Finally Vegan

I was glad to see that some of your writers were thoughtful to mention vegan and vegetarian options in the recent October 20 restaurant issue (“Eat”). This was an improvement on previous years. I hope to see more progress next time (a veg category, perhaps?), as this is a rapidly growing area of interest. For ideas and updates, check out vegsandiego.com.

Teagen McClain
North Park

Feel-Good Fish Laws

Yes, sadly the bait looks and sounds really good (“Go Fish. But…Where?” “City Lights,” October 6). “Marine Life Protection Act” has a ring and a good feeling connected to it! But when you examine the bait closely, you quickly see that it is a sham. A few people come up with some shortsighted plan that is touted as made by the Blue Ribbon Task Force bunch, and it is guaranteed as the only plan for success.

I am a recreational fisherman. Perhaps my greatest moments in life occurred off of Black’s Beach in a kayak about three years ago. I was fishing for halibut with a very large mackerel. This fish took off in one direction going straight offshore. Finally, I brought to the surface a six-foot, six-inch black sea bass. I estimate that the fish weighed about 400 pounds. After three attempts at holding the fish upright (swim bladder problem), it was able to swim back down. I can’t even imagine the horror of making it illegal or to outlaw the greatest moments in my life. And for all of the other local fishermen — perhaps 1000 other local American fish stories. I tremble in disgust and shake my head no again and again as my saddened heart cannot ignore the destruction and worthlessness of the current Marine Life Protection Act.

In La Jolla, recreational kayak fishing is a healthy daily activity for hundreds and hundreds of San Diego residents throughout the year. How can we just allow a few extreme environmentalists to wipe out the fishing rights of all San Diego residents in the future? This is not managing a natural resource — this January 1 is truly a sad, sad day. It is our 9/11. We are actively being terrorized by shortsighted environmentalists who have the money and political connections to shut down the oceans to the public. And their ding-a-ling plan will allow all the current problems to proliferate, such as pollution and no-quota commercial netting that is decimating our future.

Patrick Keith
Imperial Beach

They Cry Poor

I would like to comment on the article “One Night, El Cajon Felt Like Baghdad” (“City Lights,” September 29).

Mr. Kharat is the last person who should judge law enforcement. He is part of the problem.

In the course of my employment I have had the opportunity to visit the Chaldean community and see how they live firsthand. Many have luxury items like big-screen televisions, expensive furniture, and expensive cars.

Many of these same people have no visible means of income and do not work.

As they cry poor and destitute, they are receiving every public assistance available and still want more. Some have said we “owe” them.

They laugh at our government while taking money for nothing.

Friends who work at Costco tell me there is a customer who happens to be Chaldean who bought a water filter, and instead of changing the filter every three months, he returns the whole thing and gets a new one every three months instead. Likewise, the same is done with vacuum cleaners — why change the bag if you can get a new one? (Granted, Costco is way too generous with its return policy, but you get my drift.)

They also are known for buying big-ticket items like televisions and computers and not paying the sales tax by saying the item is for resale. What gas station or liquor store has an electronics department?

Any drive down Main Street in El Cajon will tell you — it looks like Baghdad, all right, but what do we do?

I cannot give my name because of my job.

Name Withheld
via U.S. Postal Service

Chicken-Killing Thursdays

I’m a big fan of Don Bauder’s because I think he’s one of the very best investigative reporters in the country. I personally got a nostalgic chuckle out of his subject column when he mentioned anecdotes from former President “Cal” and Mrs. Coolidge (“Work Is Wonderful. Really?” “City Lights,” September 29).

Cal Coolidge’s son John and his family attended the First Congregational Church in Farmington, Connecticut, where I also attended church/Sunday school as a tyke and during my formative teenage years. As a result, while I never knew former President Coolidge or Mrs. Coolidge, I did personally witness on many occasions the taciturn John Coolidge and the rest of his family in church. Accordingly, I was quite surprised to read that the former President and Mrs. Coolidge had such a well-developed and wry sense of humor, because, with all due respect, John Coolidge certainly needed a charisma transplant!

Farmington is the home of Miss Porter’s fashionable and prestigious finishing school. Notable alumnae include Jackie Kennedy, Babs Hutton, and Doris Duke.

Anecdotally, New England Yankees are a good but occasionally strange breed, and, truthfully, I have to include myself as one of them, even though I’ve been removed for almost a half century. Why? Holiday magazine in the late ’40s referred to New England as a place where there was a difference between 10 and 11 cents!

While I’m definitely not as penurious as suggested by the foregoing anecdote, I do recall working on a chicken farm in Farmington at the age of 14 and trying to take care of both ends of 20,000 chickens by throwing 100-pound feed bags off freight cars and other sundry chores for $6 a day! Thursdays were chicken-killing days, and I was the designated assassin. Needless to say, I still dread Thursdays even on joyous holidays such as Thanksgiving because they still conjure up the fact that on those days I was a reluctant but an efficient executioner.

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