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The crossword, that shooting, and a disappointed aspiring writer

A broad range of letter topics

You Make It That Much Harder

I am writing because I was extremely disappointed to read the article about Francisco Sousa — the accused SDSU student who recently settled with the university for $10,000 — and see it irresponsibly framed as a “false accusation” (“San Diego State Pays Francisco Sousa Damages for False Accusation Bungling,” News Ticker, April 29, SDReader.com).

I am wondering why you chose that language. There is absolutely no evidence that this was the case. If the victim didn’t recant or was proven wrong, then one can not claim that there was a false accusation.

Could the university process have been flawed? Is it possible that he was not given the right amount of due process? Sure. But once again, a flawed process does not imply innocence or a lying victim.

Also, criminal charges dropped does not mean innocence. Plenty of prosecutors drop charges for a myriad of reasons. Just look at the rape kit backlog and you’ll perhaps understand why so many cases do not get prosecuted. Prosecutors must prove something “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and that might be difficult to do if there is not enough evidence.

Finally, consider this: $10,000 is really cheap compared to litigating for a year or more. It’s just a cost analysis for schools. A year’s worth of tuition and he goes away, basically.

The media has a responsibility to frame this issue accurately. Only 2-8% of rape accusations are false, but the public often thinks they are much higher. That is why there is so much rampant victim blaming, and when the media reinforces rape myths by throwing around “falsely accused,” even when there is no evidence that this is the case, you make it that much harder for victims to come forward.

I really hope you will consider changing the headline and framing of the article, because it is wrong. You have no way of knowing if he was falsely accused or not. It’s that simple.

  • Nadia Dawisha
  • Ohio

Can’t Do Better?

I drive from Julian to Ramona every week to get the Reader. One of the things I look forward to is the crossword. It is challenging, but solvable for some people. The puzzle in Volume 46 on April 27 is not — so many letter sequences that have no clue to solve them. That’s B.S. The puzzle should have enough clues to make it solvable to anybody smart enough

And then there is the Red Meat cartoon. You published this same cartoon in the last two issues. Really? You can’t do better than that?

Not going to drive 25 miles one-way to get the Reader anymore.

Dare you to publish this.

  • Name withheld
  • Julian

The crossword puzzle creator responds:

The trick in this puzzle, whose punch line is the recent #1 hit “Blackbeatles,” is to discover that there are four black squares in the grid that actually represent John, George, Paul and Ringo (or, in other words, “black” Beatles).

For example, at 37-across, the clue is “Trio with the 1969 hit ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane.’” The answer to this clue is not, as appearances suggest, simply Peter. If you look beyond that answer, there is one black square followed by ANDMARY. With the “black” Beatle, in this case Paul, the answer becomes PETERPAULANDMARY. In similar fashion, the other three Beatles are lurking elsewhere in the grid.

Hope that helps and, as always, happy solving.

— David Levinson Wilk

Obviously Biased

Your March 30 issue had an item by Dorian Hargrove about the Olango shooting in El Cajon. His article reads that the officer said he shot Olango because he was tugging at his pocket when film, newspapers, and the internet show that Olango was shot while in a shooter’s stance, pointing an object that resembled the barrel of a firearm at the officer. Evidently your author didn’t see or research the story. Very shoddy reporting from a respected publication. Editor should have spotted this obviously biased writing. Shame, shame.

  • Name withheld
  • via email

Bummer

I’m writing to comment on your recent removal of the option for writers to submit reviews of concerts or albums to your magazine (“Everyone’s a Critic”). This was an opportunity that other aspiring writers and I were very happy to be able to take advantage of and its removal from your publication is, for lack of better words, a bummer.

I looked forward to have a legitimate venue to get published by and, although I do still have a blog I write for, this submission option was an exciting and encouraging way to write about something I have a lot of passion for, and hopefully make a couple dollars in the process. I realize that by writing in to a magazine to complain about them not wanting to pay me money to write about punk music is the opposite of the DIY ethic everyone loves, but I enjoyed writing for this magazine while I had a chance and I’m sad to see this opportunity go. Thanks.

  • Kieran Zimmer
  • Encinitas

Ouch!

Thanks for all your good work. You guys and gals are like a breath of fresh ocean breeze compared to the sewage that comes out of main stream media and the U-T.

You guys hit hard on those local political news stories. Ouch! Heh, makes me laugh sometimes. Yeah, people need to be held accountable in this era of transparency and expansion. We all do.

Anyway, love you guys and gals and I’m hoping to make it back soon to PB, my home. Still freezing my ass up here in Spokane, Washington. I’ll take a dip in the surf on a December month in SD, N. County any day over winter up here. Wet suits do wonders. I still ride my beach cruiser here. :)

Take care.

