Readers Respond

>> Selling San Quentin
Congrats on a great Point of View by Jim Wood (July). Yes, we’re stuck with San Quentin. However, let’s look on the bright side—let’s produce a “Marin County Recorded at San Quentin” album. Years ago, Johnny Cash, backed by a gospel choir from Marin City, sang at San Quentin. Many say it was one of the most moving live performances he ever gave. It happened on Mother’s Day and the energy in that room…wow! All those tough guys gave it up for Mom in a very big way. So I say we keep the rotting old eyesore and brand the San Quentin sound. Millions of consumers will think it’s well worth paying for. I’m ready to go and I’ve worked with Johnny Cash. See scottmathews.com.
Scott Mathews, Mill Valley

Here are two good reasons not to close San Quentin State Prison: As your POV stated, the facility should be in a metropolitan area where there is public transportation so families can visit. Also, the Bay Area has resources that benefit prisoners. A Mills College professor and her students teach creative writing and there are art classes, drama programs and many donated resources that contribute to prisoners’ rehabilitation. California spends little on preparing inmates for life after prison. We need to take advantage of what the nearby community can offer.
Helen D. Muirhead, Tiburon

I don’t know what these people are thinking in wanting to sell San Quentin. If a developer buys it for $1.5 to $2 billion, think of the houses he’ll need to build on the property to make a return. It would be high-density with no character, bringing with it heavy traffic. The number of units needed to make it worthwhile would be in the thousands; now multiply that by the number of car trips per unit. I’d rather keep it the way it is: though it’s not the best use of the property, it is better this way than developed with mass housing.
Randy Mason, Greenbrae

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