Wind, rain and all sorts of bad weather

Last weekend as I lay dying, felled by the worst man-cold in the history of sickness and human suffering, my thoughts turned not to mortality and a wasted life. They were of Bubba and Bessy. B & B are residents of “The Jungle,” an [..]

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Glad he is not here to see what happened

I miss Tom Basinski. The retired cop turned author used to write a column for The Star-News, “Behind Police Lines,” until his death in 2015. The stories about life as a beat cop were always good for insight to the law enforcement profe [..]

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Walking a mile in his shoes could be a delicious endeavor

The Star-News is publishing archived columns written by Richard Peña. Today’s column first appeared Dec. 25, 2009.

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Women of Chula Vista prepare for a centennial milestone

The Star-News is publishing archived columns written by Richard Peña. Today’s column first appeared Dec. 14, 2012.

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North of the border advice for new cops sounds familiar

Since his death earlier this year The Star-News has published archived columns of Tom Basinski’s Behind Police Lines. This final installation first appeared Aug. 16, 2013.

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In Murdertown, USA cops are few but politicians plentiful

The Star-News is publishing archived columns written by Tom Basinski. Today’s column first appeared June 17, 2011.

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June is ripe time for picking

June means fruit tree overload for many yards and gardens as favorable spring conditions cause trees to produce more than they can handle June drop...

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Bright colors ahead

In April gardeners begin to see the fruits of their labors from the past months as their gardens come into full bloom and become ripe...

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Author's words of wisdom

This column's subject is a result of my flat out hero worship for the legendary Ray Bradbury, who died last year. I began reading him at age 12, and was captivated by his skills as a wordsmith. His remarkable authorship of more than 80 books, sto [..]

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Surviving a flood and the city

Two old palm trees mark the driveway to an exquisite Victorian orchard house, located east of Albany on Main Street, north of the Otay River. The house belonged to Isaac Smith in 1891. It changed ownership several times up to the Depression, when [..]

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When academic attention is all you can give, will it be enough?

Angel doesn't attend school the first day of the school year. When he enters the room on the second day, students groan in unison. He sits in the only available chair in the corner of the back row. The students around him subtly shift away. I tak [..]

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Answering truthfully makes passing judgment difficult

Walking into the courthouse makes my heart pound unreasonably. I check my pockets for change, phone or keys, throwing them into the plastic tub proffered by the deputy waving people through the metal detector.  Another deputy barks at me to move [..]

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