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Letters to the Editor 

Week of March 6, 2002

Not That We're In It for the Recognition

Thanks for your letter. We were getting tired of congratulating ourselves.: Congratulations to you on winning your very special award ("Eye on the Prize," Mecklin, Feb. 20, on SF Weekly writer Lisa Davis winning a prestigious Polk Award for exposing the history of nuclear waste at Hunters Point Shipyard), and for covering such an important story. The people who have been suffering the aftereffects thank you.

Maurice Campbell
Visitacion Valley

"I Pledge Allegiances ..."

Filipino loyalty: Though I live in Hawaii, news travels fast, and after reading [an] article on ("Divided Loyalties," Feb. 20, on efforts by Filipino-Americans to win the rights of citizenship in both countries), I'm troubled that a few bad apples have distorted the truth about Filipino-Americans and their allegiance to America. Though many came by boat, my father's boat was the U.S. Navy. Historically and even today, if you look close enough, you will find many proud Filipino-Americans serving our armed forces, [with] a dedication and commitment to preserve our American way of life for generations to come.

David J. Rodriguez
Honolulu, Hawaii

The Two Faces of SF Weekly

Technically, your acronym definition spells NIBMY, but we get your point: Matt Smith sounds shocked -- shocked! -- to find Willie Brown plotting an "end run" around San Francisco voters' statutory right to decide whether SFO runways should be expanded by filling the bay ("Brownout at SFO," Feb. 6). How dare Willie pull strings in Sacramento to get a Bay Area-wide referendum in which Willie and his Chamber of Commerce allies would outspend environmentalists who want to protect the bay?

How dare wealthy cronies exchange money and influence to profit from lucrative development deals like this? What about the Public Interest? Thank God for independent San Francisco supervisors like Aaron Peskin (approvingly quoted in Smith's column) who still seek to protect the people! ...

Wait a minute.

For years now, Smith and Weekly [Editor] John Mecklin have consistently attacked people who've resisted equally berserk development proposals within San Francisco. Longtime neighborhood residents who choose not to suddenly wake up in the shadow of a skyscraper have been dismissed as "NIMBYs." (Since the Weekly doesn't bother to define this acronym, I assume it stands for "Not Intimidated by Mad Yelling.") Reformist elected officials like Peskin, who've sought to represent their constituents' preferences and defend tenant rights, have been ridiculed as idiots.

Sorry, but you can't have this both ways. If San Francisco as a whole deserves a transparent process by which to autonomously decide the course of airport development, then the city's neighborhoods deserve the same rights of sunshine and home rule over local megaprojects. Conversely, if you applaud city commissions stacked with mayoral appointees -- who dismiss neighborhood concerns, staff recommendations, and statutes in order to reward favored developers -- then don't be surprised when this back-room dealing comes home to roost at the regional level, yielding undemocratic results that defy economic and environmental logic.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reformed Weekly break bread, and feel the love, with grass-roots-friendly Supe Chris Daly!

Michael Katz


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