A sheriff’s deputy in San Francisco was fired for driving drunk and smashing into a bunch of cars. Five years later, the deputy got his job back with back pay and all benefits plus interest. It was whopping sum of almost $800,000, which we taxpayers are paying for.
Why did this deputy get his job back? Because City Attorney Dennis Herrera forgot to serve him a one-page Notice of Termination. Where is the accountability? Someone obviously made a huge mistake in the City Attorney’s Office and we get stuck with the bill. Read More
Muni is unquestionably in a downward spiral — service cuts, deferred maintenance resulting in frequent breakdowns, declining on-time performance and a $1.6 billion projected deficit. I frankly have been at a loss to explain this, until I read in The Examiner about Muni chief Nat Ford’s quest to find employment elsewhere. Ford obviously has little or no concern for San Francisco, as he has had his eyes on the door for two years despite receiving a salary of $350,000 a year. Read More
Eliminating state redevelopment funding may seem a drastic move, but to assume that local politicians have been promoting economic development in San Francisco is a cruel joke.
Instead of promoting jobs, housing and tax revenue for The City, our politicians have done everything in their power to interfere with business and turn more land over to tax-exempt, nonprofit developers and organizations that they control. Read More
Last month they opened a stem cell research building at UCSF costing $123 million for 68,000 square feet. If the numbers are correct, that equates to $1,808 per square foot — a “Grand Palace” of a building for research. Why can’t they rent a building like most normal businesses and use that money for the intended purpose of research, research and more research?
This is why our state is so in debt — it can’t get its priorities straight.
Gary Schaezlein, BelmontToo many Muni workers Read More
I live between 4 and 5 miles from work. If I walk it takes me about 70 minutes, if I bike it takes about 20 minutes.
If I take Muni it takes me 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop, between 5 and 10 minutes before a streetcar arrives, a 30-minute ride (Muni averages less than 8 miles an hour during rush hour), and an additional 10 minutes to walk to work, in total about an hour. Read More
Two short news items recently caught my eye: “Japan plans to build world’s fastest train” and “Rail Europe service to offer direct train to Alpine nations.” They are doing this while our country fumbles along and does nothing. Even in California, where there seems to be the will to build high-speed rail, they can’t even decide what route it should take or how to build it. Read More
In “Parents, put your fears aside — let kids play,” from the Monday San Francisco Examiner, Bob Frantz responds to statistics on brain trauma from playing football — estimated to total 4 million annually — by blithely commenting that statistics do not show how many concussions are caused by “poor technique, poor coaching and lack of trust between players, parents and coaches.” Read More
Glenn Dickey’s Feb. 11 column was correct about “Cal shuffling programs to offset the rising cost of football.” But that isn’t the half of it. Intercollegiate Athletics’ (IA) most recently available (2008-2009) financial statement appears to shunt expenses from football’s tab to another category called “non-sport specific.” Read More
As a member of the 2008-09 civil grand jury that blew the whistle on “add-backs,” I was glad to see Mayor Ed Lee and The San Francisco Examiner focus on these last-minute raids on The City’s budget. Instead of prioritizing funding through a transparent process of public meetings, etc., these add-backs are targeted to groups that would not be funded if they didn’t offer political services to specific supervisors. Read More
It was good to see the so-called Patriot Act get voted down in the House of Representatives. Liberal Democrats and tea party Republicans teamed up against the White House and establishment party leaders to help end unlimited government spying on the American public. Read More
I am very concerned about the future of Caltrain. My husband and I take Caltrain into San Francisco and would very much miss the evening and weekend service that is endangered by the proposed service cuts. Being able to walk to a Caltrain station was a major consideration in our choosing to live in downtown San Carlos. Read More
Mark Hemingway’s four-part series on why Texas is economically superior to California conveniently forgot to note that California’s productivity (GPD per capita) grew at a much faster rate than Texas between 2001-2010. According to World Bank Estimates, California productivity is 1,911,822 million while Texas trails at 1,158,194. And California has been stretching its lead for the last decade.
If California were a sovereign state, its economy would rank seventh in the world. Texas lags far behind at fifteenth. California is also much more successful with technical innovations. Read More
I find it very sad that Peter Hass collapsed and died at the end of the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon. But let’s not start playing the blame game and lawsuit shuffle over this man’s death.
The truth is that everyone around him when he fell could be held responsible for not calling 911. I think it would be better to have too many medics than none at all. It would sicken me to pick up the paper and hear that someone is suing the race organizers because of his death. When someone dies, they deserve more than public squabbling. My heart and sympathy go out to the Hass family. Read More
In this challenging fiscal environment, Caltrain needs to keep its existing passengers, bring back previous passengers and acquire new passengers. Empty seats don’t bring in revenue.
The other day, at least five people, including myself, were denied service due to insufficient bicycle capacity on the 8:14 a.m. southbound train departing Fourth and King streets. The two bike cars on that Bombardier train were both full. I was late to a meeting because Caltrain doesn’t provide reliable service. Read More
I get it that driving a Muni bus is not particularly glamorous, and that a huge amount of prestige does not come with the job. But Muni drivers’ compensatory sense of entitlement is really starting to rub me raw.
They refused to make labor concessions while everyone else took cuts. They enjoy pension benefits and health insurance while many of us rely on clinics and emergency rooms for our health care needs. And, of course, they’re averaging $60,000 annually with plenty of overtime to be had while unemployment lines grow. Read More