Your Aug. 9 story, “City foster care rate higher,” used data from the UC Berkeley Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project to indicate that San Francisco has a higher proportion of its children in foster care than California as a whole, and that the problem of racial disparity is greater in San Francisco than elsewhere.
As principal investigator for this research project, I can tell you that the most meaningful way to track county performance is to follow trends over time. If this information were included in the story, it would have been clear that San Francisco has shown remarkable progress in the past five years.
The 3.33 per 1,000 children entering foster care is a 30 percent decline from 4.75 per 1,000 in 2004 — compared with a smaller 12 percent decrease statewide. The black/white disparity rate for children entering care declined from 12.6 in 2004 to 8.1 in 2009 — a 36 percent decrease. The 10.8 per 1,000 children now in foster care declined 43 percent from 18.9 per 1,000 in 2004, as compared to a more modest 26 percent California decrease.
The numbers may still be “shocking,” but to me they show a San Francisco County system that is improving.
Barbara Needell, UC Berkeley
Simple sit-lie solution
I suggest an easy solution to the proposed sit-lie ordinance. All property owners who disagree with this ordinance can obtain a permit from The City that will exempt their property. Their $250 permit fee will include a sign welcoming anyone to sit-lie on their property. It will cover cover a one-time cost if The City is called to clean up after the sit-lie guest has departed. Future offenses to clean up a sit-lie property will cost the property owner $200 per clean up. This will finally allow The City’s progressive faction to either pay up or shut up.
David Larkin, San Francisco
Enough with clipboards
Over the years I have often complained about the panhandlers and homeless intruding on my street space and asking me for money, sometimes aggressively.
Now I would much prefer to see them instead of those clipboard-wielding touts who harass me several times on my walks down Fillmore Street, shoving their clipboards and their opinions at me. At least the homeless really need the money.
Bill Perry, San Francisco
Where do employees live?
It is being argued that the high cost of living here justifies the high pay of San Francisco public employees. But many of those public employees taking San Francisco salaries and benefits live in the Bay Area suburbs.
It would be of true interest to San Francisco voters to learn where our city employees reside. Just how effectively would our emergency services respond to an earthquake, if public safety employees are living far from The City?
William J. Coburn, San Francisco