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Stories by Ken Harrison

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 ...

Encinitas elections seemingly a family affair

Did husbands of outgoing councilwomen spoof mayoral candidate husband?

The seat in the Encinitas mayor’s office and three on the council are up for grabs in November. Three spouses of current and former councilwomen and one son-in-law of a former governor indicated they would ...

The price of making history

Sail the San Salvador — only 995 bucks

Just as in 1542, when Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed the first European-type vessel up the California coast, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is getting ready to sail its full-scale replica of Cabrillo’s ...

Encinitas' one-man beach-renaming lobby

“It's not supposed to be Beacon’s. It's Beacon.”

For years, Leucadian Doug Fiske has been pointing out that the City of Encinitas has the wrong spelling on one of its popular beaches — Beacon’s. Until now, his plea for historical accuracy has fallen ...

Not littering Coast Hwy 101 is the Norm

Daily walker picks up trash, ladders, surfboards, and sometimes money

Norm Tang is a local celebrity among morning commuters, cyclists, and joggers along Coast Highway 101 in Cardiff by the Sea. But many don't know who he is, only that he is there every day, ...

Swift Boat tour up the California coast

Vietnam-era vessel restored by 36 veterans

A Vietnam-era Swift Boat, U.S. Navy #PCF 816, made a three-day stop at the Oceanside Harbor last week. The Swift Boat Sailors Association restored the boat over the past year, taking it down to bare ...

Bluefin ban?

Bluefin tuna to become endangered species?

Bluefin should become an endangered species, thus banning all fishing of the large tuna on the West Coast, says the Center for Biological Diversity. Wayne Kokow of Rancho Peñasquitos is the executive director of the ...

City of Oceanside's fountains turned on

No, the drought is not over

At 8:00 a.m. on July 12, the multiple fountains in front of Oceanside's downtown Civic Center were turned back on, spraying water into the shallow pool. In September of 2014, the fountains were turned off ...

Facebook makes Russ T Nailz abandon alias

“Like I want everyone to know my middle name is Wilbur.”

Longtime San Diego comedian Russ T Nailz wants to do an “about Facebook” — as in, leave the popular social-networking medium. Over the Fourth of July weekend, Nailz was advised by Facebook that his personal ...

Oceanside sand replenishment operation delayed

Expected to be done by August 2

Dredging of the Oceanside Harbor began on May 24. The five-week project was to have replenished sand along the beachfront to the south: North Coast Village condos, the pier, and along the Strand from Tyson ...

McDonald's at Rady Children's packs up the fryer

Ronald McDonald House still held in high regard

Parents and kids visiting Rady Children’s Hospital may be surprised at a big change in the hospital’s lobby: the McDonald's restaurant inside, which had opened in 1996 next to the emergency room, has closed. “It's ...

Avoid the bane of surf-fishing

Surf-fishing tips from Bill Varney

Bill Varney, through his books and clinics, has been leading the light-tackle charge in California; no longer do surf anglers need a 14-foot surf pole and a five-ounce sinker. Varney recently led one of his ...

Farewell, Del Mar fair

Three people with decades of involvement pack it up

The end of the 26-day San Diego County Fair leaves many participants exhausted, particularly those who operate booths and concession stands. When the lights dim at midnight on July 4, most are packing up, readying ...

Cardiff founder's house "found"

“Our jaws dropped. We assumed it was long gone."

It took a guy coming from Cardiff, Wales, to identify the 1911 home of Cardiff by the Sea’s founder, J. Frank Cullen. Mark Gubb, from the Queen’s Cardiff, was visiting Cardiff by the Sea to ...

What's killing the crows of North County?

“It’s West Nile virus."

Dead crows are being found in Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas. Over the past two weeks, neighbors and friends in the Poinsettia Heights and Park Place neighborhoods have found at least seven dead and ...

Gas prices jump but maybe not too high

World oil prices decline following Brexit vote

San Diego area gas prices jumped 10 to 15 cents per gallon last week, with many stations pushing their cash price for regular gas over the $3.00 threshold. Surprisingly, the oil companies are not offering ...

