➤ “Library tries to turn the page,” The City, Monday
Private security is best
Had the Police Commission gotten behind the proposal years ago to augment San Francisco’s Patrol Specials, our city-chartered private police force, rather than over-regulating and ignoring them, taxpayers would have a much better deal for the $1.2 million being spent for additional library security for next year.
We’d have four private police officers for 2½ years, not just one. We’d have four academy-trained police officers rather than four state-regulated security guards plus a Police Department sergeant. We’d have no expensive public police pensions to pay forever and no duty uniforms, patrol vehicles or weapons to fund.
Patrol Specials, as small, private businesses, charge about $60 per hour and specialize in order maintenance tasks typical of library disturbances. They are appreciated as dedicated members of neighborhoods where merchants and residents have been hiring them for more than 170 years. That’s a bargain at any cost.
➤ “Developers fear backlash,” The City, Friday
Better solution for housing
Concern about reaching shared views on housing is shared by all of The City, not just those attending SPUR’s closed-door meetings. But until the neighborhood plans and zoning restrictions are updated with citizen input, the combative model of 8 Washington St. will continue to be used.
It was clear from the outcome there that the voters do not want random waivers of neighborhood building constraints because they now realize that neighborhoods all over The City can be affected. San Diego has recently announced what may work here, and that is first updating planning codes of neighborhoods in which a high volume of new housing is expected.
If such an updating does not occur, then each development project requiring height, volume or use waivers may be on ballots for years to come. This is not just about NIMBYs, but rather neighborhood residents knowing what the ground rules are for building in their neighborhoods, and they can’t know that if developments are randomly accommodated by spot zoning.
➤ “Mandela legacy celebrated,” The City, Friday
Mandela’s teachings linger
We mourn the passing of a great human being, Nelson Mandela, whose work, philosophy and teachings will be etched deeply in our minds and hearts, and who will live in history forever.
Mandela also reminds me of my own father, Le Van Vien. During the French colonial period in Vietnam, my father was captured by the French and imprisoned for two years. He was imprisoned simply because he was a Vietnamese human being, and also one who was well-educated. During my father’s imprisonment, he was tortured, interrogated and beaten by the French guards.
Mandela once stated: “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter. I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.”
Mandela’s teachings will live in our hearts and minds forever.