Letters from our Readers: Street vendors killing downtown business

It is appalling that the businesses paying taxes and license fees to San Francisco, as well as paying rent and being subject to physical inspections, are in competition with carpetbaggers selling food and goods from vans parked in the street and card tables on the sidewalk.

It should be no surprise that businesses, employers and taxpayers are leaving The City. The presence of these itinerant vendors and their vans along with the dirty sidewalks, panhandlers, traffic mess and the lack of any police presence will also drive the people away from the financial and downtown areas.

Something needs to be done to bring back the beauty of The City to those who work, play or live here so that they may continue to love and enjoy San Francisco.

Thomas J. Harbinson, Ross

Needless coat of paint

While sitting in our living room on 21st Avenue, I heard some noise outside and went to investigate if there was an accident. There were two workmen with a city truck painting the bicycle symbol and arrows in the street, as if no one knows what side of the street travels north and which one goes south.

It is sad that money can be found to paint bicycle symbols where they are not needed, but not enough money to fix the deteriorating street crossings and potholes in our neighborhoods. I wonder how much money the Bicycle Coalition contributes to The City for all this wonderful artwork on our streets.

George Mattis, San Francisco

Shoddily built projects

My first question after reading the Sept. 22 article on rebuilding the Hunters View Projects is why dwellings built in 1956 are uninhabitable. Most homes in The City are older than that and in great shape. I find it hard to believe they were built as sturdily as those projects were.

Even more interesting is how and why it will cost $75 million for 107 units. Do the math and that’s around $700,000 per unit. I assume that the land is free and permit fees are waived. What kind of housing is being built that will be rented for little or no money and must be replaced in 50 years or so?

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

Labor dispute has cost city

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Hilton Hotel was packed with the JAVA conventioneers, and hotel union members were yelling, banging plastic bottles and asking people to boycott. For some reason, I thought employees would be pleased the Hilton was so busy.

Instead they were trying to drive away companies that put on conventions and people that attend them.

It is estimated that the never-ending SEIU labor dispute has cost not only The City, but also California, 10 conventions. I would have thought hotel workers wanted conventions to return, to strengthen their own job security. Obviously, they don’t realize there’s a severe recession going on. If the hotel union keeps up their antics, there won’t be any conventions in San Francisco — much fewer hotel jobs. It will be irony at its finest.

Denise Jameson, San Francisco

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