|Watching City Hall #211, AUGUST 25, 2003
Shouldnt you have your name and address pinned on you?
(a fan revels in meeting me)
Let me blog this thing real quickly for a bit. I just typed a column and lost it (never a big deal) cause Im an incompetent on these systems. The first item in the column was a retraction on a statement I made that said Barry Hermanson made money off increases in the minimum wage. This is totally untrue. Barrys business places higher level professionals in temporary positions. No minimum wagers there. Barrys motives are, and have always been altruistic. Im sorry. Tom has a loyal warrior in you. Ill stand by the rest of the things I said about the Greens, though.
A house party for Gonzalez
Sarah and Adam Lipson and their year old daughter, Elsie welcomed several dozen Matt Gonzalez for Mayor supporters into their home last Friday and it was, like totally cool. Sarah (shes one of two Greens other is Mark Sanchez on the school board) The Lipsons are expecting a little brother for Elsie and they have the back room (which opens into a great back yard) they had a playroom/nursery for kids and it worked really well. The Greens are so human. The place is on 47th in the Richmond and is almost to the beach. I rode over on the 38 Geary with Jens Nielsen who stood looking at the ocean when we got off the bus and shifted his cane while scratching his ear and noted: We had to go all the way to the end of America for this party. Eileen Left arrived later on a 350 cc Suzuki racing bike: This things a stallion! she noted as she pulled off her helmet and shook out her long blonde hair. You cant argue with Eileen.
This was the second of these kind of parties Ive been to. The other was for Tom Ammiano and it was a very, very tense affair. There were several reporters and a host of opposing factions on a number of issues. Lots of big names. Zero good energy. A real sense of desperation.
Not so at the Lipsons. The crowd ran from infant to serious seniors and, Lord, theyre a good looking and intelligent crowd. Matt talked for a half hour or so and gave nary a sound byte. He talked of the potential for powering the City from a tidal power generating station placed under Golden Gate Bridge, or off Treasure Island, or a couple of other spots in the Bay. The modular units are fish friendly with no moving parts. They trap the energy of the Pacific Ocean by placing simple concrete structures, honeycombed together when they narrow, it creates a venturi effect a suction thing using the ocean to create a vacuum which draws in one powerful stream of air which is plenty strong enough to turn mini generators. You can actually hold the power plant to provide DOUBLE the Citys needs you could place this station inside a space as small as the courtyard of Fort Point and it burns clean!!! No fossil fuels. No 200 miles of lines from Hetch-Hetchy.
Future Mayor Gonzalez spoke of reasoned practicality and pragmatic vision. He outlined his plans for a Municipal Bank to challenge the traditional Bond process. In the Bond process, they get you to vote for an obscure principle, then use the money for whatever the hell they want. A Municipal Bank considers projects individually. Theres one in Berlin, I believe. The tidal power plant? Theres one off Scotland and two in the Netherlands. These are not moonbeam ideas. San Francisco should have been first to implement these innovations. We are normally, first. It is only Downtowns ties to PG&E that has kept us from pioneering this new energy technology. The tidal people (company making presentation before Lafco) they offered to build a 1 megawatt demonstration model for free to prove the technology. They are chomping at the bit because San Francisco just happens to have one of the most blessed geographical locations on earth to situate a tidal power plant. These are a couple of the products under development by a visionary politician, and those are two words seldom linked.
Gonzalez is nothing, if not direct. When a scrumptious thing in a tank top purred out: Matt, it seems to me that the public responds more to fear than to rational discourse. The lanky Board President simply shrugged his shoulders and replied: Then, I dont have a chance to be elected mayor. The boy has a natural sense of humor (dont look for him to show up with a straw hat and tap shoes, tho) When the subject turned to age, Gonzos eyes twinkled and he winked and noted that at 38, he is older than Newsom: When he was a freshman in high school, I was a senior. Thats a sound argument.
Gonzalez is indeed, some kind of silver knight on the big white horse. The boyscout who helps old ladies across the street. The guy with the controlled temper who teaches with his replies rather than obscures. It was impressive. Jens caught a ride with Doug McAbee and I snuggled up behind Eileen Left on her roaring bike. In 5 minutes we were drinking whiskey and smoking pot on the beach. Ive had worse Friday nights.
Back at the Greens
First, I want to thank everyone who took time out from their busy schedules to send me threats. They are always appreciated. However, Im way too old to die young and some of the things you proposed to do to me actually sounded like they might be kind of like fun. Just color me: Open minded in San Francisco. (And, to Tiffany from the Presidio bitch is spelled with a t in the middle get yourself a dictionary when you go for a new bottle of peroxide). What else? Yeah, I was gonna address my Green comrades again.
Boys and girls of the Green Party. Redirect your enmity. Matt Gonzalez did not kill IRV. Willie Brown killed IRV for Gavin Newsom, with the cooperation of Elections Director John Arntz and ES&S Joe Taggard. I warned yall and you didnt listen. I told you that Taggard has fronted for rigged machines across the country testifying over and over again in favor or privatizing elections. That means that they take over the job of recording your votes with their machines but refuse to tell you how their machines go about recording your votes because that information is considered proprietary to the Republican vendors who are stealing elections at a record rate. What can you do? Read on.
Did you know that Exit polls are becoming a thing of the past? Refined over decades to such a degree of accuracy that they are used by groups led by such over-the-top radicals as former President, Jimmy Carter to check honesty of elections in 3rd world countries suddenly, Exit polls in the U.S. are not reliable! Remember when that one news network reported Gore winning Florida by their Exit polls and had to retract once the Republicans had worked their midnight magic? The next step in this monstrosity is to do away with paper ballots altogether and use the new touchscreen systems (no paper no paper trail) .. Im not supposed to tell you this because then you wont go vote at all, but thats not my way. What I want you to do is demand an investigation as to why the hell ES&S could not come up with an IRV program in a year and a half (though, Willie paid them a bundle the Board approved it) These people are fixing elections all over the United States and they are Willie Browns choice to run our elections.
Call for an investigation?
Now, youd think the IRV forces would be demanding an investigation, but Noooo! The Green IRV cadres response to our defeat has been purely Stalinist. They have demanded. And, I mean DEMANDED, that Gonzalez skip right past the appointed Elections Commission which he and Tony Hall created to oversee the Department of Elections and threaten Elections Director, John Arntz. Literally! Read em! Read the garbage that Charles Kalish and Steven Hill are putting all over the internet about how Matt let them down because he didnt ignore the laws and structure he created and go beat the shit out of Arntz or some such drivel. You know what a monomaniac is? These kids are monomaniacs. Standing late into the night hunched over frantically playing the unplugged pinball machine in the closed roadside café.
Newsom purchases poles
Theres a sleazy piece of legislation scheduled before the full Board tomorrow. (OK, thats hardly news) This particular odorous product is disguised as an attempt to keep unsightly advertising off city owned poles. Well, not really keep them off just make it cost $50 per posting. So, you hang 40 signs and it costs you $2,000! Presently, you can hand hundreds of sign for a flat fee to the City of $50. Its been kept low because of some silly reasons like free speech and equal access and stuff like that. What will be the effects of Newsoms ordinance? First, it immediately makes Mark Lenos sign company more valuable among other things. The chief other thing that bothers me is that if the ordinance is extended to political signs, then its chief sponsor guy named Gavin Newsom will be the only one who can afford to post these signs. I see SFSOS putting out a huge number of these things to push the anti-panhandling intiative. Shit, $50 a sign is nothing to them. Naturally, the opposition wont be able to afford any of the space, so Warren Hellman and Donald Fisher and Walter Shorenstein and Gordon Getty, get control of street advertising too. They already have a vice grip on local TV, radio and major print media. The Board should send this turkey to the Rules Committee to check the free speech angle. Hey, if they want all signs off all poles, Im all ears. But, to restrict use of the poles to only those with a big checkbook? Cmon.
Rogue Police Captains secret scam
Last week you learned how the Tenderloin Districts undercover units have cooperated with Skyline Reality in a program in which Skyline uses goons to harass poor tenants out of rent-controlled apartments. At last Wednesdays Finance Committee meeting, an agent provocateur working for Mission District Captain Greg Corrales was back testifying as to why the City funded Day Worker program run by La Raza since its inception, should not be funded. We first saw the gentleman testifying a couple of months ago when he stood before a packed hall with another gentleman who was nice enough to interpret for him. He went to great lengths to praise Mission District Captain Corrales and Mayor Willie Brown. Then, later in the hearing, his interpreter came up and pretending not to be able to speak English and the first guy (having suddenly learned the language in the hall?) interpreted for him!!! Upshot, is that they get double the time if they need an interpreter. Its very simple.
Willie Brown hates Renee Saucedo. I really dont know why, nor do I care. But, what I do care about is that when Willie gets angry, he doesnt care who he hurts. He cancelled Saucedos complete program upon which hundreds depend. Now, I dont have a tape of Willie telling Corrales to use these torpedoes to bring down Saucedo, but these two guys had to be thrown out of La Raza meetings for agitation and disruption.
Now, call me an old silly, but I dont think police captains should be supporting vigilantes or sending out agent provocateurs into legitimate groups to cause trouble. The drag is that this kind of thing is going to continue until we have a new police chief and we wont have a new police chief until we have a new mayor. Early bets on chief?
Susan Manheimer will be the next police chief unless Gonzalez wins! Thats what Eileen Left called over the wompity-wompity-whomp! Sounds of the music in the club behind her. I just played grab-ass with one of Newsoms people and he said that both Newsom and Angela Alioto have decided shes their choice. Shes the old Tenderloin Captain and she wouldnt have allowed her people to protect any goon squad. Shes female, straight & a mom. Right now shes the Chief of the San Mateo Police Department and getting great reviews. Watch and see.
Better call Ghost Busters
Now, there are good ghosts. And, there are poltergeists and the like. Last night, my daughter, Mona and her hubby, Kudzai Nyandoro had a house warming at their place in the Haight. Actually, theyre just a few houses from Haight and Ashbury and youll never guess what happened to her.
She was lying peacefully in the bedroom of the classic old Victorian nursing 6 month old Tandiwe, my precious little granddaughter. Tandi had settled and Mona was kind of wishing the lights would just go out by themselves so that she didnt have to disturb the baby. And, the lights went out. Just at her wish.
Sooooo, she goes and researches the building and finds out that Janis Joplin lived there! I dont know if the ghost of Joplin is looking over my daughter and her family, but Im gonna think it from now on. This ghost thing is worth a full column at least & Im gonna leave you at this. Im having a beer with a beautiful woman in a couple of hours and I need a nap. I wonder what the poor people are doing?
h.: They say tomorrow is always just a day away.
Jens: Kind of like yesterday.