Evolution of John McCain; Sit & Lie Ordinance; More on SEIU Trial; More on KPFA Crisis …

by on March 31, 2010

To the Editor:

I spent a week in Arizona recently staying with my brother and his wife in a gated community. They’re Democrats, but all of us went to a McCain speech the day after the Health bill was signed. McCain has gone from center/right to far right in his bid to be re-elected. The crowd was the interesting thing …. remember in Milk the Orange County crowd? The people in Arizona looked the same and sounded the same. It explains why many of them don’t believe in evolution … they haven’t evolved!

Dale M. Butler
San Francisco

To the Editor:

We need to make it unattractive for those that choose to come to San Francisco to live on the streets. As homeless advocates have said for years, the term “homeless” itself has many different definitions. All too often, everyone is lumped together and stamped “homeless.” This law is specifically designed to be utilized as an enforcement tool to target those who aggressively panhandle, and harass passersby, business owners, and just about anyone they come in contact with.

This law is not designed to corral everyone with a big bulldozer, but rather utilized to ultimately make coming to San Francisco to be a street thug not as attractive as it seemed. For those that are mentally ill, or have other obvious physical or medical problems, there are avenues for those to avail themselves. Most of the names attached to this letter come from these community and faith based services. So for this native San Franciscan, I support the sit-lie law as a tool that can assist, perhaps not rid, the streets of lawless individuals.

Dave Ebarle
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Isn’t the reason for a sit/lie law the punks and gang members who threaten “regular” people? That’s not cool, and so what are merchants and tourists and other “regular” people to do? The punks should be thrown out. If it takes being arrested, I guess that’s one solution. You all can’t be in favor of being threatened, right? So what’s your solution to the problem? It’s easy to complain and be against something, but the hard part is being constructive and offering a solution … not just complaining. I am against being threatened, and for being left alone by government. You?

Chris Moscone
Sausalito, CA

To the Editor:

Really appreciate Carl Finamore’s perspective. I am an SEIU 1021 member. Hope he continues to cover to cover this issue.

Francesca Rosa
San Francisco

To the Editor:

One question that needs to be asked is, just how democratic is a union when it goes behind the backs of those it claims it represents? Millions of dollars were moved throughout the local without the knowledge of the rank and file, this to me is treason. What this really boils down to is that Roselli is pissed of beyond belief in the way the Andy Stern wants to take the organization. His vision is to conquer by putting divisions in categories that are equal to or the same so that they can take on issues that mean something to that particular group while still having the backing of all the locals in SEIU.

What I am saying (and Roselli hates this) is Hospital division, Convalescent division, Kaiser division and Home Health Care division. Roselli does not want to lose control, he wants it all or nothing so he began to nearly 3 years ago to dismantle this local. Millions were moved around and nothing was said because none of the members knew. Trips to Puerto Rico, BMW’s and computers bought with this new “Patient Education Fund.” You should know that the new rank and file leaders have changed many things, they are now 300 on the executive board (1 ‑ 50 ratio) they have begun to rewrite the locals bylaws and constitution so that dictatorship and theft like this can never happen again, and in that there is one thing I love it is term limits, no more than 2 terms at 3 years a peace for the president and vice president, and the executive board gets one 4 year term.

So I am still thinking here how can you call this a lack of democracy when Roselli himself acted like the dictator, a Roman one at that? I know of your connection to Roselli, hell most of the Bay Area knows of your “connection” to him.

Steve Rhineman
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Randy Shaw’s article on the KPFA crisis is obviously another well-placed propaganda piece by the paid staff who have run so low on funds that they almost achieved this step in ridding themselves of any listener oversight. (Yes, even while seeming to be pleading their brains out. I wouldn’t have believed it either had I not witnessed years of the wily dedication up close.)

Five years ago board members, two treasurers, and others experienced in careful financial analysis of the station and network warned that some cutbacks in paid positions and benefits would likely be needed to stave off a crisis. (Improving alternative KPFA news reports and web presence would certainly have helped as well.) These cuts were not only not made, but paid staff positions increased dramatically while throngs of dedicated volunteers were let go with almost no notice.

Lest Mr. Tiekert, whose news reports I do find often very good shoot back an eloquent answer, let me say that while I admire his reporting, he is one of those few honchos who want control of the whole shebang to remain in the hands of those few. That I don’t agree with. I also believe Tiekert’s enormous workload manages to achieve a workaholistic haze that seems to negate careful reflection as it pertains to the building of an effective radio network.)

I’m very sorry to see that Greg Guma (comment in letters) didn’t bother to find out that Rijio had also kept a check for $375,000 in a drawer for a year uncashed while the station floundered. That is certainly the main reason she was let go, but for some reason, as usual, Pacifica management seems to have been “kind” enough to allow Rijio a separation clause that forbade complete transparency on this. The revelation of the check, including Rijio producing it when the jig was found to be up, was, however, witnessed by Les Radke, longtime KPFA/Pacifica steward, then employed in the Pacifica office. He sent notice of this to many people.

There are problems with Pacifica, but that bit about a few listeners controlling all is not true, but to the limited degree the local station board DOES have any power, it’s only because a bare majority of hundreds of listeners is able to override the much SMALLER minority of a few (not all) paid staff who want to remain in utter control of all. They have used the huge power of the airwaves to do it with untrue and slanted reports and lack of fair election coverage among other tricks, as well as enlisting their easily-won from their broadcast-status friends.

Virginia Browning
longtime KPFA listener and Board observer
Berkeley, CA

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