Much Ado

Aldine Drive Stoppage

In the article, “Stop Signs Snarl Streets” we would be interested in learning where the author obtained her information and facts. Did she consider the impact this has on the residential community of Talmadge?

City Heights residents should not be cutting through from El Cajon Blvd. to go down Aldine Drive to access Fairmount. City Heights should have quicker access via El Cajon Boulevard to Fairmount. Aldine was originally designed to connect Talmadge and Kensington, and provide those of us who live in Talmadge another way in and out of our neighborhood.

What is most frustrating is if people followed the speed limit and drove properly, the need for action at this location would be mute. A survey was done of our community regarding the stop signs ,and possible solutions, and 80% were against this. There were a select few who complained, and complained some more.

Now the entire community of Talmadge has unsafe streets, and reckless drivers. This morning I had to call San Diego police as one pedestrian was almost hit by not just one, but four drivers. Drivers are impatient due to the long line of vehicles backing up on Monroe all the way to Winona. These impatient drivers decided the oncoming traffic lane was empty for the moment so they drove quickly on the wrong side of the road just to turn left onto 48th Street. The irony of it was when I finally got to 48th Street, there was a backup of vehicles on 48th trying to turn onto El Cajon Blvd.

I also witnessed cars swerving around one another at the intersection of Euclid and Monroe. At 47th and Monroe there are signs for “right turn only.” As I passed this corner this morning, three motorcycle police sat on their bikes and simply watched a minivan attempt to illegally turn left from 47th onto Monroe right in front of me. As a mom, my “no-no” finger shake made its appearance as I shook my head and waved my finger. That’s a no-no. Did the police budge? Nope.

I think it’s terrible that money, time, and energy were spent on this endeavor. This morning cops waved us through the new stop sign trying to help traffic. So many less costly options could have been attempted before impacting hundreds of residents, families with little children, grandparents, and dog walkers. Residents are now apprehensive to do so because of the reckless, frustrated, angry drivers.

The city should not have listened to those very noisy complainers, but instead performed traffic studies, impact studies, and increased police presence — and actually do their job and ticket people.

Something needs to change. Your reporter should get feedback from the actual residents before reporting. As it stands there are three ways for us Talmadgians to get into and out of our neighborhood.

  1. El Cajon Boulevard problem: Too many lights that have poor timing and traffic backup.
  2. Collwood problem: Currently Collwood at Montezuma is under construction (as it has been for a very long time) taking two lanes down to one lane, two lights, and a long line of cars stuck trying to turn left to get to Interstate 8 (which normally has a dedicated left turn lane and a middle lane to turn left or right), and the rest of the cars trying to turn right (again can use the middle lane and the dedicated right turn lane — that is when construction does not shut down two of those lanes).
  3. Aldine problem: Inconsiderate drivers who do not obey traffic signs and speed limits prior to stop sign installation; post signs — extreme traffic backup, addition of a minimum of 15 minutes to commute, angry, reckless drivers filling up all residential streets in Talmadge making it unsafe for cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers.

This is absolutely ridiculous, and someone with a planning degree with experience in traffic flow needs to be consulted and they need to fix this problem sooner than later. I know I am one of many voices. The other can be heard/seen on the Talmadge Google group and Nextdoor Talmadge where there are hundreds of messages regarding this disaster as well as photos and videos and real statistics.

Name Withheld
via email

Estuary Sand Not a Threat

I am commenting on the recent article entitled “Imported Sand a Threat to Estuary,” written by a reporter for your publication, Lucy. D. Barker. This article implies that I, Brian Collins, Refuge Manager for Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and proud employee of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, was interviewed by this reporter and that I made certain assertions regarding the recently deposited beach replenishment project sand that has been migrating south towards the Tijuana River mouth from the deposition areas where SANDAG conducted a sand replenishment project in recent months within the City of Imperial Beach.

For the record, I was not interviewed by a reporter by the name of Lucy Barker. I was not contacted by a person identifying herself as Lucy Barker, reporter for the San Diego Reader. That simply didn’t happen. Second, and more importantly, the tenor of the article is such that it implies that there is some imminent threat to the estuary’s ecological functionality by this recently deposited sand, potentially causing the mouth to close, and impinging on the tidal exchange of this wetland.

While we continue to be concerned and watchful, we do not believe that is the current case. The deposited sand seems to have stabilized in its movements to some degree. Through ongoing consultations with coastal hydrologists, we expect that the littoral transport cell offshore of the river mouth should start to tend to move material north as spring progresses into summer. In the case of the sand placed as part of the beach nourishment project, that means it should move away from the river mouth, not towards it.

While it is true that estuary staff have been and remain concerned about the potential for this material to have an ecological impact to the estuary, those concerns have been receding in recent weeks based on our field observations and professional consultations, combined with our ongoing monitoring of water quality conditions within the estuary.

I recently made a presentation at a public meeting regarding this issue and during that presentation outlined certain concerns that we have. I believe that the quotes used within the article were based on snippets of statements that I and others made during the course of this public meeting. What was not included in the article that should have been included was the fact that estuary staff are working closely and cooperatively with SANDAG staff, their contractors, the City of Imperial Beach, and various regulatory agencies to monitor the situation and plan for any contingencies that may arise. We are working together as partners and as equals.

