Archive for the ‘Bayview’ Category

Bayview to Get a New Library

Looks like the process of building the replacement for the Bayview Branch Library is well underway and meeting with community approval, according to this article in the Examiner. The article describes the community meeting held at the existing branch on September 8th, which marked the beginning of the “public review” phase of the process. The SFPL is negotiating to purchase the building next door to the existing branch; if they succeed, the new library will be the largest branch in the system, at an estimated cost of $10 million (a bargain, really). The old building will be demolished in 2010, and the new branch should be ready for regular service in 2011; in the interim, services will be maintained at the nearby YMCA.

These refurbished branch libraries are really nice to visit and use. I often spend an afternoon in the new Glen Park branch before going downstairs to do my grocery shopping. A fresh, clean library is so inviting.

[Tip via Curbed SF.]

A tech support approach to a better community

That decaying building on the corner — haven’t you wanted to report it to someone? Those idiots speeding down your block — can you get the city to install a speed bump? How about that gaping hole in the sidewalk outside your neighbor’s house — somebody could get hurt. Why doesn’t someone do something?

If you’ve ever wanted City Hall to work like tech support, your dream has sort of come true. A new website, SeeClickFix, will take your complaint and create a trouble ticket. More than that, in San Francisco they’ll automatically forward the problem to the appropriate SF Supervisor’s office.

more after the jump

Innovation in places you wouldn’t expect

The Bay Area is full of tech innovators, and seldom are the achievements of the entrepreneur who operates outside of Software, Internet or Biotech recognized. Ellen Raynor the owner/operator of SF Carpet Recycling is the kind of person I’m talking about. Full disclosure, Ellen is a close family friend, but I think you will agree her efforts are commendable in taking recycling to the next level.

SF Carpet Recycling is a collection site for post consumer carpet and carpet pad for the San Francisco Bay Area. Conveniently located in the 3rd Street corridor in the southeast part of San Francisco, we accept used carpet for the purpose of recycling.

For every 10 million pounds of post-consumer carpet recycled:

• 50,000 cubic yards of landfill space is saved

• 70 million pounds of GHG emissions are avoided (CO2 equivalents)

According to the 2006 CARE Annual Report

Planet Green video and more info

Politics: Election Results

Check out the full election results for the City-County of San Francisco here, and for the State of California here. As you’ve probably already heard, with voter turnout of about 28%, Measure G passed with about 61% voting yes; Measure F failed with 62% voting no. (One Chronicle reader thought it lost mostly because Chris Daly endorsed it, which is probably true.)

And happily, Proposition 98 was soundly beaten statewide. It seems that few Californians were fooled by that transparent attempt to screw renters. I lived for years in a mobile home park, and I understand the plight of the owners — they are probably the one group most negatively affected by rent control — but revoking rent control for all renters under all circumstances throughout the entire state was just a blatant grab for money. They need to work out a different approach that would be acceptable to both parties; perhaps that could be accomplished by limiting future proposals to just the tenants and owners of mobile home parks. There must be a way to leave rent control basically in place while granting a bit more flexibility in setting rates to the owners. In other words, a compromise: that seemingly rare animal in modern politics.

SFFIF: Elouise Westbrook, Tellin’ It Like It Is


By chance the other day I met Kevin Gordon, the filmmaker behind the 11-minute documentary Tellin’ It Like It Is: The Work of Elouise Westbrook. Mrs. Westbrook has been active on behalf of the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood since she moved there in 1949, and it’s clear that even at the age of 92 she remains a force to be reckoned with. She was thrust onto the national stage when, in 1973, city officials failed to get the release of allocated federal funds to tear down the old barracks at Hunter’s Point and build housing there. In response, Mrs. Westbrook took a delegation to Washington, determined not to leave without getting the funding her neighborhood was due. Eventually she succeeded, and the city received its $30 million for the project.

However, Mrs. Westbrook’s greatest ongoing success probably lies in the clinic she helped to found, the South of Market Health Center, which now has three active facilities. A fourth facility is in development, with plans to break ground in the fall: Westbrook Plaza. The Plaza honors Mrs. Westbrook’s vision of affordable healthcare and affordable housing for all, by combining the two in a single development.

The short screens tonight at 9:00 at the Kabuki, and opens for the feature Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. Tickets available at the theater.

Earlier this afternoon I got Mr. Gordon on the phone and we talked a bit about this film and his aims as a filmmaker. Our Q&A starts below and continues after the jump.

So, how did you learn about Mrs. Westbrook in the first place?

Well, I totally lucked out: I was actually approached with the film. Another filmmaker I’d just met called me about how the South of Market Health Center wanted a tribute made for their founder, and that she (the other filmmaker) was too expensive for them, but thought I might do it for a lot cheaper. Of course, that was the case. But when I met Mrs. Westbrook, I knew that I had no choice but to make the movie. She struck me immediately as an amazing person and an amazing subject, but it wasn’t until I was really into the research that I realized how significant she really was. So everything kind of happened backwards to how you’d normally expect it to happen.

