Safeway Recycling Center Eviction Update

by Ed Dunn


Not only is Safeway turning its back on recycling, but now the San Francisco Chronicle is too. The Chronicle ran an editorial today against the California Redemption Value law. That, of course, is the law that governs California’s overwhelmingly successful bottle and can