Top 15 Reader stories of 2015

Tiny houses and AirBnB rule the day

Barber-slash-slasher gets ten years in jail

Vaughn didn't know the barber, Daniel Roberto Flores, who was the only other person in the shop. When Flores insisted on trimming Vaughn's beard with a straight razor, the Navy man cooperated and tipped his head back. That's when Flores said: “I could cut your throat.” And then Flores did. +more

By Marty Graham, June 11, 2015

Monsanto: Pay for damaging San Diego

City and port district sue chemical king for contributing to bay pollution.

"There is little probability that any action that can be taken will prevent the growing incrimination of specific polychlorinated biphenyls as nearly global environmental contaminants leading to contamination of human food (particularly fish), the killing of some marine species (shrimp), and the possible extinction of several species of fish eating birds. +more

By Dorian Hargrove, March 16, 2015

Massive layoffs rumored for Qualcomm

Paul Jacobs and Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm

Paul Jacobs and Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm

Qualcomm is under pressure. It paid almost $1 billion to settle an antitrust dispute with Chinese regulators. Now Europe is looking at down the same path. According to Motley Fool, "With one antitrust investigation in the rear-view mirror, another has popped up in its place. European antitrust regulators have now decided to take a look at Qualcomm's business practices." +more

By Don Bauder, July 20, 2015

Border crossing rules have changed at San Ysidro

The days of walking freely into Mexico are over

Currently, only pedestrians are required to show travel documents or proof of Mexican citizenship when entering Tijuana from San Ysidro.

Currently, only pedestrians are required to show travel documents or proof of Mexican citizenship when entering Tijuana from San Ysidro.

Crossing into Tijuana has changed for many San Diego residents who enjoy the opportunity to shop, party, and otherwise explore the most visited city in the world. The looming question is how the change will affect business in Tijuana and the tourists and ex-pats who keep such businesses afloat.+more

By David Alton Dodd, Oct. 7, 2015

AirBnB, the elephant in the room

Burlingame resident fined $25,000 for not having permit.

Currently, several hundred homeowners rent rooms or their home on AirBnB as well as other similar websites. None, as of now, have obtained permits, leaving all at risk for hefty fines. +more

By Dorian Hargrove, Aug. 10, 2015

John Lennon's guitar found in San Diego

Julien’s Auction House in Beverly Hills calls it “one of biggest finds in music history.”

John Lennon's Gibson J160e was thought to be lost.

John Lennon's Gibson J160e was thought to be lost.

McCaw bought the mildly beat-up Gibson acoustic from a friend for $175. After spotting a magazine article in 2014 with a photo of George Harrison holding a similar guitar, McCaw noted Harrison’s guitar was only four serial numbers away from his Gibson. +more

By Jay Allen Sanford, June 7, 2015

from plex.tc

Businessmen, public defender, and college professor humiliate a homeless man

The image of a businessman holding a cord tied around a homeless man's neck outside a bar in Ensenada's tourist district while his friends laugh was published on Wednesday, July 22. A clear abuse of human rights, the homeless man wearing rags seems unaware of his humiliation as he looks down seemingly counting petty change. +more

By Matthew Suárez, July 24, 2015

The upscaling of North County

“It’s not like when the old Encinitas families used to own it," says business owner.

Does the abrupt closure of this 7-Eleven hint at more changes to come?

Does the abrupt closure of this 7-Eleven hint at more changes to come?

The Ralph’s/CVS shopping center, a row of four fast-food chain restaurants have changed hands in recent years — including a Pizza Hut and Pick Up Stix. “Now they are something else,” he said. “What happens if we lose all of our locally owned businesses?” +more

By Ken Harrison, May 19, 2015

The cult of the pit

You love me now, but will you when I’m four?

In 2013, pit bulls killed 25 of the 32 Americans mauled to death by dogs, or 78 percent. Yet, pit bulls make up only about 6 percent of the total U.S. dog population. San Diego makes no effort to regulate these animals. The only exception: La Mesa. +more

By Bill Manson, April 22, 2015

Big box breakdown in San Marcos

Lowe's is out, WinCo and Hobby Lobby are coming in

Industry experts say that grocery shoppers are loyal to their preferred stores. Just ask the former owners of Smith’s Food King, a Utah-based chain that had plans in 1995 to infiltrate SoCal with up to 60 super-sized food-and-drug stores. Most closed shortly after the failed attempt. +more

By Ken Harrison, June 5, 2015

In the line of booty

How much the police department spends on lap dances is none of our business.

Cheetahs dancer

Cheetahs dancer

Undercover inspections are one of vice unit’s main tactics in making sure San Diego’s strip clubs adhere to what some consider to be the most restrictive adult-entertainment ordinance on the West Coast. On a regular basis, officers, dressed in plain clothes, use department money to gain admission into adult-entertainment clubs, pay for drinks at the bar, and pay for private dances in order to enforce the laws. +more

By Dorian Hargrove, June 3, 2015

The wishful world of tiny houses

A comely middle-aged woman, accompanied by her daughter, is conducting a video tour of a 172-square-foot home. She gushes, “You know, it’s equipped with a queen-sized mattress but it’s big enough for a king!” And so it goes in the wishful world of the tiny-house movement, where television shows, websites and discussion forums incessantly promote and proselytize. But while it’s one thing to extol the virtues of “living small,” it’s quite another to live full-time (on a voluntary basis) in claustrophobic quarters. +more

By Moss Gropen, March 25, 2015

How Airbnb is ruining Pacific Beach

Two strangers showed up at Ocean Spray last month

Two strangers showed up at Ocean Spray last month

The entire atmosphere of Mission Beach changed from being a community (with some summer rentals) to a place where you never see the same person twice. And all of those beautiful college-age girls who used to live in M.B. are gone forever. +more

By Russell Goltz, July 15, 2015

How small can a small house be?

New ordinance “will radically change the way people live in San Diego.”

Danielle Drummond's tiny house (on wheels) in Lemon Grove

Danielle Drummond's tiny house (on wheels) in Lemon Grove

from meetup.com/Tiny-Home-Enthusiasts

Normandin says the smallest detached dwelling is an efficiency space of 150 square feet; a shoo-in for most tiny housers. He expects that homes built under the new ordinance will be about 500 to 1200 square feet. A developer could build smaller, he says, but with the high cost of land, “why would they?” +more

By Sheila Pell, June 1, 2015

Grossmont Center History 101

And a little about its future, according to Stephen Cushman

Red Lobster could conceivably be a hotel; there could be housing for San Diego State students. It's kind of an open sheet of paper as to how it all meshes. Millennials and young people want everything contained. The only thing we haven't envisioned is where they could work. They want to live, work, play in one place. +more

By Liz Swain, Feb. 2, 2015

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