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Letters

Tijuana Equals Death

I would like to express my deep concern for the portrayal of Tijuana in two recent reports featured in the Reader: “Greetings from Tijuana” (Cover Story, August 7) and “Suicide Tourism” (Cover Story, August 21). I find it very disconcerting that your paper is consistently presenting a slanted view of Tijuana, a view that chooses to ignore other aspects of Tijuana’s reality as an important center for business, economic development, tourism, and cultural activities. Proof of this one-sided view are the letters that some of your readers have already sent you expressing their criticism.

In the case of the report “Greetings from Tijuana,” it is undeniable that Mexico has had a share of violence as a result of the resolve shown by the current administration in confronting the criminal networks plaguing our country. However, the report is centered in presenting sensationalistic aspects of this complex problem, instead of providing your readers with a more complete perspective on the reasons that generate the violence that is challenging both of our countries. The very broad brush with which your paper paints Tijuana does a great disservice to your readers.

The cover for your most recent issue featuring the story “Suicide Tourism” is another reason to be concerned about your portrayal of Mexico. By associating Tijuana with death in a very graphic way on your cover for the August 21 issue, your paper again presents a very negative and unfair portrait.

I encourage you to present a more balanced and objective perspective on Mexico’s reality, as it would seem that the overarching objective of both pieces is to discourage people from visiting Tijuana, rather than informing your readership.

Remedios Gómez Arnau
Consul General of Mexico
in San Diego

Paid To Kill

Re “Suicide Tourism,” Cover Story, August 21.

How much are you being paid to kill tourism in Tijuana?

Turismo de Salud Tijuana

Too Unbiased

I guess I didn’t get the memo. How nice of your publication to put this in the hands of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans (“Suicide Tourism,” Cover Story, August 21). I don’t have up-to-the-minute statistics on your demographics; however, I would assume it’s in the 18-to-30 range. Did you stop to think of the impact this would have on impressionable teenagers and adults alike? Although the spin in the article is focused on seniors or those with terminal illness, I wonder how people will respond to the aloof tone of Ernie Grimm? And to go as far as publishing the locations of these veterinary pharmacies — an added bonus, I must say. Now I not only know how to end my pain, but I know the exact street location of the Tijuana vendor I should go to.

I have a family member who used a similar book to the one mentioned in your article (if you could call an editorial of this caliber an article). Had he not been depressed and found comfort in a book (like the one mentioned) he may have sought help and other means of support from family and professionals. However, this book made the alternative to living an easy choice.

I know from an editorial standpoint you must remain unbiased, but how do you stay unbiased on this subject? And to go as far as putting it on the cover with a skeleton for a bus driver with a license plate reading “muerte”?

I don’t aim to be sarcastic or rude, and I’m sure from my own point of view I sound quite conservative. On the contrary, I’m a 24-year-old born-and-raised San Diegan who enjoys reading your publication. And, to be honest, this is the first story I’ve felt the need to comment on due to its controversial nature. I applaud the Reader for its ability to take risks; however, this crosses the line on multiple levels.

Thank you for letting me rant and rave a bit.

Name Withheld
by Request
via email

MOUs and LOIs

I commend Mr. Bauder for his well-researched and skillfully written article on Warner Springs Ranch (“Hot Water,” “City Lights,” August 21). He attributes to current general manager Jim Stilwell a fact I believe is erroneous. I believe that subsequent events and investigation prove that Highlands Resorts never tendered a $3000 deposit to Warner Springs Ranch pursuant to the established unsolicited Letter of Intent process. Instead, the Highlands Resorts “draft MOU” that was announced by Mr. Stilwell in a post to the Warner Springs Ranch website on August 17, 2008, was the product of a solicited process and therefore not subject to the established unsolicited LOI process.

This revelation brings owner-schmowners closer to the truth as well as a complete and honest answer to the question I’ve been asking for over three months; as referenced in the article, how did Highlands Resorts cut in front of other offerors and jump from last in time to first in line?

