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Sunday, July 21, 2024

SUNDAY REVIEW / SILLY BLUNDERS MANY CRIME WRITERS MAKE

 



From Dashiell Hammett: Crime Stories & Other Writings 

GUEST BLOG / By Dashiell Hammett via the Library of America Publishers--As a fellow who takes detective stories seriously, I am annoyed by the stupid recurrence of these same blunders in book after book. It would be silly to insist that nobody who has not been a detective should write detective stories, but it is certainly not unreasonable to ask any one who is going to write a book of any sort to make some effort at least to learn something about his subject. Most writers do.
Nearly all writers of Western tales at least get an occasional glimpse of their chosen territory from a car-window while en route to Hollywood; writers of sea stories have been seen on the waterfront; surely detective story writers could afford to speak to policemen now and then. 

Meanwhile, a career in this writing arena has convinced me that the following suggestions might be of value to somebody: 

(1) There was an automatic revolver, the Webley-Fosbery, made in England some years ago. The ordinary automatic pistol, however, is not a revolver. A pistol, to be a revolver, must have something on it that revolves. 

(2) The Colt’s .45 automatic pistol has no chambers. The cartridges are put in a magazine. 

(3) A silencer may be attached to a revolver, but the effect will be altogether negligible. I have never seen a silencer used on an automatic pistol, but am told it would cause the pistol to jam. A silencer may be used on a single-shot target pistol or on a rifle, but both would still make quite a bit of noise. “Silencer” is a rather optimistic name for this device which has generally fallen into disuse. 
Only detective story writers seem to be free from a sense of obligation in this direction, and, curiously, the more established and prolific detective story writers seem to be the worst offenders. 

(4) When a bullet from a Colt’s .45, or any firearm of approximately the same size and power, hits you, even if not in a fatal spot, it usually knocks you over. It is quite upsetting at any reasonable range. 

(5) A shot or stab wound is simply felt as a blow or push at first. It is some little time before any burning or other painful sensation begins. 

(6) When you are knocked unconscious you do not feel the blow that does it. 

(7) A wound made after the death of the wounded is usually recognizable as such. 

(8) Finger-prints of any value to the police are seldom found on anybody’s skin. 

(9) The pupils of many drug-addicts’ eyes are apparently normal. 

(10) It is impossible to see anything by the flash of an ordinary gun, though it is easy to imagine you have seen things. 

(11) Not nearly so much can be seen by moonlight as you imagine. This is especially true of colors. 

(12) All Federal snoopers are not members of the Secret Service. That branch is chiefly occupied with pursuing counterfeiters and guarding Presidents and prominent visitors to our shores. 

(13) A sheriff is a county officer who usually has no official connection with city, town or State police. 

(14) Federal prisoners convicted in Washington, D.C., are usually sent to the Atlanta prison and not to Leavenworth. 

(15) The California State prison at San Quentin is used for convicts serving first terms. Two-time losers are usually sent to Folsom. 

(16) Ventriloquists do not actually “throw” their voices and such doubtful illusions as they manage depend on their gestures. Nothing at all could be done by a ventriloquist standing behind his audience. 

(17) Even detectives who drop their final g’s should not be made to say “anythin’ ”—an oddity that calls for vocal acrobatics. 

(18) “Youse” is the plural of “you.” 

(19) A trained detective shadowing a subject does not ordinarily leap from doorway to doorway and does not hide behind trees and poles. He knows no harm is done if the subject sees him now and then. 

* * * 

Samuel Dashiell [Dash-eel] Hammett (1994-1961) 

A few weeks ago, having no books on hand that I cared to talk much about, I listed the above in my newspaper column 19 suggestions to detective story writers. Those suggestions were received with extreme enthusiasm—to the extent at least of one publisher offering me a nice sum for a slightly more complete list—I, not needing cash at the moment, herewith present a few more suggestions at no extra charge: 

(20) The current practice in most places in the United States is to make the coroner’s inquest an empty formality in which nothing much is brought out except that somebody has died. 

(21) Fingerprints are fragile affairs. Wrapping a pistol or other small object up in a handkerchief is much more likely to obliterate than to preserve any prints it may have. 

(22) When an automatic pistol is fired the empty cartridge-shell flies out the right-hand side. The empty cartridge-case remains in a revolver until ejected by hand. 

(23) A lawyer cannot impeach his own witness. 

(24) The length of time a corpse has been a corpse can be approximated by an experienced physician, but only approximated, and the longer it has been a corpse, the less accurate the approximation is likely to be. 

Originally published in two parts in the New York Evening Post, June 7 and July 5, 1930. 

MORE THOUGHTS ON HAMMETT AS A BOOK REVIEWER 
The late Steven Marcus, volume editor, is George Delacorte Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, at Columbia University. A distinguished cultural historian and literary critic, he was the author of many books, including The Other Victorians and Engels, Manchester, and the Working Class. He was also the editor of the historic collection of Hammett stories, The Continental Op

The Voice in the Closet by Herman Landon, The Thirty-first Bullfinch by Helen Reilly, and The Other Bullet by Nancy Barr Mavity, were all published in 1930. The many errors in these three novels motivated Dashiell Hammett to publish his list of the “blunders” writers of detective novels should avoid. 

Soon after Dashiell Hammett published his third novel, The Maltese Falcon, to critical acclaim and strong sales, he accepted a position as crime fiction reviewer for the New York Evening Post. Between April and October 1930, in 13 “Crime Wave” columns, he read and reviewed a total of 85 books, virtually all of them forgotten in the decades since. 

A former Pinkerton Agency detective, Hammett often despaired of the unrealistic scenes and inexpert characters that populated the genre—much as he had when he was a critic for the Saturday Review of Literature earlier in the decade. 

The week before he began his “Crime Wave” installments, though, he submitted to the Evening Post a longer review of a single book: The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Far and away the most popular American mystery novelist during the first half of the twentieth century, Rinehart wrote some 40 novels that sold more than ten million copies during her lifetime. 

Nonetheless, Hammett didn’t think much of the plot of The Door: “The maintenance and complication of the mystery depend too largely on folks consistently missing each other by unpredictable inches in the dark and unpredictable seconds in the light.” 

Yet he admitted that the book was compulsively readable: Nobody who begins it is at all likely, barring acts of God, to leave it unfinished. He may hoot at its soft spots, he may be irritated by its old-fashioned cast—Mrs. Rinehart is distinctly not a writer of this decade—but he will read it through. Well, readability is the standard by which books of this sort should be judged. 

Where Rinehart's novel really failed, in Hammett’s view, was with the lack of professionalism shown by the lead detective (“a nice enough fellow personally, in spite of his habit of strewing the scene of his operations with broken toothpicks”) and with the implausibility of the book’s pivotal clues (“walking-sticks buried naked in earth that is stamped down over them are not dug up fairly covered with anybody’s fingerprints”). 

The incompetence of the genre’s detectives and the sloppiness of authors’ research continued to earn Hammett’s scorn. 

When he was reviewing books for the Saturday Review, Hammett excoriated The Benson Murder Case, one of S. S. Van Dine’s novels featuring detective Philo Vance: Alvin Benson is found sitting in a wicker chair in his living room, a book still in his hand, his legs crossed, and his body comfortably relaxed in a lifelike position. He is dead. A bullet from an Army model Colt .45 automatic pistol, held some six feet away when the trigger was pulled, has passed completely through his head. That his position should have been so slightly disturbed by the impact of such a bullet at such a range is preposterous, but the phenomenon hasn't anything to do with the plot, so don't, as I did, waste time trying to figure it out. However, the murderer's identity becomes obvious quite early in the story. 

