Newsom’s voice gives him away

Want to know how you can tell Mayor Gavin Newsom is lying about his handling of the Olympic torch debacle or anything else? Check out that phony husky gravelly voice he always puts on when he’s uncomfortable speaking about something. It’s a dead giveaway.

Barry S. Eisenberg

San Francisco

Airline deregulation troubles

Let us hope that at long last Americans wake up to the fact that the deregulation of the airlines has been a complete disaster for the flying public. The recent spate of bankruptcies, flight cancellations, poor service and tarmac fiascos should make it clear that there needs to be a thorough assessment of air service in this country.

The airlines have for decades promised that if freed from government rules, they would be able to provide better service and remain profitable. Does anyone in their right mind believe that now?

It is time for the American people to say enough! If the elected officials in Washington continue to worship atthe altar of deregulation it is way past time for the voters to send them packing.

Vernon S. Burton </p>

San Leandro

Plants could affect health

Demonstrating a flagrant disregard for health concerns, global warming and the destruction of ecosystems, San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell will introduce legislation at today’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors supporting a new contract to site three combustion turbine power plants in southeast San Francisco.

At the same meeting Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier will introduce legislation forcing The City to assess the need and fiscal impacts of the project. The California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator have raised questions as to the need for the electrical capacity generated by the proposed CT units.

Additionally, the Transbay Cable will deliver enough electricity to more than offset the lost capacity from the projected closure of the Mirant plant.

Nowhere in the discussion is the controversy over adverse health effects, global warming, and degradation and destruction of ecosystems sparked by the prospect of siting three CT’s in a neighborhood with an excess of diseases related to petrochemical toxicity. The CT’s will increase the production of particulates less than 2.5 microns in diameter, the toxic air contaminant most closely correlated with asthma, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and increased infant mortality rates.

Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai

San Francisco

Same-sex marriage tax issue

By not backing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may be cutting future tax expenditures. Same-sex couples pay higher taxes than married couples. When the Supreme Court finds no scientific evidence to support marriage discrimination, thereby allowing gay marriage, all that tax money may have to be repaid retroactively.

As the bigoted clock ticks, it only increases the potential eventual tax refunds for tens of thousands of same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples who hang in there may get a nice little nest egg. We tax payers should try to stick the bill to those supporters of the gay marriage ban. Nevertheless, this time Schwarzenegger will not be fingered.

Greg Austin

San Francisco

Landlords leaving business Oh, Mr. Mac. (“Landlords have assets,” Letters, April 12) You have hit the nail on the head. Landlords are getting out of the rental business: in droves, and due to rent control and harsh rental laws. Now you know why there is a condo craze. But, landlording is not treated the same as any other business.

A landlord cannot, by law, just arbitrarily decide to quit. The tenants have the right to renew their contract every year for the rest of their life, regardless of what the landlord wants to do.

If the landlord evicts to go out of business (that’s the Ellis evictions you often hear of), besides paying out tens of thousands of dollars per tenant, his property is also penalized for having those evictions attached to it.

You are right though. He can sell his building, with his tenants intact at a reduced value and go find somewhere else to live, but I guarantee that person buying it is not buying it to be a landlord in this town.

The buyer then becomes the one to deal with going out of the rental business, hopefully with his eyes wide open about how long it’s going to take to change the property from a rental building to another classification and how much it is going to cost him (enormous legal fees, outrageous tenant buyout costs and incalculable hassles). And now you know why there is such a shortage of rentals in this town and why the price is so high.

Ruth E. Wheeler

San Francisco

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