Welcome to the Westside Observer Online

Remember When? Not Quite…

My hard copy of the June 2009 issue arrived this morning. As always, I am deeply grateful for this publication, and have high respect and admiration for all of the contributors. This paper is the best source of SF news around.

I do have one correction for you this time. On page 15, the “Remember When?” feature has a photo of the Stonestown apartment construction in 1949. The caption states, that “the picture was taken from Vernon and Shields Streets, a hill just east of the project.” That is incorrect.

The photo was taken from a vantage point West of the project—otherwise we would not see Mt. Davidson and 19th Ave (just in front of the site) in the photo. The Vernon & Shields street corner is southeast of the project and could not give such a view. (Unless there is a camera in existence that would produce such unique shots!)

It is quite possible that the photo was taken from one of the apartment buildings under construction, as they were the highest points in that part of the City. (I was born here in 1943 and never left for very long.)

Carole Issel, San Francisco

July/August 2009

Response to Jed Lane’s “Enough Already With The Looking Back”

I was quite amused by the response of Jed Lane to my “Parking Column” in the May issue. Typical of the holier-than-thou San Francisco liberal, his desire to tell everyone how to live their lives seems to outweigh the facts. First of all, I do not drive a Harley or an SUV, or even a fancy sports car, but I am flattered by Mr. Lane’s obsession with my personal modes of transit. (Are you stalking me Jed?)

I just love how, when today’s self-appointed whiz kids are confronted with the truth backed by history, they just cannot handle it, and go on the offensive. A few tips for Mr. Lane, we all love good public transportation, we all respect sound environmental policies — transit first policies were around many years before being legislated in the City Charter — and thank goodness, not all of the environmental guidelines coming out of Sacramento are in the form of “mandates” that people like Mr. Lane seem to love. With his statements like “the raising of fees for destination parking are efforts to reduce driving” (ignoring the revenue aspect of fees) and references to the loss of the horse in favor of the auto, and the loss of the hitching post in favor of pavement, I think I can safely say that Mr. Lane has his ideas about carbon emissions mixed up with what used to be discarded by the horse! Readers, for a good laugh check out the You Tube clip of Jim Carrey “Environmental Guy”

Tony Hall, West Portal

July/August 2009

Enough Already with Looking Back

Over the years I’ve read Tony Hall’s writing in the Observer, I’ve usually had a good laugh.

Supervisor Hall’s issue in “Enough Already with the Parking” (May 2009) is that he can’t drive his SUV or his Harley wherever he wants and expect cheap or free parking. Obviously Ex-Supervisor Hall is not in the room with decision makers these days. If he was he’d be aware of the mandates that are coming from the State legislature requiring carbon emission reductions.

If Ex-Supervisor Hall didn’t have his attention stuck on looking back, or at least did some research on the subject for his article, he would know about AB32 and SB375. He would know that the Transit First Policy of San Francisco hasn’t been “in effect for the past 30 years” (it was added to the City Charter in 1996). He might also be aware of new legislation introduced very recently, (AB1171) that intends to declare “that free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs.” (Sounds like a warning on a cigarette package.)

While I have fond memories of growing up and can be just as nostalgic for the old days of my youth and previous careers as Mr. Hall, I am actively working on policy NOW with various City bodies. The policy makers do NOT have their heads screwed on backwards. They are young, intelligent, earnest well intentioned and very hard working. They’re looking forward, not waxing nostalgic or reliving the accomplishments of yesteryear.

The raising of fees for destination parking are efforts to reduce driving. This is only the beginning. The future that is being planned recognizes the cost of “Americans’ unique and undeniable fascination with the auto.” We used to have the same love for the horse. If this were 1909 Mr. Hall would be bemoaning the loss of hitching posts and that awful pavement for all the new-fangled horseless buggies.