He who would steal from a dog

Older surfer type rips off humane society collections box, gets away on bike

On June 24 at 2:47 p.m., a Caucasian male walked into My Sister’s Closet resale and consignment clothing store in La Jolla and stole the cash donation box earmarked for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. ...

Boy buried in sand at Cardiff's Seaside Beach

Tunnel collapsed while digging big holes

At 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (June 16), Cardiff by the Sea lifeguards at Tower 11 responded to a report of a boy buried in the sand on Seaside Beach. Two boys were digging big holes ...

Wood beach fires come to an end

Nails and leftover coals prompt state to institute new rule

Effective last week, the California State Park beaches at Carlsbad, Ponto, and Cardiff by the Sea outlawed wood fires on the sand. Banners advising of the new regulation have been posted on most lifeguard towers ...

San Dieguito trots out its old metal mustang

Original artist returns to give sign a new coat

On June 7, former Encinitas resident Susan LaForest Williams returned to San Diego from her home in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to repaint the San Dieguito High School mascot sign. As a sophomore in 1979, ...

Cardiff's "waterhouse" to face wrecking ball

Nobody's calling the former druggie hangout a historic structure yet

Recent Facebook posts on an old-school Cardiff by the Sea locals’ page wondered what was going on with the old Cardiff “waterhouse,” with its 16-sided top floor and unobstructed 360-degree view of the ocean and ...

Morning burglary interrupted in Cardiff

Three suspects jump backyard fence to get away, but...nope

Three burglary suspects were apprehended, caught almost red-handed, on May 25, in a Cardiff by the Sea neighborhood. Just after 9:00 a.m., “Allison” was driving east on Birmingham Drive when she noticed a sheriff’s deputy ...

Proposition 47 a culprit in increase of burglaries?

“It’s not just Encinitas. It's also Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad..."

On the morning of May 20, a home on Nolbey Street in Cardiff by the Sea was the second home burglarized on the same street in the past two weeks. Combined with an increase of ...

Old Ponto neighborhood soon to die?

Proposed adjacent development is one more piece of "vision plan"

The small coastal hamlet of Ponto in the area of South Carlsbad may be in its final days. A large townhome project, known as Ponto Beachfront East and Ponto Beachfront West, is slated for 11.3 ...

What’s that in the water?

Whales play in Cardiff

Around 5:15 p.m. on May 6, my wife called me from Cardiff beach. For the past 30 minutes, she’d been watching two whales off Seaside past the surf break, bobbing up and down and playing ...

Cardiff school board proposes $22 million bond measure

Expenditure prompts question, “What is the academic justification?”

The Cardiff Elementary School district presented a proposed $22 million bond measure at its monthly meeting on May 12; only 19 people showed up, mostly teachers and parents. All were in support, except for members ...

Objections to Encinitas Library renaming

“I hope our city is not for sale. Find another way to make money."

Steve Mizel, a wealthy investor and a philanthropist, wants to have the name of the Encinitas Library changed to honor his wife. He’s offered $2 million to the city to change the library’s name to ...

Encinitas surf writer covers (getting covered on) the waterfront

Chris Ahrens's greatest compliment: “It was just like that, man.”

In February of 1997, the Reader did a cover story featuring surf writer Chris Ahrens as one of San Diego’s leading “micro-publishers” in the then-growing field of authors self-publishing their books. Now, six books later, ...

Marine Safety Center greenlighted for Moonlight Beach

Don't call it a "lifeguard station" — it's got a pole, mini cop-shop, and animal-rescue pen

Eleven years in the making, a new Encinitas lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach finally got the green light. The city’s planning commission unanimously approved it last week. The new “Marine Safety Center” was conceptually approved ...

June Lake trout scamper away from shore

Anglers fair better from boats during season opener

For the third year in a row, a snowfall sent the big trout away from the shoreline, on the opening day, April 30, of California’s premier trout fishery in the Eastern Sierra. Four inches fell ...

Armenians recall genocide in theater

“They survived by throwing themselves on piles of dead bodies."

