Reality In Writing

I was crying (laughing) over Diva’s column this week (Diary of a Diva, October 1). Me being “Mom” to Barb and Stephanie’s actual mom, I knew of these antics but would allow them to go in one ear and out the other when told of these. But to see these in writing, boy, puts a new twist on reality.

Carole Kelsall
via email

Grim Expectations

In agreement with and response to T.B. Beaudeau’s October 1 “Stringers” Tijuana article (“Whaddya Gonna Do?”), I know of no Anglo using the pedestrian bridge who was not attacked and robbed in September, myself included. Tourism nonexistent, Mexico released 4000 prison inmates into downtown Tijuana to save money.

Several victims have been volunteers helping the poor, which has caused at least one major help program to close. Padre Chava’s free breakfast for 300 to 600 people is no more. Callejon Zeta also had to cut back on its meals due to money robbed.

Yellow Cab Tijuana is implicated (“Cabs vs. Coach,” by Bob McPhail, same issue, two articles later), as everyone either needs to use Yellow Cab or the bridge. Drivers get five times the going cab rate, as part of a border taxi cartel. Right now, the minimum wage in TJ is 25 cents (U.S.) per hour, or $3 for a 12-hour day. Yellow Cab drivers get $5 just to take you seven blocks to downtown. But, it’s a very dangerous seven blocks. Ultimately, the solution is to close the San Ysidro crossing as being in too dangerous a neighborhood and open several new crossings a long way from downtown Tijuana. In the meantime, if you go to Tijuana, expect to be robbed.

John Kitchin
via email

Headline Hijinks

Re “Pop Goes Pop Warner” (“City Lights,” October 1).

Good article outlining the tensions arising from expanding uses at Hoover, the impacts to neighbors, and the loss of the field’s use to a kids’ sports program.

But your headline writer, looking for a clever alliterative hook, got it wrong. As the writer Dorian Hargrove notes in his lead, the Balboa Raiders are members of the San Diego Youth Football League, an affiliate of the American Youth Football organization. “Pop Warner” (aka “Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc.”) is a completely different organization. Both programs run youth football and cheer programs, but “Pop Warner” shouldn’t be used as a synonym for youth football, any more than “Kleenex” should be used for “facial tissues.” It’s a separate brand.

Just thought you might like to clear up confusion in your production staff.

Scott Tillson
via email

Eeeek! Chanel No. 5!

I’m very allergic to nicotine (“Holy Smokes!” Letters, October 1). Other types of smoke do not affect me so violently, although I’m not too happy around diesel smoke or manufactured illegal drugs. Some perfumes make me faint.

Dale Anne Thompson

Cheer The Reaper

I was puzzled by the item in “Under the Radar” in the October 1 issue concerning a failure of the General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper” unmanned aircraft. The item reports that a Reaper “lost contact with its ground-based controllers” during a mission in Afghanistan and had to be shot down by an F-15 fighter/interceptor. The article goes on to report the Air Force statement that “this was the first Reaper of its particular model to go out of control.” However, the next sentence seems to contradict this comment, stating that: “Reliability issues have shadowed the General Atomics drone program from its beginning.” No information is given as to what those reliability issues might be. The obvious fact is that because this particular mission was being handled by an unmanned aircraft, we do not have a pilot who is dead, injured, or held captive by the Taliban or some Afghan warlord. All aircraft are subject to failure, and this is one of the reasons that UAVs (drones) are so valuable for many missions. I commend General Atomics for producing the Reaper, which in this case precluded potential loss of a human life when the inevitable equipment failure occurred. By the way, I have no financial interest in, or contact with, General Atomics.

Steven S. Kane
via email

Gimme More

Re “San Diego Became a Beautiful Blonde” (Cover Story, September 24).

More please! I hope you’ll give Siobhan Braun her own weekly piece. She reads like a younger, fresher Anne Albright, whose remarkable column on her life with five children, 12 and under, was discontinued years ago. No skills? Not so. Ms. Braun is a talented, budding writer who is able to make even the mundane details of everyday life fascinating. I’ll be looking for more from her.

