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No Debt Load
This letter is in regards to the following comments by Naomi Wise in her latest restaurant review section (“Top of the World, Ma!” July 16). As a former owner of the Better Half, I take offense to the statement regarding the “load of debt from the previous owner.” The new owners did not inherit any or all parts of the restaurant. The restaurant was purchased legally by the new owners. As I’m sure you will understand, no new buyer buys the debts or losses. Hence, the statement by Naomi Wise about inheriting “loads of debt from the previous owner” is incorrect and is a slander towards my name!

I expect a formal, written apology mentioning my name and a clarification of the facts by Ms. Wise in her next restaurant review section. Please be assured that a delay in this matter or failure to comply with my request will result in my seeking legal counsel to sue you for slander and printing a false statement.
Zubin Desai
via email

Naomi Wise responds: My phrasing was evidently infelicitous, deriving from my lack of knowledge of business practices and the language and laws of commerce. (Or to put it another way, I hereby slap myself on the forehead and confess that when it comes to money matters, I’m clueless. Were my interest in financial matters keener, then surely I would have chosen a more remunerative profession than that of a weekly scribbler.) To put it more formally: I am not a business specialist, merely an eater and describer of food and therefore had only the vaguest concept of the specific financial causes of the Better Half’s demise. I did know that the restaurant’s new owner succumbed to debts, but having no clear idea of the normal practices involved in restaurant ownership changes, I assumed (evidently incorrectly) that part of these debts were inherited, rather than incurred purely by the purchase of and then the expenses of running the restaurant. Certainly no slander toward you was intended or even dreamed of. I extend my humblest apologies. (And since you demand a speedy response on threat of a lawsuit in case of any delay, we are printing this apology in the letters column, both because this is where corrections normally run in this newspaper, and also because it will appear more promptly than in my next review, which due to standard weekly newspaper scheduling is several weeks from publication.)

Reality Check
Dear Mr. Rice,
I found your article very well written and was glad to have read it (“Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” Cover Story, July 30). Most people who live here in San Diego don’t have a clue what people in Southeast really live with. Once in a while they hear about something in the news, but they don’t live in the situation every day. Since it is not their reality, it doesn’t exist. Two different worlds living side by side and don’t know much about the other.

I am sorry about your life experiences; there are no words that I can offer that can change what has happened. What I can say is that I respect your honesty, your courage, and your right to stand up and tell people what has happened and what you have experienced. You have written a good article, and I am proud of you for doing it.
J. Eder
via email

Homie Talk
I really enjoyed this story (“Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” Cover Story, July 30). It was intelligently written. The only part that had me rolling in laughter was that whenever Vic or any other “homies” were talking, they lost their intelligence: “What’s hatnin’ wit you, boy?” Maybe he can’t talk the way he writes. Hey, Vic, what’s happening with you, boy?
E. Bonics
via email

It’s All Your Fault
Is the Reader now looking to expand their readership to include gang-bangers? What in the world were you thinking printing this story (“Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” Cover Story, July 30)? Next week are you going to print a story glorifying rapists and murderers? Victor Rice, and his kind, are precisely what has turned what used to be the coolest places in MY San Diego into a ghetto. Great job in glorifying the street thugs who are screwing up America’s Finest City.
Gregory Senoff
via email

Point Made
On page 53, the first page of the Calendar section, at the bottom there is an advertisement of the play called Welcome to Ramallah (“Your Week,” July 30). The play has a Jewish theme, so to highlight that you placed a picture of a star underneath the headline. Unfortunately, you mistakenly used a five-pointed star instead of the six-pointed Star of David, which is the symbol of the Jewish religion. Also, you say the play is about the “Jewish-Palestinian” conflict. This is also unfortunate wording; more appropriate would be the “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict. By using the word “Jewish” you are implying that Israel is not a country, while using the word Palestinian, instead of “Arab” or “Moslem,” you are inadvertently taking sides in the conflict.
Sid Schipper
via email

How It Should Be
Yikes! Please reconsider the new “first 50” rule. It was sweet when all correct puzzlers’ shout-outs were published!

The new rules should not have gone into effect until the new quarterly ranking system goes into effect (October 1). The limiting of publication of messages to the first 50 correct submittals may place at a disadvantage those of us who turn our puzzles in in person. It seems to me that between the time the Reader hits the streets at zero-dark-thirty and the time the office opens up, there may have already been more than fifty electronic “winners.”

The idea of a certain reward for a correct puzzle seems to be a thing of the past, lost in the name of saving a few precious column inches of ad space. For shame!
Eddie O. Spaghettio

Sensitive Server
I was trying to find a way to thank Mr. Bedford for the fun article he wrote on my restaurant (“Art of the Q,” “Tin Fork,” July 23) and for including me in it. It was great getting to serve him, and I’m really glad he enjoyed the food as well as hanging out at Piggy’s.

I found out today I got a complaint — my first from a customer that I’ve heard of in ten years in the service industry. I think it may be bogus but nonetheless am scared and looking for another restaurant to put my heart and time into as a server. Any suggestions!?
Name withheld by request
via email

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