Letters: Tax break is not fair to SF 

"Urban gardens a growing trend," The City, Sunday

Tax break is not fair to S.F.

While it is always nice to see wealthy aging Caucasian males getting yet another tax break while struggling city workers need to dig into their pockets in order to subsidize their pensions, one needs to wonder if this money might not have better uses.

While community gardens are fun for those who have the time and inclination, we pay for parks and gardeners not gardens and private concessions. Particularly egregious is the way the former Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center has been transformed through millions of tax dollars into a gated community garden used by just a few, while just 12 blocks over, the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is sitting on 10 acres of land that might well be used for that somewhat dubious purpose.

If Dr. Aaron Roland is getting these tax breaks now, it is only fair that he or his heirs pay these taxes in full when this land is sold. Tax dollars lost here could easily allow everyone to enter the Arboretum, Conservatory of Flowers and Tea Garden for free with funds left over for youth nature and art programs.

Harry S. Pariser

San Francisco

"Cyclists call out city's trouble spots," The City, Friday

Bikers show true colors

The cover photo for Friday said it all -- a queue of cyclists downtown, next to a Muni stop, waiting for the light along with cars, and one self-absorbed cyclist leaning over into the car lane, oblivious to her position while talking on her cellphone.

Of course, ask the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition what's wrong with this picture and it wouldn't have a clue.

Good luck, San Francisco, the mouse that roared is ruling you.

Gordon Robertson

San Francisco

S.F. cyclists have nerve

Let me comment on the mean streets of San Francisco. To those of you who ride bicycles, the streets would not be so mean if you did not ride carelessly and illegally. Get a light on at night or risk getting hit.

Your front-page photo depicts exactly why bike riders need to wake up. The woman blocking the crosswalk, while preoccupied with her phone and blocking the car behind her, is typical of the smarmy and privileged attitude of all that is wrong with you geniuses. Ride well or shut up. We are tired of your whining.

Jan Naft

San Francisco

"Costs increase for Caltrain electrification of tracks," Peninsula, Nov. 9

Train system needs upgrade

A lot of young people including myself don't like to drive. We prefer more efficient, dense, multi-functional land use and good connectivity by public transit. Caltrain is always more crowded than buses. There is a rising demand for more frequent and faster service.

I believe that electrification of the train system would help provide for the increased needs of the service in an environmentally clean manner. This change would help enable future improvements in Caltrain's capacity.

Along with this improvement to the Caltrain system, it is crucial that concerted efforts are put in to connect the bus system to it so ridership growths are managed better and the whole region can use transit without having to drive to a station.

Janani Dhinakaran

Sunnyvale

"Dissapointing season ends with coach's finale," Sports, Dec. 29

49ers' York not appreciative

When I saw outgoing 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's quote "time of my life" on your front page, I couldn't help but wonder if he was sending the 49ers' organization a subtle message by referencing the Green Day song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)."

In 2011, Harbaugh's first season, he took over a 49ers team that had lost 10 games the year before and hadn't had a winning record since 2002. He guided them to a 13-3 record and the NFC West championship. Even more remarkably, in each of Harbaugh's first three years, the 49ers advanced at least to the NFC Championship Game, and in his second season, the 49ers reached (and nearly won) Super Bowl XLVII.

Now it's clear just how unappreciative 49ers CEO Jed York (whose father, John, infamously fired Steve Mariucci after going 10-6 in 2002) is of Harbaugh's remarkable achievements. Harbaugh will be much happier winning elsewhere.

Stephen A. Silver

San Francisco

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