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Readers share their thoughts

The American Fighting Man

I picked up the Reader as I was on my way to the VA hospital in La Jolla, and I read the miserable nonsense of Mr. Josh Champlin (“Shane Held a Machete and Walked in Circles around the Living Room,” February 26 cover story).

At the hospital I saw fighting men. The wounded. The broken in body, but magnificent in soul. I worship you, my comrades.

Years ago, in the war, I escaped with a few scratches. But you have given yourself totally in the agonies of war. Comrades, buddies, good guys, you have given all. You will be glorified and honored.

To hell with pukes like Mr. Josh Champlin. The story was a disgrace. It was a pathetic attempt to degrade and defame the American fighting man. Where Mr. Champlin sees brutality and inhumanity, I see the American fighting man as the epitome of compassion and courage.

I am the man. I suffered. I was there. To me, the troops represent the finest example of manhood, for they have given all. They have compassion and spiritual integrity.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Unethical Portrayal

I’m reading the February 26 issue, SD on the QT, “Porn Skin for Pigskin,” and I’m wondering how you can publish such an article in a magazine that is publicly available to children and teenagers who don’t understand that this is satire. This is completely unethical. Maybe it’s fun for some adults, but it’s unethical to portray the role of women like this, especially with the problems we already have with how women are viewed.

It would be nice to see something opposite — demeaning men or something like that. I’m more than happy to write it.

  • Anna
  • via voicemail
Conrad Prebys
Conrad Bain

Conrad Confusion

I’m reading the February 26 Reader, and under the Your Week calendar you indicate that the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is having a grand opening, and you said that Conrad Prebys was the dad on Diff’rent Strokes.

That was Conrad Bain. That’s not the same man. So, you printed an error there.

  • George Snyder
  • via voicemail

An editor mistakenly identified Diff’rent Strokes actor Conrad Bain as Conrad Prebys because the two share the same name and have comparable receding hairlines.

Never Mind the Bollards

Re: Neighborhood News: “Border Patrol Declares Foul

When you mentioned the finishing touch to the $8.4 million project, that project actually cost $1.9 million to do when they’re adding the low poles, called bollards, down the middle of the trails.

I just wanted to tell you that when they won the settlement from the federal government it was actually a pissing match between the two, because the federal government took the land away from the county park without their permission. Instead of using that money to pay their field staff a bonus or something, they decided that they needed to spend the money on the bollards and the extra dirt. It’s really unnecessary for the bollards to go into the ground. It does cause a danger to the Border Patrol.

The park employees do feel threatened, because most of the policy and the procedures ... they’re told not to talk to the media and not to give them true information. When you call, they’re just suger-coating and telling you want you want to hear. If you talk to anybody in the seasonals or anybody out there on the staff, they could tell you the truth, but they probably won’t talk to you because they’re told by upper management not to talk.

The policies and procedures that are in the manual are all to protect the management and make the staff look bad or to get them in trouble. The management uses that tactic to make write-ups. But they’re no big deal. They don’t mean anything. They also tell the rangers to enforce the laws. The rangers are not law enforcement!

The bollards were installed there to keep the Border Patrol off the trail. That was the main idea behind that. But any vehicle, or quad, or ATV could easily hit a rock and run into the bollards. Or if you’re on a horse that gets spooked, it could easily run into the bollards and break its legs, because the bollards are only about two-and-a-half feet high from the ground. Not only that, they put railing fencing in between them. So, the horse has nowhere to run if it gets spooked. So, it is a danger.

It’s true that if the Border Patrol decides to run after the illegals, it makes it difficult for the agents to catch them, and a lot of them have gotten away. But, if you ask me, that is wasteful spending that the county park is spending its money on, instead of on its employees who do most of the work out on the field.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Will Pay for News

Re: News Ticker, “Chargers Departure Could Hit U-T Where It Hurts

The U-T asked us if we would drive to Carson to see the Chargers. I respond: I wouldn’t walk across the street to see this band of drug-addled, repeatedly convicted, wife-beating/-killing, dog-murdering millionaires who allow themselves to be owned by greedy billionaires who want to sup even more at the public trough and use a smarmy official spokesman to lie for them.