For example, the authorities, no matter how stupid the author chose to make them, would have cleared up the mystery promptly if they had been allowed to follow the most rudimentary police routine. But then what would there have been for the gifted Vance to do? 

Philo Vance, Hammett continued, “is a bore when he discusses art and philosophy, but when he switches to criminal psychology he is delightful. There is a theory that anyone who talks enough on any subject must, if only by chance, finally say something not altogether incorrect. 

Vance disproves this theory: he manages always, and usually ridiculously, to be wrong.” 

Later, when he wrote for the Evening Post, he tried again to get through a Philo Vance novel but found the district attorney and police sergeant “as incomparably inefficient, as amazingly ignorant of even beat-walking police routine, as ever.” 

Perhaps inevitably, after several years of reading (and trashing) so many unremarkable novels, Hammett threw up his hands. His “Crime Wave” column in the June 7, 1930, issue of the Evening Post was supposed to be a review of three newly arrived mystery novels that were “from beginnings to endings, carelessly manufactured improbabilities having more than their share of those blunders which earn detective stories as a whole the sneers of the captious.” 

He declined to review the books he had been assigned and instead published a list of blunders he had encountered in these and other recent books, with the hope that writers might avoid them in the future. The column proved so popular that he supplemented the list a month later with several additional entries, and that is what we have reprinted here.

By the end of  1930, Hammett was off to Hollywood, and his days as a book reviewer were behind him.

Editor Steven Marcus


Saturday, July 20, 2024

COFFEE BEANS & BEINGS / CAR SHOWS & COFFEE EVENTS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY


The following is a list of Car, Bike and Truck Shows happening TOMORROW, July 21, 2024 in San Diego County: 

SAN DIEGO—Cars & Coffee at the San Diego Auto Museum Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park between 7:30 am to 9:30 am. Every third Sunday. Car enthusiasts gather in the parking lot outside the museum for the monthly informal car meet, which typically features more than 100 cars, all years, all makes, models, colors, styles and customizations. Admission is free; coffee and donuts will be provided. Visit: carsandcoffeeevents.com 

SAN DIEGO—Key Club San Diego Cars & Coffee. All makes and all models welcome. Come kick your Sunday off with some of the dopest cars in San Diego. We have music, fresh pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and donuts. Come help make this a popular event once again. July 21 between 8:30 and 12 pm. 3436 College Ave., San Diego. Behind Rubio’s Coastal Grill at College Ave., and Highway 94. 

LA MESA—Cars and Coffee between Spring & 4th Street on La Mesa Blvd. every third Sunday from 7 am to 9 am. 

 ESCONDIDO—Cars & Coffee at Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Parkway between 8 am thru 10 am. Sunday, July 21. 

SAN MARCOS—Diamond Street Cars & Coffee. Come see classics, collectibles and exotics. July 21; 7:30 am to 9:30 am. Where: 1825 Diamond Street, San Marcos, CA 92078. 

CHULA VISTA—Sunday Funday Cars & Coffee. Hey, hey. Donuts, trucks & cars. Show. Sell. Buy. Trade. Note: part sales need to stay in truck or on a trailer. July 21 between &:30 and to 10 Am. Happening at Yum Yum Donuts, 517 Telegraph Canyon Road, Chula Vista CA 91910. 



Friday, July 19, 2024

FELONY FRIDAY / US MURDER RATE FOLLOWS CRIME DIP

Image: Mother Jones magazine

GUEST BLOG / By the Federal Bureau of Investigation via CNN
--Violent crime dropped by more than 15% in the United States during the first three months of 2024, according to statistics released earlier this month by the FBI. 

The new numbers show violent crime from January to March dropped 15.2% compared to the same period in 2023, while murders fell 26.4% and rapes decreased by 25.7%. 

Aggravated assaults decreased during that period when compared to last year by 12.5%, according to the data, while robberies fell 17.8%. The recent numbers released were gathered from 13,719 of the more than 19,000 law enforcement agencies from across the country, says the FBI. 

 Meanwhile, property crime went down 15.1% in the first three months of this year. Burglaries dropped 16.7%, while motor vehicle theft decreased by 17.3%. The declines in violent and property crimes were seen in every region of the US. 

 In a statement Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland stressed the new data “makes clear that last year’s historic decline in violent crime is continuing.” “This continued historic decline in homicides does not represent abstract statistics. It represents people whose lives were saved — people who are still here to see their children grow up, to work toward fulfilling their dreams, and to contribute to their communities,” Garland said. 

 US murder rate plunges 

The new FBI figures validate a trend identified by some national crime experts: The US murder rate continues to drop at a high rate and could be headed for its largest annual decline ever. Compared with the first five months of 2023, murders this year have dropped more than 40% in cities including New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, according to the research firm AH Datalytics, which analyzes crime figures reported by law enforcement agencies across the nation. 

Although more than six months still remain in 2024, “it’s plausible that this will be, by far, the largest one-year decline in American history,” said Jeff Asher, criminal justice analyst and co-founder of consulting firm AH Datalytics. The firm’s real-time review of 265 cities currently shows a 19% drop in murders nationwide compared to 2023. 

Data limitations 

The preliminary figures in the FBI’s Quarterly Uniform Crime Report do come with important limitations. For one, the bureau relies upon data voluntarily submitted by policing agencies. Crime analysts also say quarterly data are imprecise, as law enforcement agencies have the remainder of the year to audit and correct any reporting errors before final annual figures are published by the FBI. 

 “We have other data sources that point to the same trends, but the degree of those declines is probably being overstated due to the methodology being employed by the FBI,” said Asher. 

‘Interrupting cycles of violence’ 

The US murder rate has declined since 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic brought with it a surge in homicides across the country. FBI figures showed the number of homicides increased nearly 30% from 2019 to 2020 – the largest single-year increase the agency had recorded since it began tracking these crimes in the 1960s – and violent crime during the same period increased by 5%. 

 Criminal justice experts say crime trends are complex, but generally blame the cause in the 2020 surge on vast societal disruptions, including the closure of schools, businesses, childcare and community programs. Others pointed to more stress and more guns along with less policing, less public trust and disruption of social support services. “These are some of the tools that we would expect to have an effect on reversing or interrupting cycles of violence,” said Asher. “In a normal year these tools would have been available to us in 2020 or 2021, but they weren’t. 

It’s only now, several years later, that we’re starting to see the level of gun violence, the level of murder fall back to where it was pre-pandemic.” 

 CNN’s Eric Levenson and Mark Morales contributed to this report. 

Thursday, July 18, 2024

THE FOODIST / WHICH WINE TO SERVE WITH SNAILS

Champagne for a vibrating and refined pairing 

GUEST BLOG / By Vinatis.co.uk--Whether in puff pastry or served with parsley butter, snails are a great classic of French gastronomy! Whether you prefer white or red wine or bubbles, find out how to pair this internationally renowned traditional French dish. 

Escargots et champagne 

Even though snails can be eaten all year round, they are a great classic for the festive season. When you think of the festive season you of course think of Champagne! The fine bubbles of Champagne frame the firm and tender flesh of the snail. 

