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Stories by Thomas Larson

Caged

Where few slow learners survive.

Finding yourself in jail or prison for the first time unlatches a simple conundrum: you can’t know what you’re about to face because, had you known, you might have avoided the crime, or at least ...

Clairemont

Asked where I live in San Diego, I always say “beautiful Clairemont,” because I’m a smartass and because it’s the truth. I might qualify (place, not beauty) by adding “North Clairemont,” to distinguish our geographical ...

To Fuse Wind and Its Motion

Gulls resist captivity.

LO AND BEHOLD, said the Mormons, God sent in thousands and thousands of California gulls to devour the devourers.

Under Our Perfect Sun Mike Davis Finds Trouble

It’s an August midafternoon in El Cajon. It’s 100 degrees, and the sane people are in the shade, keeping still. Not Mike Davis. For an hour, the most famous social historian of Southern California has ...

The White Mask: Marilyn Monroe and the Hotel Del Coronado

On Saturday, September 6, 1958, Marilyn Monroe and the 175-person company of Some Like It Hot arrived at the Hotel del Coronado to begin location shots, after filming in Hollywood the previous four weeks. The ...

A Soldier's Pay

When military families go hungry

It may be the ultimate irony of the conflict with Iraq that to glimpse the difficult home lives of our soldiers, their spouses, and their children, America needs a foreign war. And even as those ...

Reina's Story

North County's sex slaves

In April 2001, 15-year-old Reina was leaving her home in Tenancingo, a high-plateau town west of Mexico City. She was happier than she’d been in a while, traveling north to Tijuana, in the company of ...

I Am Your Loving Daughter Clara Clemens

Decent men elude Mark Twain’s child

In 1940, the recently widowed and wealthy Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch bought a small estate in the Hollywood hills and sought counsel from a medium named Sardoney about her love life. Known also by his epithet ...

El Cajon Mojo Master Lectures Spielberg

It was no accident, said San Diego clairvoyant Dr. James Capers, that movie mogul and occult aficionado Steven Spielberg attended his lecture in February, when Capers demonstrated his "spiritual gifts" at the Los Angeles Conscious ...

Does the City Care How Much Water You Use?

In recent years, the 855 employees of the San Diego Water Department have faced scandals, alleged mismanagement, media scrutiny, and the rebuke of the city council. All this began in 1999 when news stories appeared ...

How Steam and Sun Can Light Your Life

Who among us has not twitched a little during this, the year of California’s power crisis, upon hearing Tales of the End Time of the Fossil Fuel. For more than a billion years, the planet’s ...

Swords Unsheathed

Next week's runoff election in District 6 for the city council seat vacated by Valerie Stallings last January will close a match between first-time candidates Steve Danon -- former chief of staff to Ron Roberts ...

The John Moores Exemption

Why did Stallings take the fall?

The grimy facts behind Valerie Stallings' guilty plea.

Jenna's Dad

Last spring I had only begun to follow the renowned psychologist Ken Druck and the grief he bears for losing his 21-year-old daughter, Jenna, when he called one day to say he was with two ...

Adult Boys of Rancho Peñasquitos

Last March California voters approved Proposition 21, the anti-juvenile crime initiative, by a gang-busting 62 percent. San Diegans passed the measure by a full two-thirds. To date it’s been a galvanizing nine months for local ...

Making News

Day-of-Air Today at the East County Community Health Services clinic in El Cajon, Supervisor Dianne Jacob is holding a “newser,” an announcement directed at the media. Because Scripps East Hospital in El Cajon has recently ...

Real Parents

At breakfast my father asked me what I thought we should do if, in Grandma and Grandpa’s safety deposit box, we found the document identifying his real parents. The year was 1967, and he and ...

Fairy Shrimp, the City of San Diego, and the Mayor of Poway

“Oooh, what’s that?” Kelly says, touching the water. “There’s a shrimp.” He says it’s long and translucent. “See it?” What I can make out looks like a near-invisible minnow. Shrimp swim upside down, Kelly explains.

Never Die

What to do with fertilized human eggs?

Like many newly married couples, Cristen and Jeffry Hays wanted to get pregnant soon after their wedding in 1992 but felt it best to wait. They used birth control until Jeffry finished three years of ...

City of Artless Politics

The San Diego Convention Center board of director's vote was tied Friday, November 19, three for Nancy Rubins's proposed Harbor Drive sculpture -- the 102-foot-high, 100-ton arch of 60 cabled-together fiberglass boats -- and three ...

Last Light

Strokes of genius in the local golden glow

When I point at and say, I like that painting, the one suffused with sulphury light, the golden warm of San Diego’s presunset hour, the painter, William Glen Crooks, replies, “Oh yes, that one. Now ...

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