Moreover, also unanswered are questions of who first solicited Highlands Resorts and when the solicitation process first began. I hope everyone who has ever “taken the waters” at Warner Springs requests answers from Mr. Stilwell via email at [email protected] WarnerSpringsRanch.org and the current board of directors via email at [email protected] warnersprings.com.

Greg S. Maizlish
via email

Long Ago At Warner Springs

In general a good article as per Warner Springs re the last 30 years and over 100 years ago (“Hot Water,” “City Lights,” August 21). For about 70 years before the entity of Warner Springs Ranch, the property was open as a resort.

G. Henshaw
via email

Brain Rattlers

Your essay on airport noise was so partial in information as to be almost laughable (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21).

First, the technology to muffle the sound of jets is well known. I’ve seen three-engine passenger jets fly overhead with barely a whoosh. Why not just say to all airlines and private planes, you can’t land in our town if you make noise?

That brings up a second point. I’ve heard private single-jet planes make as much noise as any passenger jet. Ban them.

Third, the takeoff paths are fan shaped, that is, some take off straight on, others bank some left or right, others bank more left or right. It makes a difference.

Fourth, the landing path is always the same. When planes land from the west, every single one of them flies directly over my house.

Fifth, we don’t want our windows and doors “soundproofed.” We live here because we like them open, because we like to be outside, gardening, having a happy hour on the front porch, grilling on the back patio, etc. We want the noise stopped, period, instead of being trapped in a box.

Sixth, no one ever mentions the incredible spray of exhaust emitted every time a plane lands or takes off.

And seventh, and finally, things have improved some over the years (I’ve lived in OB/Point Loma since ’76), but we still get what I call “brain-rattlers” every single day.

But American-capitalist kowtowing to business will ensure that we will always have to put up with its consequent noise and pollution.

John Mood
via email

Shut Up Or Move

They don’t know how good they have it (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21).

I grew up at the corner of Curtis and Plum streets in Loma Portal from 1945 to 1966. The noise from aircraft landing and taking off then was incredibly louder and of longer duration than it is today. The newest, stage-three aircraft are quiet compared to the B-36s, Electra Jets, and 737s that routinely roared overhead night and day — no curfew except the fog. My parents would not have dreamed of suing the airport or expecting soundproofing.

There was a daily 4:00 a.m. Delta arrival, and my mom would wake up when it was foggy and the plane did not arrive.

For anyone to voluntarily move into the Lindbergh flight pattern and then complain about it, much less have us pay $100,000 to upgrade their home, is the very height of hypocrisy!

The only person I ever knew who had a legitimate gripe with aircraft noise was Mr. Roulette, our next-door neighbor for many years. He built his home and lived in it well prior to Lindbergh Field’s opening.

All the others should shut up or move and give me back my portion of that $100,000.

Scott Mac Laggan
via email

Noisy Hick Town

Your article (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21) contains quotes from several people who live in the flight takeoff pattern, and they pretty much say that they get used to it after a while, and in sum, the story wholly did not represent the views of others who are greatly disturbed by the noise — it’s noise plain and simple — day in, day out, until 11:30 p.m., starting (this morning, for instance) at 4:51 a.m.

I live in the no-curfew incoming path — in the South Park area. These planes arrive every 1.5 or 2 minutes — for hours. I would love to enjoy watching a movie on TV on a Sunday evening with a window open and the breeze coming in. But I have to shut the window, and if watching TV, every frickin’ time a plane goes over, the picture shakes (because I don’t have cable, because TV is pretty worthless).

I was sick a couple of weeks ago, went to bed at 8:30, needed to sleep. The planes were so annoying, listening to them, one after another, for hours — I kept watching the clock. Would they stop at 10:30 p.m.? 11:00 p.m.? Finally, about 11:30 p.m. they stopped. It makes you angry to feel that you have no control over the situation, and people should not have to live with constant noise. I spent $4000 on double-paned windows to keep out the noise — kind of makes you wonder why $70,000 to $100,000 must be spent on homes in the Quieter Home Program — and it helps somewhat. Thirty years ago when I moved into the house, the noise wasn’t as bad as it is now, and just last night I heard Herb Klein talk about how another 12 gates will be developed at the airport.

