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Where’s Bitty?

I enjoyed the article re personal license plates (“How Much Can You Say in 7 Letters?” Cover Story, February 26), and I saw one the other day on Pacific Highway that really intrigued me. It was on a new very small car. I don’t have any idea who the manufacturer of the car is or the name of the car, but it was sort of boxy and very small. Its name on the license plate was ITTY. Now, I’m assuming that there is another car like it in the family and I’ll bet its plate is BITTY. Maybe the owner of ITTY will read this and let us all know!!

John Sandy
via email

He Doesn’t Do Math

In the second paragraph of the cover article (“How Much Can You Say in 7 Letters?” February 26), on page 23, Josh Board states, “Virginia has the highest percentage, at 16.2 percent of plates issued. Vermont has the lowest, at 6.1 percent. At 3.49 percent, California ranks 22nd.” I drink a lot of beer, and despite majoring in English, I can assuredly tell you that 3.49 percent is less than 6.1 percent.

Mark Rafferty
via email

Texas ranks last, at 0.6 percent. — Editor

Blasphemy And Trash

I spent a few minutes looking through the Reader of February 26 and could not find one redeeming article in this tasteless hodgepodge of plebian garbage that you call a paper. I read the column “Sheep and Goats.” I wonder if it dawns on the editors and the publisher that merchandizing God is the greatest blasphemy and is being committed by the interviewer and the church that is being reviewed. Abolish this miserable feature. Indeed, three-quarters of your features insult the intelligence of a first-grader.

Name Withheld

Tammy And Bomp

Re “Bertha Bugarin Heads to Jail” (Cover Story, February 19). Congratulations on a well-researched and well-written story. Here is a bit of trivia and San Diego history regarding Dr. Phillip Rand, whom you mentioned in the story: His wife, Tamara Rand, was murdered (allegedly) by Frank Bompensiero, a notorious hit man for the Mafia who turned FBI informant. Tamara’s story is detailed in the book Casino and depicted in the movie of the same name.

Following is a brief excerpt from the blog “History of Mafia in USA”:

“Bomp was especially close to the late Los Angeles crime boss Jack Dragna and ran a number of rackets with him in San Diego, where he eventually became the chief of the L.A. family’s rackets in that city. During the last 10 years of his life, Bomp turned stool pigeon for the FBI after he was charged with conspiracy to defraud. The case was dismissed on the grounds of insufficient evidence after the FBI ‘turned’ Bomp and thereafter Bomp supplied federal officials with a wealth of information about mob activities.

“Not that Bomp played straight with the FBI. He continued his own crimes, which apparently included the murder of a wealthy San Diego real estate broker, Mrs. Tamara Rand, who had close ties with gangster elements in Las Vegas. Many observers found it inconceivable that the FBI did not learn of Bomp’s involvement in the matter. But Bomp had outsmarted himself. He had become a doomed man. Suddenly the L.A. mob put out a contract on him, but Bomp was not an easy man to kill, not a man to be trapped easily. To allay his suspicions the L.A. mob appointed Bomp to the post of consigliere in the hope of catching him off guard. Amazingly, for two years, nothing happened. Even among friends or supposed friends Bomp was on the alert. Nobody could get at him without very obviously being killed in the process.”

L. Carlin
via email

A Big Bite

Yikes! Yet another lowlife rears its ugly head (“Pacific Beach Scoundrel Time,” “City Lights,” February 19). Mr. Bauder’s report on adverse possession was a real eye-opener. How very disappointing to read how these scam artists target the elderly and vulnerable. It must take a criminal mind to wait and plot for years to prey again on the same elderly man and then find someone else beat him to it.

I applaud Mr. Doheney and Mr. Tira for sinking their teeth into such a case. It looks like they unearthed and opened the proverbial can of worms, and it is quite refreshing to read that their diligence paid off for Mr. Elmendorf. Perhaps more of this type of scam will be revealed. It is always delightful to know the good guy wins!

Solana Beach

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Joe Poutous March 5, 2009 @ 10:16 a.m.

Mark, 3.4 percent of the licensed cars in California is a higher number than 6.1 percent of the licensed cars in Vermont. (3.4 percent of the cars in Cali might equal the total number of licensed cars in Vermont).

I drink more whiskey than beer. - Joe


SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2009 @ 3:47 p.m.

Mark, 3.4 percent of the licensed cars in California is a higher number than 6.1 percent of the licensed cars in Vermont. (3.4 percent of the cars in Cali might equal the total number of licensed cars in Vermont).

So we were talking absolute # of cars and Mark was talking% of cars-that was the rub!


Josh Board March 5, 2009 @ 4:10 p.m.

tiki...thanks, but I think my editor and I (mostly I), kinda muffed this one up no matter how you look at it. first, in all kinds of studies/surveys or whatever, they always do it per capita, otherwise California would always be first, just by volume of the population (KGBs morning show just messed up similarly, when talking about the states with the highest number of people that subscribe to porn sites).

And, even if it was meant per car...the wording on my part was horribly done. What had happened was, initially I couldn't find the stat for California. When I did more research, I found it wasn't in the top 10.

The editor asked me where California ranked, a few months later when she got the story. When I researched it that time, I found the stat about California being 22nd, and that percentage. Yet, I didn't go back and look at what I originally wrote. I should've just re-written that entire paragraph. Lazy journalism on my part.


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