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Stories by Ken Harrison

Encinitas, not a neighborhood but a kingdom

Bicyclists dominate Caltrans meeting About half of the meeting’s 40 attendees indicated they were cyclists, and will use the proposed bike lane. But even hard-core cyclists were skeptical of some sections of the proposed eight-mile ...

Encinitas surfers' protest reveals other fault lines

“I’ve been crucified,” said Cardiff by the Sea resident Crista Curtis, as she surveyed what she helped to create on April 19. “I’ve had death threats. I’ve had weird men telling me they were going ...

April 21, 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 ...

Santee man rescued from Mojave Desert mine

Released from University Medical Center in Las Vegas on March 27, Santee resident Randolf Blattler, 60, is lucky to be alive. Blattler spent more than nine hours at the bottom of an abandoned mine in ...

March 30, 2020
Escondido and Oceanside lead race for cheaper gas

San Diegans willing to venture out from home quarantine are noticing some positives. Freeways are wide open, and the price of gas is dropping like a rock. In the traditional time of year when SoCal ...

Anxious eyes on Earl Warren sports field

It seems the city of Solana Beach may have thrown down the gauntlet against the San Dieguito High School District’s plans to take over a field at Earl Warren Middle School for a multi-story administration ...

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 ...

How San Diego County voted – so far

There were not many surprises in the San Diego County March 3 presidential primary elections. The biggest upset was in the 3rd Supervisorial District. UCSD professor and former Obama senior advisor, Terra Lawson-Remer, upset populist ...

March 9, 2020
El Cajon's Jimmie Johnson hangs it up

It was the last professional Southern California appearance of El Cajon native Jimmie Johnson in Sunday, March 1’s Auto Club 400 race at the Fontana speedway. The record holding seven-time NASCAR series champion is tied ...

March 2, 2020
Encinitas Sunset School gets reprieve

After months of public comments at school board meetings, Facebook postings, online petitions, and protest gatherings, alumni of the 50-year-old Sunset Continuation High School in Encinitas celebrated on February 27. A proposed name change of ...

San Marcos – still growing

Night people of San Marcos Miss Rincon said it was her habit to spend the night in the public bathrooms at Richmar Park, at the corner of Firebird Lane and Richmar Avenue, around the corner ...

Fly to Taos from Carlsbad

The Eastern Sierra town of Mammoth Lakes spends thousands of dollars each year subsidizing fares on several airlines, trying to get San Diegans to fly into the popular ski resort. However a new airline flying ...

February 3, 2020
Speedway invades San Diego

A popular Midwest brand of convenience stores and gas stations is quickly making a play into the competitive San Diego County market. Late last month, Speedway, headquartered in Ohio, acquired six stations in the area; ...

Why these nine Encinitas restaurants are closing

What’s happing to restaurants on Encinitas’ El Camino Real? In the last two months, eight restaurants have closed in the ten blocks between Encinitas Boulevard and Leucadia Boulevard. The latest being on November 25. The ...

December 9, 2019
Jeremy Blakespear too soft for San Diego's Bicycle Coalition

Jeremy Blakespear who lives in Encinitas, says he'd like to see more people getting out of their cars and using bikes for recreation and better health in protected bike lanes. His advocacy has caused him ...

November 4, 2019
The Joshua tree farm in Mission Beach

Three years ago, one of architect Bob Craig’s friends moved up to Joshua Tree in the high desert east of Palm Springs. Several hiking visits with his friend, into the Joshua Tree National Park, named ...

October 14, 2019
Bicyclists dominate Encinitas Caltrans meeting

Encinitas locals had their first opportunity on October 7 to see an upcoming master plan for a mid-city bike lane to run east of I-5, the entire length of the city, from Manchester Avenue in ...

How Saudi Arabia affects San Diego gas prices

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 ...

Julian – chock full of history

Appellate court turns back Hosking's fake cattle ranch Inhabitants of Julian who oppose the development of 1416 acres of local back country have a newfound victory to celebrate. An appellate court has reversed the decision ...

Why Encinitas wants to ditch Sunset High

As the campus of Sunset High School in Encinitas was scraped to the ground over the summer, the school board of the San Dieguito Union High School District is considering a name change when the ...

September 10, 2019
Cardiff's Torrey Pine comes down amid suspicions

“It wasn’t supposed to come down,” say Cardiff by the Sea activist opposing the August 26 removal of a 70-year-old, 65-foot Torrey Pine tree at Cardiff Elementary School. The tree was planted by school children ...

Jacumba – the far edge of San Diego

A quiet street and an old hotel Jacumba is a kind of living ghost town out in southeast San Diego County, on the Mexican border, in what’s called, the Mountain Empire district. It has come ...

The China effect on San Diego's recycling

When the Chinese government announced last month that they no longer want to buy mega-tons of America’s recycling waste, it may have been the final blow to a collapsing recycling industry, forcing the closing of ...

Ken Harrison and the Reader

Harrison has written freelance submissions for the Reader since 2009. Harrison's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader: Towers Land in North County Beachgoers are noticing the changes on the sand at Seaside, Cardiff Reef, ...

August 24, 2019
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 ...

2016 holds record for Del Mar Fair

Like the scarecrow without a brain, this year’s Oz-themed San Diego County Fair had individually cataloged hundreds of lost and found items. The most unusual lost item? “A gold grill with diamonds in it,” said ...

