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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Resurrection of El Cajon Blvd.

North Park vibe spreads northWhile the renovated Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights has raised the bar, commercial properties nearby haven’t been so successful. Going west on El Cajon Boulevard from Louisiana …

September 4, 2023
No more honky-tonks in Poway

Poway – why the rodeo still does well It’s rodeo time: seven seconds of hell on an angry bull. That’s what many San Diegans picture when they think of Poway. But times have changed in …

August 13, 2023
Freeway ramp to shave Old Town and Presidio Park?

Destination Lindbergh; destruction Old Town "It would transform the way travelers use our airport, reduce traffic congestion around [Lindbergh Field] and take advantage of the airport’s close proximity to Interstate 5 by providing access right …

July 16, 2023
Santee is not just a dusty farm town any more

Santee – where everyone wants to live Most people who drive past the old green and white Dutch-style barn on North Magnolia Avenue in Santee, on their way to one of the freeways or to …

July 9, 2023
Where Rancho Bernardo homes abut a Carmel Mountain Ranch industrial corner

Late night rhymes at Tony Pepperoni It was going on 10 pm, and I found myself hungry in the thick of North County suburbia. Which is to say, my expectations were not high. A precursory …

Cats, small dogs, and toddlers don’t last long in Borrego

Ten Reasons Why You’d Have to Be Crazy to Live in Borrego Springs To paraphrase what Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, there is no there there — no people (population: about 3000), no movie …

933 more bedrooms for Rolando stirs up locals

San Diego sides with Carmel Partners in Rolando project The Boulevard at 63rd, formerly known as Centrepoint Luxury Apartments from developer Carmel Partners, has been at the center of a controversy that so far has …

May 29, 2023
20-story tower on Sixth tests the limits

How high can Bankers Hill go? A project to build a 20-story residential tower next to the St. Paul’s cathedral on Sixth Avenue between Maple and Nutmeg won praise and criticism from the community Thursday …

Poolside shooting near UTC involving Selis and Wilf clans

University City massacre done by developer family donor They are the crème de crème of San Diego business and political society, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to both Democrats and Republicans, and in turn …

March 20, 2023
Tierrasanta trails – guerrillas vs. vigilantes

Trails of Tierrasanta paved with good intentions On weekends, in the canyons surrounding San Diego’s community of Tierrasanta, urban guerrillas hack through chapparal with picks and other tools, transforming once-narrow coyote paths into smooth, broad …

Piecemeal expansion of Del Mar Highlands

The Carmel Valley battle for square footage The bell has sounded in a heavyweight battle between two Carmel Valley developers and the City is caught in the middle of it all. Kilroy Realty, the Los …

Bonsall's golf land not so idyllic

Golf Course headed for the rough? Retired Fallbrook elementary school teacher Joan McConnell had just returned on Sunday (January 24) from the site of the former San Luis Rey Downs Golf Club. Two years ago, …

February 20, 2023
Eastlake – square footage over location

What am I doing in Eastlake? The western end of the loop consists of a series of shopping centers, all butted up against Eastlake Parkway, and all bearing names that declare their neighborhood allegiance: Eastlake …

Angel Lopez killed by police submachine gun near SDSU

Angel's no angel Officer Walb caught up to Lopez in a narrow hallway on the third story of an apartment complex near San Diego State University. Lopez had run from officers in the parking lot …

December 19, 2022
Tom Shaw and heavenly transport on Imperial Avenue

Apostolic Prayer Temple, house of exaltation I came here, to the Apostolic Prayer Temple, a storefront in between a nightclub and a fish market in Encanto, to see the Rev. Tom Shaw in the Gospel …

December 18, 2022
Cyclist killed by North County bus at Pendleton

Udo was gone Along Stuart Mesa Road near Cook Crossing and Vandergrift, he joined two other riders, Steven Scharf and John Edwards, both riding at the same pace. They chatted a bit, and as the …

