Outside Lands sonic assault still annoys residents 

Your article on the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (“Outside Lands hits high note,” Monday) stated in passing that there were “fewer than half the number of complaints about noise.” It remains to be seen whether that was because the concert’s noise pollution was actually lower, or whether Sunset and Richmond residents simply gave up trying to get organizers to actually deal with the noise pollution.

Many Sunset and Richmond residents continued to sustain industrial-strength concert-sound pollution across three days and nights. The festival’s “new and improved” sound management measures ended up being little more than the figurative equivalent of a cosmetic Band-Aid applied to an acoustic compound fracture.

Concerts in the park need to confine themselves to the park and stay out of residents’ living rooms and bedrooms. The residents of the Richmond and Sunset districts who are being denied their right to the unencumbered use of their homes by massive multiday concerts in Golden Gate Park must now band together, pool their resources, and seek legal and environmental protection from acoustic assault.

Riley B. VanDyke, San Francisco

Obama campaigning dirty

From the positive campaign of “hope” and “change” in 2008, President Barack Obama has descended into a negative campaign of attacks and smears in 2012.

The Obama campaign’s attack advertising started early, in May, against Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Longtime Obama ally and campaign surrogate Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., deplored as “nauseating” the negative campaign against private-equity financing. But the negative attacks on Romney and Bain have only continued and intensified since, coming from a White House-connected super-PAC. The group has run a series of ads awarded “four Pinocchios” by the Washington Post’s fact checker — its worst rating for truthfulness. The most egregious ad was an attempt to link Romney’s tenure at Bain (ending in 1999) with a steelworker’s wife’s death from cancer in 2006 without any plausible connection.

On Obama’s behalf, Sen. Harry Reid  made a Joseph McCarthy-like unsupported slander that Romney didn’t pay any income taxes for 10 years, based on a “source” he won’t identify.

Finally, there is Vice President Joe Biden telling a largely black audience that Romney wants “to put y’all back in chains.”

I can’t recall a nastier, dirtier campaign than Obama’s re-election drive so far — and Election Day is not until Nov. 6.

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

Brown dooming education

I feel utter dismay toward the tax proposal presented by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Education is one of the most important social elements — it shouldn’t be held hostage by government. Making education funding conditional upon the passage of his tax proposal is absurd, and I think the people of California should have foreseen this before voting for Brown.

It seems he has lost touch with reality. Our children will suffer for the government’s lack of vision.

John Tanwani, Antioch

GOP shares Akin’s views

Republicans are speaking against fellow Republican Todd Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, but not because of what he said about women who are raped.

Most Republican politicians actually basically agree with Akin’s beliefs, advocating that a woman should not be able to get an abortion even if she is raped (or a victim of incest or if her life is in danger).

They are upset with his comments because they bring their unpopular stands on social issues to the forefront at the expense of an emphasis on the economy and joblessness.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach

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