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Stories by Jeannette DeWyze

San Diego's mosquitos, ferrets, sea lions

Deadly Mosquitoes Breed in Our Urban Drool Of the 40 “sentinel chickens” used for early detection, 13 have converted to West Nile, including all 10 in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, 2 in Oceanside, and 1 in ...

May 30, 2020
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
San Diego history you never knew

90 Years of Curl Elwell says Kahanamoku surfed the OB Pier, and when he did, he asked a teenaged lifeguard named Charlie Wright if he could store his board in Wright's beach shack. By Jeannette ...

April 19, 2020
That pesky natural San Diego light

A Single Mother Alone in the World If the child-support check is late, I let it be. I resent having to beg for anything. I used to be on my ex like white on rice, ...

April 18, 2020
Opposums, rats, pigeons, plus San Diego's geologist who hates roadside landscaping

Our Panther Our fair city does have one black jaguar resident, downtown, in Cat Canyon, near Sun Bear Forest, across from the Hunte Amphitheater, in the San Diego Zoo. He was born October 1992 at ...

April 11, 2020
Normal Heights – you want to be involved

We the people of Normal Heights Adam Deutsch and his wife Claire moved to Normal Heights in 2014. Shortly after their move, the couple went to a meeting of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group ...

Best Reader stories from 2017

Spruce Street suspension bridge brings out demented thoughts It’s early, the marine layer still a veneer over the city, when we park the car just shy of the suspension bridge. The day promises to be ...

March 28, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2005

Salvation Mountain The Slabs are Slab City, three miles east of Niland, between the sultry Salton Sea and the Chocolate Mountains. Years ago the concrete slabs supported the barracks of Camp Dunlap, where General George ...

February 15, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2001

How San Diegans reacted to 9-11 “Where were you when the World Trade Center was hit?” “At home.” “And you happened to have the TV on?” “No, my little sister called. She woke me up ...

February 1, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1999

Was Jesse Ventura a SEAL or a UDT guy? Well, I thought, Jesse certainly looks and sounds like many SEALs I’d known during my 16 years in the Teams. But I’d never known or even ...

January 25, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1997

Childhood's End: Dr. Spock at 94 53-year-old Morgan, Dr. Spock’s second wife, has been relentless and inventive in her search for ways to keep her husband youthful and healthy. For his 75th birthday, for example, ...

January 18, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1995

I've got Perry Mason on board! In early 1960, the man who created Perry Mason was introduced to an Imperial Beach resident named Francisco Muñoz. Erle Stanley Gardner had many friends, and he particularly liked ...

January 11, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1994

A little bit east of Eden When I was living in Los Angeles years ago, a door-to-door solicitor pitching San Diego vacations and tours showed me a brochure of local attractions. Included on the list ...

January 5, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1993

In time for the morning glass For a few years back in the '60s, Mike Doyle was the hottest surfer in the world. With an unusual combination of power on big waves and stylistic grace ...

January 4, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1991

Satan chasers San Diego has many experts in the field of Satanism who say the county is a hotbed of Satanic activity. The hidden canyons of the back country, Ramona, Santee, Escondido, even Oceanside, are ...

December 28, 2019
Otay Mesa – so unsettled

Feds plan to make pond of Tijuana sewage Just how smelly are thirteen acres of raw sewage? Soon, very soon, we shall find out. Next Monday a federal agency is planning to start building an ...

December 23, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1989

Till death do us part For so long, she wanted so badly to talk about her relationship with Daniel Broderick. Betty Broderick wanted to tell the their divorce and the awful injustice she felt she ...

December 21, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1987

Explosion! The sighting of San Diego was a welcome event for the crew of the GSS Bennington on a sunny July 19,1905. The patrol gunboat had just completed a rough, seventeen-day journey from Hawaii, and ...

December 14, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1986

Was James Gibson tortured by Mexican police? When two Mexican police officers and two FBI agents showed up at his beachfront Playas de Tijuana apartment on October 17, James Gibson had reason to suspect that ...

December 8, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1984

Tight-lipped submariners aboard the Blueback open up Of course, all submariners are interested in naval history, and remain closer than even infantrymen to their dramatic and bloody heritage, and the Blueback crew seems to sense ...

December 1, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1983

From San Diego's 41st Street, Japan was a more odious enemy than Germany I may be the youngest San Diegan to remember the Second World War, especially the time immediately following the attack on Pearl ...

November 30, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1982

What on earth am I settling for “Goddamnit,” said Jane one evening about six months ago when I answered the door of our apartment in Golden Hill and found her on the stoop, Jeanne sliding ...

November 24, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1981

Postcards From Western Civilization Some years ago at Christmastime, when I was a teller at a bank downtown, I came to know Wayne Boyer, who was then an apprentice bum. I met him in the ...

November 23, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1979

Park there, pay here On the afternoon of the All-Star baseball game in July, Evan Jones was standing on top of one of those pedestrian towers that corkscrew up the side of San Diego Stadium. ...

November 16, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1978

From Spanish rancho to hard-core Marines In 1942, the Ninth Marine Division marched in and took over what had been the Santa Margarita y Las Flores Ranch. The Second World War had begun and the ...

November 10, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1977

A separate peace What was I (a Jew — and a nonobservant one at that) doing with such a piece? I’d never spoken to a nun in my life. All I remembered of them from ...

November 9, 2019
Other San Diego summers

Phoenix without apologies Traveler, consider our Phoenix. An hour away by air, this flat, posh suburb of Greater L.A. is your finest summer vacation bargain. For the price of a bad weekend in a tacky ...