Name Withheld by Request

Strange Days

“San Diego Became a Beautiful Blonde” (Cover Story, September 24) was a very touching read. How must it feel like being a fish out of water when newcomers are thrust into the California or San Diego scene without preparation.

How is one to know that moving to certain areas increases one’s chances of living next to a crackhouse or seeing kids running around at all hours neglected?

I am a native, and yet sometimes I am befuddled by some of the weird stuff that goes on around me. At least the author had a nice family to buffer her somewhat from all the strange days. Yeah, the land of fruits and nuts is not always what it’s cracked up to be, and this interesting article was a perfect example of that. Keep up the good work here on cover stories.

Gail Powell
via email

We Promo?

I was quite disappointed, to say the least, in reading the article “San Diego Became a Beautiful Blonde” (Cover Story, September 24). I thought you were the authority on promoting San Diego. Frankly, I was surprised you would even print a negative article like that. Even when the author tried to be positive, it was with a lackluster shine.

I am proud to say San Diego has every activity here you could think of and can do almost anything year-round. We sometimes take for granted we live in a resort community! This year my family did a staycation because of that exact reason (well, that and the economy) and had a memorable time! (And we used the Reader to plan a lot of it!)

We are in driving distance to snow in the mountains (drive to, not shovel daily), riding motorcycles in the desert, surfing at the beach, and scenic beauty all around. If the author decided to live in the armpit of San Diego, that is her own fault. Sure, there are some not-nice areas and people, but every state has them. I visited Minnesota last year, very down-home, good ol’ American people, with picturesque surroundings, but some of the areas (and people) were more questionable, run-down, dilapidated, and downright ghetto in their own right, kind of like the movie Deliverance (sorry, I had to go there).

Imagine a Californian going out to the Midwest, staying for a few years, and degrading the terrible weather and the slow-paced, cousin-marrying town they moved to. I’m sure the locals wouldn’t be too happy. Might get their pitchforks and have an old-fashioned lynching.

Though our two-bedroom homes are priced near a half million dollars, our condos are glorified apartments, and it can be swarming with all the tourists and traffic, we have great weather, a variety of places to go and things to do. Who wouldn’t want to live here? If you don’t want to live here or say back home is better, then go home! We could use the space.

Lady ’Manda

AKs For The Elite

Re Bob Dorn’s whining (Letters, September 24) that “praise for lukewarm machos carrying empty political guns” is a sign that the Reader could be working for the Republican National Committee.

I fail to see how protesting the never-ending efforts of our government (composed almost entirely of Republicans and Democrats) to make law-abiding citizens defenseless, or near defenseless, on behalf of criminals is a party issue.

But if you want to make it so, know that “gun control” was originally for disarming African Americans on behalf of violent racists and today has rendered the ancient, fundamental human right of self-defense into a taxed privilege for the elite (through various forms of bribery or thousands of dollars in legal fees).

If you’re concerned about racism, as your highlighting “foreign pedicabbies” seems to indicate, why not be even more concerned about your government’s decades of systemic racism and elitism?

Name Withheld
via email

We Were Metal

In regards to the “Blurt” section, “Secret Assassin,” September 3 by Jay Allen Sanford. I enjoyed the story primarily because it mentioned the ’80s metal scene in San Diego. Assassin were a heavy metal band that I thought would become the next Mötley Crüe. In fact, Assassin had more talent than any L.A. band. All the horrible glam bands — they were all s***. Assassin was voted best local heavy metal band in all of San Diego in 1985.

For those of you who question San Diego’s metal scene in the 1980s, here is a brief reminder of what was happening. The following heavy metal bands played live consistently here in San Diego: Aircraft, Prowler, Sabbatage, Victim, Ragged Lace, Kaos, Chalace, Stress, Gardian, Snakebyte, Bible Black, Street Liegal, Shok, Twin Wire, Britton, Sin, Aslan, Elysian, Destiny’s Choice, Suspicion, Mistreated, etc. Contrary to belief or disbelief, there were venues to play in. Adams Avenue Theater, the Rock Palace, Carnation Hall, Silverado Ballroom, Winters Hall, Palisades Theater, the Bacchanal, SDSU’s Backdoor, Park Place, Wabash Hall, Straita Head Sound, Rios, the Stratus, La Paloma Theatre, the Spirit, the old Roxy Theater; also the Fox Theater, Lyric Theater, the California Theatre, which were larger venues.

