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SF Weekly Letters, August 14-20, 2013 


Expansion Plans

Not all chain stores are created equal: Keeping out certain chain stores is a good idea. Walmart would have some think it is there for the community, but do many things that prove it is there to please the bottom line ["A Game of Tug," Joe Eskenazi, Your Humble Narrator, the Snitch, 8/7]. The list of chain stores that have motivated anti-chain store ordinances can go on and on. Why should a terrific organization like Pet Food Express be lumped into the same nasty cauldron just because it has more than 11 stores? Its business is not one of conquering a market and obtaining bigger profits. This surely must be obvious with the extraordinary time, effort, and expense it goes through to give to animals that which we as humans long for: love, a safe place to live, and a friend.


Riding with Strangers

Riding in a private vehicle carries risks: I'm not sure that these ride share cabs are safe ["Cab Stand-Off," Rachel Swan, News, 8/7]. If there is an accident and the passenger gets hurt, who is responsible? The passenger. Taxi cabs are regulated by the city. Taxi drivers need a special drivers license to drive. There appears to be inequity between what the ride share cars need to do to drive in the city versus what a cab driver must have to pick up passengers.


Blog Commentsof the Week

Writer needs to give the new bar a break: They just opened this place in the past few weeks; meaning, let them get their feet and figure it out ["The Royal Tug Jerks Our Chain," Pete Kane, SFoodie, 8/7]. Thank the gods of the bay that it's not crawling with douche bags and wannabe hipsters during the weekdays. If Kane needs more craptasms of the "new" gentrified bay go to the Mission or Hayes or SOMA. Kane liked the drinks, so what if [the decor looks like an] an ex-burner tribute? Yay. We need more of that.


Reader feels Oscar Grant is also responsible for what happened: Let's not forget the other person most responsible, Oscar himself ["Oscar Grant Appeals Ruling Implicates Mehserle's Supervisor," Rachel Swan, the Snitch, 8/7]. While I would never say he deserved to be killed in the fashion he was, he was not a victim of circumstances. The choices he made earlier that night, such as fighting on BART, led him to be on that platform that night.


Letter from the editor

I don't know how it is at your newspaper, but over here, an ongoing series generally comes about through planning and strategizing. But sometimes, a series presents itself. It bubbles up out of the cultural conversation and self-organizes into something pretty interesting.

This week's cover story, about new(ish) models of food distribution, continues our regular inquiry into how tech innovation is going through and upsetting existing models, one by one. In the story, Food Editor Anna Roth considers how the grocery store may be changed by online delivery services and small local markets. She compares the situation to the way rideshare start-ups are disrupting the cab industry, about which we wrote back in March in what we'll call in retrospect the first story in this new series, itself emergent and unpredictable.

In related news, the writer of that earlier story, Rachel Swan, has just been named our newest Staff Writer. Swan has written for the Weekly, the SF Examiner, and East Bay Express. Like fellow writer Joe Eskenazi, she shows no signs of exhaustion nor interest in such human mundanities as sleeping. She'll fit right in as things take shape around us.

Brandon R. Reynolds, Editor


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