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Stories by Walter Mencken

Who Plays Who: Filner Takedown Edition

In Crimes and Misdemeanors, Martin Landau plays a man wrestling with guilt over his sexual misconduct and its disastrous consequences. Former Mayor Bob Filner’s sexual misconduct included wrestling women into headlocks; his confession of guilt ...

Beelzebub parts ways with San Diego televangelist Morris Cerullo

No sympathy from the devil?

“Let me make one thing clear at the outset,” says Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies and one of the Seven Princes of Hell. “I am, and always will be, a big fan of the Prosperity ...

San Diego Tourism Authority unveils $10 million national campaign on behalf of city

One last look?

For decades, says San Diego Tourism Authority director Wanda West, “Americans from every state and travelers from all over the world have chosen San Diego as a vacation destination. They come for the theme parks ...

State of the city

A look back

Last month, San Diego Mayor Kevin “Cheer Captain” Faulconer gave his annual State of the City address, which he concluded by saying, “San Diego, this is how we build our future. Let’s keep moving.” The ...

D.A. Dumanis explains decision to call in outside consultant in Nehad shooting incident

The talking head

On January 18, inewsource.org reported that "of the 155 police-involved shootings since 2005... the investigation of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in April in San Diego’s Midway District represents the only time the ...

SDG&E announces branding partnership with Universal’s Illumination Entertainment

Attempting to “minionate” a spate of bad PR?

STILL REELING FROM THE DISCOVERY THAT MINIONS IS THE #11 ALL-TIME BIGGEST FILM WORLDWIDE, SAN ONOFRE — “It all started with that meddling busybody Darrel Issa and his namby-pamby Bill 3643,” says SDG&E Head of ...

SeaWorld’s Shamu Experience takes over vacated Qualcomm Stadium

Breeding room?

“After the Chargers left, Qualcomm was a big empty bowl,” says SeaWorld head of killer whale breeding Bee S. DeWitt. “Meanwhile, our orcas weren’t being allowed to breed because of our insufficiently large storage facilities. ...

Who Plays Who: Mission Edition

Movie actor Philip Seymour Hoffman portrayed the charismatic leader of an outlawed organization in The Master before ultimately being undone by drugs. El Chapo was the charismatic leader of an organization of drug outlaws before ...

School of Creative and Performing Arts students adapt I, Claudius for the present day

Art imitates life

Trod Boards, director of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts theater program, is excited. What’s more, he’s excited to tell you why. "Robert Graves’ masterful historical novel I, Claudius, which was famously ...

FanDuel sets up fantasy betting platform for which NFL team(s) wind(s) up in Los Angeles

Fantasty football franchise forecasting

“No one is suggesting that when people say they love football, what they really mean is they love gambling on football,” says FanDuel.com head of press placation Bud Chance. “But the fact remains that everything ...

Pfizer buys naming rights for new Los Angeles NFL franchise

Penetrating offense + rock solid defense = victory

"Football has always been the sexiest sport,” says Pfizer head of brand development Sam Stuffer. "The whole point is the conquest of territory, forcing your opponent to yield to your power. You’ve got positions like ...

Spanos family praises Chargers Coach McCoy for deft 2015 performance

Breaking up is hard to do

Fans who were curious as to the Chargers’ decision to retain seemingly hapless head coach Mike McCoy following the team’s dismal performance in 2015 (and 2014, and 2013…) got some measure of explanation today from ...

Chargers balloon breaks loose at Holiday Bowl parade

Somewhere over the rain clouds?

PEERING INTO THE BLANK AND SUNLESS SKY, WONDERING WHAT IT COULD POSSIBLY MEAN, EMBARCADERO — On December 30, San Diego’s waterfront was once again host to the biggest balloon parade in the country (recently rechristened ...

District Attorney Dumanis provides audio commentary for police shooting video

"Mistakes were made."

Last April, San Diego police officer Neal Browder shot and killed 42-year-old Fridoon Nehad in an alleyway. A surveillance camera captured the shooting, but district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who decided that Browder’s use of deadly ...

RIP 2015

Talking to the ghosts of San Diego about the year that was

Pete Wilson's statue on politics? Shamu on SeaWorld! Bill Kolender on law enforcement! Karl Strauss on craft beer! And Jack Murphy on the stadium!

Spy vs. Spy?

Department of Homeland Security’s surveillance of private emails credited with discovery of Border Patrol agent’s hidden camera voyeurism

Last week, former Border Patrol agent Armando Gonzalez was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for planting a hidden camera in the women’s restroom at a Chula Vista Border Patrol facility. The camera, which ...

NFL = No Family Love?

