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Stories by Mike Madriaga

No wetsuit in December

“I go in for like 15 minutes”

Name: Mark De Salas Age: 21 From: Imperial Beach Occupation: Fire watch department in shipyards On December 17, at about 4:30 p.m. there was only one person by the Imperial Beach Pier capitalizing on the ...

Amazon overload

Unidentifiable vans and overworked employees bruise the season

Lately there’s been a rash of theft in the Chula Vista neighborhoods, from home burglaries to Christmas-mail porch thieves. Although neighbors try to be vigilant, the recent use of unmarked vehicles by FedEx, UPS, and ...

At PB maybe I was getting in their way

Bought a Barry Snyder surfboard for $50

Name: Melissa Beach: Ocean Beach Melissa moved here from Guam two months ago. She’s a 20-year-old college student that frequents Ocean Beach because of the friendlier vibes. “At PB by the pier, it was different,” ...

Clocked by a GoPro stick at border protest

Blood proof belies sheriff's report of nonviolence

“My head was opened up with a hit from the GoPro holder,” says Rafael Bautista, one of the founders of Tenants United, a group seeking to implement rent control in San Diego. But Bautista's activist ...

City Heights humbugged by no Christmas lights

“Many residents have offered to provide electricity from their homes."

As holiday traffic makes the 805 freeway a little more congested, Christmas lights on the Market Street overpass contribute to the seasonal cheer. This is the fourth year since the lights went up, a collaboration ...

Coronado was like Tahiti

Firewire surfboard snapped in half

Name Chad : Age: 37 Occupation: Law student at the University of San Diego Where: Ocean Beach Pier I found Chad surfing with his seven-foot Catch Surf Odysea in support for the “Paddle for Clean ...

Great year for 7-Eleven beer-runners

Vigilant employees, cameras, locked coolers, barricades don't stop them

“Yesterday at 9:40 [p.m.] two Modelo 24 oz. cans fell out of his pants,” said Fredley. “I said, 'What the hell...what is this?' then he grabbed them and ran away…but his girlfriend is right behind ...

Border protesters demand release of Sunshine

Organizer of San Felipe fishermen arrested with meth — a setup?

On November 29, the Mexicali side of the Zona Centro border crossing was blocked by protesters demanding the jail release of Sunshine Antonio Rodríguez Peña, the organizer of the fishing communes in San Felipe. Rodríguez ...

Memes of mercy for two SD men jailed in Thailand

Because Instagram photos of their butts bared at Wat Arun temple

Memes are usually captioned photos or short repetitive videos that go viral and transform to amuse, inspire, humor, or mystify people. A meme can also be only text that convey how the meme-poster feels at ...

The washing machine treatment

Mangled by Playas' outer reef

Name: AF Age: 47 Location: Imperial Beach At about sunset, I spotted AF at the end of Date Avenue loading his 7’8″ Electric Duck surfboard into his van. “It’s shaped by Mike Richardson,” he said. ...

Matt hits Manzanita Canyon hard and often

Volunteer trash collector reducing number of homeless encampments?

Over the weekend (November 18–19), Matt Armstrong says he pulled out 350 pounds of trash from Manzanita Canyon — by himself. "I usually like to go out in the late morning/early afternoon, as there is ...

Ten years old, boogie-boarding since he was five

Wave flipped me over completely and I bumped my head in the sand

Name: Rio Beach: Ocean Beach Rio was named after the 1983 Duran Duran hit. He is 10 years old, and he’s been boogie-boarding since he was five. “When I catch a wave,” he said, “I ...

New: Mexican/Baja 1000 Off-Road Walk of Fame

Ensenada sidewalk inlaid with marble tiles

On November 8, at about 2 p.m, Diego Gomez admired the new marble tiles inlaid on Ensenada’s sidewalks. “They measure between half a meter and one square meter,” he said, “and three [tile] plates from ...

Shop cop questions immigration status of panhandler

Bystander verbally defends young mom begging in parking lot

On November 9, at about 1:15 p.m., shoppers making their way inside the Target located at 3424 College Avenue would have noticed a heated argument in the parking lot. Sonia Serrano Zavala, a 43-year-old mother ...

Sweetwater & Rohr Park Railroad days numbered?

Officials vow to spare Chula Vista Live Steamers from redevelopment plan

“We are concerned about the Chula Vista Golf Course and Rohr Park redevelopment [proposal],” Scott Lewis recently told Chula Vista mayor Mary Casillas Salas, councilmembers, and staff. “[We’ve] been in Rohr Park for 43 years ...

Baja 1000 racers, start your documentation

Vehicle importation permit issue remains clear as mud

As this story goes live and the Baja 1000 starts in less than a week (November 14–18), there still has been no official press release from the Mexican government regarding the new TIP (temporary import ...

It’s coyote time — guard the pets and tykes

“This is when the young leave to find new territories.”

“We started hearing barking from the neighbor’s dog and then right after that we heard one of their dogs start yelping frantically,” said Angie Lira, “I [then] saw three coyotes; two were walking towards Gables ...

Lincoln Park graffiti sanctuary to close

Plans for Writerz Block yard unknown

“After 15 years, the Writerz Blok facility is closing for redesign of the creative space,” said Reginald Jones, the president and CEO of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. The graffiti art yard is located ...

Citizens seek concert-traffic relief

"During the country concerts, it takes me 25 minutes to get home.”

