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Readers respond with joy and puzzlement about Muni, noise, dogs and city call boxes

San Francisco Standard readers have lots of thoughts about our stories, sparking clever ideas and contrarian views

The image shows a red fire alarm, a shadowed group around a person with glowing documents, and a man with headphones. In the foreground, someone works at a computer.
Source: AI illustration by Jesse Rogala/The Standard: photos by Clark Miller for The Standard, Jordi Vidal/WireImage/Getty Images

The San Francisco Standard’s reporters and editors get a lot of reader emails and responses to our stories. Not all of them merit deep consideration, but some of them enlighten us, illuminate new issues, or just make us laugh. Here’s a collection of responses from the past week that sparked joy and puzzlement, edited for length and clarity.

Muni’s not that bad after all!

To the sensible and sanguine San Francisco Standard news team:

I’m a senior in every sense of the word, most notably in mindset and plain ol’ chronologically. As such, I harbor a deeply ingrained leeriness for public transit, which is only further exacerbated by the perpetual fearmongering reportage of rising violent crimes on trains and buses every which way I scroll. I clutch in both regards—my pearls and the eponymous pedal of my car as I motor on, mired in permanent gridlock.

But then the aforementioned clutch went kaput and I was recently forced to dust off my Clipper card. I was pleasantly surprised by the amiable and comfortable overall experience that followed as I glided to downtown. The platforms were clean, the carriages were punctual and my fellow commuters were affable and perfectly genial throughout. 

It was a stark dose of reality as I arrived intact at my destination with a newfound insight: Hey, the Muni ain’t all that half bad.

I just wanted to be that minority whisper in the swirling cacophony of horror that’s blissfully contrarian to the frothing chorus of naysayers of otherwise. 

But, again, I’m old. And very possibly exhibiting the early signs of cognitive decline.

—Noreen ‘Reverse my mortgage’ Petrichor 

Two figures face a vibrant urban scene with bright red lights, stage equipment, and tall buildings at dusk. Banners read "TIME FOR MUSIC" and "SUMMER SYMPHONY."
Downtown was abuzz on Saturday night as Skrillex and Fred Again performed in Civic Center Plaza. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Noise is not a sign of a reinvigorated downtown

You write with much one-sided enthusiasm about the Skrillex rave that drew 25,000 people to Civic Center last weekend, but to the neighborhood, it was awful. You seem to share with Mayor London Breed, the Entertainment Commission and others the disconnect between trying to save the city by making it noisier and the fact that people still live and work here, thousands within shouting distance.

I live 2 1/2 blocks north of City Hall and we hear but generally do not feel the Pride celebration, for example. During the rave, the bass could be felt throughout our six-story building. The sound checks began by 10:30 a.m., making it an almost 12-hour event. Communication from the city and concert promoters was terrible.

—Steve Heimerle

Brought back to the reality of addiction

Regarding the opinion piece Mayor’s supposed ‘tough love’ policy is not the cure for our addiction crisis: Wow! That was an incredible bit of education. I admit, I’ve lost some compassion in this regard over my many years. Thanks for bringing me back to reality. This should be required reading for every city employee and citizen, especially politicians who are more interested in expedience than in human experience. Kudos. For real.

—Linda Nelson

Beware of SF dog owners

In response to your recent story Off-leash husky’s ‘vicious’ attack on boy, 4, at Marina restaurant

I live in Dogtown, formerly known as North Beach. I live close to our local dog bathroom, Washington Square Park. 

Dogs are very popular now! You rarely see two humans holding hands these days, but you will see plenty of people holding the leashes of their precious dogs. The dog people are not very friendly, so beware of them. They will hurry past you to get their dogs to the bathroom so they won’t feel obligated to get as much of their dog’s shit off the sidewalk as they can. 

Your article about this near tragedy does not surprise me since dogs outnumber children in San Francisco. A few years ago, they totally redid Washington Square Park, but no dog run was included! I pleaded with them to build one, or the whole park would become a doggie doo-doo and wee-wee heaven. My hygienic logic fell on deaf ears, and I was proven correct.

I do not own a dog because I live in a big city, but I like dogs. I am smart enough never to approach a dog because dogs reflect their owners’ behavior.

—Matt Talbot

A future for San Francisco’s call boxes?

When I saw this article about San Francisco’s unfunctional emergency call boxes, some ideas came to mind, with different solutions for different neighborhoods:

· Each box could play multimedia content about the history of the corner where it sits, similar to the historical markers around the city and the world.

· Turn some boxes into permitted, legal mini-libraries. Leave a book/take a book.

· Refashion them as Narcan dispensers with QR codes linking to content about how to administer it and information for those seeking treatment or services, continuing the emergency theme.

—Mike Combs

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