Recently you published a letter (“We’re Cornball Rednecks,” October 2) from a reader bitching and complaining because you dared to print something positive about San Diego (“Foreign Tourists Invade,” Cover Story, September 18). A couple of months ago I moved here from the Washington, D.C. area. Your reader has no clue how good he has it.
“Sweltering heat”? What, did it get all the way up to 80? Try upper 90s, with 75 percent humidity, every single day. This guy’s relatives say they feel “uncomfortable in this redneck town.” How comfortable would they feel living in a city with a murder rate at roughly one a day? How many running gun battles have happened out here this year? Ever had a shooting at the zoo? How about MS-13 chopping people’s hands off in restaurant parking lots? (This has actually happened several times.) And don’t get me started about the restaurants. Yeah, they’re great, if you don’t mind taking out a second mortgage. The only complaint I have about this area is that wages are far lower than they are back East, even though the cost of living is actually greater. Of course, that’s true of California in general. I also think it’s ridiculous to complain about San Diego, considering how close we are to Los Angeles (now there’s a s***hole).
In short, your reader needs to get some perspective on things and quit being such a f****** baby.
Came Up Short
Never mind that Jeff Smith’s long-winded review (“Juiced,” Theater Review, October 2) of Back Back Back (why use 4 words when I can use 44?) reeks of a guy who has never watched a baseball game in his life, never mind that referring to a player as a “banjo hitter” is a term that hasn’t been used since 1958, but the fact is that Walt Weiss played shortstop for the Oakland A’s, not second base. I was a sportswriter in the Bay Area at the time and covered the team on a regular basis.
Jeff Smith replies: "Never watched a baseball game in his life" is a breathtaking deduction. In fact, for several years I was a mainstay of the Reader's softball team. Even hit a home run over the cows at the Mullin Ranch (home of then-editor Jim Mullin's parents).
Three Years Off
This is a comment on your “Heroin Chronicles” (Feature Story, October 2). I guess it’s Brizzolara who’s writing the opening couple of paragraphs, and just because he was born in 1952 is no excuse for being an idiot about something in our history that anybody should know. He says that “The year 1914 heralded two very significant events in this country. The United States entered World War I.…” That’s a bunch of crap. We didn’t enter the war in 1914; we entered in 1917. If you look in any encyclopedia, you’ll see that we declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, and war on Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917.
The story’s opening two paragraphs are excerpts from an unpublished work-in-progress written by Rick Ortiz. — Editor
I was reading an online restaurant review of Maryjane’s Coffee Shop in the Hard Rock Hotel in the October 2 edition of the Reader. The author was Naomi Wise, and the title of the article was “The Second Childhood of Suzy Creamcheese.”
Several paragraphs into the review, Ms. Wise talks about the meat loaf and mentions that it comes with something called “Wavy Gravy,” named after the late San Francisco hipster-comedian.
Ms. Wise might want to check her facts in the future. Wavy Gravy (aka Hugh Romney) is very much alive.
You can find Wavy Gravy’s webpage at wavygravy.net/.
If you look at the website, you can find a page on “Booking Information” with the name and phone number of his agent. No, Wavy Gravy is definitely not dead.
Karyn Ann Bosso
I’ve had two friends die in their 50s of one-cigar-a-day head and neck cancer, after disfiguring surgery failed (“I Never Inhale,” Cover Story, September 25). Really macho, right?
Dr. Steve Hansen
Gropen titled his article “I Never Inhale” (Cover Story, September 25) and in about a half dozen instances reiterated the point that most cigar smokers don’t inhale. This is, of course, absurd given the copious quantity of smoke a cigar makes — it is essentially impossible not to inhale the secondhand smoke. If many cigar smokers prefer to not inhale secondhand smoke (“even their own”), they aren’t going to avoid doing so even by smoking outdoors, as Gropen suggests. The vague references to people who can smoke their stogies and still run a 10k or to physicians (or even children of physicians, impressively!) who smoke cigars strike me as little more than weak testimonial “proof” offered up by the lamest of TV infomercials.
Thanks For Antonia
Thanks for the story of Mother Antonia (“Sheep and Goats,” September 25).What a wonderful woman, full of compassion and doing Christ’s work every day. She is a remarkable woman I met many years ago. Now I know why I picked up the Reader today.
The Mayor’s All Wet
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to flush… I am scrutinizing your cartoon (Neal Obermeyer) in the September 25 issue of the Reader showing San Diego’s mayor cajoling a group of neighbors to conserve water as they are hosing off their driveways. So, our mayor is disappointed that San Diego did not meet his water-conservation expectations. Conserving water is a good thing, but the reality of Jerry Sanders’s message smells!
You have to brush your teeth after drinking the City’s spunk-water from the tap, and bottled water costs more than gasoline. Marginal water supplies for San Diego has historically been a political and an economic issue driven by special interests. Our water and sewer usage taxes went up 6.5 percent again this July. I say “tax” because a rose (“fee”) by any other name is still…a tax! These rate increases, we were told, are needed to fund infrastructure disrepairs and replacements and to comply with government regulations.
Why is the mayor of an almost-bankrupt city telling its utility customers to use less water when the City really needs to sell us more water to raise revenues to pay for water and sewer capital improvement? It’s like a surreal Cal Worthington TV commercial where Cal is standing on his head and barking, “I’ll do anything not to sell you a car!”
San Diego has a new official bird, the crane. Downtown, Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Hillcrest, Bankers Hill, and La Jolla’s Golden Triangle have a plethora of construction cranes excreting steel and concrete, floor after high-rise floor, building multistory condos, apartments, and office buildings. The mayor’s unrestricted growth agenda keeps adding toilets and washbasins and population times infinity that will consume water we don’t have. What is Jerry Sanders thinking? I have always wondered why creativity and imagination are so lacking in government leaders of today.
Our toilet seats back up to the Pacific Ocean, and yet not a drop of salt water do we flush, nor can we — but we could! Cutting-edge desalination plant technology is providing “cool clear water” to the Persian Gulf countries right now. San Diego needs desalination plants yesterday to insure adequate amounts of drinking water for San Diego’s future. The zoo has these new nonflushing urinals that use little or no water. This innovation saves them hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a year. Are the community concourse, the convention center, and the sports stadiums equipped with these water-saving urinals? San Diego needs “smart” leadership, not “controlled” leadership. We need a leader who can think outside the influences of lobbying special interests and do what is proactively correct to insure adequate future water supplies for San Diego.
My August water and sewer usage statement shows I used 45.2 percent less water and sewer pipe space than this time last year. I challenge Mayor Jerry to demonstrate that his August water bill conserved any amount of water over last year!
William Dean Owen
I read an article in a paper. It was called “Crasher.” The author goes to parties. He is much more cool than anyone at these parties. His writing sounds like Hemingway, if Hemingway had been smoking weed daily since he was 11 years old. Dude. Cool.