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Library Love

Wow, what a great story (“No Shushing in This Library,” Cover Story, June 19)! I’m happy to learn so many young people love the library too.

Ernestine Smith
Student Support Services
San Diego County Office of Education

Look What We Did!

I read the article in today’s Reader, “No Shushing in This Library,” by Alex Finlayson (Cover Story, June 19).

I was very happy to read the positive comments about the design of our North Clairemont library, particularly since I am the artist that gave that poor, neglected building a well-deserved face-lift. When we moved to Clairemont 18 years ago, I would drive by the library and would get depressed looking at it. Yet I could see the beautiful bones it had covered in Navajo white. There was no landscaping, lots of graffiti, and a few derelicts hanging around. It was not the place I wanted to take my young daughter to discover the wonders of reading. When Clairemont Square, across the street, was remodeled, our poor little library faded further into the background.

In 2004, I finally decided that something needed to be done. So I came up with a design to give the building some color to enhance its diamond pattern and balance the blaring colors from Clairemont Square. Then I submitted the design to Friends of the Library and the Clairemont Town Council. Everyone loved the idea and the design. After the approval from Donna Frye’s office, pro bono paint from K-Co Construction, and added landscaping, our library finally is a pleasant, family-friendly building that I am very proud of. As far as I know, all the work was done for free. I hope this can be an example of how a community can get together to make their public buildings a little bit nicer.

Perhaps this should be called the “Little Library That Could!”

Carol Cottone-Kolthoff
via email

Hit The Delete Key

Dear Mayor Sanders,

The San Diego Public Library system refused service to an estimated 50,000 patrons last year. These 50,000 are visitors or locals who wanted to use a one-hour computer station but were refused and informed that all computers are occupied and that they had to wait an hour or longer.

Most never return. It’s a hardy crew that occupies a one-hour computer station at a public library, and I’m one of them.

The downtown central library has a ratio of one librarian on duty for every one-hour computer station.

A modern library has a ratio of one librarian for every 30 computers, e.g., Lied Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Biomed at UCSD. Love Library at SDSU. Copley Library at USD. Encinitas library.

There is an overwhelming need to cut the staff and use the money for one-hour computer stations that would increase the libraries’ usages by 50,000 patrons a year at no cost to the public.

Robert J. Kachur
Centre City

Dewey Decimal Meltdown

Re “No Shushing in This Library” (Cover Story, June 19).

I’m an unemployed librarian. I’m sure there are many of them, and I probably will actually have to change careers. The U.S. News and World Report article mentioned in the story is not factual. Career opportunities are growing much more slowly than average, contrary to what the article said. And our future is in grave danger. Reference librarians will be replaced by library associates, who get half the pay and only require a B.A., not a master’s in library science. Only people requiring MLSs will be directors, branch managers, and corporate. In reality, I wouldn’t recommend getting an MLS. They’ll be useless in five to ten years. I’d recommend people becoming an X-ray tech, nurse, or something in the health-care industry — well-paying jobs anywhere, anytime, with a solid future.

Overall, a great article. As a librarian myself, I’ve been trying to dispel stereotypes and advocate libraries for years.

Eric Holmberg
via email


I am the owner of Solare Ristorante Lounge. I am writing about the article that Naomi wrote last week in the Reader (Restaurant Review, June 12).

There were a few mistakes in the article that Naomi wrote, and I would greatly appreciate these corrected.

1. Our website is wrong. It should be www.solarelounge.com.

2. I personally counted, and we have over 30 wines that are under $40 per bottle.

3. We never use whipped cream on any of our desserts. I am not sure where that came from.

4. Our location is made out of wood and glass, and of course it will be noisy on a Friday and Saturday night.

If Naomi were to come any other night, it is not that noisy. Also, since we are in a historical building, we are limited by what the board of directors will allow us to do in order to deal with the noise.

5. We have two private rooms available for dining. We have the all-glass wine room, where a couple or group of up to four can enjoy a quieter meal, and the Prana Room, which holds up to 24 guests.

Lastly, the last name of my husband (who is also the owner and the other executive chef) is spelled Ceresoli.

I would appreciate that these issues were dealt with and published in the next Reader.

