• Letter to Editor
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Sloppy Work

I was quite surprised to read the article, “Border Patrol Combats Crowd of 100,” (News Ticker, December 5) and find typing and grammar error after error.

Do you know about spell check and other tools for proper writing? Wow; what sloppy work and poorly structured sentences. You guys are a joke!

  • Ricardo Jose Fiske
  • Escondido

To Find the Bite

I would like to suggest that Ian Pike give the address of the restaurant that he is reviewing. It would be helpful to know where it is located.

He did a review on Bite of Boston (“Fried Clams and Lobster Rolls at Bite of Boston,” December 5), and the only thing he said is that it is on Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach.

He also did a review of Dunkin’ Donuts (“Sunny Donuts and the Incoming Dunkin’s,” December 5) and he gave four addresses of where I could find a Dunkin’ Donuts. But nothing on where I could find Bite of Boston.

In the future, please give the address when you review a restaurant.

  • Mel Weisenberg
  • via voicemail

Donut Flaks

In the December 5 issue of the Reader it talks about a donut shop down there on Broadway in Chula Vista (“Sunny Donuts and the Incoming Dunkin’s”).

There’s a man who goes in there twice a week to buy donuts to take to AA meetings. He says usually there’s nobody in there and he can get waited on properly. He said that on Friday when he went in there, there were eight people in line in front of him.

I told him that the place had been written up in the Reader, and he said, “Well that explains it.”

They are good donuts. But it just goes to show you that people really do read the Reader!

  • Charlie
  • Chula Vista

With This Ad: $749

In the article about a great president who was killed (“The Kennedy Assassination’s Last Insider,” November 21), there is a coupon for a gun from California Police Equipment. “We sell to the public!”

As an American I don’t appreciate this.

  • Ron
  • El Cajon

Abhorrent to Me

I’m calling about the ridiculous quotation you have from your cover article on page 40 (“The Kennedy Assassination’s Last Insider,” November 21): “I don’t like to say it, but they applauded in certain public schools when they heard Kennedy was shot.”

I don’t know what kind of bullshit crap you’re writing. This is abhorrent to me. I was alive at the time. I was 15 years old. And there was nobody anywhere who was applauding when Kennedy was shot. I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

I’d like some explanation for the notion that you would even think of putting anything like this in your paper.

  • Pat Raines
  • via voicemail

Glock Fashion

This is about your cover article on my favorite subject: guns (“Want to Out Your Gun-Toting Neighbors? There’s an App for That.” November 14). This isn’t the first letter I’ve written about guns. There are so many statements in the article that I agree with.

First of all, may I state there is something wrong with a person who loves guns. The second amendment needs to be torn up and thrown out. I don’t understand why we’re living by some crap that is no longer applicable. You’d think these amendments were written by God.

Shooting guns as a hobby makes me think of brain-damaged humans. Humans, the most violent of all creatures. Since most gun lovers love alcohol also (the two go hand in hand) I’m beginning to see no hope.

What politician is going to stand up and state the fact that there is an epidemic of gun deaths? Or that the NRA rules this country? We really are a stupid bunch.

I still get upset about a youngster that found a loaded gun in a neighbor’s garage and accidently killed himself. That gun owner ought to be in prison.

Every day — more like every minute — someone is shot by a gun owner. And there are still AK-47s: people-hunting guns. And now it is fashionable to carry a Glock. More women are killing with their guns. I hate people who love guns. I just couldn’t associate with someone with such a sick mentality.

Abortion is murder. All those religious gun lovers make me sick. I live in the same country as those white trash pseudo-religious murderers. Only in America. President Obama is another gutless wimp. I don’t vote anymore.

I can’t have a gun — I suffer from depression, the type where 95% of us would be likely to kill ourselves. The real mentally ill are the killers of others, the sociopaths. It always gets me how the so-called sane will assume that anybody who sees a shrink is a killer.

