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Small print, trash talk, and a letter from the president of the Humane Society

Can’t Read It

I’ve been reading you guys since 1975, and the print keeps getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. My eyes haven’t gotten any younger. Now, I not only have to use my reading glasses, but I have to use a magnifying glass if there’s an article that I really want to read.

I’m looking at this week’s issue — May 26 or May 28 or something; I can’t read it — and your feature article, “Listen, the All Star’s Game Here Next Year...,” is “continued on page 18” but there’s no page 18 in my Reader. It goes from page 16 to page 34, and I can’t find page 18 in it anywhere.

So, you might do something about the typeface, and you might do something about getting the pages together.

  • J.L.
  • via voicemail

Joel Rocco, owner of Undisputed Boxing/MMA Gyms

Joel Rocco, owner of Undisputed Boxing/MMA Gyms


Amendment

Girls Think Tank is the nonprofit organization which operates and manages the Transitional Storage Center which was discussed in the article, “Listen, the All Star’s Game Here Next Year...” (May 28 cover story), and of which the front page photo is from, and which there is video footage of. Girls Think Tank was not mentioned in the article, nor interviewed directly. It is our hope the Reader can add to the article or amend it to attribute the Storage Center to our organization.

  • Girls Think Tank

Here a Jug, There a Jug

Re: City Lights: “Longtime Residents will Bear Water Conservation Burden

Ken Kramer on PBS did a story about a drought in San Diego about 100 years ago. There was a beautiful old oak tree somewhere in the county and it was dying for lack of water. The people got together and lugged wooden buckets of water in a horse-drawn wagon and saved it. It has since died of disease, but not for lack of water. Why can’t we do the same in our public places?

I live in Allied Gardens, and spend a lot of time at the Benjamin Library, and the park. Why can’t we all get together and bring a few jugs of water in our cars to water the trees and the brown spots on the park lawn at the Rec Center, and the trees in the center median on Waring Road?

I’m not asking anyone to lug the water there with a horse-drawn wagon. We have cars now. Surely we can do as much as they did 100 years ago. No child is too young to too young to learn civic pride and personal responsibility. If you enjoy the park, water the brown spots. If you use the Rec Center, water that. The trees along Waring are for everyone’s enjoyment.

Why can’t every school child, public and private, be asked to bring a jug of water to their school? Foster Lewis, Marvin, and St. Therese are all in the same area. Why can’t every Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop adopt a tree, or an area of public space? What about the people and kids who play Little League and soccer? Ask them to bring a gallon of water to games and practices. Ask every public employee in San Diego County to bring a gallon of water to their place of employment and water the area.

When I say ask I mean ask — no mandates from on high. Our lawn went to lawn heaven some time ago, so a few gallons of water a week won’t save it. But if hundreds and thousands of citizens bring a gallon or two to their favorite area it will make a difference. Balboa Park gets at least a million visitors every year. If everyone brought a gallon or two we could make it look like the Emerald City.

I’m going to be at the Benjamin Library in Allied Garden every Monday at 9 a.m. with a couple jugs of water. I hope I won’t be alone. Stop waiting for big government, big business, or some rich guy to solve our problems. This is doable. City Hall already blew the Centennial, so we’ve got to do this for ourselves, and the children of San Diego. If we can’t do what they did 100 years ago, our new city motto should be “Going backwards for 100 years.”

  • Valorie Matthews
  • Allied Gardens


More Harmful than Humorous

I am a born-and-raised San Diegan, and have enjoyed the Reader over the years, but it is a sad day when a supposed respected publication such as the Reader would feel the need to publish a knowingly false article, satirical or not, about a company that has worked very hard to stay both American-made and in San Diego, our hometown — one that contributes much to local and national charities to help both musical and social causes.

The busted banjo on the cover was maybe a bit much.

The busted banjo on the cover was maybe a bit much.

I just finished reading the SD on the QT article, “Mumming Mumford & Sons,” after another outlet shared it, thinking it was fact. Even comments under the article think it is a factual piece. I understand the need to have “humorous” articles, but this piece has no relation to current facts, and is more harmful than it is humorous. I am formally requesting that it be pulled immediately.

I am disappointed that you would publish a piece such as this about a worldwide brand that has built its success right here in San Diego for more than 40 years. I grew up watching my folks work hard to give the world a good product, and am proud to be helping it continue. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, and just finished off one of our best years yet. You can find out more facts about what we are doing at deeringbanjos.com.

Janet and Greg Deering were just in Washington, D.C., volunteering their time with NAMM to get support for music programs in school back in the U.S. How about reporting on that instead?

I oversee PR and Artist Relations at Deering Banjos and none of the Deering staff mentioned work there, or are related to us. The ad was not created, nor ever used by us.

Winston Marshall is still playing and enjoying his banjos. We were actually asked by Mumford & Sons to join them this summer at their Gentlemen of the Road stopovers, giving free banjo lessons to those that attend, and we are looking forward to being there.

I can give you some great items to report on of exciting things that are happening and coming up if, in fact, the Reader would like to support community causes such as our 40th Anniversary Benefit concert on July 18 aboard the Star of India. Proceeds will go to San Diego Music in the Schools programs working with the San Diego Music Foundation.

