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Stories by Suzy Hagstrom

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 ...

Balboa Go-Around

The Balboa Theatre's future spirals into uncertainty

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, ...

Chicago Does L.A.

The L.A. Times after being bought by the Tribune

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

The Colonel ruffles feathers in Golden Hill

"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.”

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

SDG&E Station A, at the corner of Imperial and Ninth Avenues

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, ...

East Village's most toxic dirt being trucked to Adelanto

Area bordered by 9th, 11th, Imperial, and Commercial Avenues was SDG&E site

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

His name is threaded throughout the endorsement list

'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" ...

San Diego Rescue Mission endorses baseball stadium

East Village development would precipitate a migration of charities

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

People still park a mile or more away on Friars Road to avoid parking fees

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

Downtown ballpark needs environmental impact report

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, ...

San Diego's most endangered historical sites, 1999

Baseball versus history

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 ...

San Diego redevelopers close Barney's at 13th and Market

Taking property for redevelopment is different than taking it for a highway or a park

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 ...

Tom Hom's Farmer's Market condemned by Padres new ballpark

"Padres are pushing the little guys out."

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 ...