Letters from our Readers: Nobody willingly throws their entire life away 

Tuesday’s Examiner front-page story about the Fire Department’s transportation of overly intoxicated people to emergency rooms was greeted with dismay by many staff members in the psychiatric ward where I am doing my clinical work as a student nurse. Our patients have severe psychiatric disorders frequently involving alcohol and substance addiction.

Your photos depicting people collapsed on sidewalks and in public parks were particularly distressing, because many of our patients spent years in such circumstances before arriving here. More concerning was your portrayal of the problem as a costly public nuisance.

The subtext was: Why bother, they’re only going to go back out and do it again. As if anyone in their right mind willingly throws their life away. Experience has shown that the majority of these people suffer from mental illnesses. Yet the scarcity of available mental health resources means many are discharged to the streets, destined to repeat this vicious cycle unless they receive longer-term rehabilitation. Let’s focus on solutions and stop shaming these unfortunate souls for being a burden.

James Cochran, UCSF School of Nursing, San Francisco

Newsom’s win-win idea

Congratulations to Mayor Gavin Newsom for his innovative idea to generate $8 million of revenue for our cash-strapped city budget by allowing property owners to pay extra fees to convert their units into condominiums. This would allow us to avoid $8 million in painful cuts to transportation, parks, public safety, health care and other city services.

The proposal helps first-time homeowners, hurts no one and generates $8 million from city residents who would gladly pay. At a time when our only budget choices seem to be painful cuts to services or unpopular tax hikes, this is a “win-win” solution.

Mike Sullivan, San Francisco

Arizona sets right example

Arizona’s new ethnic studies bill is intended to encourage open debate among the diverse student population. In sharp contrast the SFUSD fails to provide for such a forum. At our inner-city schools, anti-white rhetoric is often used to conceal the dismal failure to educate. An ethnic studies program similar to Arizona’s should be considered for California schools.

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

Hotels are the face of SF

I have lived across the street from the Fairmont Hotel since 1972. During those 38 years I have appreciated the role this hotel has played for San Francisco. The ever-changing business climate has had a negative effect on all Nob Hill hotels. I support the upgrade plans that the Fairmont has announced, as I will support similar plans at the Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court and the Huntington.

Think of the alternative. Imagine what Nob Hill will become without the prestige of these four hotels. We should not only have one five-star hotel — all four should be so ranked. These hotels are the face of San Francisco to the world.

Robert Varni, 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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