Millions and millions of dollars are spent on planning and committees and studies — the number of aircraft landings and departures continues to increase — thus, the noise increases. No relief in sight. But let’s form some more committees and measure it. Has anyone done a study on the effects of noise on people so affected by sleep interruption and deprivation because of these planes? There are nuisance laws — noise is a nuisance — why don’t they acknowledge that in legal terms? Build a small airport in Otay Mesa for the FedEx carriers, put Terminal 2 planes in Miramar, put commuter planes in an expanded Gillespie Field. And, of course, establish an incoming flight curfew — that would all help and could be effected reasonably economically. San Diego is, and always will be, a hick town — we don’t need international flights coming into our town, just very convenient, cheap shuttles to LAX (also lacking in this hick town). By the way, I’m a native San Diegan and spent elementary school under the flight path. I know what I’m talking about. The upshot is, no — some of us never get used to the noise, and it is a problem.

Cindi Lamert
via email

Complaint About A Complainer

I’m responding to an article in the August 14 edition. On the front page it says “Large Loud Parties Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood” (Cover Story). The gentleman who wrote this article interviewed a person by the name of Zonna Pennell, and she’s complaining about her next-door neighbors because it’s a vacation home rental. If you go on vacationrentals.com, click on “California,” come down to the “Pacific Beach” area, about halfway down — there are 31 properties listed, and she’s been advertising on there for the last number of years. It’s a cottage, two bedroom, one bath, sleeps four people, $1250 to $1950 per week, “Adorable Beach Cottages by Zonna.” Click on that and it will bring up a description of the property and will show the cottages, one of the cottage’s exterior, the interior, and there are at least six pictures. She’s been advertising on this website for a number of years.

So when she comes out and complains about the vacation rentals, she basically to me is a real hypocrite. I know she complains about the people next door because their dogs bark, but she takes a lot of pride that she advertises on her website that she caters to families with dogs. She’s always moaning and groaning about the people’s dogs next door barking because they interfere with her barking dogs.

To me, this is wrong. She shouldn’t even be permitted to even come out with statements like this in the press.

Jim

Larry Harmon responds: Zonna Pennell’s vacation rentals are located in an area zoned for multiple residential units; her home is in an area zoned for single-family homes.

Dollar Store Frenzy

I believe Mr. Bauder is right regarding the recession (“Face Facts,” “City Lights,” August 14). “What recession?” Bush said. I recently heard there are over 8.8 million people unemployed in America. I live in Hemet, and the $1 store is crowded all day long. We lived in San Diego for 46 years, and I read Mr. Bauder’s articles all the time.

Joe Cuseo
Hemet

Homeless? Where?

I live in Pacific Beach, a couple of blocks in from both the bay and ocean (“Booze Moves to the Alley,” “City Lights,” August 14). I spend a lot of time near the intersection of Garnet and Cass streets. I have not seen any increase in the homeless on the streets or in the alleys since the beach alcohol ban went into effect. Nor have my neighbors commented on any increase. However, since the ban, both my neighbors and I have noticed a huge decrease in drunken beachgoers urinating and vomiting on our properties, fighting in the alleys, and vandalizing private property.

Melanie Menders
via email

Beach Safety A Myth

Misinformation about the beach alcohol issue reached a new low with the August 14 story in the Reader entitled “Booze Moves to the Alley” (“City Lights”).

The article stated that the police say the enforcement of the alcohol ban is working on the beach and surrounding areas. The Ocean Beach Main Street Association says the ban has reduced complaints from businesses. Substance-abuse-treatment professionals say the alcohol ban may convince some homeless people to seek the help they need.

While the story relayed some good information, the author abandoned all logic with the statement, “Prior to the ban…the beaches served as safe havens for the homeless, a place where they could go to drink and stay out of trouble.”

Safe havens? Was the beach a “safe haven” for David Fortner? He’s the homeless man who was drinking in Mission Beach and got into an argument with another. Fortner’s throat was slashed with such violence that his spinal cord was severed and he died where he fell. On August 5, Fortner’s murderer was convicted and sentenced to 26 years to life.

