Letters from our readers: ‘Beach Blanket’ lost its biggest, brightest star

Val Diamond, the heart and soul of “Beach Blanket Babylon,” left the stage for the last time in October after producer Jo Schuman Silver decided the show should go in another direction. After 30 years and more than 1,500 performances, she was summarily tossed aside.

I’ve seen “Beach Blanket” at least 50 times, and each time I looked forward to Val’s amazing vocals, her impeccable comic timing, and of course those over-the-top hats.

I’m encouraging all those fans who have been privileged enough to see Val perform to write to Schuman Silver and make known their displeasure with the loss of such a San Francisco treasure.

Having known Steve Silver personally, I believe he would be turning over in his grave at this injustice. San Francisco needs its star back.

Daniel Foster
San Francisco

Fill the buildings we have

San Francisco currently has dozens of vacant storefronts on Market Street alone. It would seem the wiser to fine-tune the building inventory that now exists and hold off further development until times begin to prosper again.

This city doesn’t need any more new empty buildings.

William J. Coburn
San Francisco

Bicycling needs support

It is imperative that current transit planning vigorously address climate change. Bicycling instead of driving can be an important part of the solution to the climate crisis, but only if bicycling is encouraged.

The current Caltrain reality — a significant probability of a cyclist getting bumped from a time-critical commute — is a powerful deterrent to using a bicycle.

I fervently hope the pending Caltrain Short-term Transit Plan will help to lead the way towards a habitable planet for our children and our children’s children.

Al Chase
San Francisco

Palin deserves respect

I find it amusing and confusing that so much of the “extreme left” hates Sarah Palin. She is a self-made female politician who started her career without help of a husband or father (unlike Pelosi, Feinstein, Clinton) and lives her life the way she wants it.

Palin has a large family and is pro-life, she exercises regularly and she expresses herself. Isn’t that what being a feminist is about? — making choices as you sees fit regardless of gender or societal stereotypes? But Palin gets bashed because she’s pro-life and attractive. Don’t the media have anything else to talk about it?

Palin was the youngest person and first female to serve as governor of Alaska, but Newsweek is more interested in her legs. I am pro-choice and I favor marriage equality, but I can’t help supporting her for “breaking the glass ceiling” of gender politics.

Denise Jameson
San Francisco

Leave choice to landlords

I have lived in San Francisco all my life and I will be damned if the law is changed here to require owners to rent to tenants with pets.

I am allergic to cats. Although I do feel felines and dogs are beautiful creatures, I should not be forced to live with them in the next apartment because of some selfish law.

Dave Ferguson
San Francisco

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