March 2012 home page

Ask Dr. Rich! 
Rich Simons | 11th Street

Every month, Rich Simons answers readers’ most perplexing questions.


Photo illustration Art Olson

Q: Super Bowl again and the Chargers were not in the finals. If you could rename our football team, what would you name it? – b.n.

Since the current General Manager of the Chargers, A.J. Smith, has earned himself the nickname “The Lord of No Rings," it might be appropriate to name the team “The Hobbits,” in honor of a previous Charger’s GM, Bobby Beathard, who was fond of stocking his defensive backfield with short, slow recruits from unknown cottages. (Oh – of course I meant “colleges.”) Maybe they played barefoot. That would explain a lot.

Q: I just hate taking down the garbage to the curb each week. If you could free yourself from one burden in your life, what would it be? – s.p.

Taking out the garbage would certainly be high on my list, if I hadn’t already conned Ruth into doing it (my back! oh, my back!) After that on my list would be the spring ritual of cleaning out the garage, if I hadn’t already conned my daughters into doing that.

On the garbage front, take heart – I just got a notice in the mail today saying the city is going to supply us all with nice new garbage cans – with wheels! And the system will be “semi-automatic.” If that means those puppies come with little motors, putting out the garbage may be fun again. Wheeee! No, honey, it’s my turn.

(P.S. - Read your mail, s.p. – read your mail.)

Q: I wonder why Del Mar’s city limits are so weird. Wouldn’t it make sense to add the Hills, Heights and Terrace to our city boundaries? – e.b.

Pork chop, indeed!

It certainly would have made sense, if possible, back in the year (1959) when we incorporated, although as you will learn shortly the City of San Diego beat us to it and I doubt that they are going to hand them over.

I, too, have wondered about this for a long time. My understanding is the boundary between our cities runs up the middle of Crest Canyon. So why wasn’t it allowed to go straight across 4th Street and pick up those areas you mention? Why does the line go meandering to the west shortly after Hoska, and then go sliding down the middle of 8th Street, then go left on Nob, then right on El Amigo Road, until in the end the City of Del Mar from the air looks like a giant pork chop.

Wouldn’t we have preferred to be a big sirloin with lots of red meat (read “taxable property”)? By now the City would be operating out of an actual building instead of a refugee tent camp.

So how did this state of affairs come about? I am happy to say that after forty years of fretting about it, I found out the old-fashioned way: by reading. And what I read was Nancy Hank Ewings’ excellent and comprehensive book: “Del Mar Looking Back.” I quote now from page 241:

“The boundaries for the new city that the committee proposed were those of the Del Mar Utility District. Since the City had, by law, the responsibility of providing utilities to all areas within its incorporation. Del Mar Heights and Del Mar Terrace were not included as they lay beyond the reach of the existing water mains. In fact, that area became a part of the City of San Diego in an annexation election on September 18, 1958.”

So now we know. It was water that made us into a pork chop.


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