Because they are usually served as a starter, to accompany with Champagne is part of the logic of tasting so as not to saturate your taste buds. Opt for a Champagne Blanc de Noirs, whose vineus and structured side goes well with aromas of parsley butter. These wines accompany particularly with puff pastry snails, whose dough provides a different texture. Favour Brut Champagne that has a low sugar content and therefore more suitable for the beginning of meal. 

Snails with dry and lively white wine (below): 

There are two snail varieties, the Burgundy snail and the Petit Gris, which are found mainly in southern France. The snails have actually been eaten since the prehistoric times. 

A true internationally renowned symbol of French gastronomy, this refined dish was served at a banquet with Napoleon and the Tsar of Russia. Whether it comes from Burgundy or not, this traditional Burgundian dish is often served with parsley butter. For a faultless regional paring choose a young Bourgogne Aligoté. 

The lightness, freshness and delicacy of these wines pair perfectly with snails. In fact, to support the firm and soft texture of the mollusk, a dry, young, fresh and mineral white wine is required. For a Bourgogne Aligoté wine with more structure, try a Bouzeron. The only village appellation in Burgundy that is made of 100% Aligoté grape variety. It is ideal as an aperitif or with a starter. Suggest: Bouzeron from Louis Jadot. 

For its beautiful citrus notes and fine crispiness, Mâcon Villages, is also a great choice to pair with snails. Made of Chardonnay grape variety, the buttery finish of the wine goes perfectly with the parsley butter of the dish. Suggest: Macon Villages Joseph Drouhin. 


Escargot with red wine (below): 

If you prefer red wine, opt for a wine made of Pinot Noir. This grape variety gives a lot of fruitiness, lightness and freshness to the wine. The Alsatian Pinot Noirs are supple with crispy fruit aromas and forest floor notes that are an exquisite match with the snails. Suggest: Pinot Noir Reserve Gustave Lorentz. 

With the snails cooked in Burgundian style go for a regional pairing with Pinot Noir from Bourgogne AOC. These wines provide a good value for money and have the right fruity aromas and freshness for the dish. In addition, the pairing is regional for a little more authenticity. 

Also red Sancerre, made of 100% Pinot Noir, from the Loire Valley matches well with snails. The appellation is more famous for its white wines, but it also produces some high quality red wines with beautiful cherry aromas and silky and soft tannins. Suggest: Domaine Fouassier and or Domaine Lucien Crochet. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

LOCAL / ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT CHAOS [ADUs]

Return the will of the people back into local zoning discussions

Refusing to be silenced by City Hall, communities protest massive ADU projects
 

Two local neighborhoods recently staged impressive protests against multi-unit "Bonus ADU" projects in their communities. 

 Jicarillo Avenue — On June 22, more than 50 homeowners and renters in Clairemont/Bay Ho rallied against a 12-unit development on Jicarillo Ave near Moraga Ave. 

That over-sized project abuts a high-risk fire zone on a sensitive canyon rim. It will have no off-street parking for residents, and like all Bonus ADU projects, it was approved without community input or design review. 

 Neighbors continue to pledge to fight against the Bonus ADU program, even if they can't stop the Jicarillo Ave project. Their protest was covered by KUSI/Fox5 and other local media. 

Shoshoni Avenue — On June 27, KUSI/Fox5 aired an in-depth report on another ADU protest. The focus of that neighborhood's anger is another 12-unit Bonus ADU project on a single-family lot on Shoshoni Avenue near Genesee Avenue, also in Clairemont. 

 The site is at the end of a very narrow cul-de-sac, and the project will have no off-street parking for up to 24 new residents. 

Neighbors voiced legitimate concerns about parking, congestion, and, most importantly, the ability of emergency vehicles to reach houses on their street. 

 Construction of that backyard apartment complex hasn't started yet, and residents on and around Shoshoni Avenue pledge to do all they can to stop or alter the project. 

 The KUSI/Fox5 report includes a statement from Councilmember Jen Cambell, who expressed sympathy for the neighbors and raised concerns about the negative impacts of the city's "Bonus ADU" ordinance. 

To be clear, Neighbors For a Better San Diego continues to support the California state allowance of a single ADU in the backyard of a residential home. But these Bonus ADU projects result from an ill-conceived and poorly written San Diego ordinance encouraging developers to work every possible angle to their advantage. 

The Bonus ADU code is wreaking havoc in single-family-zoned neighborhoods, diminishing opportunities for homeownership, and adding to rising land and rent costs. 

 Permits are pending on a mega-project that would squeeze 18 units on a single-family lot (8 two-story buildings behind a one-story home with a converted garage). 

Another project would pack an astonishing 37 ADUs on a single-family-zoned lot. 

 Rather than listen to the legitimate concerns of their constituents, San Diego City Councilmembers just made it worse by voting for a provision in the 2024 Land Development Code Update to further relax regulations for ADUs in areas that are least appropriate for this type of development. 

 As Neighbors For A Better San Diego has emphasized many times, these problems are compounded by City of San Diego’s 2023 approval of the Sustainable Development Area (SDA), which allows dense development like the Bonus ADU program in neighborhoods up to a mile away from transit — including imaginary future transit stops. 

This has opened up single-family parcels in environmentally sensitive areas, especially along canyon rims and high-risk fire hazard zones. 

 To learn more about the SDA and the lawsuit against it, please click here. Please share this email with someone you know in San Diego. 

 Neighbors For A Better San Diego is a grassroots organization formed to bring homeowners back into the discussion of urban development. They seek the creation of policies that benefit homeowners, renters, small businesses and other stakeholders. 

New to San Diego?  Sign up for our emails...CLICK HERE. 

Missed an email? CLICK HERE for NFABSD Email Archive page.

DONATE CLICK HERE to Neighbors for a Better San Diego, an all volunteer organization dedicated to correct San Diego’s neighborhood-killing zoning changes. 

***

The following portion of this post was producted by PillartoPost.org and may or may not include the views of NFABSD or its supporters.

IN THE NEXT ELECTION CYCLE VOTE AGAINST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE WHO SUPPORT BONUS ADU PROJECTS.

Imagine you like other San Diegans who live on a cul de sac and one lot in your cul de sac is permitted to add 12 bonus ADU units, which will add as many as 24 24 new tenants.  24 new neighbors on one lot with NO required parking additions.  Do the math: 24 new tenants on one lot = how many cars?

VOTE NO ON CANDIDATES SUPPORTING BONUS ADUs

Restore will of the people back into San Diego local politics.  Say no to City Council candidates, who approve drastic housing measures without community input.

Monday, July 15, 2024

MEDIA MONDAY / ASSOCIATED PRESS TEAM PICTURE OF THE YEAR

FIRST PLACE. In an international media photo contest, a team of Associated Press photographers took first place as “Team Picture Story of the Year for the Hamas War."  The photo above was taken by team member Fatima Shbair 

Fire and smoke rise following one of the first retaliation Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. The Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel at daybreak Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday. Israel's retaliation after Gaza's militant Hamas rulers launched the unprecedented attack on Israel killing over 1,200 Israelis and taking captive dozens, has been fierce for Gaza and it’s people. Photo by Fatima Shbair. 