The stadium shell game continues, but the Chargers may have rung in a bad play. If this move to Carson is a ruse, they are stuck in Qualcomm because they will never get a vote to build a stadium for profiteers, sucking up needed money for roads, schools, libraries, and daily life.

So long, Chargers. We will be happy to see you take this tiresome hustle elsewhere, and if you stay, here’s to thousands of empty seats, emptied by bitter fans who now know you would betray them. Junior Seau killed himself to prove that football as we know it should be abolished. I will settle for the Chargers going away.

I am worried the Reader is shrinking. I may be wrong, as I don’t have old copies to do a page count, but it feels shrunken to me. That would be bad. There is no daily press in San Diego. The U-T is a bullhorn for a millionaire developer and his desires to service the Chargers.

KPBS is owned by SDSU and PBS. It’s breathy, white, false claim, “where news matters,” is exploded by its practice of offering foodie programs, gossip, lofty examinations of the term, “like,” replays from the dead on Car Talk, the reactionary self-important bore Garrison Keeler, its Producers Club of nouveau riche desperate for recognition, its claims about “membership” when a former KPBS boss blew the whistle, elimination of smart Talk of the Nation, and worse.

The rest of the electronic media is the clown show, former CBS reporter Ed Rabel recently described–the blond filler between commercials.

Voice of San Diego is likewise beholden to rich benefactors and has a habit of firing, or losing, its best reporters like Emily Alpert and Will Carless. Times of San Diego doesn’t really exist yet.

So, this leaves the weekly Reader with Don Bauder and Matt Potter exposing San Diego’s many secrets . Virtually every industry in the city is steeped in secrecy: Gaslamp/tourism gouging, polluted beaches, casinos, the military and mercenary companies (obvious secrets), the high tech and university complexes (fully tied to the military and spy agencies), developers–where shall we put the stadiums; sports teams, the food industry (your server can’t eat here and we deport the people who picked it), and drugs.

If the Reader is indeed shrinking, I would be willing to subscribe for a fee. What that is, or has to be, is up to you, but if it was kept to a minimum, those of us who wish to pay, could and it could remain free for others.

Keep at it, Reader — it must be a lonely task.

  • Name Withheld
  • Del Cerro


A Saints Fan Now

Re: News Ticker, "Chargers Departure Could Hit U-T Where It Hurts"

Yes, the Spanos family is a disease on the Chargers’ ass, much like a hemorrhoid. If they don’t get a shiny new stadium built for them by the taxpayers, the Spanos family is moving my beloved San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles to share a stadium with arch rivals, the Oakland Raiders for a 10%-20% market share that they claim to be missing out on, neglecting the majority of fans that support this team and purchase tons of merchandise for a 70%-80% market share.

It’s not like any effort has been made to maintain a winning team. Maybe if we had as many Super Bowl appearances and wins as other teams, or were a dynasty, a new stadium would be warranted. But a new stadium for a losing team is not going to enhance San Diego. Just Spanos pockets.

Soldier Field is 90 years old, and Chicago is proud and loves it. New Orleans Superdome was flooded, damaged, and used as a temporary city during Hurricane Katrina, and you don’t hear them complaining.

I say let them go. This is just one of the many games Spanos plays. They will continue to dangle relocation until the end of time if this works. This is a bluff.

I doubt that LAX would let the deal go through either, as it would be a huge problem and detrimental to weekend airport business. Nor do I believe that Los Angeles would support either team on a constant basis as they would the Rams (who has stadium plans in the works). And let’s not forget about the violent rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers where blood has been spilled. Raider haters will not endorse this.

