More Than Famous

I have a comment on your May 29 issue of the Reader. For the ad on page 4 using the word “stars” and “famous,” I think it would be appropriate to say “infamous” as well, with names like Cunanan and Metzger.

P.S. This is just a comment: I really like your first few pages, where you have the local gossip, particularly the exposés on our Scam Diego politicians.

Ted Rodosovich
University City

Anita’s Missing

I was surprised that your former neighbors list (page 4, May 29) does not include Anita Loos, the author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She spent her early teenage years, from 1900 to 1910, upstairs at 2915 F Street before she went to Hollywood at 16 to write stories for the silents. She claims to have gotten ideas for her books from watching upscale people at the Coronado hotel. She was married there and left her husband the next day. Her autobiography, A Girl Like I, is very funny and tells a lot about San Diego in that era, as well as the early movie industry. The San Diego Public Library has one copy, so get there quick. She wrote a number of movie scenarios, books, and New York stage plays and died at 83 in New York.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the funniest book I have read in a long time. It was published in 1924 and has been in print ever since, translated into many languages, as well as being made into a movie three times. I suggest you drop that Cunanan idiot out and add Miss Loos. He’s a disgrace.

R.H. Akin
via email

Duncan Slips Up

I generally enjoy Duncan Shepherd’s reviews because the writing is creative and — most importantly — his ratings, unlike most critics’, address the fact that most movies are not worth seeing. But be careful not to lose credibility: there’s a glaring error at the beginning of the Indy Jones review (May 29). Duncan is guilty of an incorrect use of the phrase “begs the question.”

via email

Duncan Shepherd responds: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, defines “beg the question” as (1) “to pass over or ignore a question by assuming it to be established or settled” and (2) “to elicit a question logically as a reaction or response.” I meant Number One, but Number Two will work as well.

Nonsensical Surprise

A note of congratulations on bringing back my very favorite comic strip of all time, “Shoehorn Technique.” It’s delightful. It’s nonsensical. It’s exactly what I enjoy the most. I hope you will find room for it in future issues of the Reader. As much as I like the Reader, the “Shoehorn Technique” addition this week was a very, very nice surprise. Thank you ever so much.

Irv Jacobs
La Mesa

Attention Should Be Paid

I scan papers around the country to measure the attention paid to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The Border” (“Blog Iraq,” May 8) reminds us of the tough conditions our soldiers face in Iraq. Unfortunately, few seek to understand the complexity of the situation our soldiers work to resolve in Iraq.

Many serving in Iraq are stranded in these remote outposts. While they do their jobs bravely, they don’t have access to the big picture of what needs to be done in the country. I hope you would have future articles describing these needs. San Diego is lucky to have a veteran who is extremely knowledgeable on the subject, Mike Lumpkin. One can learn much from him. I hope your readers have the opportunity. Maybe such an article would get a few more comments than “The Border” did.

John Stettler
via email

Bipolar Education

The Reader writes, “Scott is a good friend, but not in the traditional sense of good” (Cover Story, May 22). In the May 18 issue, Newsweek writes about growing up bipolar. Please continue educating the public, corporations, insurance companies, and medical institutions regarding the need for the world coming together to support patients and families of patients. NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, is brand new to me, and the strength and the hope I receive from them is indescribable.

As always, the Reader impresses me. Remember the article you wrote about the Frontier Housing Project decades ago? What a reaction from all the readers who lived in the project in the ’40s and ’50s. You are a great publication. Please continue the good work that you do for the public.

Irma Gonzalez
Linda Vista

Read Between The Ads

This week’s Reader (May 22) was quite interesting. Usually I pick up the Reader and it’s nothing but ads. This week I really enjoyed the story on beer pong (“We Love the Game of Beer Pong,” Feature Story) and the cover story about the friends (“Scott Is a Good Friend”). So I just wanted to let you guys know that it looks like you’re doing a good job, and I’m glad not to just see ads.

