Nobody is that yellow. I liked the article on City Heights (“Changes in City Heights,” March 18), but the yellow tone to the Asian section of the portrait on the front sucks. Come on.
Back To Front
Love the cover image of the two girls…wait a minute… oops, sorry. I was looking at the ad on the back cover. Never mind.
Pooless And Quiet
While it’s great to read an article which reflects the turnaround that much of City Heights has experienced since intense rebuilding and revitalization began a decade or so ago, I was taken aback by the parts which state that residents regularly have to avoid dog poop on sidewalks and that the library is noisy and overcrowded (“Changes in City Heights,” Cover Story, March 18). She must have spent her time in a different section of City Heights than where I’ve lived for 11 years (and there are several), as I can’t recall any encounters with said poo during my walks. As for the library, I use the beautiful two-story City Heights/Weingart Branch on the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Wightman Street, which certainly gets lots of use but remains quiet and orderly inside.
I don’t doubt that she encountered what she did, but it’s noteworthy that there are many neighborhoods within this neighborhood.
(1) Crappy cover “art.” Put American Apparel ad on cover, bury cover “art” in backyard.
(2) Good job bringing in all the pot ads. Soon you’ll be flooded with rehab ads too. Win-win. Know any good coke-crystal-heroin dealers too?
(3) Not getting the sweet smell of inspiration from Reader anymore. I’m whiffing the stale smell of desperation. That desperation is exemplified by hanging on to Barbara, I mean “Barbarella.” Ooh, what an edgy name! What a dufus hipster. Hot? Kramer. Not? “Barbarella.”
(4) With all the advertisements crowded around the articles, when I see all the pages I’ve turned it makes me feel like I’ve read a lot.
(5) The crossword puzzle was much more fun to do when you printed all the correctly completed and submitted entries. Does it really cost that much to put one more sheet of paper into the binder? Does it really?
Missed The Mark On Marco
I was disheartened to read Don Bauder’s recent article about Marco Li Mandri (“Too Much Conflict, Too Much Interest,” “City Lights,” March 4). I generally respect Don’s writing and research, but this time I think he has missed the mark. I have known Marco for 15 years and worked with him as a Little Italy board member, property owner, and business owner.
When I bought a Little Italy office building at a foreclosure sale in 1992, the neighborhood was dismal. The homeless lived in abandoned buildings and camped in parking lots. An 18-unit apartment building across the street had been illegally converted to 40 single rooms, and multiple drug users shared each room; Little Italy’s street gutters were loaded with trash. At that time, the Park and Recreation Department was responsible for maintaining our district but did little to control the problems, which discouraged the revitalization of the area.
Marco became involved with Little Italy in 1994 and helped organize our first Festa. He continued to help residents, tenants, business owners, and property owners form the Little Italy Association (LIA), which was established in 1996 without community opposition. In 1997 Marco proposed having the Little Italy Association take over maintenance of the district from the Park and Recreation Department. I told him he was crazy; I did not think there was any way the City would allow him to replace City employees. In the summer of 1998, Marco proved me wrong, and the LIA took over maintenance of Little Italy. Perhaps his enthusiasm to solve problems instead of ignoring them ruffled feathers in City departments. Ultimately, Mike Aguirre and Scott Kessler took issue with Marco’s style; however, the residents, property owners, and business owners are thrilled with the improved level of service Marco has provided.
In 2004, the property owners were so pleased with the service Marco delivered that we voted to double our budget through an additional assessment on our property taxes. We now have 30 sets of tables and chairs on the street corners, 250 trash cans that are emptied regularly, 800 trees that are trimmed and watered, and more than 70 dog-bag stations are cared for every week. We have also added 100 hanging plants and over 50 corner pots that Marco’s workers service on a daily basis. Marco’s brightly clothed helpers are visible throughout the day, which deters crime. There are countless community events that are held annually, which make Little Italy the most livable of neighborhoods in downtown San Diego.
Our LIA board has had over 20 members over the past ten years. I served on the original board of directors. Marco has never been a voting member of the board. Unfortunately, conflict of interest often occurs when dealing with the City. Our city council members vote on projects and issues that are advanced by citizens who often have given them campaign contributions. By Don Bauder’s definition, this is a conflict of interest, but that is unfortunately the system under which we live.
In my opinion, Marco is the poster child for privatizing services and for getting twice the benefit for half the cost.
I think this lady who is trying to get the district to not charge for school fees is doing a great job (“School Fees Are Illegal,” “City Lights,” March 18). I don’t think students should pay for special events, swimming classes, soccer teams, etc. I think this lady is pretty smart. I think she’s doing the right thing, because the economy’s really low right now. We’re going to be charging our students for things the school should be providing for them. And I think you guys are doing a great job at the Reader.