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In late May 2008, I woke up in my sister’s house in Indianapolis. I was getting ready to leave for the airport, and I saw a commercial on TV about visiting San Diego. The commercial was showing the beach in La Jolla, with lovely young ladies on red beach-cruisers.

The beautiful beaches, the race track in Del Mar, and the nightlife in the Gaslamp were the highlights of that commercial, and while I was on a plane headed home to San Diego, I remembered those things, and I thought for a second that this was the city I was returning to. But I knew better than that. I was going back to the piss-smelling sidewalks of downtown, where I work, and the trifling streets of Southeast, where I live.

San Diego is a beautiful city, but being born and raised out here is weird. I have relatives all over the U.S., and the questions I get are usually the same. Do you live close to Snoop Dogg? Do you see dolphins at the beach? Oh, my gosh is what I think when asked these silly questions. People have no idea what it’s like being from San Diego. It’s not all sunny days and palm trees. Life can get rough in our city by the bay.

One weekend, my buddy T-Twise (his stage name) invited me to one of his rap shows. It was a Friday night in Point Loma, far from my ghetto neighborhood, yet it seemed like things just follow us. We finished up the show and then hung at the bar for a couple of drinks.

“What’s hatnin’, Vic? You ready to hit this other show?” T-Twise asked.

“It’s another show?”

“Hell yeah, nigga, we ’bout to leave in 30. The show is right down the way at Brick by Brick.”

I finished my conversation with a young lady at the bar, drinking the rest of my Hennessy and pineapple juice. Then we hopped in my boy James’s (not his real name) 2008 hemi-engine Dodge Charger and took off. But before leaving the scene, James hit two clean-ass doughnuts in the middle of the street, leaving the whole block smoked out.

Approaching the other show, we noticed that the ghetto-bird (police helicopter) was out, along with what seemed like a million patrol cars. T-Twise got a phone call on his cell, saying somebody got shot at Brick by Brick. So we pulled over to a local gas station and got our plan together and decided to go to Déjà Vu strip club on Midway Street. Later that night, we heard that some gang members from the Brims were shooting inside Brick by Brick and hit two rivals from a Crip gang called West Coast 30s.

Being born in Southeast San Diego, these type of things happen all around me. I played Pop Warner football for the Valencia Park Hornets, and when we played the Skyline Tigers, gang members would start fights at the park and even start shooting. It’s not that you can’t escape the negative things that go on in San Diego, it’s the fact that they happen often. A lot of people who are tourists don’t see it.

Working in downtown San Diego as a safety ambassador, I see all kinds of crazy stuff. From the drunken guys in the military to the shootouts by rival gangs, my day is never dull.

So it’s a nice breezy afternoon downtown in February. The sun has just hidden in the back of the brand-new lofts and towering business buildings, and it leaves off for a beautiful mix of orange, purple, and red across the sky.

Yet sometime between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., a downtown safety ambassador witnessed a brutal stabbing of a homeless man by two other transients. The stabbing occurred in East Village, minutes away from Petco Park.

I arrived at my job, and one of my female colleagues said to me, “Vic, you wouldn’t believe what I just saw. Two guys were whooping this one man’s ass, but you know what? He came up with something for they ass, he split him up from his forehead to his chin.” The woman who eye-witnessed the stabbing said the victim reacted in self-defense. The attacker suffered serious injuries to the face and back. This vicious crime is only one of many in San Diego every day.

You also meet people who recently moved out here thinking it was the place to be financially, for job opportunities. Then there are families that have been here for decades. I have a friend whose family has been in San Diego for more than 50 years. He happens to be an active gang member from Skyline Piru. We grew up together at the Boys and Girls Club in the Encanto area.

We never attended the same schools until Morse High, where I got into gang-banging too.

High school was a trip. I graduated, but I missed over 30 classes in my tenth-grade year. Ditching school was an everyday thing. Smoke a blunt right before school, ditch fifth period and smoke another one. Being a gang member at Morse High only meant one thing, that you hated people from Lincoln Park Bloods. Many of the times we ditched school, we went to go seek out students from Lincoln High, who often were members of the Bloods. These encounters were not friendly at all. People getting jumped to people getting shot. It was going down.

My Piru friend and I hang out often, even though he’s still an active gang member. We smoke an occasional blunt and drink a couple brews, maybe watch a Lakers game.

