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Stories by Mike Madriaga

Car shows are different in Tijuana

"You do not have to babysit the people from leaning or touching the cars.”

On September 15, about a hundred Tijuana street racers skipped the unadvertised drag races and met up with other crews in front of the Déjà Vu’s Tijuana strip club (at Plaza Pueblo Amigo). “It’s not ...

Kaaboo sound system should keep Del Martians quiet

"We created a ginormous version of a noise-canceling system."

“I can’t hear them,” said Del Mar Circle K worker Robert at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15. “There is a lot of traffic, though.” The opening night of the three-day Kaaboo music festival ...

Community not happy with North Park park

"I’m not taking my kids back to that playground.”

“A really aggressive homeless dude” was witnessed yelling and disrespecting a female city employee with “f-bombs” as she was working in the baseball field on September 12, according to Jeff Ray, a 50-year-old North Park ...

Tat shops take issue with hepatitis flier

"It’s spreading ignorance about the situation."

“My mom saw that [flier],” said Matthew Manroe, “and then she hit me up and asked if it was something that I was worried about catching [hepatitis A] from doing tattoos.” Manroe, 34, has been ...

Hepatitis in them canyons

“I would never allow volunteers to do this type of cleaning.”

“I got my [hepatitis A] shot at Kaiser last Friday [September 1],” Linda Pennington said. “My arm was incredibly sore for about ten minutes from my bicep to my wrist.” She said that a day ...

Car theft the new "normal" in Normal Heights?

High-tech or low, residents endure the rash

In the past couple of weeks, there have been four autos stolen in Normal Heights, according to the Crimemapping.com website. An additional eight auto break-ins and thefts were also reported. “I woke up to find ...

City Heights' Fire Station 17 rehab near done

Construction cost about $11 million

“It will be beautiful,” said Sandra. “[It’s] another gem in the community, like the police station.” Sandra, 63, was referring to the almost-completed Fire Station 17 at 4206 Chamoune Avenue in City Heights. Like many ...

You want rent control in San Diego? Sign here.

Meeting draws only three, but hopes for movement are high

“I’m paying $950 [for rent per month] there, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed [that it doesn’t go up],” said Cat Mendoza on August 26. She lives off of 44th Street in City Heights, just ...

Lakeside Nextdoor monitor adrift after online kerfuffle

“The first thing I’m doing is dropping the ban-hammer on you for personal attacks.”

On August 4, Dawn Espedal needed to verify a Lakeside resident on the Nextdoor app. “Please help me verify a new neighbor. Jane Smith [name changed for the story] on Riverview would like to join ...

Homeless camp cleanup stymied by city

“We were never trying to eject the homeless.”

“I did get a fist put to my face [and] that was one of the motivating factors to leave the scene,” said Lashbrook. On August 18, at about 10:45 a.m., Worden “Tom” Lashbrook met with ...

Rooster gripes in City Heights

“I would argue that dogs barking are as loud or louder."

City Heights resident Jen said she is startled by two roosters at four o’clock almost every morning. “If they wake me up, sometimes it’s hard to fall back asleep,” she said. “I asked for suggestions ...

Tonnage report on Manzanita Canyon cleanup

"The meth addicts gather up the craziest stuff.”

“In your cleanup efforts, did you come across any evidence of the fatal Maddux Air Lines Ford Tri-Motor crash of 1929?” asked Mike Gerow. “Contemporary news accounts cited Lexington Park, which I understand is in ...

The new kindergarten next door in North Park

“Isn’t there a law that requires you to consult with your neighbors?"

On August 11, Ted received a letter from his next-door neighbor of eight years. He said that he rarely spoke to her until last month. “They sent me a letter,” said Ted, a 47-year-old videographer ...

Volvo technician gives middle finger to the rest of you

Extreme Autofest not that extreme

“I would never be caught dead in that car,” said Michelle Van Rooyen. She was referring to Mason Shipman’s 1984 Volvo 244 Turbo. On July 29, Shipman and Van Rooyen were both competing at the ...

Metallica fans debate Encanto in-filling

62nd Street trolley station lost its 206 parking spots.

On August 6, at about 3:30 p.m., Nancy parked her car at the Massachusetts Avenue trolley stop because the other parking lot at the 62nd Street trolley stop was closed down for construction. “We are ...

Caltrans signs in City Heights are backfiring

“People cheating red lights, blocking intersections, and no one doing any signaling”

On July 29 at noon, it took D.R. Peck six minutes to get on the 15 Freeway — from one block away. “Whoever created the new signage obviously does not live here, as now there ...

Bunny-mania at 36th and Landis

"The house on the corner had a lot full of free roaming Lionheads and Hotots."

“These are desirable rabbits,” Cindy said, “Lionheads are show bunnies that can go for $100 each, the other rabbits with black rings around their eyes; are Hotots.” On July 30, Cindy, a registered veterinary technician, ...

