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Stories by Siobhan Braun

The casino's been built — Jamul is still fighting it

The Jamul Indians’ next 12,000 years will be air conditioned.

January 31, 2018
San Diego Reader writers dig deep into Christmases past

Every Power Rangers toy known to man The exact moment the sleigh bells stopped jingling — by Chad Deal Sister Santa’s once-a-year smile I adored American Christmas — by Tam Hoang We were ruthless Christmas-letter ...

We were ruthless Christmas-letter mockers

When I married my husband Aaron I was well aware of his political leanings, his thoughts on religion, and that he was a saver not a spender. What I did not know was that he ...

December 20, 2017
A holiday tourist in my own city

When Christmas season rolls around I like to become a tourist in my own city. My kids are out of school, my husband takes a week or two off of work, and the family and ...

December 6, 2017
Border Angels takes water out to Jacumba area for migrants

A small crowd gathers in the courtyard outside the Border Angels headquarters located at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Island Avenue four blocks south of State Route 94 and five blocks east of Interstate ...

August 16, 2017
San Diego Reader 2017 Fun issue

Climb the California Tower in Balboa Park Balboa Park’s California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man was closed to the public in 1935, but after extensive construction and safety renovations it reopened for ...

June 21, 2017
For San Diego high schoolers, college is kind of scary

Last year, when my 16-year-old was a freshman in high school, we attended his school’s open house. I was interested in meeting his teachers and getting an idea of what his school day was like. ...

February 1, 2017
Stung on her first day

Name: Darian Alexandra Age: 23 Location: Pacific Beach Occupation: Server at Kono’s Cafe Darian Alexandra moved to Pacific Beach from northern Indiana on Christmas day 2014 with the sole purpose of learning to surf. She ...

December 28, 2016
Musicians, hippies, and travelers in Ocean Beach

For some travelers, hope is the worst drug out there.

December 7, 2016
San Diego Reader 2016 guide to Holiday Fun

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

November 30, 2016
Not territorial yet

Name: Christopher Mirendil Age: 30 Occupation: Engineer Location: Tabletops, Cardiff by the Sea On a two- to three-foot day, I find Christopher Mirendil nursing a bloody foot after a surf session at Tabletops. “Today I ...

November 23, 2016
Waves worth getting sick for

Name: Colton Koons Age: 22 From: Serra Mesa Occupation: Beach Lifeguard Location: Ocean Beach Jetty Colton Koons is in the parking lot at the end of Santa Monica Avenue peeling off his wetsuit and getting ...

October 26, 2016
Swami’s with 100 guys — not so fun

Names: Justin Mendhan, Walter Graen, and Mikial Tolmosoff Location: Tijuana Slough Mikial Tolmosoff, a visual artist, and Justin Mendhan, construction worker, both 28, have been riding waves together in Imperial Beach since they were 10 ...

September 21, 2016
Get a Costco foam board

Name: Nick Manverg Age: 23 Occupation: Bartender/Student at the University of St. Augustine Location: Crystal Pier Board: Firewire 5’6 Nick Manverg grew up in Temecula, an excruciating 40-minute drive to the beach. As a kid ...

August 24, 2016
PB surfer departs for Texas

Kelsey Gonzalez Age: 25 Hometown: Point Loma Favorite Surf Spot: Old Man’s, Pacific Beach Kelsey Gonzalez is moving to Texas in one week. She is trying to get into the water as much as possible. ...

August 3, 2016
Sometimes I.B. looks like Pipeline

Name: Jake Wilsie Age: 19 Occupation: Surf Instruction Location: South Mission Favorite Surf Spot: Sunset Cliffs It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and Jake Wilse is peeling off his wetsuit after giving a private lesson to a ...

What are you doing here? I'm married!

Rachel looks like a soccer mom. On most days her minivan is cluttered with backpacks and sports gear. Leftover Goldfish and Cheerios are ground into the floorboards. When dropping her kids off at school in ...

Unforgiving Hospitals

Name: Josh Turner Age: 20 Occupation: Valet Location: Tourmaline Surf Park, PB Favorite Surf Spot: Hospitals, La Jolla Josh Turner’s introduction to surfing came by way of a Surfari Surf School class in Mission Beach ...

San Diego's sex trade is second-largest underground economy after drugs

A leopard-print sign hanging on Andrea Smith’s front door announces, “I am a luxury few can afford.” Three years ago there was heavy truth in that statement. Smith was bringing in about $2500 a night ...

June 22, 2016
SHARK! No, dolphin

Name: Arturo Baravalle Age: 26 Occupation: tennis coach Favorite surf spot: PB Point On a foggy Tuesday morning, Arturo Baravalle suited up to surf La Jolla Shores. Baravalle moved to San Diego last June with ...

June 15, 2016
Charley don’t like 50-year-old guys acting like little girls

Name: Charley Stevens Age: 28 Occupation: Bartender Location: Sunset Cliffs Subs Charley Stevens speaks like a surfer with slow and lazy vowels. He moved to Ocean Beach four years ago. He learned to surf in ...

June 1, 2016
He kept snaking me

NAME: Jackson Lettow AGE: 15 LOCATION: Scripps Pier FAVORITE SURF SPOT: Cardiff or Scripps on a big day with no wind I distinctly remember going out one day with my dad when I was about ...

50,000 Chaldeans live in El Cajon

Speaking English is eighth on their priority list.

April 20, 2016
Quick survey of San Diego primary voters

When a presidential election season rolls around, my husband and I make an effort to avoid voicing our opinions. Our political views have been in contrast for the past 18 years. In the beginning of ...

