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Stories by Marty Graham

Federal agencies working on Tijuana estuary worry about budget cuts

No more school field trips to border area?

That there was another sewage spill in the Tijuana River estuary last Thursday paled against what’s coming down the federal pipeline. Federal dollars for programs in the Tijuana River National Estuary Research Reserve are going ...

It was a quiet cul-de-sac in Sorrento Valley...

Eight more homes too many for small Mira Mesa enclave

More than 40 residents of Mira Mesa neighborhood that's small and private by topography and design showed up at a planning group meeting Monday night (March 20) to oppose a project that would add houses ...

An alternative to Brigantine's Embarcadero plan

Former Fish Grotto owner suggests Waterfront Park extension

In the midst of the battle for jurisdiction over which government agency can give permission for a restaurant to be constructed at the old Anthony's Grotto site on Harbor Drive, former tenant Craig Ghio weighed ...

Park-starved Carlsbad wins one

Council votes for peaceful place — to be paid for by developer

The Carlsbad city council on Tuesday night (March 14) unanimously approved a settlement plan that will create a new park at the chain-link-fenced Buena Vista reservoir and will resolve a lawsuit against the city over ...

Murphy Canyon gas-station grapple

Arco expansion roadblocked by Chevron? Or traffic?

Armed with the signatures of 42 Stonecrest Village residents, neighbors of the Arco gas station at Murphy Canyon and Aero Drive are fighting the business' expansion to add four new pumps and a car wash. ...

Encinitas' love/hate for a certain tree

"Like pit bulls, sometimes ficuses get a bad rap."

An attempt to pass a tree ordinance in Encinitas drew a slew of people to a meeting Wednesday night (March 8). Besides being generally interested in protecting publicly owned trees, people wanted to talk about ...

Brigantine plans for former Anthony's site hit big snag

Port district vs. California Coastal Commission

The battle between the California Coastal Commission and the Port of San Diego over whose rules a bayfront restaurant must follow comes to a head tomorrow (March 8). In December, the port gave the Brigantine ...

Home for sex-trafficking victims in Coronado?

"Living in the Hansen mansion is not realistic and attainable."

At a Wednesday-night forum, Coronado residents learned about the historic Hansen mansion (at 7th Street and A Avenue) becoming a home for sex-trafficking victims. About halfway through the meeting, 80 people were ejected after the ...

Goat Canyon spills...black tea?

"Not like last month when it came through red."

Border Patrol agents were surprised Wednesday morning (March 1) to see black water pouring through the grates over a drainage tube at the southeast edge of Goat Canyon. "It was like really black tea, literally ...

"Ugly" windows replace historic in Coronado

"If you allow the appeal to go through, you are setting such a bad example."

In 2007, Nancy Crabill asked to have her house designated historic by the City of Coronado. Ten years later, that designation has come back to haunt her family as they try to fix up the ...

Immigration info session scrapped in Vista school district

"If it was their children or their neighbors' children they would understand."

A Vista school meeting with an immigration attorney — set up to help parents prepare to protect their families should they be suddenly deported — was abruptly canceled Thursday (February 23), hours before it was ...

Goodbye, Mission Valley green acreage

“Nobody’s looking to create a cookie-cutter community.”

Linda Vista residents who overlook the 27-hole Riverwalk Golf Course in west Mission Valley got a look last week at the first conceptual drafts of the project being planned on the 200 acres of land ...

Tijuana River flushed hard

Valley weathers storm without heavy flooding

The beach north of the Tijuana River was littered with broken trees this weekend (February 18–19), a result of an enormous flow of rainwater and sewage from Tijuana hitting some of the 140,000 trees killed ...

La Jollans not soothed by airport authority

"You are retrofitting homes so people can stay inside."

A woman from Loma Portal turned to the 40 or so La Jolla residents who came to a meeting Wednesday night (February 16) on Harbor Drive to complain about low-flying and late air traffic from ...

Street repair must wait until wire undergrounding?

"They've scrapped the master list and are setting up a new schedule."

After a particularly hard crunch was suffered by his car's front end on the really bad pavement in front of his Normal Heights house, Kevin G. used the city's Get It Done app to ask ...

Bayshore Bikeway hostel situation a no-go

Warehouse to be used for brewery instead of on-the-cheap travelers

Three weeks after a study found that more than two thirds of Californians interviewed said not being able to find inexpensive accommodations at the coast makes going there difficult, the California Coastal Commission voted to ...

