Parking, transit, tolls are all too expensive

I can still remember the nice times in San Francisco when The City was an affordable place to live, work or visit. But going out on the town today requires battling with the parking, traffic, bridge and transit authorities on how to minimize the hassle of demand-based charges. You could now say we are feeling “clipped.”

Did the highly paid BART management actually think that once passengers were done with their ride, they would come back later to pay a negative balance — or that they’d pay a fare when all they had to do is wave their hand over a motion sensor? Perhaps we are thought of as stupid people willing to be overcharged and to give our money away.

Frank Norton, San Francisco

It’s more than three cats

In her Tuesday piece, “Feral cats strike a chord,” Melissa Griffin’s attempt to be funny at the expense of elderly, terrified cats falls short.

The “100 square feet” of landscape” temporily removed was not simply home to three feral cats. For years it has been habitat for a large array of wildlife.

The cats have never been “coddled.” They are monitored by the extremely successful SFSPCA feral cats program, which since its beginning in 1993 has reduced the feral cat population by at least 95 percent. A children’s playground nearby is irrelevant because the cats have no negative impact on that area.

It is great that the Animal Welfare Commission is addressing this issue. It needed their attention.

Susan Wheeler, San Francisco

Settlement is a victory

The $5,500 settlement in the Nicky Diaz Santillan case is indeed a victory for Meg Whitman. This trivial amount won’t cover attorney’s fees, court costs, etc. Indeed, if Whitman desired, she could have swatted her former maid with a countersuit and used deposition questioning to force Santillan and her attorneys to reveal where she obtained all the illegal documents she used to get a driver’s license and false information to the employment agency through whom she got her job.

Mike McAdoo, San Francisco

Santillan was never legal

When has it been legal to work in a country that you are in illegally? Why would a judge even let the lawsuit against Meg Whitman go to trial? The fact is that Nicky Diaz Santillan was in the country illegally, and she had no business working here. It is an insult to working Americans and mostly to those immigrants who obtain citizenship legally.

There is a process to becoming an American. It may not be perfect, but it must be respected.

I thought Meg Whitman did the right thing, and it’s a shame Jerry Brown used this case to win the election. Obviously he didn’t think he could win it without smearing Whitman.

Like it or not, America is changing. We still live in a free country where people can pursue their dreams, but we can no longer handle people just walking into our country and doing whatever they please.

Adrien Dion, San Francisco

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