"Labor pact puts end to BART strike," The City, Tuesday
Remember BART fatalities
Even though there is now a tentative deal yet to be voted on by the unions and the BART trains are now rolling again, it's at the expense of two track engineers who were killed Saturday when struck by a BART train during the strike.
Regardless of which side you were on during the negotiations between BART and the unions, the long, drawn-out mess held Bay Area commuters hostage.
The loss of two human lives during this strike, and the grieving of the two engineers' children and family members, should prick the conscience of both sides in this BART debacle. We, the public, also grieve with the families.
Neither side won. We all lost.
Anh Le, San Francisco
"Props. B and C would set a bad precedent," Opinion, Thursday
B and C bad for waterfront
I couldn't concur more on The San Francisco Examiner's recommended no vote on Propositions B and C. San Franciscans would be absolutely crazy to let this developer reap such a huge windfall at the ballot box at the expense of The City.
In general, I'm in favor of additional housing around the downtown area, but there has to be limits on that housing expansion. In simple math, the contractor stands to gain a windfall of $120 million over and above the $15 million it has said it will donate to The City if it gets new height allowances and the on-site affordable housing stipulation is also lifted.
Right now, The City is getting zero dollars for the commercial value of the new added height, which I would value at $25 million. The affordable housing is worth 25 units at $5 million each for a total of $125 million.
If B and C are approved by voters, all contractors will want new building heights and the waterfront will soon look like Hong Kong. What puzzles me more are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's and Mayor Ed Lee's endorsement of B and C. These two politicians have more than 50 years of enforcing our building code requirements between them but have inexplicably canned their principles to support B and C and the economic hosing The City will take if they pass.
Politicians who seemingly forsake their principles should be reason enough to stop this developer's attempt to circumvent the Planning Commission via the ballot box.
Vote yes on B and C and San Franciscans lose $135 million and get an ugly waterfront, or vote no and The City will still get a fair financial settlement and a reasonable development in accordance with the decisions of the Planning Commission.
R.E. O'Leary, San Francisco
"Sharp park course run down," Letters, Opinion, Thursday
Golf courses don't add up
Letter writer Jillian Smith is dead wrong about her facts on the Recreation and Park Department's golf course resources. In 2002, The City approved an ordinance to create the Golf Fund, in which all revenues from all golf courses owned by San Francisco are pooled in the fund. All expenses for all golf courses including Sharp Park are to be paid from that money according to a formula.
Rec and Park has gotten away with failing to comply with the law. There has never been a true audit of the $13 million fund by an independent non-city auditor, nor has Rec and Park done its job of requiring an annual report of all the Golf Fund's revenues and expenses at a public hearing.
For the record, I don't play golf. I just watch out for the public's money, especially when those in charge fail to do their jobs and uphold the law -- as in this case.
Nancy Wuerfel, San Francisco