Jamie Reno

Stories by Jamie Reno

  • Troops Cuts: Which Unit Leaves First?

    Now that President Bush has approved a plan to gradually bring home some U.S. troops from Iraq, some of the families of the first unit to ship out are, surprisingly, not happy.
  • Stem Cell Therapy Goes to the Dogs--and Horses

    While many promising stem cell therapies are still awaiting approval for use in humans, vets are already using the technology to treat arthritis and tendon ailments in dogs and horses.
  • Music: Stevie Wonder Back on Tour

    Stevie Wonder, one of popular music's most iconic and beloved stars, is also one of its more reclusive. Despite his 25 Grammys and 70 million-plus records sold, Wonder has released only a handful of records in the last 20 years—his last studio album, 2005’s “A Time to Love,” was his first in 10 years. Wonder, 57, has given a few select performances worldwide in the intervening years, including the Live 8 show in 2005, and even an “American Idol” appearance, but hasn’t toured in more than a decade. That’s about to change. This week Wonder announced that he will be returning to the road.The tour, which kicks off Aug. 23 in San Diego and has been dubbed "A Wonder Summer's Night,” will take Wonder to small and mid-sized venues in 13 cities. In an interview with NEWSWEEK’s Jamie Reno, Wonder discussed the upcoming tour; the death last year of his mother, Lula Mae Hardaway; and some of the pivotal recordings of his career. Excerpts: ...
  • Searching for the Perfect Cleaning Technology

    Toxic cleaning solvents are being phased out, but it's not clear what will replace them. In the last installment of our small-business series about a San Diego dry cleaner, we follow its proprietor as he searches for the perfect environmentally friendly technology.
  • L.A. County Sheriff: Too Close to Hollywood?

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy (Lee) Baca has a distinguished record. A popular elected official, Baca, a Republican, has run virtually unopposed since first winning office in 1998. He has been praised by civil-rights groups, civil libertarians, minority activists and others for establishing programs for mental illness, drug abuse and domestic violence, plus an independent office to investigate officer misconduct. Despite all that, Baca will undoubtedly be best remembered as the man who gave Paris Hilton a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card.Baca drew the world's attention when he released the hotel heiress from jail after having served only a few days of her sentence for violating probation on an alcohol-related reckless-driving charge. The move was swiftly reversed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, who sent Paris back to the pokey—and put Baca on the hot seat. A recall petition has been mounted by his critics. And the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has ordered Baca to report...
  • Baseball's New Color Barrier

    Dave Winfield played in 12 All Star games, won seven Gold Glove titles and helped power the Toronto Blue Jays to a World Series win during his 22-year career in Major League baseball. He won the game’s ultimate accolade as a first-ballot Hall of Famer—but his love for the game has been tempered by some profound concerns about the way the ball is bouncing. In his new book, “Dropping the Ball: Baseball’s Troubles and How We Can and Must Solve Them,” Winfield (along with coauthor Michael Levin) voices his view that baseball has been steadily losing its appeal among African-Americans—both on the field and off. If this problem isn’t addressed, Winfield and Levin write, there may soon be no more black players in the big leagues. Winfield, who now works as an executive with the San Diego Padres (the first of six teams he played for over the years), spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jamie Reno about baseball’s fading fortune among blacks, and what can be done about it. ...
  • Exclusive: Berkeley Breathed Speaks!

    Berkeley Breathed, the reclusive author, illustrator and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of "Bloom County," the uproarious and endearing sociopolitical 1980s comic strip, has just released a new children’s book, "Mars Needs Moms!," in which Breathed, in characteristically smart and whimsical fashion, addresses the powerful love that binds parents to their children.Breathed, who turns 50 next month, has a pretty good track record writing for the grammar school set: he’s authored and illustrated seven successful children's books, two of which, “A Wish for Wings That Work” and “Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big,” were made into animated films. But “Mars Needs Moms!” is his first crack at writing a children’s book since having kids of his own (Sophie is now 7 and Milo is 5).In addition to writing books, Breathed, who lives with his wife and two children in Santa Barbara, Calif., draws the Sunday-only comic strip “Opus,” which of course is named after “Bloom County”’s existential, lovably...
  • How To Market a 'Green' Business

    Though green is hot, marketing can still be a challenge for eco-friendly companies. In the third installment of our small-business series, we find out how a San Diego dry cleaner sells green on its own merits.
  • Mr. Clean