I believe that poor journalistic ethics have been demonstrated by the writer of this article, and by extension the San Diego Reader. First, by not identifying herself as a journalist, whomever she might actually be, and secondly by not presenting the entire story, taking statements out of context and by focusing on a divisive, splashy, but ultimately false depiction of the situation as it currently stands.

I believe that of all the environmental problems the world faces, we will only reach solutions to those problems by coming together and working together to solve them. In this complex and ever changing world, enlightened self interest and finding common ground to the benefit of all is a basic premise we need to embrace if we are to achieve any success. That’s how we work here. That’s how we will continue to work.

So, Reader, get your facts straight, and if you get any more journalistic contributions from a writer by the name of Lucy D. Barker, my advice is to take them with a grain of...sand.

Brian Collins
via email

P.S. That’s my real name.

Matthew Alice’s Pet Project

I’m calling to comment on the Matthew Alice article in this week’s Reader (March 21). I thought it was interesting that he helped a 70-year-old gentleman answer the questions regarding homophones, homonyms, etc. I would think that a 70-year-old gentleman would be able to look on the computer himself, or get an English book at the library. I’m just glad that you folks took the time to clarify all that.

I was kind of chuckling and wondering if this was somebody’s pet project there at the Reader. So, thanks for the information and I hope you didn’t use too much ink printing that up. Hope that 70-year-old man has lots of years ahead of him to use new laws.

San Diego

Heteros and Homos

Your Matthew Alice article was intended to clear up some common errors in our knowledge of homonyms, yet when I organized what the writer had written, it was easy to see why there are common errors. It seems that the way these are labeled is the culprit, not the readers.

Taking his information, I organized it so that pronunciation, spelling, and meaning stayed in a constant order. You can see that there is no difference between homographs and heteronyms, nor between homophones and heterographs.

Homonyms: spelled and pronounced the same ,but different meanings ( bay, bay; punch, punch).

Homophones: spelling can be different, pronunciation is the same, but different meanings (their, there, they’re ; hear, here; led, lead; new, knew).

Heterographs: spelled differently, pronunciation the same, but different meanings (red, read; wait, weight).

Homographs: spelling is the same, pronunciation can be different, but different meanings (wind, wind; lead, lead; bow, bow).

Heteronyms: spelled the same, but pronunciation different and different meanings (minute, minute; tear, tear).

Jeanne Brown
Point Loma

Powerful Barbarella

This is really a letter for Barbarella. Your column about suicidal thoughts (Diary of a Diva: “Heavy Silence”) could have been written by me.

I just got home today from my fourth psychiatric hospital. I felt just the way you did about the bitches at my high school and, girl, you hit the nail on the head when you said males want to be respected, and females want to be liked! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some days I am sorry my numerous attempts at ending it all have failed. Not because I want to punish anyone; mostly I just want the pain to stop.

Right now I am on six different meds. My head doctor wants me to try ECT. So does my therapist. My doctor at the crazy house suggested it. I have always thought it was a barbaric thing to do to a person. I fear it more than being locked up or even suicide. I have a lot of work to do, and I will have more than one conversation about ECT before I decide if I’ll do it.

All in all life sucks, but I love my husband, and especially my grandaughter. I have finally accepted the meds along with the side effects. Now they tell me “when the meds you’re on stop working” — and they always do — I have what is called med-resistant bipolar with rapid cycling. ECT and magnetic therapy, and a brain implant are all I have left to try.

Right now I am trying to follow doctor’s orders, take my meds, see my therapist, and ask for help when I need it. I guess we’ll find out if I can do it. Thanks for taking the time to share something so painful. You have touched so many lives. You have to know there are a ton of youth, 16-25, that think about suicide, and reading your story proves to them, they are not alone, very powerful.

Take care, and keep writing.

Name Withheld
via email

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Re: Tijuana Estuary

It is alarming to see Brian Collins, as part of U.S. Fish & Wildlife, attack his own public statements as false, especially since he made those SAME statements to at least two other media outlets without launching similar attacks. (Google: 'Brian Collins Tijuana Estuary Sand' to see for yourself.)

Perhaps he does not understand that when a publicly paid employee speaks at a public meeting in a public setting on the topic of public land, it is assumed that he is making a public statement. Certainly, reporters do not have to chase down the mayor or the President after they speak in public and ask them to verify what they just said. No one accuses them of a lack of ethics for working from these public statements.

Since Collins said those things in a public setting, and since he made identical statements to other media outlets without the subsequent personal attacks on those reporters, one can only wonder if Collins' - and U.S. Fish & Wildlife's - attack is retaliation for our persistent and consistent interest in the Tijuana Estuary and Border Field State Park.

(We have recently reported on the estuary's failure to file important environmental information, on decisions to restrict and reduce public access to public land - a complaint made at public meetings by the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association and Friends of Friendship Park, and on sewage contamination and sand threats to the estuary.)

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