Killers don’t see shrinks. People that can’t carry guns are the least likely to kill. We tend to be more spiritual. Even though we struggle, we would never destroy a body that God gave us. The gun-toting killers don’t care about God. As usual it all boils down to greed, arrogance, and money —and now it is also fashionable.

Have the DNA of your potential spouse checked. Explain to your children why there are gun shops and gun shows in Del Mar. My son was three when he asked. I replied, “Unfortunately, son, there are some really hopelessly stupid people in the world. They are not godly.” I said the same thing about the zoo and SeaWorld. People should be in cages.

Last of all, statistics have proven that guns bought for the homeowner’s protection ... it never happens. The guns only get used on a family member or in a shopping mall. Let’s put the owner of the gun in prison when his child goes on a killing spree. Gun owners don’t make good parents.

  • S.P.
  • via snail mail

Losing Momentum

I am the Chair of the Parent Task Force at Magnolia Science Academy here in San Diego. I am very concerned about a recent article that appeared in your publication on November 14 (City Lights: “The Turks Are Coming...to a Charter School Near You”), and would strongly suggest that you retract the article.

I’ve read the article, but I’m still not sure what the author was trying to say. However, I can tell you that the article is full of inaccuracies, and is written with the clear intent of making the school look suspicious and bad.

A couple of inaccuracies:

— The article stated the name of the school as “Momentum Middle School in San Carlos.” The name changed to Magnolia Science Academy four years ago, in 2009.

— The article states that there is a high level of turnover at the schools without giving any data to back up that statement. The student body at Magnolia Science Academy Middle School is actually growing, with a waiting list to attend.

— The article mentions that the school is a front for moving money from the U.S. to a mysterious Islamic faction in Turkey. According to the article, this is done by hiring only male Turkish teachers, paying them greater than prevailing wages, and having the teacher send most of that money to the movement in Turkey. I would again ask for data and proof of this scheme. How much money are they sending over to Turkey when there are only two Turkish teachers at the school? Again, data or proof to back up this allegation should have been required by your organization.

— The statements that the school’s test scores are inflated due to attrition. Some data to back up this claim would be nice considering that the attrition rate is low at the school.

— The article is inaccurate and racially biased, and it runs contrary to the school’s mission and vision of preparing our children to live in a global world.

There are a lot of positives at the school. They include:

— A diverse population of students that bring richness to the school and the community, with a strong commitment to tolerance.

— One of the best anti-bullying programs in the district. The principal has no tolerance for bullying, so it simply does not happen at the school.

—The robotics team recently won a robotics competition at High Tech High (not a Magnolia Schools sponsored competition).

— Athletics, music, art and multiple afterschool activities meant to promote math and science.

As the editor of the newspaper, it is your responsibility to understand the difference between news, opinion, fact, and fiction. It is irresponsible of your newspaper to present this article as anything but opinion and fiction. Furthermore, it is equally irresponsible to print an article that you represent as news with so many glaring inaccuracies, and no attempt at presenting the other side of the argument. At a minimum, you need to retract this article. However, we also believe you have an obligation to educate your readers on the many positives that Magnolia Science Academy brings to the San Diego, San Carlos, and La Mesa communities.

Without a retraction, we will begin to make your advertisers aware of this problem, so we strongly urge you to act quickly to resolve this problem.

  • Evangelina Yolanda Yslas-Thompson
  • Chair, Parent Task Force
  • Magnolia Science Academy

Moss Gropen responds:

My article neither addressed, nor purported to address, the operation of the particular school with which you are affiliated.

Nonetheless, I reiterate and reassert that the practices and procedures carried out by Gulen public charter schools in the United States, as well as the overarching goals of the Gulen movement, have been extensively documented by Sharon Higgins, et al. Note that detailed research findings are freely available online. However, in the context of a short article, a comprehensive exposition of statistics is neither journalistically required nor logistically feasible.

On another point, I must remind you that during our interview, Dr. Argin admitted to being involved in the Gulen movement.

Finally, your claim the article is “racially biased” is specious at best, to wit: The article contained no mention of race and, for the record, Turks are a nationality, not a “race.”

