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Ken Harrison and the Reader

Lifeguard towers replaced, Vandenburg Air Force base, carjacked cabbie, freeway panhandlers, Tom Schaar, kids steal Bob from Bob's Big Boy

Harrison has written freelance submissions for the Reader since 2009.

Harrison's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader:

  • Towers Land in North County

  • 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. (Feb. 21, 2009)
  • Liftoff on the Central Coast

  • We older folks who remember the moon landing or seeing the space shuttle land at Edwards can check one more item off our bucket list – and do it just five hours north of San Diego. With the scrubbing of future space exploration by NASA, you can no longer travel to Florida to see the launch of a large rocket. But thanks to Vandenberg Air Force Base, about an hour north of Santa Barbara, you don't need to. (Aug. 19, 2014)
Watching a rocket launch a new satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Tree by the Sea

  • On December 24, someone erected a Christmas tree on the sand at Cardiff State Beach. On the sunny Christmas Day, hundreds of people stopped by to have their picture taken next to the tree, with the sand, waves, blue sky, and surfers in the background. A couple on bicyclists said they stopped to take a photo to send to their relatives back East. ( Dec. 26, 2009)
  • Kids Steal Bob

  • Sometime after midnight on June 11, someone stole the Bob’s Big Boy statue from in front of the restaurant located at 27313 Jefferson Avenue in Temecula. Store general manager Laura Roberts noticed the statue missing when she arrived to open the restaurant at 6:00 a.m. (June 14, 2010)
  • Will Work for Food

  • I lost my job, my wife, my car, and I’m now homeless. I’m trying to stay sober. I’m hoping generous San Diegans will pass a few bucks my way to help me out until I can get back on my feet. None of that is true. But my sign said so, as I stood on a freeway off-ramp and begged for money. I’m blessed with a loving wife and two boys. I own my own business and have lived in the same zip code my entire life. (Oct. 24, 2012)
  • A nearly carjacked cabbie in Temecula

  • When Anthony (last name withheld by request), a cab driver for Red Top Cab in Temecula, picked up his passenger on February 11 at the Extended Stay America hotel on Jefferson Avenue, he had no idea that a heavily armed fugitive task force from the California Department of Corrections (CDC) had staked out his fare and was waiting to arrest him. ( Feb. 21, 2013)
  • North County’s prince of skate

  • On June 13, when most eighth-graders at Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach were sitting at their graduation ceremony thinking about summer and what high school might hold in store for them, student Tom Schaar was probably thinking about flying down a huge skate ramp and a $30,000 check. (June 16, 2014)
Tom Schaar
  • Panhandler turf battle at freeway exit

  • On the eastbound off-ramp of Highway 78 at Jefferson Street — the location that inspired a 2012 panhandling article — a turf war developed on January 8, causing three California Highway Patrol units to respond. Ian, from San Diego, and Randall, from Houston, both in their 20s, were standing on the off-ramp with a cardboard sign. (Jan. 4, 2014)
  • Lost love to a convent? Or the mob at La Costa Resort?

  • In the early 1970s, Cardiff resident Rick Crocket met the love of his life in a physics class at Encinitas’ San Dieguito High School. In the summer of 1973 — exactly 40 years ago — Rick’s life changed forever: his fiancée and her family seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.(July 21, 2013)
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Freeway exit panhandlers Ian and Randall were threatened by the two men across the street.
Freeway exit panhandlers Ian and Randall were threatened by the two men across the street.

Harrison has written freelance submissions for the Reader since 2009.

Harrison's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader:

  • Towers Land in North County

  • 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. (Feb. 21, 2009)
  • Liftoff on the Central Coast

  • We older folks who remember the moon landing or seeing the space shuttle land at Edwards can check one more item off our bucket list – and do it just five hours north of San Diego. With the scrubbing of future space exploration by NASA, you can no longer travel to Florida to see the launch of a large rocket. But thanks to Vandenberg Air Force Base, about an hour north of Santa Barbara, you don't need to. (Aug. 19, 2014)
Watching a rocket launch a new satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Tree by the Sea

  • On December 24, someone erected a Christmas tree on the sand at Cardiff State Beach. On the sunny Christmas Day, hundreds of people stopped by to have their picture taken next to the tree, with the sand, waves, blue sky, and surfers in the background. A couple on bicyclists said they stopped to take a photo to send to their relatives back East. ( Dec. 26, 2009)
  • Kids Steal Bob

  • Sometime after midnight on June 11, someone stole the Bob’s Big Boy statue from in front of the restaurant located at 27313 Jefferson Avenue in Temecula. Store general manager Laura Roberts noticed the statue missing when she arrived to open the restaurant at 6:00 a.m. (June 14, 2010)
  • Will Work for Food

  • I lost my job, my wife, my car, and I’m now homeless. I’m trying to stay sober. I’m hoping generous San Diegans will pass a few bucks my way to help me out until I can get back on my feet. None of that is true. But my sign said so, as I stood on a freeway off-ramp and begged for money. I’m blessed with a loving wife and two boys. I own my own business and have lived in the same zip code my entire life. (Oct. 24, 2012)
  • A nearly carjacked cabbie in Temecula

  • When Anthony (last name withheld by request), a cab driver for Red Top Cab in Temecula, picked up his passenger on February 11 at the Extended Stay America hotel on Jefferson Avenue, he had no idea that a heavily armed fugitive task force from the California Department of Corrections (CDC) had staked out his fare and was waiting to arrest him. ( Feb. 21, 2013)
  • North County’s prince of skate

  • On June 13, when most eighth-graders at Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach were sitting at their graduation ceremony thinking about summer and what high school might hold in store for them, student Tom Schaar was probably thinking about flying down a huge skate ramp and a $30,000 check. (June 16, 2014)
Tom Schaar
  • Panhandler turf battle at freeway exit

  • On the eastbound off-ramp of Highway 78 at Jefferson Street — the location that inspired a 2012 panhandling article — a turf war developed on January 8, causing three California Highway Patrol units to respond. Ian, from San Diego, and Randall, from Houston, both in their 20s, were standing on the off-ramp with a cardboard sign. (Jan. 4, 2014)
  • Lost love to a convent? Or the mob at La Costa Resort?

  • In the early 1970s, Cardiff resident Rick Crocket met the love of his life in a physics class at Encinitas’ San Dieguito High School. In the summer of 1973 — exactly 40 years ago — Rick’s life changed forever: his fiancée and her family seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.(July 21, 2013)
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