What they brought for Mark Hamill to sign

Empire Strikes Back VHS tape. Star Wars costumes, Yoda game, Return of the Jedi book, Star Wars Campbell’s Soup

“We don’t have a crowd size,” said Lt. D. Crubbs, “we normally do that [assessment] from a helicopter.” No Star Wars motif drones flew above either (at the Castleton Drive and Mount Abernathy Avenue cross ...

Comic-Con's black market

“I still sell foreign (bootleg) stuff, Japanese, Tagalog, and Italian spoken 1960s Spiderman cartoons."

Mister-X has been selling bootleg videos at the Comic-Con International for 22 years now. “I made about $2000 in [the last] five days (July 19-23),” he said, “I used to make that in one day ...

Comic-Con scanning scamming

“They never checked IDs before”

“We had people [trying to come inside Comic-Con] dressed as Elite security wearing black polo [shirts] that said Elite on the back,” said Paulina, “[but] we don’t hire Elite security and then there was one ...

Funko dolls cause crush on Market Street

Stuck on Saturday morning cartoons — Scooby Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Jetsons, Flintstones, Wacky Races

Ricky Franco and his two sons camped out on a downtown sidewalk for the last 31 hours – they had 18 more hours left. Franco, 40, and his two sons, were the first in line ...

$800K signs mounted at City College

Proposition N brightens up 16th Street and B and C

Many of the cosmetology students at City College were impressed with the new signage being installed on their Career Technology building. “OMG, $50,000 per sign?” Corinne said, ” I saw them installing it the day ...

Venezuelans join international vote

In San Diego the Yes tally was 859 to 1

Patricia Gomez moved to Encinitas from Caracas, Venezuela in 2012. “The reason why I left is because the government wasn’t doing what they were suppose to be doing.” On June 16, she, her husband and ...

Skateboarders scoff at city's devices

Anything to stop jumping and grinding on the edges

“The city is hiring people that don’t know what is skateable and what is not skateable,” said Brian Kelly, “and what needs to be knobbed and what doesn’t — or the city is just telling ...

Neighbors sound off about Observatory in North Park

“Sit down. You’re embarrassing yourself. Sit the hell down.”

"When she [Cameron Holloway] was speaking I was listening to her words and not paying attention to the crowd’s reaction,” said Jeanette Moore, “until that woman became belligerent and disrespectful towards the speaker [Holloway].” Moore ...

Unintended consequences on I-15?

The bikeway to Mission Valley brings a decibel debate to Normal Heights

“The noise level has increased throughout the day and night,” said Shannon Moran, “I used to be able to sleep with the windows down and now I either have [to use a] loud ambient noise ...

Lakeside dune buggy, trailer stolen, then recovered

Buggy was sitting on a stolen flatbed trailer on Mother Grundy Truck Trail

“When we saw the video of them driving away with the trailer, it was such a sickening feeling,” said Kathy Cosgrove. "We honestly did not think we would get it back.” Kathy, 53, was referring ...

San Diegans philosophize about loss of Payless

No more at Stonecrest Plaza, Southland Plaza, Main Street Village, Clairemont Town Square, North County Square, Broadway Plaza, and Encinitas Ranch Town Center

“They are closing it because it’s bankrupt from what I heard,” said Kristina Aquino as she barely left Payless ShoeSource at 3460 Murphy Canyon Road location in Stonecrest Plaza. Aquino and her friend Anthony Smith, ...

Baby clams ashore on Silver Strand cause excitement, discussion

Don't eat them

"[There were] thousands of clams under the shallow surf just below the sand," said Shawn, "never have I seen something like this on our beaches." Shawn, from Chula Vista has been fishing for 20 years. ...

Sand One bursts into San Diego and gets crowd to North Park dental office

“Badass muralist with a unique doll style,”

“[Do] you guys know the Reader?” Sand One asked. The crowd then cheered. One girl from her entourage said “that’s the one I was telling you about.” On July 1, Sand One, an East Los ...

At last, an easy way to get to Mission Valley

Safer for a bike than Fairmount Ave. or Texas St.

“The bikeway is almost done” said Miguel, as he walked out by the freeway exit. On June 29, Miguel walked up the State Route 15 Commuter Bikeway (northbound) towards Adams Avenue. “The pavement, walls and ...

Canyon fires in mid-city San Diego started by homeless

Home dwellers at rim take things into their own hands

“I heard a man yell ‘Fire!'” said Sandra Brooks. “Fires are not allowed in the canyon.” Brooks, like many of her surrounding neighbors, is concerned for the safety of their homes that sit above Manzanita ...

Fire prevention goats draw crowds in Encanto

Selfie takers distract animals from steep hillside work

“I told him not to touch the fence,” said Kimberly Keo, “you will get shocked.” Keo was referring to the electric fence that separated the parents and kids from the many goats grazing on an ...

