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Another Perfect Day
By downtownphotoguy, June 26
Today we were in Presidio Park in the morning and Balboa Park in the afternoon. We were shooting with a variety of lenses and techniques…. It seems everybody in Balboa Park had a camera today, except for one retired gentleman in the botanical house who was sketching. He said he had only been sketching for about four years, which really proved to me that it’s never too late to find the artist within.

Dark Side of the Zoo
By subliminelle, July 19
I know this sounds crazy, but every time I go to the zoo, I always see at least one person wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt. Once, I counted as many as four people sporting the psychedelic tee in a single visit! Then it occurred to me that Pink Floyd has an album entitled “Animals.” Maybe there is a subculture of zoo visitors who, inspired by the music of Pink Floyd, are making a subconscious effort to get in touch with their primal selves by seeking out the company of animals.


A Noisy Place Filled with Character
By cpercival, February 20
I remember falling asleep my first night and then was practically startled out of my bed when I heard what I thought was another attack on America, which was actually a FedEx airplane coming in at 4 a.m. I now don’t really sleep well without the noise.

Why All the Smiles and Hellos?
By larsond07, February 5
I live in Banker’s Hill in an old hotel renovated and turned into an apartment complex.
When I walk around the building and down the streets everyone smiles and says hello. They don’t just say hello, they go as far as asking how I’m doing!

1. Banker’s Hill is infested with crime. People say hello to you because they think you are either a tweaker (meth user) or a criminal. They say hello to let you know your presence in the neighborhood is known and that your face will be remembered in case you decide to commit a crime.
By Burwell, Feb 6


She’s Got Great Cans
By karengina, June 9
I’m the one with the plastic grocery bag hanging off my wrist, if you ever catch me cruising around on my bicycle. Why not clean up my neighborhood and make a few bucks while I’m at it by picking up all the cans and bottles I see? I spend the money I make on a nice dinner. A big plate of German food, like the kind they serve at Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad.

Our Own Little Slice of Paradise
By tracideleon, May 26
I have been living here in the Bay Park Apartments for 8 1/2 years now. On a sunny day the barbecues are fired up, and everyone brings to the table what they have, and it’s potluck time. Might be Mexican, Puerto Rican, German. Some days it’s game time, and we’ll play dominos, pinochle, backgammon, cribbage. The kids run around outside, play baseball out back in the alley, or ride bikes. It does get noisy sometimes. The apartments are on Morena Boulevard, which is a busy street where people tend to drive too fast, and then we have the train tracks and the 5 freeway.

O’Connells and the Trash It Brings In
By jukebox_junkie, January 11
I have lived in my house for near two years now. Besides the occasional homeless guy screaming outside or the crappy garage bands playing past 11 or so, I use to think this was a pretty nice area to live in…. Unfortunately, O’Connell’s has turned this neighborhood into just another trash-filled ghetto, comparable to a Florida trailer park.
I understand supporting local bands and giving them a place to play, but could you at least have security check the patrons for guns before letting them in? It’s pretty sad that I get woke up every weekend at 2 a.m. due to fights outside, but this past weekend was worse because someone brought a gun.


Separate Yet One
By CristinaFernando, January 28
It was below 40 degrees this morning as I stood at a high spot overlooking lower Otay Lakes. It’s sunny, but for San Diego, especially east Chula Vista, THAT is cold! But it’s midweek of the last week into my third month of unemployment and I just had to drive the winding road of Wueste to take a break from sitting most days, perched over my laptop, looking for a job. Gloved hands shivering (still), I held a steaming cup of coffee, and leaned back on my car.

You Can’t Drink the Early Bird Special
By RonnieMexico, June 23
It’s hard find a good place to drink in Chula Vista. I don’t know what scheme the city planners enacted to kill night life, but it worked. Finding a nice bar in Chula Vista is harder than finding a golf course in San Ysidro.
If you want to get a drink after the sun goes down, you may be stuck at Chili’s. Nothing is better than doing a shot next to a kid in a highchair.
Zorba’s is an option. Located in west Chula Vista, it’s loaded with history. Unfortunately, its patrons are loaded with history, too. They can tell you about the Truman presidency.


Car Chase to Christmas Circle
By skipcarufel, May 31
I will tell you what happened at Anza Borrego Desert State Park last month, but please don’t repeat it. I, a 20-something woman, caused a little mischief with some car crazies who invaded my favorite campsite, and now they are looking for me. If they hear about this story and read it — assuming they can read — they will track me down. Before the sun sets I will be as dead as the coyote they ran over.


Riders of the Storm
By Ken Harrison, June 13
On Tuesday, June 2, Craigslist’s North San Diego area listed four lost or found dogs. On Wednesday, June 3, after the unexpected lightning storm rolled through, 25 lost or found dogs were posted that afternoon on Craigslist.
At around 2:00 p.m., June 3, my wife found a stray dog on Lake Drive in Cardiff. The brown female shepherd was tired and thirsty and jumped into her car willingly. “Ruby” became one of those 25 postings.
Spooked by the storm, Ruby had jumped over a six-foot fence, ran across six lanes of El Camino Real, and made her way through a mile of thick sagebrush before reaching the street in Cardiff.

By the Beautiful Sea
By Ken Harrison, June 3
A couple years ago, the 1912 Craftsman-style home at 125 Mozart Street — one of Cardiff’s oldest — was spared from demolition after zoning issues caused an office-building development to fall through.
What makes the home even more valuable is who built it.
In 1911, New York–based music publisher Victor Kremer fell in love with the coastal community. Kremer’s vision still remains today on 12 streets he plotted and named after composers such as Chopin (Way), Haydn (Drive), Schubert (Path), and Vivaldi (Street).
In the early ’30s Kremer sold his publishing company and invested in Cardiff real estate. He began growing passion fruit on the Mozart Street property and eventually sold jams, jellies, and a soda named Passionola. In 1937, he was in New York securing orders from big department stores when he received a telegram: his Cardiff crop had been wiped out in an unexpected frost.

The Boys Next Door
By ali_cat, June 30
I’ve tried on several occasions to communicate with the boys next door, but to no avail. My first technique was to slam my bedroom window with extreme force, hoping that they would catch my drift. It was a failed attempt, and so a few nights later, after allowing this boyish behavior to continue, I stepped out into the dark — clad in my pajamas, with the intention to let it be known that I meant business. It was time to shut up! I found a gap in the fence and hollered through the space where the light was penetrating through. In my deepest voice, I yelled, “Hey guys, could you keep it down over there? Your neighbors are trying to sleep!”


Towers Land in North County
By Ken Harrison, February 21
Beachgoers are noticing the changes on the sand at Seaside, Cardiff Reef, Ponto, South Carlsbad, and Tamarack beaches. A California icon, the classic lifeguard tower, has had an extreme makeover.
The old, less-angular fiberglass towers are classic California architecture made famous by Baywatch and other TV shows. Not everyone likes the new, unevenly shaped towers. (Are those shining aqua-blue things lifeguard towers or attack drones from an upcoming Star Wars film?)


A Memorial
By corib, January 23
A white bicycle, American flags, a teddy bear, fresh flowers, and a pennant with the name Walt…they are significant reminders of the man who was recently killed on Sabre Springs Parkway while riding his bike home after work. Sabre Springs Parkway serves as a raceway for some drivers and the sweeping curves on the road are often misjudged.
Walt’s family has constructed a web site in tribute to his life. According to a local newspaper, the man’s full name was Walter Joller, Naval Academy graduate, retired military. The website can be found on the Internet by searching his name.

By corib, January 6
Carmel Mountain was a minor mess tonight. At the Arco station at the corner of Poway Rd. and Sabre Springs Parkway, most people are aware that cars line up in one direction to use the pumps. The system doesn’t always work well.
I’m not sure whether the woman who cut in front of the cars tonight was an outsider or not, but an irate guy in a Jeep was convinced she was a conscientious interloper. He swerved around to block her car and was perfectly ready to ram her shiny black ride. He spewed out a string of “F” words while yelling at her that she had to move her car because of all the cars that had been waiting for 20 minutes. Another guy walked around to make note of her license plate. The woman refused to move.As I left the parking area, I was cut off by another car that ran the red light at the top of the hill. Eventually, I made my way back up Sabre Springs Parkway. I heard the drone of a boom box in concert with a muffler.


