City Heights Stories

City lowers the bar

Barking dogs, garage sales, signs get the upper hand

In Jean Hoeger’s neighborhood, cars parked atop the front yard are becoming the norm. And with recent changes in code enforcement, residents have lost their chance to get the municipal code enforced. “In the College ...

Property crimes low, worries still high

Transients, theft, reckless driving, vandalism/graffiti, and illegal dumping

San Diego is one of the safest regions in the U.S. according to a report released by the county in April. Data from 2017 reflects the fourth-lowest violent crime rate since 1980 and the lowest ...

A rare lamb burrito sighting

Barbacoa steamed six hours in cactus leaves

There are only a few restaurants around the country dedicated to making lamb barbacoa, and most have found their way onto my to-do list. But what I’d yet to find was any Mexican eatery serving ...

Vaping's Wild West

Is the Marlboro Man going after unicorn pancakes and juice boxes?

Manufacturers and sellers of flavored nicotine liquid products got a warning earlier this month from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change packaging that mimics food products like candy, cookies, and juice boxes. The ...

Surprising pretzels

Boulevard liquor store steps up its snack game

Driving down El Cajon Boulevard, going about my business, I had no intention to get a snack. But passing by the Boulevard Wine and Spirits, I spotted a new sign: “Boulevard Pretzels — Now Open.” ...

City Heights' freeway-friendly bus stop

They ripped up a neighborhood. Now they're building it back up.

Ramon Garcia used to board the bus right before El Cajon Boulevard as it came up the off-ramp from the 15 freeway. After picking up its passengers, Rapid 235 waited for a green light to ...

Circulate San Diego: Planning groups kill needed housing

Auditor: No, they don’t

The affordable housing crisis has been tough on community planning groups. Developers, city officials, and housing advocates blame these volunteer groups for slowing or blocking construction of the homes that everyone seems to agree the ...

Cell phone towers where you'd least expect

Over 100 on the San Diego County map

“What are they doing there?” asked a driver that pulled over before I did. We were on the shoulder of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard before it turns into Regents Road. “I have no idea,” I responded, ...

Who’s about the kids and who’s about the money?

San Diego school district loses money if charters approved

On April 3 the San Diego Unified School Board granted the charter school petition of National University Academy 1001 STEAM, the first approval of a charter school new to the district in over four years. ...

Why not City Heights?

Not quite like North Park, yet

The large picture windows at Lotus Garden Seafood and Noodles restaurant in City Heights overlook the corner of Euclid and University. Over a heaping plate of chicken chow fun, one can observe the comings and ...

Manzanita Canyon rain hikers

“People were wanting to see how bad it gets down there."

“There were more than 24 [people] interested [in hiking] in the rain,” said Justin Boone of Azalea Park. On January 2nd he had announced on his coffee-business Facebook page that he would be leading hikes. ...

GoPro not pro enough, say drone pilots

“No manufacturer has really, in my opinion, gotten beyond a 15-minute job flight.”

“GoPro is known for cameras, not aviation,” said Sean Randle during an interview shortly after GoPro released a press release on January 8th announcing that it was dissolving its drone-manufacturing arm. “The [Karma drone] faces ...

Linda Vista skate park open to law-breakers only

"What did they think was going to happen? Kids are going to want to skate it."

The Linda Vista skate park was supposed to open in August. Then in September...November...January… By all appearances, the facility looks open. Skaters are spotted there all the time — though, kids sneaked into the park ...

City Heights humbugged by no Christmas lights

“Many residents have offered to provide electricity from their homes."

As holiday traffic makes the 805 freeway a little more congested, Christmas lights on the Market Street overpass contribute to the seasonal cheer. This is the fourth year since the lights went up, a collaboration ...

Not only Convoy

My mother makes her demand

The Convoy district may be San Diego’s hub for Asian food, but that doesn’t mean all the good ones are concentrated in that area. For example, tucked into a strip mall on an otherwise restaurant-bare ...

Grizzly dog's death not entirely for naught

Settlement in case over police shooting of family dog

The City of San Diego and a City Heights family whose dog was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the shooting. According to court documents, ...

Matt hits Manzanita Canyon hard and often

Volunteer trash collector reducing number of homeless encampments?

Over the weekend (November 18–19), Matt Armstrong says he pulled out 350 pounds of trash from Manzanita Canyon — by himself. "I usually like to go out in the late morning/early afternoon, as there is ...

Ordered the lamb, got the goat

Somali hospitality: "You must have it.”

