Letters to the editor – April 21, 2017

Posted: April 21st, 2017 | Featured, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | 2 Comments

For Hillcrest density 

(Re: “Uptown Planners feel disrespected,” Vol. 9, Issue 7 or online at

I’ve lived in Hillcrest for almost two decades and I’ve seen our neighborhood lag behind in development as other neighborhoods in the city, such as Little Italy, East Village and North Park, have become more vibrant and livable, and more inviting.

Hillcrest is a great neighborhood in a city of 3 million people. It is not a village. Perhaps the development of denser, higher structures along busy traffic corridors, like Fourth and Fifth avenues, and University Avenue and Washington Street, can lead to new businesses and growth. Having more people living and working above street-level shops can create more viable businesses for them to access.

The taller structures already built in Hillcrest — the Village Hillcrest complex, the apartments and condos on Park Boulevard and Fifth and Sixth — are not negatively impacting the character of the neighborhood. In fact, the Atlas complex on Fifth Avenue has enlivened and renewed businesses and restaurants in the 3500 block of Fifth Avenue — and this was the only major construction project in two decades in central Hillcrest!

Now, a proposed building, on a parking lot, is looked upon as a negative to Hillcrest. I don’t understand.

I did get a good chuckle from Ann Garwood’s remark. She opposed the project because “if a resident spits off the balcony, someone might get hurt!” She must walk around with trepidation in her neighborhood of Bankers Hill in fear that someone will spit on her from one of those balconies on the towering apartments and condos on Fifth and Sixth avenues!

Oh well, I hope the silent majority will encourage new construction in Hillcrest. It was, still is, and yet can still be, a great neighborhood.

—Thomas Hemlock of Hillcrest, via email to

All of this infighting is really becoming an embarrassment for the Uptown community. Why is it that it is the same people over and again objecting to any development in Uptown? Nancy Moors, Ann Garwood, Tom Mullaney and Mat Wahlstrom, etc.? These obstructionists are the minority here and are making any hope for growth and development a nightmare for property owners.

No wonder Hillcrest looks like a shanty and any smart business person is moving setting their sights on North Park and Little Italy. I hope Ken Williams continues to cover the “volunteer advisory board and their cronies.” By the way, “advisory board” is just that; the City Council will move forward because they are looking at the big picture. These trolls will fight and fight and waste taxpayers money dragging this out and keeping Hillcrest in limbo. I would recommend some young stakeholders in the community to join the Uptown Planners board.

—Calvin Van Winkle via our website,

How about an express bus?

(Re: “Pershing Bikeway project pedals forward,” Vol. 9, Issue 7 or online at

The Pershing Bikeway proposal is a fantastic addition to connecting the North Park neighborhood and surrounding communities to Downtown, facilitating and encouraging alternative modes of transportation beyond automobiles.

In support of the “complete-streets” concept advocated by SANDAG, there should be a strong consideration of adding MTA buses to this route. Getting to Downtown from North Park via bus right now includes a long, slow trip down 30th Street through South Park and Golden Hill, or an equally slow slog down University Avenue to Park Boulevard in Hillcrest.

An express bus that stops at key intersections along 30th Street (perhaps at Adams Avenue, El Cajon Boulevard, University Avenue and Upas Street) with a direct link via Pershing Drive down to City College and other Downtown transit spokes could easily shave 20 minutes off of a key connection between two vibrant and growing parts of the city.

—Christopher Dye, North Park resident, via email


  1. Charles says:

    Lots of negativity and ageism against folks in Hillcrest in these letters. Differences of opinion of how and where Hillcrest should grow, and I believe the Hillcrest residents named in these letters do not object to development and growth. These letter writers appear its a millennial versus an elder thing. Perhaps if these folks talked with one another instead of at one another, compromise and creative solutions can be found. There was a time that Hillcrest was ahead of the wave for its all inclusivity. Now it seems that only density and height are the answers. I disagree.

  2. I’m more than a bit disappointed that SDUN decided to print the web posting by “Calvin Van Winkle.” His comment was nothing more than personal attacks badly disguised with illogical arguments.

    First off, difference of opinion (against developer depradation of our community or any other topic) isn’t “infighting,” it’s democracy. Which I guess is why “Calvin” then goes on to argue that because community planning groups are “advisory” and irrelevant, young people should get involved to join in the author’s age discrimination.

    But even this could be forgiven as an honest viewpoint, if SDUN hadn’t allowed the real author to hide behind a clearly fake name and snipe at those he has a grudge against anonymously. Some migh say that’s not just bad journalism; it’s an invitation to libel.

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