Tommy Hall Mail Call
Short praise for "Long": Thanks for the article ["A Long, Strange Trip," Jennifer Maerz, Feature, 2/18]. It was a very interesting read. It seemed like Maerz thought Tommy Hall was pretty out there, but also went the extra length to portray him in an intellectual way.
Not once did it seem like Maerz was making less of him than the legend that he seems to be, while at the same time not hesitating to point out his weirdness.
Antacid: I came away from that article on Hall mainly noting he "survives on government assistance," yet still has a "giant flat-screen TV" with cable and "spends $200 a month on new CDs."
Obviously this burned-out bum is being given too much money.
A shucking shame: Sadly, there's no mention in this article ["Oyster Lovers Unite," Robb Walsh, Feature, 2/11] about the endangered Drake's Bay Oyster Farm.
How can one rave about Hog Island and not mention the truly organic, hanging-cluster–grown oysters in the cleanest estuary on the West Coast? The feds and environmentalists want to return Drake's Bay to its pristine condition. Sadly, to do so would require not renewing the Drake's Bay Oyster Farm's lease in 2012. Kevin Lunny, whose family has ranched Point Reyes for more than 100 years, has spent a great deal of money cleaning up the operations there. The oysters are unsurpassed. How, in this economic climate, can we consider closing a company that is the source of many jobs and provides one of the best sources of organic, self-regenerating protein in the world?
I highly suggest buying a few dozen Drake's Bay mediums for the grill before this world-class oyster is lost forever.
But how good are cops at bird calls?: Terrific column ["Ranger Danger," Matt Smith, 2/11]! Rarely do we learn this kind of detail on the lower-profile bureaucrats whose machinations and empire-building contribute to out-of-control government spending and more rules and regulations that disempower ordinary people and restrict the amount of freedom and choice we have in our lives.
Thanks to Smith for turning over this rock and shining a light where some illumination is badly needed. How San Francisco's government could jack up spending by more than $1 billion in less than five years and create a $750 million deficit, all while presiding over a record rate of homicides, letting the streets fall into disrepair, and having as many homeless people as ever on those streets, is a major underreported local story.
Thanks to Smith for speaking out about it. I can only hope there will be enough blowback to send this ranger scheme directly to the circular file. There's no reason the SFPD can't police the city's parks instead of creating a separate law enforcement agency with all the waste and duplication that entails. In a city as geographically compact as San Francisco, it's especially ridiculous.