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It’s April and that only means two things in the Rice house: my mom’s birthday and playoff basketball. While watching the Lakers play, I started thinking about my friend that recently got laid off. I hadn’t heard from him in a couple of days. I didn’t follow up on my thoughts and never called him. But at work one day, I got a phone call.

The sound was muffled. “Hello? Hello?” the voice on the phone said.

“Who is this?” I didn’t recognize the number, nor was it saved in my phone.

“It’s me, boy,” the voice said.

After I heard that, I knew exactly who it was, my friend that got laid off. I asked him what happened to his phone, because we both had Sidekicks and we usually AIMed each other.

“I’m using that phone downtown.” Damn, what happened? He didn’t go into his criminal charge or anything. He just told me he wouldn’t be looking at a long time. Only like 180 or something.

“Light-weight vacation” was the phrase he used to describe it.

A few days later, I called his father, whom I knew from the Thursday-night Bible studies we used to have at his house when we were kids.

“Hey, how you doing? It’s Victor, I’m calling to get the scoop on your son.”

He didn’t go into detail. But he did tell me that his son was sentenced to 120 because of a probation violation and would be serving it at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

I couldn’t help but think my friend from Skyline Piru was a victim of this economic crisis. Or did he just go out and do some dumb shit? Either way, if he would have never been laid off, he would have been a lot more focused on staying out of trouble, instead of having idle hands. Is he a victim? Or is he just a thug? He might seem like a lowlife to others, but to a young San Diegan like me, he’s just trying to deal with the high price of housing and everyday life in the city.

My everyday life in Encanto changed on a sunny afternoon on May 2, 2007. After having a wonderful time fishing at the beach with friends and family the day before, I threw a fish fry at my house. The night was real cool. There were about 20 people, from my girlfriend of three years to my brother and his wife. Some high school friends, ladies, and some active gang members were among the other people who attended the function. The night was full of fish, hot sauce, booze, and bud. After most people left, a few friends stayed the night for a few more drinks and some conversation with the ladies.

The next morning my Skyline Piru buddy and a couple of other good friends came to the house and wanted to play some PlayStation. My nephew and his grandmother pulled up to the house with her fiancé named Meredith, who drove a burgundy Jaguar. He parked in the driveway and stayed in the Jag. A green-colored car pulled up and stopped in front of the house, and I asked my sister-in-law if she knew who it was. “Damn, Vic, I don’t” is what she told me.

Right as I looked back, two men approached both sides of the burgundy Jag, exchanged a few words with Meredith, and started shooting through the windows. I pulled my nephew to the floor and rolled with him behind the wall, because we were standing in the doorway when the shooting occurred. Everyone was stunned for a second; I don’t even think my sister-in-law moved away from the front door while they were shooting. The shots that were fired sounded similar to metal chairs being thrown.

Meredith died on the way to the hospital in that burgundy Jag driven by his fiancé. I didn’t really know the guy, but the next day, his son and a couple of his nephews came over and confronted me, thinking my friends and I had something to do with it. Eventually, they caught the shooters. I went to high school with one of them at Morse. The outcome of this tragic event led my parents to get a brick wall with two electric sliding gates and one buzz-in door for our house. This is how close this stuff can get real fast. These guys who shot Meredith followed him from the Hometown Buffet on University and waited for everybody else to get out the car at my house to execute him. Sounds like a hit to me, and the fact that one of the shooters lives near me and went to the same high school made me feel real vulnerable.

The years following the shooting were filled with interrogations by the detectives handling the case. I was bombarded with questions about stuff that I could not remember. The first encounter I had with the detectives was a surprising one because they chose to pop up at my house like I was some sort of suspect. I saw the two of them approaching the door dressed in black suits and dark glasses. I stepped outside because you never let the police in your house willingly. It’s sort of an unspoken rule. The conversation was about what I saw that day, and they also explained how they were able to apprehend the suspects. While we were in the middle of the interrogation, my father came to the door, and he wasn’t very happy.

“How are you doing, sir?” one of the detectives asked my dad.

“How did you get in my driveway?”

The detectives look at each other, bewildered, and said the gate was open, so they walked right in.

“It won’t be next time,” my dad said in disgust.

We finished the conversation, and they informed me that I would have to go to court and testify to what I saw that day. Immediately after they left, I phoned my brother and alerted him that the fuzz was on the way, so he wouldn’t be caught by surprise.

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Comments

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.

1

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....

1

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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