Stay out of trouble? Did Damian Maple and Francisco Montoya “drink and stay out of trouble”? Prosecutors say these two homeless men were drinking at a fire pit in Ocean Beach. They allegedly beat an Australian tourist over the head with a skateboard, fracturing his skull and eye socket. The helpless, injured tourist was then thrown into a fire pit and glowing coals were dumped over him. The two homeless men, Maple and Montoya, could be imprisoned for life.

A steady stream of homeless people flows into San Diego’s hospitals and morgue all year long. Alcohol is often the catalyst for those injuries and deaths.

Homeless people are neither thugs nor criminals. Some do suffer from mental health issues or addictions or both. Allowing them to drink on the beach doesn’t keep them safe, nor does it keep them out of trouble.

If you oppose an alcohol-free beach, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. San Diego’s homeless problem is complex and requires comprehensive solutions. To suggest that beach drinking has a positive impact on the homeless is ignorant, inhumane, and cruel. Most of all, it is shameful to use the plight of the homeless to advance the political agenda of returning alcohol to the beach.

Monica Green
via email

Euro Quito Edo

Once again, your crossword puzzle clues had an incorrect spelling for “capital/capitol.”

August 14, 2008, clue number 40 across is given as “Shogunite capital.” The answer is “Edo,” the old Japanese name for the capitol [sic] city.

“Capital” has to do with money, finance, funds, etc. And it was used correctly in clue number two down, “Capital of Italy,” with the euro as the answer.

Jogging your memory, the previous misuse of capitol/capital was, as I recall, two or three weeks ago. The clue was “capital in the Andes,” with the answer being Quito, the capitol [sic] city of Ecuador.

I’ve been doing the puzzle and reading the Reader for many years; however, I think your new entry deadline is unrealistic.

A.R.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “capitol” means “(1)(a) a building in which a state legislative body meets, (b) a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out, and (2) cap the building in which the U.S. Congress meets in Washington.” A “city serving as a seat of government” is spelled “capital.” — Editor

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Tijuana Equals Death

I would like to express my deep concern for the portrayal of Tijuana in two recent reports featured in the Reader: “Greetings from Tijuana” (Cover Story, August 7) and “Suicide Tourism” (Cover Story, August 21). I find it very disconcerting that your paper is consistently presenting a slanted view of Tijuana, a view that chooses to ignore other aspects of Tijuana’s reality as an important center for business, economic development, tourism, and cultural activities. Proof of this one-sided view are the letters that some of your readers have already sent you expressing their criticism.

In the case of the report “Greetings from Tijuana,” it is undeniable that Mexico has had a share of violence as a result of the resolve shown by the current administration in confronting the criminal networks plaguing our country. However, the report is centered in presenting sensationalistic aspects of this complex problem, instead of providing your readers with a more complete perspective on the reasons that generate the violence that is challenging both of our countries. The very broad brush with which your paper paints Tijuana does a great disservice to your readers.

The cover for your most recent issue featuring the story “Suicide Tourism” is another reason to be concerned about your portrayal of Mexico. By associating Tijuana with death in a very graphic way on your cover for the August 21 issue, your paper again presents a very negative and unfair portrait.

I encourage you to present a more balanced and objective perspective on Mexico’s reality, as it would seem that the overarching objective of both pieces is to discourage people from visiting Tijuana, rather than informing your readership.

Remedios Gómez Arnau
Consul General of Mexico
in San Diego

Paid To Kill

Re “Suicide Tourism,” Cover Story, August 21.

How much are you being paid to kill tourism in Tijuana?

Turismo de Salud Tijuana

Too Unbiased

I guess I didn’t get the memo. How nice of your publication to put this in the hands of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans (“Suicide Tourism,” Cover Story, August 21). I don’t have up-to-the-minute statistics on your demographics; however, I would assume it’s in the 18-to-30 range. Did you stop to think of the impact this would have on impressionable teenagers and adults alike? Although the spin in the article is focused on seniors or those with terminal illness, I wonder how people will respond to the aloof tone of Ernie Grimm? And to go as far as publishing the locations of these veterinary pharmacies — an added bonus, I must say. Now I not only know how to end my pain, but I know the exact street location of the Tijuana vendor I should go to.

