Require bicyclists to get liability insurance 

Thanks for your excellent article (“Speed push cited in bike death,” Friday). I wonder if The San Francisco Examiner has learned of any initiatives to require on-road bicyclists to carry insurance. Under the circumstances of your report, the subject would make for an excellent follow-up piece, and be a great public service if it spurred action.

In another very recent incident, this time along The Embarcadero, another elderly person was hit by a bicyclist and killed. Her death resulted in only $15,000 in compensation.

On-road bicyclists in San Francisco should be required by law, as motorists are, to carry liability insurance for the protection of other people or property. They are already required by law to wear helmets.

To the extent that bicyclists pose a lesser risk than cars, insurance companies would price liability policies for bicyclists at a lower rate. Everyone using mechanical transportation on public roads should have proof of financial responsibility. This reasonable requirement would protect the public while serving as a warning to bicyclists about the hazards of their activity and encouraging them to bike responsibly.

Charles Dutkin, San Francisco

Mar fighting for workers

In response to Michele Gutierrez-Canepa’s response to Eric Mar’s op-ed (“Mar ignored nonprofit’s overtures to museum workers in contract dispute,” June 10): Supervisor Eric Mar, among other San Francisco supervisors, should be applauded for meeting with workers at the Legion of Honor as part of Service Employees International Union Local 1021’s “Walk a Day in Our Shoes.”

In her piece, Gutierrez-Canepa suggests that Supervisor Mar and the workers never met. In fact, Mar spent several hours with a group of workers — walking, talking and taking notes at the Legion of Honor.  

The Corporation of Fine Arts Museums has placed wage cuts on the table, and has hired two costly lawyers who only seem interested in stripping the workers of their rights to a fair contract.

COFAM seems to be making an argument based on their own distorted and unfair principal that people should pay, not one based on necessary cost savings. COFAM is a very profitable nonprofit organization. It is not in financial distress.

I find the argument and general tone of Gutierrez-Canepa detrimental to the forward progression of this city. It is an attitude that punishes working people while the bosses get to call the shots, and lie while doing it because they think they can get away with it.

We should be encouraging our leaders to raise the standards of this city, not lower them.

Richard Rothman, San Francisco

Lopez motives questioned

Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, is an intriguing character in the ongoing San Francisco telenovela.

As I remember, she claimed to have wanted the video made because of marital difficulties. She worried about custody of their son if there were a divorce. Her testimony about her motive for making the video is important evidence in this case. And no, Lopez has not come clean. If you will notice, all her carefully crafted — some would say self-serving — statements to the media were not sworn statements subject to cross-examination or even subject to rigorous questioning by the media.  All other statements have been through her attorney. She should be a key witness for Mirkarimi. Will she come back to stand by her man?  

But remember, the supposed reason for the original argument was Mirkarimi’s objection to her request to visit Venezuela with their son. Now she is in Venezuela with her son. If Lopez did want a divorce with custody of their son from the beginning, everything is working out nicely for her.

I think everyone underestimates Lopez.

Ralph E. Stone, San Francisco

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