Messy parks need federal cleaning: I sure hope the federal government can clean this up, yet another total mess of a situation in one of the worst-run cities in America [“Ranger Noir,” Matt Smith, feature, 8/21]. Somebody tell me again why we give these people city jobs and pensions when they can't even do an honest day's work?
Delete the department: Park rangers don't/can't do anything, and have to call SFPD to make any arrest or really to take any action. They patrol parks, but the SFPD is tasked with the same thing on top of the rangers. Want to make it efficient? Cut the park rangers, have the sheriff's department patrol parks, or just leave it to the cops already doing it.
Offline: No One Wins
A teacher's second look: As a music teacher who has taught ages 8 to 17, I recognize those crucial, rare qualities in Terry Braye — passion, energy, and patience — needed to be an excellent teacher [“Offline,” Lauren Smiley, feature, 9/14]. He was gifted in connecting with his students. Unfortunately, he chose to go above and beyond, reaching past his charge to zealously teach and support his students and behaving in ways which made them feel uncomfortable. Even after the fact, Braye seems surprisingly unaware of having crossing lines; to him, it was part of his job.
In this situation, nobody won; the district lost a teacher who had a positive impact on many students, and a man who had finally found a calling was banned from doing that which he loved. Smiley reported on the dilemma ably: on one hand, ambiguous situations were summarily turned by understandably concerned administration and parents into a legal matter with dire consequences. On the other hand, we have a man with clear boundary issues who in may ways seems not have grown up and lacked the ability to differentiate between relating to his students and becoming inappropriately close outside of the classroom. It is a shame no one set Braye straight and it got to this point.
Blog Comments of the Week
In response to the new SFoodie's etiquette column about wine: As a server in a restaurant here in S.F., this blog post makes me smile [“Do I Have to Endure the Wine-Opening Rigamarole?” Jonathan Kauffman, SFoodie, 9/20]. And I reel at the picture, he has his elbow in her face!
In response to the controversy surrounding Schweddy Balls ice cream: I'm gay-friendly, liberal and generally foul-mouthed, but I always thought that Saturday Night Live sketch was gross [“Are Schweddy Balls Delicious, or Just Irritating to Gay-Bashers?” W. Blake Gray, SFoodie, 9/21]. I know it's popular and I'm in the minority, but I seriously cringed when they made it a flavor. The joke is that it sounds like “sweaty balls,” right? Why would that be appealing for ice cream? It's just juvenile and gross.