"Letters to the Editor: Prop C Will Help"

SF Chronicle, April 23, 2016

What seems to be missing from the discussion of recreation with dogs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is that the area is already closed to dogs in a very large percentage of its area. The GGNRA has more than 80,000 acres and manages approximately 18,000 acres of it directly. The remaining acreage is not open to off-leash dogs. Walking with dogs is a recreational use that is very important to young and old people alike and is an important form of social interaction and exercise. It is perhaps the most popular recreational use. The GGNRA was formed for recreation.

There are approximately 212,000 other acres of open space in the Bay Area where off-leash dog-walking is not allowed, including all the state parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, the San Francisco Water District, Mid-Peninsula Open Space with a tiny exception, and others. If the GGNRA or anyone would like to see these calculations, I offer to share them.

Kathleen Roth, Oakland

Deal with drought

Regarding “Likely La Niña is bad news for ending drought” (April 22): Petaluma Councilman Mike Healy says his constituents see full reservoirs and “don’t understand why we’re required to have emergency restrictions” on water use. So he advocates eliminating state controls on water use in cities and towns, presumably so Petaluma can allow greater water usage.

As a leader, Healy should be working to help people understand why continued restriction of water use is needed, not pandering to their ignorance. This drought isn’t over, not in Petaluma and not in California. We need to deal with it, not ignore it.

Gordon Hester, Fremont

Prop. C will help

Regarding “Housing crisis hits young middle class” (April 21): C.W. Nevius chooses to ignore a middle-income housing solution right before his eyes: June’s Proposition C ballot measure. Prop C, the affordable housing charter amendment, doubles the amount of inclusionary housing that must be included in new, market-rate development. Projects will provide 25 percent of their apartments or condos as affordable. Significantly, and for the first time ever, Prop. C also requires developers include middle-income housing (10 percent in all) so that San Franciscans such as teachers and nurses can afford to live in the communities they serve. This important measure ensures that affordable housing, both middle-income and low-income, be built alongside luxury condos. And contrary to Nevius’ implications, San Francisco’s affordable housing advocates are united behind this balanced approach to inclusionary housing. The public is tired of the politics of divisiveness. Prop. C is a real solution that adds more housing opportunity for a wide range of San Franciscans.

Peter Cohen, San Francisco

Lip service

John Laird’s “California lifestyle relies on delta water” (Open Forum, April 21) points out that California is already reducing water demand through efficiency, conservation, metering, groundwater management and improved levees. Yet, Gov. Jerry Brown’s WaterFix (read tunnels) is essential to sustain the California lifestyle. Why then is Concord anxious to give Lennar Urban or Catellus Development Corp. the right to build about 12,000 homes on what was the Concord Naval Weapons Station? Is it all about the money and funding the city of Concord’s liabilities?

But what about all the lip service to global warming, saving the delta and a sustainable future? It’s just that, lip service, as far as the cities of San Francisco, Vallejo and now Concord are concerned, it’s all about a sustainable tax base. The Concord Naval Weapons property could better serve all of us by reuse as solar, wind or other types of power stations, parks and watershed. Now that Southern California is buying up the delta, where will Concord get the water for 12,000 new homes? The answer is the Central Valley Project, in other words the delta, according to Concord’s Urban Water Management Plan.

Greg Yuhas, Benicia

Community asset

Regarding “Oracle Arena’s future in play” (April 18): We noted The Chronicle’s pondering the future of Oracle Arena and your writer’s including the historic Cow Palace for a dose of negativity. Allow us to correct some errors and misconceptions:

The Cow Palace is a critical community asset and by no means a dinosaur. We are the only regional center fully equipped to play a public safety and refuge role during a disaster such as the recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan. No other facility has our acreage, our square footage under cover and our kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The Cow Palace is financially solvent and self-supporting, and we diligently maintain and upgrade our property. Indeed, we have reinvested $700,000 in upgrades and repairs in the past 30 months.

We are known for our annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Livestock Show, but with event variability that no other venue in this area can match, we are booked weekends year round and many weekdays. And unlike the big sports arenas, none of whom have enjoyed anything close to our lifespan, we cater to the middle class at prices families can afford. Depending on the size of our various events, we provide temporary jobs to hundreds of area residents.

On Super Bowl weekend, the National Football League chose the Cow Palace for its famous, annual benefit, “Taste of NFL,” the epitome of wine- and food-tasting parties by any measure. Several thousand well-heeled NFL and Super Bowl fans, celebrities, MVPs and past Super Bowl players filled our entire arena plus the huge north and south halls. Proceeds benefited local food banks.

Look for us to proudly showcase the Cow Palace story to the public in this, our 75th anniversary year. The Cow Palace is a valuable community asset, and it is most certainly aging gracefully and meaningfully.

Mara Kopp, president

of Cow Palace, Daly City