Promoting free speech

Necessary for Life Itself

Re: “The Big Dry,” (August 21 cover story)

I never understood why people have green lawns. It is work to maintain a green lawn. If you’re like Maynard G. Crebbs (and me), work is a four-letter word. Besides, what’s wrong with the color of dirt? Or, as the author puts it, “the grass is as brown as a taco shell” (Umm, taco shell, as Homer Simpson would say).

If the “only source left is ‘indirect potable reuse,’” why would anybody complain about that ? After all, people and animals have been around for thousands of years. Don’t they think we’re already drinking “recycled” water?!

I noticed the author mentioned to “stop watering lawns and washing cars,” but failed to mention limiting new housing developments. Oh, that’s economics, which comes before our diminishing natural resource, water, which is necessary for life itself. Silly me for thinking water is more important.

  • Allen Stanko
  • Alpine

Gargantuan Water Usage

I just read your August 21 cover article, “The Big Dry,” and I am still left with a question.

Typically, our travels take us along Aero Drive and Kearny Villa Road. On both of these streets, massive apartments and condominiums have been developed recently. Namely, the 8600 block of Aero Drive and the 3400 block of Kearny Villa Road.

How do these gargantuan developments balance with the San Diego water problem? Prior to their development there appeared to be little construction on the land. So, what was the process these developers navigated to allow such massive new residential buildings with the unavoidable new water usage?

I know these are not the only new and large developments that have taken place recently in San Diego. So, please help us to understand how this can possibly be helpful to our region.

  • T. Paine
  • Clairemont Mesa

Salaries in Line with Reality

Re: City Lights: “Do Good, Do Well,” August 21

If corporations were not given citizen status, they would then be partnerships — meaning each and every investor, employee, and consultant could be personally liable for any wrongdoing. That is the reason for citizenship status.

Corporate inversion is a logical response to living in the nation with the highest corporate tax rate on Earth and one of the only nations that taxes what you make overseas. They pay the foreign nation’s tax and then are taxed by the U.S.A. It’s our insipid tax system, not the behavior. But you anti-corporate types always miss the easy corrections.

A major problem in corporate America is that we still live in a world where corporate executives, who legally report to the board of directors, serve on the board of directors. That is an actual conflict of interest. But it makes it easier to understand how really bad CEOs often stay on. They are on the board that would have to fire them. Talk about awkward!

The SEC can change that by prohibiting any active executive involved with management from serving on their own board. Then a board could support a salary commensurate in scope with aligned accomplishments. Or an even better fix: anytime a publicly traded company engages in layoffs, the top five executives and each boardmember must take the same percent decrease in salary or bonuses with no increase for three years. Lay off 10%, take a 10% salary hit that stays in place for three years.

Do those two things and watch how fast CEO salaries get in line with reality, and watch how creative the executives and boards get with cutting costs to save jobs — and their salaries. It’s not the entity, it’s the people. Focus on the people.

Those who are greedy have fooled you folks into focusing on issues that cannot be changed rather than the easy things they fear the most — and I just gave you two they fear.

  • Rick Burgoon
  • Scripps Ranch

College Footballer or Steel Mill? Hmm...

My comment is with regards to Patrick Daugherty’s Sporting Box column in the August 21 issue, “Competition Is a Sin.”

Thanks, Patrick, for some more elucidation on the bountiful revenues that are produced by major college sports, especially football. As a college footballer in the 1960s, I often wondered if I wasn’t better off being from northeast Ohio’s steel mill country, grabbing my black lunch pail, and going to work at the steel mills. Hard, physical, dangerous work.

Today, my dual reflections on the glories of being a player, versus the life of threats, violence, cheer, and injuries, pops up weekly. Old injuries from the soles of my feet to the top of my head take their turn — one at a time, luckily — in reasserting themselves in reminding me of those BMC — big man on campus — days.

  • Teddy Rodosovich
  • University City

Welcome to the 21st Century

Couldn’t help my amusement at the “name withheld” letter (August 21) under the heading “Something to Hide,” requesting that Barbarella’s language be censured in case the letter-writer’s visiting 12-year-old nephew would be shocked/offended/whatever.

Welcome, Name Withheld, to the 21st Century! If this 12-year-old boy has attended public schools in the U.S., attended or participated in athletic events, or been to a mall or walked on city streets he is certainly familiar with the F-word by now.

