Letters to SFWeekly

Gangsta Rap Doesn't Kill People; Josh Wolf Is Just Like Jesus; Ethics Commission Is Unethical

Fanatical Violence

Don't believe the hype: I just finished reading John Geluardi's article on Fanatics [“Clubbed,” Nov. 7]. I do agree with a lot of what Geluardi wrote about the many terrible things that happened at that venue, and I think the location and management of the club had much to do with the violence that took place. But as a child of the hip-hop generation, I cannot agree with your position that “gangsta rap,” or any other type of music that a venue chooses to play, is a direct cause of violence. What causes violence are people who don't have the better sense to not resort to violence.

For the most part, “gangsta rap” is a name created by the media and people who do not actually listen to hip-hop. Harsh laws regarding the playing of hip-hop music in the city have made it hard for young African-Americans to enjoy a night out in S.F. When the people have few choices, they go where they can. The near-riot that happened on June 10 wasn't because of the music the club played; it was because there were people with nowhere else to go but Fanatics.

I think Mr. Butler's business tactics may be in question, but hundreds of hip-hop parties happen every year without incident. So instead of placing blame on music that still outsells most, if not all, other genres of music, let's keep it on the facts of the situations that cause those types of problems. Other than the use of hip-hop music and its listeners as scapegoats, I thought the article was right on. Keep up the good work.

Christopher Riggins

San Francisco

Gandhi, King, Mandela … Wolf?

Skinny-dipping in Walden Pond: I am not certain why Benjamin Wachs is trying to marginalize the candidates running for mayor by implying that there is something wrong with being arrested [“Arrested Development,” Oct. 31].

1. The United States is such a police state that in some neighborhoods in San Francisco, more than two-thirds of males have been arrested at some time.

2. Included among people arrested in history are Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, John Lennon, Wilhelm Reich, and Jesus Christ.

3. Josh Wolf and myself, George Davis, are certainly considered prisoners of conscience. For what it's worth, my arrests have been purely police harassment and the cases are immediately discharged because nudity is not a crime in California unless one is lewd or blocking traffic. I have never had a trial or been convicted of anything.

4. What kind of moral paragon of virtue is the incumbent mayor? He is admittedly the drunken slut poodle dog belonging to a couple of billionaires. Also, Chris Daly's implications of cocaine use have a verisimilitude. Can you picture a Pacific Heights “hip party boy” who also owned a bar who never used cocaine? I didn't think so.

George Davis, former candidate for mayor

San Francisco

Ain't No Sunshine

Myrna Lim responds: Thank you for allowing me to correct Joe Eskenazi's blog post [“Sunshine Smackdown: I've Got Your Ethics Commission Right Here,” The Snitch, Oct. 24] about the Ethics Commission's secret investigation of me.

On October 23, 2007, I won a ruling against the Ethics Commission before the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. The Ethics Commission was found in violation of local and state sunshine laws.

On April 10, 2007, I received a warning letter from the Ethics Commission alleging an anonymous complaint was filed against me when I was running for supervisor in 2004. The complaint alleged that I violated conflict-of-interest laws by entering into a contract while serving on the Planning Commission in 2001 and 2002. The complaint was dismissed but found a technical violation based on “sufficient” evidence.

Prior to the publication of the warning letter, I was never contacted by the Ethics Commission about the complaint, the investigation, or their contact of my employers for personal and financial information. I was not informed of an April 9, 2007 hearing, which I discovered by accident while searching its Web site: “Prohibition against contracting with the City. Dismissed because facts did not support finding of violation.”

Had I been notified of the complaint and allowed my right to due process, discoveries, and a hearing, the commission would have concluded there was no violation of conflict of interest. I did not enter into any contract when I was in the Planning Commission. The law I was accused of violating was passed two years after my departure from the Planning Commission.

Why is the Ethics Commission, mandated by the city charter to be the “steward of good government,” allowed to violate a person's civil rights and their rights to due process? Why are they determined to find anyone in violation of seemingly anything, even committing “libel per se”?

I am proud of myaccomplishments in the Planning Commission creating affordable housing, promoting economic development, and creating new jobs for San Franciscans. I spent 30 hours a week of my own time with the commission, while working and taking care of my family. I consulted with the city attorney’s office regularly, to avoid violation or the perception of violation of conflict of interest laws. The Ethics Commission’s conduct is unlawful, unethical, and morally reprehensible.

Myrna Lim, former candidate for supervisor

San Francisco

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