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Stories by Ken Harrison

New radar installed at South Carlsbad State Beach

To detect near-shore smugglers

Motorists in the South Carlsbad area, driving along the coast highway (Carlsbad Blvd.), may have wondered what’s up with the new 12-foot rotating blade at the south end of the South Carlsbad State Beach campground. ...

Road-tripping across the Midwest

And lessons learned therein...

Nothing brings out the best in a family than driving for days on a cross-country road trip. Traveling the Midwest’s highways and by-ways, I was reminded of my mom’s stories of driving back to Mississippi ...

Earliest adopters wait at Carlsbad’s Apple Store

iPhone 5 Frenzy at Forum

Wanting to be the first to have Apple’s new IPhone 5s, over 200 people stood in line during the pre-dawn hours of September 20. The Apple Store in Carlsbad’s Forum shopping Center, on El Camino ...

Wedding at Carlsbad’s Ponto Beach honors deceased friend

Arizona couple has big reception on the sand

Six years ago, after taking off from Palomar Airport, a private plane crashed into the ocean northwest of Ponto Beach at the South Carlsbad State Beach. The crash killed an Arizona volleyball coach, Alex Meekcoms, ...

San Diego sheriffs choose 9/11 to conduct parolee check

“They could have picked a different day,” says angry parent

Arriving parents and the students they were dropping off in front of the San Dieguito High School Academy may have been concerned on the morning of September 11. From out in front of the campus ...

Newest Oceanside skate park won’t be the last

Project manager also a shredder

Despite humid temperatures in the 90s, on August 30, hundreds of skateboarders and their families showed up for the opening of a new million-dollar skate park in Oceanside. The Alex Road Skate Park, located on ...

No strikers for Encinitas fast-food

Evidently the fast food restaurant workers in Encinitas are okay with their wages. A nationwide fast food workers strike was called for on the morning of August 29, in a effort to raise their industry’s ...

Ugly ATM gone from under Welcome to Encinitas sign

Yogurt shop did not have permit

Last March, the owner of Berry Happy Frozen Yogurt erected an ATM for his business on the busy corner of D Street and South Coast Hwy 101. But he didn’t put it inside his business. ...

Mackinac Island

No cars allowed on this old-time isle off Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The biggest draw of Northern Michigan is Mackinac Island. Home to only 450 permanent residents, the island hosts over 1,000,000 visitors each season. Besides its natural beauty and history, Mackinac Island is well known for ...

Bigger Encinitas McDonalds opens two years after fire

Double drive-through but no play place

Starting on Monday, August 19, lovers of Happy Meals were probably jumping up and down when they saw construction finally going on at the old McDonalds site near the corner of Encinitas Boulevard at El ...

Wrong warning posted in Carlsbad

I-90 was supposed to be I-80 - for those headed to Bay Area

Drivers on I-5 northbound may have been a little confused the morning of August 22. Caltrans’ electronic billboard mounted on the Tamarack Ave. overcrossing displayed the message, “I-90 BAY BRIDGE WILL BE CLOSED AUG 28 ...

Will Carlsbad’s California Pacific ever get in the air?

74-passenger Embraer sub-leased to Honeywell.

California Pacific Airlines, a new airline planned for operation out of Carlsbad’s Palomar-McClellan airport has suffered another set back. On August 7, the FAA denied CP Air’s application to begin flying. Additionally, an aviation industry ...

Encinitas businessman vs. the motorcycle cop

Conflict continues after incident last summer

Encinitas business owner Steve Amster is pissed again. Previously, he has fought with local governments and their code-enforcement regulations. But his July 2012 run-in with a sheriff’s motorcycle officer — when he asked the officer ...

Stalled thunderstorms over Mt. Laguna

Emergency Alert System provides flash-flood warning

On July 22, the National Weather Serve activated San Diego County’s Emergency Alert System. Monsoonal moisture was causing large thunderstorms, running from Barstow south into Baja. The storm in San Diego was going to be ...

Lost love to a convent? Or the mob at La Costa Resort?

Former Encinitas resident tells tale

In the early 1970s, Cardiff resident Rick Crocket met the love of his life in a physics class at Encinitas’ San Dieguito High School. The couple went to prom, dated for a year after his ...

Car crash on Cardiff on-ramp to I-5

Did Prius driver stop unnecessarily?

A July 10 rear-end collision on the northbound I-5 Birmingham Drive on-ramp caused one car to be pushed over the side of the freeway. At around 7:15 p.m., a navy-blue Toyota Prius stopped on the ...

Junior Brown — cool as a fan!

