Trucks benefit all
No, Councilmember Lorie Zapf, the San Diego City Council cannot enact laws to protect restaurants from the competition of food trucks ["News," Feb. 19]. All of San Diego's entrepreneurs have the constitutional right to earn an honest living, free from anti-competitive laws. Plus, state law clearly allows cities to regulate food trucks only to protect the public's health and safety— not to protect restaurants from competition. The proposed ban on operation within the Gaslamp District will be struck down because trucks there pose no demonstrable threat to the public's health and safety.
In fact, food trucks promote safety—they serve as eyes on the street, helping keep the streets safe. They also increase foot traffic—for restaurants, too!—and provide a new way for restaurants to market and expand, activate underused spaces, create jobs and contribute to city coffers— and the local culinary scene.
A vibrant food-truck scene benefits everyone, including restaurants. We want San Diego to enjoy all of these benefits. City Council, your job is to serve all of San Diego's residents—not just a few vocal, politically connected restaurateurs. Let these food trucks do what they're best at: serving San Diego's residents, one "lobster-grilled-cheese sandwich or chipotle-eggplant taco" at a time.
Christina Walsh, Institute for Justice Arlington, Va.
The left in disarray
The local political left is in disarray, in need of someone to lead it from the darkness to the light. It's not foolish to worry that San Diego might soon have a rightist City Council to match its mayor; to notice that disarray is the cause for that glum projection.
Your brave vision in the May 30, 2012, edition has come to naught. Your sub-headline that San Diego's progressive movement planned to regain stature and influence was a failed prediction. Colin Parent's remark that "the demographics and momentum means we're going to have a progressive San Diego in the near future" couldn't have been farther wrong. On Feb. 11, we didn't elect a clean, upright, honest progressive as mayor.
You've been a voice for progressivism and its goals. Now there's an opportunity to do something good for them both, a chance to bring unifying leadership to the chaos that is progressivism in San Diego. We don't have a lot of time to waste. I urge you to recognize that no one else will take the job and that you have move smartly.
Jim Varnadore, City Heights
Oh, you were serious!
Passing through San Diego recently, I saw your review of local band demos [Feb. 26]. I first thought, Oh, right, hipster irony. Ten pages later, I realized you were serious. Granted, every music critic's dream is to review something that's so new, so hip, that only they know about it. But doesn't the dream lose its luster when you beg some band, any band, to send you stuff that's not actually available? And do real critics worry about the production quality of a bar band's demo?
Eric Jensen, St. Paul, Minn.