How asinine (“Off the Cuff,” October 15)! If Alan C. didn’t want his picture in the paper, you should not have used him in “Off the Cuff.” Hiding his face with a dog shows stupidity. Shame on the Reader!

Bill Bartkus
via email

Worse Than Baghdad

In response to the letter “Bridge Survivors,” October 15 issue, I applaud the Persauds for daring to visit Tijuana. As a result of my September Tijuana robbery, I had to take out a loan at over 800 percent interest. (Four hundred and sixty percent, mentioned on page 6 in Matt Potter’s “Under the Radar”? I wish!)

I was not the only one assaulted and robbed, if you’ve read previous issues of the Reader. The full danger of visiting Mexico has not been fully covered in the press, and cannot be, as comments about Mexico and Canada are not covered under free speech nor free press laws. TV-6 CW news got permission to run a story about the overcrowded Tijuana morgue and the tourist bodies rotting outside for lack of space. I suggested last October that Tijuana was more dangerous than Baghdad and was arrested as a result. The court ruled that although “free press” laws did not apply, as a published tourism author, I had an obligation to inform my readers. (The other things not covered by free press laws include obscenity, profanity, defamation, libel, false calls for help, and various religious secrets.)

John Kitchin
via email

I Right The Wrongs

Mr. Sanford: The Barry Manilow concert at the Sports Arena was postponed earlier this week, giving you plenty of time to make a note of it in your “Blurt” article (October 15). So why didn’t you?

Mark Rafferty
via email

Jay Allen Sanford replies: The Reader is a weekly (rather than daily) paper, so last week’s “Blurt” column was already typeset and at the printer before I received notice of the cancellation.

Got The Picture?

I was wondering if there was any chance of getting back “Picture Story.” As a longtime San Diegan, I always looked forward to those. If there’s any chance of getting it back, that would be great.

Kenny Lane
via voicemail

“Picture Story” will resume soon, running once a month. — Editor

Good News From The South

Re “Please Don’t Tell Anyone That Old Surfers End Up Here” (Cover Story, October 8).

Fantastic article!! I am a transplant who has lived (and surfed) in San Diego for the past year but has always been wary of adventuring south to Baja California. Reading books like In Search of Captain Zero and West of Jesus fuel my surf-adventure spirit, but the media manages to always throw water on my fire. It’s great to hear positive news from south of the border, and I hope to see Steve and others in the lineup soon!

Nicholas Foster
via email

Great X2

Re “Please Don’t Tell Anyone That Old Surfers End Up Here” (Cover Story, October 8).

Great article and story.

Tom Church
via email


Re “Please Don’t Tell Anyone That Old Surfers End Up Here” (Cover Story, October 8).


Derrick R. Grahn
via email

Good Dog

I am a writer-reporter specializing in Baja animal rights issues. I found the “Dogs’ Deathbed Gift” article (“City Lights,” October 8) to be informative and accurate.

However, the article leaves the reader with a rather bleak picture of the fate of most homeless Baja dogs.

Things have changed, much for the better, in the last ten years. Thanks to the tireless devotion of a number of groups and individual rescuers, thousands of these Baja street dogs have found their way into wonderful new homes in Mexico and the United States. There are dozens of American and Mexicans living in Baja who have literally devoted their lives (and all their money) to getting these homeless pets off the streets and rehabilitating them. Readers would be happy to know that there is a lot of love and devotion here in Baja for these dogs and cats. Tijuana and Rosarito governments are now actively helping promote animal-welfare issues. The City of Rosarito tops the list, with a monthly free sterilization program, free dog-training programs, and special pet events just for kids, like “Run with Your Dog.” Rosarito Channel 6 even has a weekly pet-care program featuring Rosarito’s perrera and spay/neuter clinic director Joaquín Villaseñor.

In Tijuana, the Humane Society of Tijuana sponsors regular low-cost and free monthly spay and neuter clinics and special mange and tick clinics.

