What I'm curious to know is, why wasn't the fire at Jeff's shop talked about? I heard it pretty much gutted the place.
HI Surf Advisory
A Man of Very, Very, Few Words
I didn't realize you don't have clue ("The Selling of a Wave").
Maverick's Roadhouse Cafe
Try Skeet Surfing, Dude
I can't believe it. I thought you people were different from the Guardian -- but another article on a big bad corporation "making" people take unnecessary risks ("The Selling of a Wave")?
Dude, surfing is always a risky activity, as is bungee jumping, motorcycling, and driving the 880. People do extreme sports for the risk and excitement.
I noticed nothing in the article saying that these corporations are forcing surfers to enter their contest at gunpoint.
I have no love for corporate politics, but there are plenty more real injustices out there to expose. Get real please -- lose the Guardian clone routine.
Harold and Maude and Now, Bob
No one seems to have responded to the errors in the Night Crawler column two weeks ago ("Eternal Zest," Oct. 7). The celebrities and stars that were listed as being in Colma's Holy Cross Cemetery (Bela Lugosi, Sharon Tate, Rita Hayworth, etc.) are not here but in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles. Many of the most sought-after dead celebrities are in Glendale's Forest Lawn, but most are in sections that are off-limits to the public.
The monument for the Show Folks of America in Olivet Cemetery is not for the 56 victims of the Indiana train wreck of 1918. The Colma monument is only connected to the same organization that sponsored the monument stemming from that tragedy.
Colma is a fascinating place where history, architecture, sculpture, and gardening meet. To me it's odd that it's usually left out of almost all the San Francisco area guidebooks. Cypress Lawn Cemetery is indeed a beautiful place. It's one of the most interesting cemeteries in the tradition of garden cemeteries of America -- Mount Auburn in Boston, Green-Wood in Brooklyn, Woodlawn in the Bronx, Laurel Hill in Philadelphia, and Mount View in Oakland, to name a few. The inspiration for all these was Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Some of these cemeteries are well-cared-for, but much of the sculpture is starting to disappear due to age and vandalism. I and several others have been documenting this art form with cameras for many years.
What Do We Want? Condos! When Do We Want 'Em? Now!
The article "Blight Friction" by Helen Gao (Bay View, Oct. 14) really opened my eyes to just how blind people can be. The idea that after all these years of the property sitting vacant, a group of "activists" want to turn the theater/church at 560 Haight St. into a community center is ridiculous and unrealistic.
I was thinking about what 19 condos would bring to that area. First, it would surely make the street and sidewalk safer and cleaner to walk down. Second, the idea that anyone "yuppie" (whatever that really means) is evil and should be avoided at all costs is very closed-minded and misguided. Lastly, the property taxes generated by the 19 condos would easily be in excess of $65,000 per year ($280,000 X 19 units X 1.118 percent tax rate). Add to that the sales tax and other miscellaneous taxes that the condo residents would pump into the city of San Francisco's pockets. It doesn't take long to figure out that the extra money going to the city will help fund "real" community centers, along with the public schools, Muni, shelters, health care, parks, and everything else in S.F. that needs fixing.
Greed With a Capital "G," Right Here in River City
Oh, those poor landlords! ("Hostile Takeover," Cothran, Sept. 30.) I can feel no sympathy for Max and David Myers. And a cover story? Have you gone out of your minds? How's about a cover story on the number of renters, elderly and disabled, who have been royally screwed by greedy landlords in this town?
Why didn't you include a brief list of all the other properties Max and David own South of Market? I see greed with a capital "G" the size of the Transamerica Pyramid. I'm afraid my days of reading the Weekly are coming to an end.
And We Like You, Jim
An enchanting sense of non-bias has come over your writers, it would seem -- a desire to present a story for the sake of itself, to paint a picture, to entertain, educate, and simply inform.
It's great. I'll take the Weekly over any other paper I've ever come across.
Car-Keying vs. Real Activism
The current debate in the Letters section of the Weekly over bashing in the windows of yuppie vehicles as a form of social protest is a classic example of shooting the messenger because you don't like the news he's bringing.
Here's a story. I was on an N Judah car one night recently. A smelly, bearded, wizened man in his 50s wearing a fishing hat and military fatigues sat in one of the cars ranting and raving and barking epithets at whoever boarded the car. He succeeded in virtually clearing the car. A couple of passengers complained about his "rude" behavior to the Muni operator and asked him to call the police. The man eventually disembarked of his own volition.
My point is that 10 years of budget cuts to mental health services in San Francisco mean that upwards of 40 percent of the homeless here are in serious mental trouble and are inhabiting parks, storefronts, alleyways, and Muni cars because they have nowhere else to go. The Department of Public Health, according to the Coalition on Homelessness, submitted a budget request for $8.5 million to deal with mental health treatment costs for the city's uninsured. By the time the request got to the Board of Supervisors, it had been whittled down to $279,000. Ranting homeless on Muni are a symptom of larger transformations and broader political decisions. The same goes for status-flaunting yuppies.
People like the pseudonymous Nestor Makhno fail to realize that the influx of yuppies into previously "pristine" districts of San Francisco is nothing new. We have had 20 years of development-friendly mayors in San Francisco, from Dianne Feinstein to Willie Brown. It is merely under Brown that the downtown fat cats have reached their closest facsimile of nirvana. Powerful Financial District realtors and money brokers like Joseph O'Donoghue and Donald Fisher, if they bother to put down their Palm Pilots long enough to soil their important fingers with the likes of an alternative newspaper, will read the rants of Makhno and his ilk and die laughing. "Yes, of course," they will think to themselves. "Why didn't we think of this before? What a perfect solution!" Instead of shining the spotlight where it belongs, on the shady dealings between the Committee on Jobs and the Residential Builders Association and City Hall, the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project chooses to do the lazy thing and direct its adolescent aggression at individual nameless affluent professionals who are part of an army of mutual-fund-wielding rubes allegedly "taking the city over."
The mindless arrogance of the yuppie arrivistes makes them an easy target. But the only thing these people are doing is walking across the red carpet that has already been laid out for them by downtown. Of course, they are also guilty of crassness, tastelessness, insipidity, and (because they could not care less about the traditions and history of their adopted city, and, in fact, think those traditions are dirty idiosyncrasies that should be razed) transforming San Francisco into a West Bay version of Walnut Creek, but that's another story.
If only half the people who are now griping and bitching about the so-called yuppie takeover had bothered to get up off their asses and attend Board of Supervisors and Rent Stabilization Board and Redevelopment Agency meetings, vote down ballot initiatives that funneled money into the coffers of the developers, elect progressive candidates instead of people who have made blood deals with downtown, and turn out for rallies that protested specific decisions by government officials to hand over the keys of the city to Catellus Development Corp., Pacific Gas & Electric, Tele-Communications Inc., and The Gap, maybe San Francisco would not be the upwardly mobile lifestyle sandbox that it is in the rapid process of becoming.
But it's much easier to be smug and self-satisfied about keying the hood of an anonymous Internet start-up wizard or venture capitalist's Range Rover than it is to take direct and painstaking political action against the corporate and governmental entities and power brokers who are actually responsible for the situation as it exists on the ground. Doing the latter would actually take work -- starting with voting two weeks from now against developers' lackey Mabel Teng's bid to be the next president of the Board of Supervisors.
Frank Martinez Lester