|Watching City Hall #274, (4-8-04)
Candy is dandy
but, liquor is quicker.
You gotta love a town where everyone is trying to do everyone else. Or, kill, relocate or otherwise disenfranchise the Lows (opposite number to Swells) or, kill, relocate or otherwise disenfranchise the Swells (opposite number to the Lows). Its nice to have your life simplified. So, what the hell does that have to do with anything practical? Lets get to District #5 and the Panhandle toilet.
Take back the toilet!
OK, it doesnt do anything about peace in the Middle East or that other place where they grow all the heroin that ends up chasing cops away from the corner of 16th & Mission. It doesnt make Warren Hellman put his thing back in his pants and stop trying to screw every single San Franciscan who isnt wealthy out of access to Golden Gate Park. Lets pick a skirmish point. How about the public toilet in Golden Gate Parks Panhandle? Its the last of the series of Spanish Mission type structures the WPA built in the park starting at the ocean with the Beach Chalet and continuing to the end of the Panhandle. Toilets, stables, club houses, museums everything had a continuity of pattern. No more. Despite the fact that structures like the old de Young had a thousand years wear left in them, theyve been condemned and replaced with inferior constructions. Just sos Willie could pass the hundred million in bond money on to his friends. Lets try and stop them at the last structure in the Panhandle. That would be the public outhouse next to the playground at roughly Ashbury & Oak. I want to open it and save it. The Swells want to keep it closed or destroy it. Theyre offering a quarter crapper J.C. Decaux a block away plus 4 advertising kiosks in exchange. Pretty clear-cut match. So, we have battle lines and leaders on both sides.
For the Swells: Warren Hellman, thug heir to the Wells Fargo gold and prime architect in the move by the Swells to privatize Golden Gate Park.
For the Lows: h. brown, who wants the opportunity when needed, to take a dump or a whiz in the Panhandle without getting arrested.
The Hellman plan: Use the Swells control of the Police Department, the Mayors office and Park & Rec. to keep the restrooms used by the poor closed. After 5 years, promises of meetings, meetings with promise and promises of meetings with promise have kept the doors to the facility closed. Five years of lie after lie after lie. Park personnel and cops lie to you about why the urninals and crappers have been closed since before Willie started his second term. Im betting its because the area supervisor wasnt a Willie clone. Latest answer to when the toilet will open? We need to replace it. Cost to public $650,00.00.
The h. brown plan: Open the toilet on July 4th, ready or not!! I have the bolt biters for the chain and lock. I have the toilet plunger & plumbing snake if needed (we wont need it the toilets work fine, its only Hellman keeping them closed) What we need? At least 5 Rock bands and 100 volunteers to clean up the debris from the largest gathering the the Panhandle has seen since the diggers dug and Joplin crooned. Cost to public 0000.00.
Whos gonna win?
The rich will win. They always do. In matters of money, that is. We end up ahead though. Cause we have more fun. That really bunches their skivvies. Lets just keep doing that first. Having fun.
Theyll tear down the toilet in the Panhandle before July 4th. Theyre good at tearing down quality structures and putting up shit to replace them. Look at the new library. Check the new de Young museum. (a dog walker another endangered breed walker looked at the new buildings outline and called it: the S.S. de Young cause it looks like the U.S.S. Enterprise) It wouldnt be so bad if they had any friggin taste. As is, theyve torn down a beautiful museum that blended with the other structures in the park. In its place, theyre giving us an architectural monstrosity. God only knows what kind of art theyll place inside. Enough of the upbeat news.
Life after Matt Exits
The hissing sound you hear when you say the name Tys Sniffen fits the man himself. The alliterative, onomatopoetic tone is in keeping with his actions. I first met the snake-like surly, snarling, assassin at Matts headquarters in the Haight last Fall. While pretending to be a volunteer, he spent all of his town bad-mouthing Gonzalez. I took at shot of Irish coffee and threw the punk out. Later, after I left, I heard he became in charge of the place. Hes lame.
Sniffen attacks trees
The slimy son-of-a-bitch has been stapling signs with his name on them to the trees in the Panhandle. Imagine if all 25 announced candidates did that? I shit you not. I was jogging there over the weekend and noticed cards nailed to lots of the trees. I went over to check them out. They read something like: This is a 110 year old oak tree. This information is brought to you by Tys Sniffen. As I said, I shit you not. Frankly, I think the bastard should be cited for attacking the foliage. I mention this only because ole Tys, hes running for supervisor in 5. Oh, there are worse people running.
Me, for instance
Newsom flunkies Bill Barnes and Jim Hammer are running. Diamond Dave Whitaker and I will divide the lunatic fringe vote (could be enough to win in 5). Trust me, campers this race is going to play out like an extended running of the bulls in Pamplona. I cant decide what to wear.
Library mafia wins
I house-sat for my friends Robert Maynes & Ania Wierzbowska this weekend. They got cable! I was able to watch some channel #26 again and it was great. Its been 3 or 4 months (more, actually) since I was able to watch the Board and commissions on the tube and much has changed.
The graphics are evolving. Not better, but different. Theyre showing the Department of Building Inspections Commission meetings (better known as the Joe ODonoghue Show) its nice to see them but Id rather see reruns of the Budget or Finance Committee hearings and so would anyone with a brain. I was able to catch a rerun of a recent Rules Committee hearing and it was pitiful.
A little background
Willie used the library as a slush fund for parties. The Friends of the library, subject to absolutely no sunshine upon their matters, regularly collected and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars as they saw fit the loose change went to Willies black tie events (from their concessions at your main and branch libraries) not to mention little actions such as the one that saw the new Glen Park branch library become a junior member of a condo association sharing their property. Anyway, the library leadership blows. People like Peter Warwick and James (for a number of years, Ive had an interest in the public library) Chaffee have kept those of us who would listen, up on matters. Chris Daly heard and sent Bill Barnes (his Chief of Staff) to respond.
Can we see too?
In an attempt to get something other than Swell or Swell/Flunky representation to oversee the expenditure of the hundred million or so you were stupid enough to give Willie to destroy great buildings and replace them with garbage in an attempt to get some genuine public oversight, Dalys office responded to acclimation by proposing the formation of a simple CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee) for the library. They stepped on a very sore big toe.
The Swells responded with an across-the-board attack. They even got Board Clerk, Gloria Young to ring in and parrot the Swells public line that the proposed group would be duplicative. That made me sad. I thought Gloria would show some distance from the machine after Willie left. I was wrong. Let me bottom-line this.
All the money is already spent
You voted for 100 million for your libraries and another hundred million for your parks and Willie gave all of it he could to his friends through iron-clad contracts designed by your City Attorney. Its all been wasted. Same with every penny allocated thus far to the PUC. And Piers 1-5? Willies partner, James Jefferson is laughing his ass off about the piers you gave him for 4 grand a month which will return millions to he and Willie for their 50 year, City Attorney designed lease. Likewise, the people of Hunters Point will continue to be poisoned by the power plant there for another 5 years while Gonzalezs tidal power project sits dead in the water. You thought a progressive Board would make a difference? Poor babies. Back to the library.
No account skimmin thieves
The Daly/Gonzalez response to criticisms that the Library was an unaccountable milk cow for the Mayors office was to suggest an 11 member (1 member appointed by each member of the Board of Supervisors there are, after all, libraries in each district) an 11 member citizens advisory committee should be appointed to at least look at what the library was doing and report back to the Board.
As I said, they started with a surprise visit by Gloria Young. Heavy lobbying of new Rules Chair, Sophie Maxwell & Vice Chair, Michela Alioto-Pier produced a tape recording from each suggesting that the Citizens group be watered down by adding another 6 members.
members are all Downtown
They want to choose someone from the School District (guess quick, will it be Jill Wynns or Sieg Hiles?) another from the childrens community (guess quick, will it be Margaret Brodkin or one of her courtiers?) another from the seniors (guess if its a downtown rep from Senior Action Network they vote wrong, they lose funding) you get the idea. They stretched it out and it was truly sad to watch Alioto-Pier grin as she responded to the lobbyists in the audience whod told her how to vote. Point is.
Point is, they still need to control the library. My guess its so the Swells can keep raiding the Friends concession funds for parties. Call me a cynic.
To his credit, Gonzalez (who made himself a junior member of the new Rules Committee, thus guaranteeing a Downtown slant to its decisions) Gonzo made a feeble stab at taking the issue to voters to create a commission (like Planning & Police et al) to create a commission appointed half by the Mayor and half by the Board. That worked. He got the Swells to back off and accept the 11 Board appointees, plus a split of the new 6 members between the Board and Downtown. He commented that hed learned that if there wasnt a shared participation by all stakeholders, it wouldnt work. Im guessing he was thinking of the way Elizabeth Goldstein refused to even give office space to an oversight group founded by the Board a year or so ago to provide a balance to the anti-dog Park & Rec creeps. You know, I think Im glad I cant watch these guys on the tube every day for awhile.
Something must be funny
Hmmmmm. . Naw, nothings funny today.
Dont talk with your mouth full: