Joe Elsbernd’s Family; The Wages of American Workers; Mission Community Organization; Film Review of “Precious”; Muni’s Future; Campos Immigration Policy …

by on November 17, 2009

Dear Randy Shaw:

I am Joe Elsbernd’s cousin. My mother, Isma Cochran, is his mother’s sister. When Joe was talking to you, he was also asking my mom for her recollections. She had none at the time.

After reading this article, she told me she wondered if Joe or you knew that when Joe’s Grandpa bought the 222 Hyde property, it had been a brothel. The upstairs was full of little one bedrooms. Grandpa had it remodeled into two apartments which Joe’s family and our grandparents occupied. Occasionally the doorbell would ring late at night and someone would holler “Is Mary working tonight?”

Over 300 folks attended services for Joe at St Paul’s Church on Valley street on Saturday. There were 12 priests, a bishop, the mayor, many uniformed students from St Thomas More and a bagpiper. Joe would have loved it.

Thank you for this very thoughtful article. Mom is 86 and going strong-living next door to us here in Rossmoor.


Linda Herron

To the Editor:

It’s ridiculous. Are you serious, New York Times? How can you say with a straight face that American workers are being paid too much? I think these Times reporters should seek some kind of help, because their statements are just sick.

Randy Shaw is correct. Instead of taking the corporations’ position that workers are overpaid, they should be demanding that the bosses salaries and bonuses should be downsized.

Francisco Martinez

To the Editor:

Indeed, Americans have become complacent and entitled. Compared to those who endured the Great Depression, we are profligate spenders incapable of frugality. We demand more income for our increasing debt to satisfy an insatiable demand for all things material. It’s as if life on Real Housewives of New Jersey has become reality for many.

Union workers are not alone in being over-compensated; professional athletes, celebrities, executives and specialist physicians are as well. We are nation buried in debt and living far beyond our means. The Great Recession will inevitably lead to the Great Contraction as wages, of necessity, will have to decline for many. Don’t rush out and buy that BMW now, there will soon be a surplus on the used car lot.

Michael Patmas

To the Editor:

Interesting review of what sounds like an important book. If it is true that Mike Miller does not address class tensions in the Mission Community Organization (MCO), that is a fatal flaw.

Also, thanks reminding us of an important critique of nonprofit organizing: the problem of patronage. It is a difficult thing to criticize nonprofits without somehow being seen as right-wing. But its hard not to notice how ineffective S.F. nonprofits are these days. I have personally felt that militance with regard especially to housing issues, especially if one’s ideas about strategy differ from that of the directors, is a sure way of being excluded from this type of activism.

Gerrard Winstanley

To the Editor:

In my life, I have seen so many movies — but “Precious” is the only one that would not get out of my head. It kept me haunting me every day, and I’m still not sure why.

J. Gister

To the Editor:

How does eliminating Muni bus routes compromise with raising the price to assure the reliability of public transit?

In my opinion, we are all struggling to make ends meet while Muni gets rich.

Araceli Smith

Paul, your article does not address the issue of federal vs. local immigration law. Regardless of whether David Campos’ bill does the right thing for immigrant youth, it ignores federal law by extending the City’s sanctuary policy to those charged with a felony. Even City Attorney Dennis Herrera is concerned about prosecution of the City’s police officers by federal courts.

Will the City Supervisors stand behind our officers? I have not seen any statements from Campos on this. If Herrera & Newsom’s comments are not valid, then please include them in your article and present arguments against them.

Erik Nehls
San Francisco

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