Matt Gonzalez, Getting Out of Iraq, Psychiatric Health Cuts, More Wi-Fi…

by on July 16, 2007

To the Editor:

I abhor the sheer arrogance and chutzpah of Matt Gonzalez to put the Green Party in a bind as to his on-again and off-again decision to run for mayor. Green Party members should be shamed for waiting with bated breath for the coming of the Messiah. The question is: Would you jump off a bridge if someone you admired did? Well, Gonzales is jumping off a bridge and expects everyone to follow.

I recall a letter from Terrie Frye concerning the last mayoral campaign where she took the Green Party to task for splitting the progressives between Gonzales and Ammiano. She then decided to hold her nose while voting for Gonzalez after Ammiano was discarded.

There is a hard lesson to be learned that no one person can be relied upon to cure the ills of society. The lesson is that WE not HE can change society and that takes more than voting every four years – to put it more simply: relying on anyone person who puts himself/herself out as the sole arbiter of societal ills.

Denise D’Anne
San Francisco

To Whom It May Concern,

I find it truly funny how the percentage of the american people that is suposably against the war is gathered together. I don’t understand the people in this country that think bringing home our troops will solve anything. The war in Iraq has to be finished or the american people will suffer!

I am an army wife, and my husband has been over seas 2 X now, and yes it is hard! But sometimes we have to face hard times in order to have good times. God never said life was going to be easy, but for some reason the american people think they should have everything easy. Iraq deserves to have a real life! How many of you who are reading this have been over seas?

CAN YOU TRULY SLEEP AT NIGHT?? Pull the troops out = BIG PROBLEMS for the american people. Too bad Bush cannot run for President again, because he would have my VOTE! People in this country is ignorant when it comes to history and it is time to wise up. The Bible says there will be wars and rumor of wars to come!

Pull the troops out now, and soon there will be a big mess to really clean up! I pray for the leaders of this country, and I trust Bush knows more than I do about this war. One day people will realize that Bush is an awesome president. Look at Lincoln he is considered the best president, but in history everyone was against the man. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Proud to be an Army Wife!
Angela Baxter

To the Editor –

I was pleased to see the op-ed in BeyondChron from Ed Kinchley at San Francisco General Hospital. I know the author and his commitment to the patients at SFGH. His piece explains well the immediate problem.

This year’s City budget process has been one that has confused or mystified many people familiar with the process. Even after the budget was finalized and approved many were finding surprises despite having followed the process. It would have been a good surprise to learn that both the community based program would receive funding to open new beds and all the proposed cuts in psychiatric beds, i.e. services, at SFGH would be restored in the budget.

Alas, such a surprise was not there and today we are slated to have this loss of care for individuals desperately in need of care and loss for all of us who work, raise families and live lives in this City where we all benefit if those who need mental health care can get that care.

The County Jail System has become the provider of care for many people who receive more limited services in a system designed to incarcerate, not treat, the mentally ill. As a nurse in that system, it astounded me the first time I learned I could not send a person, upon their arrival at the jail, to Psychiatric Emergency Services although I could be certain that would be an appropriate place for them. I could however send someone to the emergency room for physical health needs if I determined they had such need.

We continue to treat mental health needs and physical health needs of humans in very different ways. Having to fight to retain 14 psychiatric beds in a County Hospital demonstrates the low priority those whose health problems are of their psyche rather than their gallbladder. For a sick gallbladder we would have an Emergency Department, a radiology department, a surgical suite, a recovery room, an intensive care unit if something did not go quite right in surgery and a medical-surgical unit if the recovery routine. We make every attempt to have all the right staff to provide the needed care in each of those areas and that is exactly what we should do.

However at Psychiatric Emergency Services, a burgeoning care unit, we have to hope they are not on diversion, can accept those who do come there, have enough nurses and doctors to provide care safely AND then have a bed to send the patient to once they have stabilized the individual and they can move onto an inpatient unit with a bed to spare. A fourteen bed cut is going the wrong direction.

As a nurse, I can only acknowledge how irrational this kind of health care is. As a Union activist, I have had the privilege in the past year of working with and coming to know many of the psychiatric care givers at our county hospital. They are an experienced group committed to providing very competent care to this population. We all need the Health Department to maintain these services and to insist money to be put back into the budget to do that and let those people do their jobs. Every one of us in San Francisco benefits from that.

Rita Connolly, RN

To the Editor:

Somehow, the entire debate on WiFi seems to have missed/omitted what seems to be a key fact. Rhetorically, the issue is “spun” now so that media and many at City Hall are allowed to wonder why would anybody be opposed to having use of your LAPTOP anywhere in the city?

The Google-Earthlink proposal calls for free service throughout the city. Which is further spun to appeal to the poor and to appease those concerned about the digital divide. But if poor people have the funds to buy a computer, why would the $10/monthly minimum fee for Juno be a financial barrier?

In fact, it’s the cost of a computer that burdens the poor. Why then would the poor buy a more expensive laptop than a less expensive desk top? Why would poor families buy a computer with less memory and internal speed [ a laptop ] than a faster and more powerful computer able to be used by all levels of kids for their homework?

One family laptop taken to the park, to a friend’s house or to school means everyone else in the family has NO computer access. How many poor people want to also carry around something that is a theft-target? And can easily be damaged if dropped?

Laptops also have smaller keys than regular keyboards–meaning it is harder for seniors, for the low-vision, for those with finger co-ordination skills–to comfortably and efficiently use a laptop.

This WiFi contract is geared for those using LAPTOPS– not for people with disabilities, nor seniors, nor those who are poor.

Who are those most often using laptops outdoors and in coffee shops? Single, mobile, well-educated people without family responsibilities–and with [relatively] lots of disposable income; after all, — they can afford to sit for hours in a coffee house. Families, seniors, the disabled, youth, and the poor don’t have the time-availability or luxury of spending hours in a coffee house.

City Hall’s denizens can’t somehow realize this contract is: ANTI-family, ANTI-senior, ANTI-disabled, and ANTI-poor. It mouths the rhetoric of helping those left out, but it won’t.

Bob Planthold
San Francisco

You can submit letters to the editor by clicking on this link: rshaw@beyondchron.orgor by writing to:

Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)

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