It’s 2009, and forensic evidence is finally taken seriously in the case of Richard Ramirez. It’s ironic that the book “Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez,” reveals that at practically every crime scene there was a piece of forensic evidence belonging to neither Ramirez, nor the victim. And this situation was glossed over by both the prosecution and defense.
Richard Ramirez was found guilty based on a shoe print found on the same street as his fingerprints. I hope this time the evidence will be fully analyzed as to its true source and any actual role in the crime.
B.K. Steier , San Francisco
Logic lacking for tax hike
This past weekend the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce sent out a somewhat misleading e-mail about Measure U, the proposed city sales tax increase. Only the executive board voted to endorse a tax hike, not the entire 700 members.
A quote from one board member claimed, “When the city looks bad, when parks close, when banners and hanging baskets are gone, when the streets are dirty, people will stay away and business will suffer.”
However, street sweeping is paid for by a fee on everyone’s garbage bill — not by the municipal budget. The hanging baskets on Laurel Street are maintained by volunteers, not by the city. And banners are hung by San Carlos for free because the council doesn’t want to charge nonprofits. But that alone is not going to break the bank — and if we needed to, we could charge a fee.
What has broken the bank in San Carlos is employee costs, which have risen every year and represent 70 percent of the city’s budget. Even last year, employee costs rose 5.6 percent. Trying to tax the city out of a spending problem is not the solution.
Matt Grocott, Council Member, San Carlos
Billboards bring trouble
If voters pass Measure D and allow gaudy 24-hour blinking lights on a 52-building stretch of Market Street, the boarded up stores of today will host 24 hours of unsavory characters and activities.
Voters previously rejected more billboards twice; one citywide ban passed in 1970 and another in 2002. We are asking the same voters to question their own good judgment from previous elections. We need to keep our voting integrity and vote “no” on D.
Denise D. Anne, San Francisco
TARP problem not fading
TARP is one of the messes President Barack Obama inherited from President George W. Bush. But unfortunately, Obama has done nothing to improve it. Henry Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury under Bush, wrote the law so he could do anything without oversight and not be prosecuted. Obama put Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge. Like Paulson, they are Wall Street insiders and deregulators who want to protect their friends.
Until Obama cleans house and puts some regulators in charge who don’t want to protect Wall Street miscreants, things will continue to get worse.
David R. Dawdy, San Francisco