Thanks to the devotion of many animal rescuers and activists, Baja is now a place where these dogs face a much brighter future. However, until the day when the sterilization clinics can bring the pet overpopulation under control, people like Donna and Marlene and Joaquín will be their angels waiting for them at the end of the line.

Vivian Marlene Dunbar
via email

Pay It Forward

Don Bauder’s article “Make the Victim Pay” (“City Lights,” October 8) only tells part of the story regarding SDG&E. A joint application has been filed with the PUC (A0908020) by SDG&E, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric to allow the utilities to finance the costs of future wildfire damages as they are incurred and pass on those costs to ratepayers. The costs include satisfying wildfire claims, legal expenses, and insurance premiums, all to be paid by the ratepayers. The utilities claim that compliance with safety rules is not realistic and wildfires are an inherent cost of service. This is an attempt to not only have the victims pay for past mismanagement and negligence; SDG&E wants the ratepayers to also pay for future mismanagement and negligence by the utilities.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

Toys? No, Cartoons

I must have missed Duncan Shepherd’s review of Toy Story when the movie first came out. Obviously, it’s been resurrected for the current 3-D release.

“From Disney, the self-proclaimed First Fully Computer-Animated Feature Film: reason enough to disdain it on general principle. Reason in particular, and in plenty, is provided by the horrible forms of the figures — closer to Puppetoons, Claymation, Gumby, Speedy Alka-Seltzer, and the Pillsbury Doughboy than to the Disney family of cartoon characters.”

So, he objects to the characters because they look like toys?

It seems to me Mr. Shepherd must have missed the point of the movie. I would have thought the title was a dead giveaway, but…alas…

Ellen Smock
via email

Way Off The Mark

I don’t know whom to accredit for choosing “Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” as a cover story (July 30), so I’ll address both Victor Rice and the brilliant visionary who finalized this article for solidifying the negative projected stereotypes of minorities in San Diego. As if the lax, slang-riddled style wasn’t enough of an indication that the writer was a barrio native, there were numerous insinuations that made it apparent Rice was hip to his local guidelines of survival via ignorant urban perpetualism (i.e., references to preprogrammed rivalries based on educational districts/individual alma maters and cultural innateness to harbor hostile opposition towards authorities).

This exposé had me, a 23-year-old Hispanic San Diego native, perplexed on two fronts. One: as a journalistic voyeur based on highlighting San Diego (focusing on local culture and tourism) and as a writer who explores our current economic situation as a catalyst for illegal activities, how would shedding the negative light this article spotlighted benefit our community? In fact, one would think it would have an adverse effect, resulting in less business and more “thuggish-victims” running amuck with no other choice at survival. The second conundrum that Rice’s piece spawns is the age-old urban chicken-egg debate; which came first — the victim or the thug? Is the thug a victim of new-age societal laissez-faireism, or is society the victim of an affluence of misguided individuals trying to get rich quickly at the expense of those who have attained legitimately? I’m going to put my money on the latter.

I have grown up in this city, and the truths you failed to shed light on are that the majority of the people involved in these activities choose to take this path knowing and/or having already experienced firsthand the brutal consequences at stake. I’m not ignorant or desensitized to the tragic realities of my surroundings but rather infuriated that in print it seems as if Rice seeks sympathy for choosing a lifestyle that the majority of America not only deems morally unacceptable but also avoids any affiliation with. Furthermore, Rice attempts to blame societal disposition on one’s residential location — another unsubstantiated argument since each American has free will to reside in any U.S. zip code they desire. Yet even without the means to move, no one has a predestined limit of potential simply because their surrounding community has a rap sheet of post-statistical irrelevancies on record. It’s quite apparent that it is not our leisure-seeking visitors that are out of touch with San Diego, it’s Rice that is out of touch with reality. The bigger picture is simple: your state of existence is a cumulative product of past decisions made. Thus no one is a victim of circumstance, just a product of their chosen chance.

