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Stories by Mike Madriaga

Kensington bicyclist ticketed for not stopping at Meade and 39th

No Idaho stops in Calif. yet

“The policeman told me, ‘You are (riding) a bike and need to follow the rules of the road, and you did not stop at this four-way,'” said Anna Grace Carter. She received a ticket that ...

Parking meters with eyes in Hillcrest

Do sensors signal the end of the free or discounted spot?

“I think it’s weird and foreign-looking,” said LeeAnn Donan. Donan, 49, from Mission Hills, was referring to the two grayish boxes that appeared to have cameras inside of them mounted on the pole underneath the ...

Cherokee Point is no North Park

“It’s misleading marketing, which is kind of obnoxious.”

“How many neighbors have realtors cold-calling them and sending them mail asking if we are interested in selling,” said Cherokee Point resident Frederick Simson in a Nextdoor post recently. “I get about one letter a ...

TGI open for another month

Longtime Mission Valley restaurant completing its history book

“This restaurant closes it doors on March 26,” Honorio Zarate said in an interview as he greeted patrons for happy hour this week. Zarate is the service manager for the TGI Fridays restaurant on 403 ...

Where there's no smoke, there's no chicken

“The wind usually blows towards the east in the Pancho Villa parking lot."

“We just lost their main flagship,” said Mr. Robinson, a resident who lives one block away from the Pancho Villa supermarket at 3245 El Cajon Boulevard. Robinson said he is “bummed out” by the pollos ...

Car stars in Del Mar

Import-auto competition has changed a bit since the '90s

“A lot has changed from the first time I attended these shows,” said Walter Manongdo on February 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. His yellow Nissan race car was posted at the entrance next to ...

The unliking of the SD-LA Chargers

"Bye Felicia!" says at least one former fan

Many social-media users switched their profile picture yesterday (January 12) to the new LA Chargers logo that's been modified to read "LAME." This was in response to team owner Dean Spanos's breakup letter and updated ...

Mid-project tour of City College

Cafeteria leaks to be fixed and rooftop hangout established

“Part of the project is to remove all of the concrete here and redo it,” said City College project manager Tom Fine last week during a construction-zone tour of the campus. “And I don’t know ...

Southbound toy smugglers wanted

“We are not sophisticated with tunnels and all that.”

A group of smugglers huddled in a prayer circle a couple weeks ago to ask God for help crossing into Mexico. “We prayed for [aduanas, Mexican customs officials] to turn a blind eye when we ...

Mustang hate

Social punishment for burnout on Mira Mesa Boulevard

“Prepare for some repair bills to that Mustang bud … your s-its gonna be scratched the f-ck up, people know where you live,” read one of the instant message threats sent to Danny Diaz at ...

Thunder or students jumping?

Something caused shutdown of City College elevators

“Tower of Terror” is what some City College students are calling the elevators in the MS building on their campus. Since early morning on Sept. 19, three of the five elevators in the MS building ...

Unsafe Encanto intersection has predictable results

"Within a half an hour while I was there, there were two fender-benders.”

“They put these new stop signs up yesterday [Sunday, September 4] and within a half an hour while I was there, there were two fender-benders,” said David Abbott, who lives in the Encanto area by ...

Pot dispensary draws stars to Point Loma

Snoop Dogg signs autographs, Ricky Williams serves as budtender

"We gave Snoop Dogg some Tokyo OG [a marijuana strain] and he enjoyed it,” says Heidi Rising, the general manager of the Point Loma Patient Consumer Co-Op. On August 27, the Grammy-nominated rap star dropped ...

Urban Assault via VW

Busted bug driver talks about video that helped cops pop him

“Ultimately [the police] caught me by my name being on the side of the car, not blurring out my license plate, and I didn’t expect the video to go that viral.” Blake Wilkey, 27, was ...

Vietnam veterans honored in Logan Heights

"It is important for our children to understand the sacrifices that were made by our troops."

Fifty years ago, many American servicemen who fought in Vietnam returned home to a country of discontent; some were spat at, others tormented, and many advised not to wear their uniforms in public. Unlike World ...

Homeless and confused in Chula Vista

“If you live on the street, you can get a permit? Wow.”

There’s a buzz on the streets of Chula Vista among those who live out of their vehicles. Some think that they can go to city hall and obtain a “Special Parking Permit,” as it seems ...

San Diego’s cauliflower luck

All those paleo and Atkins diets

"Act of God,” is what Produce Alliance recently posted about cauliflower, “DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY. We are seeing high prices and NON-EXISTENT supply. The crops in Yuma are very slow and the cauliflower growth rate is ...

Water wrecked my race car

Submerged Lamborghini sparks hydrolock talk

“That vehicle is built for speed, that is something you would not use in this kind of water,” said Emilio Ramirez of the San Diego Police Department. Ramirez was referring to the white Lamborghini on ...

Drop the gun and skate, fool

Exchange takes firearms off the street and puts skateboards on it

“About 250 guns, including shotguns — sawed-off and non-modified — a Tech 9, an AR15, assault weapons, a .380 handgun, a 9mm, a .30-06, an Uzi, small handguns, single shots, and many others were traded ...

Drought relief suggestion shot down

Water running down city streets can't be saved — not cost-effective

“So, we are in a drought,” ranted Lisa Hudson Barth as she snapped photos of water flowing down Mount Acadia Boulevard in Clairemont on April 10. “And the mayor requested that we cut our water ...

This booze was saved to drink

"Tagay pa, alak pa!" yelled the group in broken harmony

Johnny and Wilfred were posted up by the side of the house chopping it up about their commonalities both being first-generation Filipino-Americans (naturalized in the 1970s and 1980s). Both lolos (“grandfathers” in Tagalog) were in ...

Only looks illegal

Right-hand-side-drive Honda gets a fair share of attention

"Last week we posted up right there at the Tapioca Express by the golf course [in Bonita], and there were a couple [of] five-o scopin' out my whip with flashlights," explains Warren Manongdo as he ...

Red balloon sent up in Bay Park

Crouching residents, hidden developers anticipate high-density change

Driving down the streets of Bay Park from Clairemont Drive, all the way down to Linda Vista, one might wonder about particular signage posted on properties throughout the neighborhood. In three months' time, the aesthetics ...

Enemies of the estate sale

“When burglars come in, it’s [usually] other family members."

“Dollar-store owners have been stealing our bright orange signs that we spent all night working on,” says Jill K, a retired teacher. “We don’t have them printed like our competitors do.” Jill says the act ...

Hot Wheels mafia

Lifers, bullies, and pinchers stake out stores for new toy stock

Last week at 6:30 in the morning there were already a few shoppers waiting in the parking lot of the Walmart at Dennery Road, by Palm Avenue and the 805. Some of the patrons were ...

Raider Nation invades Mission Valley

You didn’t hear about the convention because they behaved

Soon after exiting the 8 freeway off Hotel Circle on August 23, you could hear, “Raaaiiiiiiiders, Raaaiiiiiiiders.” Oakland Raiders flags, banners, and decals were plastered over the majority of the cars in the lot. The ...

Temporary trailer-park market

Shops on wheels in Normal Heights

“STOP, Poppa, and look!” Our four-year old daughter yelled from the backseat of our SUV. Saturdays are usually a family day, when we take our daughter for a cruise to the park or beach and ...

Bikers for Christ roll up to Mt. Soledad

Danny Trejo: “Can’t touch a war memorial — remember that.”

The American flag barely moved on August 2. The sound of thunder wasn’t from the gloomy skies above, but from a caravan of motorcycles here in town for national Bikers for Christ weekend. “Close to ...

Too Short in your whip?

Rapper pumps up Extreme Autofest to ear-ringing effect

I've been following Too Short since I was hella young, and tonight, after listening to his raps about bosses, biatches, and Oakland, his music never gets dated. Even his newer music (2012) is reminiscent of ...

Lowriders at Chicano Park Day

Born into the Klique

The old-school sirens were blaring as I drove through the cement pillars holding up the Coronado bridge on April 19. I pulled out my camera gear, and one of the members of the Klique car ...

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