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Stories by Mike Madriaga

San Diego quinceañeras vendors at Del Mar Marriott worried

Hispanic glitz slow-down — Trump blamed

“This year we expect a slow quinceañera season, it’s going to be tough,” said Marco Salcedo from Chula Vista. Salcedo said that there were about 300 visitors at his Quinceañeras Magazine Expo event on Sunday ...

The chola look comes out at Chicano Park Day

The pompadour, the feathered look, the copete in photos at Mesheeka on Logan Ave.

“I seen about 15 to 20 [cholas] in the park that day,” said Jesse Amaro, after he posted a photo of four girls wearing men-fitted khaki pants walk past him, “you don’t see the chola ...

A crow sanctuary in North Park

After her neighbor killed five of them, she befriended Gomez

“So her macho boyfriend took it upon himself to run out, get a gun of some kind,” said Kay Marsik, “and then he bragged to me that he had killed five of them [crows].” Since ...

6000 lumpias a day, 12,000 if Pacquiao fights

One every five seconds on 38th St. in Cherokee Point

Fredcel is located in the oddest place for a Filipino restaurant — in Cherokee Point, at 3876 38th St., behind the Family Dollar store. “Pare (dude in tagalog), we made [and sold] about 6,000 lumpias ...

San Diego Mopar group swarms The Fate of the Furious at the South Bay Triple Drive-In

And confronts San Diego Audi owners, who got there two hours earlier.

“The word ‘Mopar’ to many might mean ‘motor parts’ which is what it really stands for,” said Carlos Diaz, “but for me Mopar means more than that … it means a well-built muscle machine built ...

Sidewalk danger from South San Diego to Normal Heights

New metal base for signs part of the problem

“I’ve tripped over that metal piece so many times [that] I stopped counting,” said Sharon, as she walked back to her car that was parked on C Street under the Interstate 5 overpass. “I’ve only ...

Geezer RVs rally at Mission Bay's Campland

Pismo South says old camper trailers used to suffer discrimination

On April 1, approximately 120 vintage camper trailers and recreational vehicles parked inside Campland on the Bay. This was the 4th Annual Pismo South, a camper trailer rally which originated up in the central coast. ...

Goodguys omits L-word at Del Mar car show

Rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks - but not lowriders

“Man I think that lowriders should have their own category here,” said Steve Polen, “they got restomod, 100% original, and others – but not lowrider.” On the first weekend of the month, the Del Mar ...

Visitors bend rules at Carlsbad's Flower Fields

Enforcement staff wearing dark glasses doubled

“This day (April 8) that you are here,” said Fred Clarke, “is the best absolute day of color right now.” Clarke is the general manager of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. “The color is ...

Hit and run crash into Cal Uniforms on Park Blvd.

Sales manager stays up all night to guard uniform stock

“Everybody thought it was us, huh,” said L. Dee Kiser, the owner of Millard’s Fur Service. Kiser referred to the high-speed pursuit that ended with a white Honda Civic crashing into her next door neighbor, ...

Drone flies low over Kensington and Channel 39 comes knocking

Neighbors on Nextdoor warn that downing a drone is a federal offense

“Tonight (April 5) I had a man [reporter] … actually come to my door from KNSD regarding my (drone flyover) comments on Nextdoor,” said Suzanne from Kensington, “completely uninvited and unannounced, and while he was ...

Dog search south of City Heights by social media

From Hollywood Park to Azalea Park canyon

She was last seen on Sumac Drive and Laurel Street – next to Hollywood Park. She weighs about 12 lbs., and is black and brown in color and should be wearing a purple collar with ...

The challenge of Highway 79 between I-8 and Julian

The uneven section on the side of the road might pull your car

“The Caltrans guy said that they were fixing the edges of the freeway where the pavement ended on each side (by the shoulders).”

Lightsaber fighters spar at Balboa Park’s fountain — and cast wary eye on Disney

“I’ll strike a deal with them.”

“I feel that if I ask Lucasfilm or Walt Disney [Company] for permission (to use the lightsaber word in the company name),” said Nick Murico, “that might be my Achilles heel.” When the sun set ...

Kensington bicyclist ticketed for not stopping at Meade and 39th

No Idaho stops in Calif. yet

“The policeman told me, ‘You are (riding) a bike and need to follow the rules of the road, and you did not stop at this four-way,'” said Anna Grace Carter. She received a ticket that ...

Parking meters with eyes in Hillcrest

Do sensors signal the end of the free or discounted spot?

“I think it’s weird and foreign-looking,” said LeeAnn Donan. Donan, 49, from Mission Hills, was referring to the two grayish boxes that appeared to have cameras inside of them mounted on the pole underneath the ...

Cherokee Point is no North Park

“It’s misleading marketing, which is kind of obnoxious.”

“How many neighbors have realtors cold-calling them and sending them mail asking if we are interested in selling,” said Cherokee Point resident Frederick Simson in a Nextdoor post recently. “I get about one letter a ...

TGI open for another month

Longtime Mission Valley restaurant completing its history book

“This restaurant closes it doors on March 26,” Honorio Zarate said in an interview as he greeted patrons for happy hour this week. Zarate is the service manager for the TGI Fridays restaurant on 403 ...

Where there's no smoke, there's no chicken

“The wind usually blows towards the east in the Pancho Villa parking lot."

“We just lost their main flagship,” said Mr. Robinson, a resident who lives one block away from the Pancho Villa supermarket at 3245 El Cajon Boulevard. Robinson said he is “bummed out” by the pollos ...

Car stars in Del Mar

Import-auto competition has changed a bit since the '90s

“A lot has changed from the first time I attended these shows,” said Walter Manongdo on February 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. His yellow Nissan race car was posted at the entrance next to ...

