Going the way of the Medici: Kudos to Matt Smith for depicting the lunacy that passes for housing policy in this town ["Back to the Future," May 25]. I find it ironic that I'm exactly the type of person the Board [of Supervisors] always says it wants to help a lower-middle-income "average Joe" yet at the same time they do everything in their power to make life difficult for us working stiffs.
My father was blue-collar and proud of it, but most of those jobs are long gone to cheaper places in the Central Valley and beyond. Nowadays regular city folks either work in high-rises or at your local Starbucks.
In the future, I can see San Francisco going one of two ways. It could become like, say, Florence, Italy a once cutting-edge city reduced to a charming place to go on vacation, with an economy dependent on tourists and students (just imagine all the art history students gaping at the Burning Man instead of the David). Or we could be more like Vancouver, Barcelona, etc. cities that realized a long time ago there was no future in heavy industry and began planning for a dense, vibrant urban future. Hey, could happen here.
Old people vs. old buildings: Matt Smith's column offered an excellent analysis on two planning areas in our city with which I'm very familiar. I appreciate his take on the struggle to realize the long overdue Institute on Aging-Bridge Housing development at the old Coronet Theater site on Geary that will serve low-income seniors and provide much-needed services. I'm president of the Planning Association for the Richmond, (1,500 households in the Richmond District), which has worked on this for more than six years and has spoken in support of the project at all Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission hearings. The appeal was just turned down by the Board of Supervisors 10-0. Now we have to wait and see if the two small groups in opposition go to court. We can't afford any more delays.
I also chair the S.F. Housing Action Coalition (HAC), which has seen the 10th Street projects change and develop into viable and much-needed housing. These two developments are now set to encompass both low-income and market-rate units. Also, they will undoubtedly account for many more jobs than the two 1920s-era warehouses.
Thanks for keeping the fight in the public eye.
Who cares about integrity when you can have Wi-Fi and oyster cocktails in the stands?: This is what happens when no one grows up in San Francisco anymore ["Best Baseball Team: Oakland A's," Best of San Francisco', May 17]. What the hell are you thinking? Have you no pride in your city? Are you from Oakland? Would you like to gage how easy it is to love the A's by their game attendance? Do you not think every single team in baseball has a high-priced player that took steroids? I hope the SF Weekly can expect your resignation by the end of the day. Maybe your transplant ass should go get a job with an Oakland newspaper, where you can write about how much you like living in Oakland, and love going to their baseball games with the other 10 people that show up.
Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses who failed history class: Two hundred years ago (in 1806) Mexico did not exist [The Apologist, "Immigrant Song," May 10], so nobody was waving Mexican flags anywhere. Spanish flags perhaps.
This was all "New Spain" including the 13 original colonies because the pope split the New World between Portugal and Spain in 1496. Mexico came into existence in 1823. California was free in 1848. A mere 25 years is a "drop in the bucket," and worthy of a small footnote in the course of human history.
Matt Palmquist needs to work on his quiz.
Tom [last name withheld]
Corrections: We named KQED's Spark the "Best Art TV Show" in our Best of San Francisco issue, but we misidentified Marie K. Lee. She is the program's Web producer; the television producer is Patrick Flaherty. And the show airs on Wednesdays on KQED at 7:30 p.m., not 7 p.m. SF Weekly regrets the errors.