Program Pride

Thanks for the excellent article on the San Diego Serial Inebriate Program (“Hope for the Hopelessly Drunk,” Cover Story, August 13). This is something that all of San Diego can be very proud of. For readers who want even more info, go to SanDiegoSIP.org.

Name Withheld
via email

Too Bad

I’m calling about the story “The Park After Dark” (“City Lights,” August 13). It’s too bad that your writer only interviewed one person about the minimart that they’re talking about, the City Liquor House — the liquor store at the corner of Fifth and Elm. He should have interviewed some more.

And as far as the homeless people not being a problem around Elm and Fifth — they’re a major problem around Elm and Fifth. They’re always panhandling, they’re drunk, they hang out in front of that store and drink. I’ve seen them go in there and buy beer, walk around the corner and drink it and go back and buy another one, go back out to the corner and drink it, and come back. It’s just too bad that the guy who wrote your story, Joe Deegan, only interviewed one guy that he found in the liquor store and that guy happens to like that store and wouldn’t say anything bad about it at all. It’s just really too bad he didn’t tell the whole story the right way.

Name Withheld
via voice mail

Spot-On, Refreshing

I’m calling about the article by Joe Deegan, “The Park After Dark” (“City Lights,” August 13), and I just wanted to let you know, that article was spot-on. And Leo Johnson wasn’t correct in what he said about the homeless problem. I called Caltrans (because the homeless are sleeping under the bridge near City Liquor House), the City parks people, the rangers, everybody I could possibly call, because last year it was just hell in this neighborhood. That article was spot-on about the problems, and it’s so refreshing. I mean, a thousand thank-yous for that.

As a neighbor, here at Sixth and Elm, behind City Liquor, it’s horrifying. It’s getting a little bit better because they give them tickets now in the park. At the corner of Sixth and Elm, it was a drug-dealing, alcohol-party haven 24/7. They’d get their liquor in the morning, and then they’d walk, loud-talking, from the corner of Fifth and Elm to the corner of Sixth and Elm. Then they’d walk up in the park, drink all day, deal drugs up there. I’ve had to call the police hundreds of times on these people. So the woman that talked in that article and Deegan’s writing that article, she was exactly right. We’ve got our neighborhood back, finally — we’re getting it back. But it’s been a tug-of-war between the liquor store and the transients that just won’t go away, and particularly there’s a redheaded guy with a tall brunette that came into the neighborhood two years ago. They sleep under the bridge — they’re still under the bridge, Caltrans’ bridge. This guy’s got a caravan of friends that he drug into this neighborhood. It’s getting better with the help of the San Diego Police, and the park rangers do a fantastic job.

The article made my day.

Jerry Dusak
Centre City

Real Mexico In Tecate

About tourism and Tijuana (“Tijuana Tailspin Hurting San Diego,” “City Lights,” August 13), tourist agencies on both sides of this issue are losing a huge opportunity.

Run van/bus shuttles over to Tecate. Bring the tourists into Tecate for an afternoon!

So far there is minimal “discouraging news” from Tecate. And Tecate has always been more like “real Mexico” than Tijuana.

Name Withheld
via email

Sick Of Media

Re “He Can’t Be Gone” (“Stringers,” August 13). The young man that was killed in this tragedy was like a son to me. No one knows the true story about the details regarding his death nor what led up to it. I cannot believe you would publish this with no regard to the family and friends he left behind. The media and its sensationalism make me sick. There was no need to print the graphic details of this tragedy and opinions of the people that wrote it and were supposedly quoted in it. There are so many people suffering as a result of what happened, and I am disgusted that you would print anything like this. Shame on you.

