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

Back to profile

Stories by Ken Leighton

Oceanside gets even more serious about street people

Well intentioned efforts to help the homeless can get ugly. The city of Oceanside’s high profile moves to help the needy led to public confrontations and a grant revocation. One grandstanding councilmember induced giggles when ...

Kori Jensen cleared by D.A. on house in North Oceanside

Last Friday the District Attorney’s office announced it was not pursuing criminal charges against Oceanside councilwoman Kori Jensen regarding her residency. There were enough questions over Jensen’s primary residence that the city attorney referred the ...

iBuyers moving into Oceanside home market

“This house is in escrow and it never even had a sign or an open house.” Mary Ellen Reese has lived in the same South Oceanside home for 37 years. She was taken aback when ...

Re-drawing lines may delete Orange County from 49th Congressional District

“The Republican party asked me to run against [Congressman] Mike Levin in 2020.” That’s what Oceanside city councilman Christopher Rodriguez said two years ago when the Latino ex-Marine who served in Iraq was viewed as ...

Animal Kingdom back in Oceanside to shoot sixth season

Animal Kingdom is TV’s intense weekly drama about the crime-loving Cody family. Brothers Pope, Craig and Deran took on murder, armed robbery, explosives, and drugs all while living in Oceanside. A Warner Bros. Television crew ...

Oceanside police gently push homeless out of tents

A sprawling tent camp near Oceanside Boulevard and I-5 that was home to about 50 homeless people was upended Tuesday morning when a phalanx of some 40 police officers descended on the campsite built on ...

April 13, 2021
There goes the Oceanside beach

Apparently nothing will stop beachfront property owners in Oceanside from dropping in huge riprap boulders in front of their house. Not even a stop-work order from the state coastal commission. At about 2 pm Friday, ...

Sanchez recall committee in Oceanside misses deadlines

Some city hall watchers are claiming a recent filing with the state Fair Political Practices Commission is proof that Oceanside has become a “pay-to-play” city where wealthy developers can build what they want as long ...

Oceanside councilwoman doesn't live at 815 North Pacific Street

What does it take to become a member of the Oceanside City Council? One might be surprised to know how easy it was for the newest member of the the five-person body that controls a ...

February 1, 2021
Finest City Improv and the unbending landlord

Tara Johansen says improv comedy classes are the best way she knows for the introverted to meet other people. “I had just moved to San Diego a year earlier and I found it very hard ...

December 14, 2020
Has Del Mar's Dwight Worden flipped from green to gray?

Politics can get rough in the county’s smallest city where just 3450 voters decide who runs the five-person Del Mar city council. In last month’s election, two different slates were running to occupy three seats. ...

December 7, 2020
91 of 153 Del Mar fairgrounds employees laid off – some of them are talking

While Covid-triggered cancelations pushed the Del Mar Fairgrounds into a $10 million deficit as of September, two former fairground employees claim that that the fairgrounds governing board and its staff was headed for a fall ...

Aussie surfboard maker J.S. Industries runs into Oceanside buzzsaw

The Aussies are invading North County with foreign-made surfboards. “It’s like freaking locusts descending on us,” says one local surf shop owner who declined to be named. “It’s like they have a scorched earth plan ...

November 18, 2020
Oceanside's Prince Park garners love, but still has pit toilets

About 100 skaters a day show up to Oceanside’s Prince Park. On weekends it’s twice as many. Because it's free to use and because skating is cool. Josh Carson says the cement bowls are doing ...

November 6, 2020
Oceanside's Michelle Gomez sues ex-workers for libel and gets some to back off

According to some named in a defamation lawsuit filed by Oceanside City Council candidate Michelle Gomez, the suit is a way to silence those who claim she ripped them off. The lawsuit arose when Gomez, ...

October 27, 2020
Cavalier Mobile Home owners vs. the rest of the neighborhood

Bree Shook says a kind of class warfare has erupted between her 1,000 neighbors in the Cavalier Mobile Home Estates and the traditional homeowners who live in the South Oceanside neighborhood that overlooks them. “They ...

October 19, 2020
Ups and downs of Oceanside Harbor

One person close to the Helgren’s sportsfishing saga describes the struggle over city property at the Oceanside Harbor as an ongoing “soap opera,” filled with “hate and discontent.” And while the major players won’t speak ...

October 7, 2020
Cyclops Farms pulls up stakes in Oceanside

Anyone with a TV may get the impression Oceanside is more Green Acres than Baywatch. Developer Integral Communities has so far dumped $1.4 million on TV ads and other promotions to convince locals that a ...

September 30, 2020
Who stole your iPod, FM94's Mike Esparza, Hell's Angels, our Russian yacht, Seaworld sharks, why they leave San Diego

Roman Abramovich Yacht on San Diego’s Embarcadero Two helicopter pads, pool, spa, hot tub... It was borrowed by Madonna back in 2010 (according to Luxist.com), when she was filming her movie about the Duke of ...

September 19, 2020
Fire rings out in Oceanside – for good?

Beach fire rings are a beloved beach tradition for families and youth groups to roast marshmallows and tell stories. Or are they an attractive nuisance drawing in transient drunks who fight and make late night ...