[By the way, the name discrepancy was an editorial error that was corrected in the online version.]

Moss Gropen

Suck it Up

The theory that applies to all the whiners about jet noise at Lindbergh or Miramar also applies to those upset with stadium lights at high school games (“Friday Night Lights Out,” November 7 cover story). The question is, Who was there first?

You knew you were next to an airport or high school when you moved in. Suck it up for one night a week.

  • Ronald E. Long
  • Point Loma

Lighten Up

I hope everyone else is as tired of the self-righteous PC police as I am. All someone has to do is make a statement about almost anything, and immediately someone is on TV or in the newspapers condemning them and demanding an apology, or they will be burned at the stake. The sad part is that the news media gives them the exposure they thrive on. Why not just ignore the agitators? Maybe they’ll go away.

Everyone seems to be offended about everything: names of sports teams, comments by mayors or business owners, schoolteachers, clergy, etcetera.

Now we have the Jamaican bobsled founder calling for the firing of coaches who dressed as the team for a costume party (SDQT: “Uncool Funnings,” November 7). In another era everyone would have garnered a chuckle out of it, and life would go on. But today, it appears that you have just got to be offended. Exactly what harm did these coaches cause except to give the “offended” an opportunity for some media exposure?

Lighten up, offended ones, and look at life as it is. No one is trying to offend anyone. Of course, there’s always those who vie for attention.

  • Ron Engelhart
  • Clairemont

A Bit Snarky

I am sure that you are no stranger to receiving letters and comments, and I hope this one is not something you take lightly.

I am getting in touch about the Feast article called “Maple-Bacon Popcorn,” by Ian Pike, printed in the November 7 edition. The article is an assessment of our new venture, Coin-Op Game Room in North Park.

Roy Ledo and I have been the managing partners of two bars/restaurants: The Lion’s Share, and Coin-Op. We are incredibly lucky, feel blessed, and take a lot of pride in our ventures. Both venues have seen their fair share of spotlight in the media — some of it good, some of it bad. Some of the feedback is justified, whereas some lacks base. Nonetheless, we dig deep into it for the sake of improving our businesses.

This article, however, is a bit different than most we have seen, and we find it downright insulting. The article begins with an overview of the concept. It speaks of nostalgia, highlights some games, and calls the concept “rad.” Much appreciated. It trickles down in the next column towards the food, where it is not so much a critical assessment, but a downright disrespectful one. “Unexciting bar food” may be an unfair tag to place on the menu, given the details of the items, the use of ingredients made in house from scratch, and the fact that the writer only chose to order what seems like just three items from the menu. The menu, in our opinion, in execution is up to par with menus of other such nature, and far exceeds the expectation one may have of a traditional arcade bar menu. It may be “nothing to write home about,” but given the background that Ian Pike has in culinary aspects, than those of journalism and proper writing, I thought that “underwhelming” might be a wrong tag for our food.

The latter paragraphs showcase our “girly” drinks that would not be “Jezebel-approved,” and obviously are not Ian Pike-approved. One way to approach this one would be to note that three of the ten listed drinks on the menu are stirred cocktails — those that contain only alcohol and are not meant to be shaken to dilute flavors. Other drinks boast ingredients such as bourbon, Fernet Branca, and Campari — not ones that make girls run to the yard. We designed our menu to be approachable, interesting, and most importantly, tasty and balanced (basic chemistry would show that you need some sort of a “sugary mixture” to counterbalance the acid in a cocktail with citrus in it)…not necessarily “girly.”

The statements regarding punch bowls are disrespectful to North Park and Downtown women. Just a comical piece of writing. An avid writer early on in my life, I do recall putting forth similar efforts with a pen and paper in 7th grade.

“All snark aside” on my part, the worst statement, which unethicly and unfairly judges our product, is: “It’s not always just about the food and drinks, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of that sometimes.”