It is safe to say that we had no problem within the San Diego local metal community. The promoters and the venue owners were very involved and organized, supportive in every way. In early 1983, KGB-FM contributed to the cause, creating the first-of-its-kind KGB Metal Shop, hosted by DJ Pat Martin, on Saturday night at midnight. Pat would spin records and answer the phone for two hours. The demand for metal was overwhelming. Metal Shop was another success story throughout the ’80s.

Also, we can’t forget the free publication S.D. Loud and Clear metal magazine that made its debut in early 1985, the zine designed and created by Tom Farrwell. The first year, it went 20,000 circulation. By 1986 it reached 50,000. Metal was alive and well here in San Diego. In fact, almost every conceivable heavy metal band that you can think of from L.A. wanted to play here. San Diego was fully recognized as the place where the scene was happening.

September 17, 1983, KGB-FM presented Sky Show 8. Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Uriah Heep performed at Jack Murphy Stadium to a crowd of 50,000. Another estimated 5000 partiers were in the parking lot, enjoying the freedom of grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, and chicken and drinking cold beer with a couple of thousand friends and neighbors who had decided the parking lot was the place to be, with no restrictions. In fact, the atmosphere was almost surreal. One thing for sure, to enjoy the full impact of the gigantic KGB fireworks display, the parking lot was the best and was as close to ground zero as possible. The fallout zone, as I used to say. KGB employees actually handed out cardboard 3-D glasses to protect your eyes from falling ash. Protecting your clothes and hair was another story.

So, as you can see, San Diego is rich in metal history and events. And, of course, times have changed, but the memories are everlasting. One thing is certain, the 1980s were the best of times for all things metal.

Tony D. Metal
Spring Valley

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RE:We Promo "Imagine a Californian going out to the Midwest, staying for a few years, and degrading the terrible weather and the slow-paced, cousin-marrying town they moved to. I’m sure the locals wouldn’t be too happy. Might get their pitchforks and have an old-fashioned lynching."

Another ignorant Californian. You'd think that as much as Californians take pride in their education system,some would actually use it. Terrible weather? Yes and no. Some of us humans look at a thunderstorm as a show of beauty from Mother Nature. Midwesterners respect nature because of tornadoes and floods.cough cough * FIRESTORM cough cough Slow-paced? Not hardly. You will encounter a Midwesterner or two such as myself that don't really give two s**s about keeping up with the Joneses but we're few and far between and our numbers get smaller every year. Cousin-marrying towns? Again,not hardly. I think you're thinking of the Deep South where even there you'll have to look hard for cases of cousins marrying cousins.

As for being none too happy with outsiders who didn't like our town,our thoughts are"Oh well". The Midwest is considered the Heartland because we take pride in being humble. Chicago is more of a world-class town than the Whale's Vagina could ever dream of being but you'll never hear Chicagoans claiming their town is"America's Finest".

Chicago:City of Big Shoulders Chicago:The Windy City Chicago:Hog Butcher for the World Chicago:Heart of America Chicago:The City that Works

Indianapolis:The Circle City Indianapolis:The Crossroads of America Indianapolis:Railroad City

Milwaukee:Cream City Milwaukee:Brew City Milwaukee:The City of Festivals

Minneapolis:City of Lakes Minneapolis:Twin Cities(because of St.Paul)

Cleveland:The Forest City

Detroit:The Motor City Detroit:Motown Detroit:The Rock City

To John Kitchin:

In over seventeen years living in Tijuana, and having walked the pedestrian bridge over the Tijuana River thousands of times (day and night), I have never been robbed, assaulted, or threatened in any way. In fact, even though I concede that there are occasional problems on the bridge, I know of no one that has been robbed or assaulted there. Beaudeau's account is the exception, rather than the rule.