Are Black People History In San Francisco?

In 1970 San Francisco’s census reported about 96,000 black folks living in San Francisco, but there’s been a steady decline in those numbers, and as we enter the “Year of the Rat”, it’s estimated there’s around 38,000 black residents left.
A Town Hall meeting is scheduled tonight at The War Memorial on Van Ness at 7 pm sharp to discuss this and other issues relevant to the local African-American community.

Certain to be a topic of interest is the ongoing buzz about “redevelopment” of Bayview Hunters Point, where according to Ethics Commission Documents mega housing contractor Lennar has spent $850,000 greasing consultants, lawyers, and other interested palms in it’s proposed HP Superfund site landgrab.

Meanwhile local community activists have raised about $4000 and with volunteers garnered over 11,000 signatures in just 10 days for a ballot initiative to fight the east coast based mega builder’s master plan, and are demanding a 50% affordability quotient in any new housing built.

Should be an interesting event…

Mayoral Candidate Shocked She’s Off Pelosi’s A-List

While mayoral candidate Grasshopper Kaplan runs around town getting arrested everywhere from Ed Jew’s driveway to back at the Hall of Justice, and generally specializes in creating a nuisance, he’s not the only mayoral candidate who’s discovered they are not welcome wherever they may wish to move about.

It recently became apparent to Hunters Point activist Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai that she too is not on the “A” list, noticeable especially if one steps out of line against the local Democratic Politburo. While her candidacy and convictions are certainly sincere, (clip of last month’s announcement at City Hall below the jump), one has to wonder about her possible naivety.

Sumchai rallying against the Mayor’s redevelopment partners Lennar in a recent SF Bayview newspaper pic

The longtime Health and Environmental Science Editor of the award winning SF Bayview Newspaper was shocked that she was refused admittance to a press conference/photo op Nancy Pelosi was having at the Bayview Child Health Center with Supervisor Sophie Maxwell this week. Do you think Grasshopper Kaplan or even Chris Daly would have been welcomed?

Sumchai seems surprised by the rejection of a Democratic Party machine that in addition to criminal “fundraisers” & dubious “consultants”, includes numerous nepotism ridden relatives of elected representatives. She perhaps has no idea why they would somehow find her an undesirable at one of their incestuous affairs?

Sumchai has long campaigned against Lennar Corp.’s redevelopment of Hunters Point , and is she totally clueless that Lennar’s president of acquisitions was Pelosi’s nephew? Does she not know that when she’s railing against the quality of the local “environment” this might piss off our local “Commission on the Environment” President who just happens to be Paul Pelosi, Jr., Nancy’s Pelosi’s son and Gavin Newsom’s cousin?

The Lennar “land grab” at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is highly inconvenienced by attention getting activists like Sumchai, and why would she expect red carpet treatment at one of their dog & pony shows featuring the pretty darn powerful pork barrelling princess Ms. Pelosi ?(Uh, who do ya think is one of the prime architects of federal land giveaways and previously arranged for The Presidio to be privatized ?).

You can meet and discuss that sort of stuff with Dr. Sumchai at 3rd & Palou this Saturday from 10 am – 12 noon where she’ll be doing a live community radio broadcast and get her account of being barred from a Pelosi Press conference after the jump…

Hip Hop Chess & Life Strategies in SF This Saturday

The Omega Boys Club is hosting the Hip Hop Chess Federation event this Saturday. Scheduled participants include RZA of the Wu Tang, Casual of the Hieroglyphics, DJ QBert, Boots Riley of the Coup, Balance the mix tape king, documentary filmmaker Kevin Epps, author Josh Waitzkin, Stockton’s Okwerdz, Bay area rapper Shamako Noble and many many more…

The group is dedicated to helping young bright minds actualize their potential. The event is open to anyone who loves Hip Hop and chess, nonviolence, and learning. The Hip Hop Chess Federation doesn’t care about your faith, race or landbase. Come kick it!

More info, time and location after the jump

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point

I was really hoping to get a tour of Fort Point, and I even read on the website that they were closed during the week for the Golden Gate Bridge retrofitting, but it didn’t occur to me that they were actually doing the retrofit right now. Oh well, we still enjoyed watching surfers with death wishes riding waves that broke on crazy ugly rock outcroppings.

Golden Gate Bridge

Skyline Flanked by Bridges

San Francisco Flanked by Bridges

San Francisco is blessed with a magnificent skyline. The Bay Bridge to the East and the Golden Gate to the West make for a lovely frame to the glowing city in between. I really love SF, some day the wife and I plan on moving back up here, maybe once she is done with nursing school. Don’t get me wrong, LA is a fun city, but SF has a certain charm that calls me back when I’m away.

San Francisco Skyline

You can check the rest of the HDR San Francisco from Treasure Island set here.

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