The Coast News Group

Past Columns


Kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems

  You see it when you gaze out over the ocean from one of our sublime coastal bluffs. It looks like an oil slick in the water about half-a-mile from shore.

Local beaches to get sand

  Over the past two months, a 315-foot boat named Liberty Island has been stalking close to our coastline. This vessel is the dredge doing much of the work to complete the 2012 Regional Beach Sand Project. This $28 million undertaking is a joint venture of the San Diego Association…

Journey of the Torrey pine

It is the rarest pine tree in North America and it only grows on a small stretch of San Diego coastline.

Politicians don’t really deserve deference

So Hank Williams Jr. did the unthinkable. He bluntly spoke his mind while being interviewed on a television program, and has since lost a job he’s had for 20 years. Good ol’ Hank made an analogy about describing a round of golf between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John…

Diary entry No. 9.16.2011: Blackout

TIMESTAMP: 3:38 p.m., Thursday Sept. 8, 2011 …I hope I have enough of a charge left in my laptop for this missive to make its way out to the rest of the world. They have to know what’s going on here. The sun is still out but we have precious…

No one makes it out of life alive

As another year slowly creeps across the calendar, life and death usually pop their silly heads up and beg another conversation. The final breath that walks us through our last steps towards what will continually be the original enigma: What happens after we die? That’s the ultimate question. The quintessential…

How to collect after judgment: Part 2

At some point my client and his wife realized that the money given to the decorator was not being used for its intended purpose — furniture, accessories, etc.

Post judgment recovery: How to collect?

This column is the first of a two-part column on how to collect on a judgment you have obtained from the courts. Look for the conclusion in the next issue.

Luck helps in missing persons cases

Missing person cases are seemingly a common assignment for P.I.’s, but truthfully, they’re not. In fact, I’d be surprised if half of the P.I.’s even knew where to start, unless they had law-enforcement training, particularly with the F.B.I.

Inside Oceanside: One step forward, two steps back

It’s time to do-si-do and do that good old Oceanside square dance where you put one step in and one step out: let’s move ahead while we also slip back.

Inside Oceanside: Make your voice heard

Would you believe it if I told you that we have a world famous rock star buried in Oceanside?

Inside Oceanside: Make your voice heard

If you ever felt guilty about not participating in your own city government, please let me humbly suggest that this Tuesday you can make up for all those missed city council meetings by showing up at the South Oceanside Elementary auditorium.

Shooting at transit center raises questions

When the district attorney declined to bring charges last February in the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old Oceanside man by a security guard during a fight at the Vista transit center, there were many questions left unanswered. We do know that sheriff’s deputies are reported at the time to have…

Something feels a little familiar …

These headlines lately about how Wall Street movers and shakers are throwing lavish parties for the holiday season, one featuring a performance by the hip-hop star Lil’ Kim dressed up as a black cat, reminded me to look for article I’d heard about called “What Good is Wall Street?” The…

What was behind the Escondido bomb house?

Was it a dispute over severance pay that led a man to turn his rented Escondido house into a manufacturing plant where accidents happen? Did he think his best source of start-up capital would be a big bank, like the Bank of America? He had an account there into which…

The world’s latest super hero: my husband

I enlisted my nephew to help me with my annual, absolutely-must, summer garage clean-out. Since my children had the bad grace to grow up and leave home, I now turn to the next generation, as my back gets dicier. It was glorious to have a big, strong, bright 16-year-old willing…

Hanging backstage with Lemmy at The Belly Up

Back in 2000, Motorhead frontman and cult icon Lemmy Kilmister, along with rockabilly guitarist Danny B Harvey (Lonesome Spurs), and former Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom, met by pure chance while recording parts for an Elvis tribute album. Afterward, the guys were all hanging out at the studio when they…

Accidental singer/songwriter on her way up

It takes more than talent to make it as a successful artist (or anything for that matter). You have to be strong, ambitious, determined and undeterred by everyone else’s doubt or else you won’t make it. More than anything, you’ve got to believe that what you’re doing is something truly…

Opening day, crowds and Nanook

I don’t recall when or why the term “opening day” was coined, but it was an agreed upon day when Swami’s broke, and the beach breaks closed out, and were left unridden until May. If memory serves, one criterion for opening day was that the waves needed to be ridden…

Facing sun, wind & sea

If you spend much time outdoors, the largest organ in your body will take a beating. Each day sun and wind combine with stress and free radicals to conspire against your exterior in a never-ending war that hammers a surfer’s pliable skin into brittle shoe leather, or worse, cancerous scabs….

