Letters to the editor – August 2016

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Featured, Letters to the editor, Opinion | No Comments

New park has no local focus

I can honestly say that I’m a bit disappointed by the long-awaited opening of the new public park fronting Horton Plaza Downtown.

Not that it isn’t aesthetic and utilitarian … and don’t get me wrong, as a coffee lover, I really like Starbucks; but there’s a Starbucks on virtually every block already — everywhere.

I especially like the way that the new green build at the airport and the continuing commercialization of Petco Park have focused on promoting local companies — the Phil’s barbecues and Stone Breweries of the world — businesses that are quintessentially, San Diego.

Couldn’t Horton Plaza Park have picked a nice local mom-and-pop coffee shop to feature, rather than going with the international corporate giant?

Wouldn’t that have promoted “San Diego” better — and more honestly?

They didn’t do that at Horton and I wonder why, though I think I probably know the answer ($).

—Dave Schwab, via email

Questioning solutions

[Ref: Guest Editorial: Solving the cycle of homelessness,” Vol. 17, Issue 7, or online at]

While most of what you say is true, we have overlooked the solution staring us right in the (faith). The number of churches, church properties, and people willing to help. We could end homelessness basically right now. Lets ask the churches to do something besides pass the collection plate.

—K. Awrey, via

I agree with 95 percent of what Deacon Jim Vargas, CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, had to say, except for a few parts of his visions.

To make begging no longer occur, the poor would need to have somewhat more money than currently, whether that be by employment, collecting discarded cans, or increases in SSI and general relief money. Many cannot even afford a bus ticket to go see a doctor.

The statement that short-term solutions do not help is very true and fundamental, but there have been no successful long-term solutions the past 80 years, nor the will to pay for housing for those who need it.

And, the institutionalization of the homeless, such as at Father Joe’s, has had a negative effect on most, to the point that it is unwanted by homeless people. Many think that it’s worse than the sidewalk. I am not seeing anything new from any service provider, including Father Joe’s Villages, that has not failed repeatedly in the past, so let’s see some new solutions that have never been tried before.

I have suggested house-sitter positions for the homeless, tiny houses, rural camps, military billeting on base of homeless veterans, housing on barges in the harbor, campgrounds and even hotels in Tijuana.

Closing the tent shelters resulted in the massive numbers of homeless currently on the sidewalk and getting rid of the toilets resulted in lots of sidewalk stink and the costs of cleaning it up.

Eliminating the trash bins resulted in lots of street trash. Having insufficient storage space for possessions resulted in having a lot of belongings everywhere.

Is all this making sense to everyone? I want to propose that the Alpha Project run Father Joe’s Villages in San Diego.

—Dr. John Kitchin, Publisher, San Diego Homeless News, via email

Comments on the coliseum

[Ref: The coliseum: a local boxing landmark, Vol. 16, Issue 12 or online at]

Not sure on the “closing” date. I went to a wrestling card there in the summer of 1979. Maybe the last boxing match was in ’74?

—Pete Nowell, via our website

Great article, it brought back some great memories. The Coliseum was also the place to watch great wrestling matches that included the greats of the 50s and 60s.

Names like Gorgeous George, Bo Bo Brazil, Freddie Blassie, Mr. Moto, Mil Mascaras, The Destroyer, ex-San Diego Charger Ernie Ladd, and the tag team with a combined weight of 750 pounds the Haystack Calhoun Brothers.

I even had a birthday party with my friends and family for the packed wrestling matches.

I remember when the Coliseum closed it brought more than a few tears to my eyes. I have walked and driven past the building many times since and the ticket window cut outs are still visible near the entrance.

—Steve Krasner, via our website

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