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San Diego Reader

Sex traffic survivors to business women

February 26, 2020 |

“Investors told me I was crazy.”

Cynthia Luvlee-Austin is doing what she was told could not be done. Her non-profit organization, Shyne San Diego, seeks to equip survivors of human trafficking with tools and skills to improve their economic security. 

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Frozen pipes – winter on Mount Laguna

January 15, 2020 |


The temperature drops steadily as I make my way east on Interstate 8 — 57 degrees, 54, 49. I have brought four hoodies and the down jacket I wear only when I visit my mom in … Read More

Decay, growth, and rebirth on Pacific Highway

January 8, 2020 |

A trumpet-shaped flower on Cedar and Pacific Highway PHOTOGRAPH BY MATTHEW SUÁREZ

Pacific Highway doesn’t look like it sounds. The name calls to mind surfboard-topped VW buses, sunsets, and bike-riders in bathing suits, something like what you’d see on Highway … Read More

A week in San Diego without a phone

November 6, 2019 |


I never take my phone out on the water in Mission Bay, where I go to stand-up paddle board a couple of times a week. Sometimes I wish … Read More

Press 1 for Spanglish

June 3, 2015 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader June 3, 2015)

My friend Pati has lived in San Diego County for 25 years and has never been to Balboa Park. On a Tuesday afternoon in March, … Read More

Not that horrible woman from the Reader!

May 13, 2015 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader May 13, 2015.)

When I open the door to Room 315, I receive a standing ovation from kids I’ve never met before. They stand around clusters of desks, … Read More

Give me the pills and nobody gets hurt

April 1, 2015 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader April 1, 2015.)

At around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13, a man in a blue hoodie, brown beanie, jeans, and work boots walked into a La Jolla CVS, and … Read More

The visionary behind the Help Neil Catch Fish Foundation

March 4, 2015 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader March 4, 2015.)

Keith Berkley wants to share his lobster with me. And by “share his lobster with me” I mean, he wants me to witness the bay-to-table journey of … Read More

Pennies an Hour

January 21, 2015 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader January 21, 2015.)

In April 2013, Ryan Grainger and Bobby Sullivan found themselves faced with a particular First World problem at Coachella. The then-20- and 19-year-old University of … Read More

I’m Judo Math Dude

December 31, 2014 |

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader December 31, 2014.)

Annette Wilson stands in front of her sixth-grade class wearing a Karate Kid–style bandana tied around her forehead. She explains to her students at Vista Innovation … Read More