I have a family member who used a similar book to the one mentioned in your article (if you could call an editorial of this caliber an article). Had he not been depressed and found comfort in a book (like the one mentioned) he may have sought help and other means of support from family and professionals. However, this book made the alternative to living an easy choice.

I know from an editorial standpoint you must remain unbiased, but how do you stay unbiased on this subject? And to go as far as putting it on the cover with a skeleton for a bus driver with a license plate reading “muerte”?

I don’t aim to be sarcastic or rude, and I’m sure from my own point of view I sound quite conservative. On the contrary, I’m a 24-year-old born-and-raised San Diegan who enjoys reading your publication. And, to be honest, this is the first story I’ve felt the need to comment on due to its controversial nature. I applaud the Reader for its ability to take risks; however, this crosses the line on multiple levels.

Thank you for letting me rant and rave a bit.

Name Withheld
by Request
via email

MOUs and LOIs

I commend Mr. Bauder for his well-researched and skillfully written article on Warner Springs Ranch (“Hot Water,” “City Lights,” August 21). He attributes to current general manager Jim Stilwell a fact I believe is erroneous. I believe that subsequent events and investigation prove that Highlands Resorts never tendered a $3000 deposit to Warner Springs Ranch pursuant to the established unsolicited Letter of Intent process. Instead, the Highlands Resorts “draft MOU” that was announced by Mr. Stilwell in a post to the Warner Springs Ranch website on August 17, 2008, was the product of a solicited process and therefore not subject to the established unsolicited LOI process.

This revelation brings owner-schmowners closer to the truth as well as a complete and honest answer to the question I’ve been asking for over three months; as referenced in the article, how did Highlands Resorts cut in front of other offerors and jump from last in time to first in line?

Moreover, also unanswered are questions of who first solicited Highlands Resorts and when the solicitation process first began. I hope everyone who has ever “taken the waters” at Warner Springs requests answers from Mr. Stilwell via email at [email protected] WarnerSpringsRanch.org and the current board of directors via email at [email protected] warnersprings.com.

Greg S. Maizlish
via email

Long Ago At Warner Springs

In general a good article as per Warner Springs re the last 30 years and over 100 years ago (“Hot Water,” “City Lights,” August 21). For about 70 years before the entity of Warner Springs Ranch, the property was open as a resort.

G. Henshaw
via email

Brain Rattlers

Your essay on airport noise was so partial in information as to be almost laughable (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21).

First, the technology to muffle the sound of jets is well known. I’ve seen three-engine passenger jets fly overhead with barely a whoosh. Why not just say to all airlines and private planes, you can’t land in our town if you make noise?

That brings up a second point. I’ve heard private single-jet planes make as much noise as any passenger jet. Ban them.

Third, the takeoff paths are fan shaped, that is, some take off straight on, others bank some left or right, others bank more left or right. It makes a difference.

Fourth, the landing path is always the same. When planes land from the west, every single one of them flies directly over my house.

Fifth, we don’t want our windows and doors “soundproofed.” We live here because we like them open, because we like to be outside, gardening, having a happy hour on the front porch, grilling on the back patio, etc. We want the noise stopped, period, instead of being trapped in a box.

Sixth, no one ever mentions the incredible spray of exhaust emitted every time a plane lands or takes off.

And seventh, and finally, things have improved some over the years (I’ve lived in OB/Point Loma since ’76), but we still get what I call “brain-rattlers” every single day.

But American-capitalist kowtowing to business will ensure that we will always have to put up with its consequent noise and pollution.

John Mood
via email

Shut Up Or Move

They don’t know how good they have it (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21).

I grew up at the corner of Curtis and Plum streets in Loma Portal from 1945 to 1966. The noise from aircraft landing and taking off then was incredibly louder and of longer duration than it is today. The newest, stage-three aircraft are quiet compared to the B-36s, Electra Jets, and 737s that routinely roared overhead night and day — no curfew except the fog. My parents would not have dreamed of suing the airport or expecting soundproofing.

