Letters: Soda, smoking not same 

"Move to limit and tax soda is the new tobacco fight," Opinion, Sept. 30

Soda, smoking not same

In your recent op-ed, health activist Erica Etelson compares the movement of fighting diabetes by taxing soda with the earlier movement of fighting Big Tobacco companies to discourage smoking. I appreciate her input and agree with her to a certain extent, but comparing the two movements as similar is not accurate.

One feature prevalent in smoking but absent in soda consumption is the secondhand effect. Smokers were not only endangering themselves with cancer, but those around them due to secondhand smoke. The effect of soda consumption lies entirely with the consumer alone. Rather than trying to pass a bill that adds a deterrent such as a tax, we should instead take away incentives.

Educating the public on the detriments to regular sugar consumption as well as stricter regulations on processed foods should provide all the reasons needed to eliminate the desire for regular sugar consumption.

Michael Bejar

San Jose

"Only minor crimes reported at Outside Lands," The City, Aug. 12

Hardly noisy as other fest

For yet another year, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert has proved that it's possible for a large multi-day concert held in Golden Gate Park to attract large audiences and be a good acoustic neighbor.

Despite weather so warm that most Sunset residents had opened their windows, hardly any noise leaked out of the park and into nearby homes. Contrast this with the sonic intrusions into homes by The City's ultimate bad-neighbor concert, Outside Lands.

Acoustically speaking, concerts held in the park should be required to stay within the park. Hardly Strictly can do it and be successful. Why isn't Outside Lands being required to meet the same standards of neighborliness?

Riley B. VanDyke

San Francisco

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