Dec. 16 2015 12:35 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

THE HOMELESS CYCLE

I just read [“Homeless stats get worse,” Dec. 2] about the issue of homelessness in San Diego. I, too, have personally seen the overwhelming amount of homeless individuals scattered throughout the city, continuously walked over, walked around and ignored by our more fortunate members of the community. Over the past year or so, I’ve grown more uneasy about these conditions, especially when seeing the long string of houses made up solely of cardboard and dirty blankets.

We as a society are looking at an epidemic that has gone consistently overlooked by city officials and public figures. And let’s not forget about the police, who are more than willing to drive out anybody homeless if they so much as even sneeze near a public facility, much less take a nap. I recall you mentioning an organization, whose name I could recall if only I had a copy of the most recent CityBeat next to me. But, nevertheless, I appreciate that there is at least one community council making a genuine effort to decrease the severity of those who are underprivileged and out of options.

I hear all the time that if the homeless want to eat, there are plenty of shelters out there that are able to provide them food and a place to sleep if needed. But does that really help solve the problem? Or does it just tide them over until the next day, where they will resume being harassed by law enforcement, judged by onlookers and once again dismissed by modern society?

Quintin Cummins, Clairemont


MCMANSION REBUTTAL

Regarding Avalee Cohen’s letter in the Nov. 25 issue:

On one hand your poly-sci professor would probably have been proud of you taking the time to write your extend screed on Airbnb-like rentals but your J-school prof would have been horrified (I hope) at your lack of factual references and avowals. First off, no one at the “city” would have told you the zoning is R-lA. That designation died out before most of the current staff finished high school, and the “old-timers” know better. It is RS-l-7. That means that on your typical Bird Rock lot of either five- or six-thousand square feet, that the built area limit of living area is 0.6 times the lot area or smaller. So, we get somewhere between 3,000 and 3,600 square feet as a limit on how big a house could be on those very typical-sized lots. Not the “five, six, seven or up to 10,000 square feet” as claimed. So two salient “facts” are actually not factual. True, the zoning designation error is not a deal killer regarding the letter’s concluding premise of a take-over of the area by over-large, new houses that operators will use solely as vacation rentals, but the gross exaggeration of the potential size of houses certainly does skew the argument and its potential to create misinformation regarding the issue. As a further note, who would pay upwards of $2.5 million for a four- or five-bedroom house to then rent out as a vacation rental? My guess is that virtually none of the “McMansions” were bought with that intent.

Dan Linn, La Jolla


MORE ON GUN CHECKS

This letter is in response to your “Gun checks, please” editorial of Oct 21. I agree that “background checks” should be implemented on a national level. However, I would like to take this opportunity to address a more general problem related to decision making in the U.S. We need to collect accurate data and objectively analyze and disseminate it when it comes to addressing such issues.

Instead of examining facts, our representatives seem to focus on their opinions and/or use questionable statistics that back their opinions. The U.S. cannot move forward if we cannot make decisions based upon accurate data. We cannot implement meaningful legislation and policies.

Lastly, one of the most outrageous decisions that I can recall was the legislation proposed and implemented by Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) in 1996 to suppress the gathering of data related to shootings. This, in my opinion, is the same as suppressing free speech. A lot has been said about the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms)—how about the First Amendment (the right to free speech)?

Ronald Harris, Scripps Ranch

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