If you catch your girlfriend cheating on you and lying to you, you dump her right? If not, you are a fool and a sucker and she will no doubt do it again and again.

Just so there is no doubt to my Chargers loyalty — my blood runs blue and gold and I play the “Super Chargers” song every Sunday morning during the season to fire up. I have been a true Chargers fan since I was a kid in the ’70s with Air Coryell. Through thick and thin, good coaches and teams, as well as the bad coaches and teams, I stood by the Chargers.

That being said, the Spanos family has been threatening every year for years to move the team. The Spanos family doesn’t like San Diego nor, do they even live here. They live in Stockton. So, let them leave the Chargers name and take the team. We might just get an owner in the future who loves this city and this team.

Gene Klein built up the Chargers with love for this city, and love for the team. Mr. Klein was a great owner.

Spanos has managed to disassemble every decent team we have had, usually with the help of ex-Raiders. In the ’80s, ex-Raiders coach Steve Ortmayer was hired as general manager only to disassemble the team over the next few years through horrible trades and hiring weak coaching staffs.

In 2002, Marty Schottenheimer started with the Chargers and managed to put together an amazing record, and a smashing team culminating with a team all-time best season of 14-2. He was immediately fired for that awesome performance and replaced with ex-Raiders coach Norv Turner who started to immediately destroy that team, which had Super Bowl potential.

I believe Spanos has been in bed with the Raiders for a long time, and wants to somehow acquire the team from Raiders’ owner Mark Davis. If any deal is made with the Spanos family for a new stadium there should be a condition that the Chargers name remains in San Diego. He will threaten to move the team time and time again.

We have a school system that is terrible, and roads to fix, amongst other things that require attention and taxpayer dollars. Let the lying, devious billionaire build his own damn stadium.

I am boycotting the Chargers organization. I will box up all my Chargers gear. I will not purchase any Chargers-related items. I will not even watch a game next season. I say let profits and ratings drop dramatically, and see who is hurting who Mr. Spanos. I think I might just be a Saints fan now.

  • H. Chapman
  • San Diego

A Paean to the Sport

Looking at the February 19 cover, I thought the falconry article would be a tirade against the sport. “These Birds Do Not Need You. They Know How to Fly. They Know How to Hunt.” That title sure sounds like you are going to go after the falconers. However, once again, your cover is misleading.

The article turns out to be a paean to the sport. (Who writes these covers, anyway?) But that’s OK, I have nothing against falconry. It was a decent, serious article about the hows and whats of falconry.

However, a couple of parts made me laugh. Barbarella said, “I have a lot more respect for people who hunt their food instead of going and buying it at a grocery store.” What a foolish statement. Listen, lady, you had better give us shoppers more respect, because if we all decided to hunt for our food the hills of San Diego would be barren of all animal life within a week.

Next, Mr. Sellinger says, “It’s definitely more eco-friendly to go hunting.” Sure, hunting is eco-friendly. That is why there are flocks of passenger pigeons darkening the skies of the East Coast. That is why there are thundering herds of buffalo roaming the West. Just to name two species hunted to extinction (or only to near-extinction). As I said above, if we all went hunting there would be no meat left to eat in very short order. OK, hunting by the occasional individual may be eco-friendly, but only then. Imagine the amount of hunting needed to feed 300 million people as opposed to you, your family, and a few birds.

You can easily find advice suggesting you eat 4 ounces of salmon daily to cut your risk of stroke or heart attack. Just imagine how long the salmon stocks would last if only one-tenth of the world’s population followed that advice. Boom! No more salmon. Salmon lovers amongst us should thank our lucky stars that the vast majority of people can’t afford salmon.

So what’s my point? Eat what you think is good and healthy and don’t try to convince others to follow your path. If we all did, you wouldn’t be able to. And don’t knock us if we can’t (or won’t).

