Radio: Legendary Lifeguards of Del Mar

Jim (Kimo) Lischer
Jeff interviews Jim (Kimo) Lischer

On a typical day, Southern California lifeguards protect 400 miles of coastline.  They are the first responders, and in the classic beach community of Del Mar, lifeguards have rip currents, sting rays, unstable cliffs and changing weather conditions to keep them on their toes. Jeff headed down to this two-mile strip of beach that attracts thousands each year to meet the crew, past and present:

LISTENDel Mar Lifeguards (5 min)

Thank you to everyone we spoke with – Joyce Hoffman, Jack Ross, Jim Lischer, Jon Edelbrock and Pat Vergne. Your stories provided valuable background for this story, and we wish we could have included them all! For history and more information on Del Mar’s ever vigilant lifeguard crew, go to

Radio: Dog-friendly Del Mar

L’Auberge Hotel Mascot – Sofie

With a dog-friendly hotels, specialty bakeries and health food stores just for pets, along with one of the best dog beaches in the area – Del Mar Dogs are doted on like the privileged family members they have become. Sally went to Del Mar to sniff out the scene for City Stories:

LISTENDel Mar Dogs (5 min)

The Helen Woodward Animal Center holds its annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in September at Del Mar’s Dog Beach. For more information on the center and its surfing fund raiser, visit And for tips on teaching your dog to surf, contact

Radio: Shakti Rising

Shakti circle
Shakti Rising Transformational Recovery Program

It’s the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – now known as “Giving Tuesday” a national movement to encourage people to support local charities – and a good day to share one of our favorite San Diego non-profits with you.

In October, we sat down with the women who run this transformational recovery program and they generously shared their experiences with City Stories listeners.

LISTEN:  Shakti Rising MP3 (5 min)

You can connect with Shakti Rising founder Shannon Thompson at the Sophia Conference in Coronado on December 8. To offer support to Shakti Rising and to benefit from their skillful ways, please visit

A program of KSDS Jazz88 on the City College campus, you too can become radio news producer for City Stories. The new term begins in January. We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Radio: San Diego Hospice

Michael Sohmer doing rounds in Hillcrest

At the former San Diego Hospice in Hillcrest, quality care for the dying was underpinned by the special attention devoted to supporting the whole person, including staff and volunteers.

LISTEN: MP3 – SDHospice (10 min)

In this special report for City Stories on public radio KSDS Jazz88, I met with the displaced members of this tightly knit group to learn their plans for the future. Erin Raskin, Michael Sohmer, Jan Sykora, Mary Helmick, Carol Mills, Bella Suavengco, and founder Dr. Doris Howell talk about what’s next.

Radio: Bluestocking Books

Bluestocking Books
Bluestocking Books in Hillcrest

Yesterday on KSDS Jazz88 public radio, one of Sweet Orange Studio’s favorite segments aired! While covering the Hillcrest neighborhood for City Stories, we spent some time with Kris and Mary of Bluestocking Books and were welcomed into the literary circles that gather within. Jeff met Caleb of the LGBT Multicultural Book Club (gathering again on July 21) and Curran, Ron and Rudi from the Sunday poetry group (next meeting July 28)…

“Quaint shops are one of the hallmarks of Hillcrest. A walk down Fifth Avenue between University and Robinson reveals the vintage façade of the old Guild theater. A couple of doors down is Bluestocking Books. I wandered inside and was transported to a place where time seems to stand still.”

LISTENBluestocking Books MP3 (5 min)

“The heritage of the old fashioned bookstore can be found here. Information on poetry readings, the book club and other events can be found at”

Bluestocking Books
3817 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

In the Studio: Walmart and Olivewood, Mile of Cars, Garden Walk

Olivewood Terrace est.1913
Olivewood Terrace est.1913

Now on assignment in National City for Jazz88 we’ve been exploring this city of opposites. In the 1900’s the East-West railroad was supposed to end here and forward-looking settlers grabbed a kit from Sears Roebuck and built their fine Victorian homes (with indoor plumbing!) in the neighborhood known as Olivewood Terrace. At the former Oliver H. Noyes home, Olivewood Gardens, a learning center for National City children and families to reconnect with food, now thrives. Students in 4th 5th and 6th grade get to experience the entire life cycle of vegetables they’ve grown themselves, cooking, eating and returning kitchen scraps to the garden soil. It’s their science class!

