Scien-follow-gists: I Thank you for the recent article regarding Scientology ["Scientology's Antagonists," Lauren Smiley, Feature, 8/13]. Not only have you informed the public, but Scientologists may have a chance to read about the abuse Jennifer Gorman has suffered. As a former cult member, I never heard of her story, and I was in for 29 years! Any critical news is kept from cult members by informing them not to read certain papers or magazines, or watch certain news programs for a while. Members usually comply. Hopefully, some will read this article.
Fail to the Chief
Old boys, new backbone: There's a difference between being a strong leader and/or manager and doing things differently than the old boy network ["The Chief Is In (For Now)," Ron Russell, Feature, 8/6]. As a police chief, being perceived as kowtowing to the mayor, whether it's pouring his water, absorbing his tirades, or having a knee-jerk reaction to misconduct by the men in blue — those are the actions of a chief without enough backbone.
As an Asian, I was impressed that an Asian female is the police chief of a major city. However, after reading that Heather Fong has lost, or is losing, the rank and file, I feel that the minority promotion is not helping the cause, especially if it perpetuates the "model minority" stereotype of being silent and subservient. Maybe that's fine in other careers, but it isn't as a police chief. To not vocally and publicly back your guys after one of your own is killed is inexcusable. It's a lesson from Management 101 — if your employees don't feel like they have your support when times get tough, you won't have their support.
As for Videogate, yes: The guys were wrong. But that's where Fong should've stepped in and told Gavin Newsom, "You're right; what they did was wrong. We'll handle it in-house." Effective chiefs and managers must support their employees and hold them accountable when they're not performing to expectations. The old boy network usually does the former, but not enough of the latter. Fong sounds like she's completely reversed. Hopefully, the next chief will get it right and take the best of the old boy system and combine it with accountability.
Shining light on the topic: Your Aug. 6 article ["Eco-Confusion," Matt Smith] gets the facts on the San Francisco Clean Energy Act completely wrong. First, Smith claims the measure won't work because solar is too expensive and won't pay off in a foggy location. In reality, the measure creates a winning mix of low cost and quick profit, returning conservation and wind to balance out its extensive but smaller solar component. Because of this three-way mix, the act will get us to 100 percent clean electricity at no added cost to taxpayers and ratepayers.
And Smith's facts on fog are, well, foggy. Germany is the Number Two solar-powered country in the world, and gets less sun than Seattle. San Francisco has plenty of sunlight for solar, especially in the Mission District.
Finally, he claims the measure will raise taxes. This is absolutely false. The act creates revenue bond and only revenue bond authority. Revenue bonds are zero cost to taxpayers because they are mandated to be repaid by profits from the projects they are used to build. And as I noted above, since the San Francisco Clean Energy Act's conservation and wind power components will bring in big revenues quickly, the whole system will easily pay for itself, and eventually cause electricity rates to go down.
Not Bi-ing It
With apologies to Arizona: I was fairly surprised by last week's Dan Savage column [Savage Love, 8/6]. He cites thoroughly discredited research to claim that bisexual men do not exist. That probably plays in Arizona but in San Francisco, where nearly everyone knows a bi man, it comes across as the slightly lunatic ravings of a tired, old, out-of-touch hack.
There are dozens of competent sex writers in and around S.F. Why not give someone who is entertaining, up-to-date, AND knowledgeable a shot at that space?