    A decade ago, when Gordon Shaw first considered making the switch from his successful chemical-based dry-cleaning operation to a more environmentally friendly, pressurized liquid carbon dioxide (C02) cleaning system, virtually everyone told him he was crazy. "I'm a businessman first, but I've always been an environmentalist at heart," he says. "I wanted to do something that would make me feel better about my work, I wanted to make a difference in my lifetime, for both people and the planet. But everyone told me it would never work."Shaw had used the chemical solvent perchloroethylene, better known as perc, since he started his San Diego dry-cleaning business in 1978. Perc has been the industry standard since the late 1930s, when Dow Chemical and other manufacturers introduced it as a replacement for the flammable hydrocarbon and smelly hydrocarbon solvents. But in the back of his mind he always wondered about the possible toxicity of perc, and at a dry-cleaning trade show in Orlando...
  • The Metamorphosis

    Whether John Moe has “seen the light” or “gone to the dark side” depends on your politics. Either way, Moe, 38, the NPR host and Seattle writer, is generating buzz with his new book, “Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith and Beef Jerky.” Spoofing “Super Size Me,” Moe put himself on a steady diet of conservative culture for a month. The result? He was sold—sort of. Excerpts from Moe’s conversation with NEWSWEEK’s Jamie Reno:NEWSWEEK: What prompted you to write this book?John Moe: I was seeing 40 on the horizon; I was making more money; I was facing higher taxes. I guess this is the point when people get more conservative, and I had felt myself leaning that way. But I live in Seattle, a midnight-blue liberal environment where conservatism is not allowed to blossom. So I decided to get away from those liberal trappings to see what would happen.Describe a typical day during your conservative binge?Every day was...
  • ‘The Right Thing to Do’

    Duncan Hunter’s announcement surprised even his own supporters. On Monday, the California Republican Congressman who chairs the House Armed Services Committee declared his plans to run for president in 2008. At a news conference on San Diego's waterfront before about 100 supporters, many of them waving American flags, Hunter, 58, who’s represented parts of San Diego County in for 26 years, said, “it is going to be a long road, it's a challenging road, there's going to be some rough and tumble, but I think it's the right thing to do for our country.”Some analysts are calling his announcement—a week before the midterm elections—ill timed and his bid a long shot. But Hunter, a resolute supporter of the war in Iraq and the most conservative in a GOP presidential field that to date is identified by more moderate contenders like John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani, thinks he has as good a chance as anyone. Successful or not, Hunter’s presidential campaign promises to be neither...
  • A Great Wall?

    In a last-minute action just before leaving to campaign for the upcoming midterm elections, the Senate passed the Secure Fence Act, which authorizes 700 new miles of fence on the U.S.-Mexico border. The controversial fence, which if built in its entirety would divide approximately one third of the southern border, is a topic of conversation in local and national political campaigns. The House had already approved the bill, and President Bush said Wednesday he would sign it.Pro-immigration border activists are calling the measure an outrage, a political stunt, a gimmick that has everything to do with the congressional elections drawing near, while anti-immigration groups counter that the fence is a positive first step to securing the porous southern border. Environmentalists decry the potential hazards of the fence, while Mexico's outgoing President Vicente Fox condemns it as "shameful."Border expert David Shirk is an author, political science professor at the University of San Diego...
  • Charged With Murder

    When Deanna Pennington got the news this week that murder charges had been filed against her son, Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington, and seven other members of his unit, she actually felt a sense of relief. "At least now my son has a fight on his hands, now he and the other boys can start preparing for this trial," she says. "We've all been in limbo too long. Rob and the others all believe they are absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing, and so do I. If I didn't, I couldn't sleep at night. "On Wednesday, Pennington and seven others from the Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment's Kilo Company based at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif., were each charged with premeditated murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and related charges in the alleged abduction and slaying of an Iraqi civilian in the town of Hamdania, near Baghdad, on April 26. Some of them face the possibility of the death penalty.The eight accused—seven Marines and a sailor—are Pennington, Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, Cpl....
  • 'Vengeful Act'

