Keep Twitter here — it’s part of our identity 

The City’s efforts to keep Twitter in San Francisco (“Twitter tax break takes stage,” March 15) are very important to job growth in The City. Twitter is important not only as a rapidly growing job producer in its own right, but as a marquee symbol of San Francisco’s (only recently achieved) status as a technology startup hub.

San Francisco companies like Twitter, Zynga, Yelp, Craigslist and Wikipedia are magnets for other tech startups, and help foster an ecosystem of talent that is increasingly making San Francisco the place to be for social media, video game and other tech companies. Technology company growth has been one of the few bright spots in San Francisco’s recent employment picture.

It would be a shame to lose one of our homegrown stars to Brisbane — and Supervisor Jane Kim deserves kudos for her efforts to keep Twitter in San Francisco.

Mike Sullivan, San Francisco

Working to curb smoking

As a cardiologist, I treat patients who unfortunately suffer from heart disease. Heart disease and stroke are the Nos. 1 and 3 killers of Americans. However, 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable, including stopping or never starting smoking.

Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association released a study that stated that between 1965 and 2007, the prevalence of high-intensity smoking decreased greatly in the United States. The study also noted that California was leading the states in terms of smoking reduction. Our state consistently led the U.S. in using public policies to reduce cigarette smoking, and there were faster declines in smoking prevalence in California compared to the rest of the nation.

The American Heart Association has worked tirelessly to advocate for smoke-free air and to prevent youths from smoking. Nearly 40,000 Californians die annually from something smoking-related, with medical costs of $9.1 million in our state alone.

We continue to support smoking cessation legislation for a healthier California. In partnership with the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association of California, we have joined forces to put the California Cancer Research Act on the next statewide ballot. If passed, this tobacco tax initiative would increase sales taxes by $1 per pack and direct the revenue to fund tobacco-related disease research, tobacco prevention and enforcement programs.

Dr. Ralph G. Brindis, Past president, San Francisco chapter of the American Heart Association

Stop sitting on sit-lie law

In response to your March 15 story “Cops start going after loiterers,” I was annoyed by the comment of Park Police Station Capt. Denis O’Leary when he said he was advising his officers “to go easy in the beginning and just admonish people.”

The voters passed the sit-lie ordinance because they are tired of being accosted by out-of-town vagrants who come to San Francisco because they think they can get away with that abusive behavior. But then again, why would one think otherwise when a San Francisco police station captain says to “go easy” on lawbreakers continuing the same philosophy that has made The City a mecca for troublemakers? If you come to San Francisco to do harm, we are going to “go easy” on you.

And then you wonder why San Francisco continues to have this problem year after year.

E.F. Sullivan, San Francisco

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