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Andaz San Diego was incorrectly referred to as “a Hilton hotel” in our August 30 cover story, “Guys Are Gross.” Andaz is a Hyatt hotel.


Prostituted, Not Prostitute

I was very disappointed after reading the latest cover story “My Friend Kelly, a Prostitute?” (September 20). I found it to be a self-absorbed, sensationalized account by the author. I believe this was a major missed opportunity to educate the community on the grave issue of sex trafficking.

I have had many conversations with victims of sex trafficking in the volunteer work that I do, and I would dare to say the majority of these young women would feel further exploited by seeing their story published by a “friend” for the whole city (and beyond) to read about. If a survivor chooses to tell his or her story, that is for him or her to choose. It is not appropriate for a friend to publish a very misunderstood account of the victimization.

The author ignorantly attempts to explain the very complex issues surrounding mental illness and drug abuse, and she doesn’t even attempt to understand the atrocious crime of sex trafficking. “Kelly” was not a prostitute, rather she was being prostituted. She was very vulnerable; an easy target for a pimp to exploit. Never having dealt with the trauma of her rape, she coped by drinking and using drugs, which got her kicked out of her house. Homelessness is one of the main risk factors for sex trafficking.

Victims of sex trafficking may not be physically bound by their captors/pimps, but there is a deep level of trauma bonding, or Stockholm syndrome, experienced by these victims. Though Kelly was a bit older, the average age of a girl when she is first commercially sexually exploited is 12. There are an estimated 100,000-300,000 runaways in the United States each year at risk of being picked up by a pimp and sold for sex, night after night. This is a serious issue, not just a crazy made-for-TV story to publish.

This story was published in a way that further exploits the victim and completely trivializes the trauma experienced by a survivor of sex trafficking . I hope you will take the opportunity to educate yourself more on this issue and find a more appropriate manner to educate your readers.

One way you can stand against sex trafficking is by voting Yes on Prop 35 this November. Proposition 35 will strengthen penalties against sex traffickers by increasing fines and prison terms for those convicted, as well as providing training to law enforcement so they can more effectively fight against this crime. For more information, please go to VoteYeson35.com and share with your readers.

Name Withheld
via email

Make Your Point

Back on August 23, volume 41 number 34, there was an article written by Susan Luzzaro (City Lights: “The iPad Proposition”). Well, there’s a lot of wrong information in that article. I’ve got the contract. I’m a parent. I have the contract between the students and the parents and the school. This article is very biased and, more importantly, it has misinformation and it does a discredit to the program, which is really a great program.

I was talking to one of my daughter’s teachers — I showed him the article. He told me that when wrong information is found in these articles you folks write, that if we bring it to your attention there’s a payment of $75. I’m not after the $75. I just want this thing corrected. I want you to put out a new article concerning this. It’s really bad what you folks are doing. The schools are struggling, and they’re doing the best they can. This is a great program and there’s no reason for that.

I hope to hear from you, or I’ll have my daughter’s teacher go ahead and do it his way. This way it doesn’t cost you anything.

John Tucker
via voicemail

Mr. Tucker, thank you for your concern. While writing the story I spoke with numerous teachers and parents. I also spoke with Mr. D’amico, who is the director of education and technology. Oddly, you suggest the story was biased against the program; most of the comments I have had subsequent to the story is that the story did not recount more of the problems and that it appeared I had been too biased toward the potential for the program. Your assertions about the story being incorrect are vague; there are is nothing substantial to address. Please follow up and contact me at [email protected]Susan Luzzaro

It’s A Setup

In regards to the cover story of the August 30 issue, “Guys Are Dogs,” or whatever (“Guys Are Gross”), where girls are bashing guys who are “stalkers” and/or pretty much savages.

In a society where women wear trashy slutty clothes, rocking camel-toe shorts and exposing breasts, sex sells and men are men. If you fuel guys with booze, and girls dress like strippers, well you’re gonna get treated like one.

They set us up like they tease, then shit all over us. I stopped buying women drinks a long time ago. You can only poke and tease a dog for so long before there are repercussions. Girls brag about it, then they can’t understand why guys are all over them.

And what parents in their right mind let their daughters wear booty shorts and stuffed bras, showing the bottom of their butt cheeks, camel toe, and tons of makeup? Gee, wonder why there’s so much human trafficking, kidnapping young girls forced into prostitution! So, go ahead ladies, feed the animals alcohol, and then poke us with a stick and see what happens!

Joe Catino
via email

Guy Puffs

Just calling to comment on the cover of the August 30 issue, number 35 (“Guys Are Gross”). Interesting that after the “Afro Puffs” debacle and many letters to the editor, someone goes ahead and condemns all men on the cover here. I think that may get some response, but men in general don’t complain a lot. So, maybe it won’t be so bad.

Of course, it would have been more diplomatic to say “Some Guys Are Gross.” So, we’ll see what happens. Very, very clever.

Dennis Travers
via voicemail

Pimpin’ Is Easy

Re “Guys Are Gross,” August 30 cover story.

It all starts at home. You need a license to fish, but not to be a parent. When I read the quote, “My dad saw me at work and was cool with it. He saw that I was using what I have to make a buck,” I thought it would be accurate if the daughter were to replace the word dad with pimp.

Devon Taylor
North Park

I’m Waiting

Reader, I would like you to do an article about the two candidates for mayor, and what they plan to do for the downtown area of San Diego. I don’t know anything about these guys! I can’t afford the U-T. But I vote. And I read the Reader. You guys don’t give me any information! Come on, I’m waiting!

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Pearl Harbor Pretext

In reference to the camps the Japanese were interned in (“Letters from the End of the World,” August 30 and September 5), it would never have happened if Roosevelt had not imposed economic sanctions on Japan, or their access to oil and other economic impositions which no country could put up with. So, they bombed Pearl Harbor.

Before that, Japan’s prime minister, Prince Konoy, had made proposals to meet with Roosevelt to lift the sanctions and to make a settlement that would be agreeable to both sides. Roosevelt ignored all of Konoy’s proposals and would not meet with him. Roosevelt wanted war with both Japan and Germany, and Pearl Harbor was the pretext to make the American Public believe we had been attacked without provocation and got support for his wars. And he could be the supreme commander and be a star in the world scene and have his re-election guaranteed.

Harold G. Greenman
Normal Heights

Justice Delayed Is Typical

What happened to your customary editorial instinct for the right title? “What Made Them Kill,” August 2, should have been titled “Why Are They Still Alive?” I’m surprised the writer, Leslie Ryland, even signed her name to the article. She’s so devious and coy about spitting out what she seems to most want to say to your readers, which is that four unspeakably cruel San Diego murderers, sentenced to death 16 years ago, 14 and a half years ago, 13 years ago, and 13 and a half years ago, have still not been executed, have been sitting in prison all this time, and haven’t even started the appeals process, which is mandated by law, and which takes up to 20 years or more to complete before an execution can take place.

Why is it necessary to tiptoe around these facts? The question insinuates itself: Who is the writer trying not to cross swords with? And the answer falls onto the floor: Whoever has a vested interest in the mandatory appeals process, a process which has nullified the former truism, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” and replaced it with a new truism, “The more appeals the better for appellate lawyers.” A corollary of that new truism is the historical and contemporary fact that a huge majority of lawmakers are lawyers.

Juries can determine sentences but they can’t enforce them. If the legal establishment won’t, then it’s up to the rest of us. I hope there’s a dynamic organizer out there in your Readerland who thinks our country has had the highest violent-crime rate in the world long enough, and who will get the play started in a grass roots game of fixing our national penal system.

An Unapologetic Death Penalty Advocate
Pacific Beach

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