May 1 2013 09:14 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Terrible mistake

I am disappointed that CityBeat could not write a story about transgender people without messing up a person's preferred gender pronoun. CityBeat owes Lyn Gwizdak an apology.

In a photo caption accompanying the April 24 Art & Culture story, Lyn is referred to as female, "doing work that proves she's ‘contributing to society.'" I understand that mistakes happen, but specifically when you're discussing gender and trans issues, I'd hope you'd pay extra attention to pronouns. Your inability to do so underscores the need for trans awareness and sensitivity. I applaud you for your effort, but am very disappointed that such a critical aspect of Lyn's life was ignored.

Allan Acevedo, City Heights

Editor's note: It was indeed an awful mistake, and we have apologized to Lyn Gwizdak.

Mentally ill inmates

Thank you so much for the articles ["60 Dead Inmates," March 27 and April 3] on the torture that psychiatric patients get in jail. All your readers should write to state Attorney General Kamala Harris and demand an investigation.

The problem starts when police refuse to transport schizophrenic patients to the hospital. Hospitals refuse to force-treat them. Desperate relatives or uneducated bystanders provoke them. They offend and are arrested. They are coerced into guilty pleas when they are not guilty by reason of insanity.

In the central jail, they're left untreated, subjected to sleep deprivation with 2 a.m. medical screenings and 4 a.m. breakfast, loud and violent TV all day, cold temperatures and verbal abuse. Then they decompensate, become incompetent for release at court, and are made to wait four months instead of the promised two weeks in central-jail torture, waiting for a place at state hospital.

At state hospital, they're verbally abused, overdosed and overtreated for six weeks. If 30 percent of inmates are psychiatric patients, they should be in county psychiatric care, but the Board of Supervisors has refused to give treatment to these people.

Please write to your representatives to expand a mental-health court that diverts schizophrenics from jail into forced treatment and keeps them on medical probation indefinitely.

Val Sanfilippo, Linda Vista

Nonstarting lid

I quote from John R. Lamb's April 10 Spin Cycle column about two local men who propose doing something to Balboa Park: "Both [Pauly] De Bartolo and [Howard] Blackson describe the idea's signature component—a triangular 9-acre, grassy freeway ‘lid' that spans the I-5 east of Park Boulevard coupled with a pedestrian ‘Centennial Bridge' delineating that stadiumto-Plaza-de-Panama link—as a ‘conversation starter.'" 

I looked at the site and the city budget. I remembered that I've watched the love affair between San Diego's citizens and Balboa Park since before either man was born. I recalled the many high and mighty who have tried and failed to re-mold Balboa Park to suit themselves.

The lid might be a conversation starter. I predict it's also a nonstarter.

Jim Varnadore, City Heights


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