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Thirty Years Ago It's the unleashing of one's inner conscience. We've thought of different aspects of prejudice and racial bigotry, but this has brought it all into chronological flow. It could only be done now because we've evolved where we can openly discuss these things. -- OFF THE CUFF: "WHAT HAS MADE ROOTS SO POPULAR?" John M. Lewis, April 28, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago After reading Duncan Shepherd's column for years, but often finding myself enraged by his nitpicking, he's finally moved me to respond. Even before I viewed the film, I knew he would hate Reds simply because of its almost overwhelming critical acclaim. -- LETTERS: "PRINTZ NIX NIT PICKS," Scott Printz, April 29, 1982

Twenty Years Ago I am the owner of the Corvette Diner, Bar and Grill in Hillcrest. After reading Eleanor Widmer's vicious attack on our restaurant ("Nostalgia Trap," April 23) at least a dozen times, I'm trying to understand your bitterness. My wife and I spent over a year putting the Corvette together, and I'm pleased to tell you that it has been a success from the day we opened the doors. Eleanor, we want to help you get off your high horse and come mingle with us people. We at the Corvette are starting a campaign to Help Eleanor Widmer Become a Real Person. We'll be offering "Help Eleanor" buttons and flying a "Help Eleanor Widmer" banner as a gesture of hope. -- LETTERS: "A SENSE OF PRETENSE," David Cohn, April 30, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago Been in this place a couple months, the general area a couple years. New Year's Eve and July Fourth are big days in the 'hood. That's when the homeys cruise Skyline and spray full-auto for fun instead of business. SDPD Southeast Substation's on Skyline, smack in the middle of the Miracle Mile. The cops are smart, stay inside while A-PAC-olypse Now runs its course. Only realized how much I'd tuned the gunfire out when the manager, Gus, who lives a marble's roll from me, said someone shot out three of his windows while he was on vacation. Never noticed a thing. -- CITY LIGHTS: "REPORT FROM HOMEBOY CANYON," Rose Dawn Scott, April 30, 1992

Ten Years Ago It was opening day, 1994. The game with Cincinnati said it all. On that celebrated afternoon, the Reds' shortstop earned a larger salary than the entire nine-man Padres squad. "We have a stadium," Lucchino turns and waves at the huge cement bunker behind his back. "This is a stadium. What we're thinking about is a ballpark. Stadiums are 70,000-seat concrete monoliths. We're thinking of an old-fashioned baseball park. Now that the Chargers' expansion is behind us, I think it's time to focus our attention on a way to preserve the Padres in this community." -- CITY LIGHTS: "HAVE YANKEES TAMPERED WITH IRABU?" Patrick Daugherty, April 24, 1997

Five Years Ago Bears are coming to San Diego County -- coming back, rather. For over a century, our mountains have been free of the omnivorous mammals. But prior to 1866, grizzlies roamed the backcountry of San Diego County. The last of the local grizzlies -- a 2200-pounder, the heaviest ever recorded in California -- was killed that year in Valley Center.Now, bears are starting to return to San Diego -- not grizzly bears but their smaller cousins, American black bears.

On May 15, 2000, David Benson shot and killed a black bear 35 yards from the front door of his ranch house in Ballena Valley, nine miles east of Ramona.

To get to San Diego County, the bears have to trek from their nearest known area of residence, the San Jacinto Mountains in northern Riverside County. -- "BEARS SET UP HOUSEKEEPING IN SAN DIEGO," Ernie Grimm, April 25, 2002

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