Roberta Ruffini

Naomi Wise responds: I do apologize for the incorrect website. I have no idea how that snuck in there except to ascribe it to some evil gremlin taking possession of my typewriting fingers. Ditto the typo on Mr. Ceresoli’s last name. (I can only say I’m sorry; my sole excuse is that earlier that same week, a dinner at the restaurant that I actually planned to review that week “flunked out” royally, making that restaurant unfit for print; Solare was a last-minute substitution, written in regrettable haste after a meal on a “noisy Friday” rather than the quieter Thursday nights when I normally eat out for reviews.)

Your wine list is indeed very long, and seeing it in the bright light of your (correct) website I do find more bottles under $40 than I spotted when wrangling with the tome in the restaurant. But perhaps you’ve added more wines since I ate there: Had I spotted the Verdicchio, I would have ordered it in a New York minute, as it’s an old favorite of mine.

As for the dessert, there was a sea of a sweet, creamy white substance on the plate under the mousse. Might it have been a crème anglaise lightened with whipped cream (the way Hollandaise is sometimes lightened in French cuisine)? With or without that mystery substance, it was certainly a delightful dessert! Your chef told me that my table was the only “taker” for it; too bad the rest of the diners in the room missed out on this pleasure.


The photo printed in the June 19 “Blurt” article on Joe Rathburn, “You Rock…No, You Don’t…Yes, You Do,” should have been credited to Steve Covault.

Straight Record

I’d like to correct a couple of main points the “Blurt” article made (“You Rock…No, You Don’t…Yes, You Do,” June 19).

First of all, I repeatedly told Ken Leighton that no one ever complained about me and the whole thing started with just a general sweep of the neighborhood by SDPD vice operations. He may have heard me say that we originally suspected someone must have complained, but Sgt. Labore of vice ops confirmed they’d never gotten any complaints the whole time I’d played at the Tin Fish. That was not an issue.

Secondly, I never said that the owners of the Tin Fish had spoken to the mayor. What I really said was that the owners told me one of my fans had said he knew the mayor and would speak to him about the issue. I don’t think he ever did.

Just thought I’d set the record straight.

Joe Rathburn
via email

Ken Leighton responds: Mr. Rathburn did say that code enforcement was “doing a general sweep of the Gaslamp, checking for code violations”; however, that line was edited from the article before publication. The line in which Mr. Rathburn says, “Nobody ever complained, and now this year somebody complained” should have ended with a question mark. I regret that error. Mr. Rathburn’s quote that “The owners of the Tin Fish talked to the mayor” was read back to Mr. Rathburn after he was interviewed.

A Pink America

Re “Greed, Gambling Society,” by Don Bauder (“City Lights,” June 19).

Don Bauder must be the most valuable San Diego columnist in business, based on his superb and bold explanations to a bewildered public under siege of what is going on financially. However, his side remarks shortchange the Chicago School of Economics, a venerable institution whose positions kept America in the pink — and markets in the black — when followed.

First, truncating the Chicago School with a slash Austrian School is a disservice. The Austrian School is chiefly noted for a purist devotion to laissez-faire economics — “Free markets don’t kill us, they make us stronger.”

The defining trait of the Chicago School is Milton Friedman’s admonition that a slow, steady growth in the money supply, coupled with government spending restraint, leads to long-term economic prosperity and low inflation. The Chicago School does prefer free markets — so do all economic schools. (Marxism is a political philosophy which masqueraded as an economic theory. That’s why Marxist economic models collapse.)

The Keynesian view is opposite. It argues that inflation (read: the government printing money and handing it out through public-works projects or to pay bills it’s incurred) is a necessary evil and actually salutary to society.

In today’s economic situation, one wishes that Wall Street financiers would heed the advice of the Chicago School, not scurry for short-term cover in a desperate rear-guard-action embrace of using inflation to get us out of the rough.

Keynes famously observed that “In the long run we’re all dead.” How sad to see this sentiment reflected in Wall Street’s toxic addiction to short-term gain and gluttonous appetite for bigger and bigger paydays, at the expense of investing in R&D (which Bauder did quote an expert as lamenting). It’s invited our current peril. Were Wall Street to have preferred slow and steady growth, disciplined management, and abeyance to long-term sturdiness, we wouldn’t have our current problems. So that Wall Street’s failure to hew to the Chicago School, and misplaced trust in Keynesian sophistry, has brought us to this end, not the other way around, as Bauder implies.