For the Children
By Peter C. Salisbury, March 12
On March 5, the South Bay Union School District voted to eliminate 80 teaching positions, but it was not the slam-dunk many expected. District Superintendent Carol Parish addressed those attending, saying, “We had to start reducing the budget seven years ago, so now each cut feels devastating.”
The reduction of the 12 librarians’ hours (from eight a day to five) sparked heated discussion. One speaker told the school trustees, “It is the librarian that has one-on-one contact with each student. They know each child’s name — first and last name.”
The resolution was subsequently passed with trustees Elvia Aguilar, Jones, and Inzunza voting approval and Brown and Lopez dissenting.

Nursing a Baby, Not a Hangover
By starr_09, June 15
I heard a really tasteless joke from a guy I met at a bar, he had asked me where my friend so-and-so was, I simply replied that she had just gotten pregnant and was taking it easy. He laughed and replied, “Man, you Mexican girls sure are fertile!” I went to a school in Chula Vista, graduated in 2004, and to be honest, I know of girls that are pregnant and have kids from my graduation class — 2 or 3. When I first turned 21, that was like the ultimate punishment. Oh, my gosh! Life is over, you’re done, no more partying, no more one-night stands, how awful. I have talked to some of my friends who have had babies, and to be honest, they are some of the happiest girls that I know.

Take Me to the River
By Mark Jay, June 13
At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, Chula Vista police observed what they thought was a narcotics sale, according to police radio traffic. CVPD officers got behind a suspect car at East Palomar and Nacion Avenue and then attempted to do a traffic stop. The driver refused to pull over and officers gave chase. The suspects led police onto the northbound I–805 via the L Street onramp. The officers observed the suspects throwing what looked like narcotics out of the window while the car entered the freeway.
The driver, who didn’t drive faster than 50 miles per hour while police were in pursuit, finally yielded to officers just north of the Bonita Road exit on the northbound I–805. He was taken into custody and officers found two handguns in the car. But before that happened, and before police could approach the car, the passenger tried to get away on foot, via the Sweetwater River, about 500 yards south of the Plaza Bonita Mall.


Julio’s Gone, Not Forgotten
By Linda Cox, April 18
All that remains of Julio’s Mexican Restaurant is the tall sign at the corner of University Avenue and 45th Street.
Julio Arreola and his brother Olimpio ran the restaurant for 35 years before they lost their lease and closed the business in July of 2006. In the weeks before closing, Julio told customers that they had originally owned the property but had sold it years ago and leased it back. He said the new owners had resold it and that a pawnshop would replace the restaurant.


  1. O, I am so sad to see this pathetic restaurant go to puts. Oh well, there’s about 50 more of them all around the corners!
    By katramolv, Apr 18
  2. You obviously never ate at this fantastic San Diego icon. My favorite dish was the “super nachos” with loads of thick bacon and homemade guacamole. In the 1980s, while a student at SDSU, my boyfriend and I would go out once a month here. They had great food, super friendly staff, and a live mariachi band.
    By klemker, Apr 19
  3. For those that remember Mario, he owns his own restaurant now. Casa Adams on 30th and Adams Ave. While nothing can live up to Julio’s, this place comes very close.
    By thebyte, Apr 21
  4. My introduction to Julio’s was in 1972, as a place to get lunch when working in Mission Valley. I think they had some lunch specials for as little as $1.49.
    I got raves from folks who said they didn’t like Mexican food, yet loved Julio’s tacos. The carrots were great, cooked just enough to be soft, not too piquante, and refreshing. Many of these Mexican restaurant recipes have changed over the years, and not always for the better. It was there that I discovered pork chile verde.
    That neighborhood was never the best, and has declined over the years. A car repair shop was right next door, not a pretty sight.
    I liked the place so much that my wife and I had our wedding rehearsal dinner there, in late 1974. The strolling musicians kept the place festive. I’d often wondered about his success, if he had located in some tourist area. But he was what the neighborhood allowed him to be.
    Sorry, but there are not 50 places just like Julio’s, maybe not one. It was unique, and after moving to north county, we seldom ate there. I wish I could find a sit-down Mexican restaurant half as good within ten miles of my home.
    By Visduh, Apr 22
  5. A number of other great and cheap places to eat have been lost over the years. Don Jose’s on El Cajon Blvd, across from Hoover High was unique and for several years had a second restaurant on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. There was Caesar’s with three locations, which shrank to two, and finally to only one. It had some Italian tastes that can still make my mouth water, and the last one of those (in Mission Valley) closed about 25 years ago. Oh, the Campus Chuckwagon on El Cajon Blvd, with its $1.35 full lunch buffet is but a memory for SDSU students in the ’60s and ’70s. The Bit of Sweden smorgasbord on El Cajon Blvd at Oregon Street was a fantastic value in the early ’70s. There must be some operations around today that compare to them, but they were so CHEAP, had lines out the door, and did booming businesses.
    By Visduh 8:24 p.m., Apr 23

Claiming City Heights
By eclarabrown, February 20
I was training for a marathon when I found out I was pregnant. Back then, even my short runs were long enough to take me out of City Heights.
The bigger I got, the more I slowed down, and eventually, I came to notice and appreciate how interesting it is here. Besides the international collection of storefronts (within just a few blocks on University, there is an Albertson’s, a Murphy’s Supermercado, a Minh Huong Market, and a Halal Meat and Produce Store), some unique decor (one house has at least sixteen wind chimes hanging over the front porch, and another has a 12-foot statue of Buddha out front), it’s the people who make this neighborhood fascinating.
I’m intrigued by the groups of African men who gather for long hours of chit-chat outside the local Starbucks. What do they talk about, and why do most of them dress in jeans and button-up shirts when their wives and daughters (who are always waiting to cross the street just outside the building that advertises free English classes) dress from head to toe in layers of brilliantly colored cottons?
Then there are the Mexican soccer players (ranging in age from 2 to 72) in their shorts and shin-guards who fill the open field near the library during weekends and evenings.

The Cleaner
By mtumesalaam, March 28
My cousin, his wife, and their two kids live in a five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath McMansion in Carmel Valley. In his neighborhood, everything’s clean, everything’s new, and there’s never anyone or anything on the streets. Not even cars. It’s as if everyone frickin’ morphs to and from work and school every day. My cousin’s house, like his neighborhood, is pleasant, I guess, but boring as hell.
I can only wish I had such problems — I live in City Heights. Along with my wife and our two children (one 11-year-old, one newborn), I live in a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath condo at the deadend of a zig-zagging, jam-packed little street that seems to stay cluttered 24 hours per day with cars, kids, old ladies, dogs, those annoying ice-cream cart guys, moving vans, UPS trucks, the occasional dead armadillo or skunk, telephone poles, electrical poles, “Restricted Parking” signs, and sometimes, discarded household items (sofas with the cushion-stuffing falling out, desks missing legs and drawers, busted-up computer monitors, stereo systems, televisions, you name it).


Games Gangs Play
By Dayn Richardson, April 18
A search by gang investigators of the San Diego Police Department began on Tuesday for a male teenager who shot and wounded a 20-year-old man at a Clairemont recreation center.
The victim was standing with friends near the basketball courts at the North Clairemont Community Park on Bannock Avenue around 9:10 p.m. on Monday night, when they were approached by another group of males, said San Diego police Sgt. Bob Dare. At least one of the men in the group issued a challenge, and the victim started to walk away, but one of the men pulled out a weapon and shot the victim in the back, Dare said.


  1. In the article they didn’t say anything about the shooter being a gang member or that this shooting happened in a area where gang activity is high. So why the title “games gangs play”? Oh wait I know why, because they said the shooter was a Latino male with a shaved head and tattoos. I guess every Latino with a shaved head and tattoos is a gang member. You people are a bunch of stupid azz racist dorks!!!!!
    By SpliffAdamz, Apr 20
  2. First off…it was gang related. I can promise you all that, because the person who got shot I know personally. And he is part of a gang. And it was another gang that shot at the other victim. Gang violence is huge in Clairemont, especially in that area.
    By oblocal07, Apr 22
  3. Oblocal07, what do you know about Clairemont?? Your blog name is OBLOCALO7; doesn’t that mean you are in Ocean Beach and not in Clairemont? Before you talk about who knows what about any part of the city, ask yourself what part of the city do you represent? Besides, who cares if there are gangs in Clairemont, gangs in Clairemont ain’t kickin up any dust anywhere else in the city!! I never seen a Clairemont gangsta in Southeast where the blood and crips play!! Or even in the Logan and Sherman area where other Latino gangs are. I never seen a Clairemont gangsta in National City, where their are more gang members then police.
    By SpliffAdamz, Apr 22
  4. There have been gangs in Clairemont since the late sixties. It was different from the gangs of today but still a gang and still bangin against LV aka Little Vietnam. The Sureno gang started in clmt in 1990. My family has been in 92117 since ’59, so I know what I’m talking about. And the shooter was from LV; the tatt said it in his face.
    By clmtlife, May 16

Bob the Hermit Crab
By Tennyson, March 12
When I moved here earlier this year, I wanted to live in O.B. or maybe Pt. Loma. Clairemont just wasn’t part of the plan, but houses in O.B./Pt. Loma were trashy or scary or too small, too expensive or not receptive to the 100 lb. dog that shares housing with me and now Bob! So here we are in Clairemont in a condo too good to be true. And Clairemont, well, it just is not all that bad.
I know all the guys in Home Depot from helpful and happy encounters. I can see the sunset from my dining room, the bay view is a two-minute drive, the off-leash park??? Where else is an off-leash park with an almost 200-degree ocean/bay/skyline view like Cadman?


Doo-Wop Era
By kstaff, March 31
I grew up in a little house on College Avenue, about a dozen houses up and on the east side from University. It’s still there, a mustard-colored thing that was cocoa-brown with white trim for the longest time. It’s not the fanciest house around, with a cement slab foundation and a flat roof with exposed water and gas lines running along the top. My dad planted pepper trees, and an ash tree in the back that still dominates the yard. We played on the hill behind the drainage ditch that ran through the back lot. It seemed like the neatest place in the world to be, and though we moved to a bigger house less than a mile away when I was ten, that too-small place on College with the odd floorplan due to add-ons for our growing family is the one we remember with affection.

Reflections on Rolando
By kstaff, February 8
This neighborhood of mine was laid out in the late 1920s to provide a complementary community for the new San Diego State College campus. It gets its name from its rolling hills and winding streets. There’s a La Mesa and an East San Diego component to the area and a zig-zaggy border between them that lands neighborhood kids living on the same street in completely different school districts, to their early mystification. Rolando Little League’s Gamby Field is, technically speaking, in La Mesa, but the San Diego kids all play there.
The neighborhood looks superficially the same as it did in the ’60s and before, which is one of the things I love about it. There are fancy street lamps, winding roads, secretive pedestrian walkways cutting along hillsides, and houses built to last. They appear the remainders of a bygone era, when pride in a job well done wasn’t a hopelessly naive concept, and day-by-day in every way things seemed to be getting better and better.


  1. I can’t remember before the shopping center, but I do remember when you could walk through the shopping center to the school without walking around it, when there was a gap between the DeFalco’s and the building where Thrifty’s and the dime store were. I also remember that we were always jealous of the kids that got to play little league for Pizza Palace because they got free pizza. Do you remember Manny’s on the corner of College and El Cajon, or Bay City Liquor? I remember the nice old man that owned the place. I used to stop to buy gum on the way to school. Long live Mrs. Perry and Rolando.
    By dougiebaby63, Feb 9


For Whom the Tolls Irk
By Sheila Pell, Feb. 23
Seven years after the toll for the San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge was dropped, a controversial proposal to bring it back is in the works. The toll would fund construction of an underground tunnel or underpasses along Third and Fourth Streets in Coronado, to ease traffic congestion that also impacts San Diego freeways.
A panel discussion on the topic (an unofficial city meeting with only one councilmember present) was held February 19 at the Coronado Community Center.
Coronado assistant city manager Jim Benson warned of “virtual gridlock” when a third naval carrier arrives in 2010.
The Nautilus Room was packed with well-heeled silver-haired residents, including many toll opponents. Questions ranged from, “What if there’s a jumper on the bridge?” to “When will the toll end?”
One father complained that local travel would become costly because of the amount of his children’s after-school activities. He pointed out that residents would pay more in tolls than the personnel that work on North Island.


They Crawl Among Us
By Steve Terry, May 13
About five minutes after leaving the top of Cowles Mountain on Saturday, May 9, six flashlight-toting hikers encountered something they had never seen before.
It was approximately 8:30 p.m. on a dark night, with the full moon not due to rise for another seven minutes or so. The hikers were on a short path just below the summit that connects the Cowles Mountain Trail with the so-called “Jeep Road.”
A tiny point of bright green light on the ground at the side of the trail pierced the darkness. Upon close examination, the source of the light was determined to be a small salmon-colored insect, about half an inch in length. At the rear of its body, on the right side, were what appeared to be two tiny segments of light, glowing a bright lime-green.
The insect was later identified as being a female Microphotus angustus, or “pink glowworm beetle.” Not really a worm, the pink glowworm is more accurately described as a beetle larva. The female never matures beyond the larval stage. She waits motionless on the ground, advertising herself with constantly glowing light, hoping to attract a flying male.
Author’s note: Cowles is properly pronounced “coals,” although the majority of San Diegans mispronounce it as if it rhymes with “towels.”


By Dorian Hargrove, March 16
Richard Eckfield knows the perfect way to draw bigger crowds to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. He’s pitched the idea for over three years. The problem is, nobody at the fairgrounds is listening.
Eckfield wants the fairgrounds to build a train stop at the north edge of the San Dieguito River. The idea isn’t new — in the 1930s, racetrack founder Bing Crosby bartered a deal with the Santa Fe Railroad to drop passengers off at the track.


Big Bones of Contention
By Nathaniel Uy, June 22
For the past two months, the future site of Thomas Jefferson Law School in the East Village has been the location of an orderly protest regarding labor matters. At the southeast corner of 11th and Island Avenues, there is a handful of men picketing peacefully. Across the street, on the northeast corner of the intersection, another group of men can be seen propping up a labor-dispute banner.
Locals are anxiously awaiting the completion of an eight-story campus but have been worried about further setbacks to the project, which has already seen delays from the discovery of mammoth, grey whale, and sloth fossils.
Editor’s note: Chris Saunders, communications specialist for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law emailed the Reader on Tuesday, June 23, to say that “construction of the downtown campus is seven to ten days ahead of schedule.”

Craning Attention
By Robert Duffy, May 10
A lone transient brought fear and terror to downtown San Diego on Sunday, May 3. The unnamed man, wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt, climbed to the top of a crane on the construction site at 11th Avenue and B street.
Onlookers gasped as he threw empty beer bottles to the pavement, over 100 feet below. Shattered glass was strewn across the street.
Five police cars, fire trucks, and paramedics arrived on the scene about 15 minutes after the incident began. It became apparent that the man wasn’t suicidal, as he slowly began descending, pausing only to regain his composure.

That Had to Hurt, Champ
By Ben Cooper, May 7
A 911 call on Monday, May 4, brought emergency teams and a fleet of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department vehicles (including battalion chief 1’s red Chevy Suburban) to the Lyceum Theatre entrance of Horton Plaza.
According to SDFP battalion chief Randy Ballard, an 18-month-old male who had been riding with his mother on a down-escalator got his finger trapped and then crushed. Ballard stated that several firefighter-rescue personnel had to dismantle part of the escalator to free the child.