But on this particular day, he was uneasy about something. I asked him, “What’s hatnin’ wit you, boy? You got something on ya mind, blood.” He said, “Nigga, I just got laid off from my job because they said they’re downsizing and they have to start with the people who have less seniority.” We talked back and forth for a while, and then I asked him, “What are you going to do next?” He explained to me that unemployment was going to take a couple of weeks to get, so he might just have to hit someone over the head for some cash.

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SmarterThanYou Aug. 4, 2009 @ 10:10 p.m.

Thank you for the great article Victor. I am now officially dumber for having read it. Thank you Reader staff for choosing Victor’s article for this week’s COVER STORY. Once again you have proven that your magazine is nothing more than something I can use to find an apartment, a pot dispensary, or use as a concert guide. Gone are the days when I used to look forward to picking up the Reader so that I could read something edgy that no one else would publish. This week’s cover story shows how far you have really fallen. Does your Editor owe someone a favor? Is Mr. Rice related to someone on staff? Please, please give me a reason to understand why such stupidity was published.

Thank you Mr. Rice for letting me know that one of America’s cities has a ghetto, gangs, and (gasp!) crime! You see for me, I was just sitting at home in Arizona one day when I saw this add about visiting San Diego on TV. It looked so nice that I quit my job and moved out here the first chance I could get. Imagine how shocking it is for me to learn all these years later that my city is no different than any other city in the world. I guess I will never go anywhere again because if what you say is true then all the tourism adds about other cities and countries must be blatant lies and those places probably are not the Utopias I dream of.

What exactly is the point of your article Mr. Rice? So you grew up in a rough neighborhood. So you encountered gangs, crime, and poverty growing up. Boo hoo. So you get asked stupid questions about Snoop Dogg and dolphins by ignorant people. Boo hoo. You didn’t grow up hard because you lived in a bad part of town. You grew up hard because you are too unmotivated to make a difference in your own life. Maybe instead of using stupid questions as a motivating factor to write articles that make me dumber you should educate yourself. Tell your sister in Indianapolis that yes, relative to where she is you do live close to Snoop Dogg since San Diego is not far from Long Beach (get a map). Maybe take some time and hang out at the ocean instead of rap concerts and you can tell people that yes, there are dolphins at the beach.

“What’s hatnin’ wit you, boy? You got something on ya mind, blood.” You drink Hennessey and pineapple? Wow Vic. Way to break down stereotypes. Let me guess, you are black? Oh wait, you are a Safety Ambassador downtown but you took the trolley to court when you had to testify because parking downtown is so expensive? Wow Vic. Why not park where you work and then walk to the court house? I know it’s not around the corner but it certainly is walkable if you are trying to save a buck. Lazy. Again, way to break down stereotypes.

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SmarterThanYou Aug. 4, 2009 @ 10:12 p.m.

People like you infuriate me. I grew up in the ghetto where there were gangs, crime, people getting killed and all kinds of other bad things going on. Guess what? I didn’t ditch school and smoke two blunts a day. Who are you, Sublime? Snoop Dogg himself? I went to most of my classes and got an education. So you graduated. Big deal. Any retard with a pencil and paper can graduate. Maybe you should have learned something in class and went to college and then attained a better job. But then again you are just a lazy complainer who thinks he and his friends may be “victims”. You should get out a dictionary before you use that word again. I have been laid off and you know what? I worked harder to find a BETTER job. I was going to join a gang but they were out of applications and I was going to “hit someone over the head for some cash” but I got screwed and had to find another job. Oh, the humanity!

Personally I wouldn’t have any remorse if whoever killed you boy Meredith gets his eyes stabbed out and stomped to death in prison but that’s just me. However, in reading the story about it I just come back to one thing- What the hell is the point in your article? So we have crime and about a billion other problems as other readers have pointed out. So what? Should we call the tourism board and ask them to stop advertising. You may want to think this through since tourism dollars help our city and out economy. I would explain but you probably never took Economics. The money may even help your loser friends live off the system, join gangs, and smoke blunts all day while they complain about The Man keeping them down. I have had friends die too Vic but life sucks sometimes. By the way, you never said what the motive was behind the shooting? Was it random violence? Usually if someone has a “hit’ on them it isn’t just for grins and giggles.

