The California Housing Speculation Act — AB1771 — was recently introduced by Assembly Member Chris Ward, D-San Diego, would tax house flippers 25% of their windfall if homes are sold within three years of purchase. I am sure that the powerful real estate lobby will fight it tooth and nail. The rest of us need to lobby just as hard in support of it.
Al Sandine, Kensington
Don’t ruin the view
Regarding “Will proposed tower spoil Telegraph Hill?” (Front Page, April 6): During a golden sunset, I once came upon a crowd of tourists gaping at Telegraph Hill from atop the crooked street at Lombard and Hyde. Wow! Yea! What a world-class vista with tiny houses zigzagging up to Coit Tower.
Like Florence, Venice, Santorini, Paris and top world destinations, San Francisco’s iconic Telegraph Hill has survived by historical happenstance, luck and a bit of citizen activism. Otherwise, the hill would have been flattened by quarries or wrapped with freeways, bridges and skyscrapers by the 1970s.
San Francisco’s northeast neighborhoods are densely populated yet remain irresistible lures for more luxury development — due to their beauty, bohemian diversity and million-dollar views.
Like our predecessors, caution and vigilance are worthy traits, particularly for wise city planning and urban design. It’s best not to over stuff the golden goose, less we lose the golden qualities that we love.
Howard Wong, San Francisco
Live within the rules
Regarding “What not to do in the Tenderloin” (Open Forum, April 5): Oh, how I wanted to believe the authors but soon realized they were just throwing red meat to those who believe living in a civil society means you can do whatever the hell you want.
Equating efforts to house people with “shuttling” them? Supervision and rules in shelters as “harassment”? Full rights with no responsibilities as “freedom”? And tying homelessness to substance abuse and mental illness as a “conflation”?
Like a raw Tenderloin steak, these notions are far from being cooked. They are not even warm.
Paul Svedersky, San Francisco
Offer solutions for S.F.
Regarding “What not to do in the Tenderloin” (Open Forum, April 5): This is an outstanding piece. I would like to see a sequel: “What to do in the Tenderloin” by the same authors.
Mark Levine, El Cerrito
Can the recycling system
Regarding “S.F. recycling program draws ire of advocacy groups” (Bay Area Business, April 5): I want to commend the consultants who came up with our absolutely ingenious new recycling system for cans and bottles, and the city employees who approved it.
Stores have never liked us hauling in our wine boxes full of empties, counting the bottles and giving us our money on the spot. So now instead of paying us, we pay them to buy the only acceptable bags to put cans in. And since we can’t squash cans anymore, we have to have more bags than usual for the same number of cans.
Here’s the best part: Since the bags are taken someplace else to open and count, your reusable bags are no longer reusable — you go to the store and buy more. Brilliant, just brilliant!
Susan Spellmam, San Francisco