The Department of Public Works has gone Singapore all over some Clement business owners, who are now freaking out over the possibility that they'll be fined up to $300 if they don't de-gum the sidewalks fronting their stores. A Chron profile follows Clement merchants armed with wire brushes and chemical solvents, burning away at their own hands while trying to get from penalized. One says the city should be able to pay for the cleanup with the business taxes they pay. And with the issue kind of blowing up in slow motion— seems the DPW's backpedaling, or at least soft-pedaling, just a bit. Says the director: "We don't want anyone's hands blistering. Our purpose isn't to penalize people or to give them unreasonable requirements." And according to their spokeswoman, no one's going to get fined "solely for gum on the sidewalks." Fined for something else then, perhaps?
· City threatens over sidewalk gum [SF Examiner]
· Gum is a sticky issue in the Richmond District [SF Gate]