Arts and Entertainment
Why Prop. A will work
David Looman misses the point of Proposition A when he says that December runoff elections produce "clarity, details, and real information" from the candidates [Opinion, 2/13/02]. Would he say that about the millions of dollars spent on attack ads and hit pieces against Tom Ammiano in the 1999 mayoral runoff? Or the jailhouse mug-shot mailers used against Leland Yee in his district supervisorial race? The fact is, the bruising, head-to-head combat of San Francisco's runoff elections hardly have been a time for clarifying issues for voters. And with voter turnout plummeting to as low as 15 percent, they hardly have allowed voters to get a "second look" at the candidates.
Either way, voters already have spoken no more December elections. Prop. A merely acknowledges that officially, by replacing the low-turnout December runoff with an "instant" runoff in November, when voter turnout is highest. It's an idea that endorsers like the Democratic Party, Sierra Club, Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Club, Labor Council, Green Party, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and over three dozen organizations find increasingly attractive. Find out more info by visiting www.improvetherunoff.org.
Eric Mar, San Francisco school board member
Harry Britt, state assembly candidate
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
Howard Wallace, Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Yes on G
I was baffled and disappointed to see that you are against Measure G. I have been a docent in the Gallery of California History at the Oakland Museum for 20 years, and I can promise you that nearly every fourth grade class in Oakland, Alameda, and many surrounding counties uses our gallery as an important part of its social studies curriculum. The Natural Sciences Gallery serves to introduce these same children to the natural environment of their state and make them aware of environmental issues. In addition to the galleries, there are many other education programs for children at the museum.
I know that the zoo and Chabot perform equally useful functions.
Are you aware of how important these outside sources are to the schools in an era of pared down budgets with pitiful resources for teaching science, art, and social science?
Speier's shameful bill
When the Bay Guardian endorsed Sen. Jackie Speier for reelection, was anyone aware of her authorship of a bill to link driver's license applications with selective service registration ["Endorsements," 2/6/02]? When I heard about S.B. 1276 I was all set to write a letter to my state senator, Jackie Speier, until I realized that she is the author! Under this bill all new male applicants for a driver's license up to age 26 would automatically be registered for selective service, an agency so useless that the House of Representatives actually recently voted to defund it.
More to the point, this bill serves to further coerce young males into supporting Pentagon policies that still discriminate against gays, not to mention the fact that the selective service system itself is discriminatory against males. The system does not even recognize the right to declare oneself a conscientious objector. For a state senator whose district includes part of San Francisco, a city which declared itself a haven for conscientious objectors as recently as the Gulf War, to author such a bill is shameful.
It continues to amaze me that a wonderful neighborhood asset like the Haight Recycling Center has been under threat for so long because of a handful of neighbors ["HANC's Hassle," 2/13/02]. What ever happened to the concept of a few putting up with some very minor inconvenience for the hugely greater good? I always thought it was a great idea to accept cans and bottles from individuals who wanted to collect the deposit on them. In this way, the cans and bottles that litter almost every pathside in Golden Gate Park (and spill out of every garbage can) are picked up and taken to a place where they can be recycled. But no, that had to go. Now one woman smells some wine dregs when the wind is right and wants to shut the whole thing down. Give me a break. Recycling has to go somewhere, and the Haight facility is well-run. There's even a native plant garden there thanks to the volunteers' efforts. We are a dense city, and such a use will always be near someone's house. Ms. Owen wants it gone, and be damned. These Cole Valley Improvement Association people are such whiners!
For the record
In our Noise Pop guide last week there was an error regarding the status of a show. The Thurs/28 Pedro the Lion show at Slim's is not sold out. We also misidentified Gadget's label. It is Function 8.