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Gather No Moss last week included a misidentified photo; the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral are in Macau. — Editor

G-Rated Humor

I was amused and delighted to read Barbarella’s “Laugh Lines” (July 18 cover story). It brings a little light to the vibrant improv hilarity which has been flourishing in San Diego for over three decades.

In such a well-researched article, I was a surprised there was no mention of Jacquie Lowell, the preeminent local improv comedy trainer. For over 30 years, she’s been cajoling, leading, directing, and inspiring people to be funnier than they can imagine. I know from personal experience, as I’ve seen her grow withdrawn mathematicians and engineers into hilarious comedic rock stars.

Only last week one of her comedy troupes — Outside The Lines — thrilled nearly 100 fun fans when we stuffed into the Clairemont Friendship Center. There were lots of guffaws and groans, all in G-rated humor made up on the spot from audience suggestions.

Keep up the great coverage of fun and uplifting things to do in San Diego, and of amazing people we can be proud of.

Dan Ness
via email

One Ed Harris

Dorian Hargrove wrote in the July 18 issue (News Ticker: "Lifeguard Enters Council Race”) that lifeguard union leader, Ed Harris, will run for District 2 council seat.

Harris argued for pay raises for lifeguards because they, collectively, save thousands of lives, and many cliff rescues each year. I applaud them for their contributions, but not the argument. The collective number of lives saved is not to the credit of each lifesaver, and should have nothing to do with a pay raise argument. What is the average per guard?

My vote for a raise, were I to have one, would be based on the worth of each guard, and the city’s ability to pay for that worth.

Anyway, I’m not in District 2, so I won’t vote for Harris, though I know there’s only one Ed Harris in the world, and I worked with him when he was a groundskeeper at a golf course. He was such a quiet guy.

Saul Harmon Gritz
via email

Love Those Romans

Last week’s take on the Filner travails in SD on the QT (July 18) will forever be its finest hour. Never has wit been more revealing of the transcendent truth of this sordid tale, even in the use of the Latin, “Qui licit Jovi non licit bovi!” It expressed the narrative of lecherous emperors before there were rehab clinics for sexual addiction staffed by professionals.

The phrase is described by Wikipedia as meaning “What is legitimate for Jove (Jupiter), is not legitimate for oxen,” in reference to the myth where Jupiter took the form of a bull to seduce Europa, or “Gods may do what cattle may not.”

Love those Romans. Rather than getting all indignant at such liberties, they simply found a story that explained it away. Knowing they might do the same thing if they were gods and had the power, they didn’t get all indignant and upset at those who did.

Now back to Emperor Bob, who is getting so beat up he has managed to push my underdog button. The guy does have a point, that, so far, as I write this letter, none of his victims has come forward to state under oath what has been described. Each day that goes by with them lurking in the background gives Filner more credence in his resistance to demands that he resign.

You don’t take the heat of running for election just for the salary — it’s the power in all its forms that is the lure. In the cities of North County, most mayors are only members of the city council with the honorary title. The unelected invisible bureaucracy runs the show with no accountability to the citizens.

I’m from New York City, where obnoxious, power-crazed mayors are the norm, maybe even a requirement. Filner is nothing new to me.

If the committed a crime, we have a legal process, one that is designed to be uncomfortable for the accusers, because the consequences are serious. So, aggrieved women, step up to the plate! If they don’t, let’s hope a chastened Filner will realize this is the 21st Century, and no longer the JFK era of political benefits that he learned as a novice pol.

Nothing wrong with having a tough son-of-a-bitch mayor — that is, if he picks his enemies for the city’s benefit. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Al Rodbell
via email

Burrito Donations

I picked up a copy of the Reader this week and the cover (July 11) is titled “Burrito Boys.” I would like to know how to get in touch with this group of kids so that I can help them with donations.

via email

I am wondering if there is a number of someone I can talk to about the article on the Burrito Boys (July 11). I want to look into giving them a donation.

via voicemail

Please contact Mike Johnson at 858-254-6230. — Ed.


There are numerous mentions in the current Reader about City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s foolhardy prosecution of the man who scrawled messages in water-soluble chalk on the pavement in front of a bank (“Mad Chalker," July 4 cover story).

Coincidentally, according to England’s Daily Telegraph, 10-year-old Lilly Allen was accused of criminal damage by a cop for scrawling a hopscotch pattern in water-soluble chalk on the pavement in front of her house in Ramsgate, Kent. When her father complained, the Kent police department found the officer “overzealous” and ordered him to apologize to the girl and her father in person.