Tragedy at Avalon
By Thomas Jarboe, April 2
On Saturday, March 29, a young man fell from a 12th-floor apartment on Ninth Avenue at 1:15 a.m. The victim, who had been visiting a friend at the Avalon building in Cortez Hill, died on impact. The building’s maintenance manager was returning from the Gaslamp Quarter when he discovered the body lying in front of the Cortez Hill Market, which is on the building’s ground floor. He called the police, who arrived on the scene and cordoned off the area. Their only comment was that it was a suicide.

Home on the Pavement
By Thomas Jarboe, March 26
As San Diego’s unemployment rate has climbed steeply (to 8.8 percent), so too has the homeless population. Food lines are extending around blocks, and shelters fill up before the sun sets. Many are turned away from shelters and must seek refuge wherever they can.
The sidewalks adjacent to the downtown library and post office have become a haven for the recently homeless. People who held jobs just months ago are now pitching tents alongside others on the sidewalks.
Take the 163 north freeway entrance off of Tenth Avenue and A Street, and you’ll see tents dangerously close to the road. Walk down to Office Depot, near Broadway and Pacific Highway, and you’ll see another homeless encampment.

Heavy Metal Rain Man
By Ben Cooper, March 3
Shortly before 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, metal chairs and tables rained down from the roof of the Ramada Inn on Sixth Avenue, narrowly missing several passing automobiles. Bent and twisted into nearly unrecognizable shapes, the patio furniture littered the asphalt and the concrete sidewalk across the street from the hotel between E and F Streets.
A few pedestrians who had scrambled for safety called 911. One citizen ran into the middle of Sixth Avenue, stopped all approaching vehicles, and barred their progress until nearly a dozen San Diego Police Department cruisers arrived.
Police officers prevented the growing crowd from walking down the barricaded street. Hotel guests and the manager himself were unable to enter the hotel (formerly the St. James). A lone figure appeared occasionally, poking his head out from the edge of the roof. Later, he was seen pacing on a ledge one story below the roof, from which a large patio umbrella, the final projectile, descended to the pavement. Two or more police officers on the roof above him appeared to be engaging the man in communication while he was trapped on the ledge.

Cycle Therapy
By Steve Terry, March 1
At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27, whoops and shouts could be heard near the Children’s Museum at the intersection of West Island Avenue and Front Street.
On Harbor Drive, a police car cruised silently with its emergency lights flashing, pacing the leaders of a huge pack of cyclists, many of them yelling as they rode: “Critical Mass!” Critical Mass, which began in San Francisco in 1992, takes place in San Diego and other cities on the last Friday of each month.
Most if not all of the San Diego cyclists sported headlights, and many were kitted out with neon-like lighting. As the lead riders reached the Marriott Hotel, someone yelled “Marriott!” and several bicyclists turned right to detour up through the large curved driveway. Most of the mobile mob, however, kept going straight on Harbor Drive.

Why I Should Own a Minivan
By Siobhan, July 16
I almost got my ass kicked in the Food 4 Less parking lot off Broadway in El Cajon. I wanted to buy the popsicles that are imported from Mexico that look like rockets.
It all went down immediately after my kids attended vacation bible school, where they learned about Jesus and held baby chicks.
It’s my husband’s fault. He was supposed to buy a minivan but instead he opted for a Jeep, one with ridiculously heavy doors. Because of his Isuzu Amigo, or as I like to call it, his little friend, I innocently banged my door into the car next to me. The woman who owned the car was sitting in it, yapping on the phone.
“I am so, so, sorry! These doors are heavy!” I told her while smiling.
I had never seen a human being move so fast. She was out of her car and standing next to me in .006 seconds. I could smell Cheetos on her breath. When her face was within an inch of mine, I realized that things were going to get ugly.


Repaving City Streets in Encanto
By 561395174, April 22
The Encanto area streets are being newly paved. There are areas on the sidewalk that are repaved with black tar. The same material is being used in the streets. This looks tacky because the rest of the sidewalk is light grey, with a bumpy black tar patch. Some streets look worse than before the city workers started.


  1. The streets are worse now than they were before the City started repairing them. Imperial Ave. is a mess. It’s obvious that we are being treated as second-class citizens. Tony is asleep. Can’t wait for election time.
    By stillgil2, Apr 23
  2. I’m still waiting for sidewalks on north 69th street.
    By DD92114, Apr 23


Around the Circle
By JD_Isle, April 29
Little did I know that upon moving into my neighborhood, I was sooner or later going to have to go around in a circle and reintroduce myself at least a handful of times. This is extremely challenging for me because I don’t talk much. It is, however, clear to me that my neighbors do. Every weekday around 5:45 p.m., I see them all out there in the driveway, beverages in hand, musing over the latest trailer-park prattle. It goes a little something like this: “Who’s building a new fence and a loft above their trailer next?”
“I’ll do it.”
“Wait, does she have a permit for that thing?”
“J.D. are you in there? We were wondering if you left your underwear in the laundry room. They’re about as big as a postage stamp, and it looks like something you might wear.”

The Urge Remains
By Ken Harrison, April 18
For over a year, rumors have flown around Encinitas that an In-N-Out Burger would move onto a site formerly occupied by Burger King and a 76 gas station on Santa Fe Drive. The end of the town’s Double-Double dream occurred last week: a sign has been posted on the fenced-in site, notifying the community that the Harwood Group will be building a two-story medical center.
The site is across the street from Scripps Memorial Hospital. In-N-Out officials were aware of the property but would not confirm any past interest in the old building or how the rumor may have started.


Eye on Escondido
By Craig Vansant, February 13
Escondido City Hall was packed with onlookers on Wednesday, February 11, as Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler gave her annual state-of-the-city address. She said Escondido’s revenue continues to decline, and there’s uncertainty about how far it will diminish before leveling out.
In Wednesday’s speech, the mayor referred to the emergency budget cuts announced during the meeting of January 14: a 5 percent pay reduction for 222 employees, a decrease in library hours (closure every other Friday), and significant cuts to Escondido police and fire departments.

Stolen Old Glory Replaced
By Craig Vansant, January 15
The 40 x 60 foot American flag that flew over the Escondido Auto Park has now been replaced after being stolen sometime between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, 2009. Tim and Tom Brecht of Brecht BMW told a North County Times reporter that someone had apparently used bolt-cutters to break locks off the flagpole’s two electrical boxes and hotwired the key-operated winch to bring down the 120-pound banner. Since the flag is replaced every six months anyway, it was almost due for another swap. As of Saturday, January 10, the new flag was flying high.


Pet Petition?
By Robert Jackson, March 5
A decision has been made by the city to street-sweep the 1000 block of 22nd Street, just one side of the street — weekly. No other side streets are scheduled weekly except for 22nd Street.
Emails with city council president Ben Hueso’s office first said it was a citizens’ petition that prompted the city to provide the service. Subsequent emails stated the regular street-sweeping had been scheduled.

By clutter, April 5
I am slugging Stone IPAs before the Casbah show in my deteriorating mauve lazy-boy. Between sips I give treats to the dog while I tap my foot to the Kinks’ — The Village Green Preservation Society.
I shuffle to the front door and throw cash at the doorman. I inquire when Earthless is playing. Behind the front bar, I recognize a bartender from the Turf Club. I throw back three beers while swapping Golden Hill stories.

By clutter, February 2
Monday Night Football. Turf Club. During the third quarter, a guido sits down next to me. He asks the bartender to check his credit card to see if there is any money on it. Nope, no money…he leaves. Fifteen minutes later, he struts back in and announces that he placed a call, and the card is good. He tries to start a conversation, but I am curt with my answers. He announces he wants to buy me a shot. I tell him I am a bourbon man, so he buys me a Knob shot.


