Fidel Castro; Mid-Year Budget Cuts …

by on February 20, 2008

Dear Editor:

Cuban’s Fidel Castro’s retirement will surely bring out celebrants besmirching his years of leadership of the Cuban revolution. However, it should be noted that during his presidency, he was refining and improving health care (not only for his own people but for other people’s of the world), housing, and literacy.

On the other hand during the same period the U.S. was overthrowing democratically elected governments, propping up dictators and slaughtering millions of people around the globe under the guise of anti-communism. Now, the U.S. is using terrorism to perpetuate the same policies around the globe. Here at home, U.S. citizens are being denied housing, health care and are further falling into poverty.

When history ceases to be written by the conquerors, maybe we will better assess Castro’s accomplishments.


Denise D’Anne
San Francisco

To the Editor:

In reference to your article, “The Mayor’s Mid-Year Budget Cuts: Cruel and Unusual” (Feb. 19), I am dismayed to learn that Buster’s Place is also in danger of closing in April, another possible victim of the Mayor’s budget cuts. As you remember, last year Buster’s Place was in danger of closing but was saved at the eleventh hour when the Board of Supervisors provided $1 million to keep this facility open.

Buster’s Place is San Francisco’s only 24-hour homeless drop-in center. It was created to replace the McMillan Drop-In Center and is the only 24-hour drop-in crisis shelter in the City, serving about 300 people a day, with more than 100 in the nighttime hours. It has showers (including wheelchair-accessible showers), support services and bathrooms. It is the only place where the homeless can access shelters after 11:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. Obviously, it serves the most vulnerable in the City. Closing Buster’s Place would force many homeless individuals back on the street.

Buster’s Place is an essential component in the City’s battle to eradicate homelessness and is a cost-effective and efficient way to connect the thousands of homeless with much-needed services and housing. As a long-time homeless advocate, I appeal to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to find the necessary funds to keep this vital resource open.

Judi Iranyi, LCSW
San Francisco, CA

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