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Stories by Moss Gropen

Apartments unwelcome

"People in apartments aren’t stable; they don’t become part of the community,” grouses G.W., who lives in La Mesa near Mt. Helix. She fears that her tony neighborhood will take a turn for the worse ...

April 3, 2013
In an appy mood

“Give it a try. It can change your life,” exults Kimberly Knox, who’s convinced that Mood Watch, her new app for Apple devices, will make a palpable difference in the lives of those who fork ...

April 3, 2013
What am I doing here?

Meet Buddy, an East Coast transplant, cultural chameleon, and private Peace Corpsman who knows the joy of being alive.

November 14, 2012
San Diego as ground zero in the fight against incivility

Beneath the high-domed ceiling of the Joan Kroc Peace and Justice Theatre, an opulent facility at the University of San Diego, a crowd of perhaps 80 convened on Monday, April 9, for what the hosts ...

May 9, 2012
Poway's Wayne Branstetter, the winningest coach in California prep wrestling

“You play basketball, you play football — it doesn’t work when you say you ‘play wrestling.’” So sayeth Wayne. Who’s Wayne? That would be Wayne Branstetter, the winningest coach in the history of California prep ...

February 29, 2012
San Diego's Dreams for Change lets you sleep in your car

“I’ve never been homeless before.” At least Osiris Murillo still has her car — where she and her three-year-old daughter will sleep tonight, behind the gates of a designated “safe lot” in an unsafe neighborhood. ...

November 30, 2011
Clairemont couple kills lawn, plants tomatoes, passion fruit

“For my 50th birthday, I bought myself a gutter,” quips Janet Lancaster of Clairemont. She’s talking about a rain gutter, that is — the one that Lancaster and her husband Kelly installed on their roof ...

September 28, 2011
Saddlehorn Ranch West in Jamul – for retired thoroughbreds

And where do they go — not after the gates spring open — but after the race is run, after all their races are run? After the society matrons’ $1000 hats are back in the ...

July 13, 2011
The Case of the Wandering Charles Fries and Ivan Messenger Oils

Even if it’s at the expense of the public, the City of San Diego wants to ensure that certain employees of America’s finest city have an appreciation for fine arts — or so it seems, ...

San Diego's water’s monopoly

"You want to privatize my water? This isn’t Bolivia, Pal. We’re not going to let you thieve from us so you can get a seat on the board of directors of the winning firm. Take ...

February 9, 2011
Who gets parking perks at Lindbergh Field

Airport parking at San Diego International is expensive — unless you’ve snagged a free pass, that is. For most of us, it’s $4 an hour, $21 maximum for 24 hours; long-term parking (three days to ...

December 15, 2010
For iPadniks, New Newsreader

‘I woke up one morning and thought, I hate looking at news on my iPad — it’s boring. I called my friend Matt Ausonio with an idea. He was gracious enough to jump in — ...

October 13, 2010
Wave Energy Hits the Rocks in San Onofre

Chon Hung Kim wants to be a wave farmer, but the State of California has other ideas. “They don’t want to help guys like me.” Kim, a mechanical engineer who logged a 20-year stint at ...

September 22, 2010
Escondido traffic checkpoints take families' cars

Police drunk-driving checkpoints are big business. Just ask the City of Escondido, which has been racking up profits courtesy of federal grants and an aggressive vehicle-impound regime instituted by the Escondido Police Department with the ...

August 4, 2010
San Diego State college housing will ruin Del Cerro

There’s a wild place in the heart of San Diego that only a few people know about — visited by even fewer — and if San Diego State has its way, it may share the ...

July 28, 2010
San Diego County Bar attacked for judge recommendations

"It’s like the Star Chamber,” quips Craig Candelore. “It’s all done in secret. And they don’t even have the authority to do it in the first place.” That’s what this local family law attorney and ...

July 14, 2010
San Diego Bike & Kayak Tours lobbying of Mayor Jerry Sanders

It's not clear whether Mayor Jerry Sanders has ever paddled a kayak, but apparently, a local kayak tour company knows what it takes to float ­Jerry’s boat — and keep it afloat — courtesy of ...