 

AP Photographer Fatima Shbair

Sunday, July 14, 2024

VIVE LA FRANCE / HISTORY OF LA MARSEILLAISE


In April 1792, Rouget de Lisle was a captain of engineers stationed in Strasbourg near the Rhine River. The mayor of the town called for an anthem just days after the French declared war on Austria. The amateur musician penned the song in a single night, giving it the title of "Chant de guerre de l’armée du Rhin" (“Battle Hymn of the Army of the Rhine”). 

Rouget de Lisle's new song was an instant hit with the French troops as they marched. It soon took on the name "La Marseillaise" because it was particularly popular with volunteer units from Marseille. On July 14, 1795, the French declared "La Marseillaise" the national song. 

"La Marseillaise" has a very revolutionary tone. Rouget de Lisle himself supported the monarchy, but the spirit of the song was quickly picked up by revolutionaries. The controversy did not stop in the 18th century but has lasted over the years, and the lyrics remain the subject of debate today. 

• Napoleon banned the anthem under the Empire (1804-1815). 

• It was also banned in 1815 by King Louis XVIII. • "La Marseillaise" was reinstated in 1830. 

• The song was again banned during the rule of Napoleon III (1852-1870). 

• "La Marseillaise" was once again reinstated in 1879. 

• In 1887, an "official version" was adopted by France's Ministry of War. 

• After the liberation of France during World War II, the Ministry of Education encouraged school children to sing the anthem to "celebrate our liberation and our martyrs." 

• "La Marseillaise" was declared the official national anthem in Article 2 of the 1946 and 1958 constitutions. "La Marseillaise" is widely popular, and it is not uncommon for the song to make an appearance in popular songs and movies. 

Most famously, it was used in part by Tchaikovsky in his "1812 Overture" (debuted in 1882). The song also formed an emotional and unforgettable scene in the 1942 classic film "Casablanca." 

"La Marseillaise" Scene in 1942 film: "Casablanca."


Saturday, July 13, 2024

LOCAL / WELCOME TO SAN DIEGO IN ONE PHOTO


What keeps this photo from being a look-alike Norm Rockwellish San Diego airport image is there are no kids with snorkels or rubber duck pool toys wrapped around their waists and nary any flip flops being worn by dude/dudettes carrying surfboards. What it is—is a classic Nelvin Cepeda [Union-Tribune] photograph outside of SD International on a busy summer travel day 

Friday, July 12, 2024

FELINE FUNNIES / ANOTHER CATTY REMARK

"...for once stop and think why cats ignore you?  Reason is, except for me, we don't speak English."


Thursday, July 11, 2024

THE FOODIST / A GLIMPSE OF BEIJING RESTAURANT DINERS


People enjoy their meals at a restaurant are seen through windows near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, Saturday, March 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

WINE GUY / TWO TASTY BARGAINS AT COSTCO

Booker Vineyard, San Luis Obispo, CA

Celebrated San Diego wine writer, Tom Gable shares two recent discoveries from California vineyards that are solid values and can be found at Costco Warehouses. 

--Value San Luis Obispo, Calif., $16 (Costco) six-grape red blend 2021 Booker Vineyard Harvey and Harriet. Mid garnet, viscous (14.1 alc.); berry, mint, peppery, jam nose; low-mid acids; softening tannins; semi-long, easy-drinking red fruit finish. Picnic, BBQ, party wine. 15.5/89. 

***


-- Value ($17 on sale, Costco) California Pinot Noir 2021 Gehricke Sonoma Coast. Mid-ruby, rim variation, viscous (13.4 alc.); cherries, stem, wood, Pinot nose; mid acids; mid+ tannins; hot Pinot finish. 15/88. 

For more Tom Gable discoveries: https://sandiegowineguru.com/ 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

AMERICANA / HIKING STINSON BEACH & MT. TAM TRAILS

Steep Ravine, Dipsea and Matt Davis Trail loop from Pantol Campground, West Marin County, CA Photo: Yana Dugan 


Monday, July 8, 2024

MEDIA MONDAY / WHY IS THERE SUCH A WIDE DIVISION BETWEEN POLITICAL PARTIES IN CONGRESS?


MEDIA MONDAY / By Amber Phillips, Politics Reporter, Washington Post. She explains and analyzes politics in her column “The Five Minute Fix Newsletter, a quick study of the day’s biggest poltical news. She is based in Washington DC.
 

Reader question: Why is there such a wide division between Democrats and Republicans in Congress? 

Amber Phillips
Answer: Phillips, Washington Post: You’re onto something. A 2022 Pew Research analysis found that the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats in Congress are wider than at any time in the past 50 years. Twenty years ago, the least liberal Democrat and least conservative Republican had quite a bit in common. Today, they don’t. 

Political scientists have identified several reasons for this, including: 

• Gerrymandering encourages polarization by making it so the biggest risk to a lawmaker is often their primary, not the general election, so they’re incentivized to pander to the farthest-right or farthest-left voters. 

• Voters have self-sorted. Increasingly, liberals tend to live in cities and blue states, and conservatives in rural areas and red states. 

• Social media silos us even further, filing the void left by Americans’ breakdown in faith in institutions such as government and media. 

• Conservatives in Congress have also gotten much more conservative over the decades, more than liberals have moved toward the left, that Pew survey finds. 

• Former Democratic congressman Steve Israel, who now leads Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, said there are solutions to polarization, but they take time to implement. They include limits on gerrymandering and increasing social media literacy, “so people don’t believe a conspiracy theory that pops up on their screens.” 

Sunday, July 7, 2024

SUNDAY REVIEW / A SHORT FANTASY BY THE AUTHOR OF BLADE RUNNER

Eyes by Osomatsu

"A little whimsy, now and then, makes for good balance. Theoretically, you could find this type of humor anywhere. But only a topflight science-fictionist, we thought, could have written this story, in just this way."

                                                    --Editors, Project Gutenberg. 

The Eyes Have It 

By Philip K. Dick

It was quite by accident I discovered this incredible invasion of Earth by lifeforms from another planet. As yet, I haven’t done anything about it; I can’t think of anything to do. I wrote to the Government, and they sent back a pamphlet on the repair and maintenance of frame houses. Anyhow, the whole thing is known; I’m not the first to discover it. Maybe it’s even under control. 

I was sitting in my easy-chair, idly turning the pages of a paperbacked book someone had left on the bus, when I came across the reference that first put me on the trail. 

For a moment I didn’t respond. It took some time for the full import to sink in. After I’d comprehended, it seemed odd I hadn’t noticed it right away. The reference was clearly to a nonhuman species of incredible properties, not indigenous to Earth. 

A species, I hasten to point out, customarily masquerading as ordinary human beings. Their disguise, however, became transparent in the face of the following observations by the author. It was at once obvious the author knew everything. 

Knew everything — and was taking it in his stride. The line (and I tremble remembering it even now) read: … his eyes slowly roved about the room. Vague chills assailed me. I tried to picture the eyes. Did they roll like dimes? 

The passage indicated not; they seemed to move through the air, not over the surface. Rather rapidly, apparently. 

No one in the story was surprised. That’s what tipped me off. No sign of amazement at such an outrageous thing. 

Later the matter was amplified. … his eyes moved from person to person. There it was in a nutshell. The eyes had clearly come apart from the rest of him and were on their own. 

My heart pounded and my breath choked in my windpipe. I had stumbled on an accidental mention of a totally unfamiliar race. Obviously non-Terrestrial. Yet, to the characters in the book, it was perfectly natural — which suggested they belonged to the same species. 