    Jury selection began in Alexandria, Va., this week in the federal death-penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person in the United States charged in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Arrested in August 2001, Moussaoui, whose incarceration has been marked by bizarre in-court outbursts and an uncooperative relationship with his attorneys, had insisted since 9/11 that he had nothing to do with the terrorist plot. But in April, he surprised everyone and changed his plea to guilty of conspiring to fly planes into U.S. buildings. Moussaoui now faces the death penalty or life in prison.Moussaoui's mother, Aicha El-Wafi, who lives in France but plans to attend the trial when it begins next month, told reporters last year that her son is a "scapegoat" and that he pleaded guilty simply "to have peace." She also said her son should be "judged and convicted for what he did, and not because he is an Arab or an Islamist." El-Wafi's American attorney, Randy Hamud, a controversial...
  • SAN DIEGO'S POLE TAX

    San Diegans like to call their seaside paradise "America's Finest City." What else to name a place where city councilmen accept illegal campaign contributions on behalf of a strip-club owner looking to make the town safe for nude lap dancing? Last week a federal jury here convicted Acting Mayor Michael Zucchet and City Councilman Ralph Inzunza in a case that's come to be known as "Strippergate." The verdict came just days after Zucchet replaced Mayor Dick Murphy, who resigned July 15 amid controversy over the city's ailing pension fund. "Simply put, I am devastated," Zucchet said, adding that he would resign immediately because "the city of San Diego needs to get on with its business."These days, San Diego's business seems to be controversy--from extortion to conspiracy to alleged war profiteering to exotic dancing. The city's municipal bonds have been downgraded to junk status because of the $1.7 billion pension shortfall, city services have been slashed, and there's even talk that...
  • MILITARY: FRUSTRATION FOR THE FABLED SEALS

    It was the worst setback in the 43-year history of the Navy SEAL program. At least 10 of the elite commandos died when a reconnaissance team came under fire in the mountains of Afghanistan's Kunar province, and a SEAL rescue helicopter crashed trying to save them. For many proud SEALs (an acronym for Sea, Air and Land Team), the Afghan debacle was just a bitter new chapter in a very frustrating war on terror. Since 9/11--but especially since the Iraq war--many SEALs have come to feel like second-class citizens in the exclusive world of Special Forces.Why? "The main reason has been severe restrictions on the types of missions they are allowed to undertake," says a U.S. defense analyst under Pentagon contract who works closely with Special Forces (he declined to be identified because his work is classified). While the Army's Delta Force and Green Berets get the best "direct action" and unconventional warfare missions--going after the bad guys--SEALs say they are often relegated to...
  • Sports: New Homes For Phils And Pods

    Two beautiful ballparks with dreary corporate names just opened, both hosting teams that hope to turn around miserable legacies. Jamie Reno and Steven Levy scouted San Diego's Petco Park and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.OVERALLSan Diego: In downtown East Village area, its sandstone exterior, waterfall stairway and open terraces mirror city's breezy spirit.Philly: Set in sea of parking lots, a sweet variation on Camden Yards retro, with a nod to old Shibe Park. Nice skyline view.SEATINGSan Diego: Has 42,500 close-to-the-action seats and room to hang in Park at the Park, an open lawn area beyond the outfield.Philly: Holds 43,500, with great vistas and wide concourses. Coolest perch: rooftop bleachers in right center.HOMERSSan Diego: Despite stacking lineup with sluggers, Padres hit only three dingers in first nine-game homestand.Philly: Balls were flying over the fences the first week. Jim Thome will hit a ton. Unfortunately, foes have been hitting more.EATSSan Diego: Besides hot...
  • Give Peace a Chance

    Steve Peace is on a new mission. The one-time California state senator, movie producer and, most recently, director of finance for former California governor Gray Davis, left Sacramento somewhat chagrined after his boss was recalled last October. Now, Peace is back in the political arena--sort of--as founder of a new organization called California Today. ...
  • A Survivor's Tale

    Early this past Sunday, I was awakened by a surreal, pumpkin-orange glow piercing our bedroom sliding glass door. What on earth? When I pulled back the curtain and opened the door, I was overcome by thick smoke and falling ash from the back yard. Coughing violently, I quickly shut the door, put my hand over my mouth and nose, and turned on the TV to see what the heck was going on. A reporter said a fire that started in Ramona, which is in northeast San Diego County, had traveled many miles westward because of the high Santa Ana winds and was now pushing its way through the city of San Diego's northeastern suburbs.Despite this terrifying news and all the thick smoke and debris in my yard, I figured the fire was still a good 15 or so miles to the north of us. I was concerned, especially for folks I know who live up there, but was calm. I told my wife, "Let's pack up our cars. You know, just in case. Better safe than sorry."As we packed, the news got worse: the fire was now racing...
  • Raider Fans, Go Home

