I am responding to the letter written by TC Waymire from University Heights in your June 17 edition. It was a letter trashing Todd Gloria, and my response is in agreement and disagreement.
Waymire points out that Gloria spends way to much time posing for pictures and grabbing every microphone he can. Where I come from, we call them media whores. I agree—in my opinion, Gloria is professional media whore, and, unlike his predecessor Toni Atkins, Gloria really has his own interests at heart, rather than the interests of District 3. However, I disagree in Waymire's advocating that Gloria speak out for private trash pickup. In my view, privatizing government services is a ploy for right-wing conservatives and their friends to get rich off the public's back. I believe that government should do certain services, like deliver the mail, fix traffic lights, print passports and run a crappy DMV. In a city of this size, collecting trash belongs on that list. I am not really interested in attacking Gloria on his pay or pension benefits, but I agree: There are probably other areas where we can save money, and Gloria has no clue of what that could be.
The problem with San Diego is that the people here don't like paying taxes. I advocate that homeowners, like myself, pay an $8- to $10-a-month fee to have their trash removed, rather than having the city give me, and other homeowners, a free handout. I have grown rather tired of people bitching about the city and its finances but are not willing to pay taxes to run the darn thing. True, the city's pension debacle sucks, and our leaders are crappy at handling our money. But San Diegans are so cheap when it comes to paying taxes, and they are the first to bitch when the roads go unmaintained. Garbage collection is not free, and homeowners should pay for it. Outsourcing the trash collection will only make some Republican rich. And that, in my mind, is not acceptable.
It's also my opinion that San Diego is becoming Los Angelized because the people here are too cheap to pay the price it takes to maintain a beautiful city.
Again, Gloria is not the best council person District 3 has come across, However, like Obama, Gloria has been handed a big bag of poop from past administrations. And, like Obama, I am not pleased about most decisions that he is making. But, then again, San Diegans need to step up to the plate if they want longer library hours, better police protection and open, clean and safe public swimming pools.
Mike Petrogeorge, North Park
The moral path
About D.A. Kolodenko's column on Venezuela's ban on Coke Zero [“Presently Tense,” June 17]: Interesting that you picked up on the aspartame angle in the Coke ban. My wife, an M.D. with a master's in environmental toxicology, had noticed a very high correlation between diet sodas and health problems in her patients. She spent about 70 hours on a research project on the subject. What she learned (in a layman's condensed version) is that, originally, the FDA wouldn't approve aspartame due to studies linking it with tumors and brain damage (it breaks down into wood alcohol and formaldehyde).
So, the JD Searle Co. hired Donald Rumsfeld, who convinced President Reagan to fire the head of the FDA and put in Rumsfeld's guy. They paid for a bunch of scientifically shoddy “studies” showing it's safe and resubmitted. The FDA scientists rejected it again, but Rumsfeld's guy overruled the scientists and approved it. Rumsfeld cashed in his stock options and made millions of dollars.
Many other countries have bans and/or restrictions. It is also strongly linked with weight gain and diabetes.
Michael Maas, Fallbrook
Perhaps I shouldn't, but I find myself taking issue with Jayne Battle's comment in your “Food chain” article [“Food Issue,” April 15], in which she says about Crescent Heights, “They also have an incredible happy hour and, as far as I know, haven't fallen victim to advertising in the two-for-one coupon magazines, which, in my opinion are the Achilles heel to what could be a world-class food city.”
Well, I am one of those working-class fools, holding down two jobs, with nary a day off, but who anxiously awaits the next opportunity to have a new dining experience in our fair city. Often times, it's those very two-for-one coupons that allow me that opportunity. I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a “foodie”; however, I do voraciously await reading each and every weekly restaurant review, the Food section on Wednesdays, numerous online subscriptions and even the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer!
Coupons for me don't diminish a restaurant's reputation or lessen the city's food status—they, in fact, allow me to glowingly recommend new places to some of my more conservative culinary friends and give me more encyclopedic knowledge of where to eat and what to buy to supplement my insatiable appetite for all things food-related. So, Jayne, even though your gastropub has never, and I'm sure will never, offer two-for-one coupons, it didn't discourage me from giving your place a try for drinks and starters—it did, however, prevent me from ordering the mouth-watering Moroccan vegetable entrée I had my eye on. Ah well, another time—perhaps when my ship comes in.
Kim McAlexander, El Cajon