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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, March 9, 2005

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Page 2 of 4

Brian Cousimano
San Francisco

You're inconsequential -- but could I have a copy of the issue that mentions me?: We at sf_indie found our mention mildly amusing, but it might've been more appropriate to use "Beedub of the sf indie list" as opposed to my full e-mail address, doncha think? Luckily no one reads the Weak-ly (spelling intentional), and I haven't been bombarded with spam. 'Sides, I've never even heard Court & Spark, and I'm FAR from "twee." I'm the token cantankerous old fart (who dwells in nostalgia and finds Steve Albini highly overrated) of the forum.

However, yer "Friday Fives" summation of the indielister archetype was fairly accurate and, again, mildly amusing. We also appreciated yer contribution to the list a while back, the "open letter" to the trendoid geeks harassin' you outside some club for havin' a press pass. We all laughed long and hard (LOL!) about that. Well, not long and hard, but you know, we found it mildly amusing.

And for the record: Noise Pop's lineup this year is incredibly uninspiring. But the board game was cute.

Howzabout a couple o' print copies of the board game mailed to me to keep for posterity?

Brian Way
Mission

Note to Frank: There's a difference between a joke and a game: I have to admit that I got a chuckle at Nate Cavalieri's "NOISE POP THE GAME©®," even if it was a bit painful to giggle while scratching my new "Capt. Lou" beard. Thanks very much for the treat. Big ups to the Party Ben square, though I think Ian MacKaye might wish for a firmer penalty for the horrible misuse of his song, which has been raising some ire on Fugazi message boards since the dark day of its conception.

One complaint though: It seems like after I played a couple of friends a few times, it is almost statistically impossible to end the game with above zero. In fact, most of the time I end in the basement to the tune of nearly 5,000 points. Is this supposed to be telling us something?

Frank McFall
Noe Valley

There are certain subjects that will generate overheated letters no matter what. You question my theorem? Write 1,000 words on abortion. Post the piece and your e-mail address somewhere -- anywhere -- on the Internet. Count the minutes until your computer crashes.

I hereby adduce a corollary to the theorem: When written about in a journalistic outlet above a certain size, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly will generate many letters to the editor, at least one of which will contain ... footnotes!

Forget the ideology; follow the money: Matt Smith thinks that because of the philosophical differences between Mission Housing's board of directors and the staff, the concerns we have raised about the board's lack of ethics and financial mismanagement are not valid ["The Daly Show," Feb. 23]. Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, and Chris Daly have a responsibility to their constituents to investigate irregularities at agencies that the city funds. Blaming Chris Daly for Mission Housing's crisis is nothing more than a publicity stunt by the MHDC board to deflect attention from the real issues. When an organization that receives city funding to provide low-income housing loses close to $1,000,000 in grant and donation funding in one year1, cuts basic services to tenants2, and raises spending by over $400,000 through unqualified new hires3 and expensive consultants and perks4, there is much cause for concern. When its board of directors creates expensive "consultant" jobs for themselves5, interferes with contractor selection in favor of their friends6, and refuses to sign conflict-of-interest statements and bring on qualified new members, there is real cause for concern.

But last week was the real kicker. Mr. Wheelock's incompetence and the board's ideological blinders have led to the S.F. Redevelopment Agency sending MHDC a notice of default for reneging on a loan agreement7. Due to this willful negligence, MHDC's reputation with lenders and tax credit agencies has been damaged for years to come. This is exactly the type of situation we foresaw happening if the board did not begin to bring in competent members with housing expertise to exercise their fiduciary responsibilities and to implement systems of accountability. Bringing up these issues is not just about the staff's politics, but about our commitment to excellence in our work, and about our responsibility to the community we serve.

1 Funding sources lost: LISC ($60K), Americorps/LISC ($18K), Rose/Enterprise Foundation ($48K), S.F. Foundation ($35K), Fannie Mae ($50K), Surdna ($100K), Racial Justice Collaborative ($9K), MHDC Annual Event ($75K), CDBG ($360K), Tobacco Free Project ($150K), total: $905,000. These are funds that were expected to have been received in 2004-2005.

2 Including a 50 percent reduction in resident programs staff and a hiring freeze in supportive services.

3 Such as a $75,000+ management position to oversee housing development with zero affordable housing experience. New positions include a chief of real estate ($75K+), chief operating officer ($75K), chief of services ($75K), executive assistant ($35K), board clerk ($28K). All of these positions have been filled by people with previous professional or personal relationships with the executive director and/or board members.

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