? “Parklets are all business” From Readers, Opinion, May 5
Reader Mindy Kershner tells it straight about the “parklet.” But it actually gets worse. Neighboring residents and businesses (as well as property owners) do not need to be notified by mail before an application is filed, and there is no requirement that they sign on to a project that will directly impact them.
Incredibly, they can not effectively oppose a parklet if the parklet proponents can also gather support. This is easy to implement by collecting signatures from store customers, and The City also brings in its allies to testify. The hearings are kangaroo court proceedings where applications are virtually never rejected and the rights of neighbors are not respected.
Most parklets are empty when the adjacent food facilities are closed. Indeed, businesses adjacent to parklets, such as Arizmendi’s on Ninth Avenue (to cite one example of many), put their own tables and chairs out on the space, thus making a mockery of the idea that this is public space.
The program itself is far from free, as city administrative salaries and other costs must be paid. Could this money not be better spent on gardeners?
It is high time for reform. Notification processes need to be strengthened and neighbors should have to approve the design of a parklet as well as sign on to the process. Obsolescence must be discussed. Funds for removal and demolition must be paid for (perhaps in the form of a bond) before any parklet is constructed.
Harry S. Pariser
? “San Francisco airport won’t be renamed for Harvey Milk,” Local News, Wednesday
Proposing to name a terminal at San Francisco International Airport in honor of slain Supervisor Harvey Milk was done just to appease the political punch of the gay community.
That being the case, perhaps a terminal in honor of Supervisor Phillip Katz, the only supervisor in the history of San Francisco to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award this nation bestows for conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty, should seriously be considered.
A terminal could be named for Hiram Johnson, as well, one of the outstanding figures in the true progressive movement of the early 20th century.
?“Senate approval of legislation to require on-line retailers to collect state sales taxes,” News, May 7
Most people purchase goods on-line because they can find them for a lower price than at a “brick-and-mortar” store. Even if sales tax is added, the amount of the sales tax will be less than at a store because it will be calculated on the lower price, so the argument that an on-line sales tax will level the playing field is disingenuous.
The legislators using this spurious argument are trying to mislead us from the truth — that they are looking for another source of tax revenue to collect and spend.
Jay W. Ensley
? “Bike to Work Day benefits whole city,” Opinion, May 6
Because you participated in Bike to Work Day on Thursday, instead of driving or taking Muni: