His Class Average Is Still Okay

Up to now, Don Bauder has been doing low-A and high-B work in his columns covering the ongoing financial disaster. But in his April 15 column, he flunks the class (“No Place for Sissies,” “City Lights”).

No amount of service cuts or tax increases will stop the financial free fall. The issue is corruption, plain and simple.

If graft, fraud, theft of public funds, “misappropriation,” and grift were severely restricted, you could increase services and cut taxes at the same time.

It’s all about the “three chronic illnesses” of government: misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance. This is why we have public employees making out while those who support their hefty paychecks and pensions slide into ruin. This is why there seems to be no end to the financial crisis. And this is why tax increases and service cuts only make the problem worse — it’s like giving booze to an alcoholic.

Name Withheld
via fax

Victimized, Underpaid

Re “Pedicabs in Peril” (“Stringers,” April 15). J. Howard is right. The real pedicab problem is the exploitation of J-1 exchange students by companies that call workers “contractors” instead of “employees.” Local pedicab businesses face unfair competition and loss of local jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating this practice of victimizing workers who don’t get the compensation they deserve. The City of San Diego is not focusing on the real problem: exploitation of J-1 students to illegally cut costs and an influx of numbers of J-1 students who can’t understand why they sit for hours and get no fares.

People enjoy pedicab rides. It is a valuable service.

U.S. Department of State undersecretary for public diplomacy Judith A. McHale wrote to me that the pedicab issue in San Diego is a concern and the Summer Work/Travel programs have been cautioned that exchange visitor participation in the pedicab field raises legal issues that need to be taken into careful consideration.

The City of San Diego needs to be working with the U.S. Department of State as well as Labor to resolve this issue, not hammering our local businesses who are complying with the law and struggling to stay in business. Nathaniel Uy’s article is keeping this issue in the public eye. City hall, help create jobs for San Diegans by fixing the real problem, not penalizing hardworking people trying to make a living.

Sally Smith
via email

Misnomer Stalker?

I’m very disturbed by the use of the word “stalker” in the title of a kind of a playful column — “Style Stalker” — because it minimizes a very serious and for the most part sexist activity and makes light of it — and it’s not light. In a sense, it wouldn’t be as strong as this, let’s say, but it would be like making a wordplay and joke using the N-word, and I know you wouldn’t do it. I suspect it was a man who came up with that title.

I, for one, find it very offensive. When I saw it, I put down the Reader and said I’m not going to read this paper anymore because it’s too clueless to use “stalker” in this way. It would be like using “rape”: Let’s Rape the Rags, “rags” being clothes. You wouldn’t do it. This is in the same category, as far as I’m concerned.

Lucy Silvay
Hillcrest

Pull Those Weeds

I pick up the Reader each week for the genius contained within Scott Meyer’s comics, Barbarella’s stories, and most cover features. I like these things a lot. But the five full pages of ads perpetually dedicated to weed? Not so much.

Jake Glazier
via Facebook

Disappointed With Dribble

I was calling because I am super, super concerned about your little “Stringer” report here titled “Wave of Concern” by Carolyn Grace Matteo (April 8). That is not news. That is far from news. It is not even neighborhood news; it’s not even neighborhood information. This is just someone being incredibly nosy, putting her nose where it doesn’t belong.

As someone who has a child with special needs, people look at me all the time like the child is being abused. But sometimes you have to get physical with these children, just to control them so they don’t hurt themselves or hurt others. So what she considers grabbing a child and thrusting him into a chair, most people probably wouldn’t even consider that.

I’m just disappointed with the Reader in printing something like that. This is just useless drivel and has no newsworthiness whatsoever. You want to do a story about child safety versus privacy laws, do a story about that. Don’t let some knucklehead write in and leave some B.S. opinion piece like this.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Scared By Covers

I’ve been reading the Reader for a long time, ever since I came to San Diego. I really enjoy the Reader. I take it to people in the hospital, I pass it to my friends, and I enjoy the stories that are in it. You do an extremely good job. I’m begging you to please do something about the cover pictures. The cover picture is absolutely disgusting. Couldn’t you have an uplifting picture, just one once in a while? They’re getting more and more bizarre. I can’t understand why you would want to do that to the cover of a paper, what you did this last issue (“Do You Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?” April 8).

The truth is that some people like to keep these papers and reread some of the articles and pick up some of the jokes and copy them and send them to friends, and a lot of good messages are coming because of this paper, and I know that, so it’s not a comment on the whole thing. It’s just, do something about the cover. I wouldn’t put my hand on this Reader issue. That is really disgusting. You’ve reached back into somebody’s nightmare to do that to the cover of the paper. Whoever’s smoking whatever needs to get off of it.

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Comments

a2zresource April 27, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

RE "Bizarre Army":

"[O]n one side we have an environmentalist and utility army, so to speak, that wants you to save energy, and at the same time the utility organizations run to the PUC and say, 'Our revenue is down, we have to raise the rates per kilowatt' or whatever, whether it’s the water, gas, or electric."

Holistically, we have a generally free market with public utility monopolies embedded in it. One free market response to increasing electricity rates (in the face of increasing regulation for grid-connected home solar electricity generation) is to generate and use more electricity at home while keeping it strictly for home use or sharing with next-door neighbors, without feeding any of it back into the power grid to avoid federal regulation of "Qualifying Facilities". My Encanto Gas Holder neighborhood blogs have several entries on this issue.

As for increasing water rates, some of us in Encantostan see no problem with watering the outdoor plants in the yard on any day of the week with buckets of rain water taken from whatever is left in the Lemon Grove end of Chollas Creek, since San Diego and the utility monopolies seem to have no jurisdiction over the taking of it, and the city attorney of Lemon Grove has no apparent authority to say anything about it either. When Encantostanis get real desperate, we have Richard Graves' BUSHCRAFT for recommendations on purifying stagnant or polluted water without equipment.

In extreme market conditions, chronic electricity and water shortages should be considered in an all-hazard emergency incident context. See http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp and be prepared.

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.

This is why we have public employees making out while those who support their hefty paychecks and pensions slide into ruin. This is why there seems to be no end to the financial crisis. And this is why tax increases and service cuts only make the problem worse — it’s like giving booze to an alcoholic.

Name Withheld

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Now that is my kind of letter.

I agree you you 100% brother. I only wish I knew your name so I could publicly thank you.

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