Letters from our readers: Column mischaracterizes disaster-safety efforts

As San Francisco city administrator and chair of the Capital Planning Committee, I wish to respond to columnist Ken Garcia’s Friday comments about the proposed Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond. This measure will ensure that our first responders are ready to serve our citizens during small incidents or large disasters.

Those of us who have lived in the Bay Area for some time know full well that it is not a matter of if but when we will need to call on police officers and firefighters to safeguard and protect us in a large, regionwide earthquake.

Garcia’s piece leaves the impression that we are choosing between services and buildings. This is not the case. The proposed bond will repair a dedicated water system for firefighting, retrofit neighborhood fire stations and relocate our police command center while creating jobs and strengthening the local economy.

Without seismically sufficient facilities for first responders, the safety of San Francisco residents would be compromised.

Edwin M. Lee, City Administrator, San Francisco

Missing out on tax revenue

Your Sunday blog “Medjool given two months to gain permits” made me wonder: If the restaurant and rooftop bar are as popular as noted, if they pay their taxes and do not deal in contraband, what’s the beef? The City is losing all too much tax revenue to the nit-picking of government watchdogs.

I believe it more prudent for officials to be concerned for the vitality of the local economy and perhaps buffer the edges of difference.

William J. Coburn, San Francisco

Bill would benefit women

As a woman and a cardiologist, I would like to publicly thank Rep. Jackie Speier for signing on as a co-sponsor of the HEART for Women Act.

This legislation, supported by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, would help ensure that heart disease and stroke are more widely recognized and more effectively treated in women.

One important provision would strengthen federal regulations for reporting sex-specific data from trials of new medications and medical devices. This is crucial because some medications and devices behave differently in men
and women.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and stroke is the No. 3 killer of women. I urge Congress to pass this important legislation during the current session.

Dr. Rita Redberg, San Mateo

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No drug talks on agenda

Afghan president Hamid Karzai has convened a three-day conference on corruption. The talks will focus on Afghan bribery, graft and favoritism.

I bet the Afghan government’s complicity in the billion-dollar drug trade will not be on the agenda. Afghanistan produces about 90 percent of the world’s opium crop.

You cannot ask the American people to sacrifice more American lives and billions of dollars to support a corrupt Karzai government.

Ralph E. Stone, San Francisco

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