Samantha Adler

The Grantville Bully

Shame on that termed-out councilman Jim Madaffer, who embodies all that is bad about politicians (“Breaking News,” May 22). He needs a job, so he forms a new committee that he wants to chair. Then, he again uses what is left of his power to continue to bully the residents of Grantville, his constituents whose neighborhood he has claimed to be “blighted,” by spending our money to embolden his attempt to defeat Prop. 98, which could keep the government out of the hands of the developers. His needs seem to be all that matter to this desperate and greedy man!!!

Mary Thom
via email

Food, Wine, And Trust

I’m happy to see the “What the Chef Eats” column back. The “Oysters Rockefeller” one (May 22) by Deborah Scott, executive chef of Island Prime, Kemo Sabe, and Indigo Grill — and who, by the way, supports Joe Kocherhans’s Portraits in Jazz on Jazz 88 — her “Oysters Rockefeller,” have I read this before? Is this a repeat? I don’t care. I liked this column. I haven’t seen one in a while.

By the way, where’s the wine column lately? Is he on vacation? He’s still doing the religious column, right? Where’s the wine column?

You’ve been getting a lot of letters lately. I know you picked up a lot of flak on the Navy surrogate-wife story. But I applaud you. I don’t read the Union-Tribune. This is the only way I find out anything. Sometimes it makes me very disheartened and sad, but I basically don’t trust anybody else.

Normal Heights

The column on Deborah Scott was not a repeat.
“Crush” is currently a monthly feature. — Editor

Pension Debt Heroes

Re Don Bauder’s column, “How Pension Debt Ballooned” (“City Lights,” May 22), about Roger Lowenstein’s book, While America Aged. “Creative financing,” the bane of balanced budgets. Mayor Susan Golding asked the city manager how she could finance both the Republican National Convention in San Diego and Alex Spanos’s effort to expand the Charger Stadium so as to seat 60,000. City Manager Jack McGrory listened to his boss and found a way to rob San Diego employee pension funds to do it.

Thank Diann Shipione, a pension board member who spoke out, her husband Pat Shea, straight-shooting lawyer Mike Aguirre, and, most importantly, Donna Frye, the only member of the city council who spoke out against creative financing.

Local control of our neighborhoods, communities — is this gone?

Thanks for the Reader, Matt Potter, Don Bauder, Susan Luzzaro.

Dick Jones

The Glare Of Errors

Two glaring errors in Ken Leighton’s recent article (“Blurt,” May 22).

Brandon Cruz returned to Dr. Know after his Dead Kennedys stint and is still performing with them. The reference to him as the “ex-singer for Dr. Know” is incorrect.

The statement that “Since parting ways with Biafra, the band has been fronted by two people” is also wrong. Jeff Penalty was the vocalist between Cruz and Greer. With five years as vocalist, he has more time with the Kennedys than either Cruz (two years) or Greer (a month or two).

This is all common knowledge, but, failing that, it’s all in the Wikipedia article. What kind of writer doesn’t look at the Wikipedia on his subject? I can understand a rationale for skepticism, or for looking after you write, rather than before, but to not even error-check against it?

Maybe you should have someone covering punk who actually knows the genre (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).

Roger Krueger
via email

RahRah Roam!

I want to say thank you for the weekly “Roam-O-Rama” hiking guides! We just moved back to San Diego, and the guides show us places we never knew about. We’re using the most strenuous ones to prepare for our planned summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro next year — then on to other summits. Again, thanks (the write-ups provide nice descriptions of scenic markers, and critical turns too).

Name Withheld by Request
via email

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The Famous Former Neighbors list just happened to be people I've already covered in that comic strip. I still have a list of well over a hundred others I plan to get to, now including - thanks to above tip - Anita Loos. You can see a number of the Famous Neighbor comics by hitting the link on the mainpage "Weekly Features" key, or clicking "Stories" on the toolbar atop every page and choosing "Oddities" from the dropdown menu.

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