We Own The Air
I admire Doug Curlee as a reporter (KUSI), but I don't agree with his letter last week (November 21) about KLSD talk shows that were all canceled by the corporate owner, Clear Channel. Curlee insists that "broadcasting is a business." Curlee should know better. The public owns the airwaves, and the law says they must serve the public interest. That's why we have an FCC. Does it serve the public interest when the publicly owned airwaves are used solely to augment the profits of the big corporations?
In the November 8 feature story, "No Time to Dream," the author's name, Steven Shepherd, was misspelled. The story was originally published June 11, 1981, as was stated on the first and last pages. The science and care of cystic fibrosis patients has changed significantly since then.
We Can Tell You Why Not
On Saturday, November 17, partially inspired by the article "Why Tijuana?" (Cover story, November 15) in your paper, I went along with my wife to Tijuana for a day visit. We had the most unpleasant experience in our lives.
After spending a few hours in the city, we decided to head back to San Diego around 3:00 p.m. Streets were extremely busy, and soon after we took the only lane that leads to the border crossing, two cops on motorcycles pulled us over (for no reason) and requested my driver's license and registration. I handed over my license and document from a rent-a-car company and got the immediate response that I was driving that car illegally without permission in Mexico. I tried to explain that the rent-a-car company was aware that we'd cross the border, and everything should be in order. The policeman quickly pulled out of his pocket a (well-prepared) piece of paper where it stated (in English) that this was a serious offence that would lead to car confiscation and imprisonment for two to five years!
At this point we got really concerned about what would happen next. I figured they wanted some money, so I offered to pay up. The cop said that if I paid $500 he'd let us go, no questions asked. I responded that we did not have that much cash on us; the cop asked how much did we have? We emptied our pockets and barely had $80. The cop just laughed and said he then needed to take us to the station.
I had no choice but to offer my credit card, which he gladly accepted, and then he instructed us to follow him to the ATM. One cop on the bike turned on rotation lights and went in front of our car, and the other did the same thing and stayed behind the vehicle, so we easily got out of the traffic jam. Soon after, we arrived at the ATM; the cop remained on his bike, and we went to the bank just to find out it was closed. He said to follow him to another one that turned out to be very busy, so he did not want to stop there (I guess not to get exposed) and instructed us to go to the next one. The third location was quiet, and we did not see anybody nearby. We went inside, got the money, and handed it over to the policeman, who took the money without counting it, put it in his pocket, and said that he trusted me.
I requested a receipt as proof and got the immediate response that in order to issue a receipt he would need to confiscate the vehicle. I argued that another cop might stop us and ask for money before we left the country. He answered, "I will take care of you." We followed him to the lane for San Diego, and he took off. We were still very concerned up until we crossed the borderline.
I strongly believe this message should be passed on so other people are aware of what crooked Mexican cops are doing and how your trip can turn into a hell. Oh, by the way, it was our first wedding anniversary that day! So much for the fun.
Mel and Sasha Stanisic
Someplace To No Place
Thanks to Joe Deegan's exposé, we now can see how developers work ("Kensington Terrace: Who Knew?" "City Lights," November 15). Kensington was a well-planned community in 1926! However, the pressure to accommodate new development, the rush to crack open well-planned communities goes on all over the city. We have the secret change in the Municipal Code (2000) to allow a change from a 30-foot height limitation to 50 feet along Adams Avenue; we have the tacit approval for new mini-dorms in the College Area; and we have the proliferation of so-called low-income condos in single-family neighborhoods.
Such changes frustrate and anger settled residents. Their once-settled and peaceful neighborhoods are being changed into "no-places."
Deegan points out why the word "developer" is so hated. First, because they operate below the radar, financing politicians to change the rules -- domestic colonialism. Secondly, developers are not responsible for the mess they leave behind. They do not have to actually live in the crowding, noise, and impossible traffic -- even the crime -- they leave behind. Thirdly, they are required to make a Needs Assessment, asking existing residents what they need in their communities. Maybe the community does not "need" what is being proposed. No matter. The need is the developer's -- the new feedlot, the new chicken cage or rabbit warren is built anyway. They do not care how people are expected to live in the new slums.
It is time we elect officials who are responsible to the sustainability of good places in which to live. Remember, all of our water, food, energy is hauled in. Until we have these secured, there is a limit to density and growth. It is time for a political change.
I have been living at the Golden West Hotel since December 18, 1994, and eating in the Moon Cafe on a regular basis ("The Sun Sets on the Moon Cafe," "City Lights," November 8). I have been working at the Sun Cafe since August of 1995.
As for Joe Deegan's comments:
The Golden West cheap? That's $7.94 a square foot, as the room is six foot ten by nine foot eight.
Reference to Sun Cafe as no fictitious business! Try reference USA-U.S. Business.
Reference to Centre City Development Corporation! This corporation of anti-American, international espionage foreign developers, American killers, have bought out this city with drug and alcohol distributors and foreign anti-American investors.
Reference to San Diego County Recorder's Office! This county administration has done nothing but force Americans into the streets -- use illegal labor to the point of overthrowing the region's American integrity -- and collaborated with anti-American religious and southwest federal administrations to destroy the United States.
Note: I moved to San Diego in 1983, was forced to live in the streets, doing daily labor and eating in soup lines from 1983 to 1994, when I moved into the Golden West Hotel. Started working at the Sun Cafe and eating at the Moon and Sun cafes.
The closing of the Moon and KD Donuts is just another plot of anti-American international colonization to starve us out and put us in the street, paying $25 to $30 for a piece of toast at an international dumpster full of illegal labor.
I am a tax-paying resident and American born!