Crowds, kooks and sea creatures

I never thought I’d see the day when I was among the best surfers in the water. Of course I don’t mean when the waves are pumping and North County’s finest are out, but during the summer doldrums when the surf rarely exceeds three feet and turns are required to…

Mall snacks: A lighter wallet, a heavier you

A day at the mall could leave your wallet lighter but the rest of you heavier, says Consumer Reports.


A serious infection that has been on the rise in hospital patients is now being increasingly reported among people who work or spend time in health care settings, such as a doctor’s office or clinic, Consumer Reports On Health warns.

The truth about Angie’s List, Yelp and other online ratings

Need to find a good plumber, hairdresser or auto mechanic?

Del Mar as SoCal horse racing center?

Some folks favor it Back stretch banter is that horsemen would like to see racing at the Surfside course the year-round. Among them is Del Mar Councilman Carl Hilliard, who owns a stable and races were the Turf Meets the Surf. The scenario goes likes this. Fairplex at Los Angeles…

Politicos have been on the stump

Now it’s voters’ turn Politicians have been telling folks how well they have represented them while on their junkets to faraway places. Now voters can tell them on Tuesday whether they agree. Locally, there is a mixed bag of choices. No contests for city councils in Surfside and SolBeach communities….

Messing with political signs is a crime

Considered personal property Removing legal political signs, defacing them, or just messing with them is a crime that can be prosecuted. In 2008 a Parks and Rec employee in C’bad was found guilty and suffered dire consequences. In addition to a fine and probation, the devoted volunteer subsequently resigned. Helps…

Commission was formed to protect horse racing

DEL MAR — In the late 1950s there was a press party held at the Del Mar Hotel to announce that John Alessio and a Harbor City group was taking over operation of Surfside summer horse racing. This created a firestorm that was heard from here to Sacramento. The takeover never…

Harness horse industry was important to village

DEL MAR — In the early 1960s, villagers held a communitywide beach party to celebrate that the race trackers and tourist had gone elsewhere and things were quiet again. On the other hand merchants counted their revenue and hoped there was enough left in the till to carry them through…

Saturday dump runs

DEL MAR — Before incorporation there was an independent rubbish collector who was reliable and only charged a pittance for his service. Nevertheless Joe Rafferty and Ken Reiley did their own hauling Saturday afternoons. They enlisted a neighbor whose name is not important. He had a small pickup truck that…

The dirt on soil

One great thing about working with plants of all types, irrigation systems and landscapes on a regular basis is that you can get great hands-on experience and learn oftentimes much more from doing and solving problems than you would by attending a lecture or a class.

Oleander under attack

One of my favorite plants here in Encinitas and California for that matter is now under attack and will cost us tax payers millions of dollars in the future because of dead or dying plants.

The history of the pumpkin

October is finally here and the weather has begun to change ever so slightly. This is my favorite month of the year. The Santa Ana winds come now, blowing back great plumes of offshore spray as they course up the faces of late summer swells creating giant arching rainbows of…

Out & About: Keeping it classy — A guide to the Cardiff dive bars

Cardiff-by-the-Sea has gone through some major changes in the last few decades. Just 20 years ago, it was nothing more than a laid-back surf town with no sign of sidewalk lighting or manicured landscaping.

Out & About: The JSD (Just Started Dating) Valentine Dilemma

Valentine’s Day can be tough for any couple whether you’ve been together a month, a year or a lifetime, but there are few things more uncomfortable than having a Valentine you hardly know. If you happen to end up on a great first date in the first few weeks of…

Rules of Surfing 101

As a female surfer in San Diego I get a lot of attention in the water. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but every time I hit the surf it seems like all eyes are on me — and my pack of beautiful female surf buddies.

Scripps Encinitas turns 50 in April – and still growing

Fifty years ago this month, the doors opened to Encinitas’ first hospital. And what began as a small facility providing long-term convalescent care has grown into a busy, full-service medical facility that cares for more than 80,000 patients a year in North County.

Encinitas Resident Testing New Stem-Cell Treatment

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. But if a promising new stem cell treatment proves successful for heart attack patients like Encinitas resident Mark Athens, that number may start to drop.

Keeping the blood flowing: Q&A with Sunil Rayan, M.D.

As a vascular surgeon at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Sunil Rayan, M.D., treats a wide range of conditions involving any blood vessel in the body that is not connected to the heart or brain. Dr. Rayan is also medical director of the operating room (OR).

Column: Navigating the void

K-5 closed its doors this year. The Poway and Oceanside locations shut in February, but their flagship Encinitas branch remained open through March 1.

Column: Pulling a complete 180

Kenzie Kessler chose surfing over school, now she’s back in class, fully committed

Jack McCoy’s newest film spans the full scope of surfing’s history

Surfers like to tinker. They’re constantly reworking and perfecting their art.