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There’s a reason the phrase realtalk has been so popular over the past year or two. There’s a lot of value in saying something straight up. Indeed, some of the stories on this list struck a chord not because they revealed something new, but because they explained existing news to people in a way that resonated. The most popular post of the year, for example, was Scott Lewis’s piece reading the tea leaves of the Chargers negotiations and distilling it into one powerful line: The Chargers are done with San Diego.
Similarly, San Diego Unified published a packet of statistics on neighborhood schools — something that was out there in the public domain for anyone to read through. But distilling the info into a list of schools parents avoided the most drove home the neighborhood schools debate in a new way.
Other stories on this list are just the meat and potatoes of good reporting: Crime stories in which powerful entities mistreat vulnerable people, a behind-the-scenes look at a meeting with Qualcomm that revealed the company’s deep frustration with the city and an examination of how Comic-Con, one of the premier events in San Diego, has managed to thrive even as similar events pop up across the country.
Now on to the list of our top 10 most-read stories for 2015:
1. It’s Over: The Chargers Are Done With San Diego
An NFL official reiterates that a complex real estate deal to fund a new Chargers stadium probably won’t work. With other challenges, it looks like Chargers fans will have to accept the fact that their team is likely moving on. (Scott Lewis)
2. Their Crime: Walking Into Their Own Home
San Diego Police Department officers said they suspected a burglary was in the works when they watched two brothers unlock the door to their family store and home. Officers punched and handcuffed members of the family. Video footage disputes key details offered by the officers. (H.G. Reza)
3. Guilt by Association: Facebook Pics Could Help Send a Young Man to Prison for Life
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis used an obscure criminal statute to prosecute a group of San Diego men, including 26-year-old Aaron Harvey. Dumanis has admitted that some of the men had nothing to do with the underlying crimes at the heart of the case – a series of shootings by Lincoln Park gang members in 2013. (Sara Libby)
4. The Deal With All Those Other Comic-Cons
Many other comic and pop-culture conventions have popped up since Comic-Con debuted in San Diego in 1970, but Comic-Con’s managed to maintain its prestige. (Lisa Halverstadt)
5. The 10 Schools San Diego Parents Are Avoiding Most
The 10 schools parents are least likely to enroll their kids. And the 10 where they’re most likely to. (Scott Lewis)
6. Qualcomm VP Told San Diego Politicians Seeking Stadium Help to Pound Sand
Qualcomm’s head of facilities told a city councilman and the city attorney the company is so frustrated, it will never again build anything in San Diego. (Scott Lewis)
7. Four Myths About a Chargers Stadium That Must Die
Help us kill them. Please? (Scott Lewis)
8. The Offer San Diego Made to the NFL — and the League’s Response
The city and county put their offers to the NFL in writing. The county revealed it has cash ready, but the NFL seems to have the same concerns as the Chargers. (Scott Lewis)
9. The Refugee Who Built a Towing Empire and a Record of Crime and Lies
Nash Habib arrived in the U.S. the day he turned 18. Since then, he’s worked, fought and schemed his way to the top of the region’s towing business. (Liam Dillon)
10. We’re Suing the City of Carson
Carson says there are no communications between its elected officials and the NFL regarding a Chargers stadium. We find this hard to believe. (Liam Dillon)