Oceanside's El Corazon center will get olympic pool, concert venue – and the San Diego Sockers

The pandemic has not slowed the big dig at El Corazon, the 465-acre clump of mostly undeveloped mid-city parkland owned by the city of Oceanside. The heavy equipment work continues on the 2.2-acre Oceanside Aquatic ...

September 11, 2020
San Diego Democrats fight over Israel

Could the new center of Jewish hate speech in San Diego be the Democratic Party? “In 2018 we tried to charter a new club called Democrats for Israel,” says Andrea Beth Damsky of La Mesa. ...

September 2, 2020
Linden Surfboards falls to fancy Oceanside

Surfer Brian Thompson had not yet heard the news: Linden Surfboards was getting squeezed out of the Cleveland Street headquarters in Oceanside it has used for 43 years. “It’s ruining years of culture,” says Thompson, ...

August 25, 2020
North River Farms foes face lawsuit heat - updated Aug. 22

AUG. 22 UPDATE A court trial that was thought to last for weeks was terminated after only about one hour Friday August 21 when a Vista Superior Court judge issued a ruling that immediately snuffed ...

August 22, 2020
Vista squeezes pot clinics with 4375 percent fee rise

By playing by the rules and turning in an estimated $175,000 a month in extra tax dollars the city of Vista has rewarded its six pot dispensaries with a remarkable thank you gift. “They told ...

Fixx Solutions housing not going in at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Without the fair and special events held throughout the year, the Del Mar fairgrounds has announced it expects to be $65 million in the hole by the end of summer. A hat-in-hand plea to borrow ...

July 28, 2020
North County feral cat rescuers out on a limb

KB has been helping feral cats for ten years. She traps them and then gets them spayed or neutered. Sometimes others in her rescuer network brings them to her. “You keep them in a separate ...

Oceanside – eclecticism reigns

Homes at end of Oceanside Blvd. claim emergency The city never got approval,” says Mackin. “They just started doing it. These homeowners had carte blanche to put as much rip rap as they wanted on ...

Oceanside Democrats feud over membership

Latest figures show that only three of San Diego County’s 18 cities (Poway, Santee, Coronado) are majority Republican. In five cities, Republicans are the third-largest voting group surpassed in numbers by those who claim “No ...

How they pry Marines out of downtown Oceanside

Since the ‘80s downtown Oceanside’s Unisex House of Style focused on a Marine clientele. Ex-Marine Richard “Pops” Sanders launched the shop in the historic Dolphin Hotel on Coast Highway to serve men and women. But ...

Pro-China station broadcasting from Rosarito

On Monday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told the operators of URadio 690 AM with its 77,000 watt powerhouse transmitter in Rosarito Beach, that it had 48 hours to get its application in order or ...

June 23, 2020
Del Mar Fair asks Orange County Fair for bail-out

Del Mar Fairgrounds executive director Tim Fennell has blamed COVID-19 as the key reason why his 160-employee district, now $20 million in the red, could implode and leave the future of the Del Mar Fair ...

Oceanside police answer criticism

Of the 1,000-plus who attended the Black Lives Matter rally last Sunday afternoon in downtown Oceanside, about a third displayed their emotions on a cardboard sign. Some hoisted self-made posters that referred to bad cop ...

Underground water in Carlsbad plays tricks on developers

Andy Davis knew last year that a developer would be coming to demolish his popular downtown Carlsbad hang known by locals as the Cantina. The 20-year-old Mas Fina Cantina restaurant and bar on State Street, ...

Will Carlsbad's State Street go pedestrian-only?

The once bustling Wednesday afternoon Carlsbad Farmers Market has re-opened with a fraction of its former clientele. “We don’t know if or when we will ever get back to those [packed] days at the market,” ...

Who stole your iPod, don't embarrass the Hell's Angels

Don't Embarrass the Hells Angels They will not tolerate someone pretending to be a member who is not really a member. By Eva Knott, July 25, 2012 Roman Abramovich Yacht on San Diego’s Embarcadero It ...

May 23, 2020
Palomar College pours money into Rancho Bernardo campus

White college kids in Rancho Bernardo get a real campus. But the Latinos and Native Americans near Fallbrook get trailer park classrooms. That was the gist of an outburst given by board member John Halcon ...

The powerful Oceanside firefighters and their pliable candidate

Behind the scenes, a labor union connected with the city of Oceanside is spending thousands of dollars to elect a candidate who left a number of unpaid vendors from her last election. The Oceanside Firefighters ...

Pro-pot, Nathan Fletcher goes after vaping

Update: Minutes after this story appeared, James Canning, spokesman for Nathan Fletcher, said, "The Vaping Ordinance will now not come back before the Board until September." “They are trying to force people to stop vaping, ...

Oceanside's cheapest housing is in the harbor

Since Sunday April 26 the water in the Oceanside harbor has taken on a rich brown hue. Although the coffee-colored water looked like it could be a briny fecal stew, harbor fisherman explain that it ...

April 28, 2020
Corona touches ex-gang members

Is the pandemic bringing more pain to poorer, ethnic neighborhoods? Yes and no. For Sandra Mora, the Covid shutdown is a unique opportunity to bring hot meals seven days a week, to the families of ...

April 21, 2020

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close