Forest Knolls is losing its poor connection to Forest Hill. If we don’t pay attention to what’s coming but focus too long on the rear view mirror we will all be walking up the likes of Warren Drive in the future. Areas of the City that were built before the age of the auto have much better public transportation than we do, the Richmond District for example. The west side residents will bear a large portion of the burden placed by law on the use of the autos if we don’t advocate for better access to public transportation starting now.

Jed Lane, Miraloma Park

June 2009


In response to Mr. Wooding encouraging voters to vote no on prop A:

If the San Francisco General Hospital were to close down, where would Mr. Wooding be taken following a serious accident or injury?

San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) is the only trauma center serving our city, treating over 3,600 critically injured San Franciscans annually. As physicians we know that if we were injured, no other facility in San Francisco could match the expert care we would receive at SFGH. The nearest medical centers offering equivalently trained staff and specialty surgeons available around the clock are located in Sacramento and Palo Alto.

In these tight financial times, Proposition A offers San Francisco the most affordable means to rebuild our trauma center to new seismic standards. General obligation bonds that would be authorized by prop A have the lowest interest rates, therefore minimizing taxpayer money wasted on interest payments while preserving cash to fund other vital city services. Each year construction is delayed, costs are estimated to rise an additional 40 million dollars.

San Francisco General needs to be rebuilt if it is to continue to serve every city resident as it has for the past 140 years. More than 66% of voters need to approve proposition A. Join us in voting yes!

Joseph Hernandez MD, PhD

Monica Kwan MD

Julie Philp MD

November 2008


I read, with great amusement, the email forward that was included as an article/column in the current issue of the West of Twin Peaks Observer. It appears to be a verbatim copy of an email that has been forwarded around since early this year. Printing an email forward is bad enough on its own. Printing an email forward that is factually inaccurate is even worse.

You might find this link useful: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/cellphones.asp Regards,-Michelle

Note from Editor - Thanks to all who wrote to point out our pointy-heads. We retract the claims and suggest visiting the site above.


The attention of the Observer to the capital programs undertaken by the city is both welcome and necessary. Irrespective of the project financing, these public works should be the subject of scrutiny, informing the residents and taxpayers of San Francisco. The recent article on the proposed bond measure for the SF General Hospital makes mention of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), and cites the recent grand jury report. It was left unmentioned that several months before, the controller’s office had—at the behest of the library commission—performed a comprehensive management audit of the BLIP, interviewing all relevant parties, requesting BLIP documents, and finally critically assessing the progress of the BLIP and making recommendations. The library administration responded to the controller’s report with an array of measures that it would adopt to better improve the management of the BLIP. By my reckoning as a commissioner who served for 12 years and who was directly involved with the conduct of her BLIP, the controller’s report is the more incisive and reliable critique of the BLIP. The subsequent library administration response demonstrates that government can be relied upon to do the right thing. I can assure my fellow residents and taxpayers that the BLIP will succeed in delivering the high quality of library facility promised to and expected by each branch library neighborhood. For those who would ask, “But why weren’t costs contained?”, I would say that It has been no small task to configure a program to deliver 24 distinct projects across the city. From the inception of the BLIP, proactive steps were taken to align design with budget, but no one foresaw the impact that the spike in construction costs, beginning in 2002, would have on the BLIP. Because of the phenomenon sprung from the incredible demand from China for steel and other building materials, all public works across California were negatively affected, most notably the Bay Bridge project. This spike alone accounted for over a 30% increase in the cost of the BLIP. While I cannot speak for the current commission, I am certain that the lessons learned thus far and the keen dedication of library staff to ensuring that the expectations of all are met, will be the recipe for the success of the BLIP. You have only to visit the completed projects to appreciate the significance that a revitalized branch library system will have for the vibrancy and livability of our city.

Charles A. Higueras Former Commissioner, SFPL

General Rebuild

I was dismayed to see the recent stories attacking the plan to rebuild our city’s only trauma center, San Francisco General Hospital. As an emergency physician, I work at General Hospital because it is the one place in the city equipped to treat victims of serious accidents, violent crimes and multi-casualty events. I also help train the next generation of doctors, who fan out into our community, making it a healthier and safer place.

State law now requires that all acute care hospitals meet seismic standards, or face closure by 2013. The rebuild of San Francisco General Hospital is supported by virtually everyone in the city -- all 11 supervisors, the Mayor, the Hospital Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Labor Council, the Democrats, Republicans and Greens, and more than 160 other organizations. The new seismically-safe hospital building will be able to remain operational and help you and your loved ones in the event of a catastrophe. Passing Proposition A – the hospital rebuild bond – protects us all. Unlike some past city projects, the General Hospital rebuild has been well planned. Two years of design and planning work already has been done, and the $887.4 million cost is based on an efficient and cost-effective work plan. The proposed new patient-centered design has passed the state’s Environmental Impact Review, architects are hired, and we are ready to break ground.

As a resident of the West Portal neighborhood, I am grateful that General Hospital exists to care for all San Franciscans. In addition to its life-saving trauma services, San Francisco General Hospital provides 20 percent of all inpatient care in the city. It consistently earns high marks for quality and innovation, such as its recent designation by the World Health Organization as the city’s only baby-friendly hospital. It is truly a resource for all of us, and it deserves our support.

Eric Isaacs, MD


I take issue with Dr. Dan Kelly’s op-ed piece in the Westside Observer’s September ’08 issue.

Dr. Kelly refers to the School Board process, where “parents, students, and community members” commented on the “phasing out of JROTC”. He does not indicate that there was overwhelming support for JROTC from not only parents and students, but teachers, counselors, administrators, the Mayor and many other community members. There has been consistent support for the JROTC throughout my long career with the SFUSD.

I worked as a counselor and Assistant Principal at McAteer High School from 1974 to 1994. As a counselor, I came to know the course offerings and assisted students in selecting classes meeting graduation and college requirements. The JROTC was an option (ended 6/08) for 9th and 10th graders in place of physical education. Twenty (20) credits or 4 semesters of P.E. or JROTC is required to graduate. This graduation policy has existed for decades and has been reviewed regularly.

Parents must approve their 9th and 10th graders selecting JROTC in place of the physical education courses. Any student changing his/her mind after the first few weeks of JROTC would be assigned to a physical education class. Neither I nor my colleagues ever heard of students being assigned for “purely administrative reasons”.

I have never heard, nor have my colleagues, of any “immigrants” being told to accept JROTC to “protect their families”, presumably in lieu of deportation or other sanction. If it ever happened it was a rare violation of SFUSD policy and practice.

Many students who choose JROTC do so because it offers a more personalized program. The majority of students enroll in JROTC for two years, discontinuing the class after completing the graduation requirement. Other students continue to choose JROTC as an elective class. Whether enrolled for two, three or four years, the JROTC program provides an excellent leadership curriculum, while giving students ample opportunity for structured physical activity.

Before any other high school program, JROTC was demonstrating gender equity, promoting young women as cadet commanders. In my years at McAteer, JROTC was the most racially and ethnically diverse program in the school. JROTC cadets were the only group to consistently provide service to the school at assemblies, after school activities and at graduation.

The students participating in this program learn self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, communication skills, respect for their school and a public service attitude, all important and transferable workplace assets. The JROTC has been a successful program by any academic criteria (graduation rates, college admissions, GPA, attendance, citizenship).

There is no data to support Dr. Kelly’s assertion that JROTC cadets are subject to military recruiters. Dr. Kelly apparently quotes national rates of enlistment that do not reflect San Francisco’s experience. The JROTC program, as well as the student population in general in San Francisco, have notoriously low rates of enlistment in the military. As Assistant Principal at Mission HS from 1997 to 2002, I recall only one JROTC senior entering the military soon after graduation. [In six years (2003-2008) of collecting post graduation data on students in the Regional Occupation Program (ROP), which is the SFUSD vocational education program, and which program includes JROTC students, we found no student in the military one year after graduation. This surveyed group of graduates did not include all graduates.

