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Stories by Ken Harrison

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 ...

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 ...

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