It’s a Smaller World
By jjnsn1, February 8
25 years later, things are so much smaller. I left Allied Gardens in 1981 when my Dad retired from working for the Navy at Ballast Point. Until that point, life along Galewood Street had been like the TV show The Wonder Years. My canyon behind our house (yes, I considered it my canyon) was a dream adventureland for a young boy.
I walked back into my old neighborhood with my wife of 14 years last July. We hiked up the long, hot hill from the Grantville Transit station to a shopping center on Waring. Out of my past, like an old girlfriend, stood Fosters Freeze Ice Cream Shop. We bought a chocolate-dipped cone, and I showed her the water fountain on the side of the building that always had the coldest water around. I was amazed to see the dark, mysterious adult world of Pal Joey’s was still there. Gone was the Five and Dime store where I used to buy my capguns and Hot Wheels. The Korean Grocery across the street was now a family diner. But, there was Mona Lisa Pizza, my first introduction to the pie.


Giselle, Guatay, the Airstream and the Chief
By bohemianopus, July 10
“That’s it,” my husband Ben said as he squeezed the last box into the truck before closing the camper shell. “That’s all we can fit.” We were finally leaving Texas and moving back to California to a town whose name we couldn’t even pronounce — Guatay.
Before my journey, I had envisioned Guatay, a town 43 miles east of San Diego that stands at an elevation of 4,000 ft., as a lush, romantic hideaway. Upon my arrival in mid-winter; however, what I found was a cold, desolate and frozen wasteland where I could hear the wildlife rustling in the bushes and the wind whipping through the sparse trees.


If I Could Be Gay
By katwerts, June 2009
We were eating in Hillcrest. I had said the gay community was vibrant, and I loved spending time there. He said I overused the word “vibrant” but would come along. “A woman can want to be a lesbian but no man wants to be gay,” he told me. I told him that was the dumbest thing I had ever heard, and if I was a man I would certainly want to be gay. He gave me a look. I gave him one back. I knew he didn’t know what he was talking about, and we both knew I was drunk.
As we ate our breakfast, I looked across the table and watched the group of lesbians laughing loudly. As they laughed they made everything at their table seem so easy.
After breakfast he went with me to Balboa Park. We lay in the grass and soaked up the sun. I pulled out my notebook and wrote about how much I loved the park and how much I hated him. He lay on his back thinking about his friends that were on their way to surf Trestles. He thought about all the places he would love to surf, and how much he would rather be surfing. “I’ll probably go surf this afternoon,” he told me, rolling on his side to look at me in the grass. I sat up and agreed that he should. He sat up too and grabbed my hand, and we sat there together in the grass holding hands.

Beggar’s Banquet
By andynewsham, April 20
“Can I have seventy-five cents,” said the beggar. He’d edged up to us as we waited to get served at our local taco stand.
“The old seventy-five cent trick, eh?” I said.
I gave him a dollar.
He took it and walked off slowly, hobbling, the anvil of the street dragging at his heels. The way some homeless move. It’s no joke living on the streets, even in sunny California.
He had a cleft palate like Dracula’s henchman. Like a close-up of a flower bulb painted by Georgia O’Keefe. Like a split sausage.

The Mysterious Tenor of Hillcrest
By Michelle, February 1
I was thrilled to hear that clear tenor voice echoing to me from the canyons. It was perfect. I had been pruning a succulent on the patio of the Hillcrest apartment I had rented.
The configuration of canyons, with cottages and condos strewn about, prevented me from distinguishing, based on acoustics, where the voice was coming from. But I continued with the song. “With one person…” He chimed in with “…One very special person…” The next morning I dropped hints to the neighbors, hoping the mysterious tenor would reveal himself. He did not. Each night my partner joined me in a stream of showtunes…he knew them all…and Streisand and Celine. He knew Motown. I was his Supreme and he was my Diana Ross.
I unpacked the last of my boxes, grabbed a feather boa purported to be worn by Liza Minelli in Cabaret, and my collector’s edition Green Tambourine, and tap-danced my way out to the patio for a little “Don’t Rain On My Parade” while weeding the cactus garden…. It was then that he revealed Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” A boulder with a note tied to it was hurled onto my patio, missing my lighted I Love New York Statue of Liberty Garden gnome. I untied the note, thinking it might be a message from the mysterious tenor. “Shut the Hell Up!” it read.

More Betrayal By Todd Gloria
By historymatters, March 11
I expected little from Todd Gloria when he took office. I remember him pulling me aside at the Hillcrest Town Council debate after my criticism of his contributions from developers and lobbyists and his refusal to return any of even the sleaziest of contributions (i.e., Perry Dealy, Manchester CEO, and Lou Wolfsheimer, Walmart lobbyist under Federal investigation in the strip club scandal), and saying to me…
“I would NEVER sell my soul for a few $300 contributions…I can assure you.”
At any rate, he has been in office for four months and has already done precisely what community activists like myself were concerned about.
First, in a HUGE show of insincerity and duplicity, he nominates Ben Hueso for City Council president over the widely popular and loved Donna Frye. I go into this further in my blog “Gloria Doesn’t Waste Anytime Repaying Lobbyists.”


  1. What else can you expect when you look at the people that surround Mr. Gloria?
    When a politician associates himself with the likes of Mr/Ms Robert/Nicole Murray-Ramirez (the self appointed GLBT community leader with the over-inflated ego) and his/her/its wealthy Republican cronies that backed the infamous hate-mailer know as “Clawgate,” one can only expect the worst.
    By QuestioningQueer, Mar 14


Try, Try Again?
By Peter C. Salisbury, June 22
Eleven days after a man from Mexico was arrested in Imperial Beach for allegedly trying to smuggle 25 pounds of marijuana on a surfboard, two more men were arrested for trying the same trick. Border Patrol agents saw two men paddling surfboards and towing a third board around 11 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, about 200 yards off the Imperial Beach shore.

By Frank Marrazza, June 14
On Saturday, June 13, in my Oro Vista Villas apartment at 1:00 p.m., I heard a man yell. I went out onto the balcony. I thought one of the workers who’ve been refurbishing the pool had gotten hurt.
I could see a man on his knees behind a palm tree, which obstructed most of my view. His fellow workers stood around him. “Call 911?” I yelled. “¡Si!” responded one of the workers. I asked, “What happened?” but I couldn’t understand him.
Later the complex manager told me that a plumber, while cleaning a drain, got his hand caught in the cable of the “snake machine,” and the snake pulled his hand down the drain almost the length of his arm.

Democracy Inaction
By Peter C. Salisbury, May 30
Imperial Beach councilman Fred McLean died of cancer on Sunday, May 24. Three days later, former mayor Diane Rose was appointed by the city council to fill his seat, despite the fact that an ad had been placed in the Imperial Beach’s Eagle & Times newspaper inviting applicants to apply for the position by June 4.
City Clerk Jacqueline Hald said the City saw the recent difficulty faced by the Poway City Council, when filling the vacant seat left after the passing of former mayor Mickey Cafagna last month.
“Basically, we learned from them,” said Hald.

Nightmare on Elm
By Peter C. Salisbury, July 6
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 3, four assailants wearing black ski masks entered a home on Elm Avenue in Imperial Beach. A male and female inside the home were ordered to lie on the floor, and the female’s hands were bound with duct tape.
The male victim resisted their efforts to duct-tape his hands, so one of the perpetrators pepper-sprayed him and told him they would kill him if he resisted further. The male victim was struck in the head with a revolver.

This Other Epidemic
By Peter C. Salisbury, May 7
A 22-year-old male was stabbed to death late on May 6 in the 1200 block of 13th Street. Sheriff’s deputies discovered the male victim lying in a driveway.
According to a local shopkeeper, victim Donniell Wilkins was confronted by a group of Hispanic males and was stabbed.
“I told the cops they have 20 gangbangers hanging out at the taco shop, but they never stop to investigate them since they’re too busy writing tickets for money. I used to know all the wannabe homeboys, but now you have the Nestor, the Otay, and Palm Gangs.”