I suppose my biggest disappointment in this whole blunder is the blatant exploitation of what may be a promising influential voice for a cultural group that makes up a significant portion of our local population yet rarely has an opportunity to be heard by a demographic as diverse and influential as yours. It almost seems as if Rice’s opportunity to offer a fresh take on our local currents was intercepted and diverted into a cliché pigeonholed street testimony of a helpless, misunderstood, unprivileged inner-city youth preprogrammed for failure. Even more shocking is that after (assumed) proofreading, it seems as if no one redirected Rice on track to a more relevant piece of contribution. To add fuel to the fire, the Reader then selected this noncohesive rant to be the feature piece of a literary publication that serves the whole community and is distributed for free at a plethora of local, high-traffic businesses. A front-page invitation for anyone of toddler height to marinate his or her inquiring mind with a rich nonfiction short executed eloquently with treats like “hell yeah, nigga,” “clean-ass,” and “smoke a blunt right before school.” BRAVO! I commend your attempt to add flavor to your publication; unfortunately, I must inform you it seemed to lack any sense of taste.

PS: I’ve traveled at least annually out of state, and I’ve never been asked how close I live to Snoop Dogg. Ever.

Andre Trujillo
via email


I’m in San Diego visiting family. I see on page 36 (October 15) you have the Reader ranked as number one in the average number of pages, which is impressive to a point. But when you look at your paper, you realize that probably 70 percent of your content is ads, so it’s a little much ado about nothing. Actually, whenever I read your publication I’m always impressed by the number of ads, especially the superficial ones for all this cosmetic surgery and that kind of nonsense. So to keep it in perspective, there are much better alternative weeklies around than you guys, as much as I do rely on you somewhat for reviews and things when I’m in my hometown of San Diego. But just keep it in perspective. You’re not that great.

Michael Cuevaf

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The Reader may be 70% fluff,Mr.Cuevaf but it's better than any daily newspaper I've yet to read out here. City Beat is a junior edition of the Reader and as great as GLT is,it only caters to one section of the populace. It's pretty sad when a voracious reader as myself eschews the SD-UT,L.A.Times and NCTimes to wait patiently once a week for the Reader,warts and all.


there now I've had my superficial and non-substanciated angry protest at READER unappreciators...and i feel so much better

er...um...did i get the grammer and speel all that right???

so when michael finally goes back to wherever it is he came from, he won't be forced to read the reader. i suspect that he's not all that great either. so just run along, michael, and pick up a reader's digest on your way out. I LOVE THE READER. must be a reason it's been around 30+ years.

oh, and "shame on the reader..." for allowing someone to choose not to have his face shown in a picture? um what? BAD, BAD reader for allowing someone anonymity....i have changed my mind. i shall never read again....NOT.

I actually thought the guy putting his dog up rhere was amusing. I swear, sometimes I think there is someone with a sense of humor similar to my own editing the "Letter's" section.

I remember in high school, I was an avid reader of National Lampoon magazine. Their "Letters FROM The Editors" column was ridiculously funny.

Like John Kitchin's story about the Tijuana morgue. I mean, I think that's a serious letter, but having lived here so long (and, unfortunately, having taken trips to the morgue myself), it's a scream from my angle! It's sort of like if I wrote to the New York Times and demanded that they reinstate George Bush because I witnessed hundreds of people beaten and stabbed by Obama supporters. (Dude, seriously, stay out of here, visit Canada or something, we don't need any more sensationalistic lies.)

And to Michael Cuevaf, if you do some reasearch, the San Diego Reader is historically one of the most profitable weeklies in the last twenty years, even through this screwed up economy we find ourselves in. They must be doing something right.

Reader, I recommend that your staff gets rewarded by having them make up letters. Let them make the letters amazingly ridiculous. Promote office morale!

If Alan C. didn’t want his picture in the paper, you should not have used him in “Off the Cuff.” Hiding his face with a dog shows stupidity. Shame on the Reader!

Bill Bartkus

You must admit though-that is one good lookign dog!

You must admit though-that is one good lookign dog!

By SurfPuppy619


That dog is adorable! What brand of terrier?

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