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A Viking with No Family

I’ve been a frequent supporter of the Reader for many years, and just wanted to express my concern on the January 22 cover story, “One in the Gut. One in the Head.

I think this is absolutely sickening. I want you to know that James Upton is one of my best friends. I can’t believe a story like this was published in San Diego. San Diego is known for its positivity and its great community, and I feel like this just promotes violence. It almost exploits James and his father. In no way is this article logical. I have no idea why this is the cover story.

I’m lost for words. You’ve lost a supporter of the Reader because of this story. Somebody contacted my band about getting an article in the Reader, and I want absolutely nothing to do with you guys. This story made me sick.

You guys should talk about how Mr. Upton was a great man instead of talking about this low-life Russian dude, this Viking who had no family, and shot this man in his front yard. This story is old — over a year old. James is one of my best friend and I’ve been trying to help him get over this. He still hasn’t gotten over it.

Imagine if this happened to you. Would you want some whatever reporter writing a story in one of the city’s largest magazines, as the cover story, when you’re trying to get over it? How would you feel?

It really makes me sick and I had to express my concerns. You should take the story down. So many people in Encinitas are upset about this. I think you lost a lot of readers because of this story. Talk about positive stuff on your cover. Not “one in the gut and one in the head.”

Shame on you and shame on your entire team. This sickens me in so many ways. I hope you lose a lot of readers and a lot of supporters because of this story.

  • David Yuter
  • via voicemail

Barbarella’s Forté

I was amazed at the response to Barbarella’s article on type 1 diabetes, because I found it extremely well-written and informative. She was simply reporting on what some people commented on when their diagnoses were made.

Why me? is a common response to a serious medical diagnoses, that any of us might make until the shock wears off. I couldn’t stop reading this article until I’d finished it, and am grateful for the information. Because of the response I will also be aware of the struggle of type 2.

Keep up the good work, Barbarella. Maybe this is your forté instead of or in addition to the column (Diary of a Diva) and restaurant reviews (Feast!).

  • Catherine Sherman
  • via voicemail

Life Is Not a Game

Sporting Box by Patrick Daugherty this week (“Sports under Duress,” January 15) was a real winner!

I feel your pain. Being “in the zone” takes it all away, no matter how briefly. The photo in the header caught my attention and the reference to golf in the underling comments piqued my interest. The first paragraph drew me into the rest of the article.

Not knowing if Patrick is an old, grizzled, and wizened reporter or a younger sagacious type, the article touched upon the issues we all face, everyday issues of decision-making and its consequences. Life is not a game, but games are played in life, under duress, and for that brief encounter of focus and concentration (the zone) when all the noise falls away and there’s only the game, there is no win or lose. There just is.

  • Don Garcia
  • The Cajon Zone

The $30 Breakfast

Wow! You guys must have given Ed Bedford a huge raise from all the money you saved on ink since you’ve stopped publishing movie times. The $30 breakfast!

What happened to Ed finding cool little out-of-the-way places with great food at low prices? I’ve visited many of Ed’s recommendations over the years and have tipped my hat to him numerous times, but I won’t be going to Little Italy to spend more on a breakfast than I would on a dinner, even though there are oysters in the dish.

Thanks, Ed, for all your past finds. I hope you remember whom you are writing for. Remember Eleanor Widmer and her obsession with chocolate and champagne? Right — no one else does either.

  • D.J. Peters
  • La Mesa

First and Last Time at Bagby

Every weekend I look forward to picking up my copy of the Reader when we hit our local grocery store. I look forward to reading it Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, so I can spread out the enjoyment of the articles and find new places to check out.

As my boyfriend was making dinner, and I was sipping a West Coast IPA and flipping pages, I came across the article titled “Bagby Beer Is a Bona Fide Beer Mecca.” Cool, I thought. We had just gone there and had an awesome dinner at the bar upstairs on one of our regular Thursday date nights. We decided to break away from our usual Breakwater, PCH, or Zig Zagg night, and check out the food and new beers at Bagby.

We enjoyed the atmosphere, the food, the beer, and the service. Date night was awesome, and we told all our friends, even people I work with in Menifee (40 miles away) that they must go there. We agreed we would go there more often!

We had originally gone to Bagby when it first opened, one of a dime-a-dozen new breweries in the area. We love our usual Breakwater, but we decided to head over and check out the new place anyway. When we walked in it was hectic and there were people everywhere, unsure of where to sit or what the ordering style was. There was no one at the door greeting us. Even as we wandered around for a bit we saw no trace of employees. We glanced at the beer list, which was good-sized, but they didn’t quite have what my boyfriend felt like drinking. So, we decided to leave. Not because we didn’t like it there, or because we would never be back, but because it was new, and busy, and they didn’t have an IPA, and because we are quiet. After working all day we didn’t feel like being in the middle of a loud, busy place.

Here is where it gets better (and where I make my point). Really reading the article and what it had to say, I started laughing. Not in the ha-ha way, but in an are you kidding me way.

We couldn’t believe what was said by Bagby, the owner of a new local business, calling patrons the “Dork Squad.” At first we thought maybe someone was being funny, but then we read it again and realized it was serious. A new business actually named a beer after a group of people (a lot of people, apparently) who walked in and out of his new brewery because he did not have what they wanted.

Wouldn’t you think you would want to entice them back? What a joke! We took pictures of the article and sent it to everyone we knew, especially the people we had referred to go there!

You do realize that if people walked out once and haven’t been back because they were waiting for an IPA they really aren’t coming back now, right?

We drank the Dork Squad IPA on what would be our first, last, and only time there. Funny looking back now that a beer was named after us — a large group of us — as a local population. Wonder how much of that beer will sell now, buddy! Good luck being a dime-a-dozen brewery when you have a cruddy attitude like that. We’ll be at the Breakwater.

Rachael Oceanside

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nostalgic Feb. 4, 2015 @ 7:21 a.m.

I remember Eleanor Widmer. She was a great reviewer, and one of the first to report realistically. I remember well her review of the Buffum's Department Store restaurant. Sadly, both Eleanor and Buffum's are only memories.


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