Standing Up for Servers

I have been an avid fan of the Reader for over ten years. You have written great articles about my friends, local bands, I love the food reviews, etc. But this tidbit written by Ian Pike degrading servers in San Diego will make me never pick up a magazine again. His insanely unintelligent, verbosely disgusting article on servers here — and trust me I have worked with the best chefs in San Diego — makes me think he is a completely out-of-touch jerk.

Julie Dalforno
via email

No Homeless Expert

I am writing in response to Ken Harrison’s story about homeless people (“Will Work for Food,” October 25). While a lot of homeless people do have substance abuse problems, this is not true of all of them. What about veterans? Young people? Couples and families that have lost homes due to the economy?

Another issue I have with the article is Mr. Harrison stating that homeless people can get help if needed. What if the person in question is mentally ill and has no family?

I agree that a lot of the sign holders are not legitimately homeless, but just because Mr. Harrison held a sign for one day at an off-ramp, that does not make him an expert on homelessness.

Destri Heuschkel
via email

$1 Not to Lie

I know most of these panhandlers are scammers, but some stories really get to me (“Will Work for Food,” October 25). I recall the last time I turned down a guy who claimed to be a vet, wounded in Afghanistan or somewhere like that, with a family to support and no way to support them until his disability got approved. He even showed me scars on his leg that he claimed were from bullet wounds.

Now, being disabled myself, I know that he should be able to get SSI while he waited, unless he made too much money for SSI, so I know his story probably wasn’t true, but I still felt like a jackass for lying to him and telling him I didn’t have any money when I really did. It would have been worth a buck to avoid lying to him.

When I had a job and was making plenty of money I used to give a buck or some change to anybody who asked just because I was grateful I had it to give. I don’t have as much surplus anymore and I’ve stopped, but it feels too cold-hearted.

David Wallis
via email

Homeless for Real

I just had to write after reading “Will Work for Food,” by Ken Harrison (October 25). Please tell me that was a joke. If not then it is one big huge load of BS. No one makes that kind of money on any off-ramp. I know this for a fact as I am homeless and many times have to resort to holding a sign — although I don’t dirty myself up when I do, as washing my clothes is costly for me. So, I’m out there wearing clean clothes.

If any of you want to really know what it’s like out there and what the real story is, come out and spend some time with me. I can tell you that there are a lot of people out there working on getting back to where they were. Also, many are mentally ill, addicted to something, or on the lam. There are more, but these are the largest groups. Most of the people I know out there put forth a serious effort to keep up their appearance and look decent. It’s insulting that people just assume homeless people are all dirty grimy bums. Grow a brain. Or, better yet, come find out the truth in person.

Edward Welth
via email

The Road to Theocracy

Concerning the anonymous advertisement on page 13 of the Reader for the week of October 25, which is supposedly the Thanksgiving Proclamation written by George Washington in 1789. Along with other proselytizing religious ads that the Reader has printed, it was almost certainly paid for by a particular right-wing wacko church organization which, as stated, decided to remain nameless.

This ad was placed to try and show that God is part of American traditions and values, as a large amount of Americans believe. The proclamation however, was written at a time when man knew almost nothing of science and the universe around him. One thing I think that most Americans can agree on, as evidence of our Constitution, is that our founding fathers intended to keep God out of our laws. God is a personal thing. Keep him in your life if you wish, but we start down a dangerous road to theocracy if we allow him into our laws.

Mike Myers
via email

Lost in Florida Canyon

I pray that whomever finds my body will send this note to the Reader, whose incorrect directions within the October 25 Roam-O-Rama (“Seven Bridge Walk”) sent me tripping down some brush a few nights ago into what I’ve heard passing bicyclists refer to as “Florida Canyon” during the hellish days I’ve been stranded in these bushes, legs useless, throat too dry to cry out. The next-to-last paragraph, “Turn left/west on Robinson Avenue” is most definitely incorrect. You must have meant “right/west.”

You’ve seriously messed up a longtime fan who was using your guide with abundant trust for the first time. And, I fear, the last. There is no hope. Had to eat my left arm this morning. Things are getting bl——

José Sinatra
North Park

Real Solid Poetry

I am sincerely asking myself: Why do you guys choose to publish terrible poetry? “Family Reunion 2012” (October 18) has to be one of the most boring and mediocre poems I’ve ever read. If the rest of Tomás Gayton’s poetry and prose is anything like it, I am in utter awe of its publication. And you expect people to take a genuine interest in poetry, which already has a reputation for pretentiousness and tediousness, with mundane publications such as this?

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