There was a daily 4:00 a.m. Delta arrival, and my mom would wake up when it was foggy and the plane did not arrive.

For anyone to voluntarily move into the Lindbergh flight pattern and then complain about it, much less have us pay $100,000 to upgrade their home, is the very height of hypocrisy!

The only person I ever knew who had a legitimate gripe with aircraft noise was Mr. Roulette, our next-door neighbor for many years. He built his home and lived in it well prior to Lindbergh Field’s opening.

All the others should shut up or move and give me back my portion of that $100,000.

Scott Mac Laggan
via email

Noisy Hick Town

Your article (“Life Under the Flight Path,” Feature Story, August 21) contains quotes from several people who live in the flight takeoff pattern, and they pretty much say that they get used to it after a while, and in sum, the story wholly did not represent the views of others who are greatly disturbed by the noise — it’s noise plain and simple — day in, day out, until 11:30 p.m., starting (this morning, for instance) at 4:51 a.m.

I live in the no-curfew incoming path — in the South Park area. These planes arrive every 1.5 or 2 minutes — for hours. I would love to enjoy watching a movie on TV on a Sunday evening with a window open and the breeze coming in. But I have to shut the window, and if watching TV, every frickin’ time a plane goes over, the picture shakes (because I don’t have cable, because TV is pretty worthless).

I was sick a couple of weeks ago, went to bed at 8:30, needed to sleep. The planes were so annoying, listening to them, one after another, for hours — I kept watching the clock. Would they stop at 10:30 p.m.? 11:00 p.m.? Finally, about 11:30 p.m. they stopped. It makes you angry to feel that you have no control over the situation, and people should not have to live with constant noise. I spent $4000 on double-paned windows to keep out the noise — kind of makes you wonder why $70,000 to $100,000 must be spent on homes in the Quieter Home Program — and it helps somewhat. Thirty years ago when I moved into the house, the noise wasn’t as bad as it is now, and just last night I heard Herb Klein talk about how another 12 gates will be developed at the airport.

Millions and millions of dollars are spent on planning and committees and studies — the number of aircraft landings and departures continues to increase — thus, the noise increases. No relief in sight. But let’s form some more committees and measure it. Has anyone done a study on the effects of noise on people so affected by sleep interruption and deprivation because of these planes? There are nuisance laws — noise is a nuisance — why don’t they acknowledge that in legal terms? Build a small airport in Otay Mesa for the FedEx carriers, put Terminal 2 planes in Miramar, put commuter planes in an expanded Gillespie Field. And, of course, establish an incoming flight curfew — that would all help and could be effected reasonably economically. San Diego is, and always will be, a hick town — we don’t need international flights coming into our town, just very convenient, cheap shuttles to LAX (also lacking in this hick town). By the way, I’m a native San Diegan and spent elementary school under the flight path. I know what I’m talking about. The upshot is, no — some of us never get used to the noise, and it is a problem.

Cindi Lamert
via email

Complaint About A Complainer

I’m responding to an article in the August 14 edition. On the front page it says “Large Loud Parties Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood” (Cover Story). The gentleman who wrote this article interviewed a person by the name of Zonna Pennell, and she’s complaining about her next-door neighbors because it’s a vacation home rental. If you go on vacationrentals.com, click on “California,” come down to the “Pacific Beach” area, about halfway down — there are 31 properties listed, and she’s been advertising on there for the last number of years. It’s a cottage, two bedroom, one bath, sleeps four people, $1250 to $1950 per week, “Adorable Beach Cottages by Zonna.” Click on that and it will bring up a description of the property and will show the cottages, one of the cottage’s exterior, the interior, and there are at least six pictures. She’s been advertising on this website for a number of years.

So when she comes out and complains about the vacation rentals, she basically to me is a real hypocrite. I know she complains about the people next door because their dogs bark, but she takes a lot of pride that she advertises on her website that she caters to families with dogs. She’s always moaning and groaning about the people’s dogs next door barking because they interfere with her barking dogs.

