Down to the letter

What the Hell is IPA?

You have a story by Dominic Carrillo in your June 4 issue, “Craft Beer’s Eastern Front,” where he talks about visiting some bars in Warsaw and Sofia. The thing is, he uses the same abbreviation — IPA — three or four times. The first time he uses it he says he sits down at “the permanently IPA-scented wooden bar.” What in the hell is IPA? He never explains it!

I guess if I was a boozer and a beer drinker, I would understand it. But I don’t! Why can’t he define his abbreviations? What the hell is IPA? He uses the abbreviation multiple times.

I’m not that keen on beer drinking because I knew quite a few people whose lives were ruined by spending evenings in the bars boozing it up, and most of them didn’t live very long. They died maybe around the age of 60, give or take a few years. So, I’m not that keen on beer.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

IPA stands for India Pale Ale, a beer with strong hops characteristics and higher alcohol content. — Editor

Lives at Stake

On September 22, Omar Gonzalez scaled the White House fence and ran across the lawn. He bowled over the Secret Service agent at the door and began to run up the stairs. Fortunately, the President and his family were gone. Why was Mr. Gonzalez able to bowl over an agent who should have stopped him? Because it was a female agent who apparently did not meet the standards that male agents must meet. For most physical standards, what’s considered “excellent” for female agents is considered either “poor” or “very poor” for male agents.

Now we learn that San Diego lifeguards may lower their standards in order to increase the number of minority and female lifeguards. The purpose of lifeguards is to save lives, not to “increase ethnicity and gender diversity,” which the fire chief said is his goal. People’s lives are at stake.

  • Richard Robertson
  • Navajo

Bucket Brigade Rebuttal

Valorie Matthews meant well with her idea of the bucket-of-water brigade to save our parks and library landscaping (Letters, June 4). But here’s why it can’t work.

Where will the buckets of water come from? Our tap? The local Vons? The water would still be drawn from San Diego. Her idea would only work if she used rainwater or grey water. I hope that’s what she’s using.

Our family has been bucket watering with grey water from our dishwashing for about six months. The containers are back breaking. We must take extra care not to slip and fall. The project has definitely been tedious. Small children, older, or frail people could not, or should not do this.

How will the city pay when the citizens en masse start to sue the city for herniated disks, slips, and falls all due to carrying the water?

How will the water be distributed evenly throughout the parks? What if everyone takes a liking to one or two trees and abandons the grasses and the trees nearby?

It looks like we have to use the tried-and-true methods: desertizing, landscaping, and simply conserving water.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Down to the Letter

I was just reading your June 4 issue and had to laugh because, this morning our conversation was exactly what was in the letter titled “Can’t Read It”!

My husband was trying to read your magazine this morning and he said, “The print is getting smaller and smaller and smaller!” He couldn’t read it, so he took out his magnifying glass. Then, finally he gave up.

I had to laugh, because it sounded exactly like that letter. We’d appreciate it if you could have larger type or darker type, because older ones have trouble reading that small print.

  • Betty
  • via voicemail

Circulation Issues

I’m calling from Tijuana, Mexico. We’re wondering down here why we don’t have a San Diego newspaper. First it was an accident. That was a month ago. Then they were having trouble with documentation. Then finally we read in your paper that the U-T’s been sold.

I’ve lived here over 30 years and the paper’s been sold two or three times, and we’ve never had a disruption in circulation. Is this some kind of domestic terrorism or just plain control?

Thank you for being there.

  • Nancy Cuskaden
  • Tijuana

It’s Not about Cleaning up Downtown

I was extremely disappointed with the tone and condescension shown towards San Diego’s homeless community in last week’s cover story on East Village. From the title of the article to describing efforts to “drive the bulk of the homeless out of downtown” to the caricature of a “destitute gentleman and his anxious march to the liquor store,” the author paints a dehumanizing and faceless picture of our city’s homeless.

These are men and women who may pose challenges for neighborhoods, but they are also human beings with hopes, dreams, and families.

I appreciated your inclusion of Councilmember Todd Gloria’s views and constructive approaches to addressing this citywide issue. However, did the author even consider speaking with any homeless residents for this article? Besides just tossing a homeless man a quarter “because it’s too depressing not to,” did he think to include the voice of the homeless community about their future? Instead of having an inclusive and genuine conversation about this matter, we get a quote from a comedian from L.A.

This city needs to do some soul-searching on the very complex, challenging, and serious issue of homelessness. This is not about “cleaning up” downtown so we can host the All-Star game, it’s about making this city a place of opportunity for all residents, no matter their background, income, or housing status. It’s time for a more compassionate conversation about this issue than the one the Reader has provided here.