Oakland artist chosen to decorate San Diego airport

Sentiments from the Chargers’ and Raiders’ fan-beef?

“An Oakland-based artist was commissioned to create a massive piece for the San Diego International Airport,” Joshua Alcala said, “shouldn’t you give it to San Diego artists?” On June 16 and 17, The Aja Project ...

Oh, the stories these walls have heard

Ohio Street probation department shut, ex-perps shunted downtown

“If they don’t check in, they might have to go back in [jail],” Nick said. On June 15, while walking his dog Bentley, Nick saw a couple of guys panicking in front of the San ...

Tijuana-Ensenada toll road near Salsipuedes under repair

Father's Day gringos react

“It was a lot of traffic [and] I got stuck [for] like two hours there,” said Luis A. Corona, a 24-year-old college student from Ensenada. He was referring to the traffic that stopped on the ...

Baja governor opens bidding on Ensenada airport

In Ojos Negros — 40 miles east of port town

“[Ensenada] has potential to be well known on a global level, but it’s not easily accessed,” said Roberto De La Peña, “the airport would attract more people and put Ensenada on the map.” On June ...

Succulent thief in North Park and University Heights

“Who steals plants?”

"Yesterday, a woman parked her white Prius right there [in front of my house],” said Steve from University Heights, “then started to cut my succulents (with a pruner), and left. That’s stealing!” Steve, 67, is ...

What is someone's junk is now everyone's junk

Alley-pickers are pickier in North Park and Normal Heights

In the last day (June 6), Mike G. has seen a desk and three mattresses dumped in plain sight around his Normal Heights’ streets. “….and all sorts of cabinets, bookcases, etc. will appear on the ...

Baja's Highway 1 tested in 160 mph race

Honda, Ford Mustang, Studebaker crap out before Cabo

“I always thought that it would be a wonderful road to race on,” said Richard Bailey from Washington, “I mean [look at] the backdrop right now — we are sitting on the highways at [Bahia] ...

Mixed feelings on campers at Shadow Hill Park

Sheriffs rip up $100 tent in Santee

“Just an FYI … there was a homeless camp in the drainage ditch (by the bridge) at Shadow Hill Park, they were evicted about a week ago,” posted a Santee resident on the Nextdoor app ...

"Let's have them do it in La Jolla next year...."

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon nay-sayers

“I didn’t miss church [because] I’m the choir director – so it’s essential that I get there,” said Nina Gilbert. Gilbert was one of the prepared ones for the detours and roadblocks brought about by ...

No money allowed at food swaps

Surfeit of oranges, lemons, and eggs in Spring Valley and North Park right now

“The only rule of the [food] swap is that there is no exchange of money,” said Marianne West. On Saturday (May 27), she met with about forty other San Diegans at the Spring Valley East ...

Bees swarm Kensington

"Seek shelter immediately inside a car or building."

“[I] drove right through the [bee] swarm with the windows rolled down,” said Mike Glosson, from Normal Heights.” Glosson, 54, who is a systems analyst, estimated that there was a “swarm of thousands of bees” ...

Low planes over North Park start buzz

Flashes of 1978 PSA accident

“I didn’t see the plane,” said Jean, “but I heard it and noted how incredibly low it was.” Jean, 61, is a yoga instructor from the Montclair area of North Park (by Commonwealth Avenue and ...

Female City College student punches attacker. He runs away.

There's an app for that

“I would’ve went for his nuts instead,” said Raquel Calderon regarding her schoolmate “that got rushed by some dude.” On May 22, the San Diego Community College School District sent out a mass email regarding ...

Reader writer backup dancer for Vanilla Ice at Waterfront Park

The emoticons and selfies

“Last Nite! #SquadGoals #TacoFest2017 #VanillaIce” were a part of HipHopTrooper‘s descriptors which garnered him 1,231 likes on Instagram. The photo was of him in red Star Wars-esque gear, and his cosplaying-squad dressed as two ninja ...

San Diego graffiti meet at 50th and Market — a cease to all beefs

Techies spreading the mural and tags on social media

“I witnessed a few guys make amends with each other,” said Spek One, 44, “as well as myself with one of the guys that I actually got into a fist-fight [with] back in the day.” ...

Slurry helps skateboarders on 37th and 38th streets

“These kids, they need to be careful.”

Last Thursday (May 18), Jonathan Santoyo power-slid his skateboard with much more finesse — “thanks to the city of San Diego.” “It was harder for sure before they paved this street,” he said. Santoyo is ...

Neighbors take sides in Normal Heights dog dispute

How soon does owner need to respond?

“[Regarding] the neighbor who threw dog poop on another neighbor’s windshield for not cleaning up after their dog,” said Melissa Popovich, “I can understand why a person would get frustrated enough about it.” Popovich, 43, ...

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