Exploring Land Use in San Diego
“What’s That Lot?” was a series of short land use investigation pieces aimed at answering questions readers had about strange buildings or seemingly unused and otherwise mysterious land parcels around the county. I found out about an open lot near San Diego’s bustling downtown neighborhood that seemed ripe for development, and found out why it’s had nothing going on for nearly a decade. In addition to pulling land use records, interviewing the former developer and employees of the neighboring businesses for my article, I took my own photos for the story. The story generated more than 800 unique page views.
“What’s That Lot: A ‘Vertical Power Center’ That Never Got Off the Ground,” Voice of San Diego, Nov. 16, 2015.
Investigation of Bottled Water’s Source Exposes Health Code Violation
California drought concerns were high during the summer of 2015. Publications like Mother Jones and the Sacramento Bee drew attention to bottled water companies who were still sourcing water in California. So when I noticed my school had it’s own brand of bottled water, I wondered where it was coming from and called the number on the back of the bottle. Instead of connecting me to the manufacturer’s hotline, a recording came on that claimed I won a cruise and all I needed to do to receive my prize was to enter my credit card information. I never did get that cruise, but I did find out that California law requires bottled water manufacturers to print their number on the back of the bottle so that consumers can find out about the source. I covered this story for a summer class at San Diego State, and a shortened version of it was later printed in the campus newspaper. The water bottles have since been repackaged with a completely new design that includes a correct telephone number.
“Campus water bottles violate California Law,” The Daily Aztec, Aug. 5, 2015.
The Community That Saved Its Bookstore
Ducky Waddle’s Emporium on Highway 101 in Leucadia has been a vibrant part of North County’s cultural identity for a long time. The site is so well loved, that customers began their own crowdfunding campaign to save the bookstore and arts venue. I covered the story for a community news website during the final days of the IndieGoGo campaign. The article was the most popular on the site the week it was published. It also won third place in the San Diego Press Club’s financial news category, and the community did end up keeping Ducky Waddle’s afloat.
“Saving the store: Crowdfunding campaign, cash mob aim to keep Ducky Waddle’s afloat,” North Coast Current, Jun. 6, 2015.
Tiny Homes in San Diego Face Uncertainly Future
Tiny homes have taken over home improvement programs and magazines because of their versatility and low-cost, but they’re still uncommon in San Diego despite the city’s many housing issues. In fact, many tiny home dwellers were reluctant to speak on camera because they feared being forced to move their homes. I found out why that is and interviewed women who know first hand why how hard it is to live small in San Diego. In addition to producing the text piece for this multimedia news package, I utilized my skills as a digital-first, mobile journalist to create a 3-minute video using only an iPad.
“Tiny Homes in San Diego Face Uncertainly Future,” JMS Reports, May 4, 2016.