Citizen to Press: Take a Walk
After reading the article "Forgive Us Our Press Passes" (Bay View, Sept. 6), I would like to suggest an easy solution: Make the "working press vehicle parking pass" invalid within a half-mile radius of the press persons' offices. If a news event occurs inside of that radius, the press can walk.
I would also like to point out to Bill Kelly [assistant director of enforcement for the city's Department of Parking and Traffic] that free speech and not free parking is guaranteed by the First Amendment. I fail to see how freedom of the press or any other freedom guaranteed by the Constitution would be curtailed by paying a parking meter. If it were only so, I would always have free parking when visiting the city, and there would be nothing Kelly or anyone else could do about it. Almost every time I cross the bridge I speak, write, or peaceably assemble. Free parking is a privilege to some or a right to all, not the other way around.
Thank you for allowing me to seek "redress" for my "grievances" regarding the city government and the press' abuse of a privilege. And, if either offending party chooses to respond, please do not use the word "legitimate," for I feel I would become nauseous. My rights are just as legitimate as any reporter's.
Keep the Customer Satisfied
Chronicle/Examiner staffers deprive local businesses of customers ("Forgive Us Our Press Passes," Bay View, Sept. 6)? Good grief, we are their customers. Every day, we use the Fifth-and-Market-to-Howard neighborhood to shop for meals, clothing, even light bulbs. Business owners don't need expensive advertising to lure us downtown from the suburbs. We're already here -- from before they open up in the morning until after they close at night.
Recognizing that, smart retailers (such as Souper Salad, in the S.F. Centre) offer local workers a 10 percent discount on purchases. Be a little more gracious to us, your fellow neighbors and captive audience, and we'll reciprocate.
Examiner medical writer
I read with interest your story on alleged abuse of press parking passes ("Forgive Us Our Press Passes," Bay View, Sept. 6). Under current city law, credentialed journalists are allowed to park in white zones, timed zones, and at meters while gathering news. While your reporter can make the assumption that a car with a press pass parked near the daily papers' main offices in a white zone (in my case) or at a meter is breaking the law, the facts may prove otherwise. There actually can be news happening near Fifth and Mission.
I only can speak for myself: In order to preserve the use of the press pass I try my darndest not to abuse it. I, like many San Franciscans and visitors, load up on quarters to feed the meters. I, like many San Franciscans and visitors, get my fair share of tickets. And if I'm issued one when I'm gathering news, I fight it through the appropriate channels, pleading my case. Your report put all of us "caught" in your hard-hitting investigative probe as people who "misuse" the press parking passes. I respectfully disagree with your assessment.
Owing to an editing error in "Runaway Train" (Sept. 13), the attorney for Galaxy was misidentified. He is Randall Knox. Also, the Dolores Street Baptist Church was located at 15th and Dolores.