Fake Facts

I am writing regarding the February 25 story published in “S.D. on the Q.T.” titled “Policeman Poet Vows to Kick Some Ass.”

As the chief of the Coronado Police Department, I am disappointed in the Reader for publishing this fictitious story under the guise of “humor” without clarifying that it is false. It is important to note that this phony article is listed as “news” on the Reader’s website. While some may know it was a spoof, some of your readers may not have distinguished fact from fiction. The unfortunate consequence results in undermining the public trust and confidence in those sworn to serve and protect them. In the future, we hope the Reader will use better judgment when selecting content for this section of its publication.

  • Louis J. Scanlon
  • Chief
  • Coronado Police Department

Clever Manipulator

The cover of the February 25 Reader with the busy interchange is truly amazing. The article seems to imply that this intersection is in San Diego, but I do not recognize the roads. I then thought that the photo was Photoshopped, but all the shadows lined up properly, and unless the photo editor was extremely adept at photo manipulation, this photo may actually be real. Can you tell us where this awesome interchange is located so at least we can avoid it?

  • Joe Franzone
  • via email

Where Are We?

Can you please identify where that intersection of highways on the February 25 cover is located? It is an amazing picture. Is it real?

  • Tino
  • via email

The cover art is a photo manipulation by John Lund. — Editor

Dead Kensington

About the last issue, I was wondering where you got the cover photo of the pinball maze of freeways (“Freeway Close,” February 25). I’ve fought freeways here, especially this corridor that went through Kensington. Jim Bates, the councilman, said it would never go through. It ruined the Kensington neighborhood.

  • Richard Jones
  • via voicemail

People Under The Freeway

I have a reply to the February 25 cover story, “Freeway Close.” I think it sucks how they put people with less money living there. I don’t think that’s fair. We should send Bill Gates to live under the freeway, see if he likes it.

  • Rick V.
  • San Diego

Just Passing Through

This is re Moss Gropen’s cover story about living next to the freeways (“Freeway Close,” February 25). Really enjoyed the story, but I thought he was a little rough on some of the neighborhoods. That’s just the way they are. Like Linda Vista — he made it sound like it was pretty thuggish, but it’s actually quite an enjoyable neighborhood to pedal through. It’s hard to believe that people don’t believe that living next to those things is damaging their health.

  • Joe
  • via voice mail

LSD Gone Wrong

Re small error in the February 25 cover story (“Freeway Close”).

Lake Shore Drive, not Lakeside Drive, is commonly known in Chicago as LSD. There are Lakeside Drives in the Chicago suburbs but none in the city. The writer may indeed have called a suburban Lakeside Drive LSD, but no other Chicagoans do. Surprised Pistol Pete missed that one!

  • Eileen Feely
  • via email

Nicked Pic

I very much appreciate the write-up on the SDGossipScene story (“Blurt,” February 25), but I do not appreciate that the photo of me was taken from my personal MySpace. I had no knowledge of this article, and there was no permission to use my personal photo from my birthday party. I am billing you $1500 for my photo, or other actions will be taken.

  • Felicia Canales
  • via email

Way Too Much Control

Re “We Don’t Want You Taking Pictures” (Feature Story, February 25).

Something similar happened to my son last year. He and his friends went to TJ to have some fun and, yes, he was drinking, but by the time the event happened they had not been drinking for about two hours. Basically, the boys were talking to some girls and got off at the main trolley station to catch a transfer. As they were getting off, they were still talking to the girls — flirting from the outside of the trolley with the girls inside.

An officer came up and stated that my son was standing too close to the trolley line (he was stepping on the line). My son backed off and resumed speaking to the girls. One of the officers got really agitated and started getting in my son’s face. He and his friends were stating to him “What’s up” and why the attitude, that they were just waiting for the connecting trolley. At that point, the connecting trolley came up and the boys got on. Well, one of the kids made a rude gesture regarding the trolley officers of which apparently they heard.

This is were it gets crazy. The boys apparently got onto the wrong trolley and had to go back to the main station. Well, lo and behold, the trolley cops were standing there waiting for them and had brought in backup. The minute the trolley stopped, they marched on and grabbed the boys and took them outside. Words were exchanged, and after about ten minutes, the friends of my son took my son and said they were leaving, which the officers agreed! However, they followed them (and I think they did this to get out of the camera’s view). The boys were walking out, and my son looked back because he could feel someone close behind him. One of the officers asked, “Are you mugging me?” (meaning giving him a dirty look), and my son said no, and he turned around to continue walking. One of the officers jumped on him and sat on him while the others basically beat the crap out of him.

People start to gather, and they put my son in the back of the car and stated that he was going to be arrested. Well, during all this, his friends started asking people in the crowd for their phone numbers to be witnesses, and then all of a sudden an officer came to the car and said he was free to go!

I called them the next day, and essentially the officer in charge said that there were no cameras and that it was his officers’ word against the boys’! It’s scary that these people are given so much authority and control — absolutely scary!