Feel like goat again. Last time I had some was at Mercado Hidalgo in TJ, where a couple of birria joints really deliver on the chivo stew. Before that, the cluster of Somali eateries around ...

Left six-figure income and pushing paper around

Found God in Vista jail

Membership: 110 Pastor: Greg Stenzel Age: 58 Born: San Francisco Bay Area Formation: American Lutheran Theological Seminary, Minneapolis, MN (now at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN) Years Ordained: 14 San Diego Reader: What’s your ...

Friday the 13th run on tats

"We never ask for a tip."

Tattoo shops across San Diego (and nationally) had lines outside their doors on Friday the 13th, the “Black Friday” for tattoo collectors because certain parlors discount their “flash” designs for $13. “We had about 200, ...

The pet-friendly housing problem

"No friends, no music, no smoking — but you can have your dogs here."

A pet-friendly bill hit the governor's desk on September 21. The bill (AB 1137) would mandate that new multi-family housing developments allow tenants to have pets if those developments receive financing through state programs. Former ...

Scuffle with box-cutter at murder memorial

"They got into a physical fight and were rolling around on the street.”

“I’m done — [Sonny] just died in our canyon [and] everybody liked him a lot,” Jane said, “and his girlfriend is expecting — he was going to be a father.” Twenty-nine-year-old Sonny Gonzalez was stabbed ...

City Heights YMCA locks the door

"But that's the neighborhood, and I'm glad they're looking out for us."

Days after a 22-year-old man was stabbed at a bus stop at 43rd and El Cajon Boulevard on September 13th, the Copley-Price Family YMCA staff decided to lock the entrance to the Y off the ...

City Heights wire art must go

Installations distract drivers from traffic signals?

An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the art's removal to a decision by the city attorney. — Ed. At about 2:15 p.m. on Friday, September 22, Hani asked his customers if they ever ...

You know this place is Cambodian

"I have some news to tell you. I want to go with you.”

"I am Cambodian. I have some news to tell you. I want to go with you.” This was the message my new friend Sinjin wrote out in big letters on a board on the roof ...

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.” ...

Hepatitis in them canyons

“I would never allow volunteers to do this type of cleaning.”

“I got my [hepatitis A] shot at Kaiser last Friday [September 1],” Linda Pennington said. “My arm was incredibly sore for about ten minutes from my bicep to my wrist.” She said that a day ...

City Heights' Fire Station 17 rehab near done

Construction cost about $11 million

“It will be beautiful,” said Sandra. “[It’s] another gem in the community, like the police station.” Sandra, 63, was referring to the almost-completed Fire Station 17 at 4206 Chamoune Avenue in City Heights. Like many ...

You want rent control in San Diego? Sign here.

Meeting draws only three, but hopes for movement are high

“I’m paying $950 [for rent per month] there, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed [that it doesn’t go up],” said Cat Mendoza on August 26. She lives off of 44th Street in City Heights, just ...

Homeless camp cleanup stymied by city

“We were never trying to eject the homeless.”

“I did get a fist put to my face [and] that was one of the motivating factors to leave the scene,” said Lashbrook. On August 18, at about 10:45 a.m., Worden “Tom” Lashbrook met with ...

Rooster gripes in City Heights

“I would argue that dogs barking are as loud or louder."

City Heights resident Jen said she is startled by two roosters at four o’clock almost every morning. “If they wake me up, sometimes it’s hard to fall back asleep,” she said. “I asked for suggestions ...

Tonnage report on Manzanita Canyon cleanup

"The meth addicts gather up the craziest stuff.”

“In your cleanup efforts, did you come across any evidence of the fatal Maddux Air Lines Ford Tri-Motor crash of 1929?” asked Mike Gerow. “Contemporary news accounts cited Lexington Park, which I understand is in ...

Caltrans signs in City Heights are backfiring

“People cheating red lights, blocking intersections, and no one doing any signaling”

On July 29 at noon, it took D.R. Peck six minutes to get on the 15 Freeway — from one block away. “Whoever created the new signage obviously does not live here, as now there ...

Surprised by ceviche in City Heights

Raw fish showing up everywhere

All I wanted was a poke place. Because poke places are popping up like mushrooms. They’re the thing. I mean, raw fish makes it into the cool crowd’s diet? This I gotta see. That’s what ...

Canyon fires in mid-city San Diego started by homeless

Home dwellers at rim take things into their own hands

“I heard a man yell ‘Fire!'” said Sandra Brooks. “Fires are not allowed in the canyon.” Brooks, like many of her surrounding neighbors, is concerned for the safety of their homes that sit above Manzanita ...

