➤ “Soda-tax plan to stir big issues, hot debate,” The City, Monday
Soda tax is bad approach
If the Board of Supervisors were serious about preventing obesity and other health problems, the first thing it would do would be to ban all processed foods in The City. Then it would set up a county-run program that would replace the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as well as a similar Women, Infants and Children program and all the other failed attempts at food distribution. The new program would be a simple program that provides cheap or free prepared meals or a delivery of a box of healthy food to anyone that wants it, even if they live in Pacific Heights.
A tax on soft drinks will do nothing to stop obesity, tooth decay, heart disease and the plethora of other negative health effects caused by sugar. This tax will undoubtedly be politically popular among progressives and attacked by conservatives, setting up a straw man that will be burned on the pyre of public opinion.
➤ “Barking continues over dogs,” The City, Friday
Let Park Service do its job
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was established to bring the parks to the people and to preserve its special resources unimpaired for future generations. The National Park Service has determined where dogs will also be welcomed in these parks people enjoy so much.
The Park Service has been extremely responsive to a huge swath of concerns by a widely diverse set of users while still protecting the park. It has held at least a decade of hearings, two years of stakeholder workshops, multiple comment periods and open houses, and has redrafted the dog management plan followed by a supplemental plan.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, wants to begin this agonizing process all over again just to accommodate an increasing number of dogs.
To Rep. Speier: Just let the Park Service do the best job it can to balance an ever-increasing human user base, on ever-decreasing budget support from Congress, to make the best decision it can for the most amount of people, while protecting these irreplaceable open spaces for future generations.