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Stories by Stephen Meyer

Mission Valley – garden-land gave way to shopping centers

The never-ending fix to Hazard Center Drive Hazard Center Drive in Mission Valley East is probably the shortest road incurring the longest completion of any in San Diego. It is approximately three blocks long and ...

Best Reader stories from 1986

Was James Gibson tortured by Mexican police? When two Mexican police officers and two FBI agents showed up at his beachfront Playas de Tijuana apartment on October 17, James Gibson had reason to suspect that ...

December 8, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1985

The spirit of Steve Ponchetti It has forever been the custom of the Diegueño Indians to bury their dead twice: once at death, and then once again a year later. And so it was that ...

December 7, 2019
Scripps Ranch – starter homes

Good intentions behind paving of Scripps Trail Claudia Walker's family bought a home on the 10400 block of the street, a quiet, neatly manicured tract in Scripps Ranch near where the northeastern edge of the ...

Stephen Meyer and the Reader

Stephen Meyer wrote for the Reader from 1984 through 1987. Editor's picks of stories Meyer wrote: You can run but you cannot hide (at least not in Tijuana) When two Mexican police officers and two ...

June 9, 2019
San Diego characters you should have known

Bad blood in Barrio Logan Ducheny is most unpopular with those who run the government-funded agencies, people such as Rachel Ortiz, who directs the Barrio Station youth program; Jess Haro, chairman of the Chicano Federation; ...

July 21, 2018
Pal of Hemingway, Peron, Cardenas, and B. Trevan ends up in San Diego

Ernest Hemingway was good company, but his drinking and hard living were difficult to keep up with. Argentinian president Juan Peron was either a tad insincere, or he didn’t dare challenge the will of his ...

January 8, 1987
You can run but you cannot hide (at least not in Tijuana)

When two Mexican police officers and two FBI agents showed up at his beachfront Playas de Tijuana apartment on October 17, James Gibson had reason to suspect that his attempt to start a new life ...

December 4, 1986
The Butcher Shop — Las Vegas glitz and mafia aura

Roberto DePhilippis, the owner of the Butcher Shop Steak House, got very angry one night last spring. In fact he had been seething since November of 1985, when his landlord, the Plaza International Hotel in ...

November 13, 1986
SDSU athletic director suffers ignominy

At 11:00 a.m. on July 24, 1985, a day one local writer called “Black and Blue Wednesday,” San Diego State University athletic director Mary Alice Hill abruptly fired two staff members and severed the contract ...

September 25, 1986
Mystery of the Gypsy Song

It's the fourth of July at 6:30 a.m., and we’re driving down the twenty-seven-mile highway between Tapachula and Puerto Madero. the southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Ken Franke, a retired Coast Guard captain and ...

August 21, 1986
San Diego Padres vs. the Union and the Tribune

"Sports writers have tremendous penis envy" says San Diego Padres catcher Terry Kennedy. “They're envious of our position, and they’re envious of our salaries. Every time they write about us, they rip us.” Kennedy, though ...

July 3, 1986
Al Ducheny fights the old guard — Chunky Sanchez, Rachel Ortiz, Jess Haro

As Alvin Ducheny and I roll through Barrio Logan in his dirty white Mercury Lynx, I ask him. “Why do so many people hate your guts, Al? You’d think you were a Communist or something.” ...

June 12, 1986
Willam Rust and the early troubles of USIU

"We announce a building, and most campuses are announcing four or five, and that’s expansion?' exclaims William C. Rust. The president of United States International University was understandably touchy at the suggestion that the Scripps ...

How Walter and Alex Gutierrez duped everyone

Read part one of this two-part story. On February 21, 1985, assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Hayes was invited by Michael and Peggy duPont to attend a meeting at the office of their attorney, James Lorenz. ...

January 30, 1986
Point Loma's Michael and Peggy duPont scammed and accused of scam

In September of 1979, Michael duPont met two extraordinary men named Walter and Alex Gutierrez. DuPont, whose great-great-grandfather was the founder of the E.I. duPont chemical company in Wilmington, Delaware, felt destiny breathing down his ...

January 23, 1986
The long trial of Charger Hall of Famer Ron Mix

Those who know Mix find it hard to believe he is capable of wrongdoing; one attorney says, “He’s known for paying attention to the little guy. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about him.”

Don't be surprised if UCSD School of Medicine turns you down.

"The pre-med nerd sits in the front row in his classes and asks questions all the time to display his knowledge;' explains Hu. "Usually he already knows the answer. He takes furious notes and carries a tape recorder."

La Jolla's storied Gagosian mansion

The Gagosian mansion is a multimillion-dollar monument to the egos of wealthy and flamboyant men. It is also bad luck.

March 28, 1985
John Howard has had his eye on Dr. Allan Abbott’s land speed record for bike riding

Phone call. Long distance. Late one night in September. “John,” said a female voice John Howard recognized as that of his ex-wife in Houston. “I’ve been having these dreams, John.” “Dreams?” “Bad dreams. Dreams that ...

November 15, 1984
Why we even have the San Diego Historical Society

On the morning of December 15, 1878 jailer George Nickel at the San Diego County Jail on Third Street inserted a key into the cell door of Jose Laguna, a.k.a. Ramon. Through the barred window ...

October 4, 1984
San Diego probation officers stretch themselves

Three-thirty Friday afternoon. Gloria, a twenty-three-year-old drug addict convicted on two counts of grand theft, appears unexpectedly to see deputy probation officer Sherri Necochea at the East County Regional Center in El Cajon. One of ...

August 30, 1984
Peter Grant produces San Diego’s only local comedy TV show

In 1980 psychologist Peter Grant owned a $750,000 home on Mt. Soledad. He had a thriving practice in La Jolla that brought him more than $200,000 a year. He regularly drew 200 to 300 people ...

July 19, 1984
Valley — where bad kids in Escondido are sent

When he was fourteen years old, Robert Bertheola had an unusual sense of humor. One day he went into a bank in Los Angeles and placed a piece of paper before the teller that read, ...

June 14, 1984
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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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