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Stories by Leorah Gavidor

National City's give-away produce stand booms

“My husband is a meat guy, and this month we went for nine days without eating meat.” Melissa and her two boys, who look about seven and nine, are waiting at the Olivewood Gardens produce ...

Reader writers attempt to tone up

High on fitness Patrick Henderson Pyles Peak Corner of Golfcrest and Navajo Drives Mission Trails Cowles Mountain is a very popular, very crowded hike — especially if you’re taking it from the Golfcrest/Navajo staging area. ...

March 11, 2020
Golden Hill – slowly gentrifying

19 townhomes at 32nd and C instead of park The largest undeveloped parcel in Golden Hill, once considered by the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee as a top choice for a neighborhood park, is now ...

Could Burning Man come to In-Ko-Pah?

Roadside attraction Desert View Tower at In-Ko-Pah is on the market. Rising over the steep, rocky Jacumba landscape, the 70-foot tower has been a beacon to travelers since 1928. Ben Schultz now owns and operates ...

August 27, 2019
Donovan prisoners taught manners

Coming from Mission Hills, it’s a 25-mile drive south and then east on Highway 905 out to Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa. After the highway ends, it’s still several miles along dusty, ...

May 8, 2019
Ocean Beach seed repository now open at public library

Housed in an old card catalogue requisitioned from central library storage, the new Ocean Beach Seed Library is beginning to grow. Facilitator of the only seed repository in the San Diego city library system, Destiny ...

Sinkholes in Florida Canyon targeted for quick fix

A 126-inch diameter corrugated metal storm drainpipe near the entrance to Balboa Naval Medical Center failed in late January, causing sinkholes along Florida Drive. Recent rains have caused more water than usual to flow in ...

February 25, 2019
Makeover of Paradise Creek and Kimball Park

“I don’t know if you saw it before, it was not a very nice area,” said Nadia Nunez about Paradise Creek where it runs through Kimball Park in National City. Nunez is community manager for ...

December 31, 2018
Shot hole beetle invades San Diego River

Native to Southeast Asia, the shot hole borer beetle is making its way along the southern Californian coast including the San Diego River Valley. Though it makes what appears to be only a minuscule hole, ...

Apartments for poor come to 13th and Broadway

273 affordable housing units are coming to the East Village. On the northeast corner on 13th and Broadway, the new homes will take their place amid developments by companies that chose to pay the in-lieu ...

San Diego Reader 2018 Holiday issue

You don’t have to do anything this holiday season. Despite what the song says, you don’t have to deck the halls, join the chorus, or don any sort of gay apparel. You don’t have to ...

December 5, 2018
San Diego Reader 2018 winter fun issue

Drums, giants, and Mother Goose Stargazing in Anza-Borrego 652 Palm Canyon Drive Borrego Springs This year, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was officially designated an International Dark Sky Community, thanks to years of concerted effort to ...

November 7, 2018
Golf Course Drive bike lane project in motion

After years of requests by residents and riders for bike lanes and sidewalks on Golf Course Drive, the project is on the city’s map. From 26th to 28th and Date Streets, pedestrians and bicyclists can ...

October 29, 2018
Golden Hill gentrification continues

The largest undeveloped parcel in Golden Hill, once considered by the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee as a top choice for a neighborhood park, is now set to become 19 new townhomes. CityMark development acquired ...

October 12, 2018
Animation and Adolf Eichmann

“Goy” is the Yiddish term for non-Jew. Like “gringo,” which means “American,” it’s not derogatory. But when Joyce Axelrod, mother of the Jewish Short Film Festival, told me about Randall Christopher’s movie on the Holocaust, ...

October 4, 2018
What was that smell near Scripps?

On Wednesday August 1, I caught a whiff of rotten eggs. Facilities workers at Scripps and Birch Aquarium checked gas lines to verify that it wasn’t methane. After about half an hour, Scripps employees spread ...

