Hetch Hetchy debate is misunderstood 

John F. Schambre’s letter about the effort to Restore Hetch Hetchy illustrates the rampant public misunderstanding about the goals of the movement and the November ballot initiative (Letters, March 20). RHH is not proposing to get rid of San Francisco’s source of pristine Sierra water in Hetch Hetchy reservoir.  That water source is from the Tuolumne River watershed and only Mother Nature can take that away.

What RHH and its supporters would like to see is for San Francisco to store its water elsewhere, and rehabilitate the precious natural treasure that was Hetch Hetchy Valley. RHH’s proposal isn’t about tearing down the dam which some local elected officials latch onto incorrectly in their attempt to quash this sensible move towards sustainable, 21st century conservation practices. They can’t see the forest for the trees. 

Restoring Hetch Hetchy would not only help revive salmon populations devastated by mega-dams, but return to San Franciscans, Californians and the nation a rich, lush habitat, whose flora, fauna, waterfalls, rivers and forests would counteract climate change, reduce our carbon footprint and bring back to Yosemite National Park a critical part that never should have been desecrated in the first place.

Lori Higa
San Francisc

Unused land is unsightly

It’s not just that hoarding of school property denies San Francisco of $6 million annually in property taxes (“SFUSD hoards prime property,” March 15).  These vacant lots and boarded-up buildings are unsightly and a drag on the local economy, not to mention the local spirit.

Like the property at 16th and Mission which the mayor had offered to Occupy SF for a brief window of time.  And the properties at Franklin and Fell streets, as well as several other properties around the city.

It’s dampening to the human spirit to see these 11.2 acres of abandoned sites. And how is that in line with the assumed goal of the San Francisco School District?

Mike Zonta
San Francisco

Support S.F. schools

Student assignment letters were just mailed and I would like to encourage families who may be on the fence about their school assignment to “go public.” As my daughter, a senior at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, decides which top college to attend, I’d like to publicly thank all of her teachers and principals in S.F. public schools.

Alvarado was a fantastic school when we enrolled — but not well known in the community. James Lick was transformed by strong leadership and an infusion of arts (thanks to the Public Education Enrichment Fund) and is now a school of choice.

There are challenges with public education, but there is so much that is working. Public education is worth investing in with your time and with your money. I believe that public school reform begins with enrollment. If you want to help, but don’t have kids: vote for a tax measure that would support public education, contact the S.F. Education Fund to volunteer, make a donation or just go to a school play!

Thank you to SFUSD, PTA and to Parents for Public Schools.

Sandra Halladey
San Francisco

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