SF Weekly Letters

Scheming PG&E
Don't believe the green hype: Reading "Green Scheme" by Peter Jamison [Feature, 1/14] had a very familiar feel. I've watched PG&E conduct a vile campaign in Marin County in an attempt to scare people away from Community Choice Aggregation. This article could have been written in PG&E's public relations department (and possibly was!). Not one of SF Weekly's more objective pieces ...

PG&E was one of the biggest spenders opposing Ralph Nader's initiative to end electricity deregulation before the power market blew up, and then went bankrupt after it did. Come on, people. Are we going to take anything PG&E says seriously? As if they're warning us about the risks of CCA out of concern for our pocketbooks? I don't think so!

David Schonbrunn

Sausalito

Blowing in the Wind
Thin (composition) argument: Joe Eskenazi's article on the San Francisco plastic bag ban ["Baggage," Feature, 1/7] argues that plastic bags are more environmentally friendly than paper bags because they take up less space in a landfill. But a consumer-to-landfill mentality is exactly what San Francisco, with a goal of zero waste by 2020, is trying to get away from. Unlike plastic bags, paper bags can be easily recycled and composted, creating either new bags or fertile soil — avoiding the landfill altogether.

While plastic bags are a minor part of San Francisco's litter by weight, as Eskenazi points out, they are one of the most hazardous types of trash — blowing into the bay to strangle or suffocate sea life, and leaching toxic plasticizers and inks made from heavy metals as they break down into microscopic petroleum particles. Their increasingly thin composition also means they tear easily, leading to more of them being used, and, consequently, more of them ending up in landfills, streets, and waterways.

While imperfect, the ban is a step in the right direction, away from a throwaway society and toward a world where every bit of waste is a reusable resource.

Gwynn Mackellen

San Francisco

Do they get SF Weekly in the gilded bubble?: Congrats to Joe Eskenazi for a well-researched and well-written article. But, like our illustrious S.F. Board of Stuporvisors, he omits one topic of no small concern to people like myself: It happens to rain in San Francisco, and the law banning retailers' dispensing plastic bags should have been authored to include a common-sense exception (imagine that!) allowing customers to choose plastic bags when it's raining.

I don't know about the gilded bubble the supervisors might inhabit, but I guess it could possibly be news to them that some citizens have to lug grocery bags home via Muni in the rain, and it is a challenge to get your food home before wet paper bags disintegrate.

Unfortunately, very little surprises me anymore, relative to the moronic inferno and/or social-engineering clique known as the Board of Supervisors. In my opinion, they need to create a "Common Sense Advisory Board," as a check-and-balance to nullify their more outlandish legislative tendencies.

Clive

[Delivered by hand to our front desk, possibly after a wet Muni ride. — Ed.]

Calling Bullshit on "Rap and Bullshit"
Oh, baby, I'm sorry I hurt you and said those things: As an artist and a lover of music, particularly the genre of which Ben Westhoff writes ["Rap and Bullshit," Music, 1/7], I am appalled at the venom of this article. It is obviously written by someone who is not a true lover of the music. As Westhoff stated, R&B (rhythm and blues) mixes many genres, so to say something is not R&B is the issue right there.

Journalists feel the need to name everything, so someone like Janelle Monae is different, but her musical base is R&B. To group Beyoncé with Keyshia Cole, based on their vocals, is blasphemous.

The mainstream, and some journalists, accept and promote the cookie-cutter. People like Bilal, Anthony David, Eric Roberson, Jill Scott, India.Arie, John Legend, J*DaVeY, Muhsinah, Teedra Moses, Little Dragon, Raphael Saadiq, and Ledisi, whose label might not be R&B, are influenced by the greats Westhoff mentioned, and are making really good music. And there are many of us in the Bay Area doing the same!

No one is talking about country music and its recycled formulas and mediocre talent like Taylor Swift. Every genre has mediocrity; it's not as if we have more than most.

Siaira

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