Name Withheld
via email

Patrick’s Analysis

I just read Patrick Daugherty’s “Preseason Hotsheet” article (“Sporting Box,” August 13) and would like the name of his crack dealer. He obviously has some football knowledge, but it seems to fade when he mentions our hometown Chargers. He mentions Pittsburgh has to play the “functionally disabled” franchise of San Diego this upcoming season. What were you watching last year, Patrick (are you a Patriots fan?), as the Chargers played Pittsburgh in the playoffs and even though Pittsburgh was the better team (eventual champions), we hung in there and played them well. The Chargers have been perennial playoff participants the last five years and have a roster completely stacked with talent. ESPN has us as the sixth-best team entering the season, and all of our stars appear healthy, and we have a stud at quarterback who is in the top five of talent at that critical position. I believe we deserve a little more respect than being grouped with other functionally disabled franchises like the Raiders, etc.

I was then more surprised to see Patrick’s analysis of the AFC West. You say pick it between us and the Broncos?!? Wow! Were you paying attention when Denver imploded this off-season and dumped their Pro Bowl quarterback and replaced him with the underwhelming Kyle Orton? Not to mention the new coach and suspect defense, and you really think it is a toss-up between us and Denver?!? Did you not see us absolutely destroy Denver late last season to take the division title, and that was when they had Cutler.

I do not expect your sports writers to be Charger fans, but I feel my knowledge of the AFC West seems more in tune than his, and all I do is read ESPN.com. Of course, these games have to be played, and anything can happen, so we will see how accurate Patrick turns out to be.

Thanks for the rest of the article, and thanks for the Reader.

Mark Petrone
via email

Ignorant Robert

This is addressed to Robert K. Johnston of Vista, who wrote in on August 13 to letters (“.45 Caliber Insurance”). In regard to your response to “No Good Guns,” from July 23 by Name Withheld, toward the tail end of your letter, why are you so ignorant, Robert? You say, “If you are going to write it, you need to own it! It takes far more courage to put your name to your words than it does to send in an unowned straw-man letter. Enough with these ‘Name Withheld’ jobbies already, folks!”

Why do I say you are ignorant, Robert? First of all, you don’t have any idea of the possibilities why this person may have chosen to withhold their name, and it may have nothing at all to do with courage. For instance, I myself, this letter included, have gone by Name Withheld, and it has nothing to do with not “owning” what I wrote.

I am a victim of severe past domestic violence by an ex-husband who started doing drugs and went berserk from then on. I do not want my name printed because I do not want him to find me, lest he try to kill me, as he threatened. I have moved on to a new state, new town, and there is no reason for me to put my name on something that he might possibly see, even if it’s just on the internet.

Now I’m not saying this is every Name Withheld’s issue, but you just don’t know each person’s life and what their reasoning is behind it. Domestic violence occurs more frequently than you seem to be aware of. Of course, you probably, being a man, have a far lesser chance of being severely physically abused, since you can probably defend yourself better than I, a woman, so why should you have to worry? Maybe Name Withheld is in some kind of witness protection program, or maybe their issue is entirely something else and none of your business. You just don’t know these people, and neither do I, but in this country, people have a right to speak their mind and to do so in privacy, if they choose.

We are not “jobbies” (which, according to a Google search, the definition means a piece of excrement or a stupid person). Am I a piece of doo-doo or stupid if I have the courage — yes, courage — to move far away from my abuser and to start a new life and to maintain that better way of life by staying careful? If you say yes, then the only answer I have for you is it takes one to know one, jobbie. Enough with you and these others complaining about people not printing their name.

What do you care, anyway? Are you going to try to locate them and go after them if you disagree with them? May the “Name Witheld By Request” people live on, in peace.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

The Meal, The Hope Are Free

Thanks and compliments to Ed Bedford (“Tin Fork,” August 13) for reviewing one of the free church-sponsored community meals. Yes, it’s all about social and unity things, not just poverty or homelessness. Years ago, I nearly starved to death before somebody gave me a list of them, and now, better off financially, I still attend one or two per week, and you should, too, helping with whatever you can: cooking, cleanup, security, food or money donation, or even just company. I now keep the database for free meals on my air-conditioning website, nz9f.com. Events listed are appropriate for families, and a printout could help someone far more than giving them money.

John Kitchin
via email

Questionable Experts

I am the attorney who filed the lawsuit against Stephen Doyne, Ph.D., which was covered in your article “The American Board of Nonexistence” (“City Lights,” July 2). I am writing to respond to the false and misleading statements by Doyne’s attorney, Christopher Zopatti. (“Not Overtly Psychotic,” Letters, July 23.)