Regarding your limited choice of alternative transportation from the border into downtown Tijuana, the yellow taxi syndicate has always charged five dollars to go downtown, for at least twenty years. Their only passengers are unwitting tourists who know of no other option. By walking south and to the east of the plaza encountered upon entering Tijuana, there are metered white and orange taxis that are metered, and the cost is generally three dollars. In walking to that destination, one will note that there are busses that also go to Centro, for seventy-five cents.

The fact that you neglect to mention such alternatives casts the other points of your letter into doubt. As with anyone considering to take a trip into Tijuana, I advise you to not come if you are frightened. Victims here are usually victims long before they step foot into Tijuana, and Tijuana doesn't need any more victims.

Also note that you are wrong about minimum wage in Mexico. First, it isn't measured hourly, it is measured daily. It is fifty-four pesos per day, but most workers make well over minimum wage in Tijuana. Most unskilled factory workers take home between sixty and ninety dollars per week. While this seems quite low in comparison to the United States, I remind you that Mexico isn't the United States, and you shouldn't expect it to be.

David Alton Dodd

Tijuana, B.C. Mexico

I also walked into TJ over the bridge-but the stench could be hard to take at times (urine was never a big favorite of mine).

But tourists don't know how easy it is to walk into TJ, so they pay the $5 bucks and get a ride.

I no longer go into TJ, reason #1-it is too dirty and just not fun, reason #2- with the violent drug shoot outs and the enourmous number of killings going on there today I feel it is just not worth the risk.

I have never had a problem on the walk from the boarder to TJ-ever. Nor have I ever seen any problems.

To Tony D. Metal.

Are you in the band Anvil?

"Chicago:Heart of America?"

How many cities use this one?

Gringo: Are you going to pick me up at the border when we meet? I still have that blasted Cam walker on R foot.

Of course, SD. But heal up first. We'll be walking a bit more than would be comfortable for you in a boot. Trust me, I wore one for a few months. We have lots of time for this.

2 cities use Heart of America-Chicago and Kansas City,Kansas. Baltimore's nickname is The Greatest City in America. Sounds like the Whale's Vagina on the East Coast...

Another nickname this town uses is Plymouth of the West. YAH! When I walk down to the beach,pilgrims are what I think of....lol.

Here's the list- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_city_nicknames_in_the_United_States

RE: We Were Metal Great letter, Tony! ahh, you took me back in time. my ex-boyfriend and still good friend Mike Elliott was in the band Britton, and now owns Broke Boy Productions. he is doing well. and wow...RIOS? omg i was doorperson there for a year. good times, good times. thanks for the blast from the past!! xoxo

RE: We were Rockers. Tony D Metal, you forgot to mention Eddie Money at Sky Show 8. Although easy to forget. Who thought to put him in the line-up with all the metal? THanks for the letter, it was fun to relive the days in SD. TBone.

I love Eddie Money ..... he used to live near me in the Bay Area many years ago.

I almost got trampled to death at an Eddie Money concert at Great America in the early '80s. My friend grabbed my hand and pulled me up before the herd of Money fans turned me into road kill.

I went to a "Day on the Green" at the Oakland Coliseum, and it was the same way, two girls were seriously injured due to a stampede at one of the outer fences. It was Day On The Green #3: Aerosmith, Foreigner, Pat Travers, Van Halen, AC/DC. July 23, 1978.

I really liked the concerts at Marriot's Gteat America. I saw "Pablo Cruise" there and really enjoyed ut. Hahhaha...who can remember Pablo Cruise!!!! Eddie Money was always one of my favorite singers back in the 70's and 80's, and still is.

Eddie Money was playing here not long ago - I almost went. I was at that same Day on the Green! I just posted a photo of my AC/DC t-shirt from that concert on Facebook. I actually wore it hiking yesterday :) Day on the Green - good times, good times. I went to Gilroy High, it was like Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

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