Letters from our Readers: Central Subway another threat to Chinatown

After the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco’s Chinatown was completely flattened. City Hall was quick to suggest rebuilding Chinatown in Hunters Point. It was our forefathers who resisted this plan and made possible the rebuilding of the neighborhood at its previous location.

Then City Hall realized Chinatown was an attraction to visitors. Throughout the years, it has proven to be a lucrative cash cow for The City. One hundred years later, we are faced with yet another potential threat to the survival of Chinatown — the Central Subway. Where will Chinatown be relocated during construction and after? Will the busy farmers market of Stockton Street be able to survive, and what about the daily shopping for thousands of San Francisco residents? Think!

Wilma Pang, Howard Wong, San Francisco

Is police overtime fair?

On Aug. 19, The Examiner reported that two members of the San Francisco Police Department command staff were demoted for failing to act on early warnings about a scandal-ridden drug testing lab. This mess is costing city taxpayers millions. Yet both demoted officials will still earn well over $200,000 per year and plenty of overtime pay.

Is this an appropriate punishment? How many employees in the private sector would earn that much per year if they got demoted for such costly failures? Come to think of it, why is overtime being earned by these downtown command structure personnel who aren’t out on the streets doing the real crime-preventing police work that this city truly needs — namely foot patrol work?

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

Library uniquely open to all

The social service intervention outreach provided in the Main Library is intended not only to help those in need, but just as importantly to ensure a safe and secure environment for all library users. These services are setting a new standard among central public libraries in the United States.

The Examiner’s Aug. 20 reporting of inconsequential crime statistics to discourage library use fails to underscore the critical fact that the Main Library is the only public building in the downtown and Civic Center areas open to all visitors without prejudice, including the destitute and those detached from reality.

As such, it faces a special challenge and obligation — which it is managing especially well — to serve all who cross its threshold.
Charles A. Higueras

Former Library Commissioner, San Francisco

Not all agree on boathouse

The vote approving a new concessionaire for the Stow Lake Boathouse was not unanimous as reported. When Parks Commissioner David Lee could not get staff to answer his questions as to the rent the Ortegas would pay, he voted “no.” The balance of the commissioners voted “yes” without even knowing the economic consequences. The current Stow Lake operator offered a guaranteed minimum annual rent of $215,000, backed up with a performance bond plus a 67-year track record of never missing a rent payment.

Cal Tilden, San Francisco

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