West Berkeley Bowl; Transgender Righs; Republicans Say “No”; Two-Thirds Budget Rule; School Funding; Muni Budget Cuts …

by on May 22, 2009

To the Editor:

Thanks for printing Zelda Bronstein’s very informative and perceptive article on the immense importance of community on behalf of labor struggles. I would like to add that building community is not simply a pragmatic device. It is a way of life. It is about loving and caring for each other. It is about our capacity for empathy, to share the joys of others as well as sympathize with others when we’re needed. It is the realization that we can only achieve our full potential as human beings through cooperation and mutual assistance. Through our victories we become more humble because we realize that whatever is achieved was achieved collectively. As an organizer, I believe building community not only serves pragmatic goals, but is an end in itself. And human beings are more than a means to our ends but are ends in themselves. Our human community is worth celebrating.

Harry Brill
El Cerrito

To the Editor:

We transgenders are suppressed by society, and led to believe that we are mentally ill. Once you break through that false premise and you become yourself, you find that you are self actualized and happy at last. I have never been mentally ill, just mentally tortured by society

JoAnna Michaels

To the Editor:

The Republican Party led the “No vote” in every county in California against the tax and spend propositions, and why not? The Republican Party is the Party of No; no is its birthright.

The GOP is not the party of silent submission: It was founded in 1854 to say no to slavery; “no you can’t” has been the bold battle of the Party to defend life, liberty and property in this city, the state and the nation.

The Party of No will say no to confiscatory taxation, wasteful spending, expansive government, and the political conceits that impugn self-reliance and promote class envy, racial divide, entitlement and dependency.

In 2008, over 58 million Americans said no to mindless slogans of “hope and change.” Change does not abandon values, and Hope is not a wish; it is a virtue, the Latin noun “Virtus” means courage. It takes a spine to say no.

Mike DeNunzio
Chairman, San Francisco Republican Assembly

To the Editor:

I am a native Californian, and am tired of the Taxes being levied for mismanagement of our state. The two thirds majority required for state budget approval should remain. If the plan is good, it will be passed. Legislative irresponsible spending in this state have created this debacle, and now is the time to cutback/adjust to a level we can afford.

Jeff Riley

To the Editor:

Do the Democratic politicians REALLY want the 2/3 rule scrapped? They’re in the majority now, but if that changes I’m sure they want to be able to obstruct the Republicans — just like they’re being obstructed now.

Anthony Faber
San Francisco

To the Editor:

In the aftermath of the failure to pass Propositions 1A through 1E, which was a compromise solution to the prolonged budget battle in Sacramento, we again hear cries for abandoning the two-thirds requirement to pass a budget. We hear these cries after each year’s budget battle. Yet, once a budget is finally passed, the issue dies down until the next year’s budget battle.

I understand that voters do agree that a budget should be passed by majority vote and they would, albeit somewhat narrowly, support such a ballot measure. However, voters probably would not support changing the requirement that demands a two-thirds vote to raise taxes. If two such measures were combined, then both would probably be defeated.

This controversy is reminiscent of the hue and cry over the recall of Governor Gray Davis. We heard much about the unfairness of California’s recall process where the number of signatures need only equal 12% of the number of votes cast in the previous elections. For the 2003 recall elections, that meant a minimum of 900,000 signatures, based on the November 2002 statewide elections. And the California constitution allows recalling for any reason. It doesn’t specify if it’s for performance, or for high crimes and misdemeanors or anything along those lines. Yet, to my knowledge, after the recall election no serious effort was made to change the recall law.

I am not optimistic that a serious effort will be made to change the two-thirds rule. Too many politicians think in the short-term, rather than the long-term.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Lisa Schiff’s analysis of the lack of funds for public schools and public schools as a priority to the politicians, as well as the financial situation in CA, as always, is right on. She shows great insight and in depth of thinking and critical thought on the issues, which I find lacking on blogs and in CA in general. I wonder, does she hail from the East Coast?

Laura Milvy

To the Editor:

I am at my wits end in trying to open up a dialogue with MUNI and City Hall about the pervasive clock alarm sounding turn signals that blare outside of my window for 19-20 hours a day and night.

I have not slept past 0600(am) for weeks since the re-implementation of the audible turn signals. I get headaches daily, am on edge and cannot complete the creative projects I’m working on all due to this constant bombardment of noise pollution.

I’ve talked with route supervisors and some department heads over at Muni. There is a man named Ken Anderson who is a very nice, fair and capable representative over there who has done what he can but even he tells me MUNI has no plans of talking with the public … unless you count the “face” of MUNI’s Judson True who is nothing more than a … face and spokesperson. I’ve sent emails to our ‘Board Of Supervisors’ and to Nathaniel Ford of MUNI (whom I don’t like very much at all) only to be ignored. I’ve even set up an appointment with Jessica Lawrence from The Light House Of The Blind since we’re told the reason for the reimplementation is aimed at the elderly and sight impaired demographic. MUNI refuses to have a dialogue but I cannot afford to move.

I understand the need for safety features concerning 3-5 ton vehicles and pedestrians, but research has shown that the day and night noise pollution such as the clock alarm radio sounds from these buses to have a negative physical and psychological effect on most beings … especially humans. There has to be another type of warning system. One that is less noisy, bothersome. One that is less harmful. I’m writing you folks in the hopes of finding some way to get MUNI, the board and the citizens of The City together for a dialogue to come up with a solution.

It seems within the last several years that the average person is being left out of the decision making process involving, well … us. The board arbitrarily makes decisions without involving us. Since Nathaniel Ford has been here in SF, he has wreaked havoc on what was once considered one of the best public transportation systems in the country … and it seems as though he is always asking for more money … while making upwards of $300K a year … Aren’t we in a recession/depression?

What the hell has happened to my city???

Norm Thompson
San Francisco

To the Editor:

On Saturday, 5/16/09, waiting for the 89 to depart from the hospital to Forest Hill Station — the driver, another passenger, and I were talking about the proposed elimination of the 89. The driver thought of a very ingenious idea for Muni to spare the 89 from elimination. The driver suggested using the 36-Teresita which stops at Forest Hill Station and Laguna Honda.

The 36 can loop around Laguna Honda campus as the 89 currently does. Since the 89 is such a small route and also the 36 utilizes the short low-floor hybrid buses, it is worthwhile exploring. It should only take the 36 a few minutes to circle around Laguna Honda campus and should not be an inconvenience.

Cost wise, one would think it may not put too much of a strain to the budget for a short distance ride to the hospital from Forest Hill Station. Muni can merge the two lines (89 and 36).

Roland Wong
San Francisco

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

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