Oceanside Stories

Oceanside – California's best kept secret

San Luis Rey Valley, the pier, the mission, the harbor, Hill Street, California Surf Museum

From the moment we spotted the billboard proudly shouting: “Oceanside, California’s Best Kept Secret,” as we wheeled in from L.A. on southbound Highway 101, my brother Dave and I were frothing. Crossing that imaginary line ...

Garrison Elementary sunk by sinkhole

But that's not all

In late July, it was announced one of Oceanside’s elementary schools had to be shuttered because it was imploding. Two sinkholes at Garrison Elementary caused the Oceanside Unified School District to declare that the school ...

Jason Mraz and the million dollar cup of coffee

This is only the beginning for San Diego-grown coffee beans

As promised in March, premium San Diego-grown coffee beans were served for the first time by Bird Rock Coffee Roasters last weekend. The surprise is whose farm grew them: two-time Grammy-winning local musician Jason Mraz. ...

Del Mar, Solana Beach fret over San Onofre

How long will those cannisters be here?

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station may be retired, but to many area residents, it's a sleeping giant. In July, it stirred. That's when its operator, Southern California Edison, was allowed to resume loading spent nuclear ...

How Saudi Arabia affects San Diego gas prices

High-priced stations don't move much

It seems President Trump was correct in his assumption that the Saudi Arabia oil field bombing would not send the world’s gas prices into a tizzy. The U.S. is now the world’s largest exporter of ...

Michael Murray, assembly candidate, tries to leave raunchy video behind

Aide to Oceanside's Chris Rodriguez blames humor on the Marines

It probably won’t draw the same attention as Donald Trump’s “grab her by the p–” clip. But a prominent Oceanside city official, who is running to represent the 76th Assembly district, has been haunted by ...

Oceanside's conservative Anglicans out of St. Anne's, then in, now out again

Settled in at Carlsbad Community Church

Founded in 1883, the congregation of the St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Oceanside was torn apart ten years ago when the more liberal, establishment part of the church embraced female priests and gay bishops. The ...

The true value of Animal Kingdom to Oceanside

"The show isn’t as good as it was"

When the actors of Animal Kingdom talk about why they like to film in Oceanside, the word “grit” comes up a lot. The TNT drama steeped in drug use and debauchery just finished its fourth ...

First the swap meet, now the Oceanside Marketplace to close

But vendors can sell on sidewalk after 7 am and before 10 pm

Mauricio has been fixing bikes for Oceanside locals for almost three decades. He started building his clientele in 1991 when he opened his booth inside the Oceanside Marketplace, often called the indoor swap meet. His ...

Oceanside cop overtime puts city on the line

Not as bad as Harpoon Melba era

Did NBC-7’s report about overtime paid by the city of Oceanside cause heads to roll? On July 3, Alex Presha reported that the Oceanside paid out $3.86 million in police overtime. Some officers made more ...

Alpha Project, Bread of Life, Solutions for Change – incomparable?

North San Diego County homeless servers step on each others' toes

There was at least one time when struggling addict Mario Duron says the system screwed him. “I had been through drug court. I had been sober for eight months. My probation officer visited my house ...

Trump supporters expose themselves in San Diego County

"We really love the president"

Even though the election was a year and half out, former United States Marine Patty Siegmann thought her commander-in-chief deserved her support. In March, the Republican started a pro-Trump street rally. Every other Friday from ...

The end of South Oceanside

Red & White used index cards in a tin box

For many longtime locals the Red & White Market is the last surviving holdout from when South Oceanside was Mayberry-by-the-Sea. “I remember when moms would wear pretty dresses just to go and shop in a ...

San Diego's hard seltzer summer

It's not beer, but breweries are experimenting with the fruity, diet-friendly adult beverage

During a recent, beachy afternoon out by the Oceanside Pier, I walked a short distance to the colorful new Kilowatt Brewing Oceanside Taproom. Parched from the sunshine, and in need of refreshment, I bellied up ...

Oceanside Cemetery vs. Breeze Luxury Townhouses

Will they use ground-penetrating radar to find bodies?

Being buried in Oceanside doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always rest in peace. “Look at what they did when they built the Hungry Hunter and the next-door gas station” says Shelley Hayes Caron. “They were throwing ...

Oceanside awards for pot-growing questioned

Four of the five licenses connected to the Mellano family

According to a lawsuit filed last week, it can’t hurt to do business in Oceanside if you have ties to a well-connected local family. “There seems to be a strong nexus between local government and ...

North River Farms not giving up on Oceanside

“They are trying to buy a town just like Doug Manchester did"

I need your support,” Oceanside City Councilman Christopher Rodriguez said in a June 29 Facebook post. The first-year councilman was not after votes or promoting a favorite charity. He was trying to sell the controversial ...

