Smuggler's Cove archetypal: That is a funny and well-written article, but it totally misses the point of Smuggler's Cove ["The Familiar Oddball Charm of the Tiki Bar," Katy St. Clair, Bouncer, 5/11]. Smuggler's Cove is an amazing place to drink one man's devotion to rum and false topicality. It is also a testament to the archetypal S.F. small-business owner pursuing his culinary dreams, something we should be very thankful for. If the writer is going to take such a contra outlook on a fine establishment, can she at least pick something of relevance to harp about? Seriously, how many other bars in S.F. have weird middle-aged dudes in them? It's not a rare occurrence or a reason to head for the hills.
Some Progress in My Back Yard
SPUR says something different: Please correct the errors in Matt Smith's column ["Tech Blocked," 5/11]. My main concerns are that we take care to implement change in a way that preserves the good qualities of San Francisco.
1. When I was chair of the SPUR Sustainable Development Committee, we supported the undergrounding of utility wires in San Francisco for aesthetic reasons. Surely if the wires should be undergrounded, then those huge boxes should also be placed out of sight. I have not opposed the new technologies. I support an Environmental Impact Report, as does San Francisco Beautiful and many other community groups.
2. I support renovation of the Beach Chalet soccer fields with natural grass and renovating other playing fields in the city with the money saved from the proposed project. Renovating additional fields will provide more playing time for the kids. I do not support the destruction of bird and other wildlife habitat in Golden Gate Park with 7 acres of artificial turf and 10 banks of 60-foot-tall, multiple-fixture stadium lights. Mr. Smith recently wrote an excellent article on birdwatching; I suggest he talk to the Audubon Society about the environmental damage caused by this type of night lighting.
3. I support finding a location outside of Golden Gate Park for the proposed 40,000-square-foot, 30-foot-tall water treatment facility. I also support returning that area to parkland, meadows, or a practice field.
Change does not always equal progress; the Fillmore District was decimated by redevelopment in the name of progress. Surely we have come further than that in how we view our city and our precious public commons.
Matt Smith responds: Though Ms. Howard begins her letter "Please correct the errors," she doesn't actually identify errors of fact. What she does do, however, is give her own opinions about how best to implement change in San Francisco, a subject upon which reasonable San Franciscans often disagree.
CSFN begs to differ: Matt Smith writes: "The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods counts itself as an AT&T broadband opponent and a scourge of cellphone antenna permit applicants everywhere." The last time CSFN argued against a cellphone antenna permit would have to be more than 10 years ago, I'd guess. Certainly nothing more recent.
I can assure Smith that the CSFN has never taken a position pro or con on AT&T providing broadband service. It did however, call for an EIR on the large sidewalk boxes AT&T proposed back in 2008. It has not formally weighed in on the current proposal, although it will do so soon.
I'm all for competition, which is why I have broadband Internet, cable TV, a cellphone, and a landline phone, none of which is supplied or serviced by AT&T or Comcast. Re: the historical opposition to technology that the article cites came from nonprofit groups, as I recall, rather than from neighborhoods. There is quite a difference. By and large, neighborhoods welcomed technology and the proposed Armory server farm.
Judy Berkowitz, president, CSFN
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about the Giants' decision to make an "It Gets Better" video: I don't know about being gay, but I have many dear friends who are gay. I don't know about having a cleft palate, yet I know a child who has had surgeries to correct that. I don't know about cancer, but I am going to a funeral tomorrow of a dear friend, and my mother is a cancer survivor. It gets better when acceptance happens. I don't have to know what it's like to be gay to know that the right thing to do is treat every person with respect, whatever their situation is.