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Stories by Joe Deegan

Superior Ready Mix dusts Allied Gardens

Company responds faster than bureaucracy

It might seem that Kirk Riley set a trap for investigators at the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. But it was inadvertent. Riley, who is 45 and a resident of Del Cerro, had ...

The squeezed turn from Aero to Murphy Canyon Dr.

Disenfranchised bus passenger

During our conversation about potholes (see “What It Takes to Fill a Pothole” on August 10), Misty Haskins expressed what struck me as an exaggerated worry about her safety on the buses she rides. She ...

What it takes to fill a pothole

Do Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch enjoy better roads than El Cajon Blvd.?

Although, in March, Mark Kersey ended his candidacy to become California’s 38th District senator, he may be forgiven for still bragging about all the recent street resurfacing in his San Diego city council District 5. ...

Power Surge San Diego's impressive girls

They don't play daddy ball

On an empty lot at Maine Avenue near the rodeo grounds in Lakeside, I find Power Surge Chavez, a fastpitch softball team of ten-year-old girls that practice twice a week, attend conditioning on another two ...

Airport noise — from La Mesa to La Jolla

How the FAA is treating your complaints

Ever since Lindbergh Field was dedicated in 1928, there have been outcries over noisy aircraft over San Diego neighborhoods. But a new rapprochement between recently tone deaf aviation officials and irritated residents in the flight ...

Lemon Grove Bakery needs customer chairs

But it can't have them

Lemon Grove Bakery looks the same - except for one thing. The open space in front of the display case is now missing the tables and chairs that customers used for chatting over coffee and ...

Cleveland Ave. and Ohio St. chimeras

The disappearing landlords on Craigslist

The birth rate of suckers “born every minute” seems at times to keep pace with their rising desperation to find reasonable rent. Recently, at Twiggs Coffee House on Park Boulevard in University Heights, conversations have ...

Rodeo clown builds Alpine water slide

And then the West Fire comes

Ever the entertainer, Danny “Buffalo Chip” Alvarez, bull rider and rodeo clown in the Lakeside Rodeo, recently took his enthusiasm for fun to Alpine. There he installed a water slide on a hillside adjacent to ...

Romance of the beach fire tainted

Mission Beach gets smoke from rubber and plastic

Fire pits at South Mission Beach are heating up again. Residents complain that smoke blown on the wind is polluting their homes. It comes not only from the permitted burning of wood and paper but ...

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 ...

Scandal-plagued regional teams, crowds absent from local March Madness

Scalper: "How low do you need to go. Name your price."

San Diegans lost a last chance to see one of their former prep basketball stars play again locally. Give credit (blame?) to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s deployment of teams for the first two rounds ...

We the people of Normal Heights

The gurus to thank for today’s bars and baristas.

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 to see what was going on ...

How much does it cost to settle a refugee in San Diego?

Costs, culture clashes, and the presidential threat.

On an airplane over the Atlantic Ocean, Talal Shaheen, his wife and three sons, who are Syrian refugees, looked forward to a new life in Florida. Shaheen says that American government officials had told him ...

The tale of Fastball John

Former Saint Augustine and Padres hurler remembers when...

In the spring of 1970, former baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell came to Patrick Henry High School for a baseball game between the home team and Saint Augustine’s High. As a representative from ...

Discount textbook shop forced out at San Diego State

When your competitor becomes your landlord

Taxpayer-subsidized Aztec Shops buys the land under their book-selling competitor.

A moral question about Francis Parker school’s expansion goes unanswered

Francis Parker vs. neighbors...again

Lights, traffic among residents’ objections to the school’s plans

The Fight for $15 wages on SDSU's doorstep

“President Hirshman would pay you $2 an hour if he could.”

Shortly after 8 a.m. this morning (April 14), approximately 100 people rallied in front of SDSU's East Commons and next to the offices of Aztec Shops in protest of student and other workers’ pay on ...

World War I refought in San Diego

Can’t blame it all on Germany

When Raphael Courtney was two, his mother took him to live in her father’s National City home. Her husband had recently died in a plane crash. As the boy matured, he and his grandfather grew ...

Two Talmadges

Those people want to close access to Monroe Avenue.

“The bike path will be about 8 1/2 feet wide. The traffic lanes in the road will be shrunk from 15 feet wide to 10 and 10 1/2 feet.”

The mobster's nephew

Nobody messed with Frank Bompensiero...but Joey did.

One conjecture about why people are so fascinated by organized crime figures attributes it to a timid envy of those who flout the law so boldly. But after selling his book at a four-hour signing ...

Will Grizzly's past bite his future?

Tough guy comes clean, becomes clean

“I’ve always been hard-headed,” confesses Lucas Taylor, “and I have lots of trouble listening to other people’s views. I like math, though. There’s always one right answer.” The first semester has ended, and Taylor and ...

Disabled? You’re hired. Not disabled? Pretend you are.

Federal government investigates Pride Industries

“Do you have a disability?” That’s what would-be stevedores applying for a job at Pride Industries are asked. The private company maintains a contract with the federal government’s Ability One to load Navy ships with ...

Selling businesses is his business

Bruised feelings and divorce are both in Gary Grine’s line of work.

Not long ago, business broker Gary Grine was summoned to a mailbox franchise outlet. The owner had purchased the business as an investment and now wanted to sell. From the glowing terms the man was ...

Murphy Canyon Mystery

"I thought I was being murdered."

If someone nabs your shopping cart, let them have it and walk away.

Want to out your gun-toting neighbors? There's an app for that.

