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Thirty Years Ago Just when the Padres get close to a pennant, just when Al Couppee looks like he might beat Assemblyman Larry Kapiloff, you have to print that nonsense by sore loser sportscaster Jerry Gross. If Gross thinks that Couppee could use Chevrolet's money to blackball him from Channel 8, or if Gross thinks Bavasi had a chance to get the Tribune to muzzle him, he is living in a dream world. -- LETTERS: "GROSS OUT," A. Varkney, Allied Gardens, July 22, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Their plan was to start at Toro Peak, in the Santa Rosa Mountains north of Borrego Springs, hike along the mountainous spin over Rabbit Peak and Villager Peak, down through Rattlesnake Canyon to Fonts Point at the intersection of Highway S-22, a distance of about thirty miles. Four friends, two of them brothers, were taking enough food and water on their backs for a three-day hike. The brothers, Steve and Eric, decided to carry four gallons of water each, an extra gallon of water apiece. It was to be prophetic obstinacy. -- "TREADING NEAR THE EDGE," Desiree Webber, July 23, 1981

Twenty Years Ago The way Scot Harrison tells it, his dog was having a hell of a time getting around anymore, and the day before he had Petey put to sleep, he'd found his dog crying at the foot of the stairs leading down to Table Tops Reef in Solana Beach. That's close to 300 stairs, and by the looks of Petey, he'd tumbled down most of them. -- "A HUNTER AT HEART," Scott Sadil, July 24, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago Yielding to stiff competition from its Los Angeles namesake, the New York Times has announced that it will soon begin publishing a San Diego County edition. Initially, the San Diego edition will be staffed mostly by Times transplants from New York, plus a few stringers and interns from local universities.

The managing editor of the new edition, David W. Dunlap, did not foresee any problems in hiring local talent.

"You can pay these Dago beach bums forty, fifty thousand dollars and they think they're making big money," laughed Dunlap, who recently closed on a $955,000 home in

La Jolla.

The new edition is expected to bring some revisions in the official New York Times Style Book, which directs reporters to identify San Diego as "a Navy town 150 miles south of Los Angeles." -- "NY TIMES TO LAUNCH SD COUNTY EDITION," Margot Sheehan, July 25, 1991

Ten Years Ago Having read your feature article on spouse abuse ("You Know, I Might Just Throw You Off the Damn Balcony," July 11) from the men's perspective, I must say that I was surprised. John Brizzolara presented us with a decent effort (though the subject matter was too deep and complex for him) and managed to not mangle the story with his usual self-indulgent meandering that seems to be the norm for him (possibly the after-effect of long-term drug or alcohol overindulgence or perhaps being dropped on the head while a child).... I guess after messing up a story on a deceased local entertainer (some months ago) by allowing some goober to embarrass himself, Brizzolara has learned to keep his interviews from getting away from him. -- LETTERS: "TOO DEEP AND COMPLEX," Frank, La Mesa, July 18, 1996

Five Years Ago I smoked for many years. I quit. One night I passed a neighbor's jasmine vine. It had always smelled sweet. Now beneath the smell of jasmine, I noticed something else: my neighbor has a cat. The cat relieves itself beneath the vine. At home I noticed that my favorite wine had a musty taste. I smelled bleach when, two houses away, a neighbor did laundry. I knew when another neighbor smoked a cigar. -- TIP OF MY TONGUE: "HOT DOGS," Max Nash, July 19, 2001

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