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Go the Extra Mile

Re: “Good Fences Don’t Make Good Neighbors,” November 27 cover story. You have to wonder why Mr. Pastenes hasn’t sued her for defamation of character? I also wonder why he hasn’t complained to the chief of police and his city council member about the poor performance of the SDPD in this matter, and demanded an Internal Affairs investigation into his allegations of favoritism.

The reporter on this story, Elizabeth Salaam, apparently didn’t ask him these questions, or if she did his response wasn’t included. Why didn’t she take the time to call the council member or chief of police for comment? It could have been a great article that made some difference, but Ms. Salaam apparently wasn’t willing to go the extra mile to make it so.

  • Hal Brown
  • University City

Charge for False Reports

After I read “Good Fences Don’t Make Good Neighbors” (November 27 cover story) I truly felt sorry for the Pastenes family. Here is a woman who has made unfounded complaints against her neighbors over the last eight years.

Each time the police have come to the residence they have found nothing to charge the Pastenes family with. After reading the story, I’m not sure why any neighbor would fear retaliation from speaking out. What, does she belong to the mafia or something?

Maybe if she was charged a monetary fee for false reports, that would put an end to them. The Pastenes family needs to invest in cameras to watch over their property and that fence which divides them so that when she does make complaints they have proof of their actions.

It’s sad that this sort of ignorance still exists in this country, and that some think that others are not entitled to the same rights and freedoms as the rest.

  • Anthony R. Ravenell
  • North County

Deserves No Credit

Regarding your “Barking Seals” article (City Lights, November 27), I’ve been waiting for someone to comment on the media chasing the identity of the man who shot Bin Laden, and then Robert O’Neill’s coming out as that man, to no avail.

Robert O’Neill did not kill Bin Laden — the entire crew did. The accident of his arrival at the top of the stairs does not mean that he did it; they all put him into that position; he deserves no credit for that accident.

The media should be horsewhipped for chasing the topic, and O’Neill should be ashamed of himself for claiming the credit. If it is a mystery why the guys at the bars made “no comment,” I’m positive this is the reason. The crew killed Bin Laden!

  • Saul Harmon Gritz
  • Hillcrest

Soldiers’ Demand

Before any punitive action is contemplated against O’Neill, the SEAL, (City Lights, “Barking SEALs,” November 27) we, the soldiers of the United States, demand that the United States Congress proceeds with the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Barack Obama, who we accuse of high treason against the United States for subverting the Constitution, and for inciting insurrection and anarchy against all constituted authority.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

International Disgrace

Re: Neighborhood News: “Meanwhile, in San Ysidro’s Pedestrian Line

A good article, but more detail is needed to describe this situation to those who have never crossed the border at San Ysidro.

I have personally seen pedestrian wait times of over six hours in December 2013, and it could be worse this year.

The combination of only 15 Customs booths, some of which are not staffed, and the chaotic nature of the pedestrian lanes in Mexico leading to the gates, causes massive delays. There are four lanes of traffic (General, Ready, SENTRI, and Permit Office) in an area barely wide enough for two.

These are fixable problems. Opening the gate at Virginia Avenue to the El Chaparral facility immediately would stop the collision of northbound and southbound foot traffic. Google Maps has been updated this year, and clearly shows the proximity of a U.S. entry point to the virtually unused and modern El Chaparral pedestrian facility.

Restoring the bus lane into U.S. Customs would make public transportation practical again for northbound pedestrians, as it was in years past.

A photo essay of the area is the only way to really grasp the impact of thousands of pedestrians bottlenecked by poor infrastructure, lack of planning, and unnecessary obstructions.

A comparison to the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing, which works fairly well, would show a better way to structure a pedestrian crossing. The San Ysidro port is a national disgrace for both countries, especially so because a few inexpensive and easily implemented alterations could make it work well.

