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Enough of Apple Pie

Don Bauder’s November 21 article, “Hispanic vote calls shots in San Diego (City Lights),” regarding changes to voting demographics, was definitely a factor in the recent election. However, I believe that there is another important factor. The Republicans have become old and boring, and most people are aware of their true intentions. Their message is reactionary, and their primary purpose is to create conditions that allow the wealthy to retain their influence and suck money out of the government, e.g. football stadium.

Mom, apple pie, baseball, and religion are not enough to get one elected. People are looking for new ideas to help improve our ability to compete in a global economy. They are searching for candidates who can implement new ideas that will improve living standards for everyone, not just the wealthy.

The Democrats need to take note of this. They need to come up with better ideas than simply raising taxes and handing out money. Everyone who can work, should work. Everyone should contribute something to the government.

As a strong mayor, Bob Filner will have the opportunity to present and implement new ideas in San Diego. It’s critical for him to be pragmatic and fiscally responsible. I suggest his first act be a comprehensive audit of the city’s financial condition. This is especially important considering that Jerry Sanders projected a $4.9 million surplus for fiscal year 2014 before the election, while the SD Independent Budget Analyst predicted a $84.2 million deficit after the election. We must not allow our public officials to lie to us, and we must make them accountable when they do lie.

Ron Harris
Scripps Ranch

Got Your Back

I am actually writing in response to a response. One of the first things that I came across, after picking up the latest Reader today, was a comment written by Marco Alvarez in your Letters section November 21. Alvarez, for whatever reason, felt such contempt for Tomás Gayton’s “terrible” poetry (published in the October 18 issue) that he felt compelled to write you. And now, I do too.

As a barista at a local coffeeshop that hosted a poetry night including Gayton for several years, I have heard my fair share of his stuff. While I don’t feel that my opinion of his stuff is relevant to why I am writing, I will say that he’s a stand-up guy.

The reason that I am writing is because I just feel like, even though everybody is entitled to their opinion, I just don’t understand what somebody gains by attacking somebody’s craft like Alvarez did. I actually paint a lot and have had to grapple with the idea that some of my best stuff might be disliked by people, and some of the stuff that I am initially hesitant to display are some of the pieces that garner the most attention and interest. People see things differently. People hear things differently (like poetry).

While Mr. Alvarez obviously didn’t enjoy Tomás’s poem, it moved him enough to take the time to write. So, it might just move somebody else to do some good in the world. Instead, Alvarez chose to further perpetuate the idea that it is alright to just put people down at random, when they are just trying to be true to who they are, because it isn’t agreeable to you or align with what you can appreciate. And that is wrong.

I would side with somebody that is at least trying to say something over somebody that is just writing to be — not even critical — just mean, any day of the week. Having served Tomás for years, I know that he will keep writing and won’t be deterred, so for that I am happy.

I just hope that this serves as a reminder to all of the poets and painters, all of the artists out there, that critics like Alvarez are the reason that — unfortunately, because a lot of artists are pretty sensitive! — you have to develop a thicker skin and take these comments with a grain of salt. But just in case you can’t, maybe somebody out there will have your back.

C. Klos
via email

Blur Request

The “Spotted in San Diego!” Style Stalker section by Ms. Kendra Clark (November 21) featured a woman with the caption “1 in 3 suffer from pattern blindness.” The woman does not suffer from pattern blindness. She is an excellent EVS custodian for UCSD Medical Center who is required to wear that uniform, and was likely going to or from work. She is also the nicest person you will meet doing the hardest job you can.

Shame on you, San Diego Reader, for publicly embarrassing a woman for wearing her required uniform. I believe a public apology is in order. Also, do you not have the technology to blur people’s faces? That would be a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

C.M.
via email

Hands On

I’m calling in regards to your November 15 issue. I just finished reading it. It took me about an hour. By the time I was done, I noticed my hand was covered in black, oily ink. The back cover of your magazine that week was an ad for Beauty and the Beast, and the entire back of it is black. However, now, on my copy, there are all kinds of hand prints and smears that were transferred from my hand.

I would hope that in the future you folks use a better ink or some kind of sealant so you don’t spread that all over the place. I am now going to wash my hands, and I hope that never happens again. Thanks for the awful black mess.

Dennis Travers
via voicemail

According to the firm that prints the Reader, wet ink on the cover is rare, but from the letter to the editor it sounded as if the ovens were not hot enough to seal the ink on a small number of copies. — Editor

Comment Worthy

I can’t believe that nobody commented on the story by Curtis Howard, “That’s Life, and Life’s Not Easy” (November 7). I browsed through the comments in the November 15 issue and not one was about that interesting story. Curtis is trying to do right even though many things are stacked up against him. I give the guy tons of credit, but that kind of credit does not pay his bills. I wish him the best of luck and hope that his story gets across to others who are following in his footsteps before it’s too late.

Allen Stanko
via email

Not Enough Time

Please read my letter, since you clearly did not read the story “Deported,” October 11, 2012, before it was published — or maybe that is not part of your job? The accounts of what happened to Elizabeth Gonzalez and Frank when they were here illegally is loathing and full of racist allegations, lies, and misinformation about immigration laws.

Elizabeth Gonzalez, at 17 years old, came from Acapulco and decided to cross illegally by paying $3,000 to a smuggler. From where the smugglers abandoned her, it took 15 hours to drive to Oxnard. But, prior to that, when the border patrol stopped her and asked where she was going, they let her go when she said she was walking to Oxnard? In one month she learned English. I imagine that for most people it takes years to learn it, and some never do. She traveled to Utah where she was able to get an I.D. and even buy a car; then traveled to Washington and Atlanta where she started dating online and married the guy two months after meeting him. After roaming our country freely when it is time to face the fact that she has no papers then she wants a lawyer and knows the law — except, apparently, the federal law that she had been breaking since 2003.