A broad coalition of the community continues to support this proveneducational program that is an elective option. This group includes the student delegates to the Board of Education and Student Advisory Council (S.A.C.). Alexander Hamilton Post #448, the largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender American Legion Post has verified the JROTC as a safe haven for gay youth.

Dr. Kelly refers to a petition signed by 800 students seeking to end the JROTC. No one that I contacted who was involved in this dispute or the S.A.C. can recall any such petition, and I have not found any reference to any such petition in the material found on the internet reporting on the 2006 dispute. For over 5 years, the S.A.C. has voted to support the JROTC as a choice for high school students.

JROTC instructors are on the same contracted salary scale as all SFUSD teachers, and are members of the UESF, the teachers union. However, 50% of the JROTC instructors’ salaries are paid by the Federal Government, making these instructors less expensive to the SFUSD than their colleagues. During my years in the District, these instructors never functioned in any capacity as military recruiters. Rather the JROTC teachers were among the most hard working and dedicated.

There are a number of other programs providing leadership opportunities in the SFUSD: Peer Resources, sports teams, student newspapers, student government, but none afford the broad appeal and the proven track record of the JROTC. JROTC deserves to remain an option for students.

Please vote YES on V and recommend to the Board of Education the reinstatement of this valuable educational program for our students.

Marigrace Cohen Retired SFUSD Administrator

October 2008

I am an avid reader of your West of Twin Peaks Observer. I noted that you mentioned the meeting on June 3rd on the bicycle plan. Did you know that one proposal is to removal all parking on Portola Drive from Sloat Blvd. up to Forester?

I have attached a copy of a letter that I have written to SF MTA, and I believe that this is an issue which should be examined by your paper.

Pamela Stone

Editor’s note, see page 2 for a guest editorial by Ms. Stone.

In response to the 7/8/08 article on the San Francisco General Hospital rebuild funding measure, I feel it important to clarify inaccuracies that are being perpetuated by SFGH CEO Gene O’Connell in an effort to galvanize the public support needed for a two thirds majority passage of the November bond measure. The merits of the county hospital’s worth to the broader community need not be embellished by misleading statements perpetuated by the mainstream media.

SB 1953 was passed in 1996. It requires that the states hospitals be seismically upgraded to Life Safety level by 2013 not 2015. Over half the states total hospitals or 500 facilities are not earthquake safe...including the SFGH whose main hospital has been rated SPC-1...most likely to collapse in the event of a major seismic event.

SB1953 does not require that the SFGH be rebuilt. A 2004 Blue Ribbon Committee convened when the local and national economy was more stable

chose the rebuild option over the seismic retrofit alternative and the alternative to co-locate the SFGH at the Mission Bay campus with the new 300 bed UCSF Women and Children’s hospital which is slated for construction simultaneous with the proposed SFGH rebuild project.

Sixteen northern California hospitals filed with the State to see if they qualify for extension until 2030. SFGH filed in January of 2008. Additionally, hospitals operating under severe fiscal constraints can apply for extensions until 2020.

The urgency that prompts immediate action to seismically upgrade the cities county hospital and level one trauma center is the very real risk of a seismic event occuring within the next decade. That risk should be the emphasis of public relations efforts to garner support for the SFGH rebuild project.

Ahimsa Porter Sumchai , M.D. UCSF School of Medicine Class of 1981Resident in General and Neurological Surgery. SF General 1981-1984

September 2008

2800 Sloat Project

Thank you for covering our important recent community victory at City Hall’s public hearing of the Planning Commission regarding the overdevelopment project at 2800 Sloat (as mentioned in your June 08 headlining article titled, “Outer Sunset to Lose John’s Ocean Beach Cafe.”). I’m Margarete Lee, the second-generation outer sunset district resident that was mentioned in your article.

