Letters to the editor

  • Wednesday December 28, 2011
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Pleased with supe's job

I disagree that it was a rocky year for Supervisor Scott Wiener. Two articles and an editorial criticizing the job he is doing ["Rocky year greets Wiener," "Occupy Castro activists speak out against supervisor," and "A new year for bold ideas," Editorial, December 22]? What do you have against him? I was a supporter in his election, even though he and I disagree on some issues of importance to me. However, since he has been in office, I am very pleased with the job that he is doing. He is hard working, really smart, and very thoughtful and considered in his decision making. He is accessible, responsive, and at every neighborhood event that I attend.

Just because a few extreme vocal activists in the Castro are still unhappy that their candidate did not win the election, that is no reason for a recall. I support his nudity ordinance, I actually wish that it had gone further, and it passed at the Board of Supervisors unanimously. I am a dog owner and support his efforts to control dog walkers and to prevent the Golden Gate National Recreation Area limiting access by dog owners. I also supported his ballot proposal, Proposition E. It was a modest amendment to improve government, but it was not understood by the electorate. He was instrumental in the passage of Proposition B, the street repair bond, which lost at least once before. He worked with both labor and business to get it passed. His proposal to turn an abandoned fenced off lot on Corbett Avenue into an open green space for the neighborhood is a good idea. If he proposed selling city property to a developer, he would have been criticized for being in the pocket of developers. This neighborhood has few open green spaces.

He passed the "Good Samaritan" ordinance even though he was told it would never happen. He was able to bring together tenant and property owner groups, when was the last time that happened in SF? Again, passing the Board of Supervisors unanimously. I live in the proposed Duboce historic district. He was at all the meetings, trying to address the concerns of the neighbors to make the district work for the residents.

He is doing a great job and addressing the concerns of all the residents of District 8.  The district is more than the Castro.

David Fix

San Francisco

Wiener's good on entertainment

Scott Wiener has stood up for the entertainment industry in San Francisco with real solutions. He has spearheaded an economic impact study that is due to be released in the near future. I am confident it will show that the nighttime entertainment industry deserves some respect because it contributes in a big way to the overall economic health of our city. We could have never done this study without Scott Wiener at the helm.

Scott has stood up for entertainment at every turn. I do believe that he thinks that San Francisco should be a great place for young and old alike to work, live, and play. For his steadfastness on this issue I am very appreciative.

Now some may say that the entertainment industry may not be that important, I say that it is a billion-dollar industry that creates jobs, economic trickle down, and sorely needed relief for the citizens of our city. Along with the ballot measure he spearheaded to repair our streets this is just another example of the good this first year supervisor has accomplished.

Audrey Joseph

San Francisco

[Editor's note: The writer is a member of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission.]

A different perspective

I need to comment on your recent Scott Wiener articles.

Sadly, when Ike's Place moved from its former home across the street and right next door to my home, Ike did not make too many changes. Why? Possibly because it's cheaper to get a carry-out sandwich permit. But the crowds kept coming, along with their trash and noise.

I phoned Wiener's office numerous times. No calls were returned. I asked my neighbors. Same response.

Our Supervisor Weiner is not the dynamic public servant we needed at the time. After seeing him in the Bay Area Reporter at the Eagle closure protest, I finally wrote and said I guessed he only showed up when there are photo ops.

Then I got a response.

Wiener and folks said if I wanted something it would be best "not to insult" him. I responded that maybe if he wanted to get re-elected, it would be best to respond to and not insult his constituents. So ...

Ike, myself, neighbors et. al. finally met at Wiener's office, adorned with his many Ivy League diplomas. Nothing really happened.

Ike and I locked horns many times, but we managed to get along. But not before the problems of constant garbage on our stoop, name-calling, and even being bad-Yelped. Ike, his staff, and our neighbors are helping solve the problem.

We all still believe that a proper restaurant space like the Patio or Home would be best for Ike's, but in the meantime, we are doing our best.

Wiener is kind of clueless I guess, and maybe should move back to the East Coast (the home of all those fancy diplomas).

Connie Champagne

San Francisco

Pets and Wiener

I am a pet store co-owner in the West Portal District of San Francisco as well as co-owner of a full-service animal care company. Needless to say, animals are my life, and according to the fact that there are more dogs than children in San Francisco, it is plain to see that they are many, many other people's lives also. Recently, the GGNRA has been threatening to restrict or ban dogs from Crissy Field and Fort Funston, two extremely important pieces of land needed for exercising the city's large dog population. When other supervisors stood on the fence, or couldn't be bothered to get involved, Scott Wiener took a stand for us. He understands the needs for these spaces and has worked tirelessly to try and preserve them for all of our use. I sat in the public hearings that Supervisor Wiener called and was so impressed. Scott was strong and fair and at times, quite eloquent. He made it clear to all that were there that he was not going to back down or give in to a few fringe special interests, and maintained his commitment to do what was best for the city.

Supervisor Wiener also took up the banner for dog walker regulations, which was long overdue. Again, I was impressed with his willingness to listen and take all views into account. His fairness and empathetic nature make him a brilliant lawmaker. There are other supervisors who would not have bothered to take all sides into consideration and Wiener went above and beyond in this regard. It is shocking to me that people are not aware of what a good man he is. Having the pleasure of working with him on some of this legislation, I was able to get a good read on the kind of person Scott is and I must say, he is honest and thoughtful and measured, just the kind of person that should be in politics. I not only support Wiener as a supervisor, but one day, hope to be voting him in as our city's mayor.