Biker Friendly
By Steve Terry, April 27
On Saturday, April 18, a section of the Bayshore Bikeway was officially opened. The new bike path, built atop the levee formerly occupied by the old San Diego & Arizona Eastern railway tracks, stretches a little over a mile and utilizes two new bridges.
The new path connects the north end of 13th Street in Imperial Beach with Frontage Road/Bay Boulevard in Chula Vista. Before the addition, a cyclist desiring to make a counter-clockwise loop around the bay starting at 13th Street faced some challenges.
Allow six to seven hours (depending upon when you arrive at the ferry landing for the ride across the bay) to complete a leisurely trip around the entire Bayshore Bikeway.

New Park for I.B.?
By Peter C. Salisbury, February 16
On Thursday, February 12, a mostly senior crowd attended an exploratory meeting to discuss the potential for a new park in the Oneonta neighborhood.
Residents attending the meeting expressed concerns about the park attracting gang members; others were concerned about loitering students from the nearby Job Corps training center; one woman stated her desire for a leash-free dog park.

Shooting in I.B.
By Mark Jay, February 12
At approximately 11:45 a.m. on February 12, shots were fired in an apartment building on Elder Avenue just east of Mar Vista High School. A 21-year-old woman was shot in the stomach by an unknown male who had walked into her apartment.
The suspect was described as a black adult male with a black hoodie.


  1. Actually, the gun belonged to the woman who got shot. The story is, this lady was in another room when this guy came into her house and started jacking her stereo and other electronics. She went into her living room, saw this guy, aimed the gun at him, he attacked her, and in the scuffle, the trigger got pulled and she got shot with her own gun. I don’t understand why people own guns if they aren’t going to use them. Owning a gun for the purpose of self-defense only works when you actually shoot at someone who’s coming after you.
    By Hudsonumber3, Feb 13

The Five Great Pillars of Siri
By ShawnMichel, January 25
There are five steel I-beams at Iris Trolley Station. They are at the far end of the station, where cement meets endless dirt road and a weed-strewn ditch bordering it; they stand three feet high and are separated by three feet or so.
The dirt road and the ditch belong to the city. Next to the ditch runs the trolley tracks. Next to the tracks is another road, one that ends perhaps a thousand yards out. Dirt, ditch, tracks, and the other road take up probably fifty or sixty yards of width, tops. South Bay suburbia lines both sides.
Walking the roads past the trolley is forbidden by law. The only people who do so are gangbangers tagging, transients, and those others, angry that trolley stations don’t come with public facilities, who wander out there (as I have on more than one occasion) to find a private place to relieve themselves. The five I-beams stop none of this.


The Cat Feeds Himself
By Josh Grant, April 6
At about 6 a.m. on March 26, just south of Pine Hills, two Julian residents heard sounds of distress coming from their livestock pen. One resident discovered a mountain lion feeding on a freshly killed goat. Another goat was killed but not eaten.
Though the lion had found a way into the pen, he could not locate the way out. When the residents backed away, the lion escaped and charged by, barely missing one elderly resident.

One-Man Crime Wave
By Josh Grant, March 20
On March 18, at almost 4 p.m., witnesses saw a red late-model sedan pull into the back parking lot of Jack’s Grocery in Julian at high speed. A man was seen jumping out with a golf club and entering the store while screaming and yelling. The man broke the front windows of the store with the golf club.
A crowd gathered and people were heard asking the man to please stop.
Besides the windows, merchandise was destroyed before the suspect fled in his vehicle south, out of town. Other witnesses reported that the man had ditched his car off an embankment and attempted to hide in the bushes. After a search that involved three helicopters and many law-enforcement officers, the suspect was caught and taken to jail.


The Streets of Kearny Mesa
By dannyparker66, January 31
When you are homeless, public restrooms aren’t an optional thing. In Kearny Mesa, the MacDonald’s at Shawline and Claremont Mesa Blvd. is open 24 hours for drive-thru, and from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. the doors are open. That is where I wrote a novel longhand that is over 125,000 words and a Christian book that is over 40,000 words. That is also where I take my Macdumps and MacPees. And when I had my car and an income, I ate three meals a day seven days a week for about eight months. When Mickey D’s have the doors closed there is a 24-hour Wal-Mart and two 24-hour convenience stores, and all three are sympathetic to the homeless…. If by chance this is published, I would like to thank the UCSD Geisel Library and the folks who work there for allowing me the use of their computers for this article and my two manuscripts. I’d like to request that any readers would say a prayer for all of us.


More Signs
By Chris Cott, July 16
There are nearly a dozen merchants in violation of the ban on A-frame signs in Bird Rock along La Jolla Boulevard. With the cutbacks in code-compliance officers, there is little follow-up when merchants fail to comply.
After spending over $9 million on improvements in Bird Rock, many of the signs remain on the sidewalks — even the new CVS drugstore has added one. One of the goals of the improvements was to make the sidewalks more passable.

Torrey Pine Down
By Peijean Tsai, May 21
What caused a healthy 60-foot pine tree to crash down on Torrey Pines Road during rush hour? Wet weather can soften areas around roots. But May 14 was dry when a mature Torrey pine — a rare species and local icon — fell into the street between 3:30 and 4 p.m., blocking two lanes of traffic.
The tree’s weight was probably the culprit, as it stood at a slight tilt, said Dr. Arbor Tree Surgeons owner, Kregg Kohl, who helped remove the tree.

Poachers Get Shellfish
By Cindy Winslow, June 25
Earlier this month, one lobster poacher was sentenced to 90 days in jail after he was caught taking crustaceans from the La Jolla Underwater Park. When approached by a Fish and Game warden, the man attempted to fling the fishing line into the ocean, but his efforts failed as the line was connected to a spool in his pocket. The man tried giving a false name, but the warden recognized him from earlier arrests. Four lobsters were found in a bag in his possession. This was the third time in the past year and a half that the man has been convicted of poaching in the same area.

Cameras Don’t Lose or Lie
By Rob Koehorst, March 28
Drivers have another red-light camera to watch out for as they make their way around the UCSD/Torrey Pines area. The latest one has been installed at the intersection of North Torrey Pines Road and Genesee Avenue. There is a camera on top of the light on the east side of the intersection and two more on each side behind traffic entering the intersection from North Torrey Pines Road.
The minimum penalty for being caught by the cameras is around $400. The myth that not having a front license plate makes it impossible to be caught by the camera is dispelled on the city’s website. As someone who’s been nabbed by a camera before, I can tell you that if the photo of you running the light is inconclusive, or you aren’t visible in it, they probably have plenty of better photos on hand at the police department’s Traffic Division on Aero Drive. Yes, I fought the camera and the camera won.


Serious Drag
By Sylvia Knust, April 29
At around midnight on Saturday, the victim says he was near the intersection of Fletcher Parkway and Grossmont Center Drive when he was approached by an unknown male. The stranger asked the victim for a cigarette. The victim told the stranger he had only the cigarette he was smoking, but offered him a few drags. The stranger took up the offer. Once the cigarette was in his hand, he began to walk away. When the victim attempted to reach for it, he was stabbed in the gut by an unknown weapon.

Thieving Trio Surprised
By L. Leitter, April 24
On Wednesday, April 22, at around 3:00 p.m., three would-be burglars attempted a residential robbery on Pasadena Drive in the Mt. Nebo neighborhood of La Mesa. According to the homeowner’s son, two males and one woman of Hispanic descent, who had stolen a pickup truck in Chula Vista, attempted to rob his elderly mother’s home.
The trio parked the pickup in the driveway of the home, walked around the back, and smashed out a window. A neighbor noticed the hooligans breaking the window and called the police.
La Mesa police were there within minutes, and the burglars were immediately arrested.


