Official court reporters vital to legal justice

As an official court reporter of the San Francisco Superior Court, I was very troubled to read your Tuesday cover story regarding the contract court reporter failing to produce a timely grand jury transcript vital to the German tourist homicide case. An official court reporter is an employee of the court and is required by law to file their notes with the court each day, thereby eliminating the chances of “AWOL” transcripts.

As of October, 22 official court reporters were laid off by San Francisco Superior Court. Additionally, due to budget cuts, the Superior Court currently has 15 electronic recording machines on order to replace the only impartial guardian of the record charged with keeping people honest in the courtroom. Other counties have used electronic recording in their courtrooms, only to produce disastrous results. There is good reason for the employment of official court reporters.

Patty Dowling, Burlingame

A better way to vote

Most of the whining about ranked-choice voting is coming from an establishment that formerly gamed the elections down to a runoff, which for many voters generally became the equivalent of choosing one’s favorite Menendez brother. San Francisco’s current execution of ranked-choice voting is indeed flawed in allowing only three choices instead of ranking all candidates. That latter way, called “preferential voting,” is used to elect the Australian prime minister, the president of Ireland and the president of India without fanfare.

San Franciscans dumped the old system so that their collective voice could be heard. Not surprisingly, some people do not like that.

John D. Rosin, San Francisco

Bicyclists under fire

Why does The San Francisco Examiner constantly run letters attacking bicyclists? Is mindless pandering to road rage part of your journalistic mission?

I’m 73 and a lifelong bicyclist. I can tell you that we bicyclists are threatened every day on the streets of San Francisco, and motorists’ anger, jealousy and sense of entitlement are all too often a factor in these criminal acts.

Before printing still another hateful anti-bicycle letter, please take a second to reflect on which is responsible for more mayhem, environmental destruction and conflict in the world — a bike or a car?

Barry S. Eisenberg, San Francisco

2011letters to the editorOpinionSan Francisco

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