My Disgust

I have to let you know of my disgust with the Reader after seeing the cover story “To Live and Die in Oceanside” (February 21). I am a professional person and live in Oceanside and don’t even believe that you allow such a story on the front page of your Reader. I used to work for the San Diego County district attorney technical services division, and I saw dead gangbangers come across my desk on a daily basis, 90 percent from Southeast or the barrio. How can you slam Oceanside so freely? I don’t think you have your facts together, as our local law enforcement is on top of the gangs and violence. I’m sorry to say that the Reader has lost me as a reader.

Name Withheld

via email

Really Disgusted

I work with a group of teachers. I’m a teacher here in San Diego, in one of the high schools, and I don’t really want to name the high school, but we, as a group — there are 5 or 6 of us, and I know 10 or 15 others — we were really disgusted with the choice of picture that you have on the Reader this week (“To Live and Die in Oceanside,” Cover Story, February 21). It looks like you’re glorifying gang activity or gang membership, and it’s really appalling. I think it’s a bad message to send to San Diego and our youth, who glorify and

really look up to this stuff because a lot of them are misled, without parents and families. Whoever made that choice to put that picture of the gang member right there, with his head cut off and all the gang activity on his body, it’s really disgusting, and I think it’s low class, and I think it sends a bad message, and it’s a very bad choice. Please think about stuff that you do before you do it.

Tom Cottner

Skewed View

Regarding your cover story “To Live and Die in Oceanside” (February 21), I would like to express my disappointment. I was born and raised in San Diego and have lived in Oceanside for the last 20 years and find it a wonderful coastal community, full of terrific family-oriented, well-educated professionals in lovely, safe neighborhoods. Your article continues to perpetuate the negative reputation of the city I live in, and frankly, we don’t deserve it. The article states Oceanside has 600 gang members. This is less than 1 percent of our total population. I really do find it offensive the Reader chose to focus on the least common denominator of our city and give the impression we are a gang-ridden, unsafe community. It is the wrong impression, and it is disappointing the Reader is portraying a very old, tired, skewed view of this beautiful city.

Nikki Kuech

via email

Wrong Image

I’m sending this email about the recent cover and article in the Reader about Oceanside (“To Live and Die in Oceanside,” Cover Story, February 21). The cover of a bare-chested man with gang names associated with Oceanside is just plain offensive to us who have worked so hard at changing the image of Oceanside and have worked on wonderful new developments in this city. The image is just wrong for an up-and-coming cultural arts city with a world-class art museum, two historic theaters, a fabulous Mission San Luis Rey, pier and harbor, concerts in the park, and many other cultural events. Developers have discovered Oceanside, and new hotels, office space, restaurants, and retail are moving into the downtown area.

This type of journalism is just sensationalism to promote your paper. Oceanside is metamorphosing into a highly desirable area. We are a city comprising many neighborhoods filled with families and professionals, each with our own unique character and value that comprise the vibrant beach and cultural arts city that we are today.

The San Diego Union-Tribune and the North County Times have produced honest and positive yet balanced editorial regarding the incredible change that has taken place over many years in our city. We hope that the Reader will consider better coverage in the future.

Carolyn Mickelson

Chair

Oceanside Arts Commission

Blatant Power Grab

Don Bauder’s “City Light” (“Brash Cash,” February 21) refers to the threat of an initiative by the developers to give the mayor absolute power. Yesterday I was approached outside Ralphs and asked to sign an initiative to “audit the mayor.” It sounded good until I read it. The petition will give the mayor the power to choose the auditor who audits the mayor’s departments, which is virtually the whole city. A blatant power grab buttressed by signature solicitors who are trained to lie to the public.

Melvin Shapiro

Hillcrest

Smelly, Luddite Hippies

This is regarding today’s “City Lights” story “Strife Span” (February 21). I’ve been enjoying Rose Canyon for over ten years and used to be against the Regents bridge, but I’ve done a 180 on that.

All the squawking on this project focuses on Genesee traffic. How about how convenient it would be crossing Rose Canyon via Regents? There are shopping centers on each side. In order to go from one shopping center to the other, you need to travel via Governor Drive and Genesee and weave through some other roads instead of just zipping across. How about the environmental impact of that extra driving? How about the impact of all those cars idling on Genesee day after day?

The new bridge won’t do much environmental damage either. So a few plants and animals will bite it during construction, that’s just Darwin. Get out of the way or pave them over. The plants and animals haven’t been harmed by the existing Genesee bridge; they’re doing just fine.

I’ve had it up to here with the extra driving and moving as fast as a potted plant on Genesee. A lot of the environmentalist types fighting the bridge are outside agitators that don’t even live or drive in University City anyway. These smelly, Luddite hippies should go find another battle.

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