August 7, 2018
Coastal creatures captured

For the Snapshot Cal Coast, June 13-20, San Diego, a small contingent hit the beach at Scripps Coastal Reserve and another group scoured Sunset Cliffs on a bioblitz. Isabelle Kay of UC San Diego Natural ...

UCSD human submarine off to England

For the first time in UC San Diego history, the school’s human-powered submarine team has been invited to participate in the European International Sub Race. In July 2018, the team of engineering undergrads will fly ...

June 26, 2018
Scripps pedestrians in a hurry avoid the bridge

When a Scripps Institution of Oceanography affiliate was hit and injured while crossing La Jolla Shores Drive at Downwind Way in October 2017, staff, faculty, and students had been voicing the need for improvements to ...

March 19, 2018
Highly acidic bird poop

The 39-foot-tall whale statue that greets visitors at Birch Aquarium just got a mini-makeover. Sea air, sun, chlorine, and “especially bird poop” have taken a toll on the bronze Legacy, a life-size breaching gray whale, ...

February 28, 2018
Community garden to grow in National City

Old Town National City will build a community garden after more than a decade of collaboration between the city, residents, and the Environmental Health Coalition. Mundo Gardens, a “National City–grown” nonprofit, will operate the Paradise ...

Grinchy city grabs rec-center funds

Back in October the city attorney’s office delivered a legal opinion that supported the city's decision to immediately appropriate recreation council funds, raised locally by each individual recreation center, and deposit the monies into the ...

December 14, 2017
Scripps plagued by vehicular vandalism

The impact from a hit-and-run collision was so strong that it pushed a 1970s Chevelle, parked on La Jolla Shores Boulevard, onto the sidewalk. Owner Jeff Sevadjian said the incident occurred between 7:05 a.m. and ...

December 2, 2017
A sea hare, a gulper eel, and a colony of sea pork

A sea hare, a gulper eel, and a colony of what looks like sea pork have all turned up recently on the San Diego coast, keeping local scientists busy. In early October, a beachgoer at ...

November 21, 2017
Watch and hear dolphins talk to each other

“The thrill of the chase.” That might be what a dolphin is expressing as she swims swiftly in the slipstream of her male companion, as imagined by Lisa Korpos, artist behind Speculative Dolphin Theater at ...

October 17, 2017
La Jolla earthquake on wheels

On September 27th, Marty Nelson, safety and environmental compliance officer at Southwest Fisheries in La Jolla, gathered his staff, along with faculty from adjacent Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to try out a magnitude 7.2 in ...

City grabs Park and Rec funds

After more than 30 years of operating within the communities they serve, city recreation-center councils will no longer have the ability to decide how to spend the funds they collect. City attorney Mara Elliott’s office ...

September 26, 2017
Golden Hill Park & Rec facelift

“It’s part of a transition to make the park more comfortable for families, and having shade will help,” says Park & Rec area manager Kathy Castello of the new pergola behind Golden Hill Recreation Center. ...

September 18, 2017
One less market for Golden Hill

One of the two full-service grocery stores in Golden Hill, Miller’s Market, will soon close for redevelopment. Slated to be demolished, the store has been in business for over 50 years. The lot on the ...

September 7, 2017
A year in an immigrant’s shirt

While crossing the border at San Ysidro, Valentina Forte-Hernandez, an unassuming and petite artist, aroused the suspicion of border agents due to the tangle of wires and circuits in her trunk. She had to submit ...

Ben Lecomte prepping Discoverer at Pt. Loma for Tokyo-San Francisco voyage

Eight hours per day, 180 days, 5500 miles: that’s the length of the longest swim, to be attempted by Ben Lecomte across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to San Francisco. Alongside him will be his ...

USS Bennington oak grove now on Balboa Park map

More than 110 years after they were planted in Golden Hill, the trees in Bennington Memorial Oak Grove are getting a dose of proper decorum. In July 1905, when the boiler on the USS Bennington ...

What’s in surfers’ guts?

