Room and Hoard
You make me wanna throw out: I wish there were more effective ways to address the issue of hoarding, and that enforcement measures had more teeth ["Gathering Storm," Ashley Harrell, Feature, 3/25]. It would be one thing for these people to rot in their own mess, but the hazard they create for others is inexcusable. I first encountered compulsive hoarding 15 years ago, when asked to house-sit for a colleague while she was out of the country for a few months.
It took a week's worth of work and filling of two of her complex's large dumpsters just to shovel out her two-bedroom apartment and car so that either were usable. Her teenage daughter actually moved home from a friend's house for the first time in months.
Two weeks after this woman's return, when I went to drop off my keys, the house was already on its way to becoming a rathole again.
In this instance, I say property rights be damned: If apartments and condo buildings can ban smoking even in individual units, they should be allowed and empowered to limit the density of their contents. It's only fair to the rest of us.
Death Cap Threats
Forage or die: Let me get this straight. Seafood is nearly gone from the California bays thanks to overfishing, and leftover hippies think flogging wild food to the privileged foodies of S.F. is somehow going to raise awareness of nature ["Out of the Wild," Peter Jamison, Feature, 3/18]? Really?
Until these resource-suckers put on some good shoes and collect their own damn nettles, all they'll do is continue to slurp up the increasingly scarce natural resources we have left. When I lived in Washington state, I collected nettles and fungi as well as clams, oysters, and salmon. I would laugh, because the only people who could afford a wild mushroom stew were the very rich or the unemployed. I'll be laughing the first time these privileged foodies chow down on some nice water hemlock laced with destroying angel mushrooms.
Collect your own damn wild food or shop at Ralph's. People seeking to profit on dwindling natural resources are disgusting. There is a reason you can't harvest and sell deer and other wild game. We would eat them all if given half a chance.
Eat Amanita and die, you bastards.
Too Many Backseat Drivers in Transit Planning
Getting nowhere: This is a terrible article ["Transit Spotting," Matt Smith, Column, 3/25]. The number of logical fallacies and opinions posed as facts is worthy of a network news show.
The Bay Area has very poor transportation systems. In large part, this is because of the same reason many other U.S. cities have very poor systems: lack of central authority to design and manage the transportation needs of the region's residents. There is no way to design a system that will work effectively and make every city, county, and town happy. As long they own their own systems and can do things their way (like San Jose's laughable light rail system), there will never be a world-class transportation system.
Cities that have made it work are few. Take Portland, Oregon. Its transportation design is controlled by the Metro, an elected civic body, which operates above the counties and cities to manage, plan, and build the city's transportation and growth. It has a transportation system with huge ridership and it is well thought out for the most part.
We need to stop having every mayor, city council, and county body pick what they want and let a central body of experts implement a Bay Area regional transportation system from Marin to Gilroy, from Pacifica to Pleasanton.