July 6, 2019
Jeannette DeWyze and the Reader

How DeWyze came to the Reader: In the early ‘70s, my best friend at Northwestern University, Randy Barnett, got a job selling ads for the fledgling Chicago Reader. I was involved in campus life (including ...

February 17, 2019
Zane Parzen, Lee Grissom, Bill Mitchell, Dennis Connor, Dick Farson, Sam Fuller

The final analysis Shepherd suggested to the Walkers three names, including that of Parzen, from whom Shepherd had taken an advanced psychiatry class at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute. Not only did Parzen possess a ...

February 9, 2019
Pot smuggler's accident, Belmont Park, Willie Shoemaker, prostitution after Stingaree, truth serum, a family's letters

The Zipper – near death at the Del Mar Fair The Zipper was a new wrinkle on the midway: this big, gleaming apparatus that looked like a gigantic fan belt, with body-hugging cages attached along ...

February 3, 2019
San Diego Zoo's rare bonobos

In late April of 1960, the San Diego Zoo’s curator of mammals, George Pournelle, traveled to one of the most inaccessible parts of the African rainforest on a collecting expedition. His goal was to acquire ...

Coast to Cactus: The genesis of San Diego's definitive hiking guide

Since Afoot and Afield in San Diego County first appeared in 1986, Jerry Schad’s comprehensive guide to local hiking trails has been considered the definitive resource. But Schad’s death from liver cancer in 2011 sent ...

January 18, 2017
Campout in the Sahara

Hassi Labied (population: 2,000) is one of the places you go in Morocco if you want to sleep in the Sahara. It's about 30 miles from the Algerian border; and its dunes (Erg Cheggi) are ...

Wine and dine in Baja's Guadalupe Valley

Recently I went back to northern Baja's Guadalupe Valley. I hadn’t been there since the late 1980s. Back then, it was just emerging as a serious wine-growing region, with two giant producers (Cetto and Pedro ...

Kenya's elephant orphanage

Greater Nairobi, home to more than six million people, has a reputation for mayhem. Its international airport just burned; the Kenyan capital’s nickname is Nairobbery. But visitors can still find some extraordinary pleasures. Ranking high ...

September 7, 2013
Uganda's Batwa Trail

In Uganda, gorilla tourism is an economic engine. It benefits not only the mountain gorillas that the tourists track, but also the human communities in and around the forests in which the animals live. It's ...

July 23, 2013
Ethiopian Time Travel

The Omo River empties into Lake Turkana, not far from where Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya come together. The river valley is difficult to reach; from Addis Ababa the road trip takes the better part ...

Ricardo Loves Dinosaurs...

The gigantic art project unfolding on the unlikely canvas that is Borrego Springs appears to have reached completion. Sculptor Ricardo Breceda says, “That’s it.” There will be no more additions. But Dennis Avery, the man ...

End of San Diego police horse patrol

I asked Sergeant Bret Righthouse about the bad old days, back in 1994, before a cadre of mounted San Diego Police Department officers began routinely patrolling Balboa Park. Transients and illegal aliens had set up ...

January 6, 2010
Balboa Park plantsmen's vision for a green future

On the morning after one of those record-breaking cold nights this past January, Mike Rasmusson checked on his charges. Rasmusson supervises the Kate O. Sessions Balboa Park Nursery -- the city facility where many of ...

San Diego bowlers have dropped from 66,000 to 8,000

At night, the exterior of Kearny Mesa Bowl is not inviting. Set toward the back of a big parking lot on the south side of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, about a block west of Convoy, the ...

February 22, 2007
San Diego surf idols: Ralph Noisat, George Freeth, Carl Ekstrom, Skip Frye, Gordon & Smith

There's a good chance Ralph Noisat caught the first wave in San Diego. He died in 1980, and as he wasn't a man to brag, his pioneering role might have been lost were it not ...

December 14, 2006
A guide to San Diego's guided tours

I had taken eight or nine guided tours of San Diego in two weeks when a friend asked if I was tired of sightseeing. I had to say no. Being out on buses and boats ...

Barry Martin – best animal tracker in San Diego County

Retired American Airlines pilot Barry Martin has been called the best animal tracker in San Diego County. I asked how he first came to be interested in this arcane discipline. A lanky athlete with probing ...

September 28, 2006
Project Wildlife looks for San Diego neighborhoods to re-locate our nocturnal marsupials.

Shawn Powell and I are driving south on Jackson Drive, carrying three opossums in Powell's Hyundai Santa Fe. Our mission is to liberate them. We could stop and dump them out on the sidewalk, but ...

August 31, 2006
After 30 years, Reader writer revisits the Krishnas

I first met Robert Morrill in 1979. He was 27 and had moved the year before to San Diego with his wife and two young children. The family had settled into a modest apartment on ...

August 3, 2006
UCSD med school hires actors to train doctors

We're sitting in a room that's maybe 9 feet wide by 20 feet long, lined with countertops that hold 12 TV monitors. The screens let us spy upon what's normally one of the most private ...

July 13, 2006
A proposition for Salton Sea and its far ripples.

I've flown over the Salton Sea many times. From the air, it doesn't look real. The blue expanse and the green fields of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys that butt up against the sea's northern ...

Reader writer Eleanor Widmer - life in food and literature remembered

One of the ironies of Eleanor Widmer's life is what she ate in her last months. Widmer had become a restaurant critic in 1974, back when brunch at La Valencia featured molded Jell-O "Seafoam," made ...

November 23, 2005
Top dogs: San Diego's K9 unit

Bobby looks like a black Labrador, except that his ears stand upright, forming two stiff peaks. They're quivering now, as Bobby crouches, ready to lunge at me. He's not making a sound, but his body ...

November 17, 2005

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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