  • Oofy Prosser
  • Downtown


Unwind the Corruption

Re: News Ticker, “City Council’s Secret High-Rise Deal

On February 10 the council gave unanimous, final approval on the Lease to Own Agreement for the Civic Center Plaza Building and King Chavez High School. We are now set to pay approximately $20 million more over 20 years in lease payments than we would pay in alternative serial bond payments. $44 million is the purchase price the lessor will pay for the Plaza building and KCHS.

The combined leased square footage of these buildings is 295,101 square feet. The City, as of December 2014, has a Moody’s rating of Aa3. An A-rated, 20-year municipal bond has a current market rate of 3.1%. (Rate as of February 9 at http://www.fmsbonds.com/Market_Yields/index.asp. )

The problem is that the City is going to pay $82.3 million in total lease payments to purchase these buildings. A 20-year serial bond at 3.1% with $11 million principal due every five years would have total payments of $61.05 million. The difference between these two is $21.267 million.

Our lessor will make a return on his investment of 6.257% — more than double the interest rate on a serial bond. We will pay over twice the interest on the capital lease as we would pay on the serial bond.

The interest on the capital lease will be $38.3 million while the interest on the serial bond would be $17.05 million for a difference of $21.267 million. I submit this difference is being stolen from taxpayers.

The January 29 Union-Tribune reported the City has an estimated $100 million sitting idle in future infrastructure funds for different neighborhoods. $46 million is currently available in Transnet funds. In 2013, Auditor Luna found $40 million in idle funds designated for burying power lines. In December, 2014, the City had $18 million from parking meters idle in neighborhood accounts. The February 12 Union-Tribune reported $78 million idle funds in developer fees, $34 million of which had no designated purpose.

We can temporarily borrow against these funds provided these borrowings are paid back before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. These temporary borrowings could then be paid back either by a new serial bond or, if still necessary, a bond anticipation note. If necessary, we will have time to change the petty rules that keep this city from working optimally. There are just no excuses for throwing away this City’s badly needed funds.

The Alternative Monthly Payments

Year | Capital Lease mo pmts | Serial Bond mo pmts

1 | 268,541.9100 | 297,000.0000

2 | 275,255.4578 | 297,000.0000

3 | 282,136.8442 | 297,000.0000

4 | 289,190.2653 | 297,000.0000

5 | 296,420.0219 | 297,000.0000

6 | 303,830.5225 | 268,583.3333

7 | 311,426.2855 | 268,583.3333

8 | 319,211.9427 | 268,583.3333

9 | 327,192.2412 | 268,583.3333

10 | 335,372.0473 | 268,583.3333

11 | 343,756.3485 | 240,166.6667

12 | 352,350.2572 | 240,166.6667

13 | 361,159.0136 | 240,166.6667

14 | 370,187.9889 | 240,166.6667

15 | 379,442.6887 | 240,166.6667

16 | 388,928.7559 | 211,750.0000

17 | 398,651.9748 | 211,750.0000

18 | 408,618.2741 | 211,750.0000

19 | 418,833.7310 | 211,750.0000

20 | 429,304.5743 | 211,750.0000

Total mo payments: 82,317,733.7438 | 61,050,000.0000

Total Interest: 38,317,733.7438 | 17,050,000.0000

Difference in total Interest: 21,267,733.7438

Capital lease terms: Initial monthly cost per sq ft is $0.91 with annual increases of 2.5%. Serial bond terms: Face amount of $44 million, Coupon of 3.1%, with $11 million principal payments every five years. Calculations do not adjust for interest earned on sinking funds.

Capital improvements, deferred maintenance, operating expenses, maintenance expenses, and revenue streams are all assumed to be the same in both scenarios. They are therefore eliminated from this analysis. We are simply comparing two alternative ways to purchase these buildings.

See Excel workbook with notes and calculations.

Call our mayor at 619-236-6330, as well as your council member. Tell them to unwind this corruption.

