Wild exaggerations on historical commission 

Examiner columnist Ken Garcia is spinning alarmist and exaggerated tales about homeowner woes to justify eliminating the Historic Preservation Commission. Never mind that many of the issues he cited Thursday involved individuals who knowingly purchase designated city landmarks or historic district buildings and then act surprised when they have to abide by the rules — rules that I might add have been on the books for over 40 years.

Despite what Garcia says, the Historic Preservation Commission is not a nest of radical preservation vipers. It is a respected and reasonable body that has resisted embracing those who use preservation as a tool to stop development.

Finally, why is San Francisco’s architectural heritage not worthy of protection? There is only one San Francisco. Those who want the freedom to do as they wish with their property should maybe try Dallas.

Christopher VerPlanck, San Francisco

Benefits of renewables

Your past Sunday op-ed, “The 33 percent non-solution to the state’s energy,” exaggerated the challenges to a cleaner energy future and ignored the health, environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy.

Instead of just accepting our entrenched addiction to fossil fuels, we should take control of our future and make policies leading toward cleaner energy that will not run out or become incredibly expensive and dangerous to access.

Fossil fuel prices are unpredictable and volatile and have cost us hundreds of millions in respiratory diseases and environmental cleanups every year. Furthermore, the variability of renewable energy is not an insurmountable problem. Nobody is saying 100 percent renewables is a cakewalk, but it’s something worth striving for.

California should be congratulated for taking advantage of the clean resources in our own
backyard.

Laura Wisland, Union of Concerned Scientists, Berkeley

9/11 and lost innocence

I joined the crowd outside the White House after the president’s speech last Sunday. Helicopters flew overhead as people raced in from every direction. Emotions exploded as celebrators climbed every tree and statue in the park, repeatedly singing the national anthem.

Most of the crowd was younger than 30. The force of their response reflected the trauma they suffered on 9/11, when the innocence of their youth was traded for a frustration with the way the world has evolved. I remain optimistic that our leadership can ensure America’s safety while preserving hope in Pakistan by building a brighter future worldwide.

John Maa, M.D., UCSF Department of Surgery, San Francisco

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