Letters to the Editor

Week of September 17, 2003

Surfing and Jet Skis: No Go, Bro

Real surfers don't need no stinking tow-ins: I've been a surfer for over 30 years and have no respect for the tow-in crowd ["Bad Vibrations," Sept. 3]. There are many things that one could do in the wilderness or on the ocean with a motorized vehicle that would not be possible otherwise. But just as a trail bike would destroy the wilderness hiking experience, jet skis are the last thing most surfers want around them in the water.

As far as rescues go, people need to be responsible for what they get into and not expect to be pulled out of situations by someone else. That is the mark of a real surfer. If you watch the tow-in sequences in Step Into Liquid, you will see the rides only last a couple seconds. This is just a media sport -- great photo ops of surfers on big waves -- but there is rarely any real carving or flowing with the wave. There are so many other big waves with much better shape that give longer rides without relying on an engine, why do we need to use this invasive technology at all? If you want thrills with an engine, get a trail bike and use it on an approved course, not in the mountains!

Peter McKenna

Public Pees on Public Pisser

This punk'll make a fine weasel lawyer someday: In regards to "A Piddling Matter" in the Dog Bites column of the Sept. 3 issue: Am I missing something or is Mr. Prechtl quoted as saying, "Oh, yeah, I was totally pissing"? It seems to me that whether or not Mr. Prechtl can "prove" that he was "not pissing" and how circumstantial he thinks the police evidence was (it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that someone is taking a leak, even from 41 feet away), the fact of the matter is that he WAS pissing. Not only that but it was in an "inset doorway," which no doubt some poor S.F. resident has to walk through on a daily basis.

As far as Mr. Prechtl feeling like "cops get away with too much," in my opinion people like Prechtl get away with too much. The amount of effort it would have taken him to walk back into the bar to use a proper restroom is not even worth talking about, and you can always (gasp!) hold it.

I think Mr. Prechtl is missing the important point that the police are simply enforcing laws that we the taxpaying residents of San Francisco pay them to enforce. Anyone who actually lives in this city knows that we have an insurmountable problem with public urination and defecation and the last thing we need is another citizen carrying on the grand tradition.

So to Mr. Prechtl I say this: Go back to Oakland, piss in your own doorway, and study hard for that LSAT. You sound like just the kind of conniving weasel that would make a great lawyer.

Robert Douthit
Cole Valley

String the thoughtless little bastard up!: I suppose that was a cute item about the wannabe law student getting off with no peeing fine. But it only makes me disgruntled. I would like to point out that this type of "quality of life" crime is usually blamed on the homeless when more often than not it is some drunk frat boy who is too wasted to think of using the toilet in the bar he just left.

It's a shame he didn't get fined, or maybe publicly executed, or at least sentenced to 20 years of scrubbing other people's urine off the sidewalk with a toothbrush.

Rose Skytta
Polk Gulch

Grrls Go Ga-Ga for Gonzo. But in a Good Way.

Matt Gonzalez is the studliest wonk in town: In 1999 I went to a Hastings-sponsored debate between five district attorney candidates. My point of view was as a victims' advocate, having worked in the field of victims' rights for several years. Usually victim issues are the territory of the right by default, but there is actually no reason for the left to abandon victims to the right. Usually political discourse about victims is patronizing. Usually I am disappointed.

Enter Matt Gonzalez ["The Chick Factor," Matt Smith, Aug. 20]: Miraculously, this public defender spoke with the compassion of a man who understands the victim, yet was not propelled by vengeful rage. Instead, he understood that state systems must respond to the citizen, must be held to a high standard, and must have a heart. I fell in love!

Working on the DA's race and then the wildly successful and fun city supervisor campaigns, I only fell more in love with Matt: his honesty, his concern, his smarts, his unconcern toward the material, his faith in people! He is the man I want as DA, as city supervisor, as president of the Board of Supervisors, as mayor, as governor, and as president of the United States. All at the same time!

But is this love of the goo-goo teenage kind? Maybe a little, I confess. But mostly it is because Matt is the kind of man you never thought could exist -- kind, sensitive, smart, and yet strong in values and determination, willing to work with people for goals that are not mired in self-interest.

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