Caffeine found where it shouldn't be — in nature

Use your head and the head at the trailhead

Water scientists say that the discovery of caffeine in creeks and lakes throughout local recreation and open-space areas suggests that people are answering the call of nature without questioning if it's a good idea for ...

South Bay water cost to drop (and then rise)

Meeting hints at why I.B. and Coronado are suing over sewage

Public attendance at a Thursday evening (February 9) hearing to introduce water rates for Imperial Beach, Coronado, and southwest San Diego for the next three years was so sparse that the public was easily outnumbered ...

What's the affordable housing plan, Encinitas?

"Like a herd of wild turtles we are moving slowly toward our goal."

The Encinitas City Council set up a task force to put together a proposed housing plan Monday night (February 6) in hopes of avoiding another legal defeat for failing to identify how to create almost ...

Canary Island palms in peril

South American palm weevil hard to kill

San Ysidro, Chula Vista, and now Bonita residents are watching their Canary Island palms choke and die — sometimes with the entire crown falling to the ground below. The culprit? The South American palm weevil ...

Balboa Avenue trolley-stop talk

"It's not enough to get a mile away from your destination."

Although it's not yet funded, project managers for the planned trolley station at Balboa Avenue (just east of I-5) have started gathering information for what people want to see there — what will compel them ...

Encinitas eyes strawberry patch for sale

"We don't have the money to buy it but I'd like to be able to."

A 33-acre Encinitas strawberry farm landed on mayor Catherine Blakespear's wish list this week when the real estate agent representing the family owners offered it to the City of Encinitas. "It's just north of the ...

Electric companies seek taxpayer cash in the desert

"Cost recovery" letter filed in Inyo County for San Onofre reef project

Though the project is still failing its main mission, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric last month asked for consumer rate increases for the cost of building a 150-acre reef to make ...

SEAL appeal on the Silver Strand

Special Warfare Command considers traffic in campus construction

If all goes well, sailors will be able to ride the bus into the billion-dollar Special Warfare Command campus being constructed on the Silver Strand between Imperial Beach and Coronado, according to Navy officials at ...

Bay's plastic pollution — it's in the fish

Study takes it down to the microbead level

San Diego Bay’s fish are ending up with plastics in their systems from trash that washes downstream — and the fish are fed more plastic with every rainstorm. That’s the conclusion of the first comprehensive ...

Mission Beach Plunge down to its skeleton

“It’s awesome that they decided to do it right.”

“They can do it fast or they can do it right,” says Dawn Reilly as she looks at the skeletal framing that remains from the Belmont Park building that holds the Plunge swimming pool. “It’s ...

Whoa, Mexico, that water clean?

San Diego officials warn bank about funding Rosarito desalination plant

Four South Bay cities have signed off on a letter that calls on the North American Development Bank to pay attention to the sewage-tainted seawater that may go into the Rosarito desalination plant the bank ...

Coronado Shores to fight public restroom

“We are sure Senator John McCain is not in favor..."

Coronado’s plan to build a plaza and restrooms at the ocean end of Avenida del Sol is being challenged by Coronado Shores residents — and two California Coastal Commission members. “You don’t build a bathroom ...

Friday the 13th good-luck tattoo

“Superstition runs so heavy, so we set out to take away the stigma.”

Local tattoo artists and clients celebrated Friday the 13th with tattoos meant to mark the day in a better light. “Superstition runs so heavy, so we set out to take away the stigma,” said Dom ...

Paradise Hills school field to open to public

Restrooms and parking on wish list

Nearly 100 Paradise Hills residents came to a Wednesday-night meeting (January 11) about how to turn the Paradise Hills Elementary School lot into a part-time park. Neighbors, parents and coaches from the Paradise Hills Pony ...

In defense of Cardiff beach parking lot

Riprap repairs deemed necessary — bring on the rocks

It's nearly an annual event — a big storm tears up the riprap that protects the turn-around for emergency vehicles in the Cardiff State Beach parking lot. "It got eaten away again last year," said ...

One-stop vote and Kasparian protest

"We're here to show our support for Sandy and Isabel."

It was hard to tell if the local Democrat celebrities outside the Chula Vista Machinists Hall Saturday afternoon (January 7) were taking part in the protest or just there to vote. About 150 people stood ...

Dog welfare law in effect

"Ninety percent of the time, the dog doesn't need rescuing."

Before you bust that stranger's car window to rescue a dog, you'd better be sure it's necessary, according to San Diego County Animal Control officials. "In 15 years on the job, I've probably pulled ten ...

