Keep parking free at Crissy Field 

The National Park Service should drop its plan to end free parking at Crissy Field. I go several times a week to enjoy this rare and beautiful space in an increasingly crowded city. Let’s not dump locals who want some fresh air in with Marin commuters and Presidio company employees who take advantage of the free parking.

Lucasfilm, one of Presidio’s largest employers, has a large underground parking structure. Let all Presidio employers make sure that their workers are not taking free spots in Crissy Field that should be for the use of local residents and out-of-town tourists.

I have a residential parking permit for my neighborhood, but out-of-area parkers are allowed two hours before the meter maid tickets them. Surely, we can find many ways to stop commuters and Presidio employees from taking advantage without penalizing us locals. The Presidio was advertised to people of San Francisco as an urban park; it should meet urban needs, which includes parking for residents.

Fiona McGregor, San Francisco

Keep tax deductions safe

President Barack Obama wants to fund his “jobs” bill by cutting itemized deductions, including mortgage interest and charitable contributions. I won’t focus on the foolishness of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, and how that will compound the depression in housing prices. Buyers won’t be able to afford current asking prices. This will particularly hit the Bay Area and other high-priced urban centers.

Going after the charitable contributions deduction will have the perverse effect of hurting jobs at nonprofits. My wife and I currently contribute 10 percent of our income to local San Francisco nonprofits, and have done so for the past seven years. If Obama’s proposal increases our taxes, we will have to cut back on our contributions.

Most economists agree that the latest Obama stimulus won’t have any more impact on jobs and hiring than did his previous failed attempts. Government doesn’t create jobs, business does.

Cary Fulbright, San Francisco

Patriots work together

We are all part of the American middle class, and this is not the time for playing the race card and blaming the wrong people for our economic downturn. It is time for a national dialogue on finding solutions. The Tea Party Patriots want to start a “California Democracy Forum” co-sponsored by Young Republicans and Young Democrats. This diverse panel will comprise representation for all communities in addressing the critical issues facing us now and not for future generations to resolve.

Philip Melnick, Sally Zelikowski, San Francisco

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