Letters from our Readers: Vagrancy, crime rising in city neighborhoods 

I haven’t seen police foot patrols in Fisherman’s Wharf or the upper Polk Street shopping area since David Chiu took office as president of the Board of Supervisors. Meanwhile, I am noticing a large increase in vagrants and crime, which I think is directly related. I wonder if Chiu had the patrols moved into his own district?

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

They’re all ‘street people’

This is not the first time I have complained that the press calls “homeless” any street person when the story is about their problems, but uses the term “transient” when a street person commits a crime. Your Tuesday story “Transient enters not guilty plea” illustrates this beautifully. The lead sentence began, “The transient accused of fatally stabbing another homeless man last week.”

So the criminal is the “transient.” The victim is “homeless.” But then the writing comically ties itself into knots. If the victim was “another homeless man,” that means the accused killer “transient” must actually be a homeless man as well.
I say the proper generic name is really “street people.”

Leon Kaufman, San Francisco

No need for new subway

I do not live in Chinatown nor do I often have business there. However, when I need to travel in that area, the Muni 9, 30 and 45 lines have served my purpose. I read that those living in Chinatown are not too sure the expense of the proposed Central Subway can be justified. It is such a huge price tag for such a short and not truly necessary addition to Muni. It would be best to use scarce funds to improve the public transit that already exists.

William J. Coburn, San Francisco

Charge fee for everything

The Sunday op-ed by Bruce Livingston of the Marin Institute is really onto something. Let’s charge all alcohol drinkers a fee to pay costs for the admittedly few inebriates who cost The City so much. I think we should embrace “use fees” in general.

Only charge public school families for our lousy SFUSD. Charge book borrowers for the library. Charge high-crime neighborhoods for police services. Charge Muni riders the full $10 fare it actually costs to drive them 6 miles or less. Charge the inebriates for ambulance service, and if they can’t pay, throw them in jail as debtors. Charge all criminals for the cost of their crimes.

Cancel all programs that can’t be funded by their beneficiaries. And then kill all taxes, because our city programs will already be fully funded.

Cary Fulbright, 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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