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Privatize Housing Authority
I hope everyone in San Francisco reads "Crime and Patronage" (Aug. 19). You are beginning to put the problems of the San Francisco Housing Authority into perspective, tying together all the recent articles in the various papers and making sense of them. But you are still only scratching the surface.

I was an employee of the SFHA for five years between March 1993 and November 1997. I served as a maintenance superintendent and worked for Mike Meadows during his tenure there. I feel we were making giant strides in improving the delivery of maintenance to the residents of public housing, by practically eliminating the backlog of work orders and providing more timely and responsive service.

We attempted to run the maintenance department as a business. However, just as the light at the end of the tunnel became bright, along came Ronnie Davis and company. They actually rehired people it took years to get rid of. Housing will never change as long as it is used as a political dumping ground and residents are used as pawns with political programs and payoffs.

It is my firm recommendation that the San Francisco Housing Authority be privatized. The SFHA should get out of the business of "drug elimination," "recreation," "child care," "resident training and initiative," and so on.

We should get back to the business of providing safe and sanitary housing on a transitional basis for those in need.

Ken Anderson
Via Internet

Phair Enough
Just a quick note to say I agree with every word of Jeffrey Anderson's letter "More Than Her Phair Share of Attention" (Letters, Aug. 19). I can't think of another artist today who has been given a bigger -- or longer -- free ride by the critics.

The recent media blitz and VERY IMPORTANT ARTIST treatment of Liz Phair seems to be a kind of mass hysteria on the part of music critics. I've read everything from comparisons of Phair with Bob Dylan to descriptions of her as a "cherished" songwriter. I don't know anyone (besides the critics) who feels this way -- even people like me who thought Exile in Guyville was a great start.

Rob Hargadon
Via Internet

Pier Pressure
Wow, am I shocked! I just read the review of Lou's Pier 47 written by Naomi Wise ("Bay Bayou," Eat, Aug. 19). Did she eat at the same place we did? There are a group of us who love to eat great food at new places, and we found Lou's to be a great experience.

Your reviewer completely missed the boat on this one. Her article read like she had an ax to grind with the owners. I guess it goes to show you can't rely on critics.

Darren Capo
Via Internet

Do the Math
Thanks for your important article on Laguna Honda Hospital ("Healthy Investment," Bay View, Aug. 12). I had been thinking that a new hospital might be a good thing until I did the math and realized they were asking over $400,000 per patient.

I would appreciate a follow-up article on the ramifications of remodeling vs. the current trend to put the sick elderly in small, privately run nursing homes. My family has faced a similar problem with the closing down of most of the campus of the Sonoma State Hospital for the developmentally handicapped. Living in a home with only six clients has worked very well for our son so far, but the risk of neglect and abuse is high, since the state does not give the private agency enough money to pay the caregivers a decent wage.

In large institutions the workers are government employees. They receive training and benefits and stay in their jobs longer.

V. Kibre
Via Internet


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