Letters from our Readers: City needs to rethink

The City’s Public Library espouses revisionist budgetary history. In 1988, Proposition A’s $109 million bond was passed for a new Main Library and to upgrade all branch libraries. Not done. In 2000, another $106 million bond was passed to renovate all branch libraries. Not done. In 2007, Prop. D gave the Library Revenue Bond authority to sell revenue bonds to help offset a $40 million shortfall.

Today, cost overruns are $100 million and climbing. The Library Preservation Fund, intended for library services and books, is being tapped without voter approval, while projects exceed $1,000 per square foot. Combined with double-digit soft costs and rising debt loads, historic preservationists are correct in seeking larger libraries at lower costs.

Howard Wong, San Francisco

Root of trash problems

I have an answer for the letter writer who wishes he “knew what was behind” The City’s trashy streets. We have a city government that allows an open city for illegal immigrants who come from where all types of trashing is common. A reduced police force makes it low priority to take on scavengers going into recycling bins looking for plastic and throwing around the rest, or to issue citations for dropped cigarette butts. Add the excessive homeless persuasion going through trash bins and you have your answer.

By the way, I and my neighbors have had our flowers cut a few times in the middle of the night and trashed.

Ed Baumgarten, San Francisco

GOP’s new punching bag

Mark Hemingway’s Monday op-ed, “Democrats lose credibility,” which ties Lady Gaga’s call to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” to Democratic political woes, is no big deal at best and solipsistic at worst. What was his point, given the Democrats’ historic ability to shoot themselves in the foot with or without “Madonna on Steroids”?

The right is looking hard for a new Jane Fonda punching dummy. Lady Gaga also has spoken out against the 19th-century practice of filibustering, which allows any senator to talk legislation to death. If she comes out with any more good ideas, the right will find itself further embarrassed for punching the wrong “dummy.”

José Segue, San Francisco

Take stand on quotas

Both Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are fully aware of the Dodd-Frank hidden-quotas bill. Section 342, authored by Rep. Maxine Waters, would impose minority-hiring quotas in federal agencies and public contracting, etc. But, for the upcoming debate with Jerry Brown, I was told by Whitman’s campaign headquarters that she will not even mention it.

Keep in mind that in 1996, California voters strongly endorsed Proposition 209, the anti-quota initiative, which Jerry Brown and his ACORN Democrats even now are trying to overturn. Race quotas are the lifeblood of the Democratic Party and they hope to dominate the future by embracing special treatment for minorities.

Meg should put away her checkbook. If she wants to be governor of California, she should stand up for the Constitution and challenge Brown and the hidden-quota bill. If not, get used to “Gov. Jerry Brown” again.

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

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