Watching City Hall #193
Prolonged Proceedings Push Peskin Past Pressure Point
Dont these people know about meth? I mean, shit, it would have been nothing for them to meet 17 continuous hours (which, they did) and still have plenty of gas in their tanks if theyd only gone across the street to U.N. Plaza and scored some crank.
Talking about the Board of Supes Budget Committee, of course. It only took 2 days for them to break their personal best for any committee meeting (which was 9:30am to 2:30am) yep, they ran to right at 3:00am this time (meeting of June 27th) and, Peskin had his car keys in his hand for the last 20 minutes, moaning and bitching (I dont blame the guy hell, I had lotsa cat naps, a comfortable futon, plenty of bourbon & a bucket to pee in and I still was screaming for it to end) anyway, kudos to the whole gang for one hell of a job (though, of course, I wouldnt personally endorse any Willie Brown budget) great job to:
Budget Committee Chair: Chris Daly (District #6)
Vice Chair: Aaron Peskin (District #3)
Member: Sophie Maxwell (District #10)
Member: Fiona Ma (District #4)
Member: Matt Gonzalez (District #5)
Good as the supes were, top honors had to go to Committee Clerk, Victor Young Deputy City Attorney, Ted (best ties in SF) Lakey and Controller Ed Harrington. Why? This trio had to be on-task completely for every minute of the meeting. The Clerk cant get up and walk around, or go talk to someone on the other side of the room. Hes the real hero here. Congrats kid. You gots you a serious pair.
Gonzalez showed he knows the best way to end a marathon session like this, breaking out a nicely wrapped bottle of wine for Pekins departing Chief of Staff, Wade Crowfoot, then bading he open it right there sos they could both unwind and toast Wades departure (our loss). Dont know if they did, but I hope they did and I hope it was fine champagne.
Nowww, whats this new budget have in it for you?
Ya like Bruce Willis Die Hard movies? I really like the one where the South American dictator comes in and takes over the big airport and I think something like that may be happening at San Francisco International Airport. Actually, I think its our own little tin-horn dictator, Willie Brown who has taken over a South American airport, but Im never very picky about my facts. Whatever, the Airport was the only department who couldnt (more like wouldnt) submit enough data to get their budget past Vice Chair Peskins scalpel on time. Honestly, SFO is like some kind of friggin rogue state. Theyre heavily armed and owe more money than most of the worlds sovereign nations. Willies new terminals out there put Sadam Husseins palaces to shame and theyre just as empty. Their best use for now is to fill them with homeless. Ooooo, wouldnt that be funny? Give the vermin, crappin and whizzing around Bart entries from the Embarcadero to Glen Park one-way tickets to SFO. You know, kind of like: Were heeere!!! OK, Im kidding, but I still think it may take the National Guard to get Willies scumbags out of the top offices there.
The Port makes the Airport look well run. While SFO overbuilds, the Port Authority under Willie Brown has spent the past 8 years watching its buildings and piers crumble into the Bay. On purpose!! Oh yeah, can you say privatization? Can you say 100 year lease? Bank of America (now, a North Carolina firm) holds the paper ($20 million) on the Ferry Building (and, will get the Mint for $5 million) a year ago, I baited City Administrator Bill Lee (upper, upper echelon of the Brown machine) as to how much space was left in the San Francisco debt load. That means, how much can we owe before were in danger of not being able to pay our bills? He knew to the friggin penny and by the time Brown leaves office, they will have taken us to the edge of insolvency. Who buys the bonds? Who determines our bond ratings? Whats left when memorys gone and your identity forgotten?
OK, that last bit was from Thornton Wilders Our Town. You remember? Emily has died and is a spirit in the grave yard doing a kind of like, ghost orientation thing. Some of the older ghosts are sad because all of their families have died or moved and their untended graves have enveloped their memories. Its very sad. but, I digress. (Hell, its 3:30am and youd digress too.) Ports, airplanes and the vision of beautiful women always make me digress.
I think that I shall never see
(blah, blah) like a tree.
You can bet the above wasnt written by Elizabeth Goldstein. Her Natural Areas Program made the LA Times (a truly great newspaper) and it wasnt pretty. (Id tell you about the NAP again but Im tired & drunk and you arent worth the trouble.) Where was I? Yeah, the Times capsulized our local debate on the issue as: A battle between tree huggers and sand huggers. They noted that Willies NAP has designated a third or more of our open park space for reduction to sand, poison ivy and fleas (my own characterization). What they didnt note (as has no one else) is that cutting down the trees and fencing everything off from people and dogs and cats and horses and the like will give them lots of space to build apartment and office towers when the City goes bankrupt. Now, I may well be nuts (who could deny that?) and paranoid (ditto) I may be those things, but Im usually right and I think Natural Areas is a screen that real estate developers are using to clear cut public land they intend to purchase in the fire sales that precede and follow municipal bankruptcies. Its a big scheme that includes the feds (they moved Hillary Gittleman, ex-SF Planning, office development guru from the City to the Presidio in as smooth a lateral move as youve ever seen ya dont hire an office development specialist to build camp grounds!) So, ya see, the Presidio built this enormous debt constructing hokey restricted areas that are high maintenance sos theyd need to privatize 90% of that particular national park in 2013. Lets hear it for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi who designed that one along with then Chief of Staff, Michael Yaki. You rich folks sitting on the edge of that luxurious Presidio eucalyptus forest get ready to watch them toppled and replaced with apartment towers in the coming years. Cause, like the Times noted, NAP considers eucalyptus trees to be weeds Yep. Uh huh. Thats the way I see it. One other thing.
One other thing
Another thing is last week, a tree on private property bordering the Citys Brotherhood Way, toppled onto a passing car and killed the occupant. It was announced that the tree (a Monterey Pine which Natural Areas also considers a weed) it was announced the tree was diseased and the SF Chronicle went to great lengths to explain the nature of the disease that killed it. Now, this is just a theory. You know me, Im not one to make trouble. However, in watching the film of the scene on the tube, I was shocked to see another tree, right behind the tree that had fallen the tree behind had been girded! Twice! Yep, clear as day. Two encircling swaths up around 4 feet above ground level. Now, that wouldnt be too bad, if the people who owned the land and the tree had done it, but they didnt. Owners said they barely looked at the property. Who did it? Before I could get out there to look, the CITY Goldsteins Park and Recreation Department which runs the Natural Areas Program which has girded a couple of thousand trees on public land the City came out instantly and removed all kinds of trees in the area. TV news the next night showed vacant land where once stood the Monterey Pines the NAP hates so much. If the tree that killed the woman was not diseased, but instead, died because the NAP zealots girded it without the owners permission IF that happened whoever ordered the girding of the tree is guilty of poaching and involuntary manslaughter. Well probably never know but, I betcha its true.
Its 4:12am and something just bit me on the leg.
time for your summer flea bath!
I know, I know
fleas are native to San Francisco and therefore natural.
If I were Goldstein, I guess Id kill the cats (Im not kidding, that IS part of the NAP plan)
kill the cats
and keep the fleas.