  • Anasazi James
  • via email
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You Make It That Much Harder

I am writing because I was extremely disappointed to read the article about Francisco Sousa — the accused SDSU student who recently settled with the university for $10,000 — and see it irresponsibly framed as a “false accusation” (“San Diego State Pays Francisco Sousa Damages for False Accusation Bungling,” News Ticker, April 29, SDReader.com).

I am wondering why you chose that language. There is absolutely no evidence that this was the case. If the victim didn’t recant or was proven wrong, then one can not claim that there was a false accusation.

Could the university process have been flawed? Is it possible that he was not given the right amount of due process? Sure. But once again, a flawed process does not imply innocence or a lying victim.

Also, criminal charges dropped does not mean innocence. Plenty of prosecutors drop charges for a myriad of reasons. Just look at the rape kit backlog and you’ll perhaps understand why so many cases do not get prosecuted. Prosecutors must prove something “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and that might be difficult to do if there is not enough evidence.

Finally, consider this: $10,000 is really cheap compared to litigating for a year or more. It’s just a cost analysis for schools. A year’s worth of tuition and he goes away, basically.

The media has a responsibility to frame this issue accurately. Only 2-8% of rape accusations are false, but the public often thinks they are much higher. That is why there is so much rampant victim blaming, and when the media reinforces rape myths by throwing around “falsely accused,” even when there is no evidence that this is the case, you make it that much harder for victims to come forward.

I really hope you will consider changing the headline and framing of the article, because it is wrong. You have no way of knowing if he was falsely accused or not. It’s that simple.

  • Nadia Dawisha
  • Ohio

Can’t Do Better?

I drive from Julian to Ramona every week to get the Reader. One of the things I look forward to is the crossword. It is challenging, but solvable for some people. The puzzle in Volume 46 on April 27 is not — so many letter sequences that have no clue to solve them. That’s B.S. The puzzle should have enough clues to make it solvable to anybody smart enough

And then there is the Red Meat cartoon. You published this same cartoon in the last two issues. Really? You can’t do better than that?

Not going to drive 25 miles one-way to get the Reader anymore.

Dare you to publish this.

  • Name withheld
  • Julian

The crossword puzzle creator responds:

The trick in this puzzle, whose punch line is the recent #1 hit “Blackbeatles,” is to discover that there are four black squares in the grid that actually represent John, George, Paul and Ringo (or, in other words, “black” Beatles).

For example, at 37-across, the clue is “Trio with the 1969 hit ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane.’” The answer to this clue is not, as appearances suggest, simply Peter. If you look beyond that answer, there is one black square followed by ANDMARY. With the “black” Beatle, in this case Paul, the answer becomes PETERPAULANDMARY. In similar fashion, the other three Beatles are lurking elsewhere in the grid.

Hope that helps and, as always, happy solving.

— David Levinson Wilk

Obviously Biased

Your March 30 issue had an item by Dorian Hargrove about the Olango shooting in El Cajon. His article reads that the officer said he shot Olango because he was tugging at his pocket when film, newspapers, and the internet show that Olango was shot while in a shooter’s stance, pointing an object that resembled the barrel of a firearm at the officer. Evidently your author didn’t see or research the story. Very shoddy reporting from a respected publication. Editor should have spotted this obviously biased writing. Shame, shame.

  • Name withheld
  • via email

Bummer

I’m writing to comment on your recent removal of the option for writers to submit reviews of concerts or albums to your magazine (“Everyone’s a Critic”). This was an opportunity that other aspiring writers and I were very happy to be able to take advantage of and its removal from your publication is, for lack of better words, a bummer.

I looked forward to have a legitimate venue to get published by and, although I do still have a blog I write for, this submission option was an exciting and encouraging way to write about something I have a lot of passion for, and hopefully make a couple dollars in the process. I realize that by writing in to a magazine to complain about them not wanting to pay me money to write about punk music is the opposite of the DIY ethic everyone loves, but I enjoyed writing for this magazine while I had a chance and I’m sad to see this opportunity go. Thanks.

  • Kieran Zimmer
  • Encinitas

Ouch!

Thanks for all your good work. You guys and gals are like a breath of fresh ocean breeze compared to the sewage that comes out of main stream media and the U-T.

You guys hit hard on those local political news stories. Ouch! Heh, makes me laugh sometimes. Yeah, people need to be held accountable in this era of transparency and expansion. We all do.

Anyway, love you guys and gals and I’m hoping to make it back soon to PB, my home. Still freezing my ass up here in Spokane, Washington. I’ll take a dip in the surf on a December month in SD, N. County any day over winter up here. Wet suits do wonders. I still ride my beach cruiser here. :)

Take care.

  • Anasazi James
  • via email
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