An open letter to SF Examiner readers

First, a sincere and heart-felt “thank you” to all who have taken the time to write letters to our newspaper.  We appreciate them all — the comments, suggestions, criticisms and, yes, even the complaints.

There has been a recurring (and expected) theme to a great number of the letters since The San Francisco Examiner announced the changes to our editorial pages and overall “position” of the paper. That said, I feel this is the most appropriate place to respond and comment.

Throughout its long and storied history, The SF Examiner has been many different newspapers. Changes in ownership, public policy, trends and even tastes have all impacted our evolution to the newspaper you hold in your hands today.  “Moderate,” “liberal,” “right-wing” and even “fanatical” have been adjectives attached to The SF Examiner in the past.  

Today, I would like to add to that list. Not “liberal,” not “conservative,” but “opinionated.” Most times “fiscally conservative,” always “socially responsible.”

Finally, I promise and pledge to keep one descriptive at the top of our list — “relevant.”

Todd A. Vogt, President and publisher, The San Francisco Examiner

Focus on solutions

Some recent letter-writers are pleased that The SF Examiner will no longer be explicitly “conservative.” Other letters hope that the paper won’t become yet another “liberal,” or worse yet “progressive” one.

As for me, I just wish I knew what those terms actually meant. Those labels have been used and misused as code words by so many as to have become functionally meaningless. Indeed, many rhetoricians seek cover behind those terms specifically because they have no clear meaning.

Or perhaps rather than quibbling about what “real” conservatism, liberalism or progressivism means, we can scrap the terms entirely and instead start discussing real-world solutions that are measured by their ability to produce useful results for the majority of Americans rather than their notional conformance to one or another ideological dogma.

Riley B. VanDyke, San Francisco

Fighting the good fight

I was raised in Redwood City and now live in Oregon. I felt compelled to write because of all the things I’ve been hearing about Cargill’s plans for a huge development on the salt ponds.

As far as I am concerned, Redwood City has always been victimized by big developers seeking profit without thinking about what’s best for the community. I think it is wonderful that Redwood City Neighbors United has organized to fight this huge corporation whose intentions really have never been in the best interest of the health of our environment.

I’m following this closely because many of my family and friends still live in Redwood City and their interests are the same as mine.

Ann Stallcop Janzen, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Focus on the big money

News sources have been headlining the local costs of Occupy encampments. For example, San Francisco says its occupiers cost The City about $1 million.  

But in all fairness, shouldn’t these stories also point out that what the occupiers are protesting has cost our country trillions of dollars?

Bob Hayden, San Francisco

Get well soon, George

I was pleased to read about Sen. George McGovern being released from the hospital after his recent serious fall in South Dakota. I express my deepest thanks and gratitude for all of his historic leadership and statesmanship as U.S. senator, as well as his work on behalf of impoverished people here in the U.S. and around the world in regards to food and hunger issues.

I thank Sen. McGovern deeply for working so hard to help end the tragic Vietnam War. During the war, my parents and our family yearned for peace to arrive in Vietnam. Because of the tragic circumstances of the Vietnam War, my parents were not able to see their family members for decades.

I feel grateful and proud to have had the privilege to work as a volunteer in Sen. McGovern’s presidential campaign.

Anh Le, San Francisco

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