Just to recap, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Emad Tadros, M.D., and alleges that Doyne, a prominent San Diego child custody evaluator whom I have seen family law judges recommend, uses false and misleading credentials in his CV, such as claiming he taught at USD School of Law and other universities that deny in writing any record of Doyne, and claiming he is a “Diplomate” of organizations like the American College of Forensic Examiners (ACFE) that have been exposed as internet certification mills.

Zopatti’s letter demanded that the Reader retract its article on the lawsuit. In defense of Doyne, Zopatti claims he filed a declaration from a USD law educator named Rodney Jones that “confirms the employment of Dr. Doyne at USD.” That is absolutely false. The declaration never says Doyne taught at USD. It says Doyne took one of Jones’s classes with the stated intent of later teaching at USD. That is all. As a member of the state bar, Zopatti knows better than to make false statements like that.

Maybe the reason Zopatti had to distort the truth is that he had nothing else. On the one hand, we filed two letters from USD that flatly deny any record of Doyne even after an extensive search. On the other hand, all Doyne was able to produce was that declaration from Jones stating Doyne took Jones’s class. Nothing else. If Doyne did teach at USD he should be able to find a faculty member or former student who remembers him teaching (most of them are on the state bar website), or even an old course outline, pay stub, employment record, photo, yearbook, or some other record.

Zopatti also claims he filed a course catalog that identifies Doyne as an instructor at another university, UCSD, where Doyne also claims he taught but which also denies any record of him. What Zopatti does not mention is that the catalog lists Doyne as an instructor of a one-day seminar. This lawsuit is not just about lies but also about misleading claims, and I consider it unethically misleading for a professional custody evaluator to claim he was a UCSD instructor when he only taught a one-day seminar.

Regarding the credentials issued to a cat, Zopatti correctly claims Dr. Steve Eichel’s article states it was the American Psychotherapy Association/APA, not ACFE, that issued the cat credentials and that Dr. Eichel never says how APA is associated with ACFE. But Zopatti does not mention that I filed a Scientific Evidence Review article by Professor Carol Henderson (“Admissibility and Use of Expert Evidence in the Courtroom”) which explains that ACFE formed APA and has the same owner. That article, and a Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth MacDonald that I filed (“The Making of an Expert Witness,” February 8, 1999), together expose ACFE as a certification mill. Both of those articles along with the university letters mentioned above and other documents in the case are available at http://courthouseforum.com/ forums/thread.php?&pagesPage=10#pagesAnchor.

Lastly, Zopatti claims that I filed this lawsuit for publicity. Wrong. I filed it because I do not like seeing professionals lie or mislead people, and also because I find it hypocritical that family law courts, which make fathers jump through hoops to prove their “fitness,” are not themselves “fit” enough to check the credentials of experts they recommend.

I recently withdrew from the case because I moved to Los Angeles and took new employment after a family member became ill. But I stand by the case, and if the court decides Doyne is immune from responsibility due to the litigation privilege or some other legal immunity then I will gladly assist with an appeal. Regardless of what happens, at least the public is now aware and can check Doyne’s credentials, and hopefully the courts will do their job and check the credentials of experts they recommend people to.

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.

Don’t Jump Our Tourists

Thank you for printing something that I’ve been trying to vocalize for a long time (“Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” Cover Story, July 30). San Diego is a beautiful city. It’s been my home for the last 30 years, and it makes me so mad that we (as a city) fall short from providing tourists with a completely safe and enjoyable vacation.

I wanted to throw up last year when I heard about Australian surfer Robert Schneider, who was savagely beaten and thrown into a fire pit by two homeless men in Pacific Beach and suffered third-degree burns. When this story came out, I had just returned from a trip to Australia. I enjoyed their beaches and their city after dark — they kept me safe. Why couldn’t we return the favor? How is a tourist supposed to know which beaches are dangerous to have a bonfire at? Tourists are our lifeblood; we are the hosts. We’ve got to do a better job, people.

