Letters

Oh, Poo
In "Fecal Matters" (Sept. 23), Lisa Davis and Helen Gao wrote about the Public Utilities Commission waste-water mismanagement.

The statement that the city sewers "went to hell" is correct, and I hope these journalists continue to research the whys, whens, wheres, whos, and hows of the way the taxpayer dollar is misappropriated from the waste-water management system by the PUC bureaucracy.

Keep up the good work and research.
Rich Bodisco
Co-Author and Political Consultant
Proposition H (Water & Sewer Service Rate Freeze)
Via Internet

Sarcastic, Humorous, Insightful
Thank you very much for the "Mental Blockheads" column by George Cothran (Sept. 23). I just want to update the record on one issue: The petition opposing the expansion of the Johnson Guest Home has been signed by 56 (not 23) neighbors. In addition, there are also a number of neighbors, perhaps 10 or 12, who are reluctant to sign their names to anything.

Mr. Cothran wrote a very insightful column, and I thank him for it. It is a pleasure to read such a well-thought-out, well-written, and (especially) humorously sarcastic (sarcastically humorous?) piece of writing. I sincerely hope that the commissioners read his article and agree with him that the residents' "quality of life will be improved by specifically not doing what the so-called mental health advocates have so loudly and arrogantly campaigned for. ... There are just too many damn people in too small of a space, and the situation would only worsen if eight more people were put in the home."

And a hearty "Amen!" to that.
Judith Berkowitz
Via Internet

The City That Forgot How?
Joel P. Engardio certainly opened up one of my favorite can of worms ("Multimedia Zilch," Bay View, Sept. 23). Having myself done a civil service stint, I suspect policy is still mired in 19th-century models. It's not just about green screens and quill pens: Bottom-up, decentralized communication systems require appropriate internal structure and corporate culture, as well as hardware and software.

One of the salutary results of ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) going online was internal: Individual departments discovered they'd previously unknowingly created programs identical to others', and could thus now pool resources. Down the coast, Santa Monica is miles ahead of us with its Public Electric Network (PEN), which not only furnishes information about City Hall departments and civic organizations (with forms for conducting transactions online!), but has hosted citizen forums on city issues.

My own ideas submitted to the mayor and his Internet Task Force about the efficacy of a Frisco FreeNet, and of Internet-mediated communication as a citywide response of information and processing of the AIDS epidemic, have, alas, fallen on deaf ears. That is, I've heard zilch.

True, our library has the most Internet terminals of any city in the country, accessible from citizens' homes, including some awesome databases for online research. Our schools too are crossing the Internet threshold. Meanwhile, I have yet to see a city Web site (Digital City, Sidewalk, S.F. Yahoo, etc.) respond to community-building issues. Maybe the Web site of one of our free weekly tabloids might pick up the torch?

Gary Gach, Author
Pocket Guide to the Internet
Writers.Net
Via Internet

How to Stalk, Kill, and Cook the First Amendment
Hurray for Grace Galindo and "The Biologist"! (Letters, Sept. 23.)
I was perturbed by the standard San Fran-sissy-co knee-jerk reaction to your wild pig slaying story ("How to Stalk, Kill, and Cook a California Wild Pig," Sept. 2), but they helped me get to why I was especially annoyed. I sensed when Grace concluded "Must everything be sanitized for our protection?" she was still talking about meat, but clearly it applies to media. For all the crybabies: It's the SF Weekly, not the Virginia Handley Weekly or the Laura Wills Weekly or the -- you get the picture.

And, may I point out, it's a fucking free paper! You don't have to pick one up! But, oh no, you saw the pig on the cover and took that as a personal offense (it had nothing to do with you, you self-important little wrecks!) and an open invitation to sit down at your computer and give a newspaper what-for regarding what it should print.

I shouldn't even have to say First Amendment here, but, oop, you made me.
The Biologist is right: A lot of people who would like to use the word "freethinker" to describe themselves are just the opposite. They relish the idea of controlling what people think.

Thanks to Jack Boulware and SF Weekly for the article. I felt refreshed that Wednesday -- it wasn't the same old politics-schmolitics cover article and I sensed the world was a better place for it.

Heather Hamann
Via Internet

Burrito Boycott
What a fabulous idea! In order to stave the unending flow of yuppies into my neighborhood, the Mission, all of us low-income renters can start boycotting upscale Mission restaurants! ("Mission Yuppie Identification Project! Radio Ear Tags Next!," Dog Bites, Sept. 16.) Like we even go there anyway. Like our non-patronage would even be missed. A burrito once a month is about all I can afford on my below-poverty disability income.

I, like so many of my friends, came to this city to be in a queer-positive, more liberal environment. I have worked hard to make my slum flat in a fairly dangerous part of the Mission fit for human habitation. Also, I spent lots of energy and effort in improving safety on my street. So happy to do it for the wave of home-buying, white, straight yuppies.

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