Letters from our Readers: City needs to make sure ‘duck boats’ are safe 

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia where two tourists died in a “duck boat” accident with a barge should give us pause.

San Francisco operates two such amphibious land-sea lines. Filled with 20 to 30 tourists, these boats enter the waters off Mission Bay at least 20 times a day and tour the mouth of China Basin (aka McCovey Cove). Alarmingly, this area is home to several large barges, just like the ones that crashed into the Philadelphia duck boat.

The City needs to place a temporary injunction order on the use of these crafts and determine whether they are as safe as they claim to be. We need to examine their power trains to determine if they have back-up motors for emergencies. Evaluating whether they need to be retrofitted to ensure that they float if filled with water should also be examined. Right now they sink. The duck boat in Philadelphia is currently at the bottom of the river. This is the third accident nationally involving these craft. Will The City be the site of the fourth?

Michael McGreevy, San Francisco

Fiorina’s difficult decision

I was shocked to read Barbara Boxer’s quote recently that Carly Fiorina “laid off American workers without a second thought,” particularly given that Boxer was not there when the HP executive team and the HP board were struggling with layoffs. As Carly’s executive assistant during her tenure at HP, I was there.

I remember quite vividly just how difficult that decision was and how much painstaking effort went into ensuring that workers were given both severance and career resource counseling, in addition to providing voluntary early retirement. Boxer’s inflammatory statement, backed by absolutely no knowledge of the situation, only proves that she is clueless about what it takes to run a business in California and to keep people employed.

If companies want to stay in business, they can’t run in the red the way Congress currently runs the federal government. Clearly Boxer is “clueless in California” and she must go.

Susan Holm, San Francisco

Thanks to supporters

I am proud to announce that we submitted more than 75,614 signatures to the Department of Elections to qualify the Pension Reform Charter Amendment on the November ballot. The Elections Department now has 30 days to determine if we have met the 44,000-signature requirement for the ballot.

I want to thank everyone who helped and supported us in making this possible. I will keep you all posted on our progress as we mount the campaign to save our city.

Jeff Adachi, SF SMART Reform, San Francisco

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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