Raises for symphony would price fans out 

San Francisco Symphony cancels East Coast tour amid ongoing musicians’ strike,” Local News, ?March 18

Raises for symphony would price fans out

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra musicians make wonderful music, but I don’t think the strike seems like such a good idea.

Concerts at Davies Symphony Hall already tend to attract a relatively elitist group of patrons, given the high prices of tickets. The higher salaries musicians are demanding would only increase ticket prices, making symphony concerts even more inaccessible to San Franciscans.

Do we in San Francisco want live classical music to become more accessible or less accessible to San Franciscans?

Regardless of when the strike is settled, San Francisco music lovers can head over to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the new SFJAZZ Center to enjoy great music. Most of the concerts at the conservatory are free. Attendance of those concerts is a meaningful and wonderful way to show our support for the talented young musicians at the conservatory, some of whom will play in major orchestras.

Anh Le
San Francisco

You don’t hear that every day

Muni is doing a great job

The Muni system has been undergoing massive projects to improve transportation services for the many San Franciscans that rely on Muni. Improvements include quicker boarding, decreases in fare evasions so everyone pays their fare and new reliability through online bus tracking.

As a 13-year San Francisco resident, I can say that for the most part, Muni has given me access to affordable and reliable public transportation. There is always room for improvement, but for the time being, we should enjoy the benefits that San Francisco provides with its developing public transportation system.

Mitzi Chavez
San Francisco

Former residents remember their days on Alcatraz Island,” Local News, Friday

Educate, don’t incarcerate

The last group of prisoners was removed from Alcatraz Island in March 1963. As we just marked the golden anniversary of this historic milestone, we should reflect on the fact that as prison facilities have been improved and modernized, the same cannot be said for our priorities.

While the causes of criminal behavior continue to be studied and debated, there is ample evidence that high school dropout rates have been used to accurately predict future prison population rates. Multiple surveys have indicated that well over half of all prisoners in the U.S. dropped out of high school as a prelude to criminal activity.

As we read about the various gangsters and escape attempts that comprise the lore of Alcatraz, we should redouble our commitment to education in order to reduce the need for prisons in the first place.

E. Michael Chelsky
San Francisco

Resisting jihad violence is defending freedom, not spreading hate,” Opinion, Sunday

Islam under scrutiny

Thank you for having the courage to print Patricia Geller’s compelling defense of the controversial bus ads. The reaction of the Bay Area establishment, political and religious, has been disappointing. It’s another case of shooting the messenger.

The ads are informative. They don’t incite. What they do, however, is point out the very unpleasant truth that we are facing a world-wide assault on our values. These values include respect for women, religious minorities and those with different sexual orientations. Other values they oppose are freedoms we take for granted such as freedom of speech and the press.

Look at the brutal murder of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan for wanting girls to have an education, the destruction of ancient Buddhist shrines in Afghanistan or the tragedy of 9/11. These were not random acts of violence.

Gilbert Stein

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