  • Stephanie Butticci
  • via email

They Must Be Obeyed

I’m very upset about what you wrote about homeowners’ associations (“Home Owner Association Horror Stories,” Cover Story, February 18). I’d say 80 percent of what was written was false. The CC&Rs have to be followed, and the board of directors cannot do anything without a vote. Whoever wrote this article did not know the CC&Rs. It’s a very bad article.

  • Dolores Prestikowski
  • via voice mail

Get Me Out Of Here

I’m calling concerning your February 18 cover story “Home Owner Association Horror Stories.” I was wondering if you’re going to do a follow-up. If you’re stuck in one of these horror stories, what can you do? What are the legal steps? And then if you do take those steps and they try to retaliate, then what can you do? I think that would be a real good follow-up. I read your Reader weekly, and I greatly enjoy it.

  • Tom Abbott
  • Mission Valley

Just One Side Of The Condo

Two issues:

(1) Just wondering who decides which restaurants to include in your list of restaurants by area. Only two are listed in Imperial Beach, despite the fact that we also have a tremendous sushi restaurant, a couple of great Mexican seafood restaurants, a great old steak and pizza restaurant, and others (although not enough!). How do we get some more of the restaurants listed?

(2) The cover article “Home Owner Association Horror Stories” (February 18) is extremely one-sided and obviously written by someone who doesn’t know how they are set up to operate. The homeowners don’t bother to learn about how a condominium association works before they buy and don’t bother to read any of the governing documents or rules after they buy, and they only come to board meetings to whine and complain but have no interest in taking the time to learn how the association and the board must operate, because the board must abide by the governing documents.

Boardmembers are volunteers who do a great deal of work for the association without receiving anything in return except complaints and blame by people who don’t realize that in order to run a business, costs increase, and therefore, the HOA dues must increase!

Also, I don’t know where the author gets his idea that an HOA is represented as a democracy. The board is elected to run the association, with input by the homeowners, and they have the responsibility to make the decisions. It is completely impossible to please everyone all the time, so they obtain whatever expert opinions are needed, listen to homeowner input, and then make the best decisions they can make. If a boardmember attempts to promote a special interest, he or she will typically not be reelected and may even be ousted, and typically the other boardmembers will not allow this to happen.

The article complains that many associations have inadequate reserves, yet the homeowners scream if their dues are increased, which is the only way to fund reserves and still pay the day-to-day expenses! There is no way to fund reserves, repair the roofs and streets, maintain the landscaping, and provide the long list of services required within an association without adequate homeowner dues, so if the reserves are inadequately funded or maintenance problems exist within the association, the homeowners only have themselves to blame for resisting paying what is necessary to improve the project. People don’t think they should have to pay expenses as they would if they owned a single-family home; because they live within an association, they think that somehow things should magically get done without any contribution by them.

I’ve been taking minutes at board meetings for over 25 years and have worked for two law firms who handled HOA law, so believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I took minutes one year at an annual meeting where the board thought it would be nice to provide a few inexpensive snacks for the homeowners at the meeting, which cost each homeowner something like 30 or 40 cents total out of the association budget, and one man actually went off the deep end yelling about how the board wasted the homeowners’ money and spent it on something the homeowners hadn’t authorized! You cannot even imagine the ignorance and craziness that goes on within these communities. And the only reason boardmembers remain boardmembers year after year is because the rest of the homeowners are so apathetic that they don’t want to bother to attend meetings to find out what’s really going on or how an association actually must operate according to its governing documents, and they don’t want to be on the board or even on a committee!

So, again, the article was extremely one-sided, and I could write an article with completely the opposite perspective, and every word of it would be true.

  • Donna MacKersie
  • via email

Writers decide which restaurants to review. Readers can submit suggestions to writers on the Reader website. The 1400 restaurant listings, which include 6 in Imperial Beach, rotate in the paper each week. — Editor

No Downsizing, Please

I really like your comics, especially Red Meat, The Dinette Set, and Overheard in San Diego. I know times are tough, but I hope you can keep them. They are a major reason I pick up the Reader.

  • Rob Stegman
  • Carlsbad

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Eileen Feely-I too am surprised I missed that. I usually read the cover stories by myself early in the morning in the print version. Every once in awhile I might have an extra 20 minutes or so to kill online so I'll read the websites cover story. My roommate was talking to me last week while I was at the computer so that could be why I didn't notice Mr. Gropen's faux pas. Being born and raised in Chicago and a lover of LSD, I'll have to go back and read his story. In the meantime... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGQO7A...

@ Stephanie Butticci

Teach your kids to not have an attitude. It works wonders on keeping their faces free of bruises.

....in response to Ponzie

Normally I wouldn't even response to such a stupid statement, however, I speak for the kids that were with him too. They are great kids, hard working, and no matter how much attitude was given...it did NOT warrant that! It was a control issue and that is EXACTLY why they need more training - period. Stephanie

Stop making excuses for your ill-mannered child. He needs you for guidance because he doesn't yet know what he doesn't know. It's life and the school of hard knocks. With any luck, he'll survive it and with any brains, will learn from it.

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