Straightening record on Muni operators 

I am a Muni operator, and I have to correct some inaccuracies in your Monday editorial. Our union’s contracts do not prevent Muni from hiring part-timers. Management got rid of them in 2004 because they realized it cost more to hire 10 part-timers than it did for five full-timers.

And we are not paid overtime to work on weekends if the operator’s off days are during the week. We only get overtime for working a sixth or seventh day, in accordance with federal and state law. The huge amount of Muni overtime is the result of too few operators, a problem made worse by the fact that management has made this job so stressful, causing many new hires to fail or even quit.

Michael J. Benardo, San Francisco

Ban walkers’ cellphones

Your Thursday letter-writer was correct to say that cellphones should be banned for skateboarders who endanger pedestrians. I would go even further. Supervisors should pass a law against pedestrians using cellphones. It has already been proposed in New York and Illinois at a state level.

Pedestrians not only endanger themselves and increase our health care costs by this absurd practice, which regularly leads to self-injury. They also become unwitting victims of thugs who can easily sneak up and rip off those devices. It wastes valuable police time to respond to such crimes instead of focusing on more serious law enforcement matters.

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

Shady election practices

A political action committee supporting Mayor Ed Lee’s re-election candidacy was revealed to be engaged in illegal election practices

by filling in ballots for voters. Have we really become that much of a Third World country? Do we now need to call in Jimmy Carter and the U.N. monitors to ensure a fair and free election?

Ted Loewenberg, San Francisco

The needs of the few

Ken Garcia’s Thursday column argued that infrastructure changes should focus on the needs of the majority of San Francisco citizens who are motorists, rather than the needs of the much smaller cycling community.

Would Garcia make the same argument regarding infrastructure improvements for the disabled? What percentage of San Franciscans really need curb cuts or ramps into buildings? And wouldn’t Muni run faster without using hydraulic lifts on the buses?

Tom Scott, San Francisco

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