It’s in the Omission

In publishing a controversial report by the Center for Investigative Reporting (News Ticker: “SD's For-Profit Colleges Devour GI Bill Bucks”), you have advanced a misleading impression based on a critical lack of fact-checking.

Graduation rates you state as fact have already been discredited by the Department of Education; costs of attendance to veterans is lower than the figures you publish. Our institution was not banned from state aid — that funding was redirected to state institutions in a budgetary move.

But it is in the omission of the success stories and positive results at our university that the report errs most — those stories were collected but deliberately omitted. The disservice to veterans is yours, and a correction is surely in order.

  • Mark Brenner
  • Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff, Apollo Education Group
  • Phoenix, AZ

Restoring Balanced Reporting

Your article “SD's For-Profit Colleges Devour GI Bill Bucks” (News Ticker) explores a critical issue to many in our area: how to ensure that veterans who have served our country with honor receive the higher education they want and need.

Sadly, the prompt for your report was a misleading and unjust attack on University of Phoenix San Diego, a campus I have the honor of leading. That report cited flawed graduation data, and incorrect pricing, misleading readers, but your newspaper was brave enough to challenge much of that, for which we owe you a debt of gratitude.

It is sad that while some of us choose to do our best to serve our country’s veterans, others prefer to promote their journalistic careers at the expense of these men and women. Thank you for restoring balanced reporting.

  • Kim Lyda-Savich
  • Campus Director
  • University of Phoenix, San Diego

Good Ol’ Days

When I read the Overheard in San Diego comic titled “House Party” about getting kicked out of a crack house, it made think of the time I was living in Ocean Beach in 1977 or ’78. I was bar-hopping from the Sunshine Club to Webbs (on the corner of Newport and Bacon) and I got kicked out of the Sunshine Club.

Back then, nobody got kicked out of the Sunshine Club, and they told me, “Well, you are!”

Ah, dems were the good ol’ days!

  • Allen Stanko
  • Alpine

We Need Bees

Re: Neighborhood News: "Peaceful Bees Forcibly Removed from Ocean Beach

Why kill the bees? Why not get a beekeeper to collect them and take them to another place?

There are several beekeepers in San Diego County. I know this because I was a park ranger for 20 years and we had this problem in one of our parks. We called a beekeeper and he was glad to come and get the bees.

It’s a shame to kill the bees, especially considering how bee populations are declining throughout the country. We need bees for pollination for all types of crops and plants.

  • Name Withheld
  • Escondido

The Conduct of a Victim?

I initially read with interest the July 3 cover story about Jeffrey Saikali being “beaten” in the parking lot of Walmart subsequent to some sort of altercation at Fry’s Electronics (“Murphy Canyon Mystery”). Upon close review, however, this article does not pass the sniff test.

I think there was more to the confrontation between the woman and Mr. Saikali inside Fry’s than the one-sided explanation by Mr. Saikali. By the Reader account, Mr. Saikali left Fry’s after the altercation without looking back, and walked all the way to Walmart, which I believe is a quarter-mile away, not just “across the street.”

Why did he leave the store without giving his version of the events to the security staff, and why did he walk out without looking back while the woman was yelling for someone to stop him? Why did he walk past his car when it was probably in Fry’s parking lot? This does not sound like the conduct of a victim to me; it seems more consistent with someone trying to get away.

The article repeatedly uses the term “beating” to describe Mr. Saikali’s injuries. However, on the front page of the Reader is a close-up photograph which shows only some minor scrapes on his face, two of which look like fingernail scratches. His injuries were characterized on the front page as “brutally beaten.” Really? Look again at the injuries.

The article briefly mentions that the woman he said attacked him suffered a broken wrist. Do you think perhaps that’s why Mr. Saikali walked away from Fry’s without looking back?

I was thinking of shifting my readership from the U-T to the Reader after Doug Manchester bought the paper. But before I do so, the in-depth cover stories need to be more thorough and fair.

  • Craig Bradshaw
  • El Cajon

Skeptical and Confused

I’m writing in regards to your article, “Murphy Canyon Mystery” (July 3). This story sounds a bit bizarre. While I do believe that SDPD has mishandled this case and has lacked transparency, I’m skeptical and confused of Mr. Saikali’s version of events. There are too many unanswered questions.

Right now it is a he-said she-said story. Until we're able to get an account from the woman who had the altercation with Mr. Saikali, or the security person from Fry’s, then I don’t feel it's fair to present Mr. Saikali as a poor innocent victim. I understand it's been a challenge to obtain witnesses, videotapes, the police report, and so on, but it is unjust to automatically side with Mr. Saikali’s story.

Furthermore, why would the woman start videotaping Mr. Saikali in the store? I imagine she wouldn’t have done so if she didn’t believe that this would be evidence against Mr. Saikali from whatever alleged argument was happening.

A broken wrist? Sounds a bit more severe than just his arm “brushing” her off. As for the police officer that has had problems in the past, I’m assuming he was not the only one on scene, and that rather there were several officers on hand. If this is the case I find it highly unlikely that an officer would say out loud in front of a crowd that he “deserved” his injuries.

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