Provide notice before shutting off utilities 

I manage a building with two dozen residents. At 8:30 one morning last week, a worker for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission rang my bell to announce he was going to shut off the building’s water and change the meter.

I ran outside and informed him that he was not going to shut off the water while the tenants were getting ready for work and school. I was not informed of any impending shutoff and would not have scheduled for this time.

I inquired how he could conceivably do such a thing at that hour without previous contact. His answer was that it was being done all over town. I can’t believe that the SFPUC is that oblivious to the needs of the folks who are paying their salaries.

Tim Donnelly
San Francisco


Sit-lie better than nothing

Continued stories about the lack of effectiveness of the sit-lie ordinance are patently absurd. America, like every nation, has always had laws prohibiting antisocial, sociopathic behavior. Yet murder, rape, robbery, carjacking, embezzlement, jaywalking and texting on a mobile phone while driving — just to name a few — all continue despite society’s best efforts.

Does that mean we need to erase all those laws too, since major and minor crimes are committed each day? Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Ted Loewenberg
San Francisco


Foam ban a good first step

The recent passage of state Senate bill 568 banning Styrofoam food containers statewide is a step in the right direction. San Francisco’s ban of these containers in June 2007 showed that such a policy can be highly successful. It posed little or no disruption to restaurant food service.

The benefits are myriad, including lessening of garbage. But most of all it saves our oceans from the harmful effects of nondegradable garbage choking off the life of our precious sea creatures.

Just as we ask people to bring canvas shopping bags to their local grocery stores, we need to encourage people asking for restaurant takeouts to bring their own containers and decrease our need to pick up garbage.

The next step should be a total ban of all Styrofoam products, especially packaging material.

Denise D’Anne
San Francisco

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