Caroline Serrano is a 43-year-old housewife from the Vista Pacifica community of south San Diego, near the Otay Mesa border crossing and nearer to the Mattress Firm Amphitheatre. On Wednesday (October 25) she was concerned ...

North Park syringe swap site won't change soon

Planning group okayed library locale; time coincides with "Babies and Books"

Paul Tibbets and his neighbors want the Safe Point San Diego-Syringe Exchange Program recreational vehicle to move somewhere else. For the past 14 years, an RV has been parking across the street from the North ...

Likes walking the nose

Sliced her leg at Scripps

Name: Shane Age: 23 From: San Diego Location: Ocean Beach Shane and her buddy just got done surfing when the sun was setting at approximately 7:30 p.m. The 23-year-old San Diego native was trying to ...

Read before rolling into Baja

Cuidado — RV and towed-vehicle permits also new to Mexican officials

When the Baja 1000 races roll around next month (November 14–18), some Americans crossing into Mexico might be in for a big surprise. Recently, travelers crossing through the San Ysidro, Otay, Tecate, and Mexicali borders ...

Mass grooming in National City

"All the ladies kept talking about how handsome the barbers were."

“I do think the elderly [people here] are in need,” said Brooke Ortiz. “There were people that lived [at Southern Highland] that said this was the best day they have ever had.” Ortiz is a ...

Friday the 13th run on tats

"We never ask for a tip."

Tattoo shops across San Diego (and nationally) had lines outside their doors on Friday the 13th, the “Black Friday” for tattoo collectors because certain parlors discount their “flash” designs for $13. “We had about 200, ...

Wedding for 619 and 858 area codes imminent

"It’s an inconvenience, but it’s a side effect on our reliance of technology.”

On October 9, Tom Davis from Kensington received a letter from AT&T. It read: “Boundary Area Code Elimination Overlay Approved for the 619 and 858 Area Codes,” followed by an explanation and new procedures for ...

Calm down: South Bay IMAX won't be demo'ed

Commercial space will take over some regular theater space

JR has been working at the AMC theater on Dennery Road for almost six years. On Monday (October 9) he dispelled the rumor that the IMAX section of the AMC Classic Palm Promenade 24 theater ...

Chula Vista concert traffic horrific

Sold-out Depeche Mode show creates hourslong backups

Marcus has lived in the south San Diego and Chula Vista areas for the past 16 years. On Friday (October 6), he said he “never had a more serious traffic problem.” He and many others ...

Fast traffic near St. Augustine High chaps neighbors

“Can they not teach the boys to obey the laws [and] be courteous drivers?"

Ken Adelson has been a North Park resident for the past 32 years. He is a tech writer who lives by Palm Street on the north side of St. Augustine High School. Like many neighbors, ...

North Park glory at hand

Stevens-Hartley building entered in national restoration contest

The Stevens-Hartley Annex on University Avenue was built in 1926. If San Diego wins the #VoteYourMainStreet contest, the structure would be eligible to “a share of $2 million in American Express funding for preservation projects,” ...

Fight night in Paradise Hills

'40s flashback with cars, art, duds, food, and slugfest

Parked outside of the House of Boxing venue on September 30 was a 1935 San Diego police paddywagon with two guys holding faux tommy guns. One guy was wearing a classic zoot suit, the other, ...

Scuffle with box-cutter at murder memorial

"They got into a physical fight and were rolling around on the street.”

“I’m done — [Sonny] just died in our canyon [and] everybody liked him a lot,” Jane said, “and his girlfriend is expecting — he was going to be a father.” Twenty-nine-year-old Sonny Gonzalez was stabbed ...

Recycling thief caught up with in Lakeside

"I know it's only cans, but they are ours and on our property."

Last week, Jeff Cremeans caught a man lurking by his 1984 Toyota truck. The 39-year-old Lakeside resident can see his driveway even when he's at work — thanks to his Night Owl Extreme surveillance system. ...

Loiterers, crime at Adams rec center park

“Then where are we supposed to go?”

“Two months ago, while I was walking my two dogs by the Adams Recreation Center park,” Frank said. “A black homeless [looking] guy flicked his cigarette on the street. He [then] said, ‘What you lookin’ ...

Daughter of surf pro Michael, niece of Derek

Coco Ho had gnarliest wipeout in Western Australia

Name: Coco Ho Age: 26 Occupation: Professional Surfer From: Oahu, Hawaii Location: Oceanside Pier Coco Ho was competing in the SuperGirl Pro in Oceanside on July 29. At about 2:20 p.m., she won the round. ...

City Heights wire art must go

Installations distract drivers from traffic signals?

An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the art's removal to a decision by the city attorney. — Ed. At about 2:15 p.m. on Friday, September 22, Hani asked his customers if they ever ...

Oak Park neighbors discourage illegal activity

“It’s up to the city to take care of this problem."

“The broken glass in the concrete wall has gone too far,” Ted said. He was referring to a three-foot-wall in his neighborhood where people used to loiter and sit. It has a layer of uneven ...

Buses' stop signs ignored

"This, fortunately, scared the student to the point of shaking like crazy."

“Last week I was following my son’s bus home [and] the bus stopped on Valle Vista Road near Vista Camino,” said Miranda Niederle of Lakeside. “[Then the driver] turned on the [bus’s stop] lights and ...

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 Déjà Vu’s Tijuana strip club (at Plaza Pueblo Amigo). “It’s not far ...

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 ...

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