The news landscape
I am actually thrilled to see that San Diegans have another online paper (San Diego News Network) [“The Front Lines,” March 11]. I read voiceofsandiego.org and CityBeat on a regular bases, but I do have a craving for the daily local stuff. I travel for work, so I get 95 percent of my news online. Knowing that the Union-Trib is a piece of garbage, I used to go out there and read the stories. However, lately I have given up. I find that when I pull up the Union-Trib, the content is always out-of-date and incomplete, especially the local content.
I once mentioned to a co-worker, “You know you have a crappy hometown paper when you have to go to your local CW website to get your news.” It is nice to stream 11@11, but San Diego 6 devotes way to way much time to the weather and not enough time to the news. I'm not interested in five minutes of weather in my 11 minutes, especially if I'm out of town.
I know the U-T has hit hard times. But their website has turned to crap way before any buy-outs took place. Who wants to read a paper where the online content is always out-of-date? For this reason, I wish luck to SDNN, and hopefully they will cover the news, and not follow the U-T by being a kiss-ass to the established elite in this town. Hopefully, this new competition will send a signal to the U-T that they need to actually cover the news or get out of the way.
Mike Petrogeorge,North Park
Stray dogs and addicts
In regards to your article, “When cops attack” [“Editorial,” March 25], there are several things to clarify. First, I'm not a cop, but a city firefighter who covers the same beat. I deal with the homeless on a daily basis and few are close to being the kind, gentle, unfortunate souls you would like to portray. True, there are those that are victims of unfortunate circumstances and would like to get their lives back together. But the sad truth is that, for the most part, they are drunks and addicts who have shown up in San Diego for the warm weather and handouts and have no plan of doing anything other than living on the street, free from society's laws and standards.
Several years ago, a local TV media outlet did a story on the services offered by the city and various groups and why there were so few takers. The answer was that these people do not want to give up the ability to be drunk all day. Many are aware of the consequences of such a lifestyle but couldn't care less.
Sound harsh and prejudiced yet? Unfortunately, it's the truth, and the more programs that are offered, such as free food and water handouts without some kind of rules toward sobriety, the more people will come from colder areas of the country. Like stray dogs, if you feed them, they will come and come and keep hanging around waiting for the next handout.
That being said, there are cases of excessive force and poor judgment by authorities. But you must also consider that the homeless are sometimes pretty unsavory people, often times felons who have no regard for the law or common decency. Perhaps if you poked a little deeper than your old “Homeless Person of the Week” column, you would probably uncover the ugly truth about San Diego's homeless. One suggestion: Do a ride along with officers who cover the Downtown beat or even the HOT unit (Homeless Outreach Team). One tip, though—don't reveal the fact that you're a journalist to the people you encounter or you'll never get the straight truth.
Robert Fox, Ocean Beach
A compassionate man
I am commenting on your article “When cops attack” [“Editorial,” March 25]. I am a resident of the East Village and have observed David Ross distribute water to the homeless, on numerous occasions. It always has been in an orderly fashion.
Mr. Ross is a gentle, compassionate man, hardly looking to instigate trouble with the police. The officer who assaulted Mr. Ross should be held accountable.
Dan Tana,East Village
Just wanted to give a shout out for the awesome CityBeat cover designs lately! I appreciate you giving cover space to local artists and the use of original art—such as Perry Vasquez's “My Fiery Camper” [Feb. 25].
Art director Adam Vieyra nailed it with his March 4 spoof of American Apparel's ads. I also think that it shows that the CityBeat editors aren't afraid to have some fun with their advertising sponsors. Many of us have sometimes cringed at the sight of real ads—the borderline exploitation of prepubescent-looking AA models in somewhat provocative poses. So, thanks!
Nancy Cary,Ocean Beach