Seems like a reasonable way for overzealous Goldsmith to handle his situation, as well.

John Mann
via email

Glove Up!

I have a comment about the recent cover article, “Burrito Boys” (July 11). It was an outstanding, inspiring, and positive cover story. However, in the cover photo, why isn’t the one on the left wearing food-handling gloves? Bad move.

Name Withheld
South Bay

Get a Landline!

Re: “Do You Know How Much Trouble You Can Get in with a Shotgun?” (July 11).

Hopefully Mr. Burleson has learned some valuable lessons from his experience:

  1. Never bring an unloaded weapon into play unless there is a real threat to your life or your family’s lives, and in that case alone, LOAD IT! In California, you can never use deadly force to defend property and you are expected to vacate your own premises, if you can safely do so. No “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand your Ground” in the California (People’s) Republic!
  2. Stay in your house! Going outside with a weapon is inadvisable! A man banging on your door, however loudly, is not a threat to your lives — a home invader with a knife, gun, or other deadly weapon is! If you use deadly force on someone who enters your home uninvited with a weapon, it is more defensible than outside your home, whatever the circumstances!
  3. Never willingly talk to the police without a lawyer, ever! In this case, the cops don’t care if the process server is a jerk; they are there to arrest a “nut with a gun”! Burleson screwed up, and he compounded his problems by cooperating with the police. The cops didn’t respond to save Burleson’s family.
  4. Get a landline! 911 on your cell phone failed you. Your family’s safety is at risk with your sketchy cell service.
  5. Never give permission to the police to enter your home! Period! In this case they will come in without your permission, lawfully, to secure the weapon in question, and to check on the safety of the family, but respectfully decline if they ask to enter. If you give permission, you are asking the police to come and find a reason to arrest you!
  6. With children in the house, once the emergency is over, lock up your unloaded firearm. A loaded, unsecured firearm is a crime in California. (See #5).

Good luck to Mr. Burleson, suing that process server. The situation ended badly but could have been worse for everyone. (Ask Zimmerman!)

Willi Haiber
via email

Sweetwater Rumors

I have been wondering why we haven’t been hearing more from Susan Luzzaro the past two to three weeks.

There was a Sweetwater board meeting last Monday night; there was a community meeting on June 26; there are several other developments going on with this school district having to do with contracts being signed with outside, for-profit educational institutions, and we are hearing rumors.

We need to read the news! We depend upon the Reader for updates, as coverage elsewhere has been so unpredictable and sporadic. Can you please give me a bit of guidance as to what we can expect regarding coverage of Sweetwater Union High School’s multiplicities of issues and problems?

via email

Turning of Stones

Please publish more Susan Luzzaro reporting. Her detailed and consistent coverage of South Bay goings-on leaves no stone unturned. We haven’t seen much in the last few weeks.

Name Withheld
via email

Desperately Seeking Susan

Where is Ms. Luzzaro’s coverage on SUHSD? Is she on vacation? We need her down here!

via email

Coming Soon?

I really enjoy the reporting of Susan Luzzaro and have not seen anything by her lately, especially her reporting on issues in the South Bay. Can we expect to see her columns again soon?

via email

On Vacation?

I was wondering if Susan Luzzaro — the lady that does all the South Bay articles on the school district and what goes on with the state — is on vacation. I was talking to my neighbors about it, and I’ve gone to a board meeting and didn’t see her there. Yesterday people went to the 975 hearing down at the courthouse, and there’s been no articles, so I’m just kind of curious what’s going on.

Frances Brinkman

Vital Help

I would like to thank the Reader for Susan Luzzaro’s coverage of the Sweetwater Union High School District. We have a big problem with our school board. Susan Luzzaro is vital to helping this community in the South Bay. Her coverage is excellent and I appreciate all her efforts.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Missing Diva

I’m really, really upset that you put Diary of a Diva on an alternating-week program. I really look forward to it every week. She’s the first thing I look for, no matter how interesting the cover article might be. I look forward to her take on life in general because she’s so whimsical. She just has a totally different take and I don’t understand why you put her on a rotation basis. I want to complain vehemently. Please put her back every week!

Because of where I live now, I’m not able to get the Reader every week, so now I’m probably going to miss her entirely. That’s something you should know: people don’t always read the Reader every week. Please put her back because I don’t enjoy the other articles nearly as much as her, I’m sorry to say.

Rondy Erickson
San Ysidro

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