SF Weekly Letters

Tutu hasty to judge

Blood, sweat, and free physical therapy: Ballet is difficult and injuries happen — that is obvious ["Blood, Sweat, & Tutus," 7/23]. However, what is extraordinary is the excellent physical care San Francisco Ballet dancers enjoy.

When I danced there from 1992 to 1995, I saw many dancers, including myself, receive almost unlimited (and free) access to ample varieties of physical therapy, massage, Pilates, gyrotonics, Feldenkrais, chiropractic care, acupuncture, orthopedic surgery — whatever it took — to heal our injuries. Dr. Gibbs and Michael Leslie are top professionals and they, and others in the organization, take a personal interest to make sure each dancer gets whatever care that they need to heal.

I find it interesting that Joe Eskenazi managed to leave out these sorts of details in an article of this subject matter and depth.

Eric Wolfram

New York

Tutu thumbs up: What a terrific article. I ran with a few of the S.F. Ballet dancers years ago. Their work and dedication to the art was staggering! I witnessed firsthand the physical pain they suffered for their art.

I think dance is a truly magnificent form of expression. Eskenazi put dancers' pain in perspective. Thanks, and congratulations!

Ted Moran

San Francisco

Presidi-oh-no

The Speaker speaks: I write to respond to the recent article by Matt Smith on legislation I introduced affecting the Presidio ["The Pork Park," 7/23].

The Presidio Trust is on its way to achieving the financial self-sufficiency required by the legislation that established the Presidio. When that legislation was passed, the Republican-controlled Congress wanted to sell the land to developers. Some members of the community wanted the government to be wholly responsible for the park's preservation. We created a new approach — a public-private partnership — that protected the land while ensuring the Presidio would generate sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses.

New legislation I am proposing, the Golden Gate National Parks and Technical Corrections Act (H.R. 6305), would not remove the self-sufficiency provision included in the original authorizing legislation. It clarifies what will be done with the land should the Trust not attain self-sufficiency. Rather than turning the property over to the General Services Administration, it will be held by the Department of the Interior.

Millions of visitors to the Presidio have experienced the park's natural areas and would agree that this beautiful place is worth protecting and what we have now is much preferable to the Republican alternatives offered at that time. I hope most would also agree that should the Presidio not achieve self-sufficiency, it is preferable that the land be turned over to the Interior Department and remain a park rather than turning it over to the General Services Administration, where it could be divided up and sold to developers.

The legislation does not appropriate additional federal funds. It shifts responsibility for providing park police salaries to the agency that actually negotiates those salaries. Should costs for the park police continue to increase, the National Park Service would have the option to seek more funding from Congress, while the Trust receives less funding each year. Expecting the Trust to pay those salaries, which increase faster than revenues, would handcuff the Trust at a time when it is trying to provide for more of the services and recreational opportunities that Smith seems to advocate.

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the U.S. House of representatives

San Francisco

 
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