Just caught up with Ken Taylor's interesting and unusually accurate article
on my band (c/o the "Cardiffians" Web site) and would like to
pass my thanks on to all concerned ["Wasted Youth," 2/2/05].
In the interests of fanning embers, YMG are still extant and may do a
session for BBC 6 Music, although aged and infirm parents, as well as
geography, kids, jobs, etc. make progress appallingly slow!
Nonprofits support accountability
While your March 9 issue acknowledges that most nonprofits are doing
good work delivering essential services with little cash, the thrust of
your articles is on the relatively few agencies that have had problems
in the past five years ["The Nonprofit Gold Rush"]. We believe
a better representation of the sector would highlight the following:
1. Accountability: We welcome accountability measures that are meaningful,
consistent, and efficient. The city subjects nonprofits to detailed contracting
and monitoring requirements including annual reports, site visits, and
audits. Nonprofits get additional scrutiny from state and federal requirements,
foundation funders, and their boards of directors.
2. Sunshine: Most nonprofits are open to disclosing relevant information
to the public. San Francisco's nonprofit sunshine law requires two public
meetings a year and some financial disclosure. In truth, rarely if ever
does anybody come to these meetings or ask for information. Any efforts
to increase sunshine requirements should involve dialogue with nonprofit
representatives to prevent unnecessary burdens and costs.
3. Salaries and unionization: It is simply untrue that, as you suggest,
nonprofits operate using poorly paid nonunion workers. At least 44 percent
of large San Francisco health and human service contractors are unionized,
and unions represent over 40 percent of nonprofit human service employees.
The real story is that the city hasn't recognized the inequities of paying
nonprofit employees far less than comparable city employees. The city
does not provide annual cost-of-living adjustments or increases for costs
of doing business. Skyrocketing health insurance and workers' compensation
swallow up any hope of raising salaries.
Debbi Lerman, administrator
Bruce Fisher, cochair
San Francisco Human Services Network
A grave step
Regarding Steven T. Jones's 9/11 piece ["We're All Paranoid,"
3/23/05]: the actual quote from my Sept. 19, 2001, column in the San
Francisco Bay View weekly reads, "I think the best protection
we have now, is to consider and investigate as fully as we can the possibility
that at least one part of the U.S. Government at least allowed the attacks
of September 11."
While several 9/11-researcher friends have slammed the piece for neglecting
evidence of the WTC buildings' demolition, I think that it raises many
strong questions and provides a big spotlight and that in general it's
a brave step for the writer and the Bay Guardian to make in the
face of a government that is ever more openly by, for, and about corporations
Candid but simplistic
Generally, I appreciate the candor of your article ["We're All Paranoid"].
You describe Carol Brouillet as "gathering every relevant document
she can find, meticulously connecting every dot." Hmmm. That's precisely
what any responsible investigator, research scientist, or clinician diagnosing
a patient would do.
You say she connects the dots "into an elaborate proof." I'd
say she doesn't claim "proofs," but compiles a compelling weight
of evidence and asks why it's being ignored.
You say, "It is a worldview in which there are no tragic accidents
or strange coincidences, no pieces that don't fit into the puzzle."
That's grossly simplistic.
The real accident victim
I appreciate the Bay Guardian running a listing for a benefit
thrown at 21 Grand last week, although the benefit wasn't for me, Rana
Freedman [Events listings, 3/23/05].
The benefit was for Rachel Kasa, an Oakland writer and artist who was
clipped by a truck last December in Berkeley while riding her bicycle
to work. She sustained massive injuries: her pelvis was broken in seven
places, her lung was punctured, and her femoral artery and nerve were
severed. The driver of the truck fled the scene but was arrested several
blocks away we are still waiting for his arraignment.
The benefit was to raise money for Rachel so that she can adjust
to life as an outpatient and for her partner and family, all of
whom left their jobs for months to be by her side. One can donate to the
Rachel Kasa Fund by contacting email@example.com.
For the record
"The Real Dirty Miami" (3/23/05) referred to DJ Mal as a former
employee of the record store Zen City, but in fact he is the store's manager.