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Thirty Years Ago In the San Diego area, the two best-selling imported beers are Heineken and Dos Equis. Dos Equis became a best seller only in the last year or two. While Dos Equis has always been popular in the Bay Area, our proximity to Tijuana made drinkers associate it with a trip across the border, rather than a drink available at the supermarket. As for American beer, 40--50 percent of the total San Diego sales goes to Coors, 25 percent to Budweiser, and the bottom 10 percent to Olympia, Schlitz, and Hamms. -- "A WORD OF ADVICE TO THE LOCAL LUSH," E.J. Rackow, August 28, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago The Believer: What better proof is there of the existence and nature of God than the lowly grunion? It is God who sustains the world, who plans everything, who makes everything happen according to His will. See what perfection He has put into His creation! The eggs of these six-inch fish need ten days in a warm, dry environment for the larvae to develop and get ready for hatching. But the sea is wet and cold. Hence, God has devised an incredible method to allow the grunion eggs to gestate on beaches. -- "DIVINE GRUNION," Ben Sira, August 28, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Leslie supervises a fast-food outlet near the Sports Arena. The biggest complaint I've got is that people don't read. They walk in, look at the huge menu that's hanging right in front of them, and then ask, "What do you serve?" This happens at least 20 times a day -- and it's mostly elderly people doing it. There are a bunch of senior-citizen complexes in the Midway area, so we get a lot of them. -- "WHAT'S YOUR GRIPE?" Jacqueline Shannon, August 29, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago "Something's not right," a San Diego Tribune staffer remarks. "The county is growing like crazy, but the newspapers are shrinking." Both Copley dailies -- the Tribune and the morning Union -- have experienced reductions in circulation this year, while the county's population has grown by about 80,000. But while the Union 's average daily circulation is down only 1.6 percent (about 2850 fewer copies sold than last year), the Tribune is off by 4.5 percent. -- CITY LIGHTS: "APPROACHING THE WORRY POINT," Neal Matthews, August 30, 1990

Ten Years Ago The first crime I remember committing was in 1959 at a Little League ballpark near the Armory in Kearny Mesa. With a rusty metal pipe, I broke a cheap lock on a concession stand door and went in. Once inside, I was dizzied by the scent of peppermint, chocolate, and caramel. I filled a box with Hershey bars, Neccos, and Tootsie Rolls. I was eight years old. Back in my neighborhood, I ate some, stashed some for later, and sold the rest for a nickel apiece. One of the sales I made was to an eight-year-old neighbor and classmate, Bernard. He was a chubby, jocular black kid who was one of the best marble players on Comstock Street. Currently he is on death row in San Quentin for the 1979 decapitation of a Mesa College woman. -- "RABBIT'S BAD HABITS," John Olson, August 24, 1995

Five Years Ago Owners don't care if their trainer uses illegal dope, Harvey Furgatch says, as long as they win. "'If he gets caught,' they'll say, 'it's his problem.'" The fines for illicit drugs range from $500 to $2000. As most top Southern California trainers earn in the high-six figures annually, Furgatch doesn't see fines as a deterrent. "Considering the purses, they probably consider it a pretty good investment." Most suspensions are for 30 days; they have as much effect, Furgatch notes, "as a manager getting kicked out of a baseball game." -- CITY LIGHTS: "JUST SAY NAY," Bob Owens, August 24, 2000

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