As I mentioned before, we have been on both sides of articles, the good and not so good. Opinions are fair if they are justified, and if they are supported with facts, but his statements seem to lack both. This seemed far less like a blog or news piece, and far more like an untrained writer struggling to meet the word requirement and deadline.

I asked around if anyone was familiar with the writer, and came across a former employer. The aforementioned person described him as a “sour guy,” which given his “snark,” and the crappy piece of writing about Waypoint Public right after ours, seems fitting enough.

My team and I are offended equally with the unfair review as we are with a bad piece of writing that we had to sit and read a few times over. As the editor of a fine publication, I hope you would send someone a bit less biased and “snarky” for an opinion piece, and take a harder look at articles for publication by amateur writers.

  • Hassan Mahmood
  • North Park
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


dwbat Dec. 11, 2013 @ 8:09 a.m.

Letter-writer Pat Raines was upset, but I remember news reports after the Kennedy assassination saying that schoolkids in some areas DID applaud after hearing JFK was shot.


dlwatib Dec. 12, 2013 @ 12:33 p.m.

Re: Suck it Up

You have it all wrong, Mr. Long. First off, the high school was obviously not the first in the neighborhood. It was built to educate a population which was already mostly in place at the time. Even if it was built before certain houses immediately around it, that doesn't give it license to do whatever it wants, nor does it take away the rights of those who come after.

The original article should have been about the abuse of the public trust. Shenanigans like that WILL come back to bite this school district when it comes time to campaign for another bond. The author of the story made it sound like the neighbors were out to punish the kids somehow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the families living around the high school more than likely had or will have kids at that same high school. In this case it wasn't about the kids, but about the malfeasance of the rogue administrators and the author was greatly remiss in not focusing more on their shameful lack of accountability. In my opinion, jobs should be lost over this issue. Capisce?


jnojr Dec. 12, 2013 @ 12:42 p.m.

I wonder how S.P. would feel about repealing or having a correct interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to stop anchor babies? Liberals love to claim that the Constitution is special and sacrosanct when applied to criminals, illegal aliens, welfare recipients, foreigners, etc. But when it comes to working US citizens, we should "tear up and throw away" a great deal of it. Too bad that this product of public schools is too ignorant or unwilling to know that the Bill of Rights, the contents therein, and even the order of the first ten Amendments, is no mistake… the Second Amendment is very literally the linchpin that holds the rest together. If we lose it, and thereby lose the ability of the people to throw off an unjust government, we'll quickly wind up with the government that the government believes we should have. Even the extreme left fringe would be upset then, but there'd be nothing left to do about it.

We can quickly dispense with the rest of that silly, childish, paranoid rant by pointing out that very literally tens of millions of Americans own guns, and that those legal gun owners are rarely the criminals. The US is near the top of global "gun violence" stats, until we take out a few virulently anti-gun cities like DC, Chicago, LA… and then we're near the bottom. "Gun control" only works for repressive government and hand-wringing Utopians. It does NOT work for a free people.


Ian Pike Dec. 12, 2013 @ 4:40 p.m.

Daaaaamn. I call a place "rad" (with italics, mind you!) and "the niftiest idea to hit North Park in a while" (or something to that effect) and I still can't catch any love. Can't even praise a place without getting hatemails. What's the world coming to?!

I guess everybody is used to pseudo-journalism and PR-hackery. We must break them of that terrible addiction.

:heads off to speak more truth


SDaniels Dec. 19, 2013 @ 1:58 a.m.

I feel it necessary to break my monastic silence in order to speak the truth about Ian Pike, who is not a "sour" guy, but rather more a sweet-and-sour guy. Goes to show what you learn second-hand; better to realize you've met with the best you can right now, Mr. Mahmood, and that 80% of the review could be tacked up above the bar as is, not to mention that it will most certainly draw in business. So you've been informed that Pike is young in years; that has nothing to do with the integrity of intellect of his writing, and to claim that you wrote at his level of rhetoric in seventh grade is laughable. You certainly wouldn't be in the restau biz


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