I would like to respect the Reader again. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing the article pulled from the site immediately.

  • Jamie Deering
  • VP Public Service and Outreach
  • Deering Banjo Company


No One Does It Better

Ian Anderson’s article about Studio Diner was spot on. When we plan to take any guests for almost any meal, Studio is the first to come to mind.

Studio Diner: Clean, hospitable, and not as kitschy as you’d think

Studio Diner: Clean, hospitable, and not as kitschy as you’d think

The homage to service members is throughout the diner. The manager was/is a Marine. I wear my Marine memories when we go. There are almost always a few Marines, sailors, Army and, on occasion, Air Force active and/or those who served.

I personally think the fish and chips is the best around this big restaurant-focused town. No one does it better.

Thanks, Mr. Segal; you done good!

  • Olin Thompson
  • Clairemont


Trash Talk

I’m reading the letters from the May 14 issue, and there’s a woman in here, Nancy Cuskaden from Tijuana, Mexico, ranting and raving about the radiation that she has been suffering with for 30 years because of the plant at San Onofre (“Please, Go Outside”). She rants and raves about the “white trash” Southern California politicians.

Hey, Nancy, I’ve got news for you. California has been ruled by brown trash for years and years. With the exception of one person, the entire California legislature is comprised of Mexicans like you. So, if you’re going to rant and rave about what goes on in my state, don’t refer to people like me as white trash. You’d better talk to the people like you, the brown trash — they’re the ones who are making the rules and the laws in this country. And, I agree, they’ve destroyed California.

People like me — the white trashers — are in the minority. You crack me up. Give me a break, sweetie. Our politicians are not white trash; they’re brown trash. Get over it.

By the way, I really get a kick out of your magazine.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Murderers at Heart

It’s almost incredible that letter after letter defends pit bulls. Enormous evidence exists that proves that pit bulls are the most dangerous of all attack dogs; that pit bulls target young children and infants. Even when shot, these dogs continue to attack. Documentation exists, proving the numerous atrocities and butcheries attributed to these dogs.

I, myself, have treated victims of these dogs. Arms torn off, lacerated throats, faces torn to shreds, and, inevitably, autopsies of those butchered by pit bulls.

We have in our midst many neurotic and psychotic persons who deny reality and live in egotistic cocoons that seal them off from human compassion. They make the case for carrying a concealed handgun. Pit bulls are dangerous, but the owners of these dogs are indeed murderers at heart.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Our Fault, Not Theirs

Bill Manson’s April 23 cover (“You Love Me Now, but Will You When I’m Four?”) describes the very problem we face in trying to find compassionate solutions for pit bulls. We see this issue in urban areas all across the country, as well as here in our own county.

Pit bulls have been loyal and intelligent companions to us for decades. By raising them to fight other dogs, guard our backyards, or wear chains around their necks, we have taken a strong, athletic, and loyal companion and made them into a stereotype. That’s our fault, not theirs.

Every human or animal injury from a dog is a tragedy which should be prevented at all costs. But the fact of the matter is that these injuries are so often more the fault of undersocialization or lack of training than they are about the inherent aggression of the dog. That’s where education and training comes in.

For this very reason, our Behavior Center at San Diego Humane Society provides individualized training and behavior modification for animals who demonstrate shy, fearful or aggressive behaviors so we can help put them on the path to adoption. With a little training, patience and guidance, these animals can be given the second chance they deserve.

As an animal welfare organization, our mission and responsibility is to give every animal a chance, regardless of breed. But this absolutely necessitates that our animals are safe in their new homes and, equally, that those who adopt are safe as well. Every single pit bull we send home must be an ambassador for the breed, and our Behavior Center helps us ensure this happens.

The Principal Reforms that Mr. Manson suggests in this article only perpetuate the problem. A pit bull is not the right dog for every family. Far from it. No dog is the right dog for everyone. But creating hurdles for pet owners who know and love this breed is not the answer. And breed specific legislation to ban these dogs is the worst sort of hurdle, one that does not work anywhere it’s been instituted. All animals are individuals, with their own experiences and history.

At San Diego Humane Society, we work diligently to address pit bull homelessness by adopting out healthy and behaviorally sound dogs to the best-matched, capable families, by educating the public, and by making sure that tools are available to allow each and every pet owner to spay/neuter his or her pet. It’s the only humane solution.

I have a pit bull who I adopted at an animal shelter and she’s the sweetest, most loving and affectionate creature on Earth. For her to be judged by her breed and not welcome at dog beaches —her absolute favorite place — as Mr. Manson’s article suggests, would be a tragedy.

However, for her or her owner to be welcome at that dog beach, both must be ambassadors. Both the human and the dog. We’re all very sorry to hear about tragedies like those that befell the article’s pet owners and caregivers, including the author himself. In nearly every situation, however, it is the other end of the leash in which the problem lies.

The solution to the pit bull dilemma is a community responsibility and one that’s entirely under our control as responsible and intelligent animal owners. We must ensure we are taking absolute care of those who look to us for protection — not just some, but every single one.

  • Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
  • President and CEO San Diego Humane Society

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