  • Brett Schwartz
  • Little Italy

In Need of Spanking

San Diego is the most corrupt city in the country. Can it get any worse? There’s so much corruption here, and nobody gets spanked for it.

I mean, look at your magazine. You guys don’t get spanked for anything you do. You miss pages — yet you don’t get spanked.

In your music listings it says that a band by the name of Agent Orange is playing at Brick by Brick. Uh, hello! Is anybody there? Brick by Brick doesn’t exist anymore! Is anybody paying attention to what the hell is going on over there? Why don’t you get somebody on staff who knows what is going on in this city? You guys have really lost it. Wake up, you dumb asses!

I’m moving. I was born and raised here. I hate this place. It’s corrupt to the core, and nobody’s going to do anything about it. This city sucks!

  • Alan Wise
  • via voicemail

Brick by Brick reopened in July of 2014 under new management. — Editor

Money-Grubbing Whores

I think it’s really disgusting that you guys are asking for $25 for people to submit a photo of their tattoo. I mean, are you guys just money-grubbing whores? What’s wrong with you?

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

The Reader does not charge for tattoo photos. In fact, it’s the opposite — we pay you $25 if your tattoo photo is selected as that week’s winner. — Editor

Breed Fixation

Week after week, for over a month now, the letters have been pouring in decrying the article,“You Love Me Now, but Will You When I’m Four?” (April 23). I can’t read them anymore without trying to provide some sort of balanced and sane perspective.

What these letters have in common is that they are very long, angry, contain impassioned demands, and the authors are completely biased. How is it that they can’t recognize facts and balanced reporting when they see it?

While there are many sides to a story, and gross generalizations should be avoided, the unbiased facts are as the author wrote them. Fanaticism causes a loss of perspective. People get their emotions and identities all tied up in externalities (like what brand of clothes you wear, what ridiculous luxury car you drive, or what breed of dog you have).

While I know almost nothing about dog breeds, I do recognize fanaticism when I see it. I wonder what the hell is wrong with people that they have their whole lives and sense of self wrapped up in a breed of dog, that they are so impassioned and angry by a different perspective (or facts!) that they spend an hour fuming and typing away, trying to convert the masses to their religion.

While it is unfortunate that this breed of dog has ended up where it is, whether in public opinion or behavior, there is a reason why. People in the U.S. are a strange breed of human in that they see animals as some sort of extension of themselves and get so caught up emotionally that they lose their ability to reason.

I do love animals, especially dogs, and I believe in kind and just treatment of all living things, so don’t get me wrong, but I cannot understand the fixation with this breed of dog. Is there something about it that gives people a sense of identity or makes them feel cool or tough or special? Do they need the attention? I’m quite puzzled. It’s just a dog, and it’s a breed with problems.

So, to all you hyperemotional pit bull lovers who are all worked up when someone presents a perspective that threatens your deep emotional investment, I say get a life! Put your energy to something that actually matters and makes the world a better place.

  • KB
  • North Park

Animal Life above Human Life

The Reader published my anonymous letter about pit bulls just before the letter by veterinarian Gary Weitzman. He has a large number of letters after as his name. He is also the president of a society for animals.

I am interested in the treatment and advancement of human life above all. There is a kind of fanaticism current in our society in which a growing number of people are placing animal life above human life, forwarding the thesis that human beings should be euthanized, aborted, or otherwise for the sake of the global environment, and the proliferation of animal life. In other words, back to nature — by example, bringing back wolves to Yellowstone, and other hairbrained ideas.

Mr. Weitzman is sure that his pit bull is a dear and affectionate beast, but the facts belie this. Pit bulls have been known to kill their owners for no reason. There is a cerebral mechanism set off in the pit bull that drives it to kill whomever is around. The record is indisputable. Medical histories throughout the world confirm this.

I propose that statutes be enacted forbidding the presence of pit bulls near schools and other places where children can be attacked. Pit bulls ought to be outlawed from public transportation with no exception. Pit bulls and other attack dogs are not to be permitted in markets or other stores. Service jackets ought not to be given to pit bulls or other attack dogs. Any dog that has proven dangerous to human beings is to be euthanized at once. Enormous fines and imprisonment should be imposed on any pit bull owner whose dog has attacked a person because of the owner’s negligence. Other similar statutes should be mandated by the states and localities.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Surgery Unlikely

I just wanted to thank you for the really interesting story on lobster fisherman (“99% of What We Catch We Throw Back,” April 9 cover). I do pick through the stories, although I’m very unlikely to do liposuction, or breast augmentation, or whatever. The stories that you run are often very interesting. So, thanks!

