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Stories by Ken Harrison

Winter skiing's finally on in the Eastern Sierras

The Pineapple Express has been dumping snow the past two weeks.

Just when SoCal skiers and snowboarders thought winter would never come, the Pineapple Express has opened up and is dumping tons of snow on Mammoth and June Mountain. The weather phenomenon picks up moisture-laden air ...

Oceanside's "Top Gun" house gets a coat of paint

Renovation and move of structure scheduled

Last week, the 125-year old Oceanside house in disrepair at 102 Pacific Street received a fresh coat of paint, its first since 1985. For all its problems — peeling paint, crumbling overhangs, and leaning porches ...

Cardiff School marks 100th year

Historic school bell rung once for each year

In 1913, Cardiff by the Sea’s founder, J. Frank Cullen, realized his growing town’s kids should probably have something better than a classroom in the MacKinnon farm’s barn. So he donated land and built Cardiff’s ...

Fletcher Cove Community Center open for partying

Voters overturn restrictive regulations with passage of Prop B

The San Diego mayoral race wasn’t the only special election on February 11. The majority of Solana Beach voters passed Proposition B — an initiative brought to the ballot box by citizens. It asked voters ...

Sunglasses company pays for new billboard message

Last time it was provocative; this time it's ambiguous…or is it not?

Spy, a sunglass company based in Carlsbad, has created controversy again, with their newest billboard on Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas. Last week, a new (possibly provocative) billboard message was put up to promote the ...

Cardiff’s Beach House Restaurant closed

Employees had no clue…neither did valet service or linens provider

Last Monday, February 3, employees arriving at the Beach House Restaurant in Cardiff were surprised to learn they no longer had a job. Servers Justin and Dylan arrived at 10:00 a.m. to find the owners ...

Say bye to 1927 railroad bridge near Camp Pendleton

Also, the end of the train-traffic logjam

Motorists traveling northbound on I-5 through Camp Pendleton have probably noticed the slow disappearance of the old, rusty, white railroad bridge over the Santa Margarita River. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company built ...

Bikers gather to pay tribute to one of their own

Oceanside man killed in unavoidable motorcycle accident

On February 1, close to 300 friends and family showed up at the Kraken on Coast Highway 101 for a remembrance and celebration of life of Oceanside resident Hugh Williams. Williams was killed on the ...

Korean War vet hoists first flag at Carlsbad restaurant

Colonial-themed Green Dragon Tavern includes museum

Korean War veteran Vic Caruana is known throughout coastal North County as “the flag guy.” He helps local businesses maintain their American flags and takes part in flag-raising ceremonies. On January 31, Caruana was asked ...

Undisclosed law-enforcement action on I-5

Multi-agencies stage at Las Pulgas Drive, “regular patrol” claimed

Some type of major law-enforcement action seemed to be taking place on the southbound I-5 through Camp Pendleton on January 29 at around 2:00 p.m. There were numerous law-enforcement agency vehicles parked at the Las ...

A roadside find: American Pickers in Iowa

Antiques shop made famous by the History Channel.

Driving from the upper Midwest through Illinois, immediately across the state line is the historic town of LeClaire, IA. We quickly pulled off the I-80 exit, but not to visit the quaint old buildings in ...

Encinitas man arrested for guns in Mono County

Sheriff Obenberger's deputies use sloppy tactics to make bust, says attorney

On January 13, Encinitas resident Youssef Boulaalam, through his attorney Allen Berrey, filed a 40-page claim of civil rights violations, illegal search, fabrication of evidence, false arrest, and imprisonment against Mono County and their sheriff’s ...

Drunk driver sideswipes two cars in Oceanside

Neighbors awakened at 1:00 a.m.

According to a resident of the fourplex community off South El Camino Real, behind the Target store, the whole neighborhood woke up to the sound of crashing cars around 1:00 a.m. on January 16. A ...

Panhandler turf battle at freeway exit

Duo tried to "Boss Hogg" two others away

On the eastbound off-ramp of Highway 78 at Jefferson Street — the location that inspired a 2012 panhandling article — a turf war developed on January 8, causing three California Highway Patrol units to respond. ...

Carlsbad pottery store closing after 66 years

A mainstay business in downtown Carlsbad since 1947, El Corral Pottery, is closing its doors. Located at 340 Carlsbad Boulevard (Coast Highway), the location is the last independent seller in Southern California of the colorful ...

Paddle-out for McStay family

Oddities of their vanishment and discovery anonymously discussed

After a memorial service in Laguna Nigel, about 100 family members, friends, and those who never knew Fallbrook’s McStay family, showed up at the San Clemente Pier for a memorial paddle-out on January 4. The ...

Off-track horse-race betting premieres in Oceanside

This year Del Mar to host first ever fall racing season

Coinciding with opening day of horse-racing season at the Santa Anita track in L.A., Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside premiered coastal North County’s only off-track betting lounge on December 26. Where once was the card ...

Paddle-out for Loren Nancarrow

“He taught us to accept the end with dignity and grace.”

I first met newscaster Loren Nancarrow in the early 1980s. I was a community activist in Encinitas, helping our unincorporated communities advance toward cityhood. When he would show up to one of our press conferences ...

Man down in Vista (then up, then gone)

Leaves behind belongings and warm food

At 1:00 p.m., on December 26, one engine and a paramedic unit from the Vista Fire Deptartment responded to a report of a “man down.” The homeless-looking man was said to be lying on the ...