  • John F. Scanlon
  • Rancho Penasquitos
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The American Fighting Man

I picked up the Reader as I was on my way to the VA hospital in La Jolla, and I read the miserable nonsense of Mr. Josh Champlin (“Shane Held a Machete and Walked in Circles around the Living Room,” February 26 cover story).

At the hospital I saw fighting men. The wounded. The broken in body, but magnificent in soul. I worship you, my comrades.

Years ago, in the war, I escaped with a few scratches. But you have given yourself totally in the agonies of war. Comrades, buddies, good guys, you have given all. You will be glorified and honored.

To hell with pukes like Mr. Josh Champlin. The story was a disgrace. It was a pathetic attempt to degrade and defame the American fighting man. Where Mr. Champlin sees brutality and inhumanity, I see the American fighting man as the epitome of compassion and courage.

I am the man. I suffered. I was there. To me, the troops represent the finest example of manhood, for they have given all. They have compassion and spiritual integrity.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Unethical Portrayal

I’m reading the February 26 issue, SD on the QT, “Porn Skin for Pigskin,” and I’m wondering how you can publish such an article in a magazine that is publicly available to children and teenagers who don’t understand that this is satire. This is completely unethical. Maybe it’s fun for some adults, but it’s unethical to portray the role of women like this, especially with the problems we already have with how women are viewed.

It would be nice to see something opposite — demeaning men or something like that. I’m more than happy to write it.

  • Anna
  • via voicemail
Conrad Prebys
Conrad Bain

Conrad Confusion

I’m reading the February 26 Reader, and under the Your Week calendar you indicate that the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is having a grand opening, and you said that Conrad Prebys was the dad on Diff’rent Strokes.

That was Conrad Bain. That’s not the same man. So, you printed an error there.

  • George Snyder
  • via voicemail

An editor mistakenly identified Diff’rent Strokes actor Conrad Bain as Conrad Prebys because the two share the same name and have comparable receding hairlines.

Never Mind the Bollards

Re: Neighborhood News: “Border Patrol Declares Foul

When you mentioned the finishing touch to the $8.4 million project, that project actually cost $1.9 million to do when they’re adding the low poles, called bollards, down the middle of the trails.

I just wanted to tell you that when they won the settlement from the federal government it was actually a pissing match between the two, because the federal government took the land away from the county park without their permission. Instead of using that money to pay their field staff a bonus or something, they decided that they needed to spend the money on the bollards and the extra dirt. It’s really unnecessary for the bollards to go into the ground. It does cause a danger to the Border Patrol.

The park employees do feel threatened, because most of the policy and the procedures ... they’re told not to talk to the media and not to give them true information. When you call, they’re just suger-coating and telling you want you want to hear. If you talk to anybody in the seasonals or anybody out there on the staff, they could tell you the truth, but they probably won’t talk to you because they’re told by upper management not to talk.

The policies and procedures that are in the manual are all to protect the management and make the staff look bad or to get them in trouble. The management uses that tactic to make write-ups. But they’re no big deal. They don’t mean anything. They also tell the rangers to enforce the laws. The rangers are not law enforcement!

The bollards were installed there to keep the Border Patrol off the trail. That was the main idea behind that. But any vehicle, or quad, or ATV could easily hit a rock and run into the bollards. Or if you’re on a horse that gets spooked, it could easily run into the bollards and break its legs, because the bollards are only about two-and-a-half feet high from the ground. Not only that, they put railing fencing in between them. So, the horse has nowhere to run if it gets spooked. So, it is a danger.

It’s true that if the Border Patrol decides to run after the illegals, it makes it difficult for the agents to catch them, and a lot of them have gotten away. But, if you ask me, that is wasteful spending that the county park is spending its money on, instead of on its employees who do most of the work out on the field.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Will Pay for News

Re: News Ticker, “Chargers Departure Could Hit U-T Where It Hurts

The U-T asked us if we would drive to Carson to see the Chargers. I respond: I wouldn’t walk across the street to see this band of drug-addled, repeatedly convicted, wife-beating/-killing, dog-murdering millionaires who allow themselves to be owned by greedy billionaires who want to sup even more at the public trough and use a smarmy official spokesman to lie for them.