Here is some free advice- go back to the ghetto. Go to that place called the Library. It’s the big building with books. Get your free education and go to college which may, in turn, lead to a better job and a way out of your pathetic situation. I did it, you can too. Then I won’t have to worry about you writing stupid articles for the Reader that have no point whatsoever. I guess your point was conveyed with the statement, “It’s the fact that I saw this totally incorrect commercial that the bureau of tourism ran about San Diego.” Wow Vic, way to make a difference in the world. The only real surprising things about your article is that you talk like a character in Huckleberry Finn but somehow managed to put together a well articulated, although pointless, article; and, that you thought it was somehow newsworthy to hide the real identity of your badass friend who “hit two clean-ass doughnuts in the middle of the street, leaving the whole block smoked out.”

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lipstickjunkee Aug. 1, 2009 @ 12:18 p.m.

Don’t' all bigger cities have a dark side? I can't possibly be wrong.

I'm a good person. Not too chunti (ghetto). Just because you live in the hood/barrio doesn't mean you are not a productive, tax paying, and law abiding citizen of America's Finest City. We are here and we live and work amongst the Del Marians, Santa Fe folk, wherever the "familias nice" live.

Our family has lived in San Diego (Old Town in the early 1920's) for what seems like for ever. I grew up and still live in San Ysidro. I still get asked stupid questions: in particular "Is San Ysidro part of Mexico?" Geez, will you look at a map once in a while? Thanks to my family and upbringing; I am not ignorant of my fellow San Diegans origins, socio-economic status and customs.

Good job on this article Mr. Rice. Hope to read more from you soon.

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whyigotahaveid Aug. 4, 2009 @ 10:17 p.m.

you sheltered people just dont understand, things is ruff. it starts in school. u have the nice little lunch ur moms made, some hungry kid who isnt as fortunate takes it. so u develop skills to cope. dont bring lunch, hide while eating , dont eat or fight. u cant tell cuz then all the kids will pick on u. as u get older it gets worse. so u make friends , they back u up n u can be a little more secure. then later ur group of friends gets confronted by another group of friends and now ur a gangbanger. as for a comment i read about welfare. did u know there are 5 times as many white people on welfare than all minorities combined. remember the prisons are not just filled with minorities

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whyigotahaveid Aug. 4, 2009 @ 10:25 p.m.

hey smarter than u. people who live or had lived in the hood DO NOT CALL IT THE GHETTO, WE CALL IT HOME ! and we usually have many and deep family ties. grandma lives there , we went to school there . bought homes there cuz it was the most affordable. heck from my block on Bonita dr u can see Coronado , downtown . the ocean .

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Josh Board Aug. 1, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

I just finished reading this article. It was a good read. But something struck me as odd. Maybe it's because the "beer summit" is still fresh on my mind.

Rice closes by talking about the cops here "racially profiling people."

Let me gets this straight. He talks about him and his loser friends that are gang members. Having parties with gang members. Doing "donuts", drinking and driving from one club to another, to see a rap show. And he wonders why cops look at him funny.

Could those be reasons?

Maybe it isn't the color of your skin, but the crowd you run with. And the things you're doing in your automobile.

(who is doing donuts in a car after the age of 16?)

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jmumbles July 31, 2009 @ 2:42 a.m.

This city does have a habit of sliding issues under the rug. Remember Jerry Hartless, Jahi Turner or the girl killed in the GasLamp recently. Had Jahi Turner been a blonde girl from Sabre Springs, the may have found him by now.

The gangsters may be Losers, But what creates that in such a Beautiful City as San Diego. God's Country as they call it. So many experts that have never played the game.

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ME Aug. 3, 2009 @ 10:01 a.m.

@ shampoo

I really appreciate the comments you left its really good insite on how some San Diegans feel. And if you dont care, why are you waisting time online on some forum like your getting paid for it? Come on man you sound like a clown for real. But like i said thanks for the insite, people who think like that maybe a topic for another story. Stay Tuned.

And thanks again to everyone that read the story.

The Author.

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thisisstupid510 Aug. 6, 2009 @ 8:03 p.m.

So this all started two days ago when I was shopping with my grandmother in a cvs in Encinitas. I was walking out the front door when I saw the sd reader with the cover reading "does snoop dog live close to you?" or something like that. Being from northern CA and the west coast and all, I'm a fan of snoop's. Little did I know, I was in for something that was not only entirely irrelevant to the cover, but ridiculous in every way possible. A series of unrelated events horribly strung together to create a really stupid article. First of all we are in San Diego, a beach town. Yes a beach town. Not a hood, ghetto, rough neighborhood, but a beach town.

