Everybody wants a piece: Arresting so-called johns "for possibly planning to commit a crime" is another underhanded, sneaky, make-money attempt by local law enforcement ["Stung," Lois Beckett, Feature, 6/16]. It is more of the nasty civil rights blowback from the groundbreaking and failed drug war, whereby no actual crime must be committed for an arrest to be made. When law enforcement sees money being gained illegally, it wants a cut of the action. It wants to get its beak wet.
Most telling is the city budget analyst's recommendation that more Internet stings be pursued to bring the program back to "firmer financial grounds." The key word is "financial."
Worlds Not So Far Apart
But still divided by law: I want to thank Lauren Smiley for her touching and humanizing article on binational same-sex couples ["Worlds Apart," Feature, 6/9]. My partner and I are in the same situation. We have been together for five years, and have been married in the state of California for the past two. I'm an American citizen; he's Mexican, here illegally on a "jumped" tourist visa.
The stories Smiley brought to light are very complicated, even more so when you're dealing with middle-class individuals. I'm a mechanic; my partner is a laborer. There's no money for fancy trips or Canadian visas. It's strange, the amount of wheeling and dealing and subterfuge we have to engage in just to stay alive. The repeated meetings in parking lots in Oakland to get fake work documents, because you have to change the [Social Security number] every time they catch you. Renting an apartment? Because we can't list his income for fear of a paper trail, we can only rent what qualifies with my income. (Hello, Tenderloin.) Taxes? I haven't filed California taxes since we've been married. I can't check "single," for fear of committing tax fraud, but I can't put his fake SSN on a tax form. It goes on and on. The Spanish phrase for the double life of an illegal, for how you have to live, is abajo de la agua. Underwater.
We gave up our apartment. My partner is in Mexico now, and I'm in an SRO until I can get a job in southern Arizona. Five years of life together are in a storage container in the middle of the Arizona desert. I refuse to create any sort of "home" here without him. I've lived the majority of my life in S.F., my partner loves the place, and yet it's time to go.
The funniest thing about the whole situation? We're both from the same town. I grew up in Nogales, Ariz. He comes from Nogales, Sonora, in Mexico. Walking distance from one another.
Fourth of July for sea lions: An electric current will not work in salt water — I'm surprised that Smith-Root wasn't honest about that ["Swimming in the Current," Ashley Harrell, Sucka Free City, 6/23]. The key to keeping the sea lions off the dock is to apply continuous harassment when they first appear at the dock (yes, it is legal).
Don't let the sea lions get accustomed to the dock, or they'll be impossible to remove. People who wait several days because the animals were initially "cute" have learned the hard way that they won't leave after that. Firecrackers are a good approach — throw them near (not on) the sea lion when it first jumps on the dock. Repeat it each time a sea lion approaches, and they'll go somewhere else. Such an approach is labor-intensive at the outset, but it will work over the long term if applied diligently when sea lions start trying to haul out.
A Heartbreakingly Sexist Blurb
Author's husband not important: Jonathan Kiefer may have meant to be humorous by acknowledging the numerous stories that link the writer Vendela Vida to her husband, Dave Eggers ["June Literary Events," Books, 6/2]. But by introducing her as such in his small blurb on her upcoming reading, he perpetuates the same sexist narrative. Vida is indeed married to another writer, but why mention that fact before her accomplishments as a novelist? This isn't the worst faux pas in the world, but SF Weekly should know better.