And the author? A slow suspicion burned in my mind. The author was taking it rather too easily in his stride. Evidently, he felt this was quite a usual thing. He made absolutely no attempt to conceal this knowledge. 

The story continued: … presently his eyes fastened on Julia. Julia, being a lady, had at least the breeding to feel indignant. She is described as blushing and knitting her brows angrily. At this, I sighed with relief. They weren’t all non-Terrestrials. 

The narrative continues: … slowly, calmly, his eyes examined every inch of her. Great Scott! But here the girl turned and stomped off and the matter ended. I lay back in my chair gasping with horror. 

My wife and family regarded me in wonder. “What’s wrong, dear?” my wife asked. 

I couldn’t tell her. 

Knowledge like this was too much for the ordinary run-of-the-mill person. I had to keep it to myself. “Nothing,” I gasped. 

I leaped up, snatched the book, and hurried out of the room. 

In the garage, I continued reading. 

There was more. 

Trembling, I read the next revealing passage: … he put his arm around Julia. 

Presently she asked him if he would remove his arm. 

He immediately did so, with a smile. 

It’s not said what was done with the arm after the fellow had removed it. Maybe it was left standing upright in the corner. Maybe it was thrown away. I don’t care. 

In any case, the full meaning was there, staring me right in the face. Here was a race of creatures capable of removing portions of their anatomy at will. Eyes, arms — and maybe more. 

Without batting an eyelash. 

My knowledge of biology came in handy, at this point. Obviously they were simple beings, uni-cellular, some sort of primitive single-celled things. 

Beings no more developed than starfish. Starfish can do the same thing, you know. 

I read on. And came to this incredible revelation, tossed off coolly by the author without the faintest tremor: … outside the movie theater we split up. 

Part of us went inside, part over to the cafe for dinner. 

Binary fission, obviously. 

Splitting in half and forming two entities. Probably each lower half went to the cafe, it being farther, and the upper halves to the movies.

 I read on, hands shaking. I had really stumbled onto something here. 

My mind reeled as I made out this passage: … I’m afraid there’s no doubt about it. 

Poor Bibney has lost his head again. Which was followed by: … and Bob says he has utterly no guts. Yet Bibney got around as well as the next person. 

The next person, however, was just as strange. He was soon described as: … totally lacking in brains. 

THERE was no doubt of the thing in the next passage. Julia, whom I had thought to be the one normal person, reveals herself as also being an alien life form, similar to the rest: … quite deliberately, Julia had given her heart to the young man. 

It didn’t relate what the final disposition of the organ was, but I didn’t really care. 

It was evident Julia had gone right on living in her usual manner, like all the others in the book. Without heart, arms, eyes, brains, viscera, dividing up in two when the occasion demanded. Without a qualm. … thereupon she gave him her hand. 

I sickened. The rascal now had her hand, as well as her heart. I shudder to think what he’s done with them, by this time. … he took her arm. 

Not content to wait, he had to start dismantling her on his own. 

Flushing crimson, I slammed the book shut and leaped to my feet. But not in time to escape one last reference to those carefree bits of anatomy whose travels had originally thrown me on the track: … her eyes followed him all the way down the road and across the meadow.

 I rushed from the garage and back inside the warm house, as if the accursed things were following me. 

My wife and children were playing Monopoly in the kitchen. I joined them and played with frantic fervor, brow feverish, teeth chattering. 

I had had enough of the thing. 

I want to hear no more about it. 

Let them come on. 

Let them invade Earth. I don’t want to get mixed up in it. I have absolutely no stomach for it. 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Friday, July 5, 2024

FRIDAY FRAUDS / IF EX FBI DIRECTOR GETS SCAMMED IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR ANYONE IN THE LONG RUN?


GUEST BLOG / By Laurie Archibald-Pannone, Associate Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Virginia via TheConversation.com
--Americans age 60 and older lost more than US $3 billion to scammers in 2023, according to the FBI. 

To put that whopping figure in context, popular singer Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour recently made news as the first concert tour ever to earn $1 billion. 

As a geriatrician – a doctor who cares for people over 65 years of age – I believe elder fraud has reached an epidemic scale. My patients often tell me about being scammed. 

Dr. Archibald-
Pannone
The consequences can be worse than just losing money. The experience is traumatic for many, with some victims feeling deep shame and self-doubt in the aftermath. This can interfere with their relationships, erode their trust in others and harm their mental and physical health. 

Teaching older Americans how to identify and avoid fraud – and how to report such crimes – could go some way to mitigating the impact of this modern epidemic. 

 

Elder fraud is on the rise 

A recent FBI report [click here] shows just how prevalent elder fraud is. In 2023, Americans over 60 submitted 14% more complaints to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, than they did the previous year. Estimated financial losses rose about 11% over the same period. 

These numbers, grim as they are, only represent the tip of the iceberg. For one thing, only about half of the reports of internet crimes to the FBI included information about the victim’s age – which means reported incidents of elder fraud are an undercount. 

What’s more, these figures don’t include the many scams that take place over the phone, by mail or in person. And many fraud victims never report their experiences – often because they’re embarrassed, afraid or unsure what to do. 

While people of all ages are victimized by fraudsters, older adults can be uniquely vulnerable. 

The FBI has suggested that older adults are often targeted because they tend to be more trusting and polite. They often have financial savings, own homes and have good credit – all of which make them more attractive to scammers. 

Huge Problem. The Wide World of Frauds.

Older adults may also be less comfortable with new technologies, which puts them at risk. Consider that someone who is 85 years old may have retired in the year 2004 – three years before Apple introduced the iPhone.  You might cut some slack to an elder in your family who pleads for help even with the most simple tech task.

While many forms of technology have permeated our personal lives, it’s often in the workplace that many people receive mandatory training – like how to avoid online scams. In 2023, tech-support scams were the most commonly reported type of elder fraud. 

Other common schemes include romance scams, online shopping swindles and investment frauds. 

While tech scams are the most common, investment scams are the costliest, accounting for nearly half of all reported losses from those over 60 last year. Fraudulent call centers are also well known for targeting older adults. Such scams made up 40% of reported elder fraud cases in 2023, according to the FBI, accounting for at least $770 million in losses. 

Many make use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence to deceive people more effectively with voice-cloning scams or “deepfake” videos. Call-center scammers tell all sorts of tall tales. In 2022, more than 600 people reported being victimized in a single timeshare-related fraud. They collectively lost nearly $40 million. And in the latter half of 2023, scammers posing as government officials and tech-support agents pushed victims to liquidate their assets or buy precious metals – with reported losses reaching more than $55 million. 

Combating an epidemic of scams.  Tips & Tools.

As with any epidemic, “infection control” tools can help us limit the spread. Much like vaccines create immunity against viruses, prevention efforts can help people build up their defenses to avoid fraud. 

The main tool for preventing fraud is learning how to identify likely scams ahead of time. 

Here are a few FBI-approved tips to help you do that: 

• If you believe there is an imminent danger to yourself or a loved one, call the police immediately. 

• Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings and door-to-door service offers. 

• Don’t click on any unsolicited links you receive via email or text – even if they seem to be from people you know. And never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know. 

• If you’re in doubt about a person or business, search online for their name, email, phone number and addresses, as well as details about their proposed offers. These days, most legitimate businesses have some degree of web presence. And if it’s a scam, you might find others have already shared information about it. 

