Building resentment: The number of misstatements and errors of fact, the failure to name many individuals quoted in this story ["Venice by the Bay," Matt Smith, Column, 11/11], and the failure to interview even one person involved in the preservation efforts of the North Beach Library speaks volumes about the credibility of this article.
Here is a fact: Not one chartered neighborhood group is in favor of the proposed razing of the existing North Beach Library or the rebuild of a new library on the undeveloped property that was acquired by the city specifically for open space. That is indisputable. Smith makes clear his blindfolded preference for this costly and excessive "make-work" government project that is jointly supported by and for the self-interested bureaucrats at the San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
For those of us in North Beach who have been witnesses to and participants in our neighborhood's history, we understand that this is a rare opportunity. Is it unreasonable to expect an upgraded and restored branch library while preserving our open space? The current $9 million city plan being foisted upon North Beach hopes to destroy a neighborhood landmark while failing to accomplish either expectation. We deserve better.
Matt Smith Responds
This letter specifies no misstatements of fact. Assuming for the sake of argument that it were true that "not one chartered neighborhood group is in favor" of the new library, there is nothing in my column that contradicts this statement or even raises the issue of whether supporters are "chartered neighborhood groups."
One man's treasure: Matt Smith's observations and warnings are spot-on. If only the blinkered, one-issue, kill-change opponents would look beyond themselves and grasp the bigger picture and the needs of the greater community, we would all be better off in the long run. Thank you, SF Weekly!
North Beach Park User
Rotten Apple (Article)
Taking license: This is lazy and poorly researched "journalism" at best ["Worms in the Apple," Tim Elfrink, Feature, 11/11]. If, for example, someone "pulled in serious cash even as a 16-year-old," and this amount was "probably more" than a faculty adviser, then why, six paragraphs later but in the same time frame, can the Pedraza brothers not "afford better" than a "clunky PC that could barely run word processors"? This article is replete with similar problems that, even within the context some facts are presented, either make the fact problematic or suggest the writer (and his editors) intentionally want to mislead readers to prove a point. This is brought clearly to light with phrases like "Apple's millionaire lawyers" — leading one to believe the Pedrazas' legal defense is barely out of law school.
Another damning example is the reference to Apple's licensing agreement and pot-shots at click-through agreements. (Funny, given that comments on SF Weekly's Web site are the product of a click-through agreement that readers have "reviewed and agree[d] to" the terms SF Weekly's presumably poor lawyers wrote up. They certainly can't be millionaires, as that would make them "bad" lawyers, no?) Licensing agreements for software exist even with free software such as Adobe Reader, freeware and shareware folks happily download without thought, and software and videogames. Companies like Microsoft, between Windows software and videogames, sell more "licensed" products that the consumer does not actually own the right to "tear" up, "underline," or otherwise deface. This is true of any other software company, videogame maker, or seller of music or movies, etc.
Either the writer is an idiot, or he's just plain sloppy and lazy, and his editors can't do their jobs — or, even worse, they don't know and don't care.