Culturally Incompetent

I’m writing in regards to Ernie Grimm’s “My Gender Is Bunny” (Cover Story, March 26). I found it incredibly disrespectful that throughout the article, its subject, Micha Cárdenas, was referred to with masculine pronouns while she specifically asked for the use of feminine pronouns. I find this to show a lack of cultural competency as well as a general disrespect to the queer community, specifically transgendered people. If the subject of your article had asked to be referred to as Latino instead of Hispanic, it would have been a huge sign of disrespect to not honor such a request. It is not up to the author’s discretion to determine at what point of transitioning one becomes the other gender. I believe Ms. Cárdenas’s personal culture was not honored and is owed an apology for the disrespect shown by Ernie Grimm.

Morgan Muldrew
via email

Please Call Her Ms.

I just finished reading the article by Ernie Grimm entitled “My Gender Is Bunny” (Cover Story, March 26). I noticed that the author deliberately chose to disregard the feelings of the subject of the article and use masculine pronouns, when feminine pronouns were requested. This kind of distrust of transsexual and transgender people regarding their own authority over their gender and the appropriate pronoun for themselves is both poor journalism and incredibly offensive. Ernie Grimm should immediately publish an apology to Ms. Cárdenas and, if possible, modify the original article so that it reflects the correct feminine pronouns.

Name Withheld
via email

Free Is Best

This is for Eve Kelly, for this week’s “Best Buys,” March 26, all about computer classes, about older people wanting to learn how to use the computer. She mentioned a whole bunch of classes and how expensive they were and how good these people were.

The best classes without paying any money are with the San Diego senior adult school. I went to the one down at Midway Drive, and it was excellent! What you should do is list all the different locations of all these schools so that people would know where to go to sign up. They are free and they are very good, and they are really full of people in their 60s and 70s — a few people in their 40s, 30s, and stuff. And all the classes are free — I think maybe a couple of them they might charge a little bit for. I went there for several semesters; the teachers are excellent. The only thing is, you really have to get there early for the daytime classes.

I wish you would’ve just published [the locations]. You want to go to the ones where you don’t have to pay for parking. Midway Drive is the best one that I’ve found, most convenient, but there is also one on Aero Drive. I’ve taken several of those classes.

Name Withheld by Request
University City


The person in the photo accompanying last week’s “Tin Fork” was Jeff, an employee at Baja Betty’s, which Ed Bedford reviews in this week’s column.

Sweet 16

Re: “Back When: Thirty Years Ago” (March 19). I’m a San Diego native, and part of my weekly Reader ritual is the “Back When” column. I found the 30-year-old personal ad even more amusing when I realized it was written by me! I was 16 at the time, and Reader Personals were that era’s version of today’s Facebook/MySpace. Thanks for the memories!

Ginger Rosser
via email

Sue The Bums

What is wrong with these neighbors (“Hallelujah! Hey, Keep It Down!” City Lights, March 19)? Why don’t they sue these rowdy noisemakers? The City will never help them, but they have several nuisance causes of action under California Civil Code sections 3479 through 3481. They should contact a lawyer and file a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court. Precedent has allowed up to $500/day in damages for a noise nuisance — and this decision was published in the 1990s. Plus, the court may order defendants to pay prevailing plaintiffs’ attorney fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5. Google what happened to unreasonably loud local businesses Juke Joint Cafe and IB Rockin’ Bar when they didn’t respect their neighbors or California’s nuisance laws.

Al Rava
via email

Rise Up And Tell ’Em

Re: “Pie in the Sky” (City Lights, March 19)

The problem with the city/county pensions is well documented. There has been no political will, however, to tackle the issue. The position of all government employees is that they are entitled to no less than the benefits as of their hire date, regardless of changes in the stock market, world recessions, comparable jobs in the private sector, etc. Despite the enormous problems with the City of SD’s pension underfunding, the City has not even changed the pensions offered to new employees, and only the guarantee on the DROP program has been reduced — the program itself rolls along. The only way to change things is for the citizens to rise up (like Prop 13) and tell the politicians enough is enough and put a stop to unaffordable pensions that are not deserved and not required to keep our public employees in their jobs.