  1. I live in this area. Recently we have had someone jumping our back fence and sleeping in our pool house, leaving beer or vodka bottles and a pizza box. And then we had an older Mexican guy come to the front door to ask if he could look in the back for his mother’s plant. He said his brother used to live in our home and left the plant. When I asked the guy for his name and number and said I’d get back to him, he took off. The good thing about our neighborhood is we have not gotten too big to forget to look out for each other. We are watching you.
    By jmc1969, Apr 26

The Most Evil Drug
By Sylvia Knust, April 11
“Oh, how I would love for the world to know who you really were.” So begins a mother’s letter to a son fatally shot by police three weeks ago. The letter is at the center of a roadside shrine on the corner of Avocado Boulevard and Fuerte Drive. Each day flowers are added, fuller and brighter than the day before.
The incident occurred Friday, March 27. Dressed in fatigue pants and wielding a butcher knife, 32-year-old Jeromiah Paul Davis ran the mile-long stretch from Chase Avenue to the intersection at the top of a steep hill. According to police, they shot him with three beanbag rounds and used a Taser device once, all to no avail.
After allegedly raising his knife and charging officers, Davis was fatally shot. Davis was a longtime methamphetamine user, a fact confirmed by his mother in her final letter to him: “I know now even though you were strong as an ox, you couldn’t beat the meth drug (MOST EVIL DRUG I KNOW OF).”

La Mesa’s Magical Oasis
By lallaw, April 8
In the neighborhood near La Mesa Village and up Nebo Hill, there is no feeling of over-crowding; no “row house” ambiance. Some homes clearly harken back to old Hollywood days, when La Mesa was a desert orchard. Walk up Lemon, left on Date or Acacia, then right, up the formidable Pasadena or Vista.
Or head up Palm, left on Orchard and cut up the stairway on the right to the “secret garden path”; admire the lofted gazebos near the brook-like fountain. Slip past the culdesac cluster and up to the next, unseen by night but enveloped by its Santa Ana–spun charm. Over there, right next to the mansion, looking toward the ocean, is a bungalow with red clay roof, hand-carved heart-fence thick with rolling bougainvillea before stained-glass windows. Across the street stands a stucco California block house with ten-foot surround-see windows, and a five-foot fish fountain with praying Madonna in the yard.


Keep It Funky Now
By Ken Harrison, March 7
Recently, the City of Encinitas offered a paid consultant to the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association (a quasi chamber of commerce) to gather community input on redevelopment of the eucalyptus-lined highway.
After two community meetings with over 100 residents in attendance, the Main Street Association has plans to reduce traffic and create a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, art-infused curbside dining “village” from A Street north to the city boundary at La Costa Avenue.
Designs call for reducing the two northbound lanes to one lane, removing traffic signals and stop signs and installing five “roundabout” traffic circles, and increasing bike lanes by eliminating some parking spaces. As a result of these adjustments, sidewalks will move closer to merchants’ front doors.
Over 1000 signatures have been gathered to oppose the plan, along with opposition from Encinitas’ Chamber of Commerce.

Passing Trains of Thought
By Nisa, February 27
The trains don’t bother me so much anymore, I’m relieved they still exist. I’m getting used to the freight shaking my trailer late at night and during the in-between hours of my day as I stare at my computer screen, wondering if this neighborhood is really my home.


Free Rice!
By Chris Raney, January 1
On December 13, 2008, Thuan Phat Market celebrated its grand opening in Linda Vista at the site of the former Vien Dong Vietnamese supermarket at 6935 Linda Vista Road. The first 500 lucky shoppers on opening day were treated to a free bag of rice.

The Hypochondriac
By Siobhan, June 25
My husband reminds me that it should be called H1N1. I think that’s stupid. It’s far more awesome to die by swine flu. Almost as awesome as living on Bacon Tree, a one-block street in Linda Vista with the greatest name ever. Bacon on trees, I want that. If there were a house for sale on that street, I would find a way to fork over a large chunk of cash to buy it. I want my return address to say Bacon Tree on it.


Seen a Dream Walking
By John Riggs, June 25
You should have been at the barbecue held in Little Italy last Sunday. Picture it: moving up the street toward the house in a black jumpsuit was a blonde vision. The vision was none other than former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, recently dethroned by the king of comb-over, Donald Trump.
She is a San Diego girl and has been dating an Italian fellow living down the street. She had come to be part of the festivities on Dove Street celebrating St. Anthony and hosted by Frank and Rosalea Crevello. Prejean was posing for photographs, shaking hands.

The Ambassador of Goodwill
By karengina, May 19
Perhaps you’ve seen him, while on your way to Little Italy or on your way out to the airport, on a corner at Laurel Street and Pacific Highway, across the street from long-time San Diego fixture, Solar Turbines. Twice a day every Monday through Friday, for four hours in the morning and four in the afternoon, he is there with his small stool.
His name is Lawrence, and he is there to assist Solar Turbines employees across the street on their way to work.


  1. Before Lawrence, it was a 50-50 proposition in crossing Laurel.
    By rjmhrt, May 20
  2. Crossing the streets on all sides of Solar Turbines is a danger. On many occasions I have witnessed and have been the recipient of near misses by drivers running the red light and/or not paying attention to pedestrians. That side of the Plant is the most dangerous.
    By JP, Jun 6

Ariel Suites Raises Issues at Pre-Design Meeting
By Kevin Northcraft, January 9
A 19-story, 143 apartment-and-retail proposal drew varied responses at the Centre City Advisory Committee meeting on January 7. The development replaces a parking lot on the southwest corner of Beech Street and Kettner Boulevard at the northern end of Little Italy. It is a good fit and environmentally friendly, per Gwynne Pugh, the agency’s consultant architect. However, concern expressed at the meeting included design issues and the blocking of the 1994 Wyland whale mural on the San Diego National Bank building to the north.


Truck Wins Again
By Chris Raney, February 24
At 1:31 p.m. on Sunday, February 22, at the intersection of National Avenue and 31st Street in Logan Heights, a motorcyclist became trapped underneath a truck after the two vehicles collided.
The motorcyclist had been traveling eastbound on National Avenue when a pickup truck pulled into the intersection to continue southbound on 31st Street. After colliding, the motorcyclist slid underneath the rear wheel of the pickup truck and his helmet flew off. The front wheel of the motorcycle became detached from the forks upon impact.

“Ghetto” Is Not an Adjective
By dantesdilemma, August 13
“Ghetto” is not an adjective. It is a noun. It’s the place where I live. It’s Barrio Logan to be exact, but that lone fact is insignificant, really. There’s no Sherman, or Logan, or Shelltown to those on the outside looking in. It’s all “ghetto” to them.


  1. VIVA LOGAN! I grew up on 30th and Newton, behind Malena’s. I live in La Mesa and work in Mission Valley, but I go back on the weekends for a carne asada. Logan is the heart of the Hispanic community in San Diego, the mecca of Latino sabor.
    By Jose619, Sep 11


Beyond Pesky Flies
By Cindy Winslow, June 5
On June 2, county officials announced a quarantine on areas of Mira Mesa after finding four adult Mediterranean fruit flies and 14 larvae in the neighborhood.
“They were all found in residential yards,” says county agricultural commissioner Bob Atkins.
One of the adult medflies (a mated female) was discovered in a trap in a loquat tree at a residence on Flanders Drive in the Miramar area. The other three (one of which was a mated female) were found in a trap in a calamondin orange tree on a street named Embry Point. Fourteen medfly larvae were discovered on May 31 in the fruit of a calamondin orange tree at a residence on Bacadi Drive.

Captured: Toy Gun Bandit
By Robert Crecco, May 29
The “Toy Gun Bandit,” who has been robbing small businesses in the Mira Mesa area for the past five weeks, struck again on Friday, May 23.
He entered the am/pm store on Black Mountain Road at about 1:15 a.m., showed the lone clerk on duty his gun, and demanded she open the register. The clerk, a veteran of two past robberies, complied quickly with the robber’s demands. As soon as he left she called police.

Red Means Stop
By Steve Perez, June 4
San Diego police are investigating a two-car collision that killed a 24-year-old woman on Tuesday, June 2.
The crash, which occurred after 1 p.m. at Camino Ruiz and Carroll Canyon Road, prompted authorities to shut down the intersection and reroute traffic for more than three hours.
The injured driver of the Ford compact, whom police said caused the crash, was taken to another hospital and is expected to survive. He was identified as a man between 50 and 75 years old.
The woman was driving a black Honda and making a legal left turn to go north on Camino Ruiz. The other vehicle, heading southbound on Camino Ruiz, ran a red light and “just T-boned her” on the driver’s side of her vehicle.

