Great Times at Bali Hai

I loved your story on the history of Bali Hai (“Tiki Said to Hell with It. Let’s Party,” October 23 cover story). I remember seeing Arthur Lyman there around 1960. Joe Coulombe, who had yet to become famous as the founder of Trader Joe’s markets, his wife Alice, my wife Peggy, and I left our kids with Joe’s folks and went to party.

At the time the drinks were pretty wimpy, so Joe and I snuck out between sets and got a half pint of Myers’s Rum to liven things up. No longer needed!

The current Bali Hai is a gem. Reasonable prices, a good menu (I’ve tried the black cod and it’s great), strong and tasty Mai Tais, and that gorgeous view! It doesn’t get much better than this. A real bargain for a great time. Don’t miss it.

P.S. I tried to send this via e-mail and my browser said the address was a bummer. SDReader.com/letters is apparently not correct.

  • Bill Bradshaw
  • Mission Beach

Please note that SDReader.com/letters is a webpage URL, not an email address. — Editor

Bully with a Bullhorn

I just read the article from La Mesa about the marching band and the metronome (Neighborhood News: “Marching-Band Metronome no Bueno”), and I have to say that the band director who said it was necessary was full of bull!

I marched for my high school band. We took first place in street and field marching in the state finals. We toured with other marching bands all over the western half of the United States, and I have never heard of a band using a metronome in any way, shape, or form outside of the classroom.

[Helix band director Mitchell Way] is just a bully with a bullhorn who likes the sound of his own voice, period.

  • Kathy Stevens
  • North Park

Farther from Heaven

Justin Townsend wrote in Blog Diego about startling a rattlesnake while hunting. The snake “made a dash” toward the side of him. Not knowing if it was trying to get a better angle of attack or to escape, Mr. Townsend felt the need to play it safe and blasted away, killing the snake.

I’m glad Mr. Townsend and his partner were safe, and I respect his ethics of not wasting what he kills. I can’t help but believe, though, that there could have been a better outcome.

I have startled my fair share of rattlesnakes, but freezing and slowly backing away has saved us both. Their body design leaves them very vulnerable. Their best defense is to curl up to protect their bodies, or to head to protective cover, as I’ve seen several do. I believe Mr. Townsend’s snake was trying to head for cover as a defense. It’s against their survival instinct to open themselves up to more danger in order to go after a threat.

My experience from living many years in rattlesnake country has taught me that they want nothing to do with us, and just want to be left alone to eat rodents which can carry harmful disease.

Too many times, I’ve looked back on a trail to see my footprint inches from a rattlesnake. In all my many encounters, they’ve never been aggressive — even the two rattlesnakes I’ve stepped on (in flip-flops no less!).

The few times I was approached by a rattler, it was searching for food, not coming after me. Rattlers are defensive creatures, not aggressive. Heck, they even warn us they’re there if given the chance.

Mr. Townsend’s reaction is all too common and was even shared by the great naturalist John Muir until one day, after killing one, he felt “farther from heaven” and decided “to be at least as fair and charitable as the snakes themselves.” May Muir’s compassion and understanding continue to resonate today.

  • Tena Scruggs
  • Escondido

Real Informative

I just read your article, “Beach Blanket Banter,” from a few weeks ago (October 9 cover story). Real informative. [Laughs.] Keep up the good work!

Oh, and that SD on the QT and Diary of a Diva crap should definitely be cut out.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Ditch the Diva & Bring Back the King

I wholeheartedly believe that your magazine is long overdue for the triumphant return of Ollie’s weekly rant, Remote Control King. His absurd humor and scathing criticism has been greatly missed for far too long, while Barbarella’s weekly whine session about the pretentious and self-righteous wine-and-cheese crowd has been allowed to unabashedly pollute the minds of your loyal readers without repose.

So, I beg of you, please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top, ditch the diva and bring back the king. I think I might even have some T-shirts made with that slogan and start a movement in our fine city.

  • Sean H.
  • College Area

Not Happy

I’m just curious why you don’t have more movie listings. You used to have a lot of them, and now you have hardly any. It kind of upsets me.

That’s all I have to say, because I know you’re not going to get back to me on this. I’m not happy with it.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

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