Just try posting a few of these jobs and see the lines of eager applicants line the streets. Democracies fall apart when the elected discover how easy it is to line their pockets with the money from the populace.

Gene Polley
via email

Friends Of The Meadows

Re Jerry Schad’s “Roam-O-Rama” about Sylvan Meadows (March 19).

Jerry’s articles are always gems; however, he neglected to mention that this 8000-acre open-space preserve was saved from development by a coalition led by the Nature Conservancy and including wildlife agencies and the County of Riverside. There is a $2 day-use fee, money which helps maintain this beautiful example of old California.

Brian Swanson

Words For The Wordless

Just finished having coffee and reading your “Diary of a Diva” column. The Reader is something I periodically treat myself with when I’m in San Diego and can grab a copy, though I must say I haven’t always appreciated Barbarella. When I first started reading, I was put off by the title of her column and her name, which all seemed so pretentious to me. Over the years, though, her candidness, humanness, amazing ability to express emotions I have felt, but lacked either the power or will to express, have won out. In her most recent article, “Pensive Phase” (March 19), she says she’s run out of words and is compelled to revisit nature to re-energize. Luckily for me, in the end, she found some words to express what I was feeling in that moment. I can only express my gratitude.

Sandra Rimel
via email

Umbrage From Huge Geek

Dear Reader,

In his review of Watchmen, Duncan Shepherd wrote that calling the book from which it was adapted “the most celebrated graphic novel of all time” earned about as much weight as being designated ‘ “the most celebrated reality-TV show’ or ‘most celebrated MMA fighter.’ ” In so many words.

As a huge geek, I take umbrage at that. He’s clearly trying to disparage an art form of which — and I’m guessing here — he has a very limited understanding. I’m not exactly sure what Mr. Fancypants Movie Reviewer has against comics, but I will say this: calling Watchmen “the most celebrated graphic novel of all time” is kind of like calling Duncan Shepherd the most celebrated pretentious windbag of all time. Suck it.

Angry Nerd

I Actually Read It

I was surfing through the Reader the other day and came across an article on marbles (“Marbles,” Feature Story, March 12). A little strange, so I figured I’d give it a chance, maybe read a paragraph or two. I read the whole thing — great stuff! I really enjoyed the narrative, and I liked how the author mentioned Zang’s parents’ ordeal but didn’t hit the reader over the head with it. This was a great article about the types of personalities and stories that make San Diego so eclectic and such a great place to live. Thanks for an article that I can’t believe I read but enjoyed thoroughly. I thought it was really well crafted.

Dave Denicke
via email

Master-Planned Bad Transit

In regards to Mr. Ollie’s article on public transportation (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” Cover Story, March 5), I have a few points for both your readers as well as for Mr. Ollie to ponder about our public transport system. I have been using transportation in both the Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District since 1987 (first out of necessity and later out of better economics), and I can assure you of this, any place south of the Grapevine is not meant to be public-transit friendly, let alone by bike or shank’s mare.

Southern California was and is automobile dependent for one reason — planning! That is why SoCal has such an abundance of freeways, sigalerts, and unbreathable air quality. The master planning for Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties did not take into consideration the fact that public transportation would become needed after a few decades.

Second: the “snobbism” factor. Many folks out there regard public transport (bus, light rail, trolley, passenger trains in the Metrolink and Coaster modes) as somehow lowbrow and low class. However, the gas crisis of 2008 proved that some of those who were not too happy about using public transportation just sucked it up, paid their fare, and got from here to there!

Third: the quality-of-fellow-passengers ruse. Certainly you won’t run into a T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Skilling, or Bill Gates on MTS or NCTD. However, try to remember that your fellow riders share one big trait with you — we’re all human beings! If you do not wish to talk to anybody, just ask them to let you be, but do it politely.

Fourth: at the end of the screed, you implied that riding public transport wastes time and saves money. And that you would follow the example of the brain-dead twit who would rather drive uninsured and unlicensed (and probably unregistered as well). Sounds to me, Mr. Ollie, that you are unwilling to make use of public transport because waiting to board the needed bus or rail transport is a waste of time.

