How Krueger came to the Reader:
I had just graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1975 with a bachelor's in U.S. history. I hadn’t taken any journalism classes in college but always liked to write, and in my senior year I had a brief internship with an alternative weekly in Santa Cruz similar to the Reader.
In June, 1975, I came back to visit friends in San Diego (I went to SDSU for two years before transferring to UCSC). With no real interest in graduate school and no prospects for a job, I followed a friend's suggestion that I see if there was an opening for writers at the Reader.
Jim Holman, who was the editor and publisher, happened to be in the office the day I walked in unannounced. He looked at my very slim collection of clips and offered me $45 a week to write for the City Lights column, sell ads, and deliver the paper on Thursday mornings. It wasn't much money, even 45 years ago, but I found a studio apartment on Adams Avenue, right near the "Normal Heights" sign on 33rd Street, for $45 a month, which gives you an idea of how inexpensive it was to live in San Diego back then.
I didn’t have a car, but Jim was generous enough to lend me his VW Karmann Ghia.
That's how I got my start as a "professional journalist" at the San Diego Reader.
Krueger's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader:
- On June 18, five days after Golden began emptying the reservoir, Stephen M. Eckis, representing the Friends, argued before Superior Court Judge Jack Levitt for a temporary restraining order which would have stopped the draining. Levitt granted the order pending a June 27 hearing, but the Friends were unwilling to provide the necessary $10,000 bond and the order was later revoked. (July 10, 1975)
- Market Street is the northern boundary of this deadly parcel; its southern limit runs along the Commercial Street trolley tracks, just six blocks south of Market. Eleven men and one woman were murdered inside that rectangle last year, the targets of gang violence, drug disputes, and domestic abuse. At least three were the recipients of a bullet or knife blade meant for someone else. (May 2, 1991)
- After the court-ordered house sale was completed, Betty Broderick rammed her car through the front door of her former husband’s Hillcrest home. Though the couple’s divorce became official in July 1986, she was later sentenced to a month in the Las Colinas woman’s prison for repeatedly harassing her ex-husband. (January 12, 1989)
- When Orr two years later engineered Cleator’s unsuccessful campaign for mayor, he went directly to the press with similar attempts to demolish Roger Hedgccock, who also was seeking the mayoral post vacated by Pete Wilson. Orr told reporters how Hedgecock was “closely tied politically to CED causes and activists” and spiced up his charges by invoking Tom Hayden’s name. (Aug. 8, 1985)
- [On list of most influential books] The Jungle: When I was in junior high, Upton Sinclair's story of the hardships of turn-of-the-century immigrants and unscrupulous businessmen showed me a side of American life I didn't know existed. (December 20, 1990)
- "Our sacred cow in San Diego really must be the bay. It’s our greatest asset, followed closely by Balboa Park. Those are our two great assets. I would think that anything of any magnitude in this town — and this is where I differ from everybody else — ought to be done with the idea of connecting those elements." (Aug 4, 1983)
- Though White does not often use the term, he defines himself as Wilson’s chief-of-staff. “That’s the working title.” White objects to journalists who frequently credit him with being Wilson’s closest confidant, along with Larry Thomas, who now handles campaign media duties. (After one such article. Thomas had a T-shirt made that read, “I’m The One The Mayor Listens To Most.") (July 14, 1977)
- “The firemen used to come by and order no one else to go inside,” recalls one regular. “They’d nail up a sign that said ‘Maximum Occupancy 200.’ After they left, some guy would always add another zero to the 200 and make it 2000.” (April 29, 1982)
- She has cut down the size of the organization from fourteen dailies to nine; five in Illinois and four in California. She whittled down the pay roster from 3,800 employees to 3,200, with 250 Union-Tribune workers cut after the move from downtown to the technologically advanced Mission Valley plant. (November 6, 1975)