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Stories by Suzy Hagstrom

East Village – built around a ballpark

Short-term rentals thrive in East Village Is the demand for housing suitable to fill the thousands of rental units that have sprung up in downtown's East Village since the mid-2000s, and enough to sustain even ...

Golden Hill – slowly gentrifying

19 townhomes at 32nd and C instead of park The largest undeveloped parcel in Golden Hill, once considered by the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee as a top choice for a neighborhood park, is now ...

Encanto – snubbed but proud

On top of this little corner of the world Here on Skyline Drive, great swaths of sward stretch out below, springy and green. Here, there are vacant lots littered with possibility, within sight of a ...

Forgotten Valor

Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one. -- Pete Seeger, 1961 James Francis Walter Ford's death was certain, but his life remained a mystery. After he was accidentally struck and killed ...

September 2, 2001
Class Warfare in City Heights

Julee Vaughan remembers the first installation of portable buildings at Central Elementary School during the 1960s, when she was a pupil there. That those temporary classrooms eventually became permanent reminds Vaughan that the San Diego ...

January 11, 2001
San Diego Mayor Susan Golding's years of big spending

As of Friday, December 8, an enormous portrait of Susan Golding still loomed over disembarking passengers at Lindbergh Field as they made their way across the pedestrian bridge to the parking lot. The tardy removal ...

December 21, 2000
Tide Turns for Shellfish Maverick

Most everyone who hears about Don Gilbert's proposal to replenish San Diego's coastal waters with abalone is captivated by the idea. Even officials for the California Department of Fish and Game and the City of ...

December 14, 2000
School for Dinosaurs

If the San Diego Unified School District were graded for bolstering mathematics and reading skills, the district might garner above-average marks. During the past two years, students in San Diego's public schools have significantly improved ...

November 16, 2000
Through the Air into Darkness

As San Diego police sergeant Boyd Long stopped on the Coronado bridge to check a stalled car, he immediately noticed something was amiss. The stranded motorist stepped away rather than beckon for assistance. "Then it ...

October 12, 2000
A Big Message

On concluding its December 6, 1999, session, San Diego City Council honored a community volunteer, but few people knew Janice Kay Loesel or how she died. Councilman Juan Vargas described her as a tireless member ...

October 5, 2000
Never Went to Padres Games

A client once remarked to Margarita Alvarez that all of San Diego's fruit and vegetable vendors would eventually move to the edge of downtown. That prediction, made in the 1970s, surprised Alvarez, the assistant board ...

Political Brush Country

On renting a home in Southeast San Diego last year, Tim Norris was delighted to live near a canyon. "When we first got here, we explored," Norris said, recalling he and his daughters hiked several ...

Speed Kills

The birthday card Sonia Wilson gave her son last summer contained an unusually prophetic message. One of the passages read, "Time passes, and your innocent little boy starts to test his limits. He lets go ...

June 22, 2000
Balboa Go-Around

When a new cast of characters auditions next week for the Centre City Development Corp., it aims to revive San Diego's longest-running empty stage. The Balboa Theatre, a national historic landmark in downtown San Diego, ...

Cider House Dreams

For some people, charity begins someplace else -- anywhere but home. As children, Joy Warren and Roberta Arredondo found it at San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency when their parents could not properly ...

Alex's Interlocutor

Timing is everything. For self-employed journalist Evan Weiner, it was good. For Chargers football team owner Alex Spanos, it was bad. Their chance encounter and brief conversation in the luxurious Breakers' hotel in Palm Beach, ...

April 13, 2000
Chicago Does L.A.

Gil Reza, a Times reporter in Orange County said he is counting on management's assurances. "We've got to believe that. It wouldn't make sense for the Tribune to gut the staff, hurt the quality of the paper.”

No Drive-Through in My Driveway

"25th and Broadway is the heart of Golden Hill. Putting a drive-through there changes the character of the neighborhood. It just brings in extra traffic. It encourages people to idle in their cars.”

March 2, 2000
Porno and the Piano Teacher

Jean Winslow, a retired elementary schoolteacher in San Diego, doesn't seem like the sort of person who would be even remotely involved with Internet pornography. Her greatest passion is music. Winslow spends time with her ...

February 24, 2000
Lap-Dancing on the Web

Notebooks and pens in hand, the students file into a nondescript meeting room at a Mission Valley hotel. They include retirees, business managers, college-age youths, middle-age men, and tall, thin blondes who look like models. ...

February 10, 2000
Web of Confusion

It's all in the eye of the beholder. San Diego public relations representative Vicki Garcia regards her client's plan to perform surgery on the Internet as a "news event -- because it's never been done ...

February 3, 2000
In the Doghouse

If animals could talk, they, too, might express opinions about recent changes at the San Diego Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which investigates complaints of abuse and serves ...

January 20, 2000
How to Lose a Library

When Charles Harrington Elster contemplates the task of building a new library in downtown San Diego, the Greek myth of Sisyphus comes to mind. For his crimes of murder, gossip, and greed, Sisyphus was condemned ...

Padres and city bureaucrats agree to save East Village landmarks

When La Jolla architect Jeffrey Shorn met with San Diego Gas & Electric Co., officials in downtown's East Village in early 1997 to discuss becoming a consultant, he was impressed by the utility's decades-old offices, ...

October 7, 1999
East Village's most toxic dirt being trucked to Adelanto

As a biology student at the University of Colorado, Ken Rowland imagined becoming the next Jacques Cousteau, but a bout of seasickness on the way to Santa Catalina Island moored his career to land. Rowland ...

George Mitrovich – minister of Padres politics

'Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees." That opening line of a recent newspaper advertisement was a plea to look beyond controversies surrounding the Padres' proposed baseball stadium and maintain "the vision" ...

August 19, 1999
San Diego Rescue Mission endorses baseball stadium

Foot-stomping gospel music and earnest testimonials about religious conversion enliven the video, but most people in the audience are slumped in their chairs asleep, nodding off, or staring vacantly. Suddenly, at 6:15 a.m., the screen ...

Baseball stadium to impact Sherman Heights

Louise Torio doesn't expect to see the glare of stadium spotlights, hear the collective roar of thousands of baseball fans, or sit immobile in downtown traffic for almost three years. Yet she is already worried ...

Susan Brandt-Hawley takes on Padres baseball stadium

Years ago, when a high school friend talked about wanting to become a lawyer, Susan Brandt-Hawley, an aspiring writer, thought, "How dull." Yet, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University in 1974, ...

July 1, 1999
San Diego's most endangered historical sites, 1999

When leaders of the National Trust for Historic Preservation met in San Diego in March, they were heartened by the city’s efforts to revitalize North Pork via the trust’s Main Street Center program. They also ...

June 24, 1999
San Diego redevelopers close Barney's at 13th and Market

Kheder "Barney" Attisha gently refuses to sell a customer a pint of vodka. "You can't buy no alcohol. You drink it and sleep in the street," he explains. "I'm so cold. I'm so tired," the ...

June 17, 1999
Tom Hom's Farmer's Market condemned by Padres new ballpark

Like many merchants in downtown San Diego's East Village, former city councilman Tom Hom didn't know he was skating on such thin ice by doing business there. Hom thought he might benefit from the construction ...

June 3, 1999
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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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