Hetchy water is key to Bay Area’s future

This coming November, San Franciscans will have the opportunity to vote on a measure that may ultimately lead to the draining and restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley and force The City to look elsewhere for most of its water. Restore Hetch Hetchy, the primary organization credited for collecting more than 16,000 signatures from registered voters (only 9,702 are needed) to get this measure on the ballot, is proposing to require that San Francisco spend $8 million to blueprint plans for a new water system by 2016, and hand the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir over to the National Park Service for complete restoration.

San Francisco natives U.S. Sen.  Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi both strictly oppose the measure. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is also against the proposed ballot measure, publicly claiming it is an “environmental and economic disaster that threatens irreparable harm.”

Don’t be fooled. This measure has gained the support of misguided and naive residents to stick a multibillion-dollar price tag on unwilling taxpayers. Voters must reject this proposition. Our city, if not the entire state, needs Hetch Hetchy to continue encouraging the growth of Silicon Valley tech industries and supplying desperately needed water to our citizens. Let’s save Hetch Hetchy once and for all.

Joseph Sweiss
Orinda

No property tax for trees

I was very, very disappointed in your discussion of the problem of neglected trees in San Francisco (“Stop saddling residents with upkeep of trees,” Editorial, Friday). You quote Supervisor Scott Wiener as saying, “We need to find a sustainable funding source for our urban forest.” You also tout his proposal for a “small parcel tax” to go toward tree care.

We are already voting on a parcel tax to bail City College of San Francisco out of its fiscal profligacy, and now this clown has the audacity to float the idea of another one.

Is there going to be yet another parcel tax after this one? Where is this all going to end? A parcel tax is the worst kind of tax because everyone gets to vote on it, but only a few have to pay it. Lots of people can pat themselves on the back for their public spirit, secure in the knowledge that someone else will have to pay the bills.

This matter of parcel taxes is beginning to look like an infestation of bedbugs. When you see one, you know there are more on the way.

Leslie E. Mangus
San Francisco

Cargill’s false promises

I read that Cargill’s developer, DMB, is busy breaking promises it made to residents of Mesa, Ariz. Here in Redwood City, we’d be wise to remember this when they come back with a new plan to destroy our Bayfront.

Three years ago, voters in Mesa were promised the moon when they approved more than $125 million in tax breaks for a huge, upscale resort development. Now DMB and its partners have finally admitted that their plan has more or less collapsed.

Cargill and DMB have promised to come back with a new proposal to build housing in the salt ponds. I am sure they will have a shiny new slogan and PR campaign, because the 50-50 Saltworks plan was a total failure.

But if this developer’s history is any indication, voters should not trust either of these companies’ promises.

John Cieslewicz
Redwood City

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