Gas tax bump sends 15 San Diego stations above $4.30/gallon

Calif. governor launches investigation

Gas prices in San Diego County were supposed to go up on 5.6 cents a gallon on July 1, due to a new gas tax. Some stations didn’t get the memo. As of midday July ...

Will Oceanside use groins like Newport Beach to save sand?

“We are not going to back down”

The decimation of Oceanside beaches was the whole point of forming a group called Save Our Sand [SOS] Oceanside. At its first meeting June 17, some 25 people shared their stories about what it means ...

The far from generic Mission Avenue Bar & Grill

Saturday night in Oceanside means drinks, music, and… duck confit?

A musician plays acoustic guitar ballads on the patio, while servers shuttle drinks to a mixed crowd, ranging in age from their 20s to 50s. There are no seats left at the bar, where busy ...

How to deal with Oceanside homeless

Does public shaming work?

Is it a Neighborhood Watch-style Facebook page with members who share local crime alerts. Or is Take Back Oceanside a vigilante site that uses social media shaming to have fun at the expense of local ...

Chon’s Play-Doh rock

Their music never goes the same way twice

Chon specialize in guitars that swirl and sway, spidering up and down scales over odd chord changes — an outgrowth of prog often called to as “math rock.” As Chon honcho Mario Camarena confesses, growing ...

Wave park proposed to take place of Oceanside Swap Meet

Zephyr Partners to use Wave Garden Cove?

The 90-acre Oceanside Swap Meet site was once hyped as a perfect home for a new Chargers stadium. That ten-year-old rumor was just idle folklore. But get ready for an attraction that may be just ...

A meeting in Fire Mountain about David Fischbach

Sober living homes plague Oceanside neighborhoods

Twenty homeowners met May 9 in a living room in the upscale Oceanside Fire Mountain neighborhood. They weren’t carrying pitchforks, but they were fuming, outraged that an aggressive entrepreneur with a dubious history was building ...

Two fads in one at Fugu Ice Cream & Taiyaki

Will it be rolled ice cream or soft serve in fish-shaped cones?

Thanks to the proliferation of trend-spotting foodie blogs worldwide, it’s easy to trace the way new food fads spread from city to city. For example, a little googling tells us that fish-shaped ice cream cones ...

Larry Flynt tries Oceanside

Closeness of Oceanside High and Ocean’s Eleven Casino may be roadblock

Q: What do you do if you want to open an adult business where it’s not permitted? A: If you’re Larry Flynt’s attorney you simply proclaim you are not an adult business and hope no ...

No one wants to talk about Oceanside's Sparsha Pharma

“I heard that’s not good for you”

I happened to be at the May 16, 2018 Oceanside City Council meeting when David Newman gave an emotional rant during the “items not on the agenda” segment. He and his wife Amber had been ...

How to spend Oceanside money – pools or police?

High schools want Olympic-sized pool at El Corazon like Carlsbad’s Alga Norte, but...

Oceanside is on a spending binge. Thanks to an extra $11 million coming in this year from the Measure X sales tax increase approved in November, the city council voted to rebuild its downtown fire ...

Cheapest San Diego County gas is Pauma Valley and Oceanside

Oil companies blame Phillips 66 refinery in Carson and Valero’s in Wilmington

Just as reported in the Reader’s February 11 article, the expected raise in gas prices has found San Diego motorist’s paying an average of $4.04 a gallon (regular gas, cash price). That’s the highest price ...

Soapy Joe's too popular for Oceanside strip mall

Can they move to the old CHP lot?

"There have times when my customers can’t leave because the Soapy Joe's line of cars has taken over the entire parking lot. Their customers waiting in line often won't let anyone out of their parking ...

Cavalier mobilehome owners in Oceanside tripped up trying to sell

“We sold it to a salvager who paid $5,000 and took it to Mexico"

Could mobile homes be an answer to the affordable housing crisis? Recent developments in Oceanside suggest not. In fact, it’s only getting worse for those who invested their lifesavings on their prefab homes. The corporations ...

North San Diego County GOP survivors: Chris Rodriguez, John Franklin, Rocky Chavez

Rodriguez attends Democrats' meeting but poked into leaving

“The Republican party asked me to run against [Congressman] Mike Levin in 2020,” says GOP-up-and-comer Christopher Rodriguez. The Hispanic father of six checks a lot of political boxes. He’s a Purple Heart-decorated, USMC Iraq War ...

North San Diego County – newspaper desert

Vista had access to seven different dailies

Bartender Steve Menzel easily sees between 75 and 300 customers daily during his eight-hour shifts at Larry’s Beach Club. Menzel has been a bartender at the restaurant/bar on Oceanside Boulevard west of Coast Highway for ...

Oceanside's Pour House owners have big plans for Firewater

“This is still a blue collar, gritty surf community”

The harsh way Firewater Saloon in downtown Oceanside was closed September 25 is not how the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) usually deals with bar owners it doesn’t like. Firewater owners were given a ten-day ...