April 25, 2022
San Diego cracks down on anyone living in his car

“Amber” lost her job as a customer service representative due to Covid. Jobless and faced with high living costs, she, her husband, and her seven-year-old daughter moved out of their City Heights apartment at the …

December 16, 2020
SDG&E line man fired for white power sign

Emmanuel Cafferty is not a white supremacist. If he were, he would subscribe to a doctrine wherein he admits his own inferiority, as Cafferty is of mostly Mexican descent. But during a June 3 drive …

November 25, 2020
Family of man killed by Amtrak train at trolley stop files claim

The family of a 79-year-old Chinese immigrant who was struck and killed by a speeding Amtrak train near Little Italy in February of this year has filed legal claims against MTS, the city and county. …

November 9, 2020
Cops kick retired cops out of gun club

After 87 years of occupying San Diego’s only gun range, the San Diego Police Revolver Club has been evicted from its home by the San Diego Police Department. Now, the gun club, composed of retired …

November 2, 2020
The Chargers crowd, the Padres crowd, where old Chargers are

Cheerleading Is More Dangerous than Fighting Cage-fightin’ rock stars. It’s Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., and I am waiting for amateur mixed martial arts fighter Jaime Reyes at the Lakeside Cafe. When he walks past me, …

October 11, 2020
Religion in Christmas movies, Yellow Deli a cult?, San DIego Sikhs, Christmas without Jesus, Hare Krishnas

Church on Sunday? If not, did you ever wonder why people do? One man's search for Christianity's core. By Matthew Lickona, April 8, 2009 | Read the full article Joy to the Screen Isn’t the …

September 26, 2020
National City – still up and coming

National City – a Mayor Daley-type political machine To the south of San Diego, within range of the shadows cast by the Coronado Bridge, lies National City. Frequently described as the “backlot" of San Diego, …

North Park – the prime quartier

Say goodbye to 30th Street as it is “You guys are just thinking about North Park residents shopping here and eating at your shops,” she said. “You’re not thinking about the people coming from down …

Miramar – Naval air station and a trash dump

FAA okays 150 fixed wing and 115 helicopter flying from Miramar For the first time since the 1978 PSA plane disaster over North Park, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is changing San Diego's air traffic …

Hillcrest, neighborhood of ghosts

Gayborhood or ghetto? “I still love Jesus, and I’m still a conservative,” Texana R., 17, tells me. “I just am — I don’t care what my mama or my aunt or my step sister or …

Mission Valley – garden-land gave way to shopping centers

The never-ending fix to Hazard Center Drive Hazard Center Drive in Mission Valley East is probably the shortest road incurring the longest completion of any in San Diego. It is approximately three blocks long and …

A close look at religions in San Diego

There Is One God "The equality of all people and all religions is central to our faith. We didn't want to seem as though we were saying, 'No! We're not Muslims! Don't attack us! Those …

May 2, 2020
Kearny Mesa – not really a neighborhood

Giovanni's leaves cribbage fans homeless I used to come to Giovanni’s at the turn of the century when they were located at Balboa Avenue about a mile west from the I-805 freeway. I remember playing …

Solana Beach: artists and developers

Solana Beach seeks electricity options Last month, Solana Beach announced the hunt for a service provider to help launch the county’s first local power program, which aims to curb greenhouse gases. This month, a war …

Best Reader stories from 2013

Movie lover's paradise Meanwhile, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video have shuttered their local outlets. Owner and buyer Guy Hanford understands why. “When you went into a Blockbuster or Hollywood to rent a film, you never engaged …

March 14, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2010

Reader writers on why Christmas is magic By Dorian Hargrove, Elizabeth Salaam, Ernie Grimm, Jay Allen Sanford, Melissa Wiley, Ollie , Walter Mencken, Dec. 22, 2010 San Diego women who have converted to Islam Over …

