Feedback from our readers

Clarify this

Thanks for publishing a great article on the difficult situation that activists are dealing with here in San Diego [“The Front Lines,” Oct. 15]. I would appreciate if you could publish two corrections, in the form of this letter.

One is that Eric Isaacson was holding an anarchist flag when he was arrested, not an American flag. The second is about crossing the line. Your article states that I said, “Some of his peers might step over the line,” when, in fact, I did not.

You asked me if I thought that some people “step over the line” and I said no. Continuing, I said that we all step over the line the moment the march starts and we step into the street to exercise our First Amendment rights. I was careful to avoid the stigma of “good protester/bad protester,” as I realize that there are a wide variety of protest tactics that are necessary when attempting to gain public attention and change public policy.

Michael Cardenas, Sherman Heights

What a hoot!

Dear Mr. Jeff Webster [“Letters,” Oct. 22]: You really do make me want to scratch my balls even though I have none. Your letter made me laugh so hard that, for a brief moment, I forgot that you're being serious.

I am sure that if you and your marine buddies actually went to one of those coffee shops in Hillcrest instead of watching Ford truck commercials between table dances, you could actually find someone to talk with about all the bogus excuses and lies we were fed by the not-elected-by-the-people President Bush and his minions. Perhaps someone would even be kind enough to help you get a library card. Books there are free as long as you return them on time.

Another thing is, women pretend to like guys in strip clubs-you know, that popular expression: “It's my job!” Hope you can still afford to get that lap dance once you get your retirement checks, since we all know how thankful our government is for most of those who help them commit genocide. One thousand dollars a month goes a long way these days.

One last thing: I also hope that you and your military, gun-loving-stud friends still have all of your limbs. No, a Hummer does not qualify as a limb, bucko. I love you, man! Thanks for the good laugh.

Maria Fedida, College Area

Devastating illness

The horrors of environmental illness are accurately portrayed by Kirby Fairfax in your Oct. 15 cover story. I too am between houses and living at a fairly non-toxic motel near Moonlight Beach, to which I've resorted many times in the last decade of poisoned houses. All of Kirby's experiences with toxic houses and offices have also been mine over the last 50 years since my first undiagnosed symptoms arose when I was a very bright freshman woman at Stanford.

My form of environmental illness in caused by the genetic illness porphyria. Kirby may not have this gene, as she is able to tolerate geratonic uptake modulators; those of us with porph very rarely can tolerate this kind of medicine or any other anti-depressant. Half of one Prozac put me in the ER when I was still undiagnosed, and other anti-depressants have mostly reacted the same. Kirby might look, however, at porphyria sites on the web if she hasn't already done so.

I have lost many homes to this disease as well as a career in a sick-building community college, as well as my first husband and the love and inheritance from my family. I do not know if Kirby has yet found that Christ will be her foremost friend in this black hole. My second husband of 35 years, Irv Strauss, and Stanford mate Helen Law, who has the bisulfile allergy form of environmental illness, have also been true friends. And now that I'm old, most physicians do accept my condition as real even if they do not understand it well.

Mariel Strauss, Encinitas

Thanks a lot

Thank you very much for supporting the AIDS Walk/Run 2003. With the help of CityBeat, AIDS Walk has raised more than $400,000 for important HIV/AIDS services in San Diego County. We are deeply grateful for your commitment to community health. We couldn't have done it without you.

Shawn Ingram, Director of development

Legalize it

Regarding your Oct. 15 editorial praising the North County Times for refusing a paid ad from the Oceanside Police Department: While I agree that our puritanical attitudes about prostitution are absurd, I do not agree with your statement that prostitution is a “largely victimless crime.”

Public embarrassment of the perpetrator is far less important than informing the spouses and others with whom these individuals have had sex that they may be at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease, or worse, AIDS, from these perps. Therefore, publishing the names of the perps is an important public health measure.

Many women (and children, who are infected in utero) contract AIDS from men who use prostitutes or otherwise engage in unsafe sex. The solution is to legalize it, have regular health examinations of the prostitutes and license and tax it like any other business. This would make it safer for everyone and would liberate the prostitutes from their pimps, who regularly threaten, intimidate and abuse them.

Your piece on the super market strike has an error in it that distorts the comparison you are trying to make. I'm assuming you did not intend to mislead your readers when you compared the supermarket workers' wages (“up to $17.90 an hour”) with Wal-Mart's workers' wages (“an average of $8.23 per hour”). You should have compared the average of one to the average of the other. That would have been a fair and accurate comparison.

Judith Abeles, Normal Heights