The Walmart heiress who donated her hilltop home and garden has made this oasis possible, making it a bit of a Robin Hood story. The program of the International Community Foundation was created to address high diabetes and childhood obesity rates, linked to lower incomes and higher unemployment in this South Bay community.

While Sally pulls together the Olivewood segment this week, Jeff has been at Mayor Morrison’s office and out among the salespeople getting a feel for the Mile of Cars.

And to end the week in beauty, Tinkersmith has been invited to make music tucked into local garden for the annual Mission Hills Garden Walk, happening this Saturday, May 11 – Mother’s Day weekend.

In the Studio: Peter Sprague, Jazz88, more TJ Maxx

Camarada with Peter Sprague

Tonight in San Diego’s Little Italy, Camarada performs the original music of Peter Sprague in a concert titled Just Jazz Two.  This week has been all about promoting this show and prepping for Night Music, a classical journey with the delightful author Zoe Ghahremani reading Persian poetry.

Waiting in the wings is the SD Hospice story we’re crafting for City Stories on Jazz88 public radio.  The unwinding of this national leader in contemplative end-of-life care has been complex, interesting and somewhat heartbreaking to observe.  We’d like to share a bit about the people behind the scenes (staff and volunteers) to get a sense of the spirit of the organization and how it will spin bright sparks out into the community.

With the European project for TJ Maxx complete, we now develop a large system for their Canadian offices.  Oregonians Monique and Clara step into the virtual green room for French-Canadian and Spanish recordings.

Tomorrow afternoon Jeff and Sally, Ira, and Rosie (the Tinkersmith band) perform at Green Manor.  Rehearsal begins again in one hour!

Radio: Japanese Internment

Photo: Julian F. Fowlkes

We had the distinct pleasure of meeting retired pharmacist Tak Sugimoto and a few of his friends in Encinitas for a radio story Jeff created for Jazz88.  Listen to hear about Japanese Internment from the perspective of a local who experienced it first-hand…

The City of Encinitas was deeply affected by the events of a dark period in our nation’s history. City Stories reporter Jeff Smith sheds some light on someone who made the best of these trying times.

LISTENTakeo Sugimoto MP3 (5 minutes)

The Encinitas Historical Society house the story of Tak and many other treasures making it a place worth visiting. To learn more about the shameful history of World War II Japanese American Internment camps please visit

Radio: Laurel’s Story

The Mapmaker's Daughter
The Mapmaker’s Daughter [2014]
by Laurel Corona
The latest news from our friend Laurel Corona,  is that she has secured a publishing deal for her novel The Mapmaker’s Daughter due out in 2014.  She was recently spotted in Los Angeles, working on revisions to a screenplay of The Four Seasons.  Join Jeff for a snapshot of her life, which aired on KSDS Jazz88this month:

Dr. Laurel Corona is a published author and Professor of Humanities at City College.   She’s won many awards for her writing, bringing home the award for historical fiction and the top prize, the Geisel Award, from the San Diego Book Awards in 2012.  Jeff tells us what happened when life recently threw Laurel a curve.

LISTENAuthor Laurel Corona_mp3  (5 minutes)

Keep up with Laurel and other local women authors at sandiegowritingwomen.blogspot, where fresh content about the writing life is posted every month.  To take a class with Professor Corona, check the schedule at San Diego City College.

Radio: Transportation Puzzle

We at Sweet Orange Studio are everyday cyclists.  However, some days we gather all our resources and make an entirely different transportation plan, like this trip to Ashland that looped in an electric Smart car, Amtrak, the Flyaway bus from Union Station to LAX, flight to Oregon – and all the same steps in reverse.  I was so happy to find a car2go in Old Town when we got home!

I interviewed a few people in San Diego recently for the Jazz88 City Stories program, to see what kind of transportation works for them.  The day after our city selected Bob Filner as mayor (and liveability advocate) I wanted to share these ideas with you:

Downtown’s sheer density provides an opportunity to re-think our ideas about development.  More housing normally requires more parking spaces, and more driving means fewer people are on the street.  It turns out that San Diego is right on the cutting edge with European-style electric car sharing, thoughtful planning for bikes, and abundant public transit options.  I discovered that the future of getting around in San Diego is full of exciting possibilities.

LISTENMP3 – Transportation Puzzle (5 min)

For more information on electric car sharing visit  Cyclists can learn more about bike commuting at