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Best Reader stories from 2014

Bicyclist killed at Pendleton, Bali Hai, baseball spring training in Phoenix, ocean death off Pt. Loma, La Jolla Cove as cesspool

The colony “hauling out” on the rocks and swimming around the waters of the Cove has grown logarithmically.
  • The colony “hauling out” on the rocks and swimming around the waters of the Cove has grown logarithmically.
  • Udo was gone

  • Despite the occasional car and North County bus whizzing by, they rode in perfect harmony, each rider knowing when it was time to pick up the pace or leapfrog to the front. The road was mostly empty. There were no oncoming northbound cars on the horizon. And even though there were few cars on the road, the cyclists hugged the right side.
  • By Maryann Castronovo, Nov. 12, 2014

Image recorded by bus: before

Image recorded by bus: before

  • A product of the 1950s Tiki culture

  • “Special Tables for Spies, Espionage Agents to View the U.S. Fleet — Binoculars furnished to U.S. Citizens only,” said a 1950s advertisement for the restaurant. Dressed in one of his famously flowered Hawaiian shirts, Ham would work the room, greeting Navy brass and yeomen sailors.
  • By Matt Potter, Oct. 22, 2014

Bali Hai exterior

Bali Hai exterior

  • Peoria is another town in greater Phoenix

  • Starting training camp as one of 61 players trying to make an impression in 2014, the Padres coaching staff and front office were in the midst of whittling down the roster to what would ultimately be 25 Major League Baseball players by March 30th, and with 46 left in camp, Medica had made the first few cuts to the roster.
  • By David Alton Dodd, April 30, 2014

A good showing in spring training helped Tommy Medica leap from the minors to the big leagues.

A good showing in spring training helped Tommy Medica leap from the minors to the big leagues.

  • Naked and alone in the ocean at night

  • Something you don’t see every day: seagulls standing on the ocean. A 20-year-old surfer named David Corriea would tell this to investigators and reporters later. It was a couple hours ahead of sunset and there they were, just standing out there, maybe a half dozen, roosting and pecking on something or other floating outside the break at South Garbage. When curiosity got the better of him, Corriea called out to the only other surfer who was in the vicinity.
  • By Dave Good, April 9, 2014
  • Things I loved about being homeless in San Diego

  • You may be asking how I ended up on the street. I was not using drugs, drinking, or diagnosed with a mental-health condition. It was not as if I didn’t prove to be a capable, upstanding citizen with some impressive accomplishments. I earned a master’s degree. I worked as a librarian who managed youth departments.
  • By Nica Taylor, Feb. 26, 2014

Illustration by Katherine Jeanne Wood

  • La Jolla Cove is becoming a sea lion cesspool

  • About a year ago at the La Jolla Cove, longtime marathon swimmer Claudia Rose was making her way toward La Jolla Shores with a friend when a group of sea lions charged at them. Startled into a fight-or-flight reaction, the swimmers veered to the south, toward the caves, to get away from the pinnipeds. Rose’s friend panicked, cramped up, and couldn’t swim very well, but his wetsuit kept him buoyant until he could recover.
  • By Caitlin Rother, Jan. 15, 2014

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