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Stories by Mike Madriaga

Imperial Beach couple stops porch thieves

You could send a religious note

On December 10, Marisol Castillo’s Christmas gift package was swiped from the porch of her Imperial Beach home; this was her last straw. “We’ve had this situation happen way too many times,” she said on ...

One man's trash is another man's surfboard

Handcrafting high caliber surfboards

Dan Mann of Coronado handcrafts high caliber surfboards— some are made from another man’s trash. “I have two ‘trash boards’ on order and I am working to try and refine the process.” The last trash ...

San Diego State student missed turkey

Parents descend on him for Thanksgiving, eat ramen

Scripps Ranch residents Ron and Sandra spent their Thanksgiving eating ramen and dessert at the “underground restaurants” of the Sugamo neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan while waiting for their son Tyler to get out of school. ...

Just you, the board, and your opponent

One tends to play better in a serene setting

“Chess by the Beach” is a monthly gathering of chess players at the Pacific Beach Library for all ages and skill levels. “Games are played in the library during the dark months,” said Albert Elguira, ...

Scooter bullies

When will San Diego crack down?

About two weeks ago I was driving eastbound on University Avenue in Cherokee Point. I noticed two teens riding Bird scooters on the sidewalk traveling in the same direction and as they passed Noelia’s Party ...

Filipinos unembarrassed about food

Duck embryos and eating with hands

On November 14, a group of Filipino-American chefs cooked their native dishes for about 130 attendees at the DoubleTree Hotel Del Mar to celebrate the I AM A FILIPINO – And This Is How We ...

Van love on Mission Bay

You can still customize

La Jollan Andreas Stevens cruised his forest green 1972 Chevy “boogie van” out to Crown Point Park on November 11 for “Vans at the Bay.” This was the eighth annual vintage van gathering organized by ...

Baja 1000 riders hit smoke

Dairy farm fire on the way to Ensenada

Baja 1000 racer Ryan Edwards was on his way down to Ensenada on Tuesday morning, November 13, when he had to pull over on the side of the Mexican Federal Highway 1D toll road — ...

$500 apartment in North Park? – dream on

Craigslist scams grow like Topsy

As North Park property values increase to an all-time high, so have scams on renters. “My husband and I had already rented this [North Park] unit in May,” Kersu Dalal said on November 15, “and ...

Throw a shaka to the crowd

Kiteboarding in San Diego

Pacific Beach resident Dan Larsen and his buddies usually kiteboard in Tourmaline Surf Park. Larsen, 49, has been kiteboarding for 15 years. “My personal style of riding is more focused on freestyle and wakestyle tricks ...

Scooters on the Coronado bridge

They probably got on from Cesar Chavez Parkway

On November 12, Steve Paen saw a photo of two people riding Lime scooters on the Coronado Bridge; he wasn’t impressed; he’s seen this before. “These riders were heading into Coronado,” he said. Last month, ...

Tie your key inside your shorts with the waistband string

Avoid smash and grabs in Bird Rock

Racheal posted a photo of a SUV with a broken passenger side window and a missing door handle on her social media — and warned her network: “Those who surf, please do not leave your ...

City Heights mural rescued by mystery angel

“You are awesome whoever you are”

On November 6, Gloria Muriel received news that a mural she painted in City Heights was restored to original by a “mysterious master restoration artist.” It originally took her and Tijuana-based artist Alonso Delgadillo about ...

Too bad, San Diego

Edco customers smile about new cans

Bonnie’s lived by Imperial Beach Boulevard and 9th Street for the last 20 years. “I had no idea that the [EDCO trash] bins could be replaced free of charge,” she said. “I actually never really ...

Inside, looking out at great whites

A non-scuba cage on Guadalupe Island

“When I told people what I was going to do,” said Chris Mannerino, “they would ask: “Do you have a death wish?”” On October 23, Mannerino, from Point Loma, couldn’t wait to swim with the ...

Booby traps set for Baja 1000 drivers

“You’re not going to have time to decipher between the GPS and the flags.”

On October 29, El Vigía, an Ensenada based news outlet, reported that Baja 1000 marker flags that will be guiding the race vehicles in less than two weeks — were compromised. The red SCORE flags ...

Kids these days just pop

Tagger tags former tagger's mural on Market

Zard, a graffiti artist, came to Writerz Blok on Market Street on October 22 to check up on a mural that he and his buddy Drex spent three hours spray painting the day before. “We ...