• Never give or send anything to unverified people or businesses. This includes any personally identifiable information, money, jewelry, gift cards, checks or wire information. 

• Make sure your computer antivirus and security software and malware protections are up to date. 

• Bad actors can use pop-ups to spread malicious software. If you see a pop-up message, disconnect from the internet and shut down your device. You can enable pop-up blockers to avoid accidentally clicking on one. 

• Don’t give anyone you don’t know remote access to “fix your computer” or other electronic devices. This could let them see personal information, including details about your financial accounts. 

• If you’re told to lie to your bank about why you need to wire money or make a withdrawal, it’s probably a scam. A legitimate business won’t insist you keep secrets from family or friends, either. 

• Resist pressure to act quickly. This is a big one: Scammers often create a false sense of urgency. A legitimate business will let you think through your financial decisions. 

• Perhaps most importantly, trust your instincts. What to do if you think you’ve fallen for a scam Despite your best efforts, you might still be taken in by a fraudster. If that happens, know that you’re not alone – and that it’s possible to recover. Here is some advice for dealing with the aftermath: 

• If a criminal gains access to your device or account, take action to protect your identity. If a bank is involved, immediately contact your financial institutions to place protections on your accounts, and monitor your accounts and personal information for suspicious activity. 

• Contact your local FBI field office, or, if the crime was committed over the internet, submit a tip online.

 • When reporting a scam, include as many details as possible. This can include names, dates of contact, methods of communication, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses, and websites used by the perpetrator. 

• Also note methods of payment, where you sent any funds – including wire transfers and prepaid cards – and account numbers. Offer descriptions of your interactions with the scammer and any instructions you were given. 

• Whenever possible, you should keep original documents, emails, faxes and logs of communications. 

• Falling for a scam can be frightening and stressful. Talk with people who you know and trust to support you through this challenging time. Some support groups include the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the Cybercrime Support Network’s Peer Support Program. 

• If your emotional response is overwhelming, consider talking with a counselor, therapist or your medical team. Former FBI director William Webster discusses his experience with elder fraud. If you or someone you love falls into a fraud scam, you aren’t alone. Not even law enforcement experts are immune.

At the age of 90, former FBI director William Webster was targeted – an experience he bravely shared with the world. I encourage my patients not to feel too embarrassed to report what happened. Talking about these experiences is an important step toward fighting this epidemic. 

Director Webster

Here is a link to the most recent FBI’s Elder Fraud Report. CLICK HERE. Or use the link below: https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2023_IC3ElderFraudReport.pdf

Thursday, July 4, 2024

LOCAL / JULY 4TH FUN FINDER

San Diego Bay Fourth of July Fireworks

GUEST BLOG / By Linda McIntosh, Reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune
-Here’s a guide to Fourth of July fireworks and festivities at parks, beaches and other venues throughout San Diego County. 

Camp Pendleton 4th of July beach celebration: Fireworks at 9 p.m. July 4 at the Marine Corps base’s Del Mar Beach for authorized military and their families. Also, there will be a family fun zone from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and live DJ entertainment from 4 to 7 p.m. Concessions and vendors will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Military ID card required. Visit pendleton.usmc-mccs.org/4th-of-july-at-del-mar-beach. 

Carlsbad Legoland’s Red, White and BOOM!: Throughout the day on July 4, kids of all ages can participate in themed entertainment. lawn games, building activities and DJ dance parties at Legoland California, 1 Legoland Drive. The evening fireworks show at 8:45 p.m. combines music with fireworks; included with cost of park admission. The fireworks display will explode into 3D Lego bricks with special viewing glasses. Visit legoland.com. 

Chula Vista Fireworks and celebration: Hosted by the city of Chula Vista and Seven Mile Casino at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, 2800 Olympic Parkway, gates open at 7 p.m. July 4. Fireworks shoot off at 9 p.m. with a custom bilingual soundtrack on Amor 102.9. Bring a blanket or chair. Food trucks will be there. Parking is free at the center and the adjacent New Hope Community Church, 2720 Olympic Parkway. Another recommended viewing location is at Mountain Hawk Park, 1475 Lake Crest Drive. Admission is free. Visit chulavistaca.gov/4thfest. 

Coronado Fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4 over Glorietta Bay, near Stingray Point, and San Diego Fireworks over San Diego Bay can be viewed at the Ferry Landing. Visit coronadofourthofjuly.com/schedule">coronadofourthofjuly.com/schedule. Independence Day Parade: 10 a.m. to noon July 4 going south on Orange Avenue, beginning at First Street and Orange and ending at Churchill Place and Ocean Boulevard. Preparade entertainment is from 7:30 to 10 a.m. on Orange Avenue. Fourth of July concerts: Public Kids Concert is from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. with Katleen Dugas performing children’s songs at Spreckels Park, 601 Orange Ave.; Coronado Concert Band will perform a Patriotic Concert from 4 to 5 p.m. at Spreckels Park; a public concert featuring The Mighty Untouchables is from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. at Spreckels Park. Visit coronadofourthofjuly.com. Crown City Classic 12K & 5K Run: 7 to 9 a.m. July 4, starting and finishing at Coronado Tidelands Park, 2000 Mullinex Drive. Register at crowncityrun.com. Navy Leap Frogs demonstration: 2 p.m. July 4 at the Coronado Golf Course 16th Fairway. “Star Wars”: Adrian Empire Demonstration and San Diego Star Wars Society photo op from 12:30 to 2 p.m. July 4 at Star Park, 1030 Park Place. Fourth Of July BBQ: Independence Day celebration at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Chef-curated barbecue buffet is from 4 to 7 p.m. at the resort’s Bay Terrace. The festivities include live “yacht rock” music by Band Overboard and Big Bay Boom fireworks in the distance. Barbecue tickets are $90 per adult, $45 per child. Visit loewshotels.com/coronado-bay-resort/discover/resort-happenings. 

Del Mar Fourth of July celebration at San Diego County Fair: Patriotic celebration all day on July 4 topped off with fireworks at 9 p.m., which can be viewed throughout the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. On-site parking is $15, if purchased in advance online; $20 at gate. Free parking at Canyon Crest Academy and $10 parking at Del Mar Horsepark, with free shuttles. Admission is $12-$20 for ages 6 and older. Visit sdfair.com. 

El Cajon Star Spangled Extravaganza: Free live entertainment featuring a DJ and family games starting at 3 p.m. July 4 at Kennedy Park, 1675 E. Madison Ave., with fireworks at 9 p.m. Pack a picnic. Visit elcajon.gov or call (619) 441-1676. 

Escondido Independence Day concert and fireworks: 4 to 10 p.m. July 4 at Grape Day Park, 321 Broadway, hosted by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Live music on the Great Green in the park features Daring Greatly, Ian Moore and the Navy Band Southwest’s 32nd Street Brass Band. The event culminates in the fireworks display at 9 p.m., which can be seen from central Escondido. There will be food trucks, an artisan market and games along with craft beer. The center also hosts free outdoor concerts July 5-7 with food vendors. Visit artcenter.org/event/59th-annual-independence-day-festival. 