Coffee with the Captain of Encinitas’ sheriff’s station

Crime rate and strategies discussed at Chick-fil-A

Captain Robert Haley, head of the Encinitas sheriff’s station, held a “Coffee with the Captain” public meeting on December 9. The 8 a.m. session was held at the Chick-fil-A across the street from the sheriff’s ...

Old-school weight-training gym in Cardiff to close

Some members plan to open their own facilities

In business for over ten years, CardifFit, a weight-training gym, has notified its hundreds of members that it will be closing on December 31. The announcement came five months early, according to some members, who ...

Pearl Harbor sidetracked Japanese American from Encinitas

But Taki Sugimoto went back to San Dieguito High before war’s end

On December 7, 1941, an Encinitas vegetable-farming family of Japanese descent had little idea how their lives would be impacted. In February of 1942, San Dieguito High School student Tak Sugimoto’s family received notice of ...

Encinitas’ tallest Christmas tree strung with lights

Tree so big, it has its own address…seriously

The first Monday after Thanksgiving, December 2, was a big day above Moonlight Beach. That’s when Encinitas local Louie Ortiz with his volunteer crew, Bob Joval and Surfer Mike, came together, as Louie has for ...

Cardiff's Masonic Lodge vacant

New housing development could take its place

Neighborhood residents have been wondering what’s up with the empty Cardiff by the Sea Masonic Lodge at 1401Windsor Road. The large building from the 1950s was used for decades as a social gathering spot for ...

Stolen purse leads to arrest

Thieves busted out the credit cards, made trail of charges

On Saturday, August 3, Joy Lomax (not her real name) was at her rental property in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. She was doing a final cleaning of the home on Lake Drive, preparing to turn over the keys ...

Solana Beach pastor received invite to the White House

Thought it was a joke, but it was the "real deal"

Late Sunday night, November 10, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church’s senior minister, Mike McClenahan, decided to check his email. He clicked on correspondence that claimed to be from the White House. It requested his presence at ...

Mustang hunter at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Thousands attend Good Guys Car Show

The largest custom-car show in Southern California, the Good Guys Fall Nationals, attracted thousands of car enthusiasts to the Del Mar Fairgrounds November 22–24. More than 1500 cars and trucks were on display, and the ...

New Walmart sets up in Oceanside

Liquor license and proximity to high school a concern

As Oceanside gets ready to welcome its fourth Walmart location, community opposition is growing over the chain’s application to sell alcohol. The new store, a smaller “Walmart Neighborhood Market” concept, will be located in the ...

Construction begins on Oceanside's grand entrance

Project will add restaurant patio space

After years of planning, Oceanside has finally begun its long-planned streetscape program for its main entrance into downtown. Mission Avenue, between Horne Street and Coast Highway, was closed to two-way traffic on November 12. K-rail ...

Little Leucadia post office to close?

Postage-stamp-sized building has been there since the 1940s

The United States Postal Service, in an effort to reduce continuing losses, has been looking to close, consolidate, or downsize several area post offices. While the possible closures of the La Jolla, Mission Valley, and ...

Cardiff by the Sea off ramp gets trashed

Recycling truck catches fire

On November 11, a motorist traveling northbound on I-5 through Solana Beach noticed smoke coming from the trailer of a semi truck. He reported it to the CHP at 3:45 p.m. When the truck finally ...

New emergency helicopter serves Encinitas

Reach Air Medical now competes with Mercy Air

Mercy Air, the longtime sole provider of emergency medical flights in San Diego, now has some competition. On the morning of November 6, Reach Air Medical Services debuted its new helicopter to Encinitas firefighters, lifeguards, ...

Cardiff’s Sandcastle Drive hosts no apparent ghosts

“Halloween street" pulls in over 1000 on spookiest night of the year

When one sells a house on the two-block-long Sandcastle Drive in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, perhaps it should be required to disclose that the home is on a “Halloween street." Five years ago, KNSD Channel 7 news listed ...

Trucker has heart attack while entering freeway in Encinitas

Jackknifed rig punctures fuel tank

The northbound I-5 on-ramp at Encinitas Boulevard was closed for almost four hours on October 30. The driver of a semi-truck, accelerating up the ramp, reportedly had a heart attack. As the driver tried to ...

Classes of ’39–’42 reunite at San Dieguito Academy

Lost school alma mater heard for the first time since '96

“I knew someday I’d be the last person from my class,” said 92-year-old Del Mar resident Henry Knorr. “I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.” Knorr was a member of San Dieguito High ...

Medical emergency aboard a North County Transit bus

Hostile passenger hogtied with help from eight deputies

A North County Transit District bus driver reported a medical emergency with a passenger aboard his bus at around 2:00 p.m. on October 4. Prior to the ambulance arriving, the driver pulled the bus into ...

Car misses freeway ramp in Oceanside

No driver found at accident scene

At around 1:00 p.m. on September 29, other drivers must have seen the car careen off the freeway near the west end of Hwy. 78 just before the transition ramp to northbound I-5. Otherwise, the ...

Cardiff’s Chevron gas station NOT for sale

Don’t believe the Trulia bogus listing

Want to own your own gas station? If you have an extra $1.75 million, the real estate website Trulia lists the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Chevron station for sale. The site stated last week that the asking price ...

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 ...

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