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Let Indians Build It

Re: SD on the QT: “Kume-YAY!”

Not only does the Indian reservation have a lot of land, they probably would love to have you build on it! I have a suspicion that they would pay for 50% of this.

With all the land they have, we can build a new stadium, an airport with two runways, (L.A. has multiple), and a new convention center.

The casinos can be allowed to build new hotels and resorts (80% of their own and 20% by others). This would create mass transit from San Diego to the reservation-casino. This would create a ton of jobs, and alleviate traffic congestion.

The best way to build a city and bring more money to a city is from out of the area, from individuals flying into San Diego for gambling and visiting.

The casino-reservation would put up 50% of the money for this project — not the citizens! With 50% of the money put up by the reservation, we can afford tickets and food at the game!

  • Andrew McCollay
  • via email

Female Defenders

I would like to comment on all the letters you’ve published concerning pit bulls and other mean and vicious breeds. You have all these angry letters from people defending pit bulls and “how dare you say anything against pit bulls and other dogs” — what they call “bully breeds.” I’ve noticed that every single letter was from a woman!

Personally, I don’t have any use for vicious dogs, but these people who are fanatical defenders of these “bully breeds” really get riled up with you! The strange thing is that they’re all women. There might be one or two where it’s not certain, but for the most part, their defenders are women — at least the people who bother to write you letters.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Solve Real Problems

Regarding this article and its author, I’m sickened and disheartened. I have a rescue now, and had five pits growing up, all of which made it to old age and never had any behavioral problems.

There are many misleading and flat-out made up statistics about this loving breed to incite fear and hatred. For instance, the so-called lock jaw that doesn’t exist. They also don’t have the greatest bite force, and don’t top the list of dogs with poor demeanor. Use your publication to solve real problems, like putting an end to the people that are abusing these and other animals.

  • Name Withheld
  • Woodland Hills

Dog Park Petition

I’m calling to complain about “You Love Me Now, but Will You When I’m Four?” (April 23 cover). This article is definitely not objective. It’s very biased.

I have to let you know that I’ll probably raise awareness about this issue on Facebook, and I will definitely talk to everyone who has ever paid you guys to have an ad in your magazine. I bet a lot of those people own pit bulls, and they’re not going to be happy about this article that you published.

Get your facts straight. There is no such thing as jaw lock. Whoever your fact manager is should be fired, because a lot of these things are not right. I’m disappointed with the article. I’m a big fan of your magazine, but this is making me change my mind.

I already contacted all my friends and my family members about this, and I won’t stop. It would be nice for you guys to publish a letter of apology to all the pit bull owners. I’m going to go to the dog park where I go and I’m going to have them sign a petition to get you guys to apologize to all the San Diego citizens who own pit bulls as loving members of their family.

This is an insult to everyone who owns a pit bull in San Diego. We already deal with breed restrictions in certain places. We already get dirty looks from people. I already got threatened by one of my neighbors to shoot my dog, and I’ve never even met the guy. It’s all because people have biased opinions about this breed without even interacting with them.

I’m very disappointed with the article, and I hope it gets taken down.

  • Rena Vega
  • via voicemail

Dogs Are Canines

Why do people write letters to you and then refuse to sign their names?

One more thought about dog breeding, pets, and pit bulls. These pets can be loyal and loving, if raised with love. However, why would one want a dog that has been bred to lock jaws on its prey? Dogs are canines, descended from the wolf. Why do we insist on hunting and destroying wild canines, such as coyotes and wolves, and then breed and sell their cousins as “pets”?

Let’s learn to appreciate and respect wild nature, and move beyond the need to dominate, diminish, and control everything.

  • Helen Bourne
  • Encinitas

Sweet and Timid in Their Old Age

It is unfortunate that people like Bill Manson are allowed to spread such hate about pit bulls. I do not appreciate the fear tactics he uses to attempt to make pit bulls look like evil monsters.

I’ve raised pit bulls for over ten years. As with any other animal, it’s all in how they’re raised. A pit bull does not have any worse temperament than a golden retriever, a poodle, or a German shepherd. The people we should be fearful of and angry at are those that fight, abuse, neglect, or backyard breed these amazingly loyal creatures.

The best pit bulls, in my opinion, are those that are older. They are so timid and sweet in their old age. This article should be retracted because it does nothing but spread hateful lies and inappropriate fear tactics.

