From Readers: Central Subway won’t rip up Stockton Street

I’d like to point out to the writers of a Wednesday letter about the Central Subway project that there will not be a huge trench up Stockton Street as there was along Market Street when BART was constructed.

The depth of the new tunnel would require a deep boring machine or two in order to get under the BART subway structure and under the eastern side of Nob Hill. I am not saying that there will not be any disruptions or inconveniences, but this project would be different from BART.

Irving Q. Waldorf, San Francisco

Actually, Prop. B can work

A Friday Examiner letter stated that “Proposition B will have an extraordinarily negative impact on lower-paid city workers,” citing “gardeners and health care aides.” Which city is he talking about?

According to the San Francisco Controller’s Office, in the 2010-11 budget, the average annual wages and benefits, including any furlough days, is $83,057 for gardeners and $174,418 for nurses.

The letter further stated that Prop. B “offers no structural solution to the current fiscal crisis.” In fact, the opposite is true. Concessions and givebacks recently conceded by labor to balance the current 2010-11 budget were temporary, consisting primarily of temporary furlough days and deferred raises.

These concessions did nothing to address The City’s $787 million structural deficit that made Moody’s Investor Service downgrade our long-term debt to “negative.” Prop. B provides permanent increases in pension and health contributions from city employees and directly addresses The City’s structural fiscal crisis.

Ryan Chan, San Francisco

Staffer was a disaster

I dispute Ken Garcia’s Friday infomercial for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s departing development czar, Michael Cohen. The man Garcia describes as “arguably the most important staffer in Newsom’s administration” was actually its biggest disaster.

He used bond funds designated for underserved neighborhoods to rehab Harding Park for the PGA Tour. On Hunters Point, he became a lap dog for the developer, to the detriment of the current residents who won’t be able to remain there if the project ever gets built.

As for Treasure Island, its movement forward was not because of Cohen, it was because the developer of the Ferry Building rescued the project when it was near death.

Cohen also almost killed the Transbay Transit Center expansion by siding with the developer of a planned high-rise at 80 Natoma St. that would have blocked train access to the station.

Finally, Cohen was Newsom’s point man with the 49ers, and it was on his watch that the team decided to abandon San Francisco and move to Santa Clara.

John Brennan, Corte Madera

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