May 26, 2010
Media Hawk, April

Zero Tolerance, Few Details Apparently, some of the kids at Thurgood Marshall Middle School held a “Bring Your Guns to School Day” on Thursday, March 18, but the administrators were less than impressed with the ...

April 7, 2010
San Diego goes to smart-energy meters

Chris Faust thinks San Diego Gas & Electric’s approach to installing the new, much-ballyhooed smart meters isn’t “smart.” In fact, he alleges, it’s dishonest — part of the utility’s campaign to raise rates whenever possible ...

April 7, 2010
Media Hawk, March

Given the amount of ink — virtual and otherwise — flying around San Diego media-land these days, one might think that World War III had broken out at UCSD. The online NBC San Diego headline ...

March 10, 2010
These San Diegans live right next to I-5, I-15, the 94

“It’s not for most people; I wouldn’t recommend it.” I asked Johnny and a selection of other freeway-side dwellers around San Diego County: With all the choices available in “America’s Finest City” (and outskirts), why ...

February 24, 2010
Media Hawk, February

The Other Bureaucrats The bureaucrats at the San Diego Unified School District make too much money. At least that’s the word on San Diego Rostra, where on January 23, a blogger who calls himself “rego” ...

February 10, 2010
Rockstar San Diego gaming manufacturer accused of shorting pay

‘When the people in power are completely senseless with regards to human values and their ideal is a sweatshop, you are screwed.” That’s a man who identifies himself as Brian Meidell, talking about Rockstar San ...

February 10, 2010
No I.D., No Comment

Voice Growing Fainter? Numbers have taken a free-fall to 20,000–25,000 The beginnings were auspicious enough — and Voice of San Diego garnered copious praise from various media-watchers who anointed it as a model for the ...

January 13, 2010
Blowing in the Wind

Conductor Robert Zelickman hopped on the podium and performed an impromptu jig — or was it the twist? With that, he fiddled with the microphone and announced the night’s first selection, “Suite of Seven Dances” ...

December 16, 2009
Corporate chain stores suffer in Westfield center downturns

Window-shopping at Helzberg Diamonds in Westfield’s North County Shopping Mall, Grace, the manager of nearby John’s Fifth Avenue Luggage, says, “I’d think twice before plunking down $10,000 on a ring in this economy.” She enjoys ...

December 9, 2009
Richard Eckfield's crusade to get a train stop built at Del Mar Racetrack,

"This story isn’t about me!” Richard Eckfield, who’s been on a three-year crusade to get a train stop built at the Del Mar Racetrack, is adamant. “It’s a much larger issue.” But Eckfield’s relentless dedication, ...

September 23, 2009
Reader writers' favorite drinks and where they drink them

There are times, sometimes in the midst of otherwise polite conversation, when it comes out that I make my living writing for the Reader. The follow-up to this revelation is almost never “Oh, that’s right, ...

April 22, 2009
Soju at Shozen & Manpo

Whenever I go to Shozen & Manpo, I drink soju, and whenever I drink soju, my wife and kids tell me it does strange things to me. I’m not sure if they’re right, but even ...

April 22, 2009
San Diego treasure hunters. We're not as nerdy as you think.

It’s Monday, 5:00 a.m. at Mission Beach. Russ Gish and his son Lance have already been here an hour, sweeping the sand with a contraption that looks like a skinny, upright vacuum cleaner with a ...

October 29, 2008
Kearny Mesa comes close to being our cigar district

Double-bladed, surgical steel guillotine cutter in hand, a fellow in a Hawaiian shirt slices off a little less than a quarter of an inch, and the cap falls to the floor. It’s a clean, decisive ...

September 24, 2008
It’s three minutes to post before the 9th race at Del Mar, and my wallet is empty.

The unsmiling man in the Hawaiian shirt takes your money.

July 16, 2008
San Diego’s secret missile-testing sites

I never wanted to move to Scripps Ranch — not with its swarming real-estate agents and white-bread, attend-the-church-of-your-choice ethos, its compliant shrubs, its matrons in SUVs, that whole lifeless suburban drone. And where the hell ...

Sweaty days in La Jolla boiler room

Cruise down Miramar. As you suck in diesel fumes and feel the ruts and gouges in the pavement cut by the incessant pounding of tractor-trailers, you’ll know the San Diego that the phone jockey knows.

June 29, 2000

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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