March 5 2003
Arts and Entertainment
Before 'Moon Pix'
First let me thank you for showcasing the enigmatic magic that is Cat Power and letting me know that my desire to see Chan rock in concert will likely go unrequited ["Free Kitten," 2/19/03].
I've been a fan of Chan's since the day I first heard her growl something about a flame gun and "cute ones" on the floor of my sophomore crush's dorm room. The soundtrack to this reverie is surely Cat Power's What Would the Community Think? an album that went completely unmentioned in reviewer Jimmy Draper's article.
Cat Power's ass-kicking does not begin at Moon Pix any more than the alphabet starts at B. Her powerful cover of Smog's "Bathysphere," splattered passion in "Nude as the News," and Cohen-esque "Fate of the Human Carbine" all have a power and rawness beyond Moon Pix. To not let newer fans of Chan (say that five times fast) know about this recording is to do them a disservice.
Steven G. Harms
Sell your car!
As our country seems bent on this deranged race to war, my husband and I marched, again, for peace on Feb. 18 in the streets of San Francisco. I am a grandmother adamantly opposed to this war any war and do not have a problem with "hell-raising," which seems to be the only avenue to be heard in our great country. When I read Dave Snyder's opinion piece "Time to Sell Your Car" [2/19/03], I shouted "Yes!" and will add my challenge to other patriotic citizens in the Bay Area to "lead the country in the abandonment of private car ownership." My husband and I made that decision in 1994. At that time we discussed with anyone who would listen the need of a sharing approach to automobile ownership. When we heard about City CarShare (then S.F. CarShare), we rushed to be some of the first to join.
We celebrate CCS's two-year anniversary and feel so very lucky to now have a way to get a car when we need one. CCS has made it so easy for us. We cannot imagine life in our fabulous city without City CarShare.
Marty Robin and George Robin
Newly elected assessor Mabel Teng claims to have done the "math" and found $46 million in new revenue for the city [Hall Monitor, 2/12/03]. Her numbers, however, don't add up.
Divide Teng's figure for her new revenue by the property tax rate (1.117 percent). The quotient about a whopping $4 billion should equal the value of the real property that Teng alleges was sold or otherwise transferred in San Francisco. We all acknowledge that living in San Francisco is expensive, but it is highly improbable that almost $4 billion worth of real property changed hands recently.
Could Assessor Teng be talking about $46 million in real estate transactions? When you multiply that amount by the tax rate, the city should be receiving roughly $538,000 in new tax revenue. Again, her numbers don't add up. To accurately measure any claim of "new revenue," Teng must first subtract the current roll value from the new roll values in her computation. The resulting difference between the current and Teng's roll values would be the amount of "new" tax revenue for the city. Teng, however, has overlooked the fact that the majority of real property in San Francisco is already being taxed on the rolls. Thus, when she finally learns how to subtract the value of the existing tax roll from her theoretical tax roll value, the tax revenue for the city is far less than what she claims can be collected.
Teng fails to understand that many of the 13,000 deeds she claims to have found are exempt from reassessment because the deeds record financing and refinancing transactions, transfers between family members, transfers among domestic partners, or transfers to revocable trusts. Recording a deed does not necessarily trigger a reassessable event that would yield new revenue.
Before San Franciscans give thanks for the newfound money, they should realize that Teng's math has served us one turkey that should be sent back to the kitchen.
Ron Chun Former chief deputy assessor and recorder San Francisco
More queer rock
I never thought I'd say thank you to the Bay Guardian, but I have to say it for Jimmy Draper's timely article on queer rock ["Queer Rock Now!," 2/5/03]. I'm pleased that he's found a vibrant queer-identified musical community in San Francisco, but he's only scratched the surface. Queer-identified bands like Flatcracker, PepperSpray, Blue Period, Ing, Ploughound, the Woodyz, Fabulous Disaster, the Whoa Nellies, and Shawna Virago and the Deadly Nightshade Family (to name just a few) are all excellent bands that deserve to be on your radar screen. In live performance, these queer musicians bring an ironic and humorous perspective to what has historically been a very homophobic scene. "Straight" bands that attempt to co-opt this can't duplicate it no matter how hard they try, precisely because they don't know what it's like to have been marginalized and oppressed for a good part of their lives. And isn't that why many of us live here: so we can be free to be ourselves?
Peter Fogel San Francisco