"S.F. chain store war could block Chipotle from occupying vacant space," The City, Wednesday
I really don't get it. The City would rather stick by its policy of disallowing formula retail businesses from coming in and occupying a long-vacant commercial space rather than letting them provide jobs; provide services; and pay sale, use and payroll taxes? As one of the Planning Commission members, Michael Antonini, said, "It's bad policy."
When San Francisco said no to Home Depot's desire to occupy the space formerly occupied by Goodman's Hardware & Lumber, it languished for a long time (almost a decade) before a Lowe's was allowed to come in. During that entire time, people could have been working, The City could have pulled in sales tax and payroll dollars, and the community would be served.
It really is foolish when you consider that people want jobs, and they want to be able to shop near their homes. Would The City rather see all of those sales-tax dollars go elsewhere?
"S.F. schools poised to net more state funding in new budget," The City, Tuesday
Wary of school policy
Your articles on state school funding -- before the budget vote on Gov. Jerry Brown's Local Control Funding Formula and since -- have astutely raised many red flags. Despite the rosy picture painted by the governor and some school advocates, very little is known or has been discussed publicly about how transferring funds and decision-making to local boards, without oversight of elected officials, will affect communities, particularly low-income ones.
Will the greatest windfall actually be for private groups seeking to further the for-profit ("free market") corporate education agenda, and will the sudden infusion of funds actually undercut free public schools and strong unions?
Is this strategy modeled on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's Chicago, where scores of community-supported public schools have been closed, clearing the way for privatization of education and gentrification of neighborhoods?
Perhaps not. But now that we've rushed through school budget "reform" here in California, we -- parents, teachers, school administrators, concerned state residents -- need to know the details of the law (where devils usually reside) to preserve and improve our schools.
"S.F. orders parklet removed from Martin Macks," The City, Monday
All hail the parking space
The removal of the parklet on Haight Street is good news for The City. Get rid of these rat-infested, anti-car parking-space-deleting annoyances. Stop charging us for Sunday and get more revenue from the meters that were uprooted for these idiotic parklets.
"Black city residents more likely to be busted for pot, ACLU says," The City, June 6
Take race out of justice
The issue addressed in this piece is extremely relevant to what people of color are facing throughout the nation. Seeing how diverse San Francisco is, it is alarming to see the disparity in arrest statistics among different racial communities.
Reporter Chris Roberts writes, "There are five times as many whites as blacks in The City, yet there are four times as many black people arrested for pot than whites, according to the report." Thank you for helping readers gain perspective on how our criminal justice system continues to exhibit racism.
I am hopeful that more attention will be paid to this issue, to ensure equal protection of the law for all residents irrespective of race.