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Stories by Marty Graham

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 ...

Food-trucked out on Adams Avenue

Unenthused locals take pass on Bay Area company's pop-up biz

Adams Avenue businesses are considering a pitch from a San Francisco Bay Area company that holds pop-up events with food trucks, music, and more to start an event at the Masonic meeting hall on the ...

De Anza Cove: nature or recommercialization?

Campland up for grabs! Community input sought till Nov. 30

More than 300 people packed the Mission Bay High School auditorium Monday night (November 7) to get a look at the city's three alternative plans for De Anza Cove. Few attendees left happy. Groups of ...

Ambrosia in the grass

Endangered species gets a little help

Rancho San Diego ambrosia (aka Ambrosia pumila) came out from the weeds Saturday (November 5) as a dozen volunteers and agency staffers scraped and swiped weeds — and discovered the skin left behind by a ...

Imperial Beach plans first dog park

Section of Veterans Park to be carved out — everybody yappy?

Maybe it was the adorableness of Bart Bachman's dog giving Brian Bilbray a slurpy kiss — or the persistence of IB Yappy. On Wednesday night (November 2), the Imperial Beach City Council voted unanimously to ...

Home-repair permit fees drop in Imperial Beach

Real estate values and safety of firefighters cited as reasons

Imperial Beach's city council on November 2 approved a drop in permit fees for a variety of repairs on single-family residences and duplexes. The fees relate to construction work ranging from replacing the roof and ...

Park-starved residents locked out of school playgrounds

"Responsibility for opening seems unclear and too often forgotten."

At least three of San Diego's joint-use playground parks have limited or eliminated public access to playgrounds in North Park, Normal Heights, and Kensington, and no one knows who is responsible. After three days of ...

Cop stop study data veiled in darkness

But enough research released to shed light on black drivers' plight

"We note that based on interviews and talking with [police] officers, these data cards contribute to low morale and there's a certain frivolity to them." San Diego State University researcher Josh Chanin, on the team ...

Cottages to blossom in Balboa Park

House of Pacific Relations to grow to 34

Groundbreaking for new cottages in Balboa Park's House of Pacific Relations is slated for November, giving nine nations their own dedicated spaces in four duplexes and one stand-alone building. House of Philippines will stand independently, ...

National City Marine Terminal redevelopment action

"We really want to give it a 'wow' factor."

On October 13, the Port of San Diego board finally gave staff permission to proceed with the environmental review for the redevelopment of the National City Marine Terminal. Staffers said it will take nearly a ...

Coronado bridge lighting project out to bid

"What's there now is the original electrical infrastructure that's 50 years old."

Caltrans is planning a $14.6 million project to rewire the 2.12 mile Coronado bridge and swap the span's incandescent lights for LEDs. "The majority of the work is under the bridge where people can't see ...

City report confronts problem of food container recycling

"Banning their use is the best solution."

Polystyrene food containers will continue to end up in San Diego's landfills, according to a report to the city council this week. The containers are too likely to contaminate the other recyclables with food waste ...

No four-story wall on Cresita Drive

Capstone settles suit of dormlike nondorm

A lawsuit brought by the College Area Residents Association to stop the construction of a 91-unit quasidorm in a neighborhood of single family homes settled quietly at the end of September, according to court records ...

Bernie Sanders dunned by National City

The downside of getting picked by populist

National City has asked former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his campaign to pay a $28,340 bill for the rally the candidate held there in May. "We sent a demand letter today (Tuesday)," said Armando ...

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