To me, this is wrong. She shouldn’t even be permitted to even come out with statements like this in the press.

Jim

Larry Harmon responds: Zonna Pennell’s vacation rentals are located in an area zoned for multiple residential units; her home is in an area zoned for single-family homes.

Dollar Store Frenzy

I believe Mr. Bauder is right regarding the recession (“Face Facts,” “City Lights,” August 14). “What recession?” Bush said. I recently heard there are over 8.8 million people unemployed in America. I live in Hemet, and the $1 store is crowded all day long. We lived in San Diego for 46 years, and I read Mr. Bauder’s articles all the time.

Joe Cuseo
Hemet

Homeless? Where?

I live in Pacific Beach, a couple of blocks in from both the bay and ocean (“Booze Moves to the Alley,” “City Lights,” August 14). I spend a lot of time near the intersection of Garnet and Cass streets. I have not seen any increase in the homeless on the streets or in the alleys since the beach alcohol ban went into effect. Nor have my neighbors commented on any increase. However, since the ban, both my neighbors and I have noticed a huge decrease in drunken beachgoers urinating and vomiting on our properties, fighting in the alleys, and vandalizing private property.

Melanie Menders
via email

Beach Safety A Myth

Misinformation about the beach alcohol issue reached a new low with the August 14 story in the Reader entitled “Booze Moves to the Alley” (“City Lights”).

The article stated that the police say the enforcement of the alcohol ban is working on the beach and surrounding areas. The Ocean Beach Main Street Association says the ban has reduced complaints from businesses. Substance-abuse-treatment professionals say the alcohol ban may convince some homeless people to seek the help they need.

While the story relayed some good information, the author abandoned all logic with the statement, “Prior to the ban…the beaches served as safe havens for the homeless, a place where they could go to drink and stay out of trouble.”

Safe havens? Was the beach a “safe haven” for David Fortner? He’s the homeless man who was drinking in Mission Beach and got into an argument with another. Fortner’s throat was slashed with such violence that his spinal cord was severed and he died where he fell. On August 5, Fortner’s murderer was convicted and sentenced to 26 years to life.

Stay out of trouble? Did Damian Maple and Francisco Montoya “drink and stay out of trouble”? Prosecutors say these two homeless men were drinking at a fire pit in Ocean Beach. They allegedly beat an Australian tourist over the head with a skateboard, fracturing his skull and eye socket. The helpless, injured tourist was then thrown into a fire pit and glowing coals were dumped over him. The two homeless men, Maple and Montoya, could be imprisoned for life.

A steady stream of homeless people flows into San Diego’s hospitals and morgue all year long. Alcohol is often the catalyst for those injuries and deaths.

Homeless people are neither thugs nor criminals. Some do suffer from mental health issues or addictions or both. Allowing them to drink on the beach doesn’t keep them safe, nor does it keep them out of trouble.

If you oppose an alcohol-free beach, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. San Diego’s homeless problem is complex and requires comprehensive solutions. To suggest that beach drinking has a positive impact on the homeless is ignorant, inhumane, and cruel. Most of all, it is shameful to use the plight of the homeless to advance the political agenda of returning alcohol to the beach.

Monica Green
via email

Euro Quito Edo

Once again, your crossword puzzle clues had an incorrect spelling for “capital/capitol.”

August 14, 2008, clue number 40 across is given as “Shogunite capital.” The answer is “Edo,” the old Japanese name for the capitol [sic] city.

“Capital” has to do with money, finance, funds, etc. And it was used correctly in clue number two down, “Capital of Italy,” with the euro as the answer.

Jogging your memory, the previous misuse of capitol/capital was, as I recall, two or three weeks ago. The clue was “capital in the Andes,” with the answer being Quito, the capitol [sic] city of Ecuador.

I’ve been doing the puzzle and reading the Reader for many years; however, I think your new entry deadline is unrealistic.

A.R.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “capitol” means “(1)(a) a building in which a state legislative body meets, (b) a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out, and (2) cap the building in which the U.S. Congress meets in Washington.” A “city serving as a seat of government” is spelled “capital.” — Editor

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