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ADA Abuse

Dave Good’s article (“San Diego Among Worst Postal Dog Bite Cities,” City Lights, July 24) may lead the Reader to look into the pit bull service dog connection.

In Los Angeles a psychologist recently noted that owners of pit bulls easily acquire vests which identify their ferocious dogs as service dogs, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The intent of congress was to permit disabled people, such as the blind, to bring their seeing-eye dogs onto public transit. These are real service dogs.

Now it is permitted for pit bulls to be vested as service dogs, and brought onto buses and trolleys. In Los Angeles and San Diego, protests by citizens are ignored. Soon, the result will be the outright murder of a child or helpless citizen on public transit, unless our elected officials have this law clarified. Probably only the federal courts can straighten out this stupid mess.

Mr. Manual Siso escaped with his life. But who will save children and adults from pit bull attacks on public transit? I have repeatedly seen these dogs with service-dog vests on buses and trolleys. Just as often, they are on public transit without vests.

Time is running out. The likelihood of outright murder by one of these dogs — pit bull, rottweiler, what have you — is increasing by quantum leaps. I am hoping for a direct appeal to the federal district court to stop the flagrant abuse of ADA, pending a clarification of the law by court or congress.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

One Person’s View

Re: Blurt, “Dining for Dollars

I know the Livingstons and they are gracious and kind people. However, it’s just plain bad journalism to print something in a negative light against a not-for-profit organization, associated with a college district nonetheless, without getting comment from the other side. Especially just getting one person’s view against a whole organization the community really loves.

I’m an employee at City College and can tell you there is no truth in the story LJ is telling. It’s because of other reasons that Jazz 88 is not investing time in this year’s event.

Shame on the Reader! The article should be pulled from the website permanently, or until you contact Jazz 88 for comment.

  • Name Withheld
  • via email

Aging Out

Re: Letters, “Not Factual, Funny, or Ironic,” July 24

Finally somebody said it! Ask a Hipster is so 2011. Get with the times. And SD on the QT — The Onion wannabe — has never been good, in any year.

The Reader is aging out. You need to get some younger, fresher blood in there.

  • Name Withheld
  • via email

Safety First?

Re: News Ticker, “Violent Crime and Bad Records Plague UCSD,” July 17

The Clery Act and other federal and state campus safety mandates, while well-intended, were originally meant to create statistical records only, so that people would supposedly choose a college based on how “safe” it was perceived to be.

This year many additional mandates have been added. Keep in mind that these are all unfunded mandates. The institutions do not receive any additional funds under these laws to comply with the mandates.

These laws do not provide for or even require institutions to hire more police officers or support staff to help make their campuses safer. There is no funding for better lighting or equipment. They only burden the institutions with excessive amounts of record-keeping that do nothing to increase actual, real-time safety. No place is 100% safe all the time, but more can be done with appropriate funding.

If anyone is interested in delving further into this, there was an interesting study done in 2007 by the Virginia Tech School of Education which shows how the Clery Act essentially does nothing to prevent crime or make campuses safer. It also shows that no one really uses the statistics to choose which institutions they attend.

Until campus safety is realistically and fully funded by the states and the federal government, nothing will really change.

  • Name Withheld
  • via email

That’s Show Business

Regarding “Amy and Freddy and Charro and Ethel” (Blurt), Danyavaad & the Shimmy Sisters had the same thing happen to them when they were passed on by the judges of America’s Got Talent.

It’s looking more and more like a scam, but I guess that’s show biz.

  • Chris Moore
  • Downey

We All Want Great Beer

You might not like every thing that Brandon Hernández says about craft beers that he has tasted. But he will always give you a genuine and supportive comment. His articles show that he cares about our industry. He understands our commitment to brewing the best beers. Brandon always promotes our craft beers.

When you read his article “Craft, Beer, Ads and Advertorial,” you will understand there is a balance between the cost of paying the bills (domestic breweries Bud, Coors, and Miller) with ad money from the giant breweries. The greatest thing the big breweries can do is try to join the craft-beer industry or they will lose their Bud and Coors Light customers to better-tasting beers. Once they taste great beers they will not be going back to Light beers.

Now, we have them in our grip with great beers and customer service. All of us in San Diego want great-tasting beers! Aloha from all of us at Pacific Islander Beer Company.

  • Ku’uipo Lawler
  • Santee

No Reason to Give Up on Justice

The Reader’s cover story, “Murphy Canyon Mystery,” highlights problems that have existed for years with Citizens Law Enforcement Review Boards, which were created in 1988 when voters passed Prop G because they sought justice for those victimized by police misconduct. However, since the mayor decides who stays on the board, one could hardly call it independent.