  • Rico
  • North County

More Density

Regarding Dorian Hargrove’s article, “Musical Cars,” (City Lights, November 13) and with all sympathy for the residents of Kearny Mesa (and San Diegans at large) with their parking problems. They need to understand, not only the City policy, but the national policy on parking, which is simply anti-automobile.

Urban planners have been taught for decades that automobiles are bad, and that government-owned and -run buses, trolleys, and light or heavy rail systems are good. They never questioned the teaching or looked around them.

You are to live within walking distance of where you work and/or shop or, secondarily, within bicycling distance. Before buying anywhere in San Diego one should read the city’s land development code to see if one would be comfortable with its application where they intend to work and live. But who does that? Another option, of course, would be to change the land development code so it conforms to the reality of living and not some academic utopia.

When planning housing, the professionals should be looking to the future, 14 or 16 years down the road. A one-bedroom dwelling unit is usually inhabited by two people who — if they are contributing to society and not sucking off it — usually work in two different directions, and often work different hours. This implies two automobiles to get to work unless they are fortunate enough to find work and shopping within walking distance. Two automobiles equals two parking spaces (not tandem either). Each of these drivers will pay between two and five cents a mile in gasoline taxes to pay for the roadways they drive on (less the amount siphoned off for others to use the bus and trolley). Of course, if they can use a bicycle they can use the roadways for free. If they find they are on a usable government bus or trolley line they will only have to pay about half the cost of the ride, the rest being picked up by the community at large through the tax process.

So, each bedroom implies a need for two parking spaces, even if it is a freestanding single family house on a standard 50x100’ lot in a neighborhood zoned specifically for only single family homes. Because in 14-16 years, mom and pop’s offspring will become car drivers too. Or, perhaps the single home buyer has rented out the extra bedroom(s) to meet the mortgage, insurance, and property tax payments. The occupiers of the bedroom (a couple, perhaps) are — that’s right — driving to work.

In short, smart urban planning requires two off-street parking spaces per bedroom, regardless of income level or projected age of the presumed occupants. Read San Diego’s land development code and see what it requires (and weep).

From a developer’s point of view, parking spaces cost money and take up land space that could be turned into another dwelling unit. So do cross streets. That is one reason our blocks are so long.

The parking problems created by the land development code and college-trained professional planners are symptomatic of the “smart growth” concept which is not very smart. Especially in a county that has only enough water for a population of 50,000 people, more or less. The promotion of smart growth is just another way to dress up density and more density — North Park six-packs everywhere. Tear down the Craftsmen homes and squeeze in more density.

If those contacted in the article have found this to be the case, I suggest selling to the uninformed and moving into a more hospitable place. Once moved, become involved with the local planning committee one night a month so that the hospitable place is not destroyed too.

For an excellent source on parking policy, read Professor Donald C. Shoup’s writings in Access magazine — a periodical of transportation research put out by University of California Transportation Center: uctc.net

  • Natty Bumpo
  • Paradise Hills

Nobody Cares About Tijuana

I’m calling about your food reviewer. Why doesn’t he ever review any establishments in the North Coastal area — Oceanside on down to Del Mar? Also, why does he always go to the ghetto parts of town or to Tijuana?

Nobody cares about Tijuana. You need to have a better food reviewer.

  • Gary
  • Carlsbad
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David Dodd Dec. 5, 2014 @ 3:27 p.m.

Rico, I have to disagree with you when you state that the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing works "fairly well" in comparison with the San Ysidro pedestrian crossing. Both are horrible, but in my thousands of crossings, Otay Mesa is often worse. It has taken me between three and four hours to cross there on foot. Much less people crossing there, but much more scrutiny so they take much longer with every person attempting to enter the U.S.

The problem lies in the lack of proper training combined with the agency encouraging long lines when their budget comes around each year so they can ask for more money because they claim to be understaffed, hence the long lines. Meanwhile, 20 or 30 officers stand around with their thumbs up their bums while only 4 officers are manning 20 booths and 3 of them are on break. It's a money grab at our expense, pal.


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hihaka June 17, 2019 @ 8:37 a.m.

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