They're making an earnest effort to build readership by fully empowering those intra-organizational frameworks which interact with public perception in a real-time functional subset of relationships that will create the actualization of potential possibilities of public trust, as well as renewed and enhanced public interest, which will enable staff to embrace a core journalistic value reflecting both the maximal effect of focused and multitasking full-spectrum news presentation in the matrix of the nexus of reader interface, when all relevant and fractal parameters are individually transformed by personal excellence.
Why can't you understand that?
No Wet Noodles Here
Hats off to George Cothran for his no-punches-pulled article on the loft-yuppie invasion of our now-not-so-fair city ("Community Infestment," Jan. 27). Good, tough journalism backed up with facts; and in refreshing contrast to wet-noodle Chronicle/Examiner blather about the "Changing Face of San Francisco," which would have us all believe that gentrification is simply a matter of supply and demand, with no criminals and no victims.
Hats off also to Richard Anderson ("Educating George," Letters, Jan. 27) for showing us the true meaning of blissful ignorance (The construction of exclusive "live-work units" for yuppies is a "net benefit to the citizens of San Francisco ... creating a sense of community"? Really, Mr. Anderson, I wonder what kind of reality you've been living in).
As a longtime San Francisco resident recently returned from a three-year absence traveling and teaching overseas, I must say I have found the experience of resettlement in my beloved city to be one first of shock and then of deep depression. While talk of gentrification is nothing new here, the extent to which it has in recent years succeeded in poisoning both economic and cultural life in San Francisco -- transforming it from vital, working city and cultural mecca to high-priced yuppie playground and bedroom community for Greater Silicon Valley -- is nothing less than astonishing (not to mention obscene).
Along with the unabashed greed exhibited by owners of existing rental properties (who, with the help of their overpaid stooges in City Hall, are already holding the city for ransom), I would agree with Cothran that the construction of exclusive "live-work units" for yuppies intent on taking San Francisco for none but themselves is all part of the same ugly picture.
As provided by Cothran, the example of the Mission Language and Vocational School -- currently in the process of being forced out of the neighborhood it has served for a generation-and-a-half by whining yuppie brats who in all likelihood were not even born when the school first opened its doors -- is a glaring one indeed.
To Cothran: Keep up the good work. In hands such as your own the power of the printed word may in some small way help to save this town from spiraling turdlike down the yuppie toilet forever.
To Anderson: Please, try pulling your head out of whichever hole it seems to be stuck in and take a good look around. You may find that things are not as rosy as you thought they were.
As a member of the Sierra Club's San Francisco Bay chapter, I was dismayed to read that some of my chapter's squeakiest wheels are still obsessed with subjecting BART riders to parking charges that might generate enough money to allow lower fares ("No More Free Ride?" Bay View, Jan. 20). This approach strikes me as exactly backwards: raise charges on short-distance drivers now, then think about maybe tossing transit riders some incentives later, if ever. In your article, BART Director Thomas Blalock accurately summarized this attitude as an attempt to "punish people out of their cars."
For years, some of us have worked to nudge the club -- and other local environmental groups -- to take a more farsighted stance. If we had the "vision thing," local green activists would be working to immediately and substantially reduce transit fares and boost ridership -- and would only later pursue disincentives and punishments for recalcitrant drivers. If we really want people to ride buses to their BART stations, rather than drive a couple of miles, we should be demanding frequent bus service and free transfers -- not seeking nuisance parking charges that will convince many people to simply drive all the way to work (where the parking's free).
The Bay Area's glaring regional problem is our lack of affordable, integrated, and dependable public transit. We all suffer the consequences: crippling road congestion, worsening air quality, wasted time, and rising stress. As long as environmentalists keep misdirecting our efforts toward finding new ways to punish anyone who ever turns an ignition key -- rather than offering them convenient alternatives -- we will remain stuck with overpriced and underperforming transit, and the consequences described above. Plus a dwindling environmental constituency.
The "inequity" suffered by San Francisco-based BART riders (who have access to relatively few parking spaces, and only at outlying stations like Balboa Park) is real. But if the Parking Puritans among my fellow Sierrans really want to reduce regional automobile usage, they should seriously consider the desirability of providing more intensive (free) parking around BART's San Francisco stations. Several of my San Francisco friends relentlessly drag their cars across the Bay Bridge whenever we make plans to meet in the East Bay -- but claim they'd happily take BART instead, if only they could park free near the central San Francisco stations.
One more parable: Toronto's integrated regional transit agency -- widely recognized as one of the continent's very best, with sky-high ridership and cost-recovery rates -- last year proudly introduced free parking at suburban subway stations, as a benefit for monthly-pass buyers. Meanwhile, BART still doesn't even offer monthly passes.