So Supervisor John Avalos is running for mayor. The last thing San Francisco needs is Chris Daly’s former chief of staff in the Mayor’s Office. Avalos voted for the toy ban at McDonald’s, voted to protect illegal immigrant felons, opposed both Care Not Cash and the sit-lie ordinance, voted for every tax and fee increase that ever came up and is the leading sponsor of Board of Supervisors foreign policy resolutions. Read More
Your Sunday front-page story reported the proposal that owners of unstable “soft-story” buildings be required to seismically upgrade their properties. But who should pay for expensive upgrades of rent-controlled properties?Limits on evictions and rent increases are built into San Francisco culture and may be justified in some instances. But expecting small landlords to spend large amounts of money on seismic improvements for the benefit of tenants who may not require any financial assistance is unfair and unjust. Read More
State Sen. Joe Simitian, Rep. Anna Eshoo and Assemblyman Rich Gordon demanded on Monday that the California High-Speed Rail Authority drop its plans for building massive elevated tracks anywhere between San Francisco and San Jose.
San Francisco already has its all-tunnel route. But now all Peninsula cities — including San Mateo — must immediately coordinate to lobby the High-Speed Rail Authority for tunnels all through the county. Read More
Your April 11 editorial “Muni-ficent PR a useless waste of our money” barely scratches the waste of San Francisco’s public funds. It’s not just Muni.
Consider Laguna Honda Hospital’s “rebranding” public relations spending. Although the Public Health Department already had a public information officer paid $129,000 annually, Laguna Honda spent an additional $819,441 between 2008 and 2010 just on salaries for its in-house public relations department. Read More
In their best-selling book “Freakonomics,” authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner discuss residential real estate agents’ selling techniques. It turns out that when real estate ads use vague adjectives and descriptions, the homes sell for less. When real estate ads are specific, the homes sell for more because they have more intrinsic value.Where have I recently been hearing vague adjectives and lack of specificity regarding real estate? On the Cargill-DMB proposed project in the Bay. They have no pictures of actual housing units, no specifics on square footage or price. Read More
I am not sure who came out on top in the budget negotiations. The Democrats blamed the Republicans for threatening to shut down the government, but the Democrats should have passed a budget before the fiscal year began Oct. 1 when they had a majority in both houses of Congress. Read More
I was dismayed to see the April 10 San Francisco Examiner story, “Hope on hold,” paint such a pessimistic view of Hope SF, rather than celebrating that the developers and public agency partners have successfully attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in new public and private money for rebuilding both Hunters View and Alice Griffith. Instead of a story about how San Francisco will rebuild more than 500 public housing apartments within mixed-income communities of over 2,000 homes, the reporter focuses on the funding still needed for completing work at other Hope SF sites. Read More
It doesn’t take a germophobe like Howard Hughes to know that the seats on BART are gross. Spending money to replace them every three years instead of every six is an exercise in futility and a waste of money. Plastic seats, like those on Muni, would not only last longer, they would also allow thorough cleaning — something today’s upholstered ones don’t.
John Bennett, San FranciscoStop Botanical Garden fee Read More
Muni operators had nothing to do with management’s decision to cut service three times in the last 11 years, despite what the Tuesday letter writer blaming us for Muni’s decline might think. We operators have nothing to do with shrinking the size of Muni’s fleet. These two decisions are the reason full buses have to pass up crowded stops. There is not enough service for the number of passengers. Service levels are solely the decision of management. Operators like me have no say at all. Read More
Everyone loves the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. What they do not like is that more than 100 recreation directors were laid off. After close to 20 years of adding to our property taxes to rebuild recreation centers and playgrounds, the department wants to take our right to use these neighborhood centers by leasing them (which we will never get back). Read More
Ken Garcia’s Sunday column, “Hearty comfort food keeps the taste of The City alive,” made me thankful for Original Joe’s restaurant — a healthy dose of tradition, history and rare democratic hobnobbing. In North Beach, truly missed are the social incubators like the old-fashioned Vanessi’s, Little Joe’s, Baby Joe’s, Luigi’s, La Pantera and Gold Spike. Read More
It’s nice that Supervisor Jane Kim was gung-ho to have Twitter move to the Tenderloin. Why didn’t she move Twitter to Sixth or Seventh streets? Didn’t she want them to enjoy the view of all the hot mess the Tenderloin has to offer?
Supervisor Kim needs to clean up the Tenderloin so businesses will want to be in the area willingly. They thought moving the feds onto free land at the new Federal Building would rid most of the crime, but that proved wrong. So I guess we have to bribe people to do business in the hood. Read More
San Francisco is the most diverse city in which I’ve ever lived, which makes it a fun place to live. But it’s also the most Balkanized city in which I’ve lived — and I lived in the Balkans.
I’m relatively new here, so I clearly see the undercurrent of hatred running between the identity groups: gays, blacks, Hispanics, various Asian subgroups, Italians, Russians, Irish and political militants. Most of the vitriol is expressed through segregation, discrimination, and wrangling for political patronage. Read More
With Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, we saw that compromised moral principle taints gain in a way to render it a loss. With Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown, we now witness the ugly spectacle of law serving power and privilege; the desperate attempt to maintain an unsustainable status quo for people who happen to elect Democrats. Read More
I’d like to commend the SFPUC for its exceptional efforts to promote water conservation in San Francisco. With free water audits, rebates for high-efficiency appliances and improved city ordinances, we’re seeing a steady drop in water use citywide.
Using water efficiently is the key to preparing ourselves for the uncertainty of climate change. The Sierra snowpack is projected to decrease by 12 to 50 percent by 2050, at the same time California’s as population is expected to grow from 38 to 60 million. Available water will be at a premium. Read More