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Lack of Interest? Really?

I enjoyed the well-researched article “Bonkers for Bonobos” in the June 8 issue. The author provided a great deal of valuable information (and history) about these affectionate and intelligent great apes.

Why does the zoo hide them?

Why does the zoo hide them?

While I agree that it takes some effort to find the bonobos at the San Diego Zoo, I was baffled at your table of contents caption, “Why does the zoo hide them?” below the photo of the cover. On the contrary, the bonobos are illustrated on the zoo map and there are countless friendly volunteers in bright red shirts throughout the zoo poised to direct people to areas and animals they would like to see, including the “hidden” bonobo exhibit. Bonobos are also prominent on the zoo’s website in the Plan Your Day area, Animals & Plants information section, and ZOONOOZ online, where an in-depth article about the group called “Bonobo Bonds” was published. Books on bonobos are sold in the gift shops, with some of the published bonobo research carried out at the zoo.

Given the breeding success of the San Diego Zoo with this species, and their commitment to training husbandry behaviors to enhance the care and quality of life for the animals, I was especially flummoxed by the author declaring that André and her cadre of “bonobo advocates” have “wondered for years about the zoo management’s apparent lack of interest in its extraordinary resource.”

Lack of interest? Really? Bonobos have a fission-fusion social structure, so zoos across North America and Europe manage the species as a combined population. As part of the Species Survival Plan, dozens of bonobos have been born at the zoo, and the organization is a committed supporter of ape conservation in the wild, supporting law enforcement and educational initiatives. This hardly constitutes a “lack of interest” for this species.

  • Carmen Sees
  • North Park

The Most Interesting Intellectual Repository in Existence

Reading the letters from the friends and family of Jess Robles, I had to take a second to respond to the outrage. First, my heart does go out to anyone affected by the death of Mr. Robles, especially his immediate family. That said, I didn’t feel your article crossed any moral line. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even see the article as comedy but more of a reality-imitates -art observation peace. For those that responded, I’m assuming the emotions are still raw and they needed to vent.

Hell, I can relate. I lost a close family member to lung cancer and now I can’t even watch Breaking Bad without feeling noxious, but I certainly didn’t write AMC to tell them lung cancer shouldn’t be exploited to get TV ratings.

We all know murder is no laughing matter. But we also know that media since its existence has created stories from the most interesting intellectual repository in existence: real life. The individuals who wrote in, I’m sure they have, at one point in their lives, found humor or entertainment in the tragic or macabre. Let’s not be hypocrites now that the tables have been turned.

  • Shawn
  • El Cajon

Quartyard’s New Neighbors

In response to the Tin Fork column of June 8 (“So Like Thessaloniki”), my understanding is that they are going to move the Quartyard to the empty lot on the corner of 13th and Market. The other half of that lot is the Alpha Square transitional housing project for the homeless, including many who are recovering from substance abuse problems.

So, I’m understanding that there’s going to be an open-area bar and concert venue adjacent to a transitional recovery and housing center?

  • Pete
  • via voicemail

Canned Pop

The reason 94/9 took a ratings hit (Blurt, May 25: “Sportscasting Now the ‘Real’ Alternative Radio?”) is because they changed their musical format. They’re now playing Katy Perry and Train and talk over the music. Their policy used to be that they would never talk over the music — now they do. They’ve become just another canned pop station. That’s why their ratings are down, not because the Padres are losing.

  • Leonard Jacobs
  • via voicemail

Billy Joel? Overrated.

Billy Joel? Overrated.

Best Sax Player in Town

It was so good to see the cover of the Reader with a picture of an old friend, Archie Thompson (“Sometimes ‘Piano Man’ Is All They Want,” June 1).

I met Archie in the ’80s. I was playing in a band called Ducktail Revue. We were playing at 110 Beach Club, then called Mary’s by the Pier. One Sunday a young guy came in and shouted, “I’m the best sax player in town.” I later found out that it was true while he was playing at the Old Del Mar Café.

He organized a Battle of the Saxes. Two players would battle and the winner would return the next week to take on a new challenger. Among the judges were a couple of the best sax players in town at the time, Hollis Gentry and Johnny Almond. I came in fourth and Archie proved that he was the best, taking home the trophy.

It is good to see he is still doing well in the San Diego music scene.

  • John “Hoot” McDonald
  • El Cajon

Audio Hallucinations

Re: “Sometimes This Looks Live Heaven,” May 25 cover story

I have recently involved myself in the San Diego homeless problem. My independent research suggests that the homeless, those in incompetency hearings, and those who are in protective custody and in jail, have all been illegally implanted with nanotechnology — synergy implants — the malicious use of the cochlear implant with its computer software devices and programs.

Those who have heard the voices in the past four to seven years are the reason we have national institutes of health and science seeing an increase in budgets. We have new brain research. No one questions where the research came from. It is a duty of social engineering and design.

