Pub date February 24, 2009



We wanted to correct some misperceptions about the mission and work of the City Fields Foundation as quoted in your Feb. 18 article "Wrecked Park Department."

San Francisco has long had too few athletic fields for all the kids and adults who want to play. Each weekday afternoon during fall, more than 4,000 kids use Rec-Park athletic fields for school sports, league sports, and recreation center programs. Many of the existing fields are in poor condition due to constant, year-round play, abundant gophers, and scarce resources. To remedy this situation, City Fields and Rec-Park teamed up in 2006 to increase athletic field playtime citywide, largely by renovating a handful of high-use athletic fields with artificial turf and lights. Rec-Park manages and maintains the fields and allocates their use through the department’s permits and reservations office.

The Playfields Initiative partnership has already resulted in more than 62,000 hours of additional playtime for San Francisco’s athletic field system and transformed four worn-down athletic fields into safe, high-quality play spaces. But to fully appreciate what this means to the city’s kids, go after school one day to the new athletic fields at Garfield Square, Silver Terrace, Crocker Amazon, or South Sunset Playground and ask the kids playing how they like their new field. They might even stop playing long enough to tell you.

Susan Hirsch

project director, City Fields Foundation

San Francisco


The cover art for Sarah Phelan’s "Ship of Fools" story (2/11/09) portrays an SFPD ship adrift at sea, but one-third of the article is focused on political appointees with limited influence on day-to-day crime in the city: Joseph Ruissionello and Kevin Ryan. Ryan is a surrogate for the mayor, but he has no real law enforcement power and those who think otherwise are naive.

The Guardian heightens Russionello’s influence by discussing sanctuary, an issue that receives disproportionate attention when it comes to discussing crime. Sanctuary is a juicy story that involves immigration law, race, and geopolitics. For most people who deal with crime on a daily basis, sanctuary is a back-burner issue at best.

The real tragedy of crime in this city is felt by those who have lost a loved one to needless homicide. There are neighborhoods in this city that smart politicians seem to have forgotten, where drug and gang-related violence are a part of life.

Scott M. Bloom

San Francisco


I liked the column (Green City, 2/11/09) showing that San Francisco will be increasingly using biofuels created locally. This is much better environmentally than using fuels that have to be shipped long distances, which causes more oil consumption and creates more pollution, including global climate change. However, I must point out a common misconception that also appeared in your column.

Burning biofuel instead of a petroleum-based fuel does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Every fuel that is burned creates carbon dioxide. Global climate change will not be mitigated by using biofuel or by any other technological means. It will only be mitigated — it cannot be averted, it began decades ago and will continue to some extent regardless of what we do — by humans living more simply and burning less fuel of all types.

Jeff Hoffman

San Francisco

The Guardian welcomes letters commenting on our coverage or other topics of local interest. Letters should be brief (we reserve the right to edit them for length) and signed. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification.

Corrections and clarifications: The Guardian tries to report news fairly and accurately. You are invited to complain to us when you think we have fallen short of that objective. Complaints should be directed to Paula Connelly, the assistant to the publisher. We’d prefer them in writing, but Connelly can also be reached by phone at (415) 255-3100. If we have published a misstatement, we will endeavor to correct it quickly and in an appropriate place in the newspaper. If you remain dissatisfied, we invite you to contact the Minnesota News Council, an impartial organization that hears and considers complaints against news media. It can be reached at 12 South Sixth St., Suite 1122, Minneapolis, MN 55402; (612) 341-9357; fax (612) 341-9358.