nuggets

About 60 alumni from San Dieguito High School gathered on November 6 to celebrate the fourth annual “founders” reception — graduates from the Encinitas school’s first classes of 1937 to 1942. The class of 1944 ...

Wrenchers’ delight

Self-serve auto shop opens in Oceanside

For those times when your spouse complains about your project car just sitting there taking up space or a much-needed auto repair is too costly, an ideal spot in North County has emerged to serve ...

Lost GoPro underwater for a year

John LaGrange was diving off of Solana Beach on October 30, looking for a fish to spear for dinner. Out past the surf, in about twelve feet of clear water, he noticed something lodged on ...

Election results minute

Rundown of winners and losers in Tuesday's campaign

With county Registrars of Voters around the state reporting the lowest voter turnout in decades, San Diego County's ballots were jam-packed with five congressional districts, three state senate, and seven state Assembly seats up for ...

No steering wheel

The San Salvador, a replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Spanish galleon being built by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, should hit the water in mid-January. Facts I learned about Cabrillo while visiting the build ...

Double-tracked = doubly jacked in North County

Rail line improvements aim to increase train traffic usage twofold

On October 24, the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (known as LOSSAN) made available to the public new information on the plans affecting its 7.6 million annual passengers and the residents in ...

Street-dumb phone stuck in the past

Consider this the formal goodbye to State Route 274

Motorists traveling northbound on 805 out of Mission Valley into Kearny Mesa may have recently noticed something covered up on the green freeway signs indicating the Balboa Avenue exit. Covered over in mismatched green is ...

Why walk when you can drive to the beach?

Encinitas seeks funding for pedestrian walkway under railroad tracks

The City of Encinitas has been denied, twice, transportation funds for undergrounding two pedestrian railroad crossings. Having been turned down previously at the state level, SANDAG recently denied the $4.8 million grant request. The crossings ...

Surfers to the rescue

Hot-air balloon with newly engaged couple nearly falls into the ocean

Sunday, October 5, was supposed to be one of the most romantic days in a young L.A. couple’s life together. It might have been, until the hot-air balloon they had just gotten engaged in dipped ...

This is about roots

Resident-owner of Encinitas farm gets go-ahead from Encinitas council

Last Friday, September 24, the Encinitas City Council reached a compromise in the “conflict of cultures.” The council voted to reject the appeal by a few disgruntled neighbors of the Coral Tree Farm and Nursery ...

Before Oceanside had a harbor

Last weekend, September 27 and 28, Oceanside hosted its 54th annual Harbor Days.

Escape from Texas

Southland Collie Rescue acquires 4 of 110 dogs rescued from terrible conditions

This past summer, in Tomball, TX, bankruptcy fillings for an optometrist, Dr. Elaine Kmiec, indicated she had a large number of collies on her acreage. She claimed to have only 35. Attorneys for Houston Collie ...

Font of wisdom

Oceanside to convert civic center fountain to use recycled water

On Thursday, September 25, a green construction-barrier fence went up around the fountains and pools in front of the Oceanside Civic Center. The water was drained and construction began on September 29 to retrofit the ...

Nothing against the 76 ball, but...

Encinitas gas retailer switches brands

Since 1983, Robert Rosano has owned and operated the 76 gas station at 350 North El Camino Real. Last week, when he changed his brand to Chevron. The station had a complete makeover — signage, ...

Unforgotten

PSA Flight 182 crashed in North Park 36 years ago today

September 25th is a date former Ocean Beach resident Darlene Hyatt will never forget. On that day, in 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 crashed into a North Park neighborhood. Hyatt was a relatively new ...

Deputy like a stormtrooper

Parents banished from the “red zone” at Encinitas middle school

On September 22, just as Oak Crest Middle School on Balour Drive in Encinitas was letting out for the day, an officer from the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station reportedly arrived and threatened some 30 parents with ...

iPhone baloney?

Outside the Carlsbad Apple Store for two days

By the time the Apple Store in Carlsbad opened their doors at 8:00 a.m. on September 19, 300 people were in line to get their hands on the new iPhone 6 and 6+. All in ...

Almost 40 hours in traffic per year

Report declares congestion worsening — but consider the source

A detailed, annual report on the cost of traffic congestion, lack of road and bridge upgrades, and accidents related to needed safety improvements was released last week. The nonprofit known as TRIP (“a national transportation ...

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