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Best Reader stories from 2010

Reader writers on Christmas, women who convert to Islam, table tennis champ in San Diego, devastating skateboard accident, Chula Vista kidnapping by Arrellano cartel, freeway close

Corner of Brandywine and Olympic Parkway where SWAT members took down Tio with a flash bang.
  • Corner of Brandywine and Olympic Parkway where SWAT members took down Tio with a flash bang.
  • San Diego women who have converted to Islam

  • Over the phone, Maureen Slater sounds like a soccer mom. She uses words like “jammies” instead of pajamas and laughs at her own jokes (“I’m smarter than my husband, ha-ha-ha”), some of which aren’t really jokes (“but seriously, he’d tell you the same thing”). She lifts weights two or three times per week on a home gym set up on the patio of her Paradise Hills home.
  • By Elizabeth Salaam, Sept. 8, 2010
  • Even the Chinese were scared of him

  • Since table tennis is not featured on any of the TV channels, most Americans don’t know and don’t care that one of the world’s greatest athletes is a coach in Balboa Park. In many parts of the world, he’s a legend. Players from Sweden, Denmark, and even Australia have come to San Diego only to see Stellan.
  • By Branislava Vlasic, Aug. 25, 2010
  • Broken skull, broken heart

  • Only half of the six red vinyl booths were occupied. Five friends and I took the one at the far end of the narrow bar. It wasn’t much of a celebration, but it was the closest thing to a party I’d been to since I’d fallen from a skateboard and landed in a coma, awaking 19 days later with a piece of my skull missing, scars on my arms, and a plastic pipe in my throat.
  • By Dorian Hargrove, April 21, 2010
  • The Chula Vista kidnapping of Eddy Tostado by Arellano cartel

  • At 3:39 a.m. on January 7, 2007, Columbia Street was almost deserted. Little Italy had been plagued with car burglaries — “It got where you couldn’t drive too many of the streets down there without seeing broken glass in the morning,” said San Diego police officer Joel Schmid, so Schmid parked his patrol car and approached on foot when he noticed a pearl white Escalade stopped in the driveway of a condominium.
  • By Laura McNeal, April 7, 2010
  • These San Diegans live right next to I-5, I-15, the 94

  • “It’s not for most people; I wouldn’t recommend it.” I asked Johnny and a selection of other freeway-side dwellers around San Diego County: With all the choices available in “America’s Finest City” (and outskirts), why the hell did you move here?
  • By Moss Gropen, Feb. 24, 2010

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