Letters: Publishing letter that justifies attack on homeless woman encourages violence

Collier Gwin, the owner of Foster Gwin Gallery, was caught on video spraying water at an unhoused person on the sidewalk.

Collier Gwin, the owner of Foster Gwin Gallery, was caught on video spraying water at an unhoused person on the sidewalk.

Stephen Lam / The Chronicle

Regarding “S.F. gallery owner justified in spraying homeless woman with water hose” (Letters to the Editor, SFChronicle.com, Jan. 16): The letter headline was shocking.  How can you present an assault as having any justification whatsoever? Would you publish a man’s justification for slapping his wife, too?: “She deserved it … look what she made me do.”

Homeless folks, especially those with behavioral health challenges, are our most vulnerable neighbors. Printing a justification for assault only encourages more violence and vigilantism.

In the richest city, in the richest state, in the richest country in the world, there is no excuse for addressing homelessness with anything other than health care and housing. There is no excuse for failing to care for our most vulnerable neighbors and certainly no justification to attack people our city has left out in the rain and cold. The Chronicle is complicit in future attacks by printing this craven take.

Christin Evans, San Francisco

The reality in S.F.

Regarding “She failed to save her daughter from fentanyl’s grip. A year later, her daughter and S.F. remain stuck” (Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, Jan. 14): Thank you for publishing the latest in Heather Knight's continuing story of Jessica Didia and her mother, Laurie Steves.

When friends and colleagues from around the world ask me what’s really going on here (and they ask often, I assure you) I will send them this tragic article that underscores the reality of those caught up in the open-air drug scenes that our civic leadership somehow seems to be just fine with. When will we all — progressives and moderates alike — agree that it’s simply not compassionate to let people rot on San Francisco’s streets? When will we stand up to the hordes of dealers who essentially own our downtown core?

Josh Steele, San Francisco

CEQA law works

Regarding “California legislators refuse to fix CEQA. Here’s how Newsom and the courts can take charge” (Open Forum, SFChronicle.com, Jan. 14): Chris Elmendorf’s invective against the California Environmental Quality Act echoes the talking points of a familiar, orchestrated statewide attack. It is short on facts and long on the hyperbole Elmendorf claims to decry. Empty pronouncements that “CEQA has brought California to a breaking point” and that its “lodestar is that development … is always riskier than doing nothing” take calculated aim at a highly successful law.

Objective empirical studies, including one from the Rose Foundation , demonstrate that CEQA is not impeding housing development. And the California Legislature continues to streamline or exempt infill housing while also attending to climate change, environmental justice and the wildfire threat.

Elmendorf presumes to direct Gov. Gavin Newsom and California courts to weaken regulations that implement our state’s foremost environmental law. And he dismisses the views of fellow professors who have worked for decades, in and out of academia, to enhance CEQA’s effectiveness. Critically, Elmendorf fails to recognize that environmental impact reports only address potentially significant impacts, not “everything under the sun.” Lesser impacts already require no review.

CEQA’s mandates continue to protect and improve California’s environment as they have for 50 years. The professor would do well to join ongoing, collegial efforts ensuring that CEQA continues to meet environmental challenges

Lope Yap Jr., vice president, George Washington High School Alumni Association; Harvey Smith, president, People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group; Emil De Guzman, president emeritus, Manilatown Heritage Foundation; Robert Flynn Johnson, retired curator, Fine Arts Museum San Francisco; John Rothmann, president, George Washington High School Alumni Association; Terence Redmond and Gray Brechin

Keep Santos in office

I say we let Rep. George Santos remain in Congress; he’s the perfect politician. We don’t have to wait to catch him in a lie because we will know in advance he’s going to do just that.
The difference between Santos and a lot of politicians is that he got caught early.

Robert Nice, Redwood City