For years I had heard the song “Highway Patrol” used as bumper music on the Motor Man car-talk radio show on Sunday mornings on 790 KABC. I had no idea who Junior Brown was... Then ...

Special election wins power for the people of Encinitas

They, not councilmembers, will decide density and height zoning matters

With an extremely high voter turnout for a one-issue special election, over 40 percent of Encinitas’ voters turned out on June 18 to express their opinion on Proposition A — the Right to Vote Initiative. ...

Ribbon-cutting at Encinitas’ Moonlight Beach

Lots of conveniences…one too many?

Hundreds of Encinitas residents turned out last week for the reopening of Moonlight Beach. The city finished $4.8 million in renovations on June 13. While the increased sand area, new concession stand, view deck, and ...

Interviews with Bantu boys in Balboa Park

Survival and the memory of a little boy

Twenty-six-year-old Hassan Sheighei lost his leg in a gun battle ten years ago in Somalia. He was walking to the store when he heard gunfire. He saw someone running, and the Somali enemy mistook him ...

First Hour at the San Diego County Fair

Mainstays and middle-aged hip-hop ladies

For the 28th consecutive year, Escondido’s Margaret Austin, known as the “Pink Pig Lady,” was the first to walk through the front gates at the opening of the San Diego County Fair on June 8. ...

A Sunday without The Californian newspaper in Temecula

Disappointment and alternatives discussed

For folks in southwestern Riverside County, it was the first Sunday without their local newspaper — The Californian. With the purchase of the North County Times in September 2012, the U-T San Diego also acquired ...

Dog House Diner told to scram from Encinitas Home Depot

Food-trailer owner theorizes as to why

Shoppers arriving at the Encinitas Home Depot over Memorial Day weekend were disappointed to see the Dog House Diner was gone. The popular 1950s-style food stand sat at the entrance to the store for over ...

Eastern Sierra trout bite is on

Plenty of angling in the June Lake Loop.

Fish on! That’s usually a term used by deep-sea fisherman when they get a big bite, but also best describes the fishing frenzy going on now in the Eastern Sierras. The 2013 season trout opener ...

Roadwork resumes (in time for Memorial Day) on Carlsbad Blvd.

Delayed due to permitting and contractor concerns

In April, coastal drivers on Carlsbad Boulevard (Coast Highway) may have wondered why the city sandblasted away all the pedestrian crosswalk markings, especially in light of the reported overkill by the city in pedestrian signage ...

Slow driver busted in Carlsbad

Gun and pot found in his car

While on routine patrol along the coast of Carlsbad at around 4:30 p.m. on May 14, two state Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) game wardens came up behind a silver Lexus on Carlsbad Boulevard. ...

Encinitas business owner faces citation for signage

Steve Amster says city is being unfair

Business owner Steve Amster is about to fight city hall — again. He says the City of Encinitas’ sign ordinance discriminates against small businesses such as his while it gives special privileges to corporate stores ...

TV swipe scam at Encinitas Rite Aid

No plates on getaway car

Just before 10:00 a.m. on May 8, the Rite Aid store at 439 Santa Fe Drive lost a $300 TV set to a shoplifter. The man, described as a tall Caucasian, inquired about the item, ...

San Diego Bay: How polluted in 2013?

Navy agency gives update

At their monthly meeting on May 7, members of the Oceanside Senior Anglers fishing club received an update on the Navy’s effort to increase recreational fishing and protect coastal resources. Mitch Perdue, senior biologist from ...

House fire in Cardiff put out in 15 minutes

Water heater partly to blame

On the afternoon of April 17, a single-family home caught fire in Cardiff. No one was home at the time. It was only when neighbors smelled smoke that they went outside to investigate. By that ...

California Pacific Airlines to fly in November?

FAA certification imminent?

What happened to San Diego’s future hometown airline? When California Pacific Airlines rolled out a freshly painted, completely refurbished plane at a big media party last July, the company expected to be “wheels up” by ...

Cardiff Kooks Café to become Flat Rock

Cardiff by the Sea’s popular Kooks Café at 2121 San Elijo Avenue, named after the town’s famed surfing statue, has closed. The restaurant’s owner, who also owns several other restaurants including the Swami’s Cafe chain, ...

Borrego Springs's Mud Caves

Spelunk away: one of the world's most extensive mud cave formations is just two hours east.

In the geographical wonders of the Anza-Borrego desert, you will find a unique Southern California feature: mud caves, deep caves created by flowing silt from an ancient lake bed, eroded by wind and rain. They're ...

