Back To The Cornfields

After viewing Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982, had a journalist set out to San Diego to get the scoop on surfers for the Des Moines Cityview, would an incredibly lame story such as “This Selfish Pursuit” (October 5 cover story) be acceptable?

Surfing in San Diego has been going on for close to a century and the best that Elizabeth Salaam can do is open her article with a grommet who doesn’t like school. Are there any ten-year-old boys anywhere who, when asked by a reporter, would admit to liking school over spending time at the beach or playing baseball? After that Elizabeth then rolls out every tired, overused stereotype of surfers that has been bandied about by clueless non-wave riding journalists for decades. So, on behalf of the majority of surfers who have figured out how to get an education while surfing a lot, find and keep a job (and even dawn patrol), and raise grommets who understand that school is a priority over beach time if they want to surf when they are middle-aged or retired, I invite Ms. Salaam to never ever write about surfing or anything remotely connected to the beach or the ocean again. In fact, Elizabeth, do us a favor and please move to that cornfield somewhere in the Midwest you seem obsessed with.

Serge Dedina
Executive Director, WiLDCOAST; author of Wild Sea: Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias; and patch.com surfing columnist

Give Them Shelter

As a great, longtime admirer of John Brizzolara’s writing, I was extremely disappointed by his recent observations on the homeless population beneath the lofty towers of his subsidized apartment building (“The Hood,” September 27).

John, you are one of the lucky ones. Despite, or perhaps because of, your constant whining about the unfairness of life, you and your son have the pleasure of living in a clean, well-appointed dwelling. Did you ever stop to think that the people you see below you, whom you obviously have such disdain for, would like, or even deserve, the same?

How do you rationalize your good fortune against theirs? What, exactly, makes you more deserving than they are? Perhaps, your ability to flip words around, or your guitar playing, has given you the notion that somehow you are better, finer, or of more value to society. Don’t kid yourself; you’re not.

I’m not going to waste either your reader’s time or your newspaper’s space, by reminding them of the deplorable way San Diego treats its homeless population. It’s an incredible indictment — and perpetual embarrassment, to all of us, that we allow human beings to live in this way. John, by telling us of his good fortune, makes it abundantly clear that the “fix” for homelessness, is to provide shelter! If we do it for no other reason, let us remind ourselves, that it’s not good business to advertise our callousness to visitors. People sprawled along our downtown streets are really lousy for tourism!

I offer my very best wishes to John and his son for good health and fruitful, future endeavors. It is the same desires that I have for all of us, whatever our circumstances or place in life.

Sean Feldstein
via email

Air It Out

Re Straight from the Hip, September 27. Hey, Mattman, the jet streams in the northern and southern hemispheres travel the same direction, from west to east. The jet stream is caused by rising warm air in the tropics moving upward and toward the cold north and south poles. Air at the equator moves with the earth at 25,000 miles per day, air near the poles moves more slowly. As air moves toward the poles it retains its momentum and speeds to the east. This is called the Coriolis effect.

Michael Ziegler
via email

Detail Omitted

It appears that Lawton Ferreira enjoys going fast (Shortcuts, September 12). He states that he’s been over 200 miles per hour on a public highway and never gotten a ticket. His favorite thing about his car is that it is “fast,” and that there is always a “need for speed.” I was surprised that when the question “How about accidents?” came up he didn’t relate the story of his son spending time in prison for murder. You see, his son was racing on the streets of San Diego, while intoxicated in 2002, when he ran into another car, not involved in the race, killing the 20-year-old occupant. I guess the word remorse is not in Lawton’s vocabulary. Appears father and son are made from the same mold.

I feel sorry for the parents of the innocent person killed, having to see the article. Whereas some good may have come from an unfortunate occurrence, it appears that this outrageous behavior is instead perpetuated and bragged about.

Ric Walsh
via facsimile


I’ve been using the Reader for movie times for eight or ten years. Lately the AMC theaters — Fashion Valley, Mission Valley, and La Jolla — very rarely have any listings of the times or the movies. I wonder if there’s something you can do about that. I don’t have a computer anymore. Mine broke and I’m not getting it fixed.

via voicemail


I think you’re a really good magazine with a laugh-over-your-shoulder, intellectually raw sense of humor. I guess that’s why you print the letters a lot of other publications would rather bury. You’re a very important part of the heartbeat of San Diego. Just keep on printin’.

via voicemail

Astro Puffs

I have to tell you about that article, “Astro Puffs” (July 12) — that’s what we call it because of the astronomical impact that it’s had on the community. I don’t want to pick up the Reader and not see letters about it. I just enjoy the letters so much! When that article first came out, I showed the cover to my husband and he said, “They will never hear the end of that.” And I don’t think you will!

My own personal take on it was that Ms. Salaam was absolutely obsessed with race, and the breakdown of race, everywhere she went. That’s the only thing that really stuck with me. Everywhere she went she had this freakish obsession with counting the races in all groups. That seemed bizarre and, dare I say, racist.

I’m black, Irish, and Gypsy. And I just find myself around people everywhere. And lots and lots of them, I must say.

I’m having a blast with the impact of the article and congratulations to you, because I’m sure it’s not decreasing your readership.

I just had to say something to you. Frankly, it’s fun! It really is!

Name Withheld

Just Chill, People

This is concerning the “Afro Puffs” article back in July. Everybody needs to get over this thing. All I’m reading is racism. One person used the word “half-breed.” Everybody needs to get over it. There are no real black people; there are no African blacks anymore. Everyone’s got a smattering of white in them. They’ve been here for four-hundred years.

All the people that misread the article and sent letters to Mrs. Obama better not forget that her husband’s a half-breed! All the girls that got a rise out of this better check themselves. If they feel so bad about themselves, they should do something about it.

Other than that, I read the article. It was no big deal. Most of the people didn’t event read the article — they just skimmed through it and saw a picture of a little girl on the front. Everybody needs to just chill on this “Afro Puffs” crap.

C.W. Wilson
Pacific Beach

The Free Is Gone

Several of my friends and I are upset because you used to list a lot of free concerts in churches and different places, that covered all different kinds of groups. We only see one or two in there now and they’re very expensive. We just can’t afford to go to those. We were wondering why all of a sudden you’re not putting them in. That’s what we would like to see you do more of again. We miss going to a lot of these things.

I found something the other day on SignOnSanDiego.com, which I just went to today and it was very enjoyable, but you haven’t had anything in yours for quite awhile now. We wish you could put that back in there.

Judith Levenson
La Mesa

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