It’s great to get good local coverage of this important issue impacting a small community in the outer sunset district. Many feel that we’re often overlooked by being in the outskirts of the city. So we greatly appreciate this article informing the public and affecting other small communities. And it’s wonderful that you cited the important facts of the developer not meeting many of our city’s planning and zoning codes.

Could you please also advise on where I may be able to pick up a couple of copies of your latest edition? I saw that the Tennessee Grill is a local sponsor with advertising in your paper. Does the Tennessee Grill receive your paper... or can you please mention other locations?

Margarete Lee, Outer Sunset

Editor’s note: There is a list of cooperating merchants on page 11, but if you have an alternate location thatmight carry our paper, please let us know.

Reaching Readers


I walk my dogs on Lansdale and Robinhood Drive. Since last weekend’s delivery I have picked up at least 25 copies of the WTPO in the street and not even close to a driveway. They just become another piece of litter, and your publication is not reaching your readers. I thought you’d want to know.

Tim Bridge, Robinhood Drive
Editor’s note: Thank you for the info, we need feedback from everyone we serve to improve your service.

July-August 2008

Judges Race

Rita O’Hara stated in her op-ed piece extolling the virtues of Mary Mallen, that Judge Thomas Mellon (was) appointed by Pete Wilson many years ago, that when Mary Mallen’s father died on the bench in 1992, that “she (decided she) was going to follow in his footsteps and become a judge”, and that she was “sworn in (as a practicing attorney) in December of 1996.”

I will stipulate that all of those statements are true, and when put together, they add up to the fact that Judge Thomas Mellon should be re-elected for another six years on the bench. Judge Mellon has served on the bench 14 years — two years longer that Mallen has been practicing the law. His other opponent has only three years of full-time experience under his belt as a Deputy Public Defender before being elected to the Board of Supervisors.

As for Mallen wanting to become a judge, I don’t fault her that desire. However, in 90% of the cases judges are appointed, not elected. They go through a grueling application and rigorous review process and then must be approved by a three member panel (which includes the State Attorney General) before taking the bench.

Since 1998, first under Gray Davis and for the past five years under Governor Schwarzenegger, roughly a dozen judges have been appointed to the Superior Court in San Francisco. All were registered Democrats.

Several questions need to be asked of Ms. Mallen and Mr. Sandoval. Did either of you apply for the judiciary in the past ten years? If so, what were the reasons why you weren’t appointed? If you didn’t apply, why are you bypassing this important vetting process (particularly since a number of your Democrat colleagues have been appointed to the benchwithout prejudice) and challenging a sitting judge, who has an exemplary record on the bench, barring the fact that he is a registered Republican?

The voters have the right to know before they vote on this important race.

Christopher L. Bowman, VC, Precinct Operations,
San Francisco Republican Party

June 2008

Wee Wee on West Portal

Thank you and Mr Waight for bringing up the problem that West Portal gets short visits when people have no place to go.

About 5 years ago I wrote a similar request to the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association, followed up by a more recent reminder. I got not even an acknowledgement on both occasions.

The problem, of course, is that the minute you put in a public restroom, our honored homeless (Hank Basayne’s and my generation used to call them bums) will trash them as soon as the door opens. Also, it requires someone with plumbing skills to keep it clean and well-maintained and to clean off the graffiti that our well-educated students of nearby schools will artistically decorate the walls.

As for funding, fear not, we have a Mayor with endless funding available for whatever he wishes. He might want to visit West Portal some day when he and Mr. Sandoval want to come inspect our concreted lawns.

Anyway - the necessity for a decent public restroom in West Portal is still there. Whatever the Observer can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

Sent from the internet. Address witheld unless requested.

Laguna Honda’s Chambers Debacle

If the City refuses to address a central issue that the Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) rebuild bears little resemblance to the 1999 bond measure (A) approved by 73% of San Francisco voters, it must at least recognize that the loss of long-term care beds at LHH will very quickly cause the current critical shortage of such beds to turn into one of disastrous proportions.

