In the May 1 cover story, “How UCSD Spent Over $500,000 on a Home Remodel That Never Happened,” the Reader quoted Carmen Lucas as saying that on a La Jolla dig several years ago, Museum of Man archeologist Rose Tyson had been “beating a clod of dirt to death in her hand” when she let go a scream that “I will never forget. Tyson realized she was holding in her hand the full skull of a 5000-year-old inhumation.” Author Thomas Larson contacted the Museum of Man for comment while researching the story but received no response. Rose Tyson and Carmen Lucas both say that Tyson was not the woman Carmen Lucas was referring to. Tyson’s official title is curator of physical anthropology at the Museum of Man. The Reader apologizes for the errors.

Shock Value

As a fan of the Reader and an American Muslim, I was intrigued by this week’s cover story (“If I Did That Over There,” May 15). Bill Manson’s interviews with an assortment of personalities, cultures, and beliefs made the article fascinating and educational. I wanted to ask him why he chose Dannesh Kassamali’s quote, “If I did that over there, they’d cut my hands off” as the title. I feel as though it was a bit misleading and did not tie into the entire article, as well as many of his other statements. Hopefully this shocking headline did not turn away people from the abundant information and entertainment the Reader provides.

Roya Afshan
via email

Bill Manson responds: I did not choose the title or know about it before publication.

Automatic Thinking

My husband, Charles G. Abdelnour — former city clerk of the City of San Diego — is not a Muslim as the author incorrectly wrote and just assumed because Chuck is an American of Arab descent. He is Lebanese and was baptized into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of North America. The roots of the Orthodox Christian Church trace directly back to first-century Antioch, the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). Do most Americans just automatically think that because you are an Arab you are also a Muslim? This shows great ignorance about Arabs and about the Muslim faith. If he were a Muslim, I would be proud of him practicing a faith that is rooted in goodness. He is, however, a Christian and the kindest man I have ever met. Bill Manson should have done better research for the article and I think is guilty of stereotyping Arab Americans. Shame on him.

Christine Brun Abdelnour
via email


Just really not able to transcribe the feelings at this point because I don’t type well, but wanted to say, you go guy!!!! (“If I Did That Over There,” Cover Story, May 15) I forwarded this story to my daughter’s friend who is an Iraqi Christian making his life here the last ten years and is 18 now and also to another friend I hope to inspire.

Kim Henson
via email

No Turkish Delight

I as woke up to get to my classes, I saw the Reader my roommate left on the table with the title “If I Did That Over There, They’d Cut My Hands Off” and then my homeland’s name, Turkiye, as many others call Turkey.

I was shocked and thought what could this story be about? Mentioning an act I’ve never witnessed, heard of, or ever thought about happening in my country, with the names of other countries like the Philippines or Somalia, where the culture is so different, the only thing that is common is believing in the same book.

Some sense of anger started to rise up. How could they put something on the face of a paper, something that is not even close to reality? How could they use such strong words, to me obviously, without any proper research done?

I could not read the story that morning, being in my first year of my Ph.D. program. I got carried away thinking that I need to say something. I’m glad I said to myself, first read the story, then send an email, since the big fonts on the front page reflect nothing about the stories told.

I’m greatly disturbed by the title you chose to advertise your story. It is not that the sentence itself was not used by the people you interviewed; it is because on the front page, the words put together are so out of context with what the stories inside are telling. It is unfortunate and so sad that the Reader, a paper that circulates well, still resorts to these titles without considering the impact on people. I don’t think the Reader needs these kind of provocative titles to get their copies picked up, and I’m deeply disturbed by the thought of people who did not actually pick it up and read it through and went on their ways thinking that this unacceptable act is performed in these countries mentioned.

Gulin Erdogan
via email


I read your article online titled “Boards Go Green” (“City Lights,” May 15). I collect surf wax. I have over 2500 bars dating back to the 1950s from all over the world and a great website to show for my passion, Check it out — basic, but to the point.

Casey Mills
Keizer, Oregon

Big Fumble

This is the first letter I’ve written to the Reader, though I’ve thought about writing many times. I am particularly incensed about the fact that the Reader didn’t do a cover story about an event that got major nationwide coverage that occurred locally in San Diego, namely the drug sting at SDSU. Instead of some in-depth report that peels the issue back from a local angle, you have a political cartoon by Neal Obermeyer (May 15) that is accurate in its depiction but is still sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek and an article in your “Blurt” section that shows a photo of MC Chas Lomack, as if he’s the face of the problem. What is that about? Why are there no photos available that show the fraternal organizations where the activities took place? Where are the frat boys that got caught up in this? I don’t see any photos of them anywhere it seems, not even in USA Today, where I first saw that this had gotten national attention. Yet, I see MC Chas Lomack — dreadlocks and all — who though involved seems to be the only supporting visual you saw fit to show in your paper regarding the event. It’s an insult to the intelligence of your readers, and you seriously dropped the ball. Better luck next time.

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