The author closes his article with this:" It might be, but we do have things that go on here that people don’t know about. Be safe and enjoy my San Diego." my immediate response is " yeah people don't know about stuff that goes on here for a reason, it doesn't happen that much... This is not a hot spot for crime, although I don't know why you would be tempted to portray it as that. You are not a banger victor rice, you are a pussy. If you hate bloods, then why do you call your friends "blood" in the next sentance after previously stating them as your rivals?(it's not really a question because I don't care). The mischief you speak of: a boy doing donuts, a homeless crackead getting stabbed, and someone you barely know getting shot near your house? Your lucky your parents are rich enough to build a brick wall with a security fence. You sound pretty well off to me, other than being an idiot and all.

I'm A nor cal native. Born and raised in Oakland, ca. I know what crime is and I know what it's like to live within it. I come to San Diego to escape and relax and visit my family. I walk 3 miles to the ocean every night and usually in the middle of the night. I have never had any problems or witnessed anybody doing anything but having a good time. Other than the posers and bored suburban kids, most people are really chill.

Whyigotahaveid sounds like an idiot aswell. I am from the ghetto, neighborhood, hood, whatever you wanna call it. Come to Oakland or compton if you think you have it rough. Getting punked for your lunch as a little kid doesn't mean you live in the hood, it means you should stick up for yourself so people don't think you're a bitch.

San Diego is about as far from a rough hood as it gets. Bored suburban kids who wanna live like their idols(snoop, westside connection, etc) , but little do they know they couldn't be farther from the truth. Snoop got to where he was through putting in work and overcoming oppression. What do you know about that. Go look in the mirror.

P.s. I don't know anyone who drinks hennessy with pineapple juice, but gross.

1

drmonster Aug. 1, 2009 @ 9:23 p.m.

"It’s the fact that I saw this totally incorrect commercial that the bureau of tourism ran about San Diego."

Is that the first time you've seen a tourism commercial glorifying a city? Have you not seen a Tijuana tourism commercial and found your self smiling knowing the image of TJ isn't what they portray?

Are you that oblivious of the fact that there is no such thing as a paradise city? To me San Diego is the finest city and I'm sure reading your article your feeling is mutual, somewhat.

Also it seems like your attitude towards the boys in blue is somehow negative their constant visits to your house as well as your families sounds all but routine and proper protocol and if you truly want to be of some help to the victim you should be happy to cooperate. I must admit I found myself very interested in your article and found it insightful. I know how it is to be in SE Daygo. I live there too. HA

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PistolPete Aug. 2, 2009 @ 1:57 a.m.

1)-The Whale's Vagina is hardly"America's Finest City". You people out here are so f--king full of yourselves it's sickening. I could write an article in this reply alone why it's not.cough cough Pension Scandal cough cough Mount Soledad cough cough Cunningham cough cough Sunrise Powerlink cough cough Water mains breaking like there's no tomorrow cough cough Banning alcohol on the beach to justify the illegal activities of a few on Labor Day. The list is endless. The Whale's Vagina is known the world over as a haven for crime,corruption and greed. Yet you self-righteous f--kers sit there and talk tall s--t about a city that'll host more Super Bowls and has had the Olympics.

2)-The Whale's Vagina is NOT a big city. The county as a whole may be pretty f--king big but not the city itself.

3)-The weather out here SUCKS! It NEVER rains(no T-storms or tornadoes). The seasons don't change. It's hot & humid during the day and cold as f--k at night. There's a reason people don't live in the desert but WE(I emphasize we because I'm still a citizen for the time being)keep trying to prove them different.

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rickeysays Aug. 2, 2009 @ 5:23 a.m.

Pete, like Dr said, no city is perfect, but this one will get just a little better than it already is whenever you go back under whatever rock you crawled out from. It can't happen soon enough.

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shampoo Aug. 2, 2009 @ 9:09 a.m.