July 8, 2019
Gas tax bump sends 15 San Diego stations above $4.30/gallon

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 ...

Bed bugs in Leucadia?

Warning . . . Crime is coming to Leucadia. Robbery. Prostitution. And worse yet . . . an infestation of bed bugs. That’s according to a two-week-long protest by a construction union. Carpenters Local 619 ...

What Vons, Albertsons, Ralph's customers will do

Thousands of retail clerks in Southern California, workers for Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Ralph’s grocery stores, overwhelmingly approved their union to organize a strike, if needed, in the near future. Their union’s contract with the ...

Morena Blvd. on 1970 film footage

Recent Facebook postings of old films shot on major San Diego streets take viewers on a trip into the 1970s. The films travel the entire length of a roadway; showing road alignments, classic cars, businesses, ...

Suspect in quadruple murder of Fallbrook family convicted

After the mysterious 2010 disappearance of the McStay family of Fallbrook, Charles Ray Merritt, 62, was convicted of the quadruple murder on June 10 in a San Bernardino County court Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, ...

Leucadia – funky no more

La Costa Ave. missing time capsule found In the 1970s, Encinitas sheriff’s deputies would make the Leucadia rest area one of their first stops in their morning patrols, to kick out squatting hippies and camping ...

Birthplace of skateboarding – Encinitas and Carlsbad

It started in 1974 at the Bahne surfboard manufacturing shop on Westlake Drive in Encinitas, and quickly spread to a street known as Black Hill in La Costa. Within a few years, skateboarding was a ...

Rancho Santa Fe Democrats hear Gaspar opponents

The County Board of Supervisors campaign gloves were formally taken off on May 9 when the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club hosted the expected three challengers to Supervisor Kristin Gaspar’s 3rd District supervisorial seat. Gasper, ...

Mary's Donuts in Santee got a little too generous

Touted as a third location of the regionally popular Mary’s Donuts, a new storefront opened on El Cajon’s Main Street on April 13, near city and county offices. Owner Joel Scalzitti proclaimed in the East ...

Cheapest San Diego County gas is Pauma Valley and Oceanside

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 ...

High Sierra search for Camp Pendleton Marine curtailed

An all-out effort to find a Camp Pendleton Marine, missing in the snow packed wilderness of the Eastern Sierra is winding down. Other than his rental car, found on March 9 at his planned trailhead ...

Stop Water Tax goes after Maienschein and Horvath

Twelve Democrat legislators have been targeted by Reform California’s Stop the Water Tax campaign. Two from San Diego, Assemblypersons Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), and Tasha Horvath (D-Encinitas) have been identified as “Water Tax Weaklings,” being ...

February 26, 2019
Surf contests on Calif. public land will have to include females

Former Encinitas city councilwoman, Tasha Boerner Horvath, has held her 76th District Assembly seat for just ten weeks. Usually freshmen legislators take up to six months to start legislating. However, on February 14, Boerner Horvath ...

Lights out at La Paloma for Valentine's film

On Valentine's night, at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, about 75 people, couples and families, were two-thirds of the way through one of the greatest love stories ever filmed, when the power went out. ...

February 15, 2019
Escondido's most expensive gas

Since Escondido is one of the lowest areas in the county for gas prices, some motorists may be wondering what’s up with the OAAI station on the corner of Centre City Parkway at 9th Avenue. ...

February 15, 2019
San Diego gas prices edging up – want to drive to Pauma Valley?

The chance for San Diegans to pay $2 a gallon for gas in 2019 appears to be over. Concern over trade tensions with China is the reason being given for the current rise in San ...

Pat Hahn, Jeff Gelder, John Van Zante, Kathie Berger, Sam Bass – real San Diego radio

January 20 was National Radio DJ Day. I asked some of San Diego’s former radio voices to weigh in on past times in the local industry. Pat Hahn had a groupie at the old Vista ...

January 28, 2019
Encinitas rolls back ban on dancing at Peabody's

The Old Testament quotes, and the 1960s band, the Byrds, sang of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A ...

January 21, 2019
Hinze appointment shows Encinitas splits

The January 9 unanimous appointment to the Encinitas City Council of Kellie Shay Hinze, executive director of the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association completes a singular vote for Encinitas of what one longtime community activist ...

After gas tax loss, DeMaio targets union dues

Two months after the loss of ballot measure Proposition 6, the gas and car tax repeal, San Diego radio talk show host Carl DeMaio and his Reform California group are pushing forward with new plans. ...

January 14, 2019
Hang back from the box if someone else is there

In the corner of the parking lot at Wynola Pizza and Bistro in Julian, is a reason local residents in the mountain community of 4,000 will never have to go hungry. Resident Heather Rowell learned ...

January 8, 2019
Oceanside Mohsen gas stations at war with G&M stations

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 ...

Christmas king tides ravage Cardiff by the Sea

Christmas Day was not kind to the beaches of San Diego County. The strong wind and rainy day saw ravaging king tides, which washed away sand and flooded parking lots and low-lying areas. The National ...

Cardiff main drag cut off from I-5

Cardiff by the Sea residents must be getting a little fed up with all the construction and orange fencing around town; widening of I-5 to eight lanes at Manchester Avenue, I-5 interchange expansion at Santa ...

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