It is most distressing that the proposed Chambers’ settlement not only seeks bed limitations but also severely narrows the types of care offered at LHH. Page 24, paragraphs X-A and X-B state in part “San Francisco …agrees the total bed capacity of the rebuilt LHH will not exceed 780 skilled nursing beds.” And, “the Mission of the rebuilt LHH shall include a goal that the facility is for short term rehabilitation treatment.”

Following the closure of 34 skills nursing beds at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, the Health Commission – in November 2007 – itself agreed that the demand exceeds supply, especially in the area of long term-care skilled nursing beds. If demand exceeds supply, what are the solutions?

I must admit that I take no solace in the Health Commission’s statements that the Chambers settlement document “doesn’t really mean what it says”. In fact, LHH is already making plans to reduce the number of beds to 780 permanently.

Clearly, those who have an opportunity to “age in place” should be allowed to do so, but we cannot place our heads in the sand and assume that the need for long-term skilled nursing beds will simply evaporate. Allow me to share with you a very personal situation that points out just such a need: I was my mother’s primary caregiver as she slowly succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, I probably kept her at my home for a period longer than was safe for her. After 8 years of living with me, I could no longer deny the fact that she was very impaired. She was already falling (and in danger of breaking bones) when I tried to give her a shower and she could no longer safely navigate the stairs of our house. With her mobility impaired, she would have been a prisoner in the house had I not placed her in a nursing home where she could receive the nursing care she needed. You are mistaken if you think this was an easy decision; it was most difficult, but in the end, the only humane choice. If I had to place her in a county outside San Francisco, she would have been denied my frequent visits and her well-being and quality of life would have declined further. Yet, this is exactly what is happening to many of our disabled/elderly San Franciscans with dementia, and will only get worse as the bed shortage escalates.

I believe it would be unconscionable to approve this settlement. Six plaintiffs at Laguna Honda cannot be allowed to make life and death decisions for thousands of others. This is not the way to enact public policy. Use your minds please as well as your hearts as you consider this issue.

Sherrie Matza, the City

March 2008

(Re: Towers on Wawona) Your page 1 “artists rendering” of this project was terrbily misleading. If the proposal is for 13-story towers, why are both showing as 14-levels over the tops of the trees? (Count the floors!) And why are the tall mature trees reduced in height, too? Trying to provide balanced coverage is requires some vigilance, and this should not have gotten past an impartial editor!

I am aware of the rolling terrain on this site. However, it is inappropriate to levitate 14-story towers over treetops to represent 13-story towers, and also inappropriate to manipulate the photo’s trees as they were. The trees actually are much higher than the highest homes in the photo today. Taken together, a correct rendering would show today’s tree line visually muting much of the towers if not all of them. Though “a picture is worth a thousand words,” I think the dialogue would benefit more by an accurate rendering than 1,000 words.

Jim Christian, West Portal


The planned project at Ardenwood is simply outrageous; completely out of character for our neighborhood.

A few years ago we were denied a permit for a second garage door for our home because it was “out of character” for our neighborhood.

Obviously, twin towers, or even a large condo project is “out of character” for our West Portal neighborhood.

Al Moody, West Portal


My wife picks up your great paper when she can find it on her frequent trips to the West Portal shopping district. Your December 2007/January 2008 featured an article titled “Pork for Parks,” which I agreed with. Included in the article was a photograph of “The Panhandle’s Million Dollar Toilet,” yet another example of CCSF’s uncontrolled spending. But the picture did call to mind something that the West Portal shopping district could use: a public toilet/rest room. To our knowledge none exists except for the public library at the end/beginning of the street. Less frequently we visit the Laurel Village shopping area and although there are no public restrooms, Starbucks has apparently designed its restrooms so that they are public, with entrances from the front and rear of the store. I do not know if the merchants subsidize this feature or not. Starbucks on West Portal have combination locks on their restrooms making them non-conducive to public use.