No major changes to Fairfield Inn and Suites in Oceanside

Neighborhood groups get money but won't say how much

City council candidate Michael Odegaard should be happy that local activist Nadine Scott sued a developer who wanted to build the “prison hotel” development in his neighborhood. Scott sued in June over plans to build ...

Camp Pendleton Marine faithful to homeless brothers

Will ask Palomar College for part of parking lot

Florida native Anthony White II taught marksmanship to new recruits in bootcamp. Like many Camp Pendleton Marines, White had a post-Corps life plan when his four years of service was over in 2015. “When I ...

Oceanside police confiscate fish thumper

Or a tire thumper, depending on where you're from

Joseph Patrick Zara, 62, was arrested after a traffic stop in Oceanside, because police noticed he had a “billy club” resting within reach, on the backseat of his car. However, his attorney protested that it ...

Wild West at Oceanside Airport

Monday night's death in fog

Tim Broom was not happy that a small plane crashed about 700 yards from his home near Highway 76. But when his interview aired on News 8’s 11 pm Tuesday night newscast, he could not ...

Emerald Isle Golf Course concerned with every little bird

Even your abandoned pet turtle

It’s been over half a century since comedian Jack Benny cut the ribbon signaling the opening of Emerald Isle Golf Course in southeast Oceanside. Since then the course has doubled its original hole count from ...

Former cop Ryan Keim gets surprise nod for O'side council

Witowich takes name out of consideration

Being tied to Oceanside Police can either be a blessing or the kiss of death if you want to become an Oceanside city councilman. It worked just fine for Jim Wood who was elected to ...

Man and sons skate from Oceanside pier to Ocean Beach pier

"How cool would that be?"

A Carlsbad man and his three kids skateboarded from the Oceanside Pier to the Ocean Beach Pier on December 30, making it his fifth pier-to-pier skate and his youngest boy's first. “It was a solid ...

Change coming to Oceanside pier

Tiki culture to make an appearance

“Bamboo Ben” Bassham has been involved in creating more than 20 tiki bars from San Francisco to Georgia. After he remade them in his version of Polynesian paradise, the bars and restaurants saw business pick ...

Oceanside council pick a done deal?

Witowich would keep conservative majority

“Oceanside is a big city. But it’s just like a small town. You can’t keep a secret here.” That’s from one of 23 candidates who applied for a vacancy created on the city council that ...

Oceanside Mohsen gas stations at war with G&M stations

Shell takes over from Chevron as most expensive

Southern Californians are driving more this holiday season, as evidenced by an unusual post-Christmas Day traffic jam on December 26 through Camp Pendleton south to Del Mar on I-5. It was bumper-to-bumper most of the ...

Oceanside flood damage was avoidable

Why was drain clogged? Why was street open?

The video of 19-year-old hot dogger Lukas Soelberg surfing on the flooded South Oceanside block December 8 went viral. NBC-7 reported an immediate 40,000 hits of the street surfer getting towed by a rope. The ...

Flashed knife for batteries on El Camino Real

Oceanside Target employee backs off

“As soon as I saw the knife I disengaged from the suspect,” a Target store employee testified yesterday, December 10, about his confrontation with a suspected shoplifter three weeks ago. The loss prevention officer said ...

Hairy, naked and swinging at cops

Marines witnessed scuffle last June

A jury trial started this week, on November 26, for a young man who allegedly punched an Oceanside police officer while naked and high on meth. The attorney for Joshua Adams Lachica, 26, suggested that ...

You might not want a neighbor like Oceanside's David Herbert

Animal abuse, burglary, vandalism plague Carino Way

"I didn’t want to go over there in the first place,” David Herbert said. “Before I went over there I spoke with my HOA and contacted law enforcement asking them to help me with the ...

Oceanside – the good and bad news

Hobby Lobby, WinCo, Orfilia Winery coming. TE Connectivity leaving.

Oceanside’s shady days as a wild jarhead romper room are long gone. Residential land values continue to bound upward. Its commercial profile flourishes with the soon-to-be-announced specifics of the new "pier hotel" by developer SD ...

Crawfish past and present

From Alvarado Creek to Sierra Nevadas

Alvarado Creek runs through La Mesa along the south side of Interstate 8 from the Mount Helix watershed to where it converges with the San Diego River a few hundred yards east of the mission. ...

This would be embarrassing for Oceanside - story updated

City treasurer candidate grilled, but no answer

UPDATE: Brenda Moore of the UCLA Registrar's office called back three days after she was first contacted October 30 to confirm Victor Roy in fact did graduate from UCLA with a degree in geography in ...

San Diego's last ocean front lots

32 empty spaces left – from Oceanside to Imperial Beach

Thirty-six years ago, the Reader surveyed the San Diego County coastline in search of any remaining vacant, buildable land along the coast. In January of 1982, we found a scant 79 parcels of land remaining, ...