The stadium shell game continues, but the Chargers may have rung in a bad play. If this move to Carson is a ruse, they are stuck in Qualcomm because they will never get a vote to build a stadium for profiteers, sucking up needed money for roads, schools, libraries, and daily life.

So long, Chargers. We will be happy to see you take this tiresome hustle elsewhere, and if you stay, here’s to thousands of empty seats, emptied by bitter fans who now know you would betray them. Junior Seau killed himself to prove that football as we know it should be abolished. I will settle for the Chargers going away.

I am worried the Reader is shrinking. I may be wrong, as I don’t have old copies to do a page count, but it feels shrunken to me. That would be bad. There is no daily press in San Diego. The U-T is a bullhorn for a millionaire developer and his desires to service the Chargers.

KPBS is owned by SDSU and PBS. It’s breathy, white, false claim, “where news matters,” is exploded by its practice of offering foodie programs, gossip, lofty examinations of the term, “like,” replays from the dead on Car Talk, the reactionary self-important bore Garrison Keeler, its Producers Club of nouveau riche desperate for recognition, its claims about “membership” when a former KPBS boss blew the whistle, elimination of smart Talk of the Nation, and worse.

The rest of the electronic media is the clown show, former CBS reporter Ed Rabel recently described–the blond filler between commercials.

Voice of San Diego is likewise beholden to rich benefactors and has a habit of firing, or losing, its best reporters like Emily Alpert and Will Carless. Times of San Diego doesn’t really exist yet.

So, this leaves the weekly Reader with Don Bauder and Matt Potter exposing San Diego’s many secrets . Virtually every industry in the city is steeped in secrecy: Gaslamp/tourism gouging, polluted beaches, casinos, the military and mercenary companies (obvious secrets), the high tech and university complexes (fully tied to the military and spy agencies), developers–where shall we put the stadiums; sports teams, the food industry (your server can’t eat here and we deport the people who picked it), and drugs.

If the Reader is indeed shrinking, I would be willing to subscribe for a fee. What that is, or has to be, is up to you, but if it was kept to a minimum, those of us who wish to pay, could and it could remain free for others.

Keep at it, Reader — it must be a lonely task.

  • Name Withheld
  • Del Cerro


A Saints Fan Now

Re: News Ticker, "Chargers Departure Could Hit U-T Where It Hurts"

Yes, the Spanos family is a disease on the Chargers’ ass, much like a hemorrhoid. If they don’t get a shiny new stadium built for them by the taxpayers, the Spanos family is moving my beloved San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles to share a stadium with arch rivals, the Oakland Raiders for a 10%-20% market share that they claim to be missing out on, neglecting the majority of fans that support this team and purchase tons of merchandise for a 70%-80% market share.

It’s not like any effort has been made to maintain a winning team. Maybe if we had as many Super Bowl appearances and wins as other teams, or were a dynasty, a new stadium would be warranted. But a new stadium for a losing team is not going to enhance San Diego. Just Spanos pockets.

Soldier Field is 90 years old, and Chicago is proud and loves it. New Orleans Superdome was flooded, damaged, and used as a temporary city during Hurricane Katrina, and you don’t hear them complaining.

I say let them go. This is just one of the many games Spanos plays. They will continue to dangle relocation until the end of time if this works. This is a bluff.

I doubt that LAX would let the deal go through either, as it would be a huge problem and detrimental to weekend airport business. Nor do I believe that Los Angeles would support either team on a constant basis as they would the Rams (who has stadium plans in the works). And let’s not forget about the violent rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers where blood has been spilled. Raider haters will not endorse this.

If you catch your girlfriend cheating on you and lying to you, you dump her right? If not, you are a fool and a sucker and she will no doubt do it again and again.