She says for many reasons she does not want to come back to the United States, and that she can wait until her son is 21 and get citizenship. According to ICE, deported people cannot come back ever; they are not even allowed to be a certain distance from the border. If her son was going to be able to get her papers it is called a permanent resident card, commonly referred to as the green card, to become a legal resident; citizenship is obtained after five years of living here legally. Her sister, who is a citizen, has provided for her by opening stores where she can work and support herself and her son, but it never occurred to the sister to apply to obtain a green card for Elizabeth? This tells me they all follow the same path — entering illegally into the United States.

In the second story, Frank saw a “white” man for the first time when his mother’s boyfriend showed up one day to smuggle him across the border. His mother worked harder that anyone with 14-hour days, and he, after taking care of his two brothers the mother also paid to smuggle across, instead of working hard like his mother was doing, decided to join the local gangs; choosing “brown pride” instead of becoming a naturalized citizen.

His hardworking mother became a drunk and had a drug-addict boyfriend after her white man left her; but she had the wisdom of applying for papers for her and his brothers when the opportunity came? He had no recollection of his mother because she left him behind and also left two more sons ages four and two? But at only six years old he has fond memories of growing up in Mexico? So, when she left the youngest one had just been born? And he remembers growing up, but not the language?

Frank learned perfect English in about three months. Not even joining the Navy made him love and appreciate our country. He decides to enter the smuggler business ,and when he is caught, he was set up?

Whites will not be deported because they were born here. If someone smuggles a relative, I do not think they will just receive a fine. Smuggling is a federal crime. The government does not make money from jailing illegals. Local government receives money from the federal government for the expenses incurred from illegals in jails, and it does not cost $100 for each. If you become a naturalized citizen, you can still be deported if you commit a crime against our country. In his mind, he is a good person and life has done him wrong, but he accepts it like any good hero. Just imagine what would have happened to his now-wife if he did not “rescue” her from prostitution. I wonder if she knows he said this of her.

I do not see a point in printing stories like “Deported.” Most illegals do not read Spanish or English. Tijuana is full of deported immigrants, and they all have a story. If you plan to have someone write about them as well, there will not be time on this earth to read them all. There are millions of people from all over the word that want to come live in the United States of America too; imagine if they are all allowed to be here legally or illegally.

Maria
via email

A Life of Constant Worry

Regarding the October 11 cover story, “Deported.”

Entering the United States of America without the proper documents is illegal. People have crossed — and still continue to cross — the U.S. border illegally, risking their own lives and exposing themselves to dangers such as rape, abandonment by a coyote in the middle of nowhere, and/or starvation, similar to Elizabeth’s experience. Others may have to wait an extra week to see their loved ones that already crossed the border, simply because the coyote decided to increase the amount of the cost for having crossed them illegally, like in Frank’s case. This is heart-wrenching!

The feeling of hiding, or trying not to get caught by the police, such as when Elizabeth encountered cops at a checkpoint on her way to Athens, is unbearable to me. In the past, whenever I have done something I was not supposed to I would feel physically ill. To be willing to feel like this every day makes me wonder how bad it is at home that, however it is, to illegal immigrants it is worse than a life of constant hiding and worry.

I am happy to hear that both Elizabeth and Frank have adapted to their new lives. In addition, I agree with Frank. There should be more information in regards to crossing the border illegally into the United States of America in hopes of having people stop to think about doing so because the risks and legal consequences are major. However, awareness is not enough, work should be done towards helping the country of origin and helping improve the standard of life there in order to stop illegal immigration.

Diana Valencia
via email

Bad Bunny

Bunny v. Bunny” (Blurt, October 11) = really bad article. I mean really bad.

Name Withheld
via email

Only Pretty at Night

Re “Hillcrest Twinkle Lights” (Neighborhood News, October 4).

$50,000 for what? Are you kidding me? If the members of the Hillcrest Business Association think that this big project is going to help the problems Hillcrest has, they are so wrong.

The area needs a lot of TLC, starting with getting the owners of businesses to clean the walks in front of their buildings. The sidewalks are grimy, filthy with old gum, and smell like old urine. The buildings need a face-lift, power wash, paint, plants, flowers, and most of all, they need to deal with the so-called bums that one has to walk over or around because of all they stuff they carry around.

Hillcrest is a great area. I have lived here for three years and enjoy being in Hillcrest/Mission Hills. I truly hope the association reconsiders how to use this large amount of money. The lights will not solve the issue; they’ll just look pretty at night, that’s all. Hillcrest is starting to look very old and shabby and needs some zing. Please rethink this project.

Jan Alsgard
Hillcrest

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David Dodd Dec. 12, 2012 @ 2:08 p.m.

Re: "Not Enough Time" -

Maria, I have no idea where you got this information:

"According to ICE, deported people cannot come back ever; they are not even allowed to be a certain distance from the border. If her son was going to be able to get her papers it is called a permanent resident card, commonly referred to as the green card, to become a legal resident; citizenship is obtained after five years of living here legally."

You're incorrect on both accounts. Deported people may petition after 7 years of deportation. The petition could be denied for any number of reasons, including committing a crime while in the U.S., but many petitions are granted after deportation. And her son is a U.S. citizen, regardless of how the story reads, if he was born in the United States of America and there is proof of his birth there. ICE says a lot of crap that isn't true, they do this in order to keep their holding cells from flooding over.

Just wanted to clear that up for you.

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