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Stories by Mike Madriaga

Munched it at San Onofre

Split tooth top to bottom

Name: Rick Dyer From: Fallbrook Location: Imperial Beach Pier On May 20th, I saw Rick Dyer and his wife Lynne hanging out by their 1972 Volkswagen Combi van on Seacoast Drive. “The surf out at ...

Water polluted by tossed bikes

Sunset Cliffs and Chollas Creek pose tough retrieval

On May 21, Paul Proctor pulled up four dockless bikes that were strewn off the Ocean Beach cliffs into the waters. “That’s a reef shelf at Sunset Cliffs and Hill Street,” Proctor said. “The area ...

Birds vs. dogs

Imperial Beach not a small town any more

On May 20, Brandon and his buddy Raul, could’ve been fined $100 apiece, if they walked their two labrador-mix dogs past the jetties in Imperial Beach. “The fact that the sign is posted up there,” ...

Boat busted

Red Rooster iII fined $40K for September haul

On May 22, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife posted on their Facebook page that read in part that in September of 2017, their officers made a “significant over-limit bust on the captain of ...

Dead Baja whale headed for pit

“I felt like vomiting”

On May 20th at about noon, Adrian Urenda saw a dead whale on the beach by Las Olas Hotel in Calafia (about seven miles south of Rosarito). “There were about ten others around the carcass,” ...

Black's felt like being in a prism

But the Wedge almost killed him

Name: Johnny V. From: Pacific Beach Location: Mission Beach Jetty Occupation: Photographer/Videographer Johnny V. was coming out of the water by the Mission Beach Jetty when I saw him. He had the waves all to ...

Just a Lo Jack recovery at Michaels

The easy way to get your stolen car back

At about 5:20 p.m., on Mothers Day (May 13), four San Diego Police Department patrol vehicles pulled up in front of Michael’s at the Westfield Mission Valley mall. The police officers exited their vehicles, passed ...

Surfboard left a horseshoe flap

Mission Beach jetty ridiculously territorial

Name: Eric Elmore From: Clairemont Location: Mission Beach jetty Occupation: Water Resources Engineer Eric Elmore has been surfing at the Mission Beach jetty for about 20 years. “It’s ridiculously territorial here,” he said, “a guy ...

Beware fake Apple pop-ups

Normal Heights victims

“My husband got a pop-up on our Mac computer with a phone number to call about a virus on our computer,” said CZ. “The caller tried their best to convince him that the Mac was ...

Instagram — perfect medium for tattoos

Especially the 3D nipples

On Cinco de Mayo weekend, a handful of tattoo collectors from around the country received complimentary tattoos at the Golden Hall (inside the San Diego Concourse) on C Street downtown. “We had three winners,” said ...

We don't kiss and tell

Takes dog to “the reefs," somewhere south of OB pier

Name: RB Age: 56 From: Ocean Beach Location: Ocean Beach Occupation: Counselor for mental health and substance abuse I saw RB on the north side of the Ocean Beach Pier on Feb 3. He just ...

Luis Miguel caught in traffic for his own concert

MattressFirm attendees take it better than neighbors

On May 4th, the Chula Vista Police Department posted a warning-tweet on their Twitter account. “REMINDER concert @MattressFirmAmphitheatre this evening w/@LuisMiguel: starts at 8pm expect significant traffic delays well in advance! #StaySafeCV” Fans from both ...

Laguna always ready for power shut-off

Poised to fire up generators

“They are putting underground [cables] in, which means that they shut the power off periodically,” said John M. “Literally, like ten minutes ago, a guy from SDG&E was giving out handouts to everybody …. but ...

Comic dealers want C-notes and benjies

Don't go on the internet

On April 28, John purchased a Howard the Duck comic book at the San Diego Rocket-Con. For the month of April, this was the third comic book and toy show in San Diego County. Like ...

Secret surf spot in Ensenada

Similar to Trestles

Name: Alfredo Ramirez Age: 44 From: Mission Valley Location: Ocean Beach Occupation: Mortgage advisor Alfredo Ramirez was surfing out at Avalanche in Ocean Beach riding his 5’9″ Sub-Driver performance board made by Lost/Mayhem Surfboards. “It’s ...

They want IB to look good from the bike path

Seventh Street neighbors cited for back yards

“They want the neighborhood to look pretty from the back too,” said Pete Suarez, “now that’s a crock.” Suarez bikes from south San Diego through Imperial Beach to get to Coronado. On April 28, I ...

Church smuggles toys and clothes across border

To Central American migrants and others

El Día Del Niño came 4 days early to some of the Central American kids that were part of the caravan into Tijuana last Wednesday and Thursday. Ricardo, from Chula Vista, was outside of the ...

Cell phone towers where you'd least expect

Over 100 on the San Diego County map

“What are they doing there?” asked a driver that pulled over before I did. We were on the shoulder of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard before it turns into Regents Road. “I have no idea,” I responded, ...

My pastor gave me the boogie board

Two-four-footers south of IB pier

Name: Scott Age: 59 From: San Diego Location: Imperial Beach Pier Occupation: Staff at Sharp Grossmont Hospital “I went over a wave and I heard a crack,” said Scott, as he snapped his fingers and ...

Comic Fest in a 4/20 cloud

The weed connection with cos-play

“I’m burning one for George [Clayton Johnson],” said Storm, as she lit up her three-inch brass pipe filled with “Skywalker” weed. “Oh, snap,” I said, then motioned over to the security guard at the Frankenstein ...

