Groceries & Free Speech

I would like to comment on the News Ticker item, “False Arrest and Battery: Lawsuit filed over voter-registration arrest,” regarding a gentleman by the name of Ray Lutz. Apparently, Ray ran into some trouble attempting to gather voter registrations in front of the Civic Center and was arrested.

Anyone who attempts to exercise their first-amendment right to register people to vote or gather signatures on a petition, can look forward to a lot of trouble in front of our neighborhood grocery stores here in the county of San Diego. The way people are treated when exercising their first-amendment rights is absolutely shameful. Customers go inside and complain to the store managers. People are treated with abusive language, or they’re complained about. Store managers are either unaware or could care less about our first-amendment-rights or the fact that these individuals are out there exercising their first-amendment rights, attempting to register to people to vote when they are doing a wonderful civic service.

No wonder so few people turned out to vote at the mayoral primaries back in June. The entire county is geared up to divorce any individual who attempts to register people to vote. With this in mind I would like to say “Bravo!” to Ray Lutz for filing a lawsuit. I would encourage every single petitioner to go ahead and file their own lawsuit. Maybe, somehow, in this way the grocery store managers and the police force will see that we do have the right to vote and be presented with issues. It shouldn’t be kept away from us or hidden away in some way.

Vivian Marlene Dunbar
Playas Tijuana, Mexico

Kahn Gone

Duncan Shepherd’s review of Young Frankenstein (September 27, page 102) omits Madeleine Kahn from the credits. How is this possible? I miss her always.

Ed Robards
via email

The People’s Plaza

This is in regard to “My Friend Kelly, a Prostitute?” (September 20). In the beginning of the article, I was feeling sympathy for the young lady in question. Apparently, some really bad things happened to her that shouldn’t have. Absolutely, someone should have believed her when she said she was raped. As I got further into the article, I began to feel less sympathetic towards Kelly, and more angry towards the author. Her term “ghetto fabulous,” and her disparaging remarks about “those girls at Plaza Bonita,” and her image of the pimp was entirely different. I mean, what did she think? That a pimp would be a skinny black guy in a fur hat, fur coat, and platform boots? Is that her image of a pimp? They come in all colors, and all races.

The more I read her article, the angrier I became. There are all kinds of people that go to Plaza Bonita, or any other mall in America, that can fit the description of “ghetto fabulous,” be they black, white, Hispanic, Native American, whatever you want to say. Has the author ever been to a ghetto? There are hardworking people there who pay their taxes, feed their children, and buy their homes. Through no fault of their own, they just happen to live in an area that’s described as “the ghetto.” I’m so tired of people using that term and painting a broad brush of people who live in these types of situations.

Her friend chose to use drugs; her friend chose to prostitute her body. No one made her do this. She can blame it on the pimp that she owed money to or the woman who gave her the “skanky outfit,” but she didn’t have to put that on. She could have called her family — obviously her family cares for her because they tried several times. In order for an addict to change, they have to want to change. They have to go through the process. They have to hit rock bottom and they have to come out of it alive. Obviously, Kelly wants to live the life she is living. So, her friend — the author — should stop blaming it on the pimp, the ghetto fabulousness, the skanky outfits, the Plaza Bonita girls, that sort of thing, and blame it on the person who is responsible. And that would be her little blonde beach babe. Obviously, she had a history of this because it started in high school. But the person who is actually responsible for Kelly’s problems is Kelly.

I appreciate the Reader for the articles. I like reading it. This one touched me in a way that really made me angry. I don’t live in the “ghetto.” Did I used to? Yes. But I had a hardworking, loving mother and father. We were well-educated, and we were a well-rounded family. So, the author needs to drop those euphemisms, and maybe open her eyes, meet more people, and become more educated.

via voicemail

No No To No-Nos

I would rather see photos of on-the-street fashion than mean-spirited comments about fashion no-nos (Style Stalker, September 20). What a waste of space.

via email

The Blind Leading The Blind Drunk

On the cover (August 30) is a picture of a girl (woman) with a low-cut top, and the word “kiss” on her breasts. The story (“Guys Are Gross”) tells of girls who spend

most nights going to clubs, drinking, and meeting guys who are also drinking. Inhibitions are way down. Some of the women even get paid to entice men into the clubs. They want to use their bodies to get paid! And then they call the intoxicated men who are led to believe that these so-called ladies want them “gross.” Give me a break!

Girls! What you are doing is selling your wares, and might get you arrested. And shame on hotels that pay people to entice already-intoxicated guys into their bars.

I’m surprised that you didn’t hear from more readers on this subject.

C.F. Sherman
via email

Let Me Count The Ways

I have always enjoyed the Reader crossword puzzle as it is clever and really fun to solve. I have, however, done the last one I will ever do. The clue for the August 23 puzzle was “a biased but true statement about where to find ‘Republican’ in the dictionary” with the answer being “Just after reptile and just before repugnant.” There are so many ways this was insulting that I can’t begin to list them.

Suffice it to say that this Republican allows the views of others and does not insult them even when he disagrees. This Republican cares about all God’s creatures but understands that limiting government is in the best interest of all of us, and that the government cannot spend more than it takes in in taxes without destroying our economy by printing money causing inflation and thereby making all of us poorer. This Republican is not interested in being insulted again. Shame on Mr. Wilk, or whomever does your puzzle, for letting his or her personal bias drive them to insult such a large group of people who love their country deeply but think differently about it than he does.

Kenneth Reynolds
via email

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With regard to the News Ticker item, “False Arrest and Battery: Lawsuit filed over voter-registration arrest,” about Democratic Party organizer Ray Lutz, both Dave Rice and Vivian Marlene Dunbar have the facts wrong.

Ray is lying. I was there when Ray was arrested and he was not arrested for registering voters. Registering voters is fully allowed at Civic Center Plaza and many people have walked around with clipboards registering voters without being arrested.

Ray was arrested for setting up a table. The police were enforcing a regulation against structures that was used primarily to prevent Occupy San Diego protesters from having tents, bookcases, tables, chairs, or any other structures in Civic Center Plaza. The political parties that erected tables and tents to register voters at swearing in ceremonies for new citizens, had permits to do so, but Ray did not. The regulation against structures may be an unconstitutional infringement against protected speech, as Ray contends, but that would have to be decided by a court.

If Ray had printed up a few hundred flyers urging people to register to vote, and then thrown them all over the ground in Civic Center Plaza, would he be exempt from regulations against littering because the purpose was to get out the vote?

If Ray had brought a gun to Civic Center Plaza and threatened to shoot people unless they registered to vote, would he be exempt from laws against threatening people with a weapon just because his purpose was to get out the vote?

Had Ray set up his table to gather support for the San Diego Police Department or for homeless orphans, he still would have been arrested for setting up the table. Had he walked around with a clipboard to do so, he would not have been arrested. Ray deliberately set up the table to get publicity.

Nobody, least of all the police, is trying to stop anyone from registering to cast an uncounted, unverifiable vote for people who can't be held accountable. That is the right of any eligible citizen. Perhaps the reason there is so much hostility towards people registering voters is because many of us are tired of casting uncounted, unverifiable votes for people who can't be held accountable.

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