Honeymoon at the San Diego county building

Hanky panky on Pacific Highway

For an $88 fee, a couple can opt to have a civil marriage ceremony overlooking the San Diego Bay in front of the San Diego County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway. On the westside ...

Like watching paint dry

The patient freesailers

La Jollan Ernie Mortensen has been free sailing 36-inch yachts for 18 years. On October 20-21, Mortensen was the only San Diegan of eight skippers to compete in the National Freesail Regatta, held at the ...

So much for riding bike along the river

West Mission Bay Drive bridge will include two three-lane segments.

Recently, cyclists that bike along the southside embankment of the San Diego River — stopped cycling by the West Mission Bay Drive exit (off of the I-8 exit) — because of a “BIKE LANE CLOSED ...

False alarm brings out police ingenuity

Birds for security tape, Birds for homeless tents

On the morning of October 24, Sam saw a photo tweeted by John Gibbins from the U-T. The photo depicted two San Diego police officers propping up yellow police tape on two Bird motorized scooters ...

In search of the green flash

From Sunset Cliffs, you use the viewfinder

Point Loma resident Chris Mannerino direct-messaged me on Instagram at 4 pm on October 5. “Do you want to shoot [the green flash] with me this evening at Sunset Cliffs at Froude Street, at around ...

Wild ‘n Out signs don't last in Kensington

Wrong area for guerrilla marketing?

On October 11 at about 1:45 pm, I saw a lady by the I-15 exit on Adams Avenue carrying yellow signs. I wasn’t sure if the lady just pulled the yellow and red Wild ‘n ...

Adams Ave. park re-born

Without the grass, but that's okay

Layla and her kids are impressed with the recent renovation of their Adams Recreation Center Park on Adams Avenue (between I-805/I-15) — in Normal Heights; they’ve been hanging out here for over three years. “They ...

Marriott strike – from both sides

San Diego film festival proceeds with sidelong glance

On October 13, as we neared The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, next door to Horton Plaza, the chants of the strikers in red shirts became louder. At the glass door entrances by the hotel ...

Baja 1000 fined $25K

Cactus destroyed in Valle de los Cirios

On October 11, El Vigía, an Ensenada based news outlet posted a story that was headlined “Suspenden carrera Baja 1000; multan a Score International,” which translates to: “The Baja 1000 race is suspended; Score International ...

Candy tangerine and black Blazer wins with and without nitrous

La Playa Sand Drags was serious

On September 16, about 40 vehicles raced on a dirt strip at Rosarito Beach. The venue, Plaza San Fernando, is right off of Federal Highway 1 close to the touristy hotels and across the street ...

Downtown dog owners point fingers at homeless

14th and Market could use more waste bags

On October 6, I saw Emma walking her corgi and lab-hound mix dogs in front of the downtown Albertsons. As I approached her, her corgi defecated on the sidewalk; Emma was quick to pick up. ...

Encinitas shark signs stolen

Look for them on eBay

About 70 signs that read “Keep Out — No Entrance — Shark Sighted Water Is Closed — Tiburón Avistado Agua Está Cerrada” were stolen throughout the Encinitas beaches last weekend (September 29-30). “You’re stealing public ...

Now anyone can get to the water in Coronado

Six-feet-wide mats at Central and North beaches

“The motion is to approve three locations: two’s been identified (Central and North Beach) and the third’s Dog Beach,” said Coronado city manager Blair King at the October 2 city council meeting. King was referring ...

Running sideways a good way to stay inside the circle

Sumo ball on Mission Bay

On September 23, I saw eight alien-looking plastic balls with legs running around at east Mission Bay. “This game is called Sumo Ball,” said Carlos Rendon. “The object is to knock the opposing team out ...

We followed LuLaRoe to Facebook Live

Toy addicts in La Mesa diss Amazon and eBay

On September 29, about 200 collectors met at The Toy Addicts Trade Show in La Mesa; many were 1990s era toy collectors. “I do find it kind of weird that people are calling 1990s vintage,” ...

The problem with artificial grass

San Diegans deal with the impermeability

When I get in at 6:50 am,” Jeffrey said, “it’s already here: fresh poop.” Almost every morning, Jeffrey opens up the Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights. “When I see people with dogs, ...

