Dec. 12 2012 08:34 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Filner's a man of action

I appreciate Bob Filner's approach ["Editorial," Nov. 14]. I tried for more than two years to get help from my representive, Duncan Hunter, and his staff to get my deceased uncle (a World War II POW who died in POW camp in the Java Sea area) his rightfully earned POW medal and a Purple Heart.

I was introduced to a staff member for Congressman Filner. He invited me to the local office in Chula Vista. A very nice young lady reviewed my substantiating documents and helped me fill out some further paperwork. Congressman Filner took my case for action, and in six months our family was receiving my uncle's earned medals for World War II, including a POW and a Purple Heart. He was also behind the National Cemetery at Miramar.

Bob is a supporter of the common man. I feel he will be a similar person as San Diego mayor.

Howard Gillins, San Carlos

Freedom Rider rides again

About your Nov. 14 editorial on Bob Filner's election: In recent reportage of the mayoral election, it was frequently mentioned that Filner was a Freedom Rider. Reporters assume a tacit understanding on the part of the reader of what that means. For people old enough to have been around during the Freedom Rides, they may recall the shocking photographs of John Lewis and Jim Zwerg beaten within an inch of death and the Greyhound bus in flames. There was the tardy response from the Justice Department and the president's reluctance to get involved, fearing a distraction from his Cold War agenda.

But younger readers often have only a vague idea of what happened. They confuse the events with the Montgomery bus boycott, an essentially peaceful event. They think Martin Luther King was the instigator or that the participants were all a bunch of white people from up north.

The real story is much richer and may shed light on the character and behavior of our new mayor. What distinguished the Freedom Rides from other direct actions of the Civil Rights movement was the impatience, if you will, that they brought to the task. The organizers and participants possessed not only amazing courage in the face of pathological hatred, but also organizational intelligence that many of them went on to use in their later lives, as Congress members, for instance. The New York Times at the time praised their courage but called their action "provocative" and advised them to halt and go home.

Here in San Diego, we are mellow. We don't do "provocative," although pathological behavior, in the form of throwing a rock at the home of a prominent labor leader, seems to get a pass. I, for one, am glad that Filner, at 70, when he certainly deserved a rest, did not go home.

In 1962, when I was a 16-year-old Unitarian member of Non-violent Action Group in Washington D.C., I joined other students, mostly from Howard University, on a brief excursion up Route 40 in Maryland to get a cup of coffee at the then-segragated Howard Johnson's. We sang all the way there and all the way back. I can still hear us. My advice to Bob? Start every staff meeting with a song.

Laurie Macrae, Golden Hill

Excellent Kreep story

I'm a visitor in town from Vancouver. B.C. I happened to pick up CityBeat and read your article on Gary Kreep [Cover story, Nov. 14]. I would just like to commend you on your article. It was a fantastic read— well-researched and provided a real insight to an outsider into the behind-the-scenes politics in your great country. Excellent.

Andrew Sixsmith, Vancouver


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28