"Is he a victim or is he a thug?" That question right there represents the entire reason why inner city poor people will never be able to get out. Ever. They're still blaming anyone else but themselves. I've been laid off before and the last thing I've thought about is mugging some old lady or breaking into my neighbors house. I'll submit that the Author's friend is neither victim nor thug: he's an idot. You have to be an idiot to join an gang much less stay in one for 20 years. Joining a gang guarantees 10-15 years of life (if you live that long) on the bottom of the pile of life. Join a gang and you'll never go anywhere in life. You'll never see anything or do anything worthwhile. You'll never get an education so you'll never have any foundation for a career, which means you'll always have bottom-feeder jobs which means money will always be a problem. Money may not buy happiness but it can certainly buy your way out of misery. I guess gangs must do some things that are positive, because gang-bangers are so proud of their colors, their crappy litle neighborhoods, their tags etc. But we all know gang bangers aren't too proud to take a hand-out. What I mean is that the people in that commercial you can't grasp are the people that are paying the taxes so you can keep your little gang-baanging party on track. We're supporting your blunts, your 40oz'ers, your spray paint, your beatings, knifings and shootings, all the babies you can't afford, you free healthcare and the monthly government assitance you have no problem collecting. So you want us to feel sorry that you can't relate to a tourism commercial? Please, spare me. You and your gang buddies have selected a path in life that leads straight to a dead end - don't blame the people trying to work 60 hr weeks, raise decent kids, keep their neighborhoods safe and clean and find one or two hours on the weekend to relax. On behalf of the people in that commercial and what it represents, please take your stupid story and slide back in to the crappy little hole you came from, because we're too busy picking up your slack to care. Don't feel bad though, my dad always used to say that we need stupid poor folks because ditches don' get dug by themselves.

1

FemaleIntelligence_101 Aug. 2, 2009 @ 11:57 a.m.

WOW. AND THIS IS COMING FROM A PERSON WHO DECIDES TO NAME HIS/HER SELF SHAMPOO? NOW WHEN YOU ARE TALKING IN YOUR "LITTLE SPEECH" ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT GANG BANGERS OR ARE YOU TRYING TO TARGET BALCK PEOPLE? IT SEEMS TO ME YOU ARN'T JUST TALKING ABOUT GANGBANGERS. YOU ARE SO FOCUSED ON JUST ONE PART OF THE STORY AND YOU ARN'T EVEN SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE OF IT ALL ARE YOU? I GUESS NOT SHAMPOO AND ANY OF THE REST WHO AGREE WITH HIM/HER. WHAT YOU FAIL TO REALIZE IS THAT THIS IS PEOPLES LIVES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE, PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING LIKE TAKING CARE OF THIER CHILD AND WORKING AND DOING OVER TIME AND ARE NOT DEPENDING ON THAT CHECK FROM THE GOVERMENT...BUT LET ME GUESS YOUR JUST UPSET BECAUSE DADDY ALSO SAID TO YOU RIGHT BEFORE HE TOLD YOU THAT LITTLE SAYING AT THE END OF YOUR STORY IS HES CUTTING YOU OFF FROM THE MONEY [HE] WORKS HARD FOR AND YOU HAVE TO GET A JOB SO YOUR PISSED OFF...DON'T WORRY THOUGH NOW YOUR JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THE STORY...AN AMERICAN CITZEN...OR ARE YOU? YOU SEE I KNOW SOME PERSONNALLY AND LET ME TELL YOU THE MOST BRIGHTEST PERSON ON YOUR JOB SIGHT MIGHT BE A GANGBANGER WHO NEVER BEEN TO JAIL OR GOT CONVICTED FOR MURDER OR NEVER FAILED A DURG TEST BUT IS ALWAYS RACIAL PROFILED BECAUSE HE/SHE IS BLACK OR MEXICAN OR WHITE BUT YOU'LL NEVER KNOW THAT AND YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY? BECAUSE THIS IS A PERSON THAT IS DOING THE RIGHT THING AND HAS AN EDUCATION AND IS WORKING HARD, THE GANG BANGER JUST MIGHT YOUR F...ING BOSS...BUT YOU NEVER KNOW, AND IF YOU DID KNOW, YOU BETTER BELIEVE CREDIT IS NOT GOING TO GIVEN WHERE ITS NEDDED TO THAT PATICULAR PERSON FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING BY SOMEONE LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOUR TO BUSY WORRIED ABOUT THAT PERSONS NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE BAD THINGS GOING ON WITH THAT PERSON....SO SHAMPOO PLEASE SPARE YOURSELF, YOU MIGHT AS WELL SLIDE YOUR COMMENT UNDER THAT ROCK YOU FOUND IT AT BECAUSE IS THIS IS A GREAT CITY...BUT THERE ARE SOME IMPERFECTIONS WHICH IS THE PART THAT YOU DON'T GET...I HAVE A HUGE FAMILY THAT WAS BORN AND RAISED IN SAN DIEGO WHOI HAVE FELL VICTUM TO CRIME, ROBBERY, WRONGFUL DEATH BY POLICE AND GANGBANGERS BUT YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT RIGHT ALONG WITH THAT WE WERE 20 TIMES SUCCESSFUL TO MAKE UP FOR THAT WITHOUT EXPECTING THAT CHECK FROM THE GOVERNMENT EACH MONTH, FROM OWNING OUR OWN BUSINESSES TO BEING APART OF THE MILIRTARY, PLOICE FORCE, THE MEDICAL FIELD, AND WONDERFUL JOBS IN CORANADO. SO NEXT TIME YOU DECIDE TO COMMENT MAKE SURE THAT YOU READ A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT.