I can recall walking out of Canes one night from a very calm concert with a group of seven people, hanging out in the parking lot with my friends who were excitedly showing us their new car, when three gangbangers jumped out of their car and held up a gun to my friend’s head and took all his money.

I know I’m not the only one to have a scary Mission Bay/Pacific Beach/Belmont Park story. It happens far too often. If we’re going to keep our rep of being America’s Finest City, we better damn well earn it or at the very least be honest with tourists about which areas are no longer safe. We can’t afford not to.

Jill Knight
via email

Underground And Unbiased

I just wanted to write in to let you know that I have found a new respect for the Reader. I have been a resident my whole life and love San Diego. Rosa wrote an absolutely fascinating article (“They Carry Guns,” Cover Story, July 16). I give her credit for going undercover and seeing both sides at its full advantage. I learned a lot. It is hard to find unbiased stories these days. I will continue to look for the Reader every week. Can’t wait to see more articles by Rosa.

I think it is about time that Americans wake up and realize what “freedom” and protection really mean and how precious they are.

Kimberly S.
via email

Rifle Error

Rosa Jurjevics thinks the Ruger Mini-14 is a rifle, not a carbine (“They Carry Guns,” Cover Story, July 16). Please inform her that she is mistaken.

John Sherrill
via email

On its website, Ruger calls the Mini-14 a rifle. — Editor

Land Of The Licensed

First off, let me say congratulations for an excellent article and a superb job by your reporter, Rosa Jurjevics (“They Carry Guns,” Cover Story, July 16).

I grew up in San Diego. My family left in the mid-’80s and moved to Connecticut. To this day I am still a diehard San Diego fan. (Come on, guys…we rocked it in ’98. I want a series comeback in 2012.)

Anyways, I read this article with fascinating interest. You see, I remember going to the mall in the early ’80s. My father open-carried his Ruger Security-Six on his hip. It was a little different than the experience in your article. You see, back then you could open-carry a loaded firearm. How much things have changed.

Americans are losing their rights. And most do not even realize it. It’s not just firearms. In Pennsylvania there is a law that will mandate all contractors to be licensed. Any contractor performing work without a license will result in a felony. Think about it. You just build decks in people’s backyards, and now you’re going to be a felon, potentially losing your right to vote and/or own a firearm? Everything is becoming a felony. Everything requires a license/tax. I just learned that my landlord has to pay $150 for a “renter’s license.”

What has happened to the land of the free? We’re becoming the land of the licensed, controlled, and taxed!

Reading your article brought a mix of feelings from nostalgia (thinking back to my father with his sidearm on his hip) to sadness (how much freedom San Diego has lost), to hope (there are people standing up and fighting for their rights). You might even find this recent post on my blog fascinating: http://nugun.wordpress.com/ 2009/07/25/25-yrs-ago-at-a-mcdonalds-in-san-diego/.

I just wanted to thank you for such an honest and well-reported article. You see, most of the time the media spouts off terms it knows nothing about. This is why Congresswoman McCarthy thinks a barrel shroud is something you unfold, rather than a protective safety device that covers a barrel in order to reduce the risk of being burned by a hot barrel. Only when it comes to firearms are we so led by fear that we would ban a safety device and call it a feature of an assault weapon.

It was so nice to see a media reporter actually go and find out the facts firsthand — engage gun owners, even fire some handguns and rifles, take her fingers off the keys and actually get them dirty. Your reporter showed a tremendous amount of courage. Open carry is a scary thing, even for gun advocates. Even in many places where it’s legal (i.e., Pennsylvania), it’s often understood that there is a significant risk of being harassed by someone unfamiliar with the law — even law-enforcement officers. Your reporter braved the experience, and the result was a superb firsthand article. Great job!

Jason Epperson
York, Pennsylvania

Perfect Church

What a treat to see the author (Matthew Lickona) refer to my son and me in his article about the Mission Bay church (“Sheep and Goats,” July 16). We were spending the weekend with a friend and rode our bikes to the church. From someone who grew up in Alaska, it was magnificent to ride our bikes to such a beautiful, serene place to worship. It doesn’t get much better!

