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Letters: ADA reform would curb ‘drive-by’ lawsuits

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Disabled parking spaces are seen at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles in February. (Michael Gordon/Shutterstock)
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The Americans with Disabilities Act is under attack,” In My View, Dec. 21
ADA reform would curb ‘drive-by’ lawsuits

I would like to thank Congresswoman Jackie Speier for her strong support of local business by sponsoring HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. Members of the California Business Properties Association have created a welcoming and comfortable environment for all customers and patrons.

A recent op-ed by Jessie Lorenz misstates the intent of this vitally important legislation. HR 620 is aimed at addressing the proliferation of lawsuits related to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) brought against restaurants, offices, hotels, coffee shops, retail establishments and theaters — any place you might want to go. The bill amends the ADA to require that business owners be given a chance to fix access issues before the clock starts running on legal fees. If a business refuses to respond to a reasonable notice or complaint — or fails to adequately fix the problem in a timely manner — the aggrieved party may proceed with legal action.

California has the dubious honor of leading the country in abusive “drive-by” ADA lawsuits. While the state legislature has twice passed laws with bipartisan mandates to help, a federal fix is needed. The federal bill is a step towards ensuring that resources are put toward improving access for the disability community and not lining the pockets of attorneys.

Speier is looking out for Bay Area businesses — many of whom operate on a narrow margin — to restore the integrity of this landmark law. We thank her for being a leading voice in Congress on this very important issue.

Rex Hime
CEO, California Business Properties Association

Ballot proposal would split SF’s transit agency into Muni, traffic departments,” The City, Dec. 7
Muni deserves full-time attention

Dividing up the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency between Muni and streets, stoplights and parking sound like a great idea to me.

Someone needs to pay attention to Muni full-time. It’s becoming more and more obvious that nobody is minding the store. I waited 40 minutes for a K car recently at 10:45 a.m. on a weekday. And then when they came, they came one right after another.

Additionally, whoever eventually runs the new Muni agency should be forced to ride Muni to and from work every day.

Mike Zonta
San Francisco

The ins and outs of Burma’s Inle Lake,” Travel, Dec. 27
Burma travel story glosses over military attacks

I rarely comment on features, but your centerfold travel piece suggesting escape to serenity in Burma (actually Myanmar) is in really bad taste, given recent ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people who have been forced to flee. This cruel reality has been in the news in the last few month but, of course, is nowhere mentioned in the dreamy article.

Yes, many countries have less than sterling human rights policies, but a two-page spread that ignores the military attacks that forced this exodus — barely out of the headlines — makes we wonder what you were thinking.

A good place to vacation? I don’t think so. You owe it to your readers to acknowledge the fuller reality.

Diana Scott
Outer Sunset

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