City Attorney opens abuse investigation into Chargers

Anyone who has watched an NFL game this season has seen a "Football is Family" ad extolling the ways that pro football and pro football fandom can help bring people together, solve problems, provide comfort, ...

Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee Tuna call off announced merger, citing “logo loggerheads”

Conscious unmergering

HANGING OUT AT THE DOCKS, GAZING WISTFULLY OUT TO SEA, EMBARCADERO — “Business is funny,” says Bumblebee Tuna Chief Operating Officer Royal Jelly. “Sometimes, you think you have everything in place to make a huge ...

Jimmy Hat? No, Jiminy Hat!

Rise in STDs traced to hopeful cricket

Earlier this month, San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services reported that, for the third straight year, sexually transmitted disease rates had seen double-digit increases. "Gonorrhea is up 16%,” says Department spokesperson Peter ...

Paris : Beirut :: San Diego : Africa?

Activists bemoan lopsided media coverage of rhino crisis

In late November, Nola — one of the last Northern white rhinos in existence — was euthanized at the San Diego Zoo after doctors proved unable to contain an infection stemming from an abscess in ...

Rates! Set! Hike!

Water rate increase necessitated by city’s stadium proposal?

As of November 30, the San Diego City Council has approved the Municipal Water District’s plan to raise water rates 41 percent over the next five years. “If we don’t raise rates,” says City Council ...

San Diego Unified School District considers solution to problem of gender expression and bathrooms

Parts is parts

According to the San Diego Unified School District's policy regarding Nondiscrimination of Transgender Students, "all persons, including students, have a right to privacy; this includes keeping a student's actual or perceived gender identity and gender ...

Ballast Point reassures customers following $1 billion sale to Constellation

"Nothing will change."

Statement from Ballast Point brewmeister Hanz Grabbencoin: Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits started in the back of a home-brew supply store, and we promise not to forget that, now that we've been bought by the ...

La Jolla welcomes Republican hopeful Ben Carson at fundraiser

Uncommon common ground

"Honestly, it's been the most refreshing experience," said Millicent Guzzlethwaite of La Jolla's Muirlands West neighborhood following a fundraising presentation by Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson in the La Jolla Country Club's Throckmorton Ballroom. "First, ...

Pea-NUTS

Offbeat director David Lynch picked to helm sequel to hit film

The Peanuts movie took in $45 million dollars in its opening weekend, a strong showing which naturally had producers talking sequel by Monday morning. But in a surprise turn, Blue Sky Studios has tapped David ...

SeaWorld announces plans for resort, restaurant in wake of closed orca exhibit

Angus of the Sea?

On November 9, Sea World San Diego announced its plan to phase out its famous killer whale shows, following years of protests, legal setbacks, and trainer swallowings. Instead, the park will feature an orca-themed exhibit, ...

"An honest mistake."

California Attorney General says no charges to be filed in case of state trooper who shot man dressed as San Diego police officer

Yesterday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that, following an in-depth investigation, no charges would be filed against California State Trooper Trigger Finger. Finger shot and killed San Diego resident Ronaldo Innocent as he exited ...

Man vs. Plan

Ocean Beach resident protests recently approved OB community plan

On November 9, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach community plan, which was designed to, in the words of Ocean Beach Head Hippie Marijuana Jones, "serve as the city of San Diego's ...

San Diego Museum of Art scores hit with exhibit of portraits from Albie's Beef Inn

Vincent Van Go-Go

When the word came down that Albie's Beef Inn in Mission Valley was scheduled to shut its doors for good, few people wondered where they would go for Steak Diane or a chance to croon ...

Litigious local expands lawsuit against MillerCoors

Hop-ping mad!

When San Diegan Enoch Petrov started buying Blue Moon Belgian wheat beer in 2011, he thought he was buying a local craft beer. After all, the trucks that delivered it to his local bar bore ...

Padres new manager: "I am willing to take this job."

Green(er) pastures?

On November 3, the San Diego Padres named Arizona Diamondbacks third-base coach Andy Green as the team's new manager, following the dismissal of interim manager Pat Murphy, who was filling in for the fired Bud ...

Tattoo parlor opens on site of former tattoo parlor in Gaslamp Quarter

Here comes the neighborhood

"We really wanted to bring back the feeling of those bad old days before the Gaslamp was a gentrified tourist destination," says Brad Handlebar, proprietor of The Nasty Needle Tattoo Parlor. "Back before they built ...

Outraged parent applauds Coastal Commission ban following revelations of inbreeding

SHAME-U!

"I've been coming to SeaWorld with my children for 10 years," says Del Mar mother Sandee Momstein. "But after learning about the perverted antics of their main attraction, I don't think I'll ever come again. ...

