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David Helvarg and the Reader

Ocean Beach hippies, Convair, Twenty-nine Palms, sharks, Japanese San Diegans during WWII, our Indians who survived

Of the 250 known species of sharks about 30 can be found in and around the waters of San Diego.
  • Of the 250 known species of sharks about 30 can be found in and around the waters of San Diego.
  • Image by Bill Robinson

Helvarg is a journalist and environmental activist. He is the founder and president of the marine conservation lobbying organization Blue Frontier Campaign.

He is the author of: The Golden Shore - California's Love Affair with the Sea, Saved by the Sea – A Love Story with Fish, Rescue Warriors - The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes, 50 Ways To Save the Ocean, The War against the Greens, Blue Frontier—Dispatches from America's Ocean Wilderness, The Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide.

He wrote stories for the Reader off and on from the late 1970s through 2000.

Stories Helvarg wrote for the Reader:

Healing circle. Linda says she recently found the son she gave up 33 years ago. “We’re getting to know each other. He confessed he always imagined his parents were hippies. I tell him stories to assure him we were.”

Healing circle. Linda says she recently found the son she gave up 33 years ago. “We’re getting to know each other. He confessed he always imagined his parents were hippies. I tell him stories to assure him we were.”

  • The birds of war

  • Last month, on December 14, the San Diego-based, nuclear-powered submarine USS Guitarro lay in deep water near San Clemente Island, northwest of here. A stainless-steel capsule, resembling a giant twenty-two-foot cigar humidor, was loaded into one of its torpedo tubes. Captain Scott van Hoften gave the order to fire. (January 7, 1982)

Convair final-assembly area. About twenty assembly workers and technicians, some in white shirts and ties, others in jeans and flannel shirts, move casually around.

Convair final-assembly area. About twenty assembly workers and technicians, some in white shirts and ties, others in jeans and flannel shirts, move casually around.

  • If they want to have a war the Marines want to fight it

  • We’re sitting at the bar rail in the officers’ club at Twentynine Palms. It’s crowded with desert-tanned Marines in camouflage utilities and combat boots. Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It’’ is playing. (May 29, 1980)

General Glasgow claimed that the desert battle would cost $120,000 or $500,000, depending on how you figured it.

General Glasgow claimed that the desert battle would cost $120,000 or $500,000, depending on how you figured it.

  • Japanese railroaded out of San Diego during WWII

  • "There’s still some. People I went to school with in Coronado before the war, I see them at work; they still don’t speak to me. It’s like the fact that we were evacuated proved we were guilty." (October 20, 1977)

San Diego internees, Poston, Arizona, mostly old people and children.

San Diego internees, Poston, Arizona, mostly old people and children.

  • Survivors

  • She stops at the grave of Yellow Sky, something of a legend among the Indians of Barona. He used to walk the desert between Yuma and San Diego wearing only a breach cloth, trading firewood for a meal. (April 21, 1977)

The evacuation from Warner's Ranch to Pala. "We have always been here. We do not care for any other place. It may be good but is not ours. There is no other place for us."

The evacuation from Warner's Ranch to Pala. "We have always been here. We do not care for any other place. It may be good but is not ours. There is no other place for us."

  • The better to eat you with my dear!

  • On July 25, 1975, while the movie of Peter BenchJey’s Jaws was playing to a full house in Mission Valley, Brian Hawthorne, owner of the 60-fool San Diego swordfish boat Heather B., was busy harpooning his own Jaws, a 12'6" Great White off Catalina Island, 20 miles northwest of San Diego County. (Jan. 20, 1977)

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