“Unwanted guests — rodents — taking seat in city's school cafeterias,” The City, Monday
Wrong on rodent ramp-up
Your article implies that an increase in fresh food being served at San Francisco schools has led to an increase in rodents. In fact there is no increase in rodents in San Francisco Unified School District schools.
Pest management is something all large-scale food providers must be on top of and our schools are no exception. At the SFUSD, we are proactive about pest management. The district routinely does inspections at schools as does the Department of Public Health. The vast majority of our schools get high marks from DPH inspections and, when a school doesn't get high marks, we address the concerns immediately.
All student nutrition staff members are trained in the proper handling, storing and disposal of food. We have enough equipment to meet our current needs, and there are no ongoing food safety concerns with regards to refrigeration.
As the SFUSD continues to expand the number and types of healthy meals served in clean and welcoming cafeterias, we seeking funding to update our kitchens and cafeterias.
Chief communications officer
San Francisco Unified School District
“Airport tram still has detractors,” The City, Wednesday
Airport tram is all politics
When the Federal Transit Administration suspended cost-benefit criteria for funding, almost any project could be prioritized with sufficient political juice. Transit professionals attempted to apply traditional metrics, but officials could override analysis and data. Politicians saw the opportunity to grease campaign donations and support. Republicans suspected a drain of funds to blue urban cores. Progressive Democrats suspected influence-peddling by developers, using transit to drive up land values, densification and gentrification.
Little wonder that the Oakland airport connector is subsidized by higher fares — because its cost benefits were never compelling. Replacing the old buses with new, high-tech buses in separated lanes would have matched travel times and kept fees low, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for greater BART needs.
San Francisco's Central Subway will be equally devastating. The 1.3-mile, $1.6 billion line has drained $605 million of state and local matching funds from the Muni system — causing service cuts in every neighborhood. With low new ridership projections, money could have improved the area's 15 existing Muni lines and added free bus-loop routes — the hottest transit trend in the United States.
The Central Subway's northern extension can still be stopped. Instead, local, state and federal funds and substantive projects can transform the entire Muni system.
Wasteful projects abound
I'll say that besides the airport tram having detractors, there is also the new section of the Bay Bridge, the Muni subway to Chinatown and the just started high-speed rail with critics.
President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation when he left office regarding the industrial complex, which today wastes trillions of dollars on military equipment that the military services do not want or need.
Now we have BART, which has spent $484 million on the new 3.2-mile Oakland airport connector, with an annual $3 million operating budget, which only addresses some 2,745 passengers per year at a fare cost of $6 per passenger. The numbers just do not add up.
Yes, great infrastructure has cost, and it provides jobs for the nearly half-filled labor halls, but what will be the dividends that it will provide in the future?
“A new vision for board presidency,” The City, Nov. 24
Tang not so different at all
It remains to be seen how new or different Supervisor Katy Tang's vision will be from Supervisor David Chiu's given the Board of Supervisors' anti-Parkmerced vote and Chiu's pivotal and questionable Airbnb legislation. Airbnb no doubt helped Chiu win his Assembly seat.
Tang's wedge issue, suggesting that rent control should be means-tested, bears a disturbing resemblance to Washington, D.C., Republicans' proposals to do the same thing (and thus gut) Social Security and Medicare.
Is Tang a registered Republican (yet)?