Oakland artist chosen to decorate San Diego airport

Sentiments from the Chargers’ and Raiders’ fan-beef?

“An Oakland-based artist was commissioned to create a massive piece for the San Diego International Airport,” Joshua Alcala said, “shouldn’t you give it to San Diego artists?” On June 16 and 17, The Aja Project ...

7-Eleven pushes for more liquor licenses — City Heights, Ocean Beach, Linda Vista

Already owns more than 20 percent of beer and wines permits in San Diego County

In the past year, the 7-Eleven corporation — which now holds more than 20 percent of the beer and wine sales licenses in the county — has launched a push into at least five San ...

University Ave. Radio Shack closing brings out comments

Local electronics users tell what went wrong

“Some of their sales reps and their corporate buyers had a lack of knowledge,” said Bob Mulz, regarding the soon to be closings of the RadioShack stores in his Cherokee Point/City Heights neighborhood. Mulz, 72, ...

City Heights feral cat rescuer and birth control agent

50 people showed interest in Anne Joseph's May 17 session of cat-trapping.

“Being that it’s springtime in San Diego, it didn’t take long to figure out that it’s [cat] mating season,” said Anne Joseph, “thus the howling and the roaming behaviors.” Joseph, a yoga personal trainer, recently ...

Black Cat Bar to live up to its name

On with the shows: tweakers out, liquor's in

“When I came to San Diego in ’89, I played at the old Casbah with my punk band Big Tension,” says Matt Parker, who now plays guitar in the five-piece Americana band Bartenders Bible. “The ...

Dog search south of City Heights by social media

From Hollywood Park to Azalea Park canyon

She was last seen on Sumac Drive and Laurel Street – next to Hollywood Park. She weighs about 12 lbs., and is black and brown in color and should be wearing a purple collar with ...

The making of a San Diego county supervisor via CNN

Fletcher's Trump-bashing catches eye of White House–spurned Tapper

One of the ultimate ironies of Hillary Clinton's defeat at the hands of Donald Trump may come with the ascendance of Nathan Fletcher to a county supervisor’s seat in San Diego. Far from Washington’s beltway, ...

Kindergarten teacher charged with bank, wire fraud

International scam allegedly run from address off El Cajon Boulevard

San Diegan Cristina Montijo has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. She was originally charged in the Southern District of New York, but the case has been moved to federal ...

Down on the urban farm in City Heights

Youth agricultural training includes showing up on time

After several years offering San Diego youth a chance at on-the-job skills development, the Second Chance Youth Garden has found a new home market for their student-grown produce in City Heights. "We felt it was ...

City sued over storm-drain failure

Apartment residents in City Heights victims of bad decision-making?

The City of San Diego may have to fork over yet another hefty settlement over its crumbling and inadequate storm-water system. On December 13, the Chicano Federation of San Diego County filed a lawsuit against ...

Sunday chow

Out of the rain in City Heights, scarfing two rambunctious tacos

"Sorry about your leader.” “Thank you. But it’s been a long time. Thirty years since I left.” Raul’s from Cuba. I want to ask what he feels about Fidel. But conversation drifts. We happen to ...

City Heights planners displeased with bikeway plans

"It's for Hillcrest and SDSU, and we're just a corridor."

At a planning-group meeting Monday night (December 5), City Heights residents gave mixed reviews of the city's revised plans for a stretch of El Cajon Boulevard. Several City Heights Area Planning Committee members blasted the ...

A budget-friendly burger in San Diego that’s good

Greek Canada beats Ronald McDonald

When we put together a special burger issue a couple of months ago, it gave me a chance to revisit a few old favorites. It also forced me to realize that the price of hamburgers ...

Feet, not commercials or mail, decide the vote

"I hear a lot of people saying, 'Oh, my vote don't count.'"

Saturday, October 8, served as the one-month marker before next month's general election. Precinct walkers — wooing for candidates and favored propositions — will begin to pound the pavement in earnest. But for one group ...

Jake Loban — from punk to Americana

Loban splits his time between North County and Nashville and will play Soda Bar on Tuesday, October 11

The first show Jake Loban played as an Americana artist? A dive bar in El Cajon. “There were more prostitutes outside than people inside,” Loban says. A few years later, in February 2016, Loban played ...

Fifty most dangerous intersections for pedestrians

8000 pedestrians injured, 270 killed within 15-year span

If you're crossing the street at an intersection on University Avenue, watch out! Because 11 of the city's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians are on University in the five or so miles between Fourth Avenue ...

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