Talkback

YMG live

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!

Stuart Moxham
Salisbury, England

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
San Francisco


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 and empire.

Don Paul
Emeryville


Candid but simplistic

Generally, I appreciate the candor of your article ["We're All Paranoid"]. Three comments:

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.

Robert Gipson
Single Springs


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 milliganbaby@yahoo.com.

Rana Freedman
Oakland

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.