Letter to the Editor

Some things to check on Chargers' stadium plan

Before you vote in November, I’d ask you to drive by Qualcomm Stadium one day this summer and try to imagine that huge, empty, silent fortress plopped down in the middle of your neighborhood. Because that’s what the Chargers are asking you to fund — acres of walled-off dead space in the middle of my neighborhood. I’m not talking about game day — I’m talking about the other 300+ days of the year when there are no fans, no income for the neighborhood, no excitement, nothing. Contrast that with the plans being generated by the innovative (and volunteer) group of architects, urban planners, designers, and residents of the East Village South Community Vision Group. Envision high-paying high-tech jobs, a respected university, family-friendly sidewalk cafes, preservation of key historic buildings, dog parks, a soccer field, a farmers’ market, attractive lighting, street signs in multiple languages, and, most important, lots of pedestrians strolling through a series of tree-lined boulevards and a necklace of pocket parks all the way from the Convention Center or Horton Plaza or City College to Barrio Logan or across a park covering Interstate 5 into Sherman Heights. Also imagine the Convention Center widened right over Harbor Drive, the railroad tracks, and the trolley tracks, so that you could stroll right across those barriers without waiting for a traffic light, and have easy egress from the bay to the Gaslamp and ball park neighborhoods. Before you cast your vote about this precious, undeveloped acreage (the only large, undeveloped area left Downtown, please ask yourself which alternative would provide more higher-paying jobs, more tax income for the city, more housing, more recreation and value to the city of San Diego? For more information, visit East Village South Community Vision on Facebook. Valerie Hansen, East Village
— April 5, 2016 2:41 p.m.

It’s not like I’m there to make money

“Jazz followers are the snobs of the city”? That's a misguided subtitle to a great article. Let me start with a cliché: Webster’s defines “snob” as “one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior; one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste”. The real cliché is the subtitle of this article. As a resident of this city for just seven years and someone who was not a big jazz fan before that, I say that the three people interviewed in this excellent Robert Bush piece are examples of just the opposite. My son took up the drums at an early age. In middle school he began playing with the jazz band and accompanying the jazz choir. When we moved here he entered his freshman year of high school and started taking lessons with Mike Holguin and Duncan Moore. A cynic would say that, well, these guys were paid to be welcoming and friendly. If so, then we got a huge return on the investment. They changed my son’s life. Then my son heard about a jazz jam that was being held at El Camino in Little Italy on Wednesday nights. We made the trek and he overcame his fears to speak to the band about sitting in with them. He was called up a short time later. The band members - Rob Thorsen, Irving Flores and Gilbert Castellanos - asked what song he wanted to play. I don’t remember what he called. It was probably awkward, dragging, rushing, simplistic - I don’t remember. What I do remember was the band and the audience congratulating him afterwards, telling him to keep it up, and helping to fulfill a young man’s dreams. El Camino. Seven Grand. Panama 66. Bourré. The Rook. 98 Bottles. The same kind of welcoming atmosphere exists at these and many other places around this city. I could tell many stories like this about so many more musicians and “jazz followers”. How they welcomed my son to San Diego and the jazz community. How they welcomed me, a rock and singer-songwriter fan and nonmusician, into that community. How the support for youngsters, the admiration for oldsters, and the welcoming of strangers makes a strong case for that community being just the opposite of “snobs”. So along comes an awesome article with an unfortunate clickbait subtitle (not Bush's fault, right?) that is disconnected with reality. Reality: Bonnie Wright says, “… I want to bring music to San Diego that we wouldn’t hear otherwise, so now I only present musicians from out of town or out of the country. My mission is to avoid mainstream music. I mean, I even like a lot of it, but that stuff is already known. I want to help make the lesser known familiar”. Not follow the trends. Not do what is popular. Not hoard it for herself. Make it known. Make it accessible. Snob? Hardly. Reality: Dan Atkinson says of the Jazz Camp at UCSD: ““People have told me that the program changed their life … that’s a good feeling.” I know what he speaks of firsthand. My son attended the Jazz Camp and was able to study with people like Charles McPherson, Holly Hofmann, Willie Jones III, Mark Dresser, and so many others. His first jazz camp came shortly after I lost my job. We couldn’t afford it. Dan Atkinson made it happen anyway. And Gilbert Castellanos? Trumpet master, bandleader, arranger, the face of San Diego jazz, teacher, example, and so many other words describe Gilbert. One thing that we are all lucky to call him is “friend”. And I don’t mean “Facebook friend.” My son will be embarrassed about this missive. Those eyerolls you are sensing? Him. He is now twenty-one and well into his career as a jazz drummer and doesn’t need Dad telling stories about him. But this is my story. If you welcome my kids, you welcome me. Thank you, San Diego Jazz, for welcoming me. And thank you for politely looking the other way when my foot-tapping drifts back to the one and the three. John Shaw, Rancho Bernardo
— March 3, 2016 3:13 p.m.

Hidden Pipeline, Secret Menace?

The Navy has installed a state of the art new Fuel Storage Facility and are preparing a new Fuel Pier to be installed after demolition of 1950s old pier, yet they intend to apply a BAND AID FIX and CHERRY PICK areas of the subject pipeline to repair. This vintage Fuel Pipeline is the glue that holds the entire Fuel Facility together. The Navy also proposes to relocate portions of the Vintage (60 yrs.) Fuel Pipeline along the Rosecrans traffic corridor in Point Loma, (the backbone of the Peninsula traffic flow) This does not make economic or operational sense; causing gridlock and catastrophic risks as well as possible structural failures to other Vintage Service Piping, substandard, deteriorating Roads, outdated traffic signals, signs designed decades ago for fewer vehicles, (cars, construction trucks, etc.) All against a background of constructing in earthquake country. Additionally, the following existing conditions on the Point Loma Peninsula only highlights that this is a bad idea! The construction will restrict flow & merging of already congested business traffic, University/School & Church access, heavy Military use to & from State Highways, residential/public access to Lindbergh International Airport & Downtown San Diego. Restrict Emergency egress from all points off the Peninsula to Trauma Hospitals, since we are surrounded by water on three sides and do not have a Hospital on the Peninsula. (Navy does not have Emergency Plan in place for proposed Fuel Pipeline construction) Because of the above the Navy, The Mayor and City Council must realize that the risk of catastrophes, emergencies, are likely to be more critical and massive from the Peninsula Community than neighboring Communities because: 1) Access to the San Diego International Airport, jammed into 660 acres. 2) The Navy's storage & Refueling Facility for entire West Coast. 3) Liberty Station, stores, churches, public & private schools, approximately 1 2,000 students in thirteen public/private schools, approximately 2,000 University Students/staff, Pt. Loma Nazarene) 4) Major Sewage Treatment plant utilized by 15 Neighboring Communities. 5) Pt. Loma serves as Business Base for over 1,700 Military jobs. (SubBase, SPAWAR, Hazardous sites. etc. 6) Pt. Loma Beach areas alone serve & bring in millions of tourists daily to Cabrillo Monument, Rosecrans Military Cemetery. Every day drivers on Rosecrans corridor experience massive a.m. & p.m. gridlock backups on the following intersections: Nimitz, Canon, Talbot, Sports Arena, Midway, Barnet, with overflows to Service Roads, Catalina & Chatsworth. Not to mention the recent development of Condo's on Scott Street and the proposed construction of Condo's in the 1100 block of Rosecrans. Think about the effect of a six month Pipeline Construction schedule on Rosecrans, the backbone of traffic. Total Gridlock. *Jim Gilhooly, Point Loma*
— October 23, 2014 5:27 p.m.

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