Encinitas seeks concessionaires for Moonlight Beach

New building to welcome new franchises

With Encinitas’ 4.8-million-dollar rehabilitation of Moonlight Beach and its facilities expected to open in just a few months, one of the final tasks is to choose a concessionaire to operate the food stand and beach-equipment ...

Japanese students end a week in Encinitas

Sometimes it’s hard to say “sayonara”

Last week, from March 11–15, 19 students and two teachers from Minami High School in Toyama, Japan, attended San Dieguito Academy High School in Encinitas. The students attended Japanese and English classes every day and ...

Del Taco out, In-N-Out in in Encinitas

An end to the rumors

The privately owned, five-state In-N-Out Burger chain has secured property just east of the I-5 at Encinitas Blvd — currently the site of a Del Taco. Meetings with city planners will take place this week. ...

Cardiff sits pretty for real estate recovery

Low inventory makes sellers’ market

On the front page of the Los Angeles Times’ business section this week, Cardiff by the Sea 92007 was rated in the top ten of Southern California zip codes that have best rebounded from the ...

3:00 a.m. house fire in Cardiff

A remodel project for years

Neighbors in the 800 block of Nolbey Street in Cardiff awoke early on March 8, as fire trucks arrived at 3:00 a.m. to find a home engulfed in flames. The two-alarm fire brought out units ...

SeaWorld rescuers net sea lion pup in Carlsbad

Was mom watching from the water?

On Thursday, March 7, Carlsbad resident Doug was taking his daily 7:00 a.m. walk along the beach next to Carlsbad Boulevard. At the Agua Hedionda Lagoon’s outlet, just south of Tamarack Avenue, he spotted a ...

Interview with a nearly carjacked cabbie in Temecula

FAT guys attempt arrest that ends in death

When Anthony (last name withheld by request), a cab driver for Red Top Cab in Temecula, picked up his passenger on February 11 at the Extended Stay America hotel on Jefferson Avenue, he had no ...

Wounded Warriors bike from Oceanside

A coastline ride after “being blown up”

Local representatives of the Wounded Warrior Project sponsored a group of 45 veterans in a 30-mile bike ride along Coast Highway 101 on February 9. Starting off at Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside, the riders were ...

Reduction of car lanes begins on Leucadia’s Coast Hwy. 101

Plans for a bike-, pedestrian-, and diner-friendly vision

The four-lane, tree-lined Coast Hwy. 101 through Leucadia — a roadway that’s facilitated nine decades of cruising — changed on Wednesday, February 6. Since the 1930s until 1964, the highway served as the only arterial ...

Christian Scientists Moving to Main Street in Encinitas

Construction begins on new building

On Monday, February 4, a little cottage at 910 S. Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas was fenced off and partial demolition began. The single-story, former residential building, probably built in the 1940s, had housed numerous ...

Curious car accident in Oceanside

Boss needed some limes

What appeared to be a single-car accident on eastbound Vista Way, near the intersection of El Camino Real, turned out to be a little more involved when police arrived around 10:00 a.m. on February 4. ...

Re-Planet recycling guy leaves Encinitas post

Plans to spend more time with Ritual Torture

A longtime fixture at the recycling center behind the Vons on El Camino Real has left his Encinitas post. After nine years of lifting large blue barrels, weighing in cans, bottles, and plastics, recycler Steve ...

SDG&E customers lose power in Cardiff

Only a 20-minute blackout

About 2000 SDG&E customers in Cardiff were without power for a short time on Saturday night, December 22. The east-of-the-freeway neighborhoods of Park Place, Poinsettia Heights, and Sea Village were affected by the 8:30 p.m. ...

San Diego backcountry folks double taxed for fire protection?

As San Diego County’s due date for paying the first installment of property taxes loomed on December 10, an additional $150 tax bill began arriving in property owners’ mailboxes. The new per-parcel tax, sent to ...

Seven-term city treasurer nearly defeated in Escondido

Yes, the general election was over more than a month ago. And although Carl DeMaio, Brian Bilbray, and several other candidates had to wait a few days to know their fate, 23-year old Michelle Fawcett ...

June Lake's Open for Business

Twenty minutes and a world away from Mammoth.

Even with the unexpected winter closure of June Mountain*, skiers and snowboarders are finding June Lake village to be a welcome getaway – to get away from the crowds of nearby Mammoth. While Mammoth's skiing ...

Train collides with tow truck, kills driver in Cardiff

A tow-truck driver was killed in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon, December 8, when a southbound Amtrak plowed into his rig. At around 2:30 p.m., the tow-truck driver had just turned off of Coast Hwy. 101 ...

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