Call out poor drivers, not just poor bicyclists 

I was dispirited after reading the Thursday letter, “Unpleasant life in SF.” I’m one of the invisible throng that is law-abiding and who calls out scofflaws on their bad behavior. I’m a 57-year-old grandmother of six who’s been riding bicycles and commuting for 40-plus years, logging tens of thousands of miles. My son and I have ridden seven AIDS rides.

At times I pedal about with assorted grandchildren and nephews. I’ve been hit by a car in which the driver was under the influence, unemployed and uninsured. The car wasn’t registered and didn’t even belong to him.

I had stopped at the previous arterial while the cyclist in front of me cruised through, and I was the one hit as the driver plowed through the intersection, failing to yield the right of way making a left. As is often the case, there are many stories and situations, but the good ones are mostly buried on the back page or invisible.

Jill Alcantar
San Francisco

Emergency grocery runs

Am I the only citizen who finds it odd that the San Francisco Fire Department sends their large engines to go grocery shopping? I have seen these vehicles repeatedly at the Marina Safeway, often more than two at a time. The firefighters are inside buying groceries. Isn’t there a more fuel-efficient vehicle for these errands?

I am sure these grocery runs are labeled “training missions” or “vehicle maintenance excursions.” But I wonder, are they feeding so many personnel that this type of vehicle is required for hauling?

Michael Garnish
San Francisco


Unions exist for a reason

In your Feb. 23 editorial, “Take government employee unions out of politics,” you make a case for eliminating public employee unions. Does this mean that you think only private sector workers are ever vulnerable to being abused and exploited?

Public sector unions were not created in a vacuum. The history of these unions is replete with stories of courageous people fighting against awful working conditions.

Independent unions, both public and private, are a hallmark of free countries.

Jonathan Frank
San Francisco

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