Stop Draggin’ My Cart Around
By Cindy Winslow, April 2
At the recent March meeting of the Mira Mesa Town Council, a resident stood before the group to voice her dismay on abandoned shopping carts. Shopping carts continue to be strewn across residential streets, often more than a mile from Mira Mesa Boulevard.
“These carts are just graffiti on wheels,” said Terry Forshey of San Diegans Against Abandoned Shopping Carts, a neighborhood action group formed by residents in 2006.


  1. As I visit my local Vons or other stores utilizing shopping carts, I have yet to see any signs asking for customers not to steal or take the carts off the property. I see no offers to sell “granny carts.” I see nothing to warn people that cart thief is a crime.
    By beachwood, Apr 3
  2. The Target store at the Irvine Spectrum mall has an RFID system to fence in their shopping carts. If they stray too far from the store, the wheels lock up. This Business Week article mentions it (scroll down to the “Invisible Detectives” section): www.businessweek.com/magazine/con…
    By AquaCat, Apr 3
  3. I have lived in Mira Mesa for almost 8 years and see no cessation of this problem. I think the supermarkets should be charged a fee for collection of the grocery carts or charged for their disposal.
    By favod, Apr 8

Good Stuff
By Robert Crecco, Feb. 23
I’m a part-time clerk at an am/pm in Mira Mesa. Saturday is busy, but, this past Saturday at 8 p.m., the store was empty and my coworker and I began to relax behind our registers. The glass door swung open and in walked a man with slightly stooped shoulders, gray hair, and a kindly smile.
Halfway through the store, passing in front of us, he stopped, went down on one knee, and toppled over. My coworker ran to him. I ran to dial 911.
The operator asked if the man was conscious. I asked my partner, who kneeled by the man’s side. She said, “No pulse.” The man was turning a bluish color.
The operator said to hit the man’s chest. I handed the phone to my partner, and the doors burst open, and a young woman sobbing loudly ran in, jumped down, and started to compress the old man’s chest.
I thought the woman might be his granddaughter, and I asked her who she was to him. She didn’t know him. She was getting gas and saw what happened and felt compelled to help.


  1. Rick Just, the unidentified man in your story, was a good friend of my mother’s for over 20 years. It made her feel much better to read this story and know that there were kind people with him in the end, trying their hardest to save his life.
    By robertsonx6, Mar 10

Part 2: An Execution in the Hills

  • Letter to Editor
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David Dodd Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:26 p.m.

What an odd concept for a cover story.


SDaniels Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:52 p.m.

They really dug into the archives for these Neighborhood blog snippets, and ONCE AGAIN passed me by! What's wrong with my--at least realistic--descriptions of Banker's Hill, people?! Burwell's tweaker/meth comment? Sorry, but untrue characterization, and he wrote that just to shut down someone being chirpy and smiley about moving here. I have lived on Banker's Hill for about seven years, and do not see a lot of drug traffic. I do see a fair number of homeless drunk men, and a LOT of dog walkers. Are they all drug dealers, Burwell? ;)


SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:15 p.m.

True, Captain, but I'm going to try and see this non-cynically--viz: This is not at all a lazy bottom-scraping piece, but a wonderful way to encourage the blogging community contributors to revisit each other's past stories, and mix up the conversation--in lieu of delving fresh talent and perspective available from contributors old and new (oops, that sounded cynical again...) ;)


David Dodd Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:23 p.m.

I think it was a reasonably good idea, but I question the execution of it. I've read through it a few times now. It's a combination of stringer stories and blogs and comments, but I can't find a common thread, at least not one thick enough to support the title. I think that at some point, the Reader should try it again, but a lot more hours would have to be put in to finding material - seemingly eclectic - that actually comes together as a common theme. A long term project where maybe you work on it for a certain number of hours each week over a long period of time?


SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:48 p.m.

That is a good point. Having read it over a couple times, too, I'd say that the tenuous "common thread" was the (still) unevenly applied concept of some 'essence' of each neighborhood or area--they were looking for something that might either sum up descriptive characteristics of an area that are easily identified by a large number of people, or characteristics that we might not normally think of for that area. For example, Banker's Hill would not normally be thought of as the tweaker capital, but many do see it as a place of passage, being under the flight path...


David Dodd Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:57 p.m.

One problem in writing biblically, in a form that takes several narratives, is that the author often makes the narratives seem too similar (think Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", or more contemporary, Kingsolver's "The Poisionwood Bible"). But this article is sort of a reverse-engineered method of it, so the challenge becomes making the narratives seem more common than they would otherwise. Both approaches seem difficult to accomplish. Without knowing the method used putting the story together, I couldn't offer any practical suggestions other than it needs a little bit more cohesiveness.


SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 4:35 p.m.

"...that the author often makes the narratives seem too similar..."

"the challenge becomes making the narratives seem more common than they would otherwise."

Yes, and yes.

This first observation pinpoints the exact problem I have had with texts of multiple narrative voices, and it really takes a great writer to overcome it-- can't immediately think of one who does it well--maybe Salman Rushdie?...Maybe. I'm rusty on this issue. People love David Foster Wallace for it, but I think it pretty much fails in Infinite Jest. Pike mentioned Bakhtin in a blog recently, and I love the way he teases dialogue and the multiplicity of differing voices, and the "carnivalesque" from a variety of texts.

The second observation, of the Reader cover: Masters's "Spoon River Anthology" comes to mind as an example--easy way out, narrating/eulogizing through the language of headstones--though I still like it!

Haven't read Kingsolver, but can relate to this in Faulkner, though I still appreciate him.


Visduh Oct. 23, 2009 @ 9:34 a.m.

Wow. These pieces of commentary can surely range far and wide. The comments started out wondering just why the cover story was a bunch of old stories, blogs and comments. By posting number nine, there is mention of Salman Rushdie (How many of you ever read HIM, or even remember the source of his notariety?), David Foster Wallace, Kingslolver and Faulkner. Talk about discursive!


antigeekess Oct. 23, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

I kinda diggit. I read the ones that looked interesting up through part of Hillcrest. I thought it was kinda sad that the stuff I liked didn't get any comments.

Really unfair, considering some of the crap on this site that has generated hundreds of them. These folks deserved some of that attention for their talent and efforts. I'm trying to make mental notes on who they are, to keep them in mind if/when anything new from them goes up.

Oh yes, and SD, I agree including a comment from the troll Burwell IS pretty unforgivable.



SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 2:33 a.m.

Visduh marveled: "Talk about discursive!"

Yah, let's totally like, discourse, dude! And everybody remembers at least "Salmon" Rushdie, from that episode of Seinfeld ;)


Visduh Oct. 26, 2009 @ 7:19 p.m.

SD, like you never made a minor spelling error in your life. I know nothing about Seinfeld. I remember Rushdie in a totally different context. Do you? If so, what is it?


SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 8:59 p.m.

"SD, like you never made a minor spelling error in your life. "

Vis--huh? Not sure what you're referencing--we must have some kind of static noise in the channel. I am occasionally stereotyped as someone who picks on others' grammar, maybe because of the way I write, but actually do not do this, unless it is an ongoing joke among friends (such as about the semicolon).

Reasons: It is boring and trite to point out errors, don't do it unless paid, make errors myself, and finally, prefer to pay attention rather to the substance of your post--as I hope you would mine. Hope that subject is done, and misunderstanding past--rather you call me a US Hater than a grammar picker upon-er ;)

As for Rushdie, I mentioned him above and above; the "Salmon" comes from the Seinfeld episode where Kramer thinks Rushdie's first name is the same as the fish. Hence, an episode packed with fishy puns--and an actual appearance from Rushdie while still under the fatwah. The original reference to Rushdie, in convo with refried further above was to his novel's use of multiple voices and characters. We were discussing texts that try to employ different voices, but fail to distinguish them sufficiently to justify them. Midnight's Children is one such Rushdie novel I was thinking of. Read it? Wicked good.


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