Brett Stalbaum's Gun Geo Marker already hacked.

An app developed by UCSD lecturer Brett Stalbaum allows users to pinpoint exact spots of irresponsible gun ownership, storage, and use. However, it has been criticized for being unreliable and a potential invasion of privacy.

Do you know how much trouble you can get in with a shotgun?

Big man, big problems

When 250-pound William Gruytch came to Jeff Burleson’s door to serve his wife papers, he knocked as though trying to beat the door down. Burleson didn’t know who he was (Gruytch didn’t identify himself), so he went for his shotgun, which he didn’t bother loading. He still got into a lot of trouble.

Eight-graders find their voices in photo program

Trained to use 35-millimeter cameras

In multilingual Linda Vista, schoolchildren are learning to write in English. It’s not always easy. Fifteen-year-old Jacqueline Garza admitted that only a few months ago she was failing her eighth-grade English class. But on the ...

Water independence at all costs

San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District continue to clash. UCSD political science professor Steve Erie says consumers are the losers.

Ben Hueso's taxi cab conflict

Before he became a congressman, Ben Hueso threw his taxi-business-owning brother a bone.

“Heartbreak Bob” Reisinger found after Normal Heights house fire

A Rosie O’Grady’s regular

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, according to neighbors, a man on Hawley Boulevard in Normal Heights called his girlfriend on the phone and told her, “I set myself on fire; call the ...

Cabrillo goes to Mexico

A statue’s sordid history

The statue’s trip occurred several days after Christmas, but for the previous two weeks, the Mexicans had been coming to the monument to prepare for loading. Workman had his doubts that the statue was stable ...

San Diego State's growing contempt for undergrads

President Hirshman wants SDSU to be research center.

SDSU’s emphasis seems to be on fundraising; teaching comes second in priority, say some. The money is in research, not teaching.

On the Trail of a Complaint

Got a complaint against a taxi driver? It seems nobody cares.

Look Out for that Loophole

Prop 32’s loophole may hang and silence an important voice.

Rugby — Safer, Saner

When Poway Youth Rugby coach Phil Calio explains how he teaches the “cheek to cheek” technique, he’s only talking about tackling. “What we teach the kids,” he tells me, “is to attack right at the ...

Raccoon in the Attic!

A raccoon family comes to live with an Ocean Beach family. But the animals choose the attic and make a proper mess of it.

Caught in China's Net

Two local activists bring Tibetan woman Lhamo Tso to the U.S. as part of campaign to get her husband released from a Chinese jail.

The Meteoric Rise and Fall of a Local Wave-Rider

Anger and grace tame the waves

Rising San Diego surf star Chris O’Rourke died from cancer in 1981. He was so good, surfing photographer Kirk Lee Aeder recently wrote book about him.

No Fare? No Fair!

Last November, taxicab driver Joe Ciprian, 50, took a call from his dispatcher to pick up a passenger at UCSD hospital in Hillcrest. “I got there to find the security guard waving me down,” wrote ...

Paul People

Why San Diegans like Ron Paul.

Ron Paul, a 12-term congressman from Texas, is attracting an intense and dedicated cadre of voters in the 2012 primary election season. But, to date, at least, their numbers suggest he is not a viable ...

So San Diego

Deep-Fryed San Diego

“In the old days, you had kingmakers who would put in the people they wanted over the objections of those in the community,” says Donna Frye.The former city councilwoman is speaking of the two major ...

Push Me, Pull You, Arrest Me at California State University Headquarters

"Mostly all lies” is how San Diego State University graduate student and teaching assistant Ashley Wardle characterizes statements two California State University officials made during a joint legislative subcommittee hearing in Sacramento last month. The ...

Start at the Oceanside Pier. Stop in 3000 Miles.

Most of us onlookers conquered the mountain the easy way — by car — and had gathered for the big moment, trying at the same time to exploit the 10,857-foot elevation for an alpine vista. ...

Joe Bauguess's Last, Worst Wipeout

In the 1940s and early 1950s, when other surfboard shapers worked intuitively, legendary surfer Bob Simmons was applying mathematics and boat-building and aircraft technology to board designs. In 1954, he died in a surfing accident ...

Don’t Peek Over My Fence, Mr. Code Compliance Man

There is a multicolored slide, part of a jungle gym, in Robert Brians’s front yard on Delaware Street in Imperial Beach. But I am admiring his two large African turtles crawling along the dusty ground. ...

Anatomy of a Good Idea: the Water Man Check-In Center

Last December in federal court, Dan Bamberg was trying to figure out how homeless men and women could store their belongings safely and out of sight rather than carry them around everywhere. Transport containers of ...

Report Criticizes Reengineering at Health and Human Services

The worst thing about the job, Blanca tells me, is the chaos. “It’s not being able to control the influx of clients. It’s happening so fast that before I’m finished with one application I have ...

It Was Scary Up There on the Coronado Bay Bridge

What would you do at witnessing someone about to jump from the Coronado Bay Bridge? Consider the tale of real estate appraiser Bryan Knowlton, a 42-year-old resident of Kearny Mesa. On Thursday, May 12, Knowlton ...

Big History of Little Italy

Peter Corona, a veteran superintendent of numerous school districts in California, was born in 1928 in San Diego’s “Italian Colony,” as Little Italy was first known. He grew up during the Depression and World War ...

The Fall of Western Civilization at a North Park Coffeehouse

Meeting of the Minds, moderated by Gary Grine, meets Wednesdays at Filter Coffee House. Grine formed this group when he decided that the Thursday discussion group he had founded became “too political and too liberal.” ...

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