Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Sunset Beacon

Editor:

Thank you for running detailed articles regarding the Richmond and Sunset districts’

shortcomings in addressing post-earthquake fire risks.

 

In sum, there are no high-pressure and secure water lines in the Richmond with which

to fight post-quake fires. Existing water systems are likely inadequate.

 

There is a proposal to build a very expensive new water system (estimated at $600

million cost). However, that proposal would necessarily be disruptive in its construction

and only available to parts of the west side. I suggest a more sensible approach.

 

First, rather than focus primarily on fire suppression, I suggest focusing on

fire risk. Fire risk stems most significantly from natural gas and electricity, and

potentially from incidental and random causes. Yet, the technology exists to install

instant and automatic shut-off devices on all natural gas flows on all forms

of pipelines, from large utility pipes to residential pipes. These shut-off devices

can be installed immediately, at very little cost, and without disruption.

 

Similarly, electricity can be instantly and automatically shut off in the event of an

earthquake. Shutting off gas and electricity would likely take us 99 percent of

the way to preventing the cause of fires, and the shut-offs would only need to be

maintained until utilities can be checked and safely restored. Further, there should

be adequate existing bond monies to cover the installation costs of these

shut-off devices. Then, even if there were a few localized fires they could be addressed

by improving the existing cistern system.

 

By simply installing more cisterns, with ancillary high-pressure pumps, any remaining

concerns can be solved. Cistern installations are only locally disruptive, are a known

technology and are demonstrated to serve for local-area fires. The cistern issue of high-

pressure pumping can be addressed by simply installing

undergrounded pumps alongside the cisterns, with fuel tanks to ensure independent

operation.

 

I am hopeful that our elected officials will recognize the risks at stake, and then

consider this sensible suggestion for quick, inexpensive, readily achievable

and perfectly effective solutions.

Jason Jungreis

 

Editor:

Up, up and away!

 

State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced SB- 827 on Jan. 3, the

“transit-rich housing bonus” bill. The proposed law allows for buildings variably

between one-quarter and one-half of a mile from “high-quality transit corridors” (HQTC)

or “major transit stops” (MTS) to be as tall as 85-feet, or about eight-and-one-half

stories tall.

 

These buildings will be exempt from local codes; policies; the housing element; plans,

including existing density in the SF Planning Code; minimum parking requirements;

design standards that reduce unit count; resolutions; and regulations.

 

In short, all local control will be gone and neighbors will not have a say.

 

The HQTCs and MTSs are determined by transit service that have a “frequency

of service interval of 15 minutes or less during morning and afternoon peak commute

periods.” Currently, SB-827 is being taken up by the state Transportation and Housing

Committee and the Governance and Finance Committee.

 

Many residential parcels, especially those in low-density areas such as RH-1

and RH-2, which share property lines with SB-827-approved transit-rich bonus

projects could be negatively impacted.

 

Neighborhoods may later get a “creep” effect, which would enable all buildings

to rise to taller dimensions.

 

The public can track SB-827’s status at the website at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

 

Voice your opinions to Wiener and Ting at the websites at

http://senate.ca.gov/senators or http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers.

Rose Hillson

 

Editor:

While it was certainly interesting to learn about the genesis of San Francisco’s sanctuary

city policies in Quentin Kopp’s January article entitled “disgraceful sanctuary city laws,”

he has not succeeded in swaying the opinion of this San Franciscan.

 

At the end of the day, there is no rationale for deporting individuals who are gainfully

employed and contributing to local and state economies. In my experience, the vast

majority of so-called illegal immigrants are honest, hard-working family men and

women who pose no danger to their communities. On the contrary, their efforts often

enrich those communities.

 

Mr. Kopp relies heavily on the Steinle case to support his argument that San

Francisco’s sanctuary city policies are dangerous. I have to ask, why distinguish

between criminals who were born here and those who emigrated from elsewhere

in the world – legally or illegally? To make such a distinction is patently racist.

After all, a criminal is a criminal. His citizenshipstatus and national origin are of

little relevance.

Scott Kiddy

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