Working class stiffed in Barrio Logan project?

"It should all be affordable housing, not just two units."

Brent Beltran has one problem with Los Patios, a four-story development planned for Barrio Logan that will have 20 living units — 2 of which will rent to people who earn 30 percent to 50 ...

No comment on restaurant surcharges

"I wasn't told when I came in and I wasn't told when I ordered."

Kevin Vasquez dines out a lot. He expects to pay tax and feels good about tipping. But the 6.9 percent surcharge a local restaurant added to his bill after January 1, well, that was hard ...

Battery-powered in Escondido

New hardware touted as clean energy alternative

The nation's largest battery storage for energy is being constructed in Escondido — part of the shift away from fuel-burning power plants to cleaner energy, which can't be switched on when needed. San Diego Gas ...

National City and McDini's all lawyered up

"It's like two octopuses fighting over a clam."

The fight between the bar owners of McDini's and National City continues unabated, according to Benjamin Adler, whose father's family trust owns the bar once known as a place to find SEALs and Special Warfare ...

Coronado and Imperial Beach lay claim to sewage

"It's a good idea to consider expanding your water portfolio with wastewater."

The epic battle between the cities of Coronado and Imperial Beach for 200,000 gallons a day of sewage from the U.S. Navy landed in federal court last week, after Imperial Beach countersued Coronado, along with ...

KFMB/Channel 8 pulls signal from Cox Cable

Station allegedly seeks 1000 percent fee increase from carrier

At noon Friday (December 16), KFMB/Channel 8 viewers on Cox Cable saw their television screen go dark as the cable company and CBS's local affiliate failed to reach an agreement over fees Cox pays to ...

Parkland push is on for Tijuana River Valley

County supervisor Greg Cox maintains desire for campgrounds

Nearly 100 people showed up at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Wednesday night (December 14) to see what county officials are thinking about putting in the large and largely undeveloped park that starts at ...

State of emergency in the Tijuana River Valley

Declared every month since 1993 over ongoing sewage spills

Since 1993, the San Diego City Council has been redeclaring a state of emergency in the Tijuana River Valley over the sewage, sediment, and rubbish as large as tires that flow into the area in ...

La Jolla property owner loses to coastal commission

Experienced developer fails with "how could we have known?" defense

A prominent developer who has spent more than a decade fighting the California Coastal Commission over allowing access to the beach has finally ended the fight, their attorney confirmed Monday (December 12). Ure Kretowicz and ...

Camino del Rio South becoming pot shop center?

Two dispensaries established and a third in application phase

Camino del Rio South seems poised to become home to a third medical marijuana dispensary — and it's rumored that there may be a fourth in the works. Blake Marchand has applied to the city ...

City Heights planners displeased with bikeway plans

"It's for Hillcrest and SDSU, and we're just a corridor."

At a planning-group meeting Monday night (December 5), City Heights residents gave mixed reviews of the city's revised plans for a stretch of El Cajon Boulevard. Several City Heights Area Planning Committee members blasted the ...

Lincoln Acres assassination leads to scholarship

But 2007 murder of José Luis Rodriguez remains unsolved

José Luis Rodriguez spent a lot of time and spread a lot of joy while he worked afternoons at the Lincoln Acres Library. He was getting ready to start college — he wanted to be ...

Property owners to shore up Bermuda Beach bluff

Surfrider won't fight planned seawall and stabilization project

The owners of three buildings above an Ocean Beach pocket beach known as Bermuda Beach are set to pay a mitigation fee of $82,000 for beach they hope won’t be created by bluff collapse. The ...

Another water-main break at the border

This time the runoff isn't sewage pollution

A broken pipe in Tijuana spilled clean water into Goat Canyon on Tuesday (November 29). The potable water spilled into the canyon through ten-foot-in-diameter drainage culverts for about three hours before Mexican authorities got it ...

Imperial Beach Caltrans slam

"I saw two kids — our neighborhood kids — nearly get creamed this morning."

A Caltrans project on State Route 75 — Palm Avenue to the Silver Strand — has pushed so much rush-hour traffic into a residential Imperial Beach neighborhood that residents say someone is going to be ...

Council funds Imperial Beach Sports Park shortfall

"That is still less financial impact than when the city was running it."

The Imperial Beach Sports Park was awarded $45,000 to cover a budget shortfall Wednesday night (November 16) by city-council members who said they were pleased with efforts to offer more to the community. It was ...

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