  • Amber Hernandez
  • San Francisco Bay Area

Offensive to Truth

While reading the article, “You Love Me Now, but Will You When I’m Four?”(April 23 cover) by Bill Manson, I wondered, Do newspapers these days just serve as a sounding board for writers to express their own personal frustrations?

The article was completely biased from beginning to end. Not only did the piece open with statistics from an anti-pitbull website, but it also started with the vivid description of a pit bull- type dog killing a cat, which from the sound of it, the author was not even present for.

Did the author really show the other side of the story? Did he expose the chronic abuse, neglect, and murder that these dogs undergo across our country every day? Did the article for one second stop to think that maybe it is the people that continue to overbreed, abuse, abandon, and neglect these dogs that should be brought to justice?

Blindly supporting breed specific legislation is ignoring a systemic issue within our society to torture and discard lives. People who abuse animals are more likely to abuse and even murder other people. This is the problem.

Please do not publish such one-sided and society-infectious blabber and label it journalism. It is offensive to actual truth everywhere.

  • Alison Von Striver
  • Sacramento, California

AKA Mutts

Your article is very biased towards pit bulls and any other bully breed. It doesn’t mention other dog breeds that also attack at the beach. Maybe if they had a piece of the article where a pit owner can show what it’s like to actually own one instead of assuming that they are all vicious killers.

It’s the owners fault in how they raise their dog. A dog is never born vicious or ready to kill. And I bet half of these bite records aren’t even pit bulls. They are probably bully breeds, aka mutts. It is very disrespectful to the pit bull and bully breed community for us to constantly read articles about bully breed dogs and how they only attack. How about writing a positive article, not just predicting what it’s like to own one and how horrible it is? They are amazing, smart, and loving, just like any other breed.

  • Melisa Jackson
  • Chula Vista


Mr. Manson, I was saddened to read your story, “You Love Me Now, but Will You When I’m Four?” (April 23 cover) and hear about the tragic experience you encountered with your cat and a pit bull.

However, I am even more saddened that you chose to perpetuate a chronic problem within our society as it pertains to this “breed” of dog.

From the humans who overbreed and mistreat pit bulls, to irresponsible owners, to the media frenzy created by articles such as this, pit bills have been mischaracterized and systemically discriminated against.

Perhaps it is as simple as a debate over nature vs. nurture. But with statements like “Pit bulls are fighting dogs. It’s in their genes,” it’s clear which position this article takes. Unfortunately, the article lacks scientific evidence to back this up. Only the accounts of dog bite victims. And so the mischaracterization continues, and dogs that look like pit bills will continue to be discriminated against.

  • Amit Patel
  • Charlotte, NC

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Dearest Nancy Cuskaden from Tijuana:

U.S. publications don't distribute here in Tijuana. Remember the old days when you could wake up on a Saturday morning and find a stand and get a copy of the Union-Tribune for maybe a quarter more than what you had to shovel into a machine in San Ysidro before you got into the trolley with a cup of java before work on the weekdays? That was swell, but it wasn't legal. Like yourself, I sure miss those days. Sadly, they're over.

It isn't terrorism, although it's about the same thing, isn't it? We just want to read the news, dammit! Here's the thing: Back in the day, a couple of people would go over the border early in the morning and put some change into one or two or three of those machines, slake a bunch of freshly-printed newspapers out, and bring them here. Not anymore.

I can't tell you empirically that this happens now (only that my expat pals share in your frustrations), but I strongly suspect that the Mexican Aduanas (Customs Officials) have put a stop to it. I mean, I remember the days when we could bring anything into this lovely Country, but now it appears that they are serious about checking out our baggage. I'm no expert, but I suspect it has more to do with money that with terrorism.

For example, I have what I call a 'hobo-cart' (not to be offensive toward hobos, but these things come in very handy), and I can load that sucker up with groceries from Food 4 Less and have no issues. But hell, I get the special-buy on two cartons of cigs from Duty-Free on the way in, and they go nuts. Seriously. Even though I had my gal with me, they demanded that we had to have separate receipts for the cartons. There were even Mexican Marines with big giant guns to ensure our compliance.

I imagine this is our future here, Nancy. Sucks to be us, but we do enjoy the great food, the awesome beer, and a sense of liberty within this Big Metal Fence that most of our pals outside of here can't comprehend. And, we have the internets, which is likely the future of paper-print (which I will passionately miss), so it's not all bad. Unless you live in the hotel I have lived at for the past couple of years, in which case, we're screwed. But you're not alone, we ALL notice this here. The times, they are-a-changing.

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