I find it both sad and ironic that, of the ten or so meth-heads I've met in the past 12 months, every one of the addicted, lying losers saw himself as some kind of "upper class" addict, socially superior to crack smokers ("A Yearlong Trip Down Crack Street," Cover Story, November 1). Perhaps that odd ego trip is why Sanford protests (methinks too much) his incompetence as a crack smoker. Class among the trash, dude!
A Fate Worse Than Fat
In regards to the Reader's sob stories, being fat sucks ("Being Fat Sucks," Cover Story, September 27), being a drug addict sucks ("A Yearlong Trip Down Crack Street," Cover Story, November 1). I have some sympathy and empathy. It is a known fact that one can be predisposed to being fat. It's in the genes. Debatable as to whether being a drug addict is. My ex was a drug addict, and none of my sons are. Perhaps it is self-medicating an ailment of the mind. Debatable. I don't see too many who self-medicate with drugs, etc., get any better. They could see a shrink and get "legal" meds that may or may not work. You have to be willing to become a human guinea pig, but some of those meds actually work for a lot of people.
Getting to the gist of my letter, you can stop eating so much and you can realize that having a drug addiction is downright stupid. Some woman wrote there is nothing worse than being poor, white, fat, and a single middle-aged woman. Honey, there is something worse. That is being born with an ailment of the mind, or, the more commonly known term, a mental illness. An ailment of the heart is easier to cure than an ailment of the mind. And the ignorant who still think you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps: incredible. You're lucky if you can find your boots.
Including myself, there are at least six family members of mine that were born with this genetic illness, four of us have a major ailment of the mind. Don't get out your hankies. If we were celebs or wealthy, we might just be considered eccentric, or we could afford better care and maybe be cured, have a job, be part of the status quo.
You can be fat and have a decent job. You can be a recuperating drug addict and have a decent job. When one has a major ailment of the mind, like all chronically ill people, we cannot work. We can only dream about it.
It takes self-discipline to stop eating so much. It takes the same to avoid using drugs. I can only use self-discipline in helping to cope with my "sob story." When a neighbor says my taxes are paying for the benefits you get from living on SSI, I think, what benefits? It is a hard life, a degrading life, one I would trade in a second to be fat, working, and, yes, be a little happier. I have to use self-discipline to refrain from saying what I really feel like saying to a lot of grossly ignorant people.
The brain is an organ in the body, just like the heart, the liver, kidney, etc. My brain is sick, and I was born that way. I've lost so much. Friends, relatives. Other organs are failing. One son will have nothing to do with me because he is so ashamed of having a "mentally ill" mother.
I could go on. When the Reader wants to print another sob story, contact me. There are lots of interesting facts to be told. I'm surprised the Reader published my anti-germ letters. We "mentally ill" people are brainless. We sometimes wish we were. By the way, I'm sick of fat women who begrudge and misjudge women who are not fat.
Comments from Reader Website
Sheep and Goats
Published November 20
Posted by Paul H on 11/25/07, 7:02 p.m.
Quote: "Saroki had encountered that attitude among both Christians and Catholics...." With all due respect, the above quote is like saying "...among both iPods and mp3 players" or "...among both Californians and Americans." One category includes the other (i.e., an iPod is an mp3 player, Californians are Americans, and Catholics are Christians), but the phrasing implies that the author views the two categories as mutually exclusive.
Posted by Lickona on 11/25/07, 11:46 p.m.
Hilarious that I should accidentally make that implication while writing a piece about Christians seeking common ground across denominations. I was condensing a quote in which Saroki said that he had encountered the attitude among Christians (by which, I believe, he meant Christians who were not Catholic), and also while teaching in a Catholic school. Dratted word count. Apologies for the confusion.
City Lights, Breaking News
Published November 20
Posted by Fred Williams on 11/21/07, 10:05 p.m.
As an alum of SDSU, I'm once again disgusted. A university's primary job is to educate, not entertain. But the highest paid employees aren't the instructors but the sports coaches. Students must pay mandatory fees to support these wasteful programs. The "student athletes" rarely attend difficult classes, it seems most major in something called "recreation studies" -- and still can't graduate. Let's get rid of these games entirely and focus on education for a change.
City Lights, by Joe Deegan
Published November 14
Posted by 24-Year Kensington Resident on 11/19/07, 11:54 a.m.
I agree with Kensingtonian & Van Dyke. This project, like the Starbucks complex across the street, will improve the community. People need to get real about what will & won't "pencil out" in the real world. I guess they don't really mind the boarded-up houses & gas station. As for traffic fears, believe me, no one will drive into Kensington to buy groceries; they have other options. But locals will shop there & as a result, won't use their cars so much. That's a good thing! Few people like change, but nothing in the universe stays static. A community is either growing or dying & I'd prefer the former. BTW, I've lived in Kensington 24 years, all as a home owner, & I do not work for a developer.
Posted by Mike on 11/20/07, 11:10 a.m.
The developer is not building what he is "allowed" or "entitled" to. He has requested and received a variance for the project to be much taller and denser than what it should be. The project allows for only one parking space per residential unit on site. How many of us only have one car per family and how many of us have friends that come to visit without driving? Where will the large delivery trucks and semis park or sit idling? I have worked on similar projects that have significant impacts on an entire neighborhood and as a result, we notice far beyond the 300 foot radius. Everyone involved in this project should have thought outside the box on this one and noticed residents within a 1,500 foot radius. A simple poster board at the project site would have sufficed as well. I am in favor of the project, in concept, but not the size and magnitude of what is currently proposed.
Posted by Alder Guy on 11/20/07, 4:15 a.m.
"...variance for the project to be much taller and denser than what it should be." This is incorrect. the deviation was only to exceed the 30' height limit that exists over the easterly parcel (the westerly gas station parcel has a height limit of 50'). The "density" of the project meets all applicable FAR standards per the current zoning.