Alison Werger

San Francisco

Community attacks its own

I find it interesting that San Francisco is considered a very open, accepting city of all viewpoints and ideas. That is until one expresses an idea that is in contradiction of some of the very vocal activists. And if you are a politician or someone in the public arena, you are held to standards and ideals that change, sometimes on a daily basis. I read the articles in the last issue of the B.A.R. regarding Supervisor Wiener with both amusement and a bit of sadness. Amusement because the articles contradicted themselves and sadness, because once again, this community is attacking one of its own.

I have known Wiener for a number of years and while not always agreeing with him, have found him to be thoughtful, open to dialogue, honest (and for a politician, that is an unusual trait), caring, dedicated, and selfless. He understands that he represents all of his constituents and tries to balance their needs and concerns, not just the "squeeky wheel gets the oil" syndrome. It was interesting that so many people talked about the good job that he was doing on many of the issues yet the articles spent a large amount of time talking about his "nanny legislation." I find the name appropriate because a large amount of that legislation is regualting the behavior of people acting like petulant, naughty children. The nudity legislation that was passed became the fodder of talk shows because it was common sense and I have yet to visit other cities and see naked people. We make public restrooms provide toilet seat covers. Why would we not require the same protection for the public because someone decides to walk around naked and then sit down?

Wiener worked hard and helped pass Proposition B that will help upgrade streets for repaving, pedestrians and for bicyclists. He is also working on prevailing wage legislation that will help low income workers. His focus on issues like these demonstrate that he is working toward bettering the quality of life for all residents of San Francisco not just a few. I will agree that he has had a few missteps. But he is learning and we need to be there to guide and assist him.

I also find it ironic that a Facebook page has been started calling for a recall of Wiener. Why? Did he do something illegal? Was he caught cheating on his wife? Did he trade public contracts for personal gain? No, he had the courage to continue to work on the things that he believed were right. Some did not resonate with voters and some did. And for the record, I checked that page. It has 69 members. My question is, how many of those members actually live in District 8, which has thousands of registered voters. How many of those members live in other districts and hold their supervisors to the same standards? I also find it interesting that it is a closed group. If it is working on behalf of the public interest, then why not be open and let the public see.

My hope for 2012 is that the community spends its energy holding all the elected officials accountable to the whole community. We need to open dialogues, work together, and understand that compromise is usually needed in order to help everyone. Let's work toward making San Francisco an open and accepting city, not just in theory but a reality.

Lenny Broberg

Half Moon Bay, California

Alice Club weighs in

It is deeply disturbing to have the December 22 articles and commentaries come out on Supervisor Scott Wiener's first-year anniversary mocking his attention to detail when instead he should be commended for focusing on our local issues of concern.

When District 8 residents elected Supervisor Wiener in 2010, they chose a candidate who promised to focus like a laser beam on local concerns that specifically impacted the district. Wiener handily won a four-year term in office because of his specificity of knowledge and concerns for residents' everyday life issues. A major plank in his platform was running to be a neighborhood supervisor, not one engulfed in global affairs.

Wiener has stuck his neck out continually on issues within the neighborhoods; none of which have been easy issues with easy sides to take. Tackling your highlighted examples, each of which have a multitude of heated opinions, took guts and the ability to withstand criticism from all sides. Again and again, on issue after issue, no one can claim that Wiener has not stood up against political heat for attempting to solve a divisive issue. A bold leader does not shy from controversy and is willing to take a stand; Wiener continues to show just that type of leadership.

Additionally, Wiener has been a champion for listening to everybody and welcoming further dialogue. He widely proclaims his public email, phone, website, Facebook, Twitter, City Hall hours of operation, and regularly speaks with the press. He also puts out an in-depth regular newsletter with mountains of information on his work, the activities in District 8, city-wide issues, and a host of opportunities for constituents and the community to give voice to their thoughts to him and his hardworking two-person support staff Gillian Gillette and Adam Taylor.

Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club gave Wiener its 2011 Leader of the Year Award because we are proud of his can-do effectiveness on all issues large and small within his supervisorial district, his attention to detail, his community dialogue and open door, and his ongoing willingness to stand up for his beliefs. We continue to fully support his fearless advocacy for neighborhood concerns.

Reese Aaron Isbell and Bentrish Satazadeh, Co-Chairs

Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club

Dogwalkers weigh in

I read your recent article about Supervisor Scott Wiener and wondered why there was no mention of his support and dedication to the many dog owners in San Francisco? I am a representative of the San Francisco Professional Dogwalkers Association (http://www.sfprodog.org) and worked with Wiener on his legislation for dogwalkers. Wiener was very accessible to all dog walkers and listened to our feedback and responded to our concerns. He held a community meeting with dog walkers who could not make the Land Use Committee Hearing that would vote on the legislation. He wanted to be sure everyone was able to be heard since it is our industry that is being impacted by the legislation. In regulating the dog walking industry Wiener is accomplishing what many dog walkers have wanted to happen for a long time. We want the people in this city who walk dogs to be educated, safe, and responsible. I would expect that most voters who own dogs and hire a dog walker feel the same way.

I see no mention in your article of his tireless dedication in fighting the GGNRA in keeping off leash areas available for the very large dog population in San Francisco. San Francisco is a densely populated area and the GGNRA is attempting to take an already minimal amount of off leash space away from dog owners, if that occurs city parks will become that much more burdened. I wish more supervisors cared as much about the needs of a very large dog population in San Francisco.

Angela Gardner

Sausalito, California