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FemaleIntelligence_101 Aug. 2, 2009 @ 11:58 a.m.

ALL AND ALL I THINK THE ARTICLE WAS GREAT I GIVE PEOPLE A LITTLE MORE INFO ON OUR LOVELY SAN DIEGO...THANK YOU FOR WRITING IT.

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shampoo Aug. 2, 2009 @ 12:11 p.m.

don't hate the playa hate the game....or whatever.

haha

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SuperflySnuka Aug. 2, 2009 @ 12:41 p.m.

"Then we hopped in my boy James’s (not his real name) 2008 hemi-engine Dodge Charger and took off. But before leaving the scene, James hit two clean-ass doughnuts in the middle of the street, leaving the whole block smoked out."

Actually it was me driving. A 2008 Dodge Charger SRT8..425hp Hemi

YEE

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David Dodd Aug. 2, 2009 @ 12:46 p.m.

@FemaleIntelligence_101

I would point out the irony in your username after reading your response but, hell, we're back to shooting fish in a barrel.

1

gardenparty Aug. 2, 2009 @ 2:14 p.m.

SuperflySnuka 1970 Chevelle SS with a 2004 ZL1, 550HP outa the crate, with a few mods. Wanna race???? HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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shampoo Aug. 2, 2009 @ 6:30 p.m.

So, intelligentwoman_101: are you actually saying that gang members get to grow up and be CEO's? Have you ever heard of something called a resume? How about a background check? Sorry sister, I don't work at a 7-11 or at WallMart. I'm not saying the city is perfect....it's just that normal people don't hang out in the places the Author is talking about for a reason. In fact, we don't go anywhere near them. And that's because we DO know about them and guess what? We still don't care. Next time you comment maybe you shoud read a litle too. And you could use a spelling lesson.

1

FemaleIntelligence_101 Aug. 2, 2009 @ 7:53 p.m.

lol. thanks shampoo for the inform about my spelling lesson. and followers.... but um its cool that you dont work in a 7-11 or walmart shampoo because i didnt say you did lol your might just be the coffee person at starbucks i don't know and don't care. i liked the story it was really good man. congrats to you on all your success and im looking forword to your next story.

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coconnel51 July 29, 2009 @ 3:02 p.m.

Finally - a voice of truth! A Tri-City native myself, people are earnestly shocked when I tell them there is more to North County San Diego than sandy beaches and laid back surfers. A lot more. Drunken beach fights - check. Meth houses - check. Double homicide - check. DEA agents breaking in my neighbors windows 5 feet from me - check. And this was all before I was 7.

Maybe if the CVB painted an accurate picture, the next batch of east coast transplants that hope to descend upon our great county and quickly cop an unwarranted, though vocal disdain for locals will head to Laguna Beach instead. Here's hoping.

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stupidflanders19 July 29, 2009 @ 3:18 p.m.

I have lived in San Diego county 35 years (Escondido, Poway, Mira Mesa, Del Mar, Rancho Bernardo, Linda Vista and Santee) and I have never witnessed a drunken beach fight, a meth lab, a double homicide (or even a single homicide), or a DEA agent breaking windows.

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Altius July 29, 2009 @ 3:40 p.m.

Great story. It's good to hear a fresh young voice.

Flanders, I've never seen any of things either, but I know they've happened.

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pellis July 29, 2009 @ 6:29 p.m.

Great story. Every large city has these problems, but it's easy to go on living in most with your head in the sand. It's good to print a reality check for all the ostriches out there.

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Sportsbook July 29, 2009 @ 9:51 p.m.

