Friday’s San Francisco Examiner editorial, “Chu Offers No Apology for Fleecing Taxpayers,” appropriately focused on the need for an official apology for the half-billion federal dollars wasted on Solyndra despite “multiple warnings beforehand.” Just an apology? How about some firings? Or doesn’t a half-billion dollars of Washington waste matter anymore?
And how about a $1.58 billion boondoggle? San Francisco and the federal government are threatening to waste that much on a short and virtually useless bit of subway, of value mainly to wealthy real estate speculators. Read More
I spoke to “Pantsless Nick” at the Occupy San Francisco encampment and he is respectfully requesting a correction to what was written about him in your Nov. 16 cover story.
Nick was not pantsless on the night your reporter visited our camp. Nick had on his short shorts, as any number of independent observers can testify. He strips down when he works up a sweat keeping the peace. As a former Marine, he is respected, trusted and loved for, among his other sterling qualities, for being the voice of reason late into the night. Read More
I am a great-grandmother who has made several visits to the Occupy San Francisco encampment. I was there from midnight to 3 a.m. on one occasion. I saw mostly young people, many who graduated from college but cannot find a job and still live at home, or like the 18-year-old woman who ran out of college money after one semester and is just hoping Starbucks will not think she is too unkempt to be hired. (I told her where to shower.)
Sure, there were drugs, alcohol and troublemakers, but the camp is a snapshot of America and whatever you find in any city you would find there. Read More
A simple solution exists to erase the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s $80 million budget deficits without draconian revenue increases. The Central Subway project has drained $500 million in scarce state and local funds from Muni for a tiny 1.7 mile route.
Muni’s 700,000 daily riders have been subsidizing the subway boondoggle with unnecessary service cuts, discontinued routes and crumbling equipment. There are increase for fares, parking fees, meter rates and traffic citations. Read More
A Monday letter writer believes it would be unconstitutional to charge demonstrators a fee to protest. The rights to free speech and assembly, like all of our constitutional rights, are not absolute in text and have varying degrees of stipulations.
For instance, I am guaranteed the right to pursuit of happiness. But even though it would make me happy to punch some Occupy San Francisco protester in the face, I know I would likely be arrested for assault. The First Amendment is full of checks and balances to prevent its abuse. Read More
The Planning Commission that oversees private development in The City continues to operate independently of all common sense. In a recent meeting on a project to build small affordable condos, they again postponed a decision — adding another six months to the process — seemingly based on personal grudges over a draft code complaint.Time is money, especially in San Francisco. Read More
Runoff voting is a more democratic electoral system than ranked-choice voting, because whoever is elected in a runoff enjoys the legitimacy endorsed by the votes from the majority. Ranked-choice cannot eliminate the election of the most disliked.If the majority happened to agree with the slogan of the Mayor Ed Lee opponents — “anyone but Lee” — our next mayor would be the legal winner, but would lack true legitimacy from the people. Read More
I was shocked and incensed by Wednesday’s letter, “Charge protesters a fee.” The Occupy movement is about restoring some economic equality to our county — one increasingly controlled by the wealthy who hold the puppet strings of our elected public servants. Read More
Whoever is in charge of seeing that the right polling address gets on the cover of the voting booklet got it wrong, and then sent out postcards numerous times and still got it wrong.
I am a 76-year-old woman. I started out for what I thought would be less than a five-minute walk each way with plenty of time to return home in the daylight. Wrong! I was looking for 350 Ellis St., which was on the updated postcards. I walked up and down both sides of the block between Jones and Taylor streets, as indicated on the postcards, several times. No polling place was to be seen. Read More
Ranked-choice voting has obvious advantages over a run-off system — cheaper, faster, offering opportunity to lesser-known candidates, ensuring greater voter turn-out than run-offs and requiring fewer of our political campaign dollars.
The problem seems to be that voters are not using it properly because they fail to understand the effective strategy for ranking their top three choices. Read More
I have voted in every election cycle since 1978. But I did not vote in Tuesday’s election. For many weeks, I have received at least one and usually three to five robo-calls in my voicemail every day from each of the leading mayoral candidates or their backers. This is in addition to the estimated five pounds of junk mail from candidates since the beginning of October. Read More
There have been several letters and stories claiming that San Francisco Republicans are “supporting” the current interim mayor. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s keep the record straight. We have endorsed Tony Hall, we support Tony Hall and we encourage you to make Tony Hall your first choice for mayor.
SFGOP, Log Cabin Republicans, Nob Hill Republican Women and Young Republicans have all endorsed Tony Hall and no one else for mayor. Read More
On July 15, a bicyclist ran a red light and hit a New York woman who was legally crossing with a green light. She died of the injury on Aug. 11. There is still no action by the district attorney three months later.
A police spokesman said that the bicyclist would face the same legal consequences as a motorist. However, there has been much delay with the police investigation, coroner report and toxicology report.
The story did not get much attention because the victim was from out of town. Read More
As an official court reporter of the San Francisco Superior Court, I was very troubled to read your Tuesday cover story regarding the contract court reporter failing to produce a timely grand jury transcript vital to the German tourist homicide case. An official court reporter is an employee of the court and is required by law to file their notes with the court each day, thereby eliminating the chances of “AWOL” transcripts. Read More
It was with a sad heart that I read that the USS Iowa was being towed out of the Bay Area to Los Angeles. My late father, a Pacific combat veteran in WWII, always told me that every Pacific Theater sailor looked forward to the welcoming arms of the Golden Gate as they sailed home. San Francisco’s relationship with the United States Navy began in 1846 when the USS Portsmouth sailed into the Bay. That event is marked by Portsmouth Square and Montgomery Street. Read More