De Anza
via email

Waste Haven

The article regarding Dr. Stephen Doyne (“The American Board of Nonexistence,” “City Lights,” July 2) was so significant and just the tip of the problems in San Diego Family Court, which is a haven for waste and corruption. Families are being held hostage in temporary orders without benefit of trial as attorneys use litigants and children as revenue. My children and I were held hostage for 15 years. My children are now 18 and 19 and finally removed themselves from an abusive household even though they had a court-appointed minor’s counsel who has been paid by the State of California — in other words, with your tax dollars. I commend you for having the courage to write about this, but there are thousands of high-conflict cases in San Diego Family Court that are siphoning state and federal funds and also bankrupting families.

Eileen Lasher
via email



Author: John Edward Rangel
Neighborhood: Tijuana
Blog: Living in El Fin del Mundo
Entry: Tijuana, My Kind of Town

There is a little girl who lives on my block and she is always happy. Her age is about three or four but she looks small for her years. I’d say childhood obesity is not so much a problem around my neighborhood as is childhood malnutrition. Her dark skin is twice as dark as normal for she is always playing outdoors. She rarely has new clothes. Most of it comes from the segundas (second-hand stores). If she has any nice toys I’ve never seen them. Nevertheless, her infectious laughter fills our street daily. She thoroughly loves her life because she has known no other.

Read the rest of this post here.


Author: Katwerts
Neighborhood: Downtown
Blog: Katwerts
Entry: Tip Your Waitress

I put sour cream in my coffee because I didn’t have any milk. I searched through my refrigerator for anything that could possibly be utilized as a splash of creamer. Salad dressing, mayonnaise, soy sauce, anything. Finally the sour cream called my name. Arguably, I told myself, sour cream is kind of like milk. It’s white, and dairy based. It even had “cream” in the name. I couldn’t afford to go to the grocery store and buy milk, so sour cream would have to do.

Read the rest of this post here.


Author: Tikicult
Neighborhood: Lemon Grove
Blog: Tikicult
Entry: The Search

There I sat, two and a half months ago, holding six thousand dollars in cash. I had just watched my 1969 Chevrolet C10 pickup loaded up on a flatbed towtruck for the first leg of its journey to Australia. Out in the garage was everything I had dreamed about for the last year… my 1929 Model A Roadster Pickup — Modified.

I had drawn pictures. I have a huge collection of images scraped from every corner of the Internet. I had plans & schemes. I saw it in my sleep. The $6K was enough to turn this rough pile of parts into the loud, violent hot rod that I lusted for.

Read the rest of this post here.

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RE:Patrick's Analysis-Mr.Petrone looks like the consumate homer. Let's laugh at his comments..."He mentions Pittsburgh has to play the “functionally disabled” franchise of San Diego this upcoming season". I thought"functionally disabled"was being kind. "The Chargers have been perennial playoff participants the last five years and have a roster completely stacked with talent". True. The only thing is,Mark,they're perennial choke artists as well and for some reason,Sandy Eggo can't get that through it's skull. "ESPN has us as the sixth-best team entering the season, and all of our stars appear healthy, and we have a stud at quarterback who is in the top five of talent at that critical position". ESPN doesn't know it's a$$ from a hole in the ground. ESPN knows you guys are paper tigers. "Were you paying attention when Denver imploded this off-season and dumped their Pro Bowl quarterback and replaced him with the underwhelming Kyle Orton?" Were paying attention,Mark,when your beloved Chargeless buttf--ked their way into the playoffs? ".. all I do is read ESPN.com". There's the bulk of your problem,Mark. It's funny. I watched the Cowgirls beat the Titans last night. It was in Jerry Jones billion dollar baby. SOLD OUT! AND the Rangers were playing across town as well. How is it that the Cowgirls can sell out their pre-season opener in a shiny new stadium with a baseball team playing across town but the Chargeless get their pre-season opener blacked out. I think I know that answer,Mark,and you wouldn't like it.

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