March 1, 2020
Poway – city in the country

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There Dad’s is probably the most famous barroom in America, at least this week, and what goes on here is …

Old Town – early and later stories

General store ledgers tell how people lived in Old Town Finding which store the ledger came from involved detective work. In 1864, there were only two general merchandise stores, one in Old Town, the other …

Rancho Bernardo – in the thick of North County suburbia

A Feeling of Hope in Rancho Bernardo How do I even begin to tell you about the incredible turnaround my neighborhood has taken? I will start here. Hi, my name is Mychal McMahon. I am …

Borrego Springs– no there there

From Toro Peak to Fonts Point, barely Their plan was to start at Toro Peak, in the Santa Rosa Mountains just north of Borrego Springs, hike along the mountainous spine over Rabbit Peak and Villager …

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

No trolley in my backyard A group of neighborhood conservationists in University City are hoping to put the brakes on a plan to extend trolley service from downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Depot to a …

Idyllic Tierrasanta

East Shepherd Canyon East Shepherd, or Greenbelt, trail is interesting in all seasons, with a combination of native coastal sage scrub and nonnative plants in the canyon. Walk north on Santo Road for about 160 …

Carmel Valley – the anxiety of a new suburb

Carmel Valley accidental pond to be drained More than 17 years ago, land owner Robert Barczewski had a grading crew push a pile of dirt into a dip in a dirt road on his private …

Bonsall – suburbia's edge

Lilac fire survivor comes to the races On December 7, 2017, horse trainer Joe Herrick said, “Hell came to town.” Herrick was was involved in trying to rescue 450 thoroughbred horses caught in the raging …

Eastlake – growing pains

Peace east of Eastlake It was inevitable that there would be development. The Olympic Training Center sits on land donated by Eastlake, the sprawling development to its immediate west. Every time I pass through Eastlake, …

Dorian Hargrove and the Reader

How Hargrove came to write for the Reader: My first published article in the Reader was for a writing contest I entered in 2007. The contest: Write a story that best describes your neighborhood. I …

May 18, 2019
Encanto – snubbed but proud

On top of this little corner of the world Here on Skyline Drive, great swaths of sward stretch out below, springy and green. Here, there are vacant lots littered with possibility, within sight of a …

Santana High over-reacts to gun

On January 15, 2015 retied California Highway Patrolman Robert Pitt dropped his girlfriend's daughter off at Santana High School in Santee. The gun he carried was in his fanny pack when he went into the …

March 27, 2018
Questions raised over police response to Chicano Park protests

Some Barrio Logan and Logan Heights residents want answers from the San Diego Police Department for its handling of last month's Patriot Picnic protest at Chicano Park. Co-founder of Chicano Park Josephine Talamantez presented those …

March 23, 2018
Southeastern Planning Group says no to homeless storage

The Southeastern San Diego Planning Group is the latest group to come out against a proposed 1,000-bin storage facility for the homeless in Sherman Heights. The storage facility at Commercial ad 20th Streets will be …

March 19, 2018
Two more abuse victims in Carlsbad

In 2010 third-grade teacher from Carlsbad, Raymond Firth, pleaded guilty to fondling two of his students. In exchange for the plea, the district attorney's office agreed to drop six counts of child molestation. In 2012 …

March 15, 2018
A long-term wooing most rude

The City of Chula Vista has agreed to pay a former employee $400,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against a current employee. According to court documents, Mariana Garcia filed to dismiss the case due …

March 8, 2018
Lemon Grove councilman accused of drunken violence

Lemon Grove city councilmember David Arambula has been accused of hitting a constituent over the head with a beer bottle in a drunken rage. On Monday, March 5, the Lemon Grove City Council is expected …

March 4, 2018
Watchtower done looking the other way?

The lawsuits over sexual molestation by Jehovah's Witness elders in San Diego are officially over. On February 18, former parishioner Osbaldo Padron, one of several children molested by former church elder Gonzalo Campos, agreed to …

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