Letters from our readers: Mayor’s goals for homeless misstated 

Your Jan. 14 article about Mayor Gavin Newsom’s State of The City address had some misinformation about our homeless goals for 2010. In 2002, San Francisco counted 8,640 total homeless people, with 4,535 residing on the streets. Our most recent count in January 2009 found 6,514 total homeless people of which 2,709 were on the streets. This progress translates to a 25 percent reduction in overall homelessness and a 40 percent reduction in street homelessness.

In the State of The City address, Newsom pledged to continue reducing homelessness in San Francisco with the goal of one-third overall and one-half for street homelessness. This translates to 466 fewer homeless people overall including 441 on the street — not 1,954 overall and 1,354 on the street as reported by The Examiner.

Since Mayor Newsom came into office, 10,535 people have left the streets and/or emergency shelter for permanent housing. We are confident that even during these difficult economic times, our housing and services will achieve the mayor’s goals.

Dariush Kayhan

Mayor’s Homeless Policy Director

San Francisco

 

Palin was bad VP choice

There is arguably a resentment of the “educated classes” in America today. This resentment might have propelled populist John McCain into the presidency, except that America was not yet ready to embrace the “uneducated classes.” John McCain might have won by choosing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas to succeed him in the event of a presidential vacancy. But his firebomb of selecting Sarah Palin, wholly unprepared for what she was asked to do — whatever other strengths she may enjoy — was too much for even this electorate to swallow.

John D. Rosin

San Francisco

 

Taxing banks is not answer

President Barack Obama is proposing taxing banks — the theory being that the “evil banks” created the financial problem. That is only partially true. The truth is that they were stuck with worthless paper from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

They bundled these bad loans and sold them off to other institutions. When the real estate market boom ended, the market fell.

Our president thinks taxing the “evil” banks will make us happy. Whether we like banks or not, we need them to finance commerce. They will add their new taxes into operating expenses and pass the cost on to the consumers.

This will solve nothing.

Keith C. De Filippis

San Jose

 

Don’t limit health care

Near our Canadian border are numerous medical facilities for Canadians dissatisfied with government health care. With limited health care choices coming to America, we can expect many such medical facilities to materialize south of the Mexican border. They’ll accommodate Americans deemed too elderly or unfit for medical intervention by insensitive nonmedical bureaucrats — resulting from euphemistically labeled “cost-control programs” that lead to end-of-life counseling (aka death panels).

Had my wife lingered in Canadian medical queues, she would not have survived. My desire is for Americans to not become future bureaucratic casualties — unlike our congressional reps who are too privileged to accept such a health care proposal for themselves.

Tony Favero

Half Moon Bay

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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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