For Christs sake, CityBeat, do not die! Decent news is hard to come by, what with Papa Doug and his reactionary newspaper. If it werent for KPBS, under the steady hand of the best journalist on the West Coast, Mark Sauer, wed have no idea what is going on here in the land of fruits and nuts.
Keith Taylor, Chula Vista
Something so small
It seems strange / How we used to wait for letters to arrive / But whats stranger still / Is how something so small can keep you alive —Arcade Fire, We Used to Wait
Thank you to Dave Maass for including an update on the new rule limiting incoming mail to San Diego jail inmates in his Aug. 29 Bonus News column. This may seem like a small bit of news to the free people of the world, but for our local jail inmates, and for those of us with loved ones in jail, this is a huge, heartbreaking change in policy.
Recently, I visited my brother at the San Diego Central Jail. He was eager for information on the mail ban, and I was able to send him Maass piece via the Email an Inmate system. He will be encouraged to learn that similar postcard policies have been defeated in other counties, and Im sure he will write the local chapter of the ACLU to request their legal assistance in challenging the ban.
My brother has been incarcerated for about 16 months now. Theres not a lot that I can do for him, but he does ask me to send letters—the longer the better, so as to pass the time. I wish that I would have written more often while I had the chance. He specifically asks for song lyrics. A year-and-a-half without music and you start to forget the words to your favorite songs.
No longer will I be able to send long lines of lyrics, news articles clipped from the local paper or big colorful drawings by my nephews and nieces. I can only send email messages consisting of 34 lines or fewer (which are sent through a somewhat cumbersome web form) or postcards. Its a ridiculous challenge to fit all of the weeks family news into these limited formats.
Inmates and their loved ones spend a great deal of time waiting in desperation for letters from each other. As strange as it may seem, in the words of Arcade Fire, something so small can keep you alive.
Rebecca Bowman, City Heights
Congratulations, CityBeat. Your 10-year issue (Aug. 22) was laugh- / swear-out-loud great! As a reader since SLAMM days, 10 thoughts of my own (no particular order):
1. Its OK for your columnists to skip an issue or two if theyre writing vacuous filler (see the Readers Barbarella).
2. Quite often, the best you can say about the non-Union-Tribs cartoon guy Steve Breens stuff is that its better than previous scratcher Mike Cavna.
3. I believe the term jangly can still apply to Roger McGuinn, Toulouse Englehardt and a few others.
4. While I enjoy their products, Stone and Green Flash brewing companies have gotten too big for their britches (West Coast IPA went from a six- to a four-pack—really?)
5. Piss-poor grammar exhibited by many of the talking heads on local news: Unfortunately this goes all the way to the national-news level, too. I havent heard so many uhs, ums and ands since Speech 101. Learn to talk good people!
6. Retro has become meaningless.
7. U-T sports columnist Nick Canepa: Retire! Please!
8. Shawn Styles: Its a surreal scene. Im tingly all over and She danced with the devil and lived! are among my fave quotes—get an ego check and maybe some jackets that actually fit.
9. KLWN (KUSI): My favorite morning comedy show. Neon teeth, blowed-up boobies, multitudes of malapropos. Priceless!
10. Donna Frye: Where are you when we need you?!
Mike Loflen, Clairemont Mesa
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