Letters from our Readers: Sit-lie law will be hard to enforce with fairness 

Ken Garcia’s Friday column was right that the proposed sit-lie sidewalk ordinance won’t be applied to tourists waiting with their luggage, kids sitting with skateboards or anyone else who appears “normal” to police.

Instead, the law will only be applied to homeless people with signs or cups, wayward-looking young people who hang out in groups, “hooligans” and other roughnecks looking to cause trouble.

Street artists and musicians will probably be left alone, unless they are dressed too shabbily or have less talent than an “American Idol” contestant. Girl Scouts selling cookies and volunteers gathering signatures won’t be bothered either, since they are acting for the public good. People sitting behind religious, spiritual or political tables would not be prosecuted because they are exercising their First Amendment rights.

Garcia correctly explains that “people holding puppies” while sitting won’t be among those cited. Everything will be fine as long as there is someone who can explain this law. But there is always the risk that, as Mark Twain once said, “the more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”

Jeff Adachi, Public defender, San Francisco

Let voters decide sit-lie

Put the sit-lie ordinance on the November ballot. Don’t let San Francisco’s district supervisors water it down with their legislative power. As Ken Garcia suggested, the call to action could be coupled with a ballot to restore citywide election of supervisors before San Francisco goes bankrupt.

The City’s 2007-08 civil grand jury reported that most of the nuisance individuals on the street were not homeless at all, but living aimlessly in various forms of government assisted housing and shelters, discouraging business and creating health hazards.

Our “Progressive Party” encourages criminals and junkies to dominate the public sidewalks and open space because there is huge money to distribute (read: power and influence) from the federal and state welfare programs to deal with the mess. The massive bureaucracy has created dependable voters on the side of more spending, bigger government, reduced property values, more waste, fraud and abuse.

Judy West, San Francisco

Trader Joe hypocrites

In your Monday story “Castro Trader Joe’s opening hits snag,” the residents around Market and 15th streets seem like such hypocrites. Several years ago, they used the City Hall bureaucracy to block the opening of a Trader Joe’s, citing alleged traffic and other quality-of-life concerns. Suddenly, with the same concerns unabated, the residents are embracing the opening of Trader Joe’s. And they are complaining about the bureaucratic delays in getting the store open.

Robert A. Jung, 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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