Fallbrook Pancake breakfast and celebration: Rotary Club of Fallbrook’s pancake breakfast is from 8 to 11 a.m. July 4 at the Fallbrook Community Center, 341 Heald Lane. Tickets are $12; $5 for children ages 4-12; free, ages 3 and younger. Proceeds benefit community programs. A dog show is from 11 a.m. to noon and a Fourth of July celebration is from noon to 3 p.m. with live music, entertainment, including ballet folklórico, a display of fire and police vehicles, and food vendors. Visit fallbrookrotary.org. 

Imperial Beach Fireworks and live music: The fireworks show will start at 9 p.m. off the Imperial Beach Pier. Live music is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. featuring the Marine Band San Diego. Seacoast Drive will be closed from Imperial Beach Boulevard to Palm Avenue starting at 5 p.m. for the community event. Parking will be provided at the South Bay Union School District, 601 Elm Ave., Mar Vista High School, 505 Elm Ave., and IB Charter Elementary, 650 Imperial Beach Blvd. ADA parking lot on Seacoast and Palm Avenue. There will be a shuttle provided from parking lots to the beach. Visit imperialbeachca.gov. 

Julian Parade: Noon July 4 on Main Street. The theme is “Soar Like an Eagle,” recognizing the Julian Union High School District as the grand marshal. Attendees can join in carrying a huge American flag down Main Street before the start of the parade. Preparade activities start at 9:30 a.m. including a western re-enactment, musical performances and pie-eating contests. The flyover by vintage aircraft will be at noon to kick off the parade. After the parade, head over to the American Legion for a deep-pit barbecue, live music and dancing. Visit the Julian Town Hall for the Julian Woman’s Club Quilt Show; shops will be open. Visitors should come early to find parking near Main Street, which will be closed after 9 a.m. Visit julianparade.com. 

La Jolla Drone show: Independence Day performance, hosted by La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and LJ STEAM Foundation, featuring 200 drones soaring 350 feet above the shoreline with patriotic imagery will launch at 9 p.m. July 4 with the main viewing of the show at the south end of Kellogg Park, 8277 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla Shores Hotel and La Jolla Cove. Free to the public. Visit ljshoreshotel.com/july4droneshow. 

Mira Mesa Fireworks show: The fireworks show Wednesday starts at 9 p.m. over Wangenheim Middle School, 9230 Gold Coast Drive. A community picnic starts at 4 p.m. at Hourglass Field Community Park, leading up to the fireworks. Visit miramesafireworks.org. 

National City Fourth of July Carnival: The National City Lions Club is hosting its annual Fourth of July Carnival from July 3-7 at Kimball Park, 12th and D streets, with fireworks at the park at 9 p.m. July 6. The carnival, featuring food, rides and games, is open 5-11 p.m. Wednesday, 1-11 p.m. Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and 1-11 p.m. July 6-7. Visit nationalcityca.gov. 

Oceanside Fireworks celebrate city’s 136th birthday: 9 p.m. Wednesday at SoCal Soccer Complex at El Corazon, 3300 El Corazon Drive. Gates open at 4 p.m. and there will be family-friendly lawn games and crafts along with food vendors. Live music will begin at 7 p.m. Parking at the SoCal Soccer lot for $15 per car; parking lot entry closes 8:30 p.m. Free parking at Ocean Ranch Business Park. RVs and buses not permitted. Gates open at 5 p.m. No alcohol or dogs. Call (760) 435-5041 or visit ci.oceanside.ca.us. Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade: Boat parade starts at 1 p.m. July 4 in the Oceanside Harbor at the Oceanside Yacht Club and continues on to the south end of the harbor. Decorate a patriotic dinghy 12 feet and under and enter the parade. Trophies will be awarded. Register at skippers meeting at 10 a.m. July 4 at the yacht club, 1950 Harbor Drive North. Entry fee is $5. Call (760) 722-5751 or visit oceansideyc.net. Oceanside beach and pier: Additional vendors will be open selling food and beverages and renting water sports equipment in Pier Plaza and in the parking lot south of the Junior Seau Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre. The Strand roadway by the beach will be closed to cars from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. Visit mainstreetoceanside.com. Fireworks show at Grace Church: 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday with live music, food vendors and bounce houses, face painting and a free raffle at 1602 S. El Camino Real. Bring a beach chair. Parking lot opens at 6 p.m.; fireworks are at 9 p.m. Visit gracesd.tv or call (760) 433-9922. Independence Parade: The 28th annual parade starts at 10 a.m. today at North Coast Highway and Wisconsin Avenue and will head north on Coast Highway to Civic Center Drive. More than 100 parade entries are expected to march, roll, walk and drive down historic Highway 101. This year’s parade theme is “Celebrating Our Heritage,” highlighting the community’s cultural roots. To participate or volunteer, visit mainstreetoceanside.com/independence-parade. 

Poway Fireworks: Two Independence Day fireworks displays will run simultaneously starting at 9 p.m. July 4 from Poway High School, 15500 Espola Road, in the school’s football field and the Sportsplex in the Poway Business Park, 12349 McIvers Court. The Poway Sportsplex will not be open for fireworks viewing, but there is street parking throughout the South Poway Business Park and fireworks can be seen throughout the valley. Gates open at the Poway High School football field at 6 p.m., with games, activities and a DJ. Entry costs $6 per person at the gate; free for ages 11 and younger. Lake Poway is open to the public July 4 and will stay open for the fireworks, but viewing is limited because the ballfield is temporarily closed. Parking is $10 for nonresidents; free for residents and military with ID. A parking map for areas around both fireworks is at poway.org/fireworks-map">poway.org/fireworks-map. “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration”: The annual event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4 at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, with patriotic entertainment, old-fashioned games, children’s crafts and model train displays. Treats and train rides will be sold. VFW Post 7907 and the Poway Veterans Park Committee host a ceremony honoring service members at Veterans Park (adjacent to Old Poway Park) beginning at 11 a.m. Free shuttles available starting at 9:30 a.m. from Poway Adult School and Poway City Hall. Visit poway.org. 

Ramona Family Picnic and Fireworks: The grounds open at 4 p.m. July 4 in the back field behind Olive Peirce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, and fireworks are at 9 p.m. There will be entertainment, carnival games and food vendors. Bring chairs and blankets. Service dogs only. Visit ramonachamber.com/fireworks. 

Rancho Bernardo Spirit of the Fourth Community Fair: Starts at 9 a.m. in Webb Park, themed “Volunteers are the spark of our community.” Highlights include Patriotic Pet Contest, games and activities for the kids, Quilts of Valor display, Wheels of Freedom Motor Show and food trucks and food booths, along with a parade from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Visit spiritofthefourth.org. Rancho Bernardo Fireworks: Spirit of the Fourth Fireworks display starts at 9 p.m. July 4 at Rancho Bernardo High School/Bernardo Heights Middle School athletic fields, 13010 Paseo Lucido. Musical entertainment is from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Donation of $10 per person or $20 for a family to offset event expenses. Free parking is available in the student lot off Avenida Venusto. Visit spiritofthefourth.org. Independence Day Ceremony: The Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial Association will host its annual Independence Day Ceremony from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 4 at the Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial, Webb Park, 11666 Avena Place. The keynote speaker is San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert. Boy Scouts Troop 685, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and members of the Brigadier General J.P. Holland Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars are supporting this event. Bring lawn chairs. Visit rbvma.org. 

