Letters to the editor – May 5, 2017

Posted: May 5th, 2017 | Featured, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | No Comments

Hillcrest residents deserve some respect

Lately, we Hillcrest residents have been getting a pretty raw deal from the city, and in general.

Our rents climb ever higher as our neighborhood deteriorates into a filthy playground for ill-behaved street people. A simple walk to the store (which many will no longer do after dark) often involves dodging human feces and walking over the bodies of passed out homeless as we navigate through their fields of garbage. Often, we neighbors are subjected to angry and abusive rants.

We endure all this and yet, the good things planned for Hillcrest never materialize.

The site of our “mythical” library remains just another spot for the homeless to trash. We remain without a local park or dog park.

Our fancier western neighbor [Mission Hills] has two city parks within blocks of the main business district.

Residents in this “hospitals” area shouldn’t have to drive to Balboa Park to see some greenery or have a quiet walk with their kids or dogs. Many here are older (or their dogs are) and don’t drive, or don’t want to have to “drive to walk.”

Give us a park/dog park! Give us a pretty spot to decompress.

Two possibilities come to mind. The first is the large canyon side green space area on the north end of Third Avenue as you go toward the Scripps facility. Although it might be a narrow park, there is space beyond the last apartment building for benches, meandering, and observing the pretty view. An improved path could lead to the official green space trail.

Another spot (in my fantasy) is the gorgeous property across from the UCSD emergency room. The property was the former residence of an amazing artist whose beautiful stone work graces the property in the form of stone arches, fireplaces, walls, walkways, etc. It probably is not a very buildable property but would make a heck of a park, even if the park was more of a walkway above it.

Hillcrest needs some love!  It is not the positive, happy place it used to be. Give us SOMETHING so that we feel, once more, glad to be living here.

—Marilyn Mangion of Hillcrest, via email to

[Editor’s note: Your comment about the library prompted me to check out the progress of the construction project for the Mission Hills-Hillcrest library, which will be built on the southwest corner of Washington and Front streets. District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward told me last week that construction crews are removing salvageable items from the old IBEW building and that demolition is likely to occur this month, followed by a ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony. The 14,350-square-foot library will be formally named the Mission Hills-Hillcrest Harley and Bessie Knox Branch Library.]

On April 26, workers were salvaging items from the IBEW building at the corner of Front and Washington streets. The structure will soon be demolished to make room for the future Hillcrest-Mission Hills library. (Photo by Ken Williams)

Glad about MAD

(Re: “MAD expansion proposed for east side of Hillcrest,” Volume 9, Issue 8 or online at

Another well-written article, thank you Ken Williams.

I would welcome the East Hillcrest MAD with open arms. One does not need to peek too far in to the future to see the changes coming. We need to be prepared and this is a very big step in the right direction. Thank you HBA.

—Luke Terpstra of Hillcrest, via our website,

[SANDAG, the regional transportation authority, proposes to modify the medians to create enough space for the protected bike lanes] “but will not maintain the lanes or medians.”

The city of San Diego will maintain the lanes but not any landscape or associated improvements. [That means SANDAG and the HBA will have to sign an agreement to maintain the improvements.] Beware of the HBA spin.

—Jeff K. via our website

Was it libel?

(Re: Letters to the editor, Volume 9, Issue 8 or online at

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 depredation 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 might say that’s not just bad journalism; it’s an invitation to libel.

—Mat Wahlstrom, member of Uptown Planners and a Hillcrest resident

[Editor’s note: Libel is defined as a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation. San Diego Uptown News did not see anything libelous in the letter from Mr. Van Winkle, who was criticizing the decision-making of certain members of the Uptown Planners. Mr. Wahlstrom is a publicly elected member of the Uptown Planners and one of those who was criticized by the letter writer.]

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