  • Sue Garson
  • Clairemont

No Confidence in the CRB

This letter is a response to the Letter to the Editor in the July 24 Reader (“No Reason to Give Up on Justice”) concerning the Citizens Review Board, which pointed out many problems with the current Citizens Review Board and suggested that the victim in the “Murphy Canyon Mystery” story (July 3) “start collecting signatures for a ballot measure to start a real Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board.

I belong to Women Occupy San Diego, which is a group that formed in alliance with the Occupy movement. One of our first actions, done in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild, was to collect complaints from Occupiers who had been abused by SDPD. We submitted complaints from 23 persons to the Citizens Review Board and nothing happened. Only one complainant was ever contacted by telephone.

Occupiers and supporters attended one open meeting of the CRB and presented numerous testimonies of police abuse. The members of the CRB listened but again did nothing. The meeting was standing-room only and was videotaped.

Women Occupy San Diego is working with other organizations on police abuse issues, including reforming the Citizens Review Board so that it is truly independent, transparent and responsive. As part of our work, we met with the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the CRB and were told that they never received any of the Occupy complaints. They also expressed dissatisfaction with tracking of complaints.

The problem is that all complaints are first “vetted” by Internal Affairs, and IA decides which complaints to forward to the CRB. All information concerning the complaints comes only from IA. The CRB does not speak to the complainant, does not have the ability to subpoena witnesses or talk with witnesses, or do any independent investigation.

In 2012 the San Diego Grand Jury made numerous recommendations, none of which were implemented, as far as we can tell.

There is no public confidence in the CRB, for good reason. Members of the CRB are chosen by the mayor. They are all volunteers. We have talked with several former members who were frustrated by their lack of independence and ability to truly investigate complaints.

WOSD has prepared a petition that we are circulating to present to City Council. Because the CRB was established by legislation, only legislation can change the current CRB. This must come from the City Council.

We welcome anyone who wants to help with this project. You can contact us at WomenOccupySanDiego.org.

  • Kate Yavenditti
  • via email

And the Award Goes to...

Thanks for running my story (News Ticker: “Green and Made in the U.S.A.” July 29). However, your facts are not accurate. Your article says that my dad (Pierre Sleiman Sr., the “Prison Labor King”) has received an award, and you go on to explain his past.

The correct story is that I (Pierre Sleiman, Jr.) received the White House Champion of Change award. My father and wife came with me to the White House as guests, hence the picture of my dad and I at the podium.

  • Pierre Sleiman, Jr.
  • via email

Articulate Against Police Misconduct

I would like to thank the Reader for supporting free speech by printing letters from the public in their entirety. Jeffrey Saikali’s letter in the July 24 edition (“A Desire for Truth”) was well-stated and informative. While I am truly sorry for what happened to Mr. Saikali (“Murphy Canyon Mystery,” July 3 cover story), I am glad it happened to someone so articulate, persistent, and unafraid to speak publicly against police misconduct.

Since Doug Manchester bought the North County Times’ presses for their scrap-metal value, investigative journalism has vanished. Stories about crooked cops and the ineptitude of public officials don’t attract tourists, so the U-T did away with those subjects. Their letters to the editor section is a joke, since only a hand-picked few ever see print; they must not provoke controversy or oppose the U-T’s political agenda.

When voters are ignorant, we end up with the same old crooked power structure, and these so-called public servants continue their unrestrained feeding frenzy at the public trough, voting themselves generous pay raises and increased benefits, while infringing upon our freedoms. Since we, as taxpayers, are flipping the bill, we have every right to demand that they work for the public good, which essentially means protecting the private rights of citizens.

I hope the Reader continues addressing these issues and doesn’t back down to those who can’t understand the importance of a free press. Investigative journalism and an unbiased public forum of civilized debate are vital for the progress of society.

  • Laurel Kaskurs
  • Oceanside

Leave Your Mother’s Uncle at Home

I just wanted to say that I love the Hipster and Diary of a Diva and Street Style. But if Siobhan Braun gives up any more locals-only spots to all and sundry, I hope somebody says more than just “asshole” to her (Street Style: “Grunge in the Park”).

We’re just tired of all the places being flooded with everybody. Can’t locals just have somewhere that everybody and their mother’s uncle isn’t at?

  • Name Withheld
  • Ocean Beach

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