In case you have not figured it out yet, Bubba, public transportation is not an on-demand service. The routes (and waiting times) are set to provide maximum income for the transit authority–in–charge (be it MTS or NCTD). So you have to wait a bit of time for your ride. Big deal! Think of it as a learning experience — on time-budgeting skills.

A savvy rider knows the routes well enough to plan ahead accordingly. That is why there are updates about routing, fares, and the like published as needed. A savvy rider grabs the latest flier (or schedule book), takes it home, and plans accordingly! You can also use 511 to plan out your trip (a very good deal, since the call is free).

It sure beats the living cheese, costwise and esteemwise, out of fines, restitution, and jail time for continuing to drive without documentation. Your little lady friend, Mr. Ollie, might be looking at a few months at Las Colinas if she doesn’t get with the program. She is not to be emulated but avoided!

I’ve ridden NCTD and MTS since 1987, and believe me, the money I still save even today pays for my regional SDM (seniors, disabled, and Medicare) pass sevenfold and more by year’s end. Certainly I’d love to have my own wheels, but that will come in time.

Your little screed, Mr. Ollie, did nobody any favors, except those who would love nothing better than to rid San Diego County of public transportation altogether! Come see me after you’ve ridden MTS, NCTD, and taxicabs (with no cheating by driving wondertruck Lucille) for one year straight, Mr. Ollie; then we can talk.

Until then, don’t tell me that by riding public transport I’ve joined the chump crowd. At least I can get to my destinations far better than you can, and for much less cash as well!

Robert K. Johnston

Media Muzzled

On the cold winter morning of Monday, March 9, while I was watching ESPN’S SportsCenter, a TV ad for San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) aired (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” March 5). Later, while sitting on a milk crate at my bus stop, I was thinking that MTS’s TV ad money hasn’t increased transit usage (fuel prices do) but has been used to silence San Diego’s TV and print media about the abuses in funding that people who ride the transit suffer under. The main abuse being that San Diego’s MTS and Sandag and North County’s NCTD should merge.

I congratulate the Reader for broaching the subject.

Robert J. Kachur

Safe Harbor For Bluefin

This is in regard to the article “The Cost of Luxurious Sushi” (“City Lights,” March 5). The article is well-written, incorporating various views on raising bluefin tuna in pens near Ensenada. My comments are on statements attributed to Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce of the University of Rhode Island.

First is the statement that “Mexican purse-seiner and sportfishing catch records show a decline in average individual fish size, from 115 pounds in 1995 to just 30 pounds in 2005.” Spawning of bluefin occurs in the western Pacific Ocean near Japan and Taiwan, and some of the juveniles migrate to the eastern Pacific Ocean, where they are caught as one- and two-year-olds (and much less frequently as three- and four-year-olds) off Baja California, before returning to the western Pacific Ocean. Data of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission indicate that the average weight of bluefin caught in the eastern Pacific in 1995 was about 70 pounds, but for most other years it has been much less than that; 1995 was an unusual year, with an overrepresentation of older fish.

Second is the statement that “We have reason to believe that the Pacific bluefin is on the same trajectory as Atlantic bluefin tuna.” In contrast to the catches of Atlantic bluefin, the catches of Pacific bluefin have not declined during the period for which catch data are available (since 1918 for the eastern Pacific; since 1951 for the western Pacific). Vessels of many nations fish for bluefin in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, and the participants have been unable to agree on implementing scientists’ recommendations for curtailing the catches. In contrast, Pacific bluefin are caught by vessels of only a few nations — almost entirely Japan, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan. If scientists recommend regulations for conservation of Pacific bluefin in the future, it is more likely that those four nations would agree to adopt them.

Guillermo A. Compeán
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission

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"Certainly you won’t run into a T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Skilling, or Bill Gates on MTS or NCTD. However, try to remember that your fellow riders share one big trait with you — we’re all human beings! If you do not wish to talk to anybody, just ask them to let you be, but do it politely."

I disagree with this attitude. Many times I have attended Microsoft meetings at the San Diego Convention Center when Bill Gates was still active in Microsoft. He used the trolley many times. I've seen him myself. I hope that Bill Gates supports MoveSanDiego.org because he has houses at Rancho Santa Fe.

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