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Letters: ‘Diversity’ in drinking water doesn’t mean better

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Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. (Dan Schreiber/S.F. Examiner)
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“Groundwater mix making waves,” The City, May 25

‘Diversity’ in drinking water isn’t better

The Examiner’s recent article deceptively favored the government’s introduction of groundwater into San Francisco’s drinking water. The article states: “The groundwater project is meant to diversify San Francisco’s water supply …” The use of the term “diversify” is deceptive because it implies a favorable result, as with a diversified community.

However, in the case of the groundwater introduction into the City’s high-quality, low-contaminant Hetch Hetchy drinking water, diversify means the introduction of low-quality, high-contaminant water. In this regard, even the SFPUC will admit that The City’s groundwater does not meet local standards for drinking. In other words, it is not safe to drink unless mixed with the Hetch Hetchy water.

In order to push its groundwater program with limited debate, the SFPUC has not performed adequate outreach. I am pleased to read the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods is now involved and appropriate scrutiny will occur.

John M. Kelly, San Francisco

Blame media for water bias
Looking at the Examiner’s article, I see that concerned citizens totally ignored the PUC Infrastructure Task Force 2000 to 2002-plus years and that the blame is with the media bias and media ignorance and obsession with politics as opposed to fact.

We, the Citizens Task Force composed of citizen experts, spent more than two years studying the issue and recommended the use of groundwater for Rec and Park emergency. But the press in its bias, disregarded the wisdom of having us oversee the system as citizens and caused the problem allowing the public to follow the rats into the dirty waters of misinformation by not covering the issue and reporting on the issue. Shame!

Blame the media for this problem.

Richard Bodisco
Chair, SFPUC Infrastructure Task Force

“What is neoliberalism?” In My View, May 25

Trauss’ agenda questioned

Sonia Trauss cries crocodile tears about government abandonment of building public housing, interestingly describing it as a “neoliberal” policy (rather than a neoconservative one).

Curiously, though, her agenda — judging from her past advocacy of Bay Area newcomers like herself to housing units — seems to be reducing the responsibility of private developers to build less profitable units (i.e., higher percentages of low income housing) and increase their profits.

It also seems that the Examiner has given her a pass in direct advocacy: publishing a number for readers to call Rep. Pelosi to express opposition to a housing bill that the writer favors.

Diana Scott, Ocean Beach

“S.F. police chief defends soaring overtime spending,” The City, May 23

Better ways to spend money

Soaring overtime spending by the police department is estimated to be $21 million, as opposed to the authorized budget of $14.6 million. Just a year ago, on May 19, 2016, an Examiner article reported that budgeted overtime was $7.9 million — about half! And now taxpayers must pay $7 million more? Why?

Part of the reason for soaring costs is the steady rise in 911 calls “including from residents about homeless residents.” Since police are already paid a pretty penny — a per-officer $6,782 monthly minimum for The City was compared to $5,201 paid in Los Angeles and $5,254 paid in San Diego) — why do we pay overtime to begin with, and pay tired officers who have already put in a full shift? That’s especially relevant when most violent crime is going down nationally as well as in The City.

Shouldn’t we take this year’s anticipated $21 million overtime cost to pay for more navigation centers to house our homeless, expand battered women shelters so they and their children won’t end up on the streets, introduce more after school and pre-trial diversion programs, and put money into training police how to deal with mental illness? Better yet, why not add a few trained social workers to each police district to help find options for the homeless?

I’ll bet social worker pay is far less than $6,782 a month (not to mention future pension liabilities for The City).

Ann Grogan, Glen Park

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