Perhaps it’s time for a new ballot measure that would cancel the current board’s structure and replace it with a truly independent one open to all citizens, and its boardmembers decided by the voting public at large.

I understand the frustration felt by Mr. Saikali. Obtaining copies of police reports is no easy task, whether you’re listed as the victim or the suspect. Good luck even getting police to write a report if you’re the victim of crimes involving your private property. I never realized that auto theft was a “civil matter” until I heard it from two separate police jurisdictions in North County.

I also know of a case where someone was awakened at 3 a.m. by three intruders, one of whom threatened him with a hatchet and held him against his will until the next day, when they proceeded to rob him of all his personal property. He was advised that it was a civil matter and to sue the people in small claims court.

Unfortunately, the way police react to a crime depends on the manner in which it is reported. Calling 911 gets a fast response if you sound like you’re panicking. However, if you decide not to waste valuable police emergency resources because you are no longer in any immediate danger or because you brought your car in for repairs and did not realize it was missing until you went to pick it up, you will probably be dealing with an answering machine or a desk cop who won’t take the matter seriously.

Nobody likes these cases because they’re hard to solve if your attackers are long gone, or your car is already in 100 pieces somewhere south of the border.

My advice to Mr. Saikali would be to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure to start a real Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board. Get that petition circulating because voters are as fed up as he is with these rubber-stamp boards.

In the meantime, don’t worry about obtaining police reports and personnel files, because cops aren’t likely to hand over any information placing the city at risk of a lawsuit. Besides, police reports are written by police, so they aren’t going to help you if you’re disputing the assessment of a crime.

There is no reason to give up on justice. Fortunately, we live in a time where most people have cell phones with cameras, video recorders, and social networking capabilities. If you are in a bad situation, or you witness something that doesn’t look right, document the scene and write your own report. Talk to any witnesses, get their contact info so you can share pictures and compare what you saw. Then do research of past incidents of police misconduct. You can conduct a computer search for records at the courthouse and write down the case numbers of any cases in which the city or their police department are listed as defendants (or respondents). Have the files pulled and look to see which officers are listed in past complaints.

It may be time-consuming, but at least it’s not a waste of time, like seeking cooperation from police. There is a lot of reading involved, but with persistence you might just find your smoking gun. The clerks at the courthouse are always very helpful.

Once you have all your information, put it into a neat, organized report. Make copies and send one to the Reader, since there no longer exists any other newspaper concerned with investigative reporting in San Diego County.

You can give a copy to the DA, but don’t expect any response since the DA’s main endorsements come from the police.

Then, if you still can’t get justice, hire an attorney and get paid. Like the police will tell you, it’s a civil matter.

  • Laurel Kaskurs
  • Oceanside

FDR’s Grand Scheme

Larry Stirling’s letter (“Lindbergh v. Roosevelt,” June 19) makes righteous points about Charles Linbergh’s character and contribution to the United States of America. While Stirling’s anecdotal evidence from his 93-year-old brother in-law as to whether or not Lindbergh flew combat missions is certainly unimpeachable, the claim Stirling makes that Franklin Roosevelt “engineered” the Pearl Harbor attacks is fantastic.

Imagine a wheelchair-bound man, his hands full with the collapsed U.S. economy, trying to mount a nationwide progressive social restructuring, engrossed in the ongoing European war, engineering the Japanese attack on Pearl! Admiral Yamamoto and all the other executive officers of the Imperial Japanese forces involved must have been extras on the set following orders from FDR!

It is historical fact that the U.S. government issued a warning to American bases in the Pacific to be on the alert against a “surprise aggressive move in any direction.” It is also a fact that an invading Japanese submarine, part of the advance Pearl Harbor attack force was successfully identified and sunk by the USS Ward fully one hour before the bombs fell on Pearl. It is a fact that an American radar installation also identified the approaching phalanx of Japanese attack planes before the bombs fell.

Imagine the scooting in his wheelchair Roosevelt must have done to control all these variables! Was FDR a superman?! (Some of us think he was actually, but for different reasons.)

At the end of the day, sadly, the burden of blame for the failure at Pearl lies on the shoulders of Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short, who failed to properly defend their forces. (Were they part of FDR’s grand scheme too?!)

There is one note about Lindbergh Mr. Stirling failed to include, which also speaks to his character: he reported in his journals while touring the Pacific theater that American troops were slaughtering defeated and surrendered Japanese soldiers en masse, with the apparent approval of their immediate superior officers.

Yes, Charles Lindbergh was an honest man, and a truly good American.

  • Edmund Bentivengo
  • San Marcos
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