Letters from our Readers: Drivers in SF should be paying for polluting 

Just as we’re seeing how difficult it is for national politicians to finally have the courage to reform our tarnished, for-profit health care system, San Francisco politicians still may not have the courage to do what is right and extend parking meter hours. Especially in light of a very real Muni budget crisis, using a car in this city should cost more.

In a “transit first” city, driving shouldn’t be promoted with free parking on every street in every neighborhood every evening and all day Sundays. The hundreds of thousands of Muni riders continue to do their part to keep San Francisco’s streets less congested, our air that much cleaner and our collective carbon footprint that much smaller.

It’s common sense and smart policy to have those who pollute more also pay more.

Sprague Terplan, San Francisco

Ruling has opposite effect

The recent Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has nothing positive to do with free speech. All that has been affected is that corporate CEOs can now direct more money into political campaigns than non-CEOs can.

Being in the latter category of persons, I naturally resent this unequal apportionment of political rights. In fact, if some proponents of this decision who supposedly care about free speech were a little bit more honest, they’d acknowledge that the decision is a tremendous blow to free speech. How can something be considered free speech if you must become a CEO to have more of it?

That is precisely the result when money is treated as speech and corporations are treated as persons, both wholly unnatural conclusions that only serve to apportion political rights according to wealth.

Justin Alley, San Mateo

Difficult to do business

New San Francisco small businesses are repeatedly tricked into signing leases that make them pay rent for many months without being able to open. Typically, a small, self-serve restaurant is held up for many months by a Planning Department
“Change of Use” application because it unluckily rented space in a Neighborhood Commercial District that did not already have that use in it.

City Hall’s hampering of trade and leasing agents taking advantage of tenants makes it tortuous to open shops in The City.

Janet Campbell, San Francisco

Be prepared in emergency

As UC San Francisco pharmacy students, in light of Haiti’s earthquake tragedy, we think you should reflect on your emergency preparedness. If disaster strikes, you and your family should be prepared to survive on your own for several days. In addition to the usual flashlights, drinkable water and canned goods (with a nonelectric opener), it’s important to remember first aid and essential medications.

First-aid kits should contain bandages, medical tape, antibiotic ointments, gauze, gloves, alcohol, tweezers, soap, saline solution, waterproof matches, instant cold packs, emergency blankets and pain relievers. Remember to include your family’s maintenance and emergency medications. Check expiration dates yearly.

Elizabeth Leontiev, Bonnie Li, Jessica Reyes, San Francisco

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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