I read with amusement Roberta Achtenberg's proposals for everything from public transportation to the environment (“Scratch My Back,” Dog Bites, Oct. 4). While Achtenberg produces papers on what she would do as mayor, and Frank Jordan demonstrates his ineptitude with such programs as Matrix and Matrix II, Willie Brown can talk about 30 years of achievement for the city and for Californians.
If the focus is on environmental issues, Brown has an average rating of 87 percent with the League of Conservation Voters. In the late '70s and early '80s, his leadership in Sacramento was a key factor in the defeat of the Peripheral Canal that would have ruined both the bay and the delta.
Brown has also made sure there was money for city projects such as Gas House Cove and the West Marina Basin. He secured the appropriations of $10 million to create Candlestick Point State Recreation Area and several millions more to refurbish the Academy of Sciences.
In short, Brown both talks and plays a good game. So far, Achtenberg has mainly talked a good game, and poor Jordan neither talks nor plays well. I'd like a mayor who's good in both departments.
Thank you for letting people know what Harry S. Parker III is trying to do to the de Young Museum (“Color It Gone,” Oct. 4).
When I first came to San Francisco in the early '80s, I was captivated by the huge vase-shaped sculpture in the de Young, Gustave DorŽ's Poem of the Vine. It is a beautiful composition made up of exquisitely modeled figures. The Vine came to San Francisco for the 1894 Exposition and was then purchased by the Palace of the Legion of Honor.
A couple of years ago I was driving by the de Young and I was surprised to see The Vine being set up outside. Outdoor sculpture receives a lot of wear, and a piece with fine detail will not last another century outside.
There was a curator overseeing the workman. I stopped to ask why this was being done. The curator said, “We don't think it should be out here either, but Harry Parker doesn't listen to his staff.”
After this experience and Ellen McGarrahan's outstanding profile of his grandiose schemes, it is clear to me that Parker is not a competent custodian of our museums. I hope we can remove him before he can do more damage.
A Movable Feast
Thank you for Ellen McGarrahan's article on Director Harry S. Parker III's plans for the future of the de Young Museum (“Color It Gone,” Oct. 4). We are encouraged to read that Director Parker is interested in the great potential of moving the museum out of Golden Gate Park. The move would be a win-win victory for both the museum and the park. The museum can find a site suitable for the space, parking, and access to regional transit necessary for a world-class institution and Golden Gate Park will be enhanced with more parkland and less automobile congestion.
The Coalition for Golden Gate Park will actively support a bond proposal that facilitates the museum's relocation out of Golden Gate Park. But if the de Young sticks to its original idea of a $60 million bond measure to rebuild in the park atop a huge parking garage with an automobile tunnel accessing the museum from Fulton Street, our coalition and many environmental and neighborhood groups will work to defeat it.
Philip Carleton, Greg Gaar, Pinky Kushner
Coalition for Golden Gate Park
Thanks for a great article on an aspect of the transgendered movement (“Drag Kings,” Sept. 27). However, the statistics given for FTM International were misleading. While it's true that in 1990 an average of 20 people attended each quarterly meeting and since 1993 at least 50 people have attended each monthly meeting, in actuality the organization includes nearly 750 members from all over the world.
In August we held our first three-day conference, which drew over 360 people, 70 percent of whom were female-to-male transgendered or transsexual. Mayor Jordan issued a proclamation declaring August 18-20 FTM Conference Weekend in San Francisco. So you can see, the movement consists of more than the reported 50 people.
Director, FTM International