    It's Super Bowl week in San Diego, which means cash registers here will be ringing as thousands of corporate execs, celebrities, journalists, curiosity seekers and, yes, even some football fans descend on what we locals like to call America's Finest City. Tourism dollars are crucially important to San Diegans, who are about to enjoy our third and quite possibly last Super Bowl and all its accompanying largesse.But I know I speak for lots of residents here when I say that I don't intend to be too cheerful a host to the so-called "Raider Nation." Tampa Bay fan? Sure! Come on over! Have some cheese dip! Let me fluff up that pillow for you! Can I buy you a beer?Raider fan? Fugedaboutit!San Diegans take great pride in our civility and in being gracious hosts to people of all stripes who visit our destination spot. But we resent having to be cordial to Raider fans. It's just too great an indignity for many of us to suffer.You see, the rivalry between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland...
  • Furiously Fast Racing

    Street racing's been hot since the days of James Dean, but no movie's done more to boost its popularity than last year's "The Fast and the Furious." The movie, a surprise hit thanks to a mostly under-25 viewership, revitalized Generation Y's newest and most extreme of extreme sports, but also may have led to accidents and deaths. In San Diego County, where the movie had a casting call and several locals' cars made it into the film, 15 people have been killed and 20 have been injured this year. "It's scary," says Cathy Flores, whose son was killed racing in San Diego in 1998. "That movie simply glamorizes illegal street racing." Reacting to the deaths, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved an ordinance making watching live street racing a crime, punishable by up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail (it's already against the law to participate). Universal Studios declined to comment on the issue, but "Fast and the Furious" director Rob Cohen says the sport's no big deal. ...
  • Will Westerfield Face Death?

    Amid rampant speculation by legal pundits over what jurors in the David Westerfield trial could possibly have been thinking as their deliberations went on for 10 days, the heavily scrutinized panel came back today with a crystal-clear verdict: guilty on all counts.The six men and six women found Westerfield, a 50-year-old freelance engineer with no known history of child abuse or violence, guilty of kidnapping and murdering his 7-year-old neighbor, Danielle van Dam. The verdict included a special circumstance allegation of murder in the first degree and a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography.Now comes the sentencing phase, in which this jury will decide whether to put Westerfield in prison for life, or have him executed. That process begins on Aug. 28. One thing that perhaps bodes well for Westerfield's life being spared is the amount of time this jury spent deliberating, which some believe is an indication that one or more jurors had trouble with this case.While the...
  • Hearing Is Believing

    In this post-Enron era, there aren't too many CEOs who will cheerfully volunteer to a reporter, "My company's never made a dime!" But the American Technology Corp.'s Elwood (Woody) Norris isn't your typical CEO. Blessed with the bone-crunching handshake of a used-car salesman, the R-rated vocabulary of a drill sergeant and the potential innovative genius of a Thomas Edison (Norris's previous claim to fame was creating a forerunner to the sonogram), Norris has an enthusiasm for his latest contraption that's infectious. He's standing in a corner of his cluttered San Diego office, holding a gizmo that looks something like a retro-futuristic waffle iron with a portable CD player Velcroed to its back. "Are you ready?" he asks, then points his invention directly at the head of someone who's just entered the room 10 feet away. "Now, can you hear it? Can you hear it? Isn't that unbelievable?" What the person across the room hears is, well, unbelievable: all of a sudden, the sound of a...
  • Does Zacarias Moussaoui Need A Lawyer?

    In an interview with NEWSWEEK today, San Diego civil-rights attorney Randall Hamud revealed that he has been hired by the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker."Hamud says Moussaoui's mother, Aicha El-Wafi, called him on May 14 from France and hired him as her attorney. She asked him to fly to Virginia, where her son is being held to try convince Moussaoui not to represent himself in his upcoming trial. If convicted on terror charges, Moussaoui could receive the death penalty."I am now officially representing Aicha El-Wafi," says Hamud, who has been an outspoken critic of the government investigation since September 11. Hamud has already represented two students who were arrested in the weeks after the September 11 attacks. One of those students, Mohdar Abdoulah, is still in custody.But Hamud denies he has been retained by Moussaoui. "Apparently," Hamud says, "there are already leaks from anonymous government sources suggesting that I am representing Moussaoui,...