Planning Commission to hold useless hearing on porn palace

armory.jpgResponding to complaints over the fait accompli sale of the Mission Armory to Kink.com for use as a film studio, the San Francisco Planning Commission agreed to hold a hearing on the matter.

Which is another way of saying to the neighborhood activists: drop dead.

While locals can yelp about the proximity of the Armory to schools and homes (here’s local activist* Roberto Hernandez: “How do you tell a child from a school right down the street they are going to be filming pornography there?” Uh, Roberto, I’d say you don’t**) the fact is that the Planning Commission can’t make any rules on what is essentially a free speech issue.


As it happens, I have personal experience in matters like these. Fifteen years ago, I was on the barricades with Queer Nation as we protested the filming of “Basic Instinct” in San Francisco. A judge had already issued a restraining order against the protest from actually disrupting the filming, so we were left with a lot of glitter we couldn’t throw (it’s a long story). And the fact is that our protests gave the film loads of free publicity, which (coupled with the shhwwwiinnnggggg of Sharon Stone’s restless leg syndrome) led to its blockbuster success. Moral: There is no such thing as bad publicity.

So the hearing will give people a chance to speak on the matter, and personally, it sounds like it will be a fun afternoon — after which the Planning Commission will table the matter for study. A backroom agreement between the “neighborhood activists” and “housing activists” *** will take place, and somewhere down the line, a favor will be cashed in.

* please look for footnotes in the comments.

12 Comments so far

  1. sf_mark (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

    * Roberto Hernandez? Who he? Special Events Vice President of the Mission Merchants Association, if you please. Not to be confused with the former Giants relief pitcher. It would be interesting to know more about Hernandez’ Latin Zone Productions, which apparently produces the annual Cinco de Mayo festival and other neighborhood events.

    ** This quote really annoys me. Did he even think before opening his mouth? Is he serious about looking for some way to “tell a child from a school right down the street they are going to be filming pornography there?” Or is his question simply composed of (How do you tell the children??) + (whatever the issue is)?

    *** My skeptical use of quotes reflects my personal perspective that much of local politics is theater, with people in the roles of “housing activists,” “bicycle activists,” “neighborhood activists,” etc. etc. This upcoming hearing is a perfect example. The usual suspects come on stage and deliver the usual lines. As a result, nothing happens, but vox populi exaudiem.


  2. Concerned citizen (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    Is Roberto Hernandez cited the article attacking the Kink.com purchase of the Armory building that same Roberto Hernandez who promotes Carnaval San Francisco? During which the exposed buttocks of our latina sisters, jiggling and vibrating to the pounding sex-rhythms of Brazilian slavery, are delivered via the city streets to the delicate eyes of our babies? A mere glance out of a window during the smut-drenched festival could reveal the sweating flesh of the be-feathered gyrating to the lust that emanates from the drums. Shame on him.

    - A concerned citizen


  3. joe (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    If the neighbors want to do something for the neighborhood, why dont they deal with the crackwhores, drug dealers and drunk day laborers.

    Seems like what they really are against is legitimate use of the site. Hey neighbors, activists, people who are unable to mind their own business – you reap what you sow.


  4. sf_mark (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

     
    By the way, the Examiner is all over this story. In addition to the almost daily attention paid to the story by columnist Ken Garcia (today’s jibe includes the irresitible characterization of Kink.com’s CEO as a “porn king“), reporter Jason Goldman-Hall brings the news that shooting will start within a week.

    Hmm, I wonder if they will start in the boiler??


  5. dantc (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    Roberto, bless him, I see he’s still as clumsy as ever when he tries to wield the sword of emotional propaganda; heavens, no, not the children! Won’t someone please think about the children‽

    Does he also have a problem with Good Vibrations? I mean, he must, since they’re not that far away and actually allow the public inside. Unless Kink.com is proposing doing location shots, I don’t understand his yawping.

    Or perhaps it can be knocked down or converted into condos! Yes, condos!


  6. dln (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

    I’m not the least bothered by kink’s business, and I’m sure they’ll be under quite intense scrutiny and are well prepared for it. They’re grownups, and it’s their business, so they’ll make sure they can make it there and look good doing so. If not, they don’t, just like any other biz.

    However, the manner in which kink apparently got the deal signed without any discussion with the local business assoc and stuff seems a bit odd. Apparently, several offers to utilize the space have previously been consistently turned down by the city. The perception is that an outsider pretty much “walzed on in”. At least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from other local merchants.

    Personally, I liked the old idea of turning the armory into a market. That’d sit very well right there, and liven up that part of mission alot.

    I think, with kink, it’ll be much more as it is now, maybe cleaner. But it will still remain a very anonymous, quiet, and “dead” (culture- and community wise) block.

    Just my thoughts.


  7. garrett (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

    Slippery slope alert. Boy does it scare me when a legal business is threatened over supposed morality. The building was zoned commercial .. and a commercial entity is going to use it.

    Would Roberto Hernandez have the same reaction to someone he didn’t like moving in next door? There are reasons we have laws against exactly what he is doing. There was no need for a discloser in any way shape or form.

    Shame on Hernandez.


  8. sf_mark (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

     
    Hey look, people, I think the guy said something dumb, but there’s no need to gang up on him, okay? Let’s not pile on.


  9. Darren Mckeeman (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    I have to say I respect this use much more than turning the thing into a market or into condos. I am pretty sure that Kink.Com got the building because they weren’t going to make ANY changes to it beyond what would be needed to run film equipment. Besides this, they primarily want to attract vanilla film production from respected film studios. If we had another production like RENT or perhaps even another Sharon Stone movie booked first at the Armory, do you think anyone would object to the $$$ that would flow into the community then? I think not.


  10. Liz Henry (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Dang it, Mark, you beat me to it. I was just writing a post on this very thing!


  11. Jeremy Colonna (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

    In reading the Examiner article, I noticed that the community came out against the building’s conversion to condos during the dot com boom. Just goes to show what can happen when you try to have to much control. There are so many activists with so many agendas in SF that it only makes sense that someone would come in and buy the building with a use in mind that didn’t require any kind of governmental approval. The fact of the matter is, that no matter what the proposed use, these “activists” were going to complain. I just feel bad for all those poor homeless crack whores that are going to have to find another place to sleep!


  12. Victim (unregistered) on February 11th, 2007 @ 8:47 am

    During the protest, Roberto Hernandez said “we do not need porn in our neighborhood… we (As Mission Neighborhood Centers) care for our residents, we work hard preventing any eviction, any displacement, no more gentifrication for our city. We help our families to remain in the city, we fight against gentrifaction… this city is a place only for single people and dogs…We work to helpo our community to grow…”
    Mission Neighborhood Centers dropped an EVICTION letter to their thre residents. They will be building 18 to 23 units. None of those were offered to the evicted.
    So, Sam Ruiz (AKA Santiago Ruiz) and Roberto Hernandez are telling you to do what I say, not what they do”.

    We do not need this Latino Mafia in the Mission.



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