Just so there is no doubt to my Chargers loyalty — my blood runs blue and gold and I play the “Super Chargers” song every Sunday morning during the season to fire up. I have been a true Chargers fan since I was a kid in the ’70s with Air Coryell. Through thick and thin, good coaches and teams, as well as the bad coaches and teams, I stood by the Chargers.

That being said, the Spanos family has been threatening every year for years to move the team. The Spanos family doesn’t like San Diego nor, do they even live here. They live in Stockton. So, let them leave the Chargers name and take the team. We might just get an owner in the future who loves this city and this team.

Gene Klein built up the Chargers with love for this city, and love for the team. Mr. Klein was a great owner.

Spanos has managed to disassemble every decent team we have had, usually with the help of ex-Raiders. In the ’80s, ex-Raiders coach Steve Ortmayer was hired as general manager only to disassemble the team over the next few years through horrible trades and hiring weak coaching staffs.

In 2002, Marty Schottenheimer started with the Chargers and managed to put together an amazing record, and a smashing team culminating with a team all-time best season of 14-2. He was immediately fired for that awesome performance and replaced with ex-Raiders coach Norv Turner who started to immediately destroy that team, which had Super Bowl potential.

I believe Spanos has been in bed with the Raiders for a long time, and wants to somehow acquire the team from Raiders’ owner Mark Davis. If any deal is made with the Spanos family for a new stadium there should be a condition that the Chargers name remains in San Diego. He will threaten to move the team time and time again.

We have a school system that is terrible, and roads to fix, amongst other things that require attention and taxpayer dollars. Let the lying, devious billionaire build his own damn stadium.

I am boycotting the Chargers organization. I will box up all my Chargers gear. I will not purchase any Chargers-related items. I will not even watch a game next season. I say let profits and ratings drop dramatically, and see who is hurting who Mr. Spanos. I think I might just be a Saints fan now.

  • H. Chapman
  • San Diego

A Paean to the Sport

Looking at the February 19 cover, I thought the falconry article would be a tirade against the sport. “These Birds Do Not Need You. They Know How to Fly. They Know How to Hunt.” That title sure sounds like you are going to go after the falconers. However, once again, your cover is misleading.

The article turns out to be a paean to the sport. (Who writes these covers, anyway?) But that’s OK, I have nothing against falconry. It was a decent, serious article about the hows and whats of falconry.

However, a couple of parts made me laugh. Barbarella said, “I have a lot more respect for people who hunt their food instead of going and buying it at a grocery store.” What a foolish statement. Listen, lady, you had better give us shoppers more respect, because if we all decided to hunt for our food the hills of San Diego would be barren of all animal life within a week.

Next, Mr. Sellinger says, “It’s definitely more eco-friendly to go hunting.” Sure, hunting is eco-friendly. That is why there are flocks of passenger pigeons darkening the skies of the East Coast. That is why there are thundering herds of buffalo roaming the West. Just to name two species hunted to extinction (or only to near-extinction). As I said above, if we all went hunting there would be no meat left to eat in very short order. OK, hunting by the occasional individual may be eco-friendly, but only then. Imagine the amount of hunting needed to feed 300 million people as opposed to you, your family, and a few birds.

You can easily find advice suggesting you eat 4 ounces of salmon daily to cut your risk of stroke or heart attack. Just imagine how long the salmon stocks would last if only one-tenth of the world’s population followed that advice. Boom! No more salmon. Salmon lovers amongst us should thank our lucky stars that the vast majority of people can’t afford salmon.

So what’s my point? Eat what you think is good and healthy and don’t try to convince others to follow your path. If we all did, you wouldn’t be able to. And don’t knock us if we can’t (or won’t).