No-Sperm Whale

Sales of "Orcondoms" surge following Orca breeding ban

In 1999, Gudmundur Sigurdur Johannsson obtained U.S. Design Patent D448471 for the ornamental design of a novelty condom shaped like a killer whale. But somewhere along the way, he came to the conclusion that "certain ...

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park takes advantage of Orca breeding ban at SeaWorld

Wild, wild life

Following the California Coastal Commission's demand that it cease breeding its killer whales (even as it began construction of new, expanded killer whale storage facilities), the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park released the following ...

High as a kite

Well, maybe a drone

On October 4, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that legalized "beer bikes" on city streets. He did it while riding in a beer bike — you know, the kind where lots of people ...

Gate(s)way to excitement!

Star tight end's first game of 2015 heralds team's return to form

Comment by Dick Danepa, special to SD on the QT Forget about the wins. They're going to come in a Chargers season. When you've got a quarterback like Philip Rivers, that's a simple fact: there ...

Another winning season!

(For Petco Park)

"This is perhaps my favorite time of year," says Petco Park general manager Dick Andersen. "Baseball season is over, and it's time to sit back, take stock, and once again savor the sweet smell of ...

Cartels respond to troubling shift in consumer demographics

Methamfeminine?

A SANDAG report released today indicated that 53 percent of women booked into San Diego County jails tested positive for methamphetamine, while only 40 percent of their male counterparts tested positive for the drug. That's ...

San Diego Zoo welcomes Dr. Moreau as new director of children's outreach

The beast in you!

RECALLING THE FACT THAT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO IS ALSO A SOPHISTICATED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FACILITY, BALBOA PARK — "I love children," says Dr. Moreau, newly arrived Director of Children's Outreach at the San Diego Zoo, ...

Victoria's Secret Angel descends upon San Diego, dispenses wisdom

What is sexy?

Stunning Victoria's Secret Angel Martha Hunt made an appearance at Fashion Valley Mall yesterday afternoon, following San Diego's selection via popular vote as America's Sexiest City. (Other winners included TV actress Ellie Kemper for Sexiest ...

San Diego Union-Tribune wins Pulitzer for covering its own demise

Judges call "Paper Trail of Tears" series "A brilliant investigation into the death of print journalism."

From the judges' statement: "Bill Peek, the last remaining investigative journalist at the embattled San Diego Union-Tribune, obtained unprecedented levels of access into the inner machinations of a daily newspaper in decline. Through multiple transfers ...

Can't lay off the layoffs?

Qualcomm CEO begs Clinton: "Please stop me before I downsize again!"

Local telecommunications company Qualcomm laid off some 1300 San Diegans recently in an effort to repair the damage wrought by plummeting sales. Critics have called the move “unfortunate” from a publicity standpoint, given the boatloads ...

In attempt at transparency, city officials unveil updated seal for San Diego

Sealing our fate?

San Diego Image Department Chief Brad Spinner today unveiled the new city seal at a press conference, and also provided an explanation for the changes he implemented. "The first thing, the very first thing I ...

Donald Trump sponsors large-scale art installation along U.S.-Mexico border

Patron of the arts?

Calling it "the biggest and best piece of art ever made about the issues surrounding immigration, or about anything else, for that matter," Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump today unveiled his "Greater Wall," a replica ...

Body Art Expo goes meta to woo drifting hipsters

Ink think

SAN DIEGO CONCOURSE — Once upon a time, hipsters and tattoos were almost as synonymous as bikers and tattoos, athletes and tattoos, or convicts and tattoos. "I think it was the Suicide Girls that did ...

The Godzilla El Niño: Which Godzilla?

Locals hope for something with a "classic feel"

California Monstereologists have cited the recent invasion of Southern California's beaches by thousands of monstrous pelagic crabs as a likely sign of an impending visit from Godzilla El Niño. "Time and again," says UCSD researcher ...

Local tribe seeks to monetize sacred ground without arousing evil

On September 3, the La Jolla Indian Reservation opened what is thought to be the longest zipline in Southern California. For $99, campers at the reservation campground can soar through the air for over a ...

Mayor Faulconer pushes for convention center expansion despite lawsuit

Contiguous calamity curtailer?

A recent report from Conventions, Sports, and Leisure International claims that San Diego will reap a maximum return on investment if the convention center is expanded in place, as opposed to building a separate facility ...

Craft beer scene yields to burgeoning local heroin industry

Horse race?

Recent data released by SANDAG shows that heroin use among arrested San Diegans has tripled since 2002. Today, over 15 percent of all women and 13 percent of all men who get taken into custody ...