As our readers know, plots were assigned in January, 2012 for HANC’s Community Garden (Kezar Gardens) at 780 Frederick Street. Kezar Gardens was thriving throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2012. After we were evicted in December, 2012, Kezar Gardens was bulldozed and paved over, to make way for Rec and Park’s Community Garden at the site.
So far, Rec and Park has built three large wooden storage boxes and 40 to 50 garden boxes. This past May, Rec and Park sent a survey to those on Rec and Park’s waiting list for the garden (those who had garden plots with HANC and wanted a plot in the new garden had to re-sign with Rec and Park to be placed at the bottom of the waiting list).
A public survey was circulated in July. The survey says that RPD expects the garden to open to the public in the summer of 2013. It also says that survey results will be available the week of August 19. Our guess is that garden plots might be assigned by late August, which would leave about a three-week growing season before the end of summer.
By Calvin Welch, HANC Board
The Haight-Ashbury is the home of another San Francisco first: the first parklet permit revoked. Martin Mack’s (web chat says its soon to be renamed “Joplin’s”) parklet, built to resemble an outsized suburban brick barbeque pit, sprung on an unsuspecting neighborhood in 2011, ended its checqured life in June when DPW revoked its permit.
The closing of the parklet should be a lesson for all who are interested: the privatization of public space is a risky business, especially when conceived as a mere extension of a business, done with little or no public involvement and failing a clear understanding of the law.
The bar owner thought he could simply extend his bar, smokers and drinkers included, to the street under the banner of being a trendy new “parklet”. He simply built the thing, seemingly designed on the run and un-burdened with any public discussion, with no clear understanding of the law governing smoking and drinking in public spaces. Other merchants tried to tell him that being built over a gutter he needed to give some design consideration to drainage. He didn’t and it soon showed (or, more correctly, smelled).
HANC’s June general meeting featured discussions with Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s Public Defender, and Bevan Dufty, from the Mayor’s Office of HOPE (Housing Opportunity, Partnerships & Engagement). The discussion was moderated by HANC Board member Colleen Rivecca, who works with both the Homeless Youth Alliance and with St. Anthony’s, and has been actively advocating for more services in both the City and the State budgets. Mary Howe, Executive Director of the Homeless Youth Alliance, also participated in the discussions.
Jeff Adachi spoke about the services the Public Defender’s office provides to homeless individuals. The Public Defender’s office provides legal services to those charged with a crime who cannot afford a lawyer. This of course includes both people who have housing and those who don’t.
In January, the chronic inebriate program, also known as the chronic offender court, was determined to be unconstitutional. Under this system, anyone failing to appear on multiple citations issued by police could be charged with civil contempt of court and jailed for up to 150 days without a trial. The intent was to force homeless drinkers into jail-based treatment. Someone charged with a crime, such as disorderly conduct or drunk in public, has a right to jury trial. But under the chronic inebriate program, there was no right to a jury trial.
Garden for the Environment will offer the following workshops in July, 2013. All classes will be offered at Garden for the Environment, San Francisco’s organic demonstration garden at 7th and Lawton Street. Since its founding in 1990, the garden has operated as a demonstration site for small-scale urban ecological food production, organic gardening, compost education and low water-use landscaping. For more information, call (415) 731-5627, or go to www.gardenfortheenvironment.org.
Date: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Time: 10AM - 12:00 Noon
Location: Garden for the Environment, 7th Ave at Lawton Street, San Francisco
Cost: FREE; Sponsored by the San Francisco Department of the Environment
Join GFE for this fun, hands-on workshop to discover how to improve your garden with kitchen or garden leftovers, and prevent organic waste from ending up in the landfill.
HANC’s May general meeting featured three separate presentations—a discussion of Recology’s proposed new rate structure, a discussion of a planned independent living center at 1500 Page Street, and a question and answer session with Park Station Captain Corrales.
Paul Giusti from Recology presented the proposed new rate structure. With rising costs for labor and fuel (biodiesel), and San Franciscans doing more composting and recycling, Recology will be asking for a change to the current rates. The current rate structure charges customers only for their black bins (landfill). The proposed new rate structure will, for the first time, charge customers a small fee for the green (compost) and blue (recycling) bins. These charges can be offset by using a smaller black bin. So, instead of the current $27.31 flat rate, the proposed new rates would be $5 per month, plus $2 per month for every green or blue bin, plus $25.51 per month for every 32-gallon black bin, for a monthly total of $34.51. But this total can be reduced to $26.94 per month, slightly less than the current rate, by downsizing the black bin from 32 to 20 gallons. Watch for hearings before the SFPUC and the Board of Supervisors on the proposed rate change. During the meeting, there were also questions about and a discussion of what exactly can be put into the recycling and compost bins.
By Colleen Rivecca, HANC Board Member
On April 10, 2013, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr announced that he was dropping his proposal to arm certain SFPD officers with Tasers. The SFPD has tried, under four previous police chiefs, to arm part or all of the department with Tasers. The Taser issue was revived by Chief Suhr in the summer of 2012, after police fatally shot a mentally ill chocolate factory worker who was armed with a box cutter. Chief Suhr’s proposal was to arm Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained police officers, officers who are specially trained to de-escalate situations involving people with mental illness, with Tasers.
The SFPD held a series of community forums in early 2013, where community members shared their concerns about arming SFPD with Tasers. Community members opposed to Tasers explained that Tasers, while seen by the police as “less than lethal” weapons, have actually been shown to be dangerous weapons and that their use can lead to fatalities, especially when used on vulnerable people, including people with mental illness. Community forum participants also brought up an independent study from researchers at UCSF, which shows that, in the first year after Tasers were introduced in cities across California, sudden deaths in custody increased by 500%.
By Karen Fishkin, HANC Board Member
One day it was there, and the next gone. The papered windows were a shock. After all, this restaurant had been on Haight Street for more than a quarter of a century. I used to take my now 40’s something children there for a “Cheap Thrill” when they were young and we were broke. It was the restaurant that HANC chose in January for our “Thank You” dinner for the Kezar Gardens employees, after the Recycling Center was evicted and closed. And many memories in between.
Word on the street is that the owner has closed to change directions, but not to remove a restaurant. I was told he will be renovating and then re-opening the space as a sit down Chinese eatery. Hopefully an establishment that will have the same staying power as the old favorite it will be replacing.
HANC’s April meeting featured a lively discussion regarding the Rec & Park Department’s plan for the old 780 Frederick site of our recycling center, community garden and native plant nursery and of the bike rental business at the entrance to Golden Gate Park.
Denis Mosgofian, from the Parks, Recreation Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC), started things off with a discussion of recent documents revealed through Sunshine requests, as reported in the April VOICE. This was followed by a presentation from a representative of the Rec & Park Department, Dawn Kamalanathan (Director of Capital and Planning Division).