  • Oofy Prosser
  • Downtown


Unwind the Corruption

Re: News Ticker, “City Council’s Secret High-Rise Deal

On February 10 the council gave unanimous, final approval on the Lease to Own Agreement for the Civic Center Plaza Building and King Chavez High School. We are now set to pay approximately $20 million more over 20 years in lease payments than we would pay in alternative serial bond payments. $44 million is the purchase price the lessor will pay for the Plaza building and KCHS.

The combined leased square footage of these buildings is 295,101 square feet. The City, as of December 2014, has a Moody’s rating of Aa3. An A-rated, 20-year municipal bond has a current market rate of 3.1%. (Rate as of February 9 at http://www.fmsbonds.com/Market_Yields/index.asp. )

The problem is that the City is going to pay $82.3 million in total lease payments to purchase these buildings. A 20-year serial bond at 3.1% with $11 million principal due every five years would have total payments of $61.05 million. The difference between these two is $21.267 million.

Our lessor will make a return on his investment of 6.257% — more than double the interest rate on a serial bond. We will pay over twice the interest on the capital lease as we would pay on the serial bond.

The interest on the capital lease will be $38.3 million while the interest on the serial bond would be $17.05 million for a difference of $21.267 million. I submit this difference is being stolen from taxpayers.

The January 29 Union-Tribune reported the City has an estimated $100 million sitting idle in future infrastructure funds for different neighborhoods. $46 million is currently available in Transnet funds. In 2013, Auditor Luna found $40 million in idle funds designated for burying power lines. In December, 2014, the City had $18 million from parking meters idle in neighborhood accounts. The February 12 Union-Tribune reported $78 million idle funds in developer fees, $34 million of which had no designated purpose.

We can temporarily borrow against these funds provided these borrowings are paid back before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. These temporary borrowings could then be paid back either by a new serial bond or, if still necessary, a bond anticipation note. If necessary, we will have time to change the petty rules that keep this city from working optimally. There are just no excuses for throwing away this City’s badly needed funds.

The Alternative Monthly Payments

Year | Capital Lease mo pmts | Serial Bond mo pmts

1 | 268,541.9100 | 297,000.0000

2 | 275,255.4578 | 297,000.0000

3 | 282,136.8442 | 297,000.0000

4 | 289,190.2653 | 297,000.0000

5 | 296,420.0219 | 297,000.0000

6 | 303,830.5225 | 268,583.3333

7 | 311,426.2855 | 268,583.3333

8 | 319,211.9427 | 268,583.3333

9 | 327,192.2412 | 268,583.3333

10 | 335,372.0473 | 268,583.3333

11 | 343,756.3485 | 240,166.6667

12 | 352,350.2572 | 240,166.6667

13 | 361,159.0136 | 240,166.6667

14 | 370,187.9889 | 240,166.6667

15 | 379,442.6887 | 240,166.6667

16 | 388,928.7559 | 211,750.0000

17 | 398,651.9748 | 211,750.0000

18 | 408,618.2741 | 211,750.0000

19 | 418,833.7310 | 211,750.0000

20 | 429,304.5743 | 211,750.0000

Total mo payments: 82,317,733.7438 | 61,050,000.0000

Total Interest: 38,317,733.7438 | 17,050,000.0000

Difference in total Interest: 21,267,733.7438

Capital lease terms: Initial monthly cost per sq ft is $0.91 with annual increases of 2.5%. Serial bond terms: Face amount of $44 million, Coupon of 3.1%, with $11 million principal payments every five years. Calculations do not adjust for interest earned on sinking funds.

Capital improvements, deferred maintenance, operating expenses, maintenance expenses, and revenue streams are all assumed to be the same in both scenarios. They are therefore eliminated from this analysis. We are simply comparing two alternative ways to purchase these buildings.

See Excel workbook with notes and calculations.

Call our mayor at 619-236-6330, as well as your council member. Tell them to unwind this corruption.

  • John F. Scanlon
  • Rancho Penasquitos
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Neither Conrad is related to another guy with a receding hairline, Conrad Hilton!

March 4, 2015

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