Sunday, July 29, 2007

Marathon Sunday

It is yucky outside which is good for the Marathon runners going by my window. I almost admire more the people on the sidelines clapping and encouraging the runners - it is early and almost always cold out there. The Marathon last's a long time (still going two hours later).
MAYOR'S COMMUNITY MEETING - Park and Rec - Saturday at Jefferson Elementary School at 18th Avenue and Irving. Anti-Ed Jew people and signs outside. Mayor Newsom brought in Starbucks coffee. Room is full of activists from all over the city and staff people. Not only do you learn a lot about the city, it keeps City government people on their toes preparing for these meetings. Gavin Newsom once again is amazing, he is a true wonk with all the figures in his head - especially since the budget just passed he was on top of everything . The director of Park and Rec - Yomi Agunblade is clearly a leader and is setting up a system long needed. He has been with the department for 14 years so he knows how things work. Police Chief Wong spoke talking about new police coming on board. Items that came up:
Restroom Task Force
Park Patrol
Fields Program - Soccer and softball program with matching funding from the three Fisher brothers (Gap).
Playgrounds - by October lst all playgrounds will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Golden Gate Park - Encampments - being taken care - will not be thrown out - each person will be helped to see what the City can do.
Police - SF has 750 new police (interesting information - after Vietnam many veterans joined the policy department - they are now retiring leaving a gap).
311 - if you have problems call 311 - 24 hours a day - seven days a week - average response to call 10 seconds (I wonder if this cuts down on the Supervisors work load?).
Softball - 1,400 teams. Using synthetic fields (question came up about leaking petroleum?)
Trees - trees that are cut down are replaced with new tree.
Portsmith Square - problem with development across the street
Pine Lake - Stern Grove - want no parking on meadow.
Dogs off lease - Acknowledged that there is no enforcement (but new patrols will help )
Gardeners - need 226 - not possible. But will have mobile crew on call to help with trouble spots
Employee Hours - Changed 16 hours (available on weekends now).
Coyotes - Mayor against shooting coyotes - was decision of State Authority because of safety - Coyotes all over the City.
Animal Control has 10 people for the whole city. San Francisco has 120,000 dogs (more dogs than kids).
Natural Areas Act - 10 years in the works.
Unions - Question of accountability. All city employees now have performance reviews - 27,000 employees. (this is a "duh factor"- why this wasn't before????)
Work Plans - Not exactly sure what this means but Department Heads are to have them done by this October (there will be two day off premises gathering to make sure this gets done). Acknowledged that this has taken too long.
COIT Tower - don't want to make this into a "tourist trap"
Close parks at night - discussion couldn't enforce it and some people really do use the park at night.
Recylcing - 69% of San Franciscans recycle.
Summer Programs - Latch Key name will be changed.
Golf - $35,000 study being made - done within six months about privatization.
Swimming Pools - costs $3,000,000 a year.
Estimated 2,771 homeless in parks - 33% lower than last year
Gavin Newsom apologized for the condition of the parks. He says he feels like a failure (has does his staff and employees) when they read the press (but need to get over it and move on).
Needle Exchange - a problem. But needle exchange is necessary.
Crime - Car break ins up, violent crime down.
Two tons of garbage every day.
Camp Mather - will try and come up with outside support - San Francisco tradition.
Probable 2008 Bond initiative regarding parks
19 new motorcycles - can tell what speed you are going from all sides without speed guns
Water Wasting - Just completed report to deal with problems of overuse and leakage.
Gavin Newson said he wrote a cook book (I tried to find it on Amazon - couldn't find it).
Gavin did a great job of chairing the meeting. This meeting was better than the muni meeting (not as much spin - but Muni is a bigger problem.)
As Gavin was leaving he was talking to the press and the anti Ed Jew people (mostly young people) - asked a young kid what gel he used for his spiked hair - very charming.
I personally would like one of these meetings every month. Just like at Board of Supervisors meeting and police commission meetings you realize that these departments deal with all kinds of issues - and even though San Francisco is a small city it is very complicated.
Gave out a colored map of the whole city which shows all the parks. The city is broken up into Neighborhood Service areas (different from supervisors districts).
It was nice to see so many people care.
Some attendees: Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, Jim Lazurus, Larry Martin, Betty Landis, Lynn Newhouse, Sharon Everhardt, Ron Dudium
Neighborhood Parks Council - 451 Hayes Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, Ca. 94102
Phone: 415-621-3260
RAYKO PHOTO CENTER - went to photo exhibit "San Francisco Politicos, People and Places 1960's to 1970's. Not a lot of pictures - all in black and in white - came in the back way so I did not realize there was a description for each photo so I was trying rack my brain recognizing people. George Moscone, Gina Moscone, John Burton, Mayor Shelley, Willie Brown with an afro, Judge Ertola, picture of a beautiful young Angela Alioto and pictures of Mayor Alioto, Angie Alarcon. Ronald Reagan and Princess Margaraet . I remember meeting the photographer Jimo Perini long time ago around the cable car barn- you probably would recognize is famous picture of the cable car at the top of the hill. A number of pictures are for sale - but they are $250 each. The exhibit is over. 428 Third St. San Francisco, Ca. 94107 Phone: 415-495-3773.
THE LAST MRS. ASTOR - Francis Kiernan. Biography of Brook Astor. I was so looking forward to reading this book. I have been reading New York Magazine for over 20 years and I wanted to learn (okay I admit - I wanted the gossip) regarding Brook Astor and New York Society. This book was very basic and talked about her good works including art, schools, public housing including a safari in Brooklyn. She was married four times. Douglas Dillon Cabinet member under the Kennedy administration wanted to marry her. There is some scandal about taking the power away from her son to take care of her because he was using up all her funds.

Afterwords walked down Irving Street to get a cookies and cream ice cream and visit the three gift shops in that neighborhood (there are very view gift shops left in this city) - bought a Hillary Clinton dog toy). Walked in Golden Gate Park - it was a beautiful day and the park is beautiful.

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