Air security’s costs deserve scrutiny

Funding for air transportation security (about $6 billion) amounts to about 10 percent of appropriations for all homeland security (about $60 billion).

In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, Americans have never flinched at the cost. Indeed, we tend to assume that money, technology and efficient business practices will solve almost any problem. Having provided the above, we can afford to relax.

This year, a superscanner with 360-degree scanning capacity looms on the horizon at the cost of $1.5 million per scanner! Is it the right answer or complete and utter overkill? Fundamental questions need to be asked again and again.

Niko Kyriakou’s articles last week on security at San Francisco International Airport shed light on many issues, including measuring government-based vs. privatized airport security. Citizens need substantive reporting on alternate security systems. We also need more information about the increasing use of U.S. security screeners in international airports outside of the U.S.

Jann Gates
Mexico City

Water conservation is key

San Francisco’s long-term water plan (“‘Drought insurance’ spurs outcry,” Sunday) would be better served by focusing on conservation and efficiency opportunities. Modesto and Turlock farmers presently have little incentive to conserve, since they’re paying as little as $2 for an acre-foot of water. Bay Area customers are likewise overly generous with water use, turning our semiarid landscape into a water-saturated one.

For years, San Francisco, Modesto and Turlock water interests have managed the Tuolumne River, a gem of a river, as little more than a massive plumbing project. Where we don’t bury it beneath dams and reservoirs, we straitjacket it with mile after mile of levees, all at taxpayer expense. When these projects were built and their “benefits” accessed, we neglected to assess the benefit of the natural watershed.

The water needs to go back where it belongs — in the river.

John Dye
San Rafael
www.RiversforChange.org

Towing fines are overkill

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the misfortune of having my car towed on Geary Street at 4:10 p.m. I am not protesting the fact that my car was towed, since I was in a tow-away zone from 4 to 6 p.m. I had not noticed the sign, but alas that is my error.

What I am protesting is the absurd amount of money this mistake cost me. Not including the taxi ride to the impound to claim said vehicle, the amount was $556.

I understand that this is a source of revenue for San Francisco, which like most cities is having financial challenges.

However, it is not as if I was in a fire zone or putting anyone in harm’s way. I saw people at the impound claiming their vehicles with tears in their eyes. For some, it means not being able to get their cars out of the lot or perhaps not being able to feed their families for quite a long time.

What a sad state of affairs we have come to when it costs this much to make a simple error. I would be interested in knowing what other cities charge for the same infraction.

Drivers, please learn from my costly mistake.

Were you aware how expensive it is to be towed in the City by the Bay?

Lee Wanetik
San Mateo

letters to the editorOpinion

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 cases on Thursday Nov. 3, 2020. (Examiner screenshot)
Newsom announces statewide stay-at-home order tied to availability of hospital beds

Order will take effect in Bay Area when intensive care unit capacity falls below 15 percent

Photo by Abalone Runner/ <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74406455" target="_blank">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
Former Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard facing domestic violence, child abuse charges

Prominent Bay Area political strategist Nathan Ballard is facing domestic violence and… Continue reading

Construction crews work on new red bus rapid transit lanes on Van Ness Avenue on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board scrutinizes Van Ness BRT spending

Proposed contract modification would allocate $2.6 million for pedestrian monitors

Mayor London Breed said “I need to hold myself to a higher standard” in response to criticism of a recent meal at a Napa Valley restaurant. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed calls criticism for French Laundry trip ‘fair’

Mayor said she regrets that actions ‘distracted’ from public health message as COVID-19 cases rise

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

Most Read