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Dave Rice and the Reader

San Onofre, the Waterman, Tuna Harbor, last ocean-front lots, a disastrous O.B. fix-and-flip

David Ross and Randy. “I just don’t think California’s my state.”
David Ross and Randy. “I just don’t think California’s my state.”

How Rice came to work at the Reader:

Growing up around San Diego I'd always been aware of the Reader, and picked up copies semi-regularly beginning in high school in the mid-nineties, delighting in features like Jay Allen Sanford's "Famous Former Neighbors" cartoon. By the late 2000s I was contributing to a local news blog called the OB Rag when my editor Frank Gormlie called me up, saying there was some guy that had questions about a piece I'd recently written about city plans to install surveillance cameras on the pier in Ocean Beach.

That guy turned out to be Reader editor Ernie Grimm and rather than asking questions, he told me he'd have paid $500 for my story if it had ran in the magazine. I've been writing features sporadically ever since, spent several years as a reporter when the Reader website's news blogs first launched where my bylines appeared next to truly legendary journalists like Don Bauder, and since 2013 I've penned a bi-weekly column on San Diego's priciest and most unique real estate.

Some of Rice's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader::

  • Everything old is renewed again

  • Down the coast in San Diego, the Cristiano fault passes within half a mile of San Onofre. The fault is considered inactive, however, as it “is overlain by undisturbed marine deposits that have been dated as 125,000 years old,” says the consultant report. Several active faults run near San Onofre: the Whittier-Elsinore, 23 miles to the east; the San Jacinto, 43 miles northeast; and the southern San Andreas, 57 miles to the northeast. But these are not the most worrisome.... (Aug. 18, 2010)
Top Gun House, Oceanside, close-up
  • San Diego's last 32 ocean front lots

  • In January of 1982, we found a scant 79 parcels of land remaining, the most expensive commanding as much as $600 for a single square foot of bare dirt. One prediction, made decades ago, proved true: seemingly outlandish prices of the era, including $300,000 for a single half-acre beachfront plot, would come to look like downright steals in the years to come. (Oct. 31, 2018)
  • Pledge to go a year without a car

  • According to a 2013 study published by the League of American Bicyclists, just over 6900 San Diegans rely on their bikes as a primary form of transportation. While that’s just 1.1 percent of the local workforce, the per-capita numbers are the third-best in cities with a population in excess of 1 million, besting Los Angeles and New York City. (Feb, 17, 2016)
  • Another David Ross (Waterman) story

  • “A lady from National Public Radio was out here to interview me. She came out to spend a half a day with me but ended up spending the whole night. So, we’re here in our storage spot, and someone comes running and says ‘David, there’s someone over here with a knife and says he’s going to kill himself. He’s already cut himself up! We all go running across the street toward the post office, and this man is sitting there with a weapon — a claw-looking knife, like you’d use for hunting or something.” (July 5, 2017)
From boat to ice bin
  • Where to buy really fresh fish

  • "Normally, if you see mackerel on your way in you wouldn’t even stop to fish for ’em, since mackerel goes for 40 cents a pound, wholesale. But some of our regulars love it, and if you can sell them for three bucks, then you make a stop and pick up a couple hundred pounds and sell every bit of it." (Jan. 6, 2016)
  • A simple fix-and-flip can go horribly wrong

  • Nelco originally bought the four-bedroom, two-bath fixer for $645,000 in mid-2015. The home, built in 1927, sits about five blocks from Dog Beach and nine blocks from Newport Avenue, OB’s main drag. Residents here tend to be quieter and more entrenched in the OB lifestyle than the younger, more transient denizens of the neighborhood to the west locals refer to as the “war zone.” (Oct. 10, 2018)
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David Ross and Randy. “I just don’t think California’s my state.”
David Ross and Randy. “I just don’t think California’s my state.”

How Rice came to work at the Reader:

Growing up around San Diego I'd always been aware of the Reader, and picked up copies semi-regularly beginning in high school in the mid-nineties, delighting in features like Jay Allen Sanford's "Famous Former Neighbors" cartoon. By the late 2000s I was contributing to a local news blog called the OB Rag when my editor Frank Gormlie called me up, saying there was some guy that had questions about a piece I'd recently written about city plans to install surveillance cameras on the pier in Ocean Beach.

That guy turned out to be Reader editor Ernie Grimm and rather than asking questions, he told me he'd have paid $500 for my story if it had ran in the magazine. I've been writing features sporadically ever since, spent several years as a reporter when the Reader website's news blogs first launched where my bylines appeared next to truly legendary journalists like Don Bauder, and since 2013 I've penned a bi-weekly column on San Diego's priciest and most unique real estate.

Some of Rice's favorite stories he wrote for the Reader::

  • Everything old is renewed again

  • Down the coast in San Diego, the Cristiano fault passes within half a mile of San Onofre. The fault is considered inactive, however, as it “is overlain by undisturbed marine deposits that have been dated as 125,000 years old,” says the consultant report. Several active faults run near San Onofre: the Whittier-Elsinore, 23 miles to the east; the San Jacinto, 43 miles northeast; and the southern San Andreas, 57 miles to the northeast. But these are not the most worrisome.... (Aug. 18, 2010)
Top Gun House, Oceanside, close-up
  • San Diego's last 32 ocean front lots

  • In January of 1982, we found a scant 79 parcels of land remaining, the most expensive commanding as much as $600 for a single square foot of bare dirt. One prediction, made decades ago, proved true: seemingly outlandish prices of the era, including $300,000 for a single half-acre beachfront plot, would come to look like downright steals in the years to come. (Oct. 31, 2018)
  • Pledge to go a year without a car

  • According to a 2013 study published by the League of American Bicyclists, just over 6900 San Diegans rely on their bikes as a primary form of transportation. While that’s just 1.1 percent of the local workforce, the per-capita numbers are the third-best in cities with a population in excess of 1 million, besting Los Angeles and New York City. (Feb, 17, 2016)
  • Another David Ross (Waterman) story

  • “A lady from National Public Radio was out here to interview me. She came out to spend a half a day with me but ended up spending the whole night. So, we’re here in our storage spot, and someone comes running and says ‘David, there’s someone over here with a knife and says he’s going to kill himself. He’s already cut himself up! We all go running across the street toward the post office, and this man is sitting there with a weapon — a claw-looking knife, like you’d use for hunting or something.” (July 5, 2017)
From boat to ice bin
  • Where to buy really fresh fish

  • "Normally, if you see mackerel on your way in you wouldn’t even stop to fish for ’em, since mackerel goes for 40 cents a pound, wholesale. But some of our regulars love it, and if you can sell them for three bucks, then you make a stop and pick up a couple hundred pounds and sell every bit of it." (Jan. 6, 2016)
  • A simple fix-and-flip can go horribly wrong

  • Nelco originally bought the four-bedroom, two-bath fixer for $645,000 in mid-2015. The home, built in 1927, sits about five blocks from Dog Beach and nine blocks from Newport Avenue, OB’s main drag. Residents here tend to be quieter and more entrenched in the OB lifestyle than the younger, more transient denizens of the neighborhood to the west locals refer to as the “war zone.” (Oct. 10, 2018)
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