A little help
I found great interest in Kelly Davis' article “A great success” in the Jan. 21 issue [“The Front Lines”]. I can never imagine how difficult it could be for the people who are left homeless to have to worry about where they have to hide to use the restroom and not get caught. People see the homeless on streets asking for money to be able to afford food and drink, but we never think about how they deal with themselves once it's all been processed.
This is why I think it is an extremely good thing that some people are providing these less-fortunate people with accessible port-o-potties. Although these units are sub-standard to what many people are used to in America, it at least allows the roughly 500 homeless in East Village a place to go to relieve their bodily functions without being worried about arrest.
It is a shame, though, that these gracious people are not getting the support that they should and have been promised from the city. If the city stated that they would pick up the cost of the port-o-potties' maintenance and upkeep after the successful trial period, then they should be held up to their word. The city should look at it as being helpful to all the people of East Village and not just the homeless. These units help them by providing a place of security along with keeping parks and streets cleaner for the rest of the population. It would be great to see more units put up and some financial help from the city, as promised.
Brad Campbell,College Area
I was appalled when I read David Silva's article “Not for the troops” [“The Front Lines,” Feb. 25]. He has once again proven that there is no such thing as intelligence in the military. The military has gotten so used to the bloated budgets they were given during the Reagan and Bushie years that they have become callous about what normal citizens give them.
What is even more appalling is that Sgt. Maj. Louis Espinal made excuses instead of taking responsibility for the actions. He wanted to cover up the incident by saying that reporting it would make the troops look bad. What looks bad is that the officers didn't have the maturity to do the right thing. If the items were truly outdated, the Marines should have contacted the person who donated the articles. Then, what could have been recycled should have been. The Marines were so wrong on so many points that it just shows that much more oversight is needed on what they do.
Norm Olson,Mira Mesa
Labeling the unions
As a recently retired city of San Diego employee, I would like to thank you for your Feb. 25 editorial, “Partners in Misinformation.” Your editorial staff has chosen to present a fair, impartial view of the retirement benefits for city employees.
For whatever reason (politics?), Councilmember Carl DeMaio has chosen to use his position to attack the employees who provide the services our citizens expect. He employs the same methods other right-wing conservatives (U-T editors Bob Kittle and Chris Reed) use to get the average uninformed taxpayer in an uproar. Distort the facts, twist the statistics, play on the emotions.
The Union-Tribune editorials, as you stated, are a consistent source of misinformation. Their Feb. 26 editorial took another unjustified slap at the city retirement system. The U-T editors would have you believe that the municipal labor unions are in a position to demand such benefits as the DROP program and the SPSP (Supplemental Pension Savings). Does anyone really believe that city leaders would agree to grant benefits they believed to be unjustified? The unions simply do not have that kind of leverage.
Fortunately for me and many other retirees, none of these knuckleheads have managed to destroy the legitimate retirement benefits we have earned—yet.
Joe Vissers,Spring Valley