Condos would boost Manhattanization 

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8 Washington squabble pits rich against richer,” The City, Sept. 29

Condos would boost Manhattanization

The most contentious items on the November city ballot are propositions B and C, both of which would enable the 8 Washington St. condominium project to move forward.

Advocates of this project claim that New York-style high-density housing is the ultimate solution to avoiding a traffic mess like in Los Angeles.

Manhattanization and Los Angelesization are both a socio-economic and environmental disaster, and neither of them are acceptable for San Francisco. In addition to an explosive growth in traffic congestion, we are being warned of a chronic water shortage. So why should we permit more building?

In the 1980s, The City faced a similar problem with the runaway growth of commercial high-rises. The voters approved Proposition M, which was a milestone in preserving the quality of life in The City.

Although Props. B and C just deal with the 8 Washington development, the real issue is how much more building and population growth The City should tolerate.

Galen L. Dutch

San Francisco

S.F. foreclosures drop, but housing still in crisis,” The City, Thursday

Gentrification rolls on

After seeing one of those white Google buses plying the streets of San Francisco, I finally understood the return of real-estate madness, where a two-bedroom Mission district apartment can list-price at $1.2 million and be sold for $1.9 million or more. The bus left a temporary image on my retina. Then I refocused my sight on the homes around me and I realized that each of these wonderfully charming older homes had become rancid bubbles again.

It felt surreal to walk the Mission and watch the white undertaker bus filled with eager buyers willing to pay more than a half-million dollars per bedroom in neighborhoods filled with those who can only afford to rent their homes and apartments. After watching Larry Ellison walk through our city’s treasury, every one of us knows how this has to play out. That our neighborhoods are being compromised for another person’s greed is of little surprise.

Those white buses with the darkened windows are a symptom of a cyclical madness that has haunted this boom-and-bust city of San Francisco since its first Gold Rush.

John Thomas Ellis


National Coming Out Day

Take pride in coming out

This Friday is National Coming Out Day. In April 1993, 1 million people came together for the National March on Washington for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender rights.

The highlight of that day came when Martina Navratilova gave a speech on the importance of coming out and on the need to be open and honest about one’s sexual identity:

“What our movement for equality needs most is for us to come out of the closet. We need to become visible to as many people as possible. One’s sexuality should not be an issue, one way or another. Being homosexual or heterosexual is not good or bad. It simply is.

“If we want the world to accept us, we must first accept ourselves. If we want the world to give us respect, we must first be willing to give ourselves respect. We must be proud of who we are and we cannot do that if we hide.”

I urge you to come out now.

Robert Sodervick

San Francisco

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