On April 24, 1915, the government of the Turkish Ottoman Empire arrested 250 Armenian intellectual, community, and religious leaders. Most were later killed. It was the start of what would become the 20th Century’s first ...

Encinitas planning commission nixes Cardiff 8

Development on former flower grower's site seems to pack in too much

The developer of the former Maldonado Farm, next to I-5, has run into a bit of a snag. The City of Encinitas’ planning commission doesn’t like their plan for eight homes on the 1.25-acre parcel. ...

Merry Fishmas, Eastern Sierra anglers

What do big browns eat?

As hundreds of San Diegans prepare for the April 30 trout opener in the Eastern Sierra, expectations are running high. The annual six-hour drive for thousands of Southern Californian anglers up Highway 395 — to ...

You can’t run, but you can hide Papa Burger in Oceanside

Cover blown on Angelo Man’s previous life as family man

Since 1977, many Oceanside residents have passed by the Angelo’s Burgers at the south end of town, on Coast Highway. One can’t miss the statue of a big man holding a big hamburger. Most people ...

Still no showers at San Diego state beaches

Near-normal snow pack and water surplus won't change situation

Even though the California Department of Water Resources reports a near normal snow pack after four years of little snow, the governor’s office is not ready to turn on the rinse-off showers at local state ...

Last of Oceanside's Chinese buffets?

Building was once part of the local Jimmy’s Restaurant chain

The China Star Super Buffet may be going out of business soon. Until a few years ago, Oceanside had six Chinese buffets. All had gone out of business except for China Star, at the southeast ...

Small-scale storage war in San Marcos

“Now this guy has to rent a truck, get a crew to clean it out, store it somewhere…”

Every month or so, local storage-unit facilities play their own version of the TV show Storage Wars — past-due units auctioned off to the highest bidder. Such was the case last week with three San ...

$7300 parking fee at Lindbergh Field (keeps mounting)

Car left in same spot since last June

Visiting the San Diego airport on March 23, I parked next to a black Ford Ranger pickup truck at the Terminal 1 parking lot. The truck, dirty and weathered from the bay’s moist air and ...

Coke-Pepsi's discreet war in North County

“No one has ever walked in and asked for a glass of Pepsi. No one!"

“Is Pepsi okay?” are not the words serious Coca-Cola drinkers want to hear in restaurants. So when a Coke-themed diner switched to Pepsi, customers like Oceanside resident Cheri Noel were “not happy.” Last week Noel ...

Benghazi victim Glen Doherty was kind of a homemaker

Friends serve up his chili recipe at memorial foundation fundraiser

Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who did contract work for the CIA, lived in Encinitas. He was one of four Americans killed on September 11, 2012, in an attack on the United States diplomatic ...

Swordfish dig California

But you'll rarely seen one caught on a rod and reel

Little do most anglers know there are scientists in Oceanside who provide fish resource information to agencies such as National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the state’s Department of Fish ...

Oceanside Harbor facelift

Actually, more like a transplant, as 40-year-old sign gets replaced

“Don’t worry, we’re not changing the name of the town,” said a City of Oceanside maintenance worker. On April 4, workers were removing the large “OCEANSIDE” letters of the sign seen by boaters as they ...

Casting call in Oceanside for Animal Kingdom

“We want people from here to watch the show to say, ‘Hey, that’s my town!’”

For the possibility of fame and fortune, or just plain fun, over 1000 people showed up on April 1 for an open casting call for extras on a new TV show, Animal Kingdom, to be ...

Pro skate park opens in Vista

Pro Neal Mims says, “It’s about the kids and the community."

In a nondescript warehouse in Vista’s Business Park district, pro-skater Neal Mims opened his new indoor skatepark. The March 30 reservation-only session was a preview to the park’s public opening on April 2. About 40 ...

Traffic-signal experiment in Encinitas

“The study shows the new lights are more intuitive and lower crashes.”

Encinitas drivers are seeing a new type of traffic signal on South Vulcan Avenue, at the intersection of D Street — something not seen much in California. And some motorists have complained of dangerously making ...

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