This October, UC San Diego School of Medicine doctoral student and native Hawaiian surfer Cliff Kapono sets out on a nine-month global journey to swab surfers in search of unique microorganisms. “If surfers have a ...

November 2, 2016
In Cousteau’s slipstream

Commercial fishing boats near Scripps Pier must stay out of the adjoining areas, but La Jolla visitors might have noticed a ship recently prowling around the underwater reserve: the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul. During the ...

September 28, 2016
Seagoing action

On a gray day in May, a group of San Marcos Middle School girls and other visitors gathered in the Birch Aquarium galleria to try something that had not been done at the aquarium before: ...

Mo and Jo coast-walk from Oregon to Mexico

A 1972 state proposition mandated a public walking path spanning the California coast, but to this day the trail has not been finished. To raise awareness of the need for improvements, marine scientists and trail ...

Study seeks best treatment for jellyfish stings

Jellyfish stings are a familiar part of the beachgoing experience. But, says UC San Diego medical student John Stevenson, there is no conclusive data on treatment. Along with two UC San Diego doctors, Richard Clark ...

May 25, 2016
Goodbye, Melville; hello, Sally Ride

Scripps Institution of Oceanography has bid bon voyage to R/V Melville, a research vessel that has cruised the world’s oceans since 1969. Last month, the U.S. Navy turned over operations of the ship, now named ...

May 11, 2016
When Bill Clinton claimed the couch

A piece of old furniture is getting jettisoned in the Birch Aquarium’s office remodel: the couch Bill Clinton took a nap on in 1997. Clinton gave the UC San Diego commencement address that year, then ...

March 24, 2016
Black’s Beach road closed for repair

Storms, high tides, high surf, and winter swells damaged the emergency access road to Black’s Beach, causing UC San Diego to close the road for repair until March 6. The damage occurred sometime between the ...

March 14, 2016
Gobies go on vacation

The endangered tidewater goby, native only to the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County, is a tiny fish. Growing up to two inches long, the species lives exclusively in coastal brackish ...

March 9, 2016
A prowl through Los Peñasquitos Canyon

A coyote mauled one of the cameras, and a bobcat marked (that’s right — urinated on) another. In tracking, those are good signs.

February 24, 2016
Who are these drifters?

Every day under the Scripps pier in La Jolla, two cameras capture thousands of images of the weird and wonderful organisms called plankton. “Plankton,” a Greek adjective that can mean “drifter,” is a diverse group ...

January 20, 2016
Gimme babies or gimme death

When Garfield Kwan was an undergraduate student in marine biology at UC San Diego, he began to notice a trend: the internet was full of funny stuff, but science was not included. Furthermore, materials available ...

December 30, 2015
RezRadio reaches the world

“On the reservation they have a saying,” Fox chuckled, “‘B.C.—before casino.’’’

November 25, 2015
Australian visitors spotted in San Diego Bay

About 100 yards into an early-morning kayak-fishing excursion on September 28, Steve Piper noticed a plentiful presence on his fish finder. As he paddled out into San Diego Bay from the boat ramp at Pepper ...

October 14, 2015
50th anniversary of Sealab II

Fifty years ago off the coast of La Jolla, the U.S. Navy performed experiments to find out how long humans could live underwater. The Sealab project had three vessels, the first of which was sunk ...

October 12, 2015
Marine fireworms to do horizontal boogie

In the shallow coastal waters of Mission Bay, a dazzling display lights up the sea after dark. Not the SeaWorld fireworks — it’s the marine fireworms, coming to the surface in swarms to mate. Like ...

September 17, 2015
Grandma drove a tank while pregnant in 1948 Jerusalem

Israel was the first foreign country I visited, in 1980, four months after I was born. Although my Jewish-ish parents didn’t take my brother and me to temple, I went to the Holy Land six ...

May 20, 2015
Exhibitionists

“No reading, no memorizing. It’s all oral,” described Storytellers of San Diego president Marilyn McPhie of the yarns these spinners create live for audiences. Join the performers for the Storytelling Festival on March 21 at ...

February 4, 2015

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