Am I the only one who has experienced the "idylic version" of SD? ~yikes. Just saw dolphins off of Marine st. today.....

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PistolPete Aug. 5, 2009 @ 10:16 p.m.

SmarterThanYou is my new herobows down with the utmost respect And,uh,whyigotahaveid? Never mind. You DEFINETELY wouldn't understand. Figuratively & literally....

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jerome July 30, 2009 @ 7:11 a.m.

since iv'e lived in lovely SD yep, i have seen my share of drugs,thiefery, opputunistic crime ,violence, and plenty of hateing mostly from the entiteled, heard about shootings,killings, and all the rest .yep it seems the entiteled are living with some kinda SD privilage that promotes hateing. so then the kids or should i say the offspring, hmmmm.... they see how well its works, to use power and intimidation to vent their frustration and get what they want,well, when the parents set the standard, the pattern of behavior is set in the offspring and pattern of violence and hateing will continue.please let it not be misunderstood, i'm talking about our leadership and successfull bussiness people ie: politicians, "redevelopment commisions",rouge cops,and a immense collection of " non profit community organizations" that promote their special interests >kinda like legal gangs . BUT ALSO I MUST ALSO SAY THAT WE DO HAVE INTEGRITY, WORKING AND MOVING UP AN IN THIS COMMUNITY LETS FOCUS ON THAT,PROMOTE IT,REGOGNIZE IT,PUBLISIZE IT.........we can control illeagal behavior as we have some of the best law enforcement in the country>lets start there with some positive exposer of whats good in this town with their positive actions not the actions that expose questionable behavior, and promotes fear,anger and distrust...... WHEN ASKED FOR LOYALTY HAND EM INTEGRITY WHEN ASKED FOR INTEGRITY HAND EM LOYALTY

so id love to live close to snoop dog an be exposed to hard work,ambition, family values,and the american dream; its refreshing to think about......

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chefmilagro82 July 30, 2009 @ 1:09 p.m.

Nothing wrong with making the truth known but don't glorify it! Any San Diego native knows about these neighborhoods and ongoing events. It takes strong will and determination to escape/change it. Please dont say someone is a victim of our economy when they obviously perpetuate their status with thoughts of "hitting someone over the head for cash!" Change your life or stop f%@#ing whining about it! Quit waiting for the hand out

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rickeysays July 31, 2009 @ 12:32 a.m.

There are losers in every city, but less here than a lot of places. They create their own problems, then look around for someone else to blame. Fortunately, most losers seek out their own kind, so as long as I avoid loserville, this continues to be America's Finest City.

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justkar Aug. 6, 2009 @ 10:47 p.m.

I was shocked and disappointed that this pointless and ridiculous story would even be published. My family has lived in San Diego for 71 years, and we have experienced life in almost every area in San Diego, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Of course we have stories of bad things that have happened here, but do we dwell on them? No, because the positive aspects of San Diego out way the negative's tremendously. Mr. Rice you said, "It’s the fact that I saw this totally incorrect commercial that the bureau of tourism ran about San Diego". Well the tourism boards for all cities market their city as the dream vacation because that's their job and that's what you'll experience if you do go to any of those places. This is what brings tourist to our cities, which intern spend their money in these tourist cities, and those tourist dollars are what pay a lot of our paychecks. Not your paycheck though because your lazy butt drives around on one of those human segways downtown doing nothing. Yes I'm calling you out because if you're going to bash my city maybe you should talk about what a difference you've made. You can't though because you haven't made a difference. See I'm a Property Manager for 3 buildings downtown. I work my butt off trying to keep the transients off the property, keep the area clean and crime free. However you Mr. Rice you see a commercial that shows your city in a beautiful and positive light and all you can do is complain. I wish you would have taken your experiences in life and made a difference in this world rather than writing your sob story. Instead you support your gang banger friends and continue the cycle of ghetto life you came from. I would tell you to be the difference you want to see in the world; however you wouldn't get it because you don't want a difference you just want to complain about racial profiling, smoke blunts, go to strip clubs, and hang out with gang bangers. Since you think that commercial wasn’t realistic then you’re welcome to join me anytime at the Del Mar Race Track, one of the lovely beaches we have, or one of the awesome restaurants or bars we have in the Gaslamp that I go to. Just to clarify Victor Rice this is not your San Diego, it’s my San Diego because I'm proud to live here, proud to be a native, and I don’t take our beautiful city for granted like you.

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