March 23, 2016
I know when it’s my turn

Sixteen-year-old Julie Schuman, a Cardiff native, ranks among the top three spots in the lady longboarders 18-and-under-category. She has been surfing since she was six years old. “There were always a bunch of kids out ...

"I don't get people being vibey."

Name: Bob Thomas Age: 57 Occupation: English as a second language, San Diego Community College District Lives in: Ocean Beach Surfing: O.B. Pier “This is my favorite spot. I live down the street. My buddies ...

March 16, 2016
Slowly, the population of Grazin’ Pig Acres grew

If you make a right onto Dye Road off SR-67 north, past a sign advertising midget wrestling, tucked amidst dusty chaparral and dirt roads, you’ll find Grazin’ Pig Acres. A kitschy “Pig Lover” sign announces ...

March 9, 2016
Art in every corner of San Diego

There is so much more to San Diego than a good tan and 70 miles of coastline. We are a city overflowing with creators, dreamers, and breathtaking natural beauty. In San Diego, art is found ...

Miss USA vs. Miss America rivalry even in San Diego

“Miss USA girls want to grow up and become lingerie models. Miss America girls want to be doctors and lawyers.”

January 6, 2016
A mournful National Dog Day in Ocean Beach

Regina Lovato liked to take her Maltipoo (Maltese-poodle mix), Aria, and her blue pit bull, Yates, to Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach nearly every afternoon. Since Aria was attacked and killed by a black Labrador-retriever mix ...

August 26, 2015
The Innocence Project wants to help wrongly accused

The California Institution for Women in Chino is dusty and dilapidated. It looks like an abandoned high school outfitted with razor-wire-topped fencing and look-out towers with armed guards. At 8:00 a.m. on an overcast Saturday ...

August 19, 2015
SDSU , UCSD students, others tell worst roommate stories

No fun with mushroom girls and those on China time.

July 8, 2015
San Diego guitar and banjo makers

At Sam Radding’s shop, the twang was destined to meet.

July 1, 2015
San Diego Reader 2015 Fun issue

Urban Adventures Beach Town Suburban Ocean & Bay Backcountry Mexico

June 10, 2015
Combat boots storm campus

Fashion always recycles itself as evidenced by the proliferation of high-waisted pants and the return of stonewashed denim. It’s no surprise that the 90s grunge-girl staple — the combat boot — has resurfaced in a ...

Reader writers tell stories about Mom

Wonder and Hope — Mom always convinced me it would be an adventure. By Ian Anderson The Animal Keeper— Animals spoke to my mother “in a language only she understood.” By Whitney Butler La Gringa ...

May 6, 2015
The otherness that burdened my mother

My mother first stepped foot in America in 1957 at the age of six. She was porcelain-skinned and freckle-faced with a shock of curly red hair. My grandfather waited on the tarmac as his family ...

May 6, 2015
What we hate about San Diego

A childhood friend of mine from Chicago recently admitted that she unfollowed my Facebook feed. “In February Chicago had its coldest month on record since 1875! We froze our asses off. Looking at pictures of ...

April 29, 2015
Accept the craziness of San Diego lobster fisherman

Never name your boat after your wife.

Sneak peek for the Week

Fashion Week San Diego hosted its spring showcase at Harrah’s Casino on Saturday, March 14. Attendees were given a sneak peek of styles from 25 different designers whose designs will walk the runway next fall ...

Parks and art and recreation

Among the barrel cactus and desert agave of Borrego Springs you’ll find a peculiar site: a herd of Gomphotheres and a 350-foot sea serpent slithering out of the sand. These, and 138 other larger than ...

February 4, 2015
First he sold diapers at Kobey's Swap Meet

When Jon Carder became a multimillionaire at the age of 26, his mother thought he was a drug dealer. “For a good four years, she thought for sure I was selling drugs. I bought a ...

January 7, 2015
Local gift guide: Lady edition

Christmas shopping can be such a hassle. I have the tendency to avoid malls during the entire month of December. Parking is a nightmare and sales people are overworked and grumpy. Luckily for San Diegans ...

Local gift guide: Dude edition

Gift giving for the dudes on my Christmas list is a challenge. My husband is a minimalist, so anytime I ask him what he wants for Christmas he shrugs and says, "Nothing." While he acts ...

Thrift pros and scores

San Diego is known for its great weather, beaches, and craft beer. I think we need to add another item to that list — thrift stores. From the row of resale shops in Hillcrest on ...

November 20, 2014
Pulling off that Monday Morning look

SDSU on a Monday morning is a sea of fashion mediocrity. The campus is sprinkled with students wearing sneakers, joggers, yoga pants, tees and top knots. I get it; I do. No one likes Mondays, ...

November 11, 2014
Cute, not crass

Every fall, the costume industry rolls out a fresh crop of sexified costumes for the ladies that range from the unintentionally hysterical to the downright absurd. Skimpy is fine, but a lack of creativity is ...

October 11, 2014
Festival style on Adams Avenue

Ever notice how groups of friends often share similar tastes in style? I ran into several groups of ladies who wore complementary frocks at the Adams Avenue Street festival. Lein Gage, Lora Mathis and Daliah ...

October 5, 2014
Spotted: Dapper, trendy, casual-cool

If it were up to me, my husband would dress like he stepped out of a J.Crew catalogue. However he prefers to wear tees that say, Fact: Clowns Eat People paired with cargo shorts and ...

October 3, 2014
Pint-sized to lady-like

Here’s what you should know about Fashion Week San Diego — Allison Andrews, the show’s founder/producer, is not attempting to replicate New York Fashion Week. FWSD is the laid-back, unpretentious version. You will not find ...

October 2, 2014

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