Secretive birds make home in corner of Mission Bay

Ridgeway's rails need cover of Kendall-Frost Preserve

On September 11 at 10 am, eight endangered Ridgeway’s rails birds were released at UC Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve. “The rails will help to increase the population of this wetland so that there is a greater ...

One more beach sport

Brazilians bring footvolley to Mission Beach and Carlsbad

On September 6, I saw a group of guys volleying a soccer ball back and forth over a net – on a sand-volleyball court. They were feet away from the playground and water at Bonita ...

The fate of Ofo bikes in San Diego

Still serving in one form or another

On September 21, between 12 noon and 2 pm, I noticed over 75 yellow Ofo bikes around town; about half were still being used. “It’s a score,” Joey G. said, “if you find them unlocked, ...

Bird lowers bounty price to $3

Will enough chargers boycott?

On September 19, some San Diego-based Bird chargers were surprised to open up their work app to a bunch of $3 Bird symbols. Adam, who catches about ten Bird motorized scooters a night by Pacific ...

San Diego surfers and shapers cast eyes on Lemoore

Bodyboarders next?

On the week of September 6-9, Coronado's Dan Mann and some of his buddies from Firewire Surfboards, trekked up to Lemoore to meet with World Surf League champion Kelly Slater — and their mutual friends. ...

What Kaaboo meant for Uber drivers

High pay, dust, free music, barf bags, barf bounties

Teri from Allied Gardens made $450 over the weekend driving her Hyundai Sonata for Uber and Lyft; much of her “best weekend ever” monies was due to the Kaaboo 3-day music festival (September 14-16) held ...

Lean your body

One Wheel kinda like Segway

Occasionally during low tide at the Pacific Beach shoreline, you may spot Cody Chadwick riding his One Wheel on the sand. “Only when it’s packed sand,” he said, “not with sugary soft sand. I ride ...

No Smoking did some pool halls in

But Pockets, On Cue, College Billiards fight hipster trend

On September 8, I shot some pool with the recently crowned 2018 American Poolplayers Association Team Captains Champions — at Pockets Billiards & Brew in Kearny Mesa. The name of their San Diego-based team is ...

I wasn’t the only one falling

Yoga on calm water in Sail Bay

Nicole Turner has been meeting with eight yoga students at Fanuel Street Park at 8 am. “There’s less activity on the water as far as boats and people,” she said, “the fewer waves, the easier ...

They spend thousands on Nike on Market Street

Not too much burning here

On September 5, Dante Rowley from Golden Hill posted an Instagram photo of the billboard that sits atop the Nike store in San Francisco. He captioned it: “How do you feel about the @kaepernick7 Nike ...

Only drunks on the sand in IB

Driver ditched girlfriend next to pier

“The car was right there next to the pier,” said Lisa Rodriguez. “The guy was joyriding then his car got stuck; he took off and left his drunk girlfriend in the car.” On September 4, ...

The girl must learn to follow the guy

Watch them tandem surf at Cardiff, Tourmaline, Oceanside Harbor

On August 22, Carlsbad residents Brian and Illa McEvilly placed fourth in their tandem surf heat at the Duke's OceanFest in Waikiki, HI. "Tandem surfing is performed with two people on one board that catch ...

Las Vegas makes it easier to defect to the Raiders

“Chargers fans are loyal to a certain point and then they give up”

On September 1, about “one thousand” Oakland Raiders fans rendezvoused at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley for the Raiders Fan Convention (RFC). Many of the black-and-silver adorned fans were more than welcoming to the ...

VR will not replace skating

Tony Hawk busts out his 360-degree loop in Vista Sunday

On August 26, former skateboard champion Tony Hawk busted out his 360-degree loop to give a few young skateboarders a chance to demo it — by his headquarters in Vista. The loop resembles that of ...

Thanks for the Kmart memories

Spring Valley store to close in November

On August 23, I visited the Kmart at 935 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley by the 54 Freeway. A lady with a blue shirt that read “Attention Kmart Shoppers” on the front was helping me. ...

America has guns

SDSU exchange student robbed

On August 15 at about 3 p.m., Thomas, a San Diego State University exchange student was robbed for $60 on 30th Street in North Park. “I’m feeling okay now,” he said, “I decided I wasn’t ...

Coronado's dog owners lobby for school plot

Dog Beach too sandy, Cays too far

Barbara’s been waiting for a fenced-off dog park in Coronado for 20-plus years. “There is nowhere in the village other than the beach to let a pet run or exercise off-leash,” she said, “it would ...

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