Confusing the issue by attaching the current call for financial oversight to Keynesian economic principles is nonsense. Simple common sense should tell investors that when they are putting their money into some sort of financial certificate whose basis is hopelessly obscured, they are being conned. Financial derivatives and the like are a con job. Econ 101 — displacement of responsibility from the direct transactors leads to relatively worse outcomes. This observation is buttressed when observing that Mr. Bauder treats the financial communities’ hypocrisy about government intervention as some sort of revelation he learned of in two new books.

In fact, Econ 101.1: it is axiomatic that businessmen expect financial discipline and a government hard hand for everyone except themselves. Philosophically, they are purists. As a matter of fiduciary obligation and survival instinct, they dunk their figurative heads in the trough of government preferences. Rationalizations to obscure the fact abound for them to point up, but the fact of this axiom has never been more in evidence, or in much of any doubt.

Let’s bring this around to our current dilemma. The prices of oil and gas are chiefly rising because of the loss of value of the dollar. Last year a dollar would buy you so much gas. This year the dollar is worth less and will buy you less gas. That’s inflation. Sure, it’s compounded by speculation, but isn’t it speculation that the dollar will continue falling, and isn’t the dollar’s future value based on confidence in the dollar, i.e., confidence in the government to not print a new load of greenbacks to cover its arrears. Rising demand from China and India are only ancillary contributors.

Let’s just get the hell out of Iraq, which is what has bled the Treasury dry in the last six years. And that’s not so much economics or high finance — it’s simple accounting. But I love Diva’s account of her mac down. Delicious.

Robert Hagen

Bravo Joe

It’s late, but I want to acknowledge the tremendous job that Joe Deegan did putting together the article on the so-called Sunrise Powerlink (“Will These Keep the Lights On?” Cover Story, May 29). Please thank him for me and for hundreds and hundreds of other people who were so impressed by his incredibly well-researched article.

Myrna Wosk

Cheaters Are Everywhere

I think that this young lady is a bit off the mark (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). And, like some, just had a real bad Navy experience. Though a well-written article, she as a journalist forgot or failed to remember the number-one rule of journalism. That is to be objective. To give both sides of the story equal footing. This young lady, like others, has in her head that marriage is perfect, and once it happens it runs on autopilot. Marriage is “work in progress.” The key word being “work.” The moment this young lady married this friend of hers to improve her quality of life, she became just like the others she despised. Be it right or wrong, at least those lying cheaters (men) and sluts (women) had sex with their spouses. Are women not being lying cheaters when they commit adultery? The only real difference between the two is women attempt to justify why they had the affair, much like this young lady is doing to justify her wrongdoings.

If you pay close attention, you will notice that as women begin to assume positions of power and authority in the workplace they begin to display characteristics usually associated with men. Things such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and adultery. I must also say that the USS Higgins must have been quite the unique ship. Meaning that the article only mentioned the men of that ship and their adultery. Were there not women on the ship that were also cheating? In my 24 years of service, I’ve seen it go both ways, and I’m sure that she did as well.

I used to tell my sailors, while you are in the military, you should get to know people outside of the military, not including family. It keeps you grounded and attuned to what is happening in the real world. That being said, she would have realized that affairs don’t just happen in the military.

Our civilian counterparts also have affairs as well. The big difference is that our lives are closer in the military than our civilian counterparts’. Case in point, as a chief, I knew all of my sailors’ wives, children, and in some cases siblings and parents as well. How many bosses or supervisors, for that matter, appear in court with their employees? It’s a common occurrence with us. How many creditors send letters of indebtedness to our civilian counterparts? None. After work, many of our civilian counterparts go their separate ways. When you’re on a ship like the USS Higgins in a foreign country, you will tend to travel in the same circles. Return back to the ship, go to sleep, wake up, and have breakfast with each other.

I’m sure by now you get my drift. If you’re the attentive type, you will notice who’s not at the bars and nightclubs as well. Before long you will put two and two together and realize that some couples onboard are taking the clandestine approach and doing their thing in nearby hotels. Most of our civilian counterparts have affairs with coworkers and/or relatives to include in-laws (sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles). In most cases, it happens with the person you will most likely spend most of your time with. With both parents working these days, we spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our significant others.

Lloyd L. Young
U.S. Navy (Retired)

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