When exposed, those in prominent positions in San Diego County shall be held responsible. There will be no exoneration. This is a deep, malicious use of technology. The big winner is medication. It goes technology to mental health to biomedical science, all through the power of suggestion, sound, and audio hallucinations. They are hooked up to a supercomputer.

  • Maxwell
  • via voicemail

Funny Math

Sunset Cliffs Passes Fiesta Island as Dirtiest Beach,” News Ticker

“The beaches of Sunset Cliffs...” What beaches? A cove at Bermuda, a cove at Hill Street. The rest is rock and dangerous cliffs.

This story has very funny math. A 51-year resident and I know of no organized cleanups with follow-up stats on Sunset Cliffs. Does it refer to somewhere else? O.B or S.D. River?

  • Greg Gieselman
  • Point Loma Heights

The online version of this story included a link to the data from Coastkeeper and Surfrider. Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs were treated as two separate sites. In addition to the pocket beaches noted, there’s another at the foot of Santa Cruz Avenue and another below Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, where Coastkeeper’s calendar indicates one cleanup is scheduled in November. — Dave Rice, author

Stewards of the Plan

As residents in the new Mission Valley development of Civita, we’d like to respond to the article, “North Park Wants What Civita Doesn’t.”

The article correctly reported a subcommittee called the North Park Public Facilities Committee (NPPFC), composed of members of the larger North Park Planning Committee (NPPC), voted unanimously on May 11 to support a planned connector road that has been opposed and reviled from the start, not only by Civita residents, but by the Serra Mesa community as well. If built, it would cut a swath of traffic, noise, and pollution through the heart of the Civita community, one that is currently being developed as livable, walkable, and safe.

However, only one member of the subcommittee was interviewed for the article, one who had not visited our community nor talked to the residents who would be severely impacted if a proposed, major four-lane road is allowed to dump regional traffic directly from the I-805 onto two narrow, two-lane residential streets which bisect a community with homes closely lining both sides of the street and with an elementary school planned at the bottom. Had representatives talked with a few of us who have been organizing against the road, the initial subcommittee vote of support would likely have been quite different.

On May 12, the issue was brought forward to the full North Park Planning Committee for discussion and a vote. Two speakers representing the residents of Civita and Serra Mesa were invited to speak. After the presentations, and the ensuing discussion among committee members, a vote of the full committee was taken, and it was unanimous — 10-0 (with one abstention) — not to send a letter to the city supporting the connector road, reversing the subcommittee recommendation. With that vote, all three community planning groups in and around Mission Valley (Mission Valley, Serra Mesa, and North Park), have weighed in on the road and have voted not to support it.

We at Civita sympathize with what was done to the North Park community when the Texas Street connector road was added and would have been solidly in North Park’s court if that connector was being proposed today because it is our operating philosophy that regional traffic should absolutely not be funneled directly through residential neighborhoods.

North Park residents are rightfully concerned with the continued degradation of Texas Street as a connector road to freeways and Mission

Valley. And while some residents of North Park may envision that the Phyllis Place connector would help alleviate Texas Street traffic, in fact, a connector road through Civita will almost guarantee Texas Street will receive more traffic because vehicles will then be able to exit I-805 South to Murray Ridge Road/Phyllis Place, take the new connector through Civita to Qualcomm Way, and proceed directly to and up Texas Street, whereas, currently, there is no direct access to Texas Street from I-805. Vehicles traveling on I-805 South transitioning to I-8 East with the expectation they can exit onto Texas Street can’t, because the I-805 South/I-8 East transition bypasses the Texas Street exit.

There is already a connector road in place in Serra Mesa which funnels traffic between I-805 and Mission Valley and follows a natural canyon which has limited impact on residential neighborhoods. That existing connector generally doesn’t attract traffic which might otherwise be looking for a shortcut into North Park.

The North Park Planning Committee listened to us and voted not to support a connector road that would cut through the heart of our community and potentially destroy the neighborhood’s character and livability by allowing freeway traffic to be diverted through it merely as a GPS shortcut.

In the end, this is an issue of protecting neighborhoods over promoting regional traffic. Freeway connectors do not belong in residential districts; instead, the city should focus on correcting and improving the neighborhood streets already impacted by existing connector roads.

Residents of Civita see themselves as stewards of the city’s progressive plan of communities and parks for the future, and they are the ones that will make it succeed — if only the city will let them. Civita is a thriving, growing neighborhood with residents bicycling, exercising, walking with toddlers and pets, and pushing baby strollers. We welcome others to visit our community, use the walking and running trails, play in the parks, attend summer concerts, exercise your dogs, let your kids run through the fountain.... But we want everyone to feel safe when here and not be overwhelmed by traffic, noise, pollution, and speeding. Civita should remain a neighborhood and a destination, not a shortcut.

We applaud the North Park Planning Committee for the action they did not take. Neighborhoods and communities were/are the beneficiaries.

  • Ron Yardley
  • Representing the “Save Civita” Organizational Committee
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