The unliking of the SD-LA Chargers

"Bye Felicia!" says at least one former fan

Many social-media users switched their profile picture yesterday (January 12) to the new LA Chargers logo that's been modified to read "LAME." This was in response to team owner Dean Spanos's breakup letter and updated ...

Mid-project tour of City College

Cafeteria leaks to be fixed and rooftop hangout established

“Part of the project is to remove all of the concrete here and redo it,” said City College project manager Tom Fine last week during a construction-zone tour of the campus. “And I don’t know ...

Southbound toy smugglers wanted

“We are not sophisticated with tunnels and all that.”

A group of smugglers huddled in a prayer circle a couple weeks ago to ask God for help crossing into Mexico. “We prayed for [aduanas, Mexican customs officials] to turn a blind eye when we ...

Mustang hate

Social punishment for burnout on Mira Mesa Boulevard

“Prepare for some repair bills to that Mustang bud … your s-its gonna be scratched the f-ck up, people know where you live,” read one of the instant message threats sent to Danny Diaz at ...

Thunder or students jumping?

Something caused shutdown of City College elevators

“Tower of Terror” is what some City College students are calling the elevators in the MS building on their campus. Since early morning on Sept. 19, three of the five elevators in the MS building ...

Unsafe Encanto intersection has predictable results

"Within a half an hour while I was there, there were two fender-benders.”

“They put these new stop signs up yesterday [Sunday, September 4] and within a half an hour while I was there, there were two fender-benders,” said David Abbott, who lives in the Encanto area by ...

Pot dispensary draws stars to Point Loma

Snoop Dogg signs autographs, Ricky Williams serves as budtender

"We gave Snoop Dogg some Tokyo OG [a marijuana strain] and he enjoyed it,” says Heidi Rising, the general manager of the Point Loma Patient Consumer Co-Op. On August 27, the Grammy-nominated rap star dropped ...

Urban Assault via VW

Busted bug driver talks about video that helped cops pop him

“Ultimately [the police] caught me by my name being on the side of the car, not blurring out my license plate, and I didn’t expect the video to go that viral.” Blake Wilkey, 27, was ...

Vietnam veterans honored in Logan Heights

"It is important for our children to understand the sacrifices that were made by our troops."

Fifty years ago, many American servicemen who fought in Vietnam returned home to a country of discontent; some were spat at, others tormented, and many advised not to wear their uniforms in public. Unlike World ...

Homeless and confused in Chula Vista

“If you live on the street, you can get a permit? Wow.”

There’s a buzz on the streets of Chula Vista among those who live out of their vehicles. Some think that they can go to city hall and obtain a “Special Parking Permit,” as it seems ...

San Diego’s cauliflower luck

All those paleo and Atkins diets

"Act of God,” is what Produce Alliance recently posted about cauliflower, “DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY. We are seeing high prices and NON-EXISTENT supply. The crops in Yuma are very slow and the cauliflower growth rate is ...

Water wrecked my race car

Submerged Lamborghini sparks hydrolock talk

“That vehicle is built for speed, that is something you would not use in this kind of water,” said Emilio Ramirez of the San Diego Police Department. Ramirez was referring to the white Lamborghini on ...

Drop the gun and skate, fool

Exchange takes firearms off the street and puts skateboards on it

“About 250 guns, including shotguns — sawed-off and non-modified — a Tech 9, an AR15, assault weapons, a .380 handgun, a 9mm, a .30-06, an Uzi, small handguns, single shots, and many others were traded ...

Drought relief suggestion shot down

Water running down city streets can't be saved — not cost-effective

“So, we are in a drought,” ranted Lisa Hudson Barth as she snapped photos of water flowing down Mount Acadia Boulevard in Clairemont on April 10. “And the mayor requested that we cut our water ...

This booze was saved to drink

"Tagay pa, alak pa!" yelled the group in broken harmony

Johnny and Wilfred were posted up by the side of the house chopping it up about their commonalities both being first-generation Filipino-Americans (naturalized in the 1970s and 1980s). Both lolos (“grandfathers” in Tagalog) were in ...

Only looks illegal

Right-hand-side-drive Honda gets a fair share of attention

"Last week we posted up right there at the Tapioca Express by the golf course [in Bonita], and there were a couple [of] five-o scopin' out my whip with flashlights," explains Warren Manongdo as he ...

Red balloon sent up in Bay Park

Crouching residents, hidden developers anticipate high-density change

Driving down the streets of Bay Park from Clairemont Drive, all the way down to Linda Vista, one might wonder about particular signage posted on properties throughout the neighborhood. In three months' time, the aesthetics ...

Enemies of the estate sale

“When burglars come in, it’s [usually] other family members."

“Dollar-store owners have been stealing our bright orange signs that we spent all night working on,” says Jill K, a retired teacher. “We don’t have them printed like our competitors do.” Jill says the act ...

Hot Wheels mafia

Lifers, bullies, and pinchers stake out stores for new toy stock

Last week at 6:30 in the morning there were already a few shoppers waiting in the parking lot of the Walmart at Dennery Road, by Palm Avenue and the 805. Some of the patrons were ...

Raider Nation invades Mission Valley

You didn’t hear about the convention because they behaved

Soon after exiting the 8 freeway off Hotel Circle on August 23, you could hear, “Raaaiiiiiiiders, Raaaiiiiiiiders.” Oakland Raiders flags, banners, and decals were plastered over the majority of the cars in the lot. The ...

Temporary trailer-park market

Shops on wheels in Normal Heights

“STOP, Poppa, and look!” Our four-year old daughter yelled from the backseat of our SUV. Saturdays are usually a family day, when we take our daughter for a cruise to the park or beach and ...

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