Rancho Santa Fe Independence Day Parade: Starts at 1 p.m. July 4 and runs along Paseo Delicias and other downtown streets featuring vintage cars, horses, firetrucks, parade princesses and decorated floats. A barbecue lunch starts at 11 a.m. on the Village Green with hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches and ice cream for sale by The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe to benefit the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center. Parade participants should line up at 12:15 p.m. in the R. Roger Rowe School parking lot, 5927 La Granada. 

San Diego Big Bay Boom: The free fireworks show will be displayed simultaneously from four barges on San Diego Bay at 9 p.m. July 4. Barge locations will be off the shorelines of Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero and South Embarcadero. Bring lawn chairs or get in a boat to watch. The 20-minute fireworks will be telecast live on Fox 5 San Diego and affiliates in Los Angeles and on Fox 40 in Sacramento, starting at 8 p.m. A musical simulcast will be broadcast live on 100.7 BIG FM radio, starting at 9 p.m. The Metropolitan Transit System will increase train, trolley and bus services, and it will offer Friends Ride Free, where a friend may ride free with a fare-paying customer on MTS routes on July 4. Visit bigbayboom.com. Maritime Museum fireworks viewing: There will be July 4 fireworks viewing on the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Berkeley, moored by the North Embarcadero. The Maritime Museum is open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 and reopens at 7 p.m. for the July 4 barbecue dinner on the upper McKinney deck of the Victorian-era steam ferry boat Berkeley. Guests can watch fireworks from the Berkeley or barge behind the Berkeley. All other vessels in the museum fleet will be closed for this event. Daytime options also include 45-minute bay cruises aboard Pilot, which are $10 extra with purchase of general admission at 11 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. The 75-minute Naval History Bay tours aboard the PCF 816 Swift boat are an extra $15 with purchase of general admission at 12:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Visit sdmaritime.org. Fireworks viewing from cruises: Hornblower’s Fourth of July dinner cruises on the yacht with buffet dinner, DJ entertainment and sky deck viewing; visit cityexperiences.com/san-diego. Also, among the options, Flagship offers the Stars & Stripes Spectator Cruise; reserve at flagshipsd.com/cruises/4th-july-fireworks-cruises. SeaWorld fireworks: SeaWorld San Diego puts on an 18-minute fireworks to salute the country’s service members starting at 9 p.m. July 4. The park offers entertainment ranging from the “So Much More to Sea” 60th Anniversary Parade to light displays, shows and a summer concert series. The Enchanted Wonders Fireworks spectacular is nightly 10 minutes before the park closes through Aug. 11 with fireworks in sync with music and video highlighting the past 60 years of SeaWorld. Visit seaworldsandiego.com. Fireworks on Mission Bay: Takes place at Mission Bay around 9 p.m. Wednesday in partnership with SeaWorld. Radio station partner 101.5 KGB will provide a custom soundtrack. Public viewing areas include Sunset Point Park, Santa Clara Point to Fanuel Street Park, and along Rivera Drive and the shoreline areas with a view of Sail Bay. Boaters can get out on the water from several areas in Mission Bay or reserve a spot on the William D. Evans sternwheeler cruising Mission Bay. Visit fireworksonmissionbay.com. Old Town Fourth of July: Festivities are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4, including a patriotic flag-raising ceremony, live music, games, wheelbarrow and sack races, crafts such as morse code bracelets, and demonstrations of blacksmithing and weaving at Old Town State Historic Park as part of an “old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration” like what early San Diego residents did in the 1800s. The park will offer its usual museums and living history demonstrations. Admission is free; fees for some activities. Visit parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego. 

OTHER LOCATIONS:

Lake Murray Music Fest and Fireworks is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 4 at Lake Murray Community Park, 7001 Murray Park Drive, in San Carlos, and the fireworks can be seen from La Mesa to Del Cerro and beyond. The fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Visit lakemurrayfireworks.org. 

Belmont Park summer fun: The historic beachfront amusement park, which turns 99 on July 4, will be open with old-fashioned summer fun and newer activities from classic roller coasters like the Giant Dipper to merry-go-rounds, bumper cars and arcade games to laser tag and a zip line. Visit belmontpark.com. 

San Marcos Red, White & Boom: Entertainment starts at 6 p.m. and fireworks go off at 9 p.m. July 4 at Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive. Festivities include live music by Detroit Underground at 6 p.m., jumpers and food sales. Bring beach chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Visit san-marcos.net/july4th. Fourth of July at Lake San Marcos: A patriotic kickoff program at 10 a.m. July 4 at Lake House Resort with the Freedom Choir leading the Americana singalong. Veterans will be recognized and there will be guest speakers. A patriotic dog contest will be at 11 a.m., and a carnival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with classic games such as ring toss and balloon darts, a bounce house, food and drinks. Entry fee after 11 a.m. is $5, free for ages 10 and younger. The annual July 4 Yacht Club Boat Parade will be at 4 p.m. on the lake. The event is sponsored by Lakehouse Resort, Lake Church, Lake San Marcos Community Association and Lake San Marcos Kiwanis. Visit lsmkiwanis.org or thelakehouseresort.com/4th-of-july-carnival. 

Santee Santee Salutes: The Fourth of July celebration is from 2 to 10 p.m. July 4 at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive. Carnival rides and parking lots open at 2 p.m. Food vendors and Riverwalk Grill open at 4 p.m., and the U.S. Marine Corps Band, Popular Music Group will perform. A patriotic ceremony is at 6 p.m., and Whiskey Ridge country music is at 6:30 p.m. The event caps off with fireworks at 9 p.m. Bring chairs, blankets and canopies. The area around Fields 3 and 4 will be closed. Wristbands for unlimited rides are $20 on-site. Parking is limited and must be purchased in advance online for $10 at santeespecialevents.com. 

Scripps Ranch Parade: The Scripps Ranch Civic Association Fourth of July Parade, themed “Scripps Ranch — America’s Patriotic Cul de Sac,” begins at 10 a.m. July 4 at Red Cedar Drive and Ironwood Road and ends at Scripps Ranch Boulevard and Aviary Drive by Hoyt Park. After-parade festivities are at 11 a.m. at Hoyt Park. Free admission; donations appreciated. Visit scrippsranch.org/join. Scripps Ranch Old Pro 4th of July Run and Ride: The event includes a 10K race and 2-mile Fun Run, along with 12-mile and 35-mile bike rides, as well as a 22.5-mile Gravel Ride. Visit runride.org. 

University City 5K and 1-mile Fun Run-UC Celebration: Walk-up sign-ups for 5K and 1-mile Fun Run start at 6:30 a.m. July 4 with runs beginning at 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. at Standley Recreation Center, 3585 Governor Drive. Highlights include a pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., a bike and pet parade, Troop 11 color guard and the national anthem, live music, a fun zone for kids and food. The last music performance is at 5 p.m. Visit uccelebration.com. 

Vista Independence Day celebration with fireworks: Fireworks will go off at 9 p.m. July 4 at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive. The park will open at 7 a.m. There will be live music by the Cassie B Project at 7:35 p.m. and after the fireworks. Admission to the Moonlight Amphitheatre is $5 per person at the entrance starting at 5 p.m. No advance online ticket sales. The Moonlight’s Bread and Cheese eatery will sell a variety of food, refreshments, beer and wine. Alcohol cannot be brought into the park. Free parking. Visit cityofvista.com/july4.