I suggest that you consider starting a campaign for public restrooms on West Portal Avenue in some form. I for one have a bladder problem that results in frequent visits to the bathroom, which I have yet to find on West Portal Avenue.

Vernon H. Waight, The Avenues

February 2008

Regarding the proposed development for the Arden Wood property in the West Portal neighborhood. I am a resident of West Portal and am one of four generations of my family who have resided here.

As there is no mention that this is a paid advertisement, I must assume it is not, but throughout this article it reads as a flowing endorsement of this development.

On Thursday November 1, I attended a community meeting at St. Cecilia’s Parish Hall. That evening there was a standing room only crowd in this large hall of neighbors from throughout West Portal. The comments rendered and the applause from this crowd in reaction to the statements of the neighbors were bolstered along with presentations made by an ad-hoc group of concerned neighborhood citizens. This suggested to me and I would say all there, that there is significant opposition throughout West Portal by neighborhood residents to this project.

On page six the author quotes developer Mendelsohn as saying that these will be “mid rise” towers and “only” 160 units. Facts stated by Mendelsohn on November 1 included the possibility that he would build up to 190 units and would have two towers; 13 and 6 stories respectively. Right now zoning is 40 feet. Thirteen stories verses 40 feet seems to overwhelm calling this a “mid rise” option.
There are options beyond cutting all the trees down and building hundreds of condos in buildings hundreds of feet tall though it sounds like Mr. Mendelshon does not want other options to be discussed.

Ed Reidy, West Portal

Note from Editor - see the front page story, hope this provides the balance, sorry we could not find an opponent at the time we went to press.

December 2008

Thank you for the story about the Boathouse and the kids who use the facilities on Lake Merced. The future for the lake and those who use it looks pretty grim, while the City seems to favor the golf courses. While I don’t have anything against golf, it seems to me those folks can afford to pay for the improvements and shouldn’t need to drain the City’s budget when it means shorting the families who depend on the Lake for recreation and enjoyment.

I don’t think our Supervisor was watching out for the little guys.

Barry Wright, OMI


As soon as our District Attorney got wind that Supervisor Ed Jew, who had been a political thorn in the side of our mayor, might not live in his 28th Avenue home, she assembled a crack team of investigators. Within a month she filed nine felony charges against him, all related to his residency.

Almost a month ago, Ken Garcia, wrote that he had proof that other candidates were not current residents when they applied to run for office.

Does anyone believe for a moment that Kamala Harris investigated this accusation? Is there even one felony charge in the works for anyone who did exactly what Mr. Jew has been accused of doing? Of course not, because they are allies of the mayor. And what about the $10,000 check the mayor’s former girlfriend received from the City under the guise of “donated sick leave”? All independent analyses concluded that this was a misuse of public funds, which amounts to embezzlement. But did she or the mayor ever have to face criminal charges? Of course not, because their political allies protected them.

This action to remove Mr. Jew from the office to which he was elected is a purely political move.

As a Green Party member, I disagree with most of Ed Jew’s politics. But I’m defending him in memory of the McCarthy era, when accusations alone cost good people jobs and homes, and even their freedom, and created a climate of fear where people were afraid to dissent.

Mr. Jew dissents from our politics. In some countries today dissenters are just murdered with impunity. Do we want our country to operate under a more “civilized” version of these assassinations? Whoever is in the majority just removes their opponents? How outraged we were when the Republican Senate held absurd impeachment proceedings against the last Democratic President -- just because they could.

I remember a time in this city in which there seemed to be just one lone progressive on the Board of Supervisors, speaking for me, and inconveniencing the powers that be. How grateful I am that no one looked to his past and found something to be used as a pretext to remove him from office. And, I must add, how sad I am to know that he now is one of the people supporting the removal of Ed Jew.

Rita A. Goldberger, Taraval/Sunset

November 2008