Aggressive people and panhandlers move in on Eastlake

It's getting bad out here

Eastlake was considered by some San Diego residents to be refuge from the criminal activity that occurs elsewhere in our county. But in the last year, the would-be suburban utopia, which is about 12 miles ...

Toys 'R Us was too good to be true

San Diego collectors bemoan the loss

When Toys ‘R’ Us announced that they were closing 800 of their U.S. stores, a handful of San Diego grown-ups that hang out at the Chula Vista VFW, were bummed-out. “It’s the end of another ...

Shark fins at Black's Beach and Pacific Beach

“Did I freak out? Yes! Did I get out of the water? No.”

Name: Beth Colton Age: 34 From: National City Location: Ocean Beach Pier Occupation: Staff at the San Diego Humane Society Beth Colton just got done surfing with her nine-foot Sunova board inlaid with balsa wood ...

Baja 250 races — two dead; racer scares Alpine kids and dad

Facebook message makes it worse

“I did not see him until the last second,” said Andy McMillin, “and it was the closest call I had. The fans down there in Baja California stand next to the race course and we ...

Drones invade Carlsbad flower fields

Playing cat and mouse with guards

On the morning of April 8, many of the visitors inside the Carlsbad Flower Fields were distracted, despite the flowers still being in bloom. "OMG," yelled one of teens taking a selfie with her friend ...

Chicken Pie Shop 80 years later

To-go, delivery, and four social media posts a week

This year marks the 80th anniversary of San Diego Chicken Pot Pie Shop being in business. “After the Peking Restaurant (circa 1931) closed last year,” said Lisa Townsend, “we became the fourth oldest restaurant that ...

San Diego doggie bag wars

City puts out dispensers, but that doesn't always work

“It is estimated that the typical dog excretes between one half to three quarters of a pound of waste per day,” according to the City of San Diego website. “In San Diego alone, there are ...

Snowboarding easier than surfing

The only one at Coronado Shores this day

Name: Adam Hiscock Age: 29 From: Coronado and Utah Location: Coronado Beach Occupation: Geologist Adam Hiscock was surfing behind the high rises south of the Hotel Del Coronado when I saw him. He was coming ...

Squeeze on National City elders

Southern Highland rents climb steadily

Lydia Horne received a free haircut and a toiletry bag – at the Age-Less Beauty (Blessing our Seniors) gathering on March 31. The event happened at about noon in the courtyard of the Southern Highland ...

Mid-city Ambassador chases down trans prostitutes

"They now take their johns up to Polk Avenue"

On March 26, Edwin Lohr was a panelist at the Prostitution Impact Panel at the police store front near 54th Street and University Avenue. “I am getting educated and we are telling these johns, 'You ...

WonderCon — the way Comic-Con used to be

25-30 percent from San Diego

“I think the WonderCon is better than San Diego Comic-Con because I have the experience from remembering the old days,” said Anastasia Hunter, “the San Diego show is not fun anymore.” Hunter, 44, drove up ...

Blood from head to toe

You see coral reefs at Rock Bottoms

I met Chris Duenas and his son Jonah on the north side of the Imperial Beach Pier. Before our interview, the waves were about three feet, and Jonah just wiped out on his boogie board ...

Matthew Philbin — landlord to the homeless

Rent control without being told to do so

Matthew Philbin just turned 30 years old on March 18. He celebrated his birthday by hopping into his lifted Dodge Ram truck and picking up one of his new tenants. “I pick them up with ...

Giovanni's leaves cribbage fans homeless

But they get better deal at Filippi's

Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Brenda Nason met with about eight others to play Cribbage at Giovanni’s Restaurant on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Ruffin Road behind the Carl’s Jr. On Tuesday, March 13, the group ...

Upstream cigarette butts

How to get them on University before they hit Chollas Creek

Last year, 32,247 cigarette butts were collected from the San Diego beach cleanups, according to the San Diego Coast Keeper data numbers. The City Heights Business Association and I Love A Clean San Diego are ...

People will be held liable for what they say

Dog Beach jetty is my favorite spot

Name: Timothy “Harps” Harper Age: 44 From: Pacific Beach Location: Ocean Beach Pier Occupation: Disabled combat veteran for the U.S. Army/college student I saw Harps on the north side of the Ocean Beach pier on ...

Parking tangles at South Bay Swap Meet

Guards protect neighbors

Luis Villa-Lopez said that he catches over 20 patrons per day that come into the South Bay Swap Meet — without paying. “On Wednesday it’s only $1 to come in,” he said. “They sneak in ...

Why not Sherman Heights?

A resting place for homeless stuff

Matt Armstrong found a booby trap in Manzanita Canyon on March 6. “It was a fishing line with two syringes across the doorway,” Armstrong said. “I noticed the trap straight away as soon as I ...

Dodge Ram trucks stolen for their Cummins motors

Catalytic converters sell for good money on eBay.

On February 26, there were three auto thefts that were reported within a 2 mile radius in North Park. One theft in particular, was for the truck’s sought after motor. “The Cummins engines are valuable,” ...

Hurt in backflip by I.B. pier

"Had to spend a week flat on my back”

Name: Paloma Aguirre Bacalski Age: 40 From: Imperial Beach Location: Imperial Beach Pier Occupation: Coastal and marine director for Wildcoast Paloma Aguirre Bacalski was one of about 12 that paddled out in honor of Doug ...

Nice bruise

Mission Beach jetty has the best left along this whole coastline

Name: Kian Barker Age: 13 From: North Park Occupation: 7th grade student At dusk, I saw Kian Reese Barker loading his six-foot Mitsven surfboard into his dad’s truck parked by the South Mission Beach jetty. ...

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