Justin O'Connell

Articles by Justin O'Connell

Messages sent on blankets

600 dead in TJ so far, Sinaloa cartel blamed

When blankets are inscribed with messages and flung over bridges in Tijuana, they usually boast a narco-warning directed at rival cartels or authorities. Such narcomantas, as they’re called in spanish, are appearing increasingly throughout Tijuana. ...

Octagrape still willing to do it in front of people

"The last time we played live, everybody loved it."

Octagrape drummer Ely Moyal distilled the band’s spirit, as singer/songwriter Glen Galloway recalls: “We were planning a tour up the coast, and he goes, ‘You know, I just don’t think the juice is worth the ...

Tijuana’s new public bus system – not great once you leave downtown

Does current mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum want it to fail?

Shattered glass. Sandstone rocks. Soiled clothing. Human feces. Exposed electrical cables hanging from ceilings. Trash strewn along the floor. These are generally not the things one imagines when newly built ‘modern transportation’ comes to mind. ...

Baseball is different in Tijuana

“We know baseball games are too long, so we are there to help make the game more fun.”

Every pitch is a party at a Toros de Tijuana baseball game. At least that’s the atmosphere the team is trying to create. The Toros compete in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, an international AAA affiliate ...

Exasperated by landmines

Ex-Cuckoo Chaos find clarity in Exasperation

Exasperation has yet to tour, but guitarist/vocalist Garrett Prange and drummer Dave Mead first played together in 2010. Upon their recent departure from post-punk outfit Ditches after one EP, the two Encinitas natives began playing ...

Mexican photojournalist recalls Pemex arrest

“They threw me on my back and flipped me face down and pushed down."

Gas prices in Mexico have jumped since January 1. Coupled with the decline of the peso, the situation has caused a great deal of unrest throughout Baja California. On the morning of Saturday, January 7, ...

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 ...

County supervisors vote against adult pot use

“There’s overwhelming reason to oppose" Prop 64

With San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis and sheriff Bill Gore in attendance, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unaminously on Tuesday, October 4, against Proposition 64. In a move that drew ...

Where Gandhi and C-3PO converse

Writers, artists, musicians floated to San Dieguito Academy.

SAN DIEGUITO ACADEMY’S DESIGN would fit better amid the incohesive architecture of Tijuana than the square sterility of Southern California, where rows of beige-and-white dwellings and office buildings cloak themselves in the camouflage of each ...

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