“Like sand slipping through our fingers,” In My View, Oct. 11
No other option but to support Prop. F
Joel Engardio’s recent op-ed gives the impression that those of us who are trying to keep our residential neighborhoods from being turned into commercial zones were unwilling to let the legislative process work. In fact, from last October, when the original legislation was passed, until July of this year, when the legislation was amended, several of us tried to find a legislative solution. We suggested including some form of neighborhood review, perhaps requiring conditional use permits for short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods. However, our attempts at compromise were rejected. Therefore, we were left with no option but to support a ballot initiative which, although far from perfect, at least addresses some of our concerns.
Prop. F does not prohibit short-term rentals, but limits them to 75 days a year, hosted or unhosted. That is more than enough time for “occasional use.” Prop. F does prohibit the short-term rental of in-law apartments, which should house in-laws! When the Secondary Unit Legislation was approved last year, its proponents expressly stated that it was designed to help alleviate The City’s housing “crisis” and bring people “out of the shadows.” It was never designed to provide housing for tourists. That the current legislation now allows such use is the worst kind of bait-and-switch.
The initiative process was developed over 100 years ago. It has its flaws, but it is a necessary safeguard when a legislative body listens to special interests and ignores the common good.
I am writing concerning what is misinformation regarding Prop I. The booklet just arrived on Friday and to quote Joel Engardio: “voters are being asked to pass Proposition I for a moratorium on new housing in the Mission.” That is false. Didn’t you read the measure? It states that “certain types of housing” would be suspended.
Nowhere does it mention no new housing. It makes you sound like the anti-Obamacare people who started talking about “death panels“ to scare the proponents. Now you are giving out false information to people who probably don’t care to do any research. Does the Examiner not have editors to point obvious falsehoods out?
Joel Engardio asks the question: “When will we stop lamenting the lost past and start building the housing and transportation infrastructure our kids and grandchildren need?”
A much higher priority question that needs to be answered well before Engardio’s question is: “When will San Francisco and the state of California start building enough water infrastructure to even consider more housing?” Our current water systems are woefully underbuilt and undermaintained to even serve the 38.8 million current Californians. Consider the shiny new Senate Bill 555 that merely requires water departments and private water companies to audit their systems for leaks — starting in two years. Without significant new reservoir capacity, desalinization and serious capital improvements to existing infrastructure, the answer to Engardio’s question should be “not in the foreseeable future.”
“Profiling leads to community decline,” In My View, Oct. 8
Profiling inherently bad
Who is not against profiling? “Profiling” means the practice of regarding particular people as more likely to commit crimes because of their appearance, race, etc. That’s not at all the same thing as the “Broken Windows” concept of dealing early on with nuisances.
Broken windows is actually designed to prevent large crime developing from ignored small acts of disorder that are compounded in number or seriousness. Ms. Friedenbach equates stopping disorderly folks on the street with arrest. Could it be that police arrest disorderly folks, be they homeless or not, because they, like me, are frustrated with the lack of community resources other than jail, and possibly their own lack of training in how to disperse disorders in a compassionate, nonpunitive way?
This city just failed to include funding for additional mental health training of the police. The key is not whether police “regard” certain others as more likely to commit crimes. The key is what do they do to diminish personal prejudice against any group, and once they intervene, what possibilities do they have and know about other than to arrest? The police best able to find those resources come from a helping and compassionate mentality, and those are our privately paid neighborhood Patrol Special Police who specialize in the exact solution that Ms. Friedenbach seeks.
“Settlement proposed in lawsuit,” The City, Oct. 5
Patient dumping problem
Nevada’s illegal practice of dumping mentally ill patients in California is alarming, and it is good to see the state settle the suit.
Patient dumping, as mentioned in the Examiner article, is not unique to Nevada.
As the late Randy Shilts documented in “And the Band Played On,” hospitals in the 1980s dumped their financially burdensome and terminally ill AIDS patients on San Francisco, New York and other cities that were responding to the AIDS crisis.
In 2015, the financial burden is the mentally ill. As a nation, we must work toward a goal of health care not based on financial concerns but based on the need to help those suffering.
“Assisted suicide bill should be vetoed,” In My View, Oct. 4
Assisted dying mix-up
The assisted dying issue is complex and emotional, but debates should be based on facts. Frank Lee’s column starts wrongly by stating that “almost all” medical and religious groups oppose the bill. But, in fact, the two largest such groups either support it (California Council of Churches) or are neutral (California Medical Association). This is because a majority of voters and physicians are now “pro-choice” on this issue, as found in numerous surveys, and that, also contrary to Mr. Lee’s assertions, the experience in other states has been positive.
This is all part of our shared goal to improve care for all people at the end of life, and to give us all more control over our care and choices.