Dystopia, reviewed

From those who want to help to those who are disgusted by it

Rachel wouldn’t let me see inside the motel room she occupies with her nine children, but I smelled the diapers.
  • Rachel wouldn’t let me see inside the motel room she occupies with her nine children, but I smelled the diapers.
  • Image by Andy Boyd

They Disgust Me

Re: “A Dystopia of Sorts,” February 23 cover story

I just wonder why Rachel and her husband thought it would be a good idea to have nine kids. I know of very few families who can support three or four children, let alone nine children — especially when the husband is at risk of deportation.

The only people who really truly suffer are the kids, because they’re already starting life out way behind the eight ball. It really saddens me. I hope nothing but the best for the kids. As for Rachel and her husband, they pretty much disgust me.

  • Erik
  • via voicemail

The Gateway Inn next to the border submitted a request to the city to demolish the two-story hotel where 20 children lived.

The Gateway Inn next to the border submitted a request to the city to demolish the two-story hotel where 20 children lived.

Philanthropy at Work

I’m trying to get contact information for the subject of your cover story (“A Dystopia of Sorts”), Veronica Medina, at the San Ysidro School District. I want to get ahold of her because I want to donate money to this family.

It’s unbelievable that I have to make so many phone calls to get ahold of this woman. The San Ysidro School District doesn’t pick up their phone. They have all these menus and no one ever picks up. There’s firewalls everywhere. So, I thought I’d get ahold of the author, Barbara Zaragoza, and now I’m hitting firewalls trying to get ahold of her. It’s unbelievable. I just can’t believe it.

No one involved in this article thought that no one would want to reach out to this family? You don’t have an extension or a contact number? It’s ridiculous. I don’t know how much time I have to continue to pursue this and make phone calls and try to be a philanthropist.

It’s poorly designed.

  • Richard
  • via voicemail


The author responds:

There is no crowdfunding campaign. But everyone can write to Veronica at: [email protected]. — Barbara Zaragoza

Couch-Surfing?

I’m halfway through this story by Barbara Zaragoza. I don’t move in her linguistic circles, but I just wonder, What the heck is couch-surfing? She has used that term twice.

Probably by the time I finish this story I’ll come across some other terms that don’t make sense to me, but right now it’s couch-surfing.

  • Name withheld
  • via voicemail

Couch-surfing: the practice of sleeping overnight in the houses of friends or fellow members of a social network, esp as an alternative to staying in hotels, hostels, etc. — Collins English Dictionary

Missions for Capital and Empire

The extraordinary essay on San Ysidro’s schools serving a student population that is 29% homeless (“A Dystopia of Sorts”), should buttress the thesis that U.S. schools are not “public,” but have always been segregated by class and race. Those schools fundamentally serve a society that looks like a pyramid, with the vast majority of people being the working class, which creates all value at or near the bottom, the many layers of protection of the top elites forming a variety of strata on the way to the narrow top.

Within this, it is easy to envision schools as missions for capital and empire. Any society writhing in color-coded, yet booming, inequality and promising its youth bad jobs, no jobs, or participation in perpetual war, will make peculiar demands on schools, as did Alan Bersin, noted in the same issue, with his racist “Blueprint for Education.”

In the era of Trump, really an extension of the eras of the Clintons, Bush family, and Obama, real education, distinct from segregated schooling, can only be found within a class-conscious organized movement for equality, peace, and justice.

  • Dr. Rich Gibson
  • Professor Emeritus, SDSU

Bold as Rain

First off, how is D-r-y-w pronounced? Keltz’s comment that 80 percent of the people polled, as reported on The Dan Patrick Show, would prefer the NFL on TV at home or in a bar fails to take into account that the remaining 20 percent of those stadium markets willing to attend the games is more than enough to fill a stadium.

Golden Hill, cracked: near C Street and 23rd

Golden Hill, cracked: near C Street and 23rd

On an unrelated subject, I read in the Reader where city spokesman Anthony Santacroce states that there’s been a “bold increase” in rain (“Rainy Winter Causes Streets to Crumble”). Where did he attend school? Does vet school teach that rain can be bold? What other choice does rain make? With people like Santacroce in San Diego government is it any wonder that the streets are in the shape that they’re in?

  • Greg Kowalski
  • Otay Mesa

"There are now less than 30 cats in the area.”

"There are now less than 30 cats in the area.”

from Jetty Cats–San Diego

Hope PETA Doesn’t Jump on Board

Re: “Mission Bay Jetty Cats Included in City’s Kill Program

Not only is your article inaccurate, it’s irresponsible. I personally have been feeding — and have spent a tremendous amount of money, certainly over $10,000 — fixing, neutering, spaying, and taking care of those animals.

Your article is now going across the U.S. and we have a lot of groups that are hunters, and people that are dumpers. So, now, as a result of your article, cats are being dumped there. And people that are out to harm the animals are now showing up and doing the same kind of thing.

Your article wasn’t even accurate, and it goes to show that there is so often much more to what people read in these articles. The people who you interviewed, the people who are commenting, are inappropriate. The article is horribly misleading. It’s a shame that we now have people who are out to do these animals harm as a result of your article.

You’ve brought really negative attention to the entire situation. Now we hope that PETA doesn’t jump on board, because they are interested in trying to convince the city that the best thing to do is to kill these animals. I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t think much of that approach.

This all started because of your article. I see it all over Facebook. There are millions of people who are seeing your article and it’s attracting hunters and trappers who are talking about coming down and killing these cats.

  • Jay H.
  • via voicemail

At the meeting, conversation and suggestions went long — and some people wanted answers rather than stick-ons.

At the meeting, conversation and suggestions went long — and some people wanted answers rather than stick-ons.

Trolley Confusion

Re: “Balboa Avenue Trolley-Stop Talk

How’s this for public sector confusion? The trolley blue line between downtown and the border is now the UC San Diego Blue Line. The university is some 13 miles from the nearest station at America Plaza.

The green line Old Town station is now the Old Town UC San Diego Health South Station. The UCSD Medical Center is more than three miles east and a 20-minute bus ride away. Money trumps all.

  • Jon Shimizu
  • North Park

Burned

The injury numbers in the article, “Butane Supplier Linked to Hash-Oil Industry,” are seriously underreported and wrong.

Not your standard butane cans — "super refined" may have tipped off investigators

Not your standard butane cans — "super refined" may have tipped off investigators

from butanesource.com

On August 1, 2014, the Sacramento Bee reported: “The Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California has treated at least 68 burn victims due to butane fires since 2011, said Dr. David Greenhalgh, chief of burns. Greenhalgh, who referred to hash oil burns as ‘an epidemic,’ will present his study on the topic to the International Society for Burn Injuries in October to raise awareness about the issue. The average child treated for a butane fire injury has burns on 28 percent of the body, according to the study.”

  • Scott Chipman
  • Pacific Beach

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