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Watching City Hall #340, 1-7-05

“Girrlll, that marriage ain’t gonna last. Kimberly gonna go to New York and she gonna be clubbiNN’!!”

Yeah, Eric Allen called that one as soon as Kimberly Guilfoye landed the New York job on Court TV. Credit where credit is due. Incidentally, PJ Corkery mentioned that a couple of reporters were looking for the Bass man’s laptop with an eye toward a book. The Public Administrator has it and has a couple of hackers trying to get past the JoeFire security. Who knows what’s locked in there?

Maybe his ‘A’ list

One of the funny things (to me) that came up at EAB’s funeral was that he’d kept different lists of names which included his favorite and least favorite people.

I swear to God, after the funeral, people were speculating around the coffin as to whether they were on JoeFire’s ‘A’ list. It was really kind of cute.

Is Gavin Newsom gay?

For me, that falls around the top of my ‘who gives a shit’ list, but it is certainly the first question I hear being asked around town. ‘Shallow Phil’ Matier came pretty close to asking it of Willie Brown this morning on their KRON 4 tete’ a tete’ over coffee. The way he put it was, he looked at Willie and furled his forehead and asked: “What’s the first thing people ask you about the reason for this divorce?”.

And Willie? Dancing like a ballerina, fired back: “Whose fault is it?” … Yeah, uh huh. Sure Willie. That’s what their saying.

Political rumors

The Newsom camp floated a story during last year’s mayoral runoff that Matt Gonzalez had a couple of illegitimate kids around the country to whom he was paying child support. Then, there were the tales of pregnant girlfriends and the Board President’s skills or lack thereof in bed.

I guess that kind of shit was supposed to hurt him but as resident Minister of Propaganda, I kind of enjoyed it. I mean, kids … this guy is boring. The only way anyone could get him to look interesting was to superimpose his head on the body of someone like Elvis Presley or Kennau Reeves. Those posters went fast and remain much coveted. The reality is that the guy is a well mannered, somewhat bashful, wonk.

Newsom’s the same. He’s much more guarded than Matt but that’s probably because he has so many people advising him. Gavin actually listens to these turkeys. … What the hell, as the old St. Louis disc jockey, Father Lou Times used to say:

“If you gotta talk about somebody, talk about me, cause I sure enuff can use … the pub-li-ci-TY!”

Good luck to Gavin and Kimberly and my buddy, Matt Gonzalez as they begin the new year headed down different paths. They’re all good people, each in their own way and as long as our own lives aren’t so exciting. As long as we don’t wake up one morning as young and talented and beautiful as they … we’ll keep talking about them. That’s just the way people are.

Speaking of new paths

All of you out there who have endured having me sleep on your couches and in your spare bedrooms and the like can breathe a sigh of relief. The pigeon, as they say … has landed.

Thanks to my caseworker, Albert Hsiung, my social worker, TaTaneka Thibeaux, David Nakanishi, the head of Gavin’s outreach team, Mark Trotz, its director, Irinia Zlochevskaya, my new caseworker, Michelle Ruggels and Rich Hillis of Human Services and Economic Development … starting to sound like I’m accepting an academy award, huh?

After 3 years of homelessness, I have a permanent SRO room of my own. Ah yes, the joys of legal tenancy are again mine. My new digs are at the Civic Center Residence Hotel, a collection of 204 people pretty much like me who live at 44 McAllister, just down the street from City Hall. I have survived Care Not Cash and it only took 2 months from application to the handing ‘over of the keys’ to get me truly housed.

Care Not remains an imperfect and underfunded program but it can work. Hell, it worked for me. I’d like to see a bond for a couple of hundred million bucks aimed specifically at the project. Thus far, the system has been funded wholly by the most destitute and has consequently (well, duh!) been way underfunded. I remember arguing with Chris Daly that he should put a time-certain of no more than 2 weeks in shelters and roach motels. Director of Human Services, Trent Rohrer won the day with the promise that it wouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks to properly house those who honestly sought shelter from the storms.

I do have several friends who were, in fact, given permanent SRO’s within Rohrer’s 2 week goal. While it took me 2 months, it could have taken lots longer. And that is because … of lack of funding. Let’s put together another Care Not Cash ballot measure we can all support and clear the streets once and for all.

How it works

You apply for the program and start jumping through hoops and getting on lists. It took me 2 weeks of shelters, 2 stints in less than stellar bug ridden hotels (beat the shit outta shelters and the bites have healed) … an extended failed interview process at a fancy newly renovated SRO (The West – one fine place) and, finally, acceptance at what used to be the old Evangeline Hotel, built in the middle of the roaring 20’s.

During this period, my welfare income was cut from $100 per week, to $15. That hurt badly but it’s a temporary reduction. Once you’re accepted into a hotel with a City contract, your full benefits are restored. Only, not directly to you … which is, fine with me.

As my paperwork is readjusted, my gross income goes back to $422 a month. TNDC gets $211 for the room which is, by my standards, fantastic. New paint job, maybe a new carpet. Brand new mattress and bedding. A small refrigerator. A sink. A closet. There’s a community bathroom on each floor. Hmmm, that could get interesting. A community kitchen on the first floor, a roof garden, couple of tv rooms with cable, a laundry room.

My buddy, Michael Moore (the original – had the name first – my first boss in San Francisco around 1979) … Michael went with me and I commented that most of the chicks in the building seemed to be on canes or walkers. The towering pool shark/lead Blues guitar player patted me on the back and chuckled: “h., I hate to tell you this but you’re as old as they are.”. Oh well.

Thanks to Amy Sturtz of TNDC who processed all of my final paperwork and who handles and supervises intake, room prep and the like as I gathered. To her boss, Jack McClain (sp ?) who steered me the right way when I was bitter and discouraged and to Ransom Hall at Lutheran Social Services who arranged the financing from my City stipend which he will oversee.

That’s an interesting point. To spend the remaining $211 dollars, I have to submit requests for payment to Ransom. I was joking with him about maybe wanting to do the Bush thing and invest part of it on Wall Street. He smiled and said that if I could give him a legitimate address, he’d send the money there. … Naw, no investments. I’m thinking that around half of it will go on cable and a dsl line to keep the Bulldog going and the rest will be mostly laundry and toiletries. Toss in my Food Stamp allocation of $123 a month and I’ll be living larger than I have in years. Thanks to all.

Well, time to pack up from this latest house sitting gig (to all of you for whom I sit, I’m definitely still available – while I love my permanent placement, I’m into watching cats and dogs and fish and the like whenever) … time to pack up Sora, the beagle and my things and start driving around picking up my cloths and office supplies from Charles and Susan Kalish, my computer from Daniele Erville and my personal papers from my daughter & son-in-law, Mona & Kudzai Nyandoro. I’ll be back online when I’m back online. The Bulldog should get better. I’m in a 7 week class at Jewish Vocational Services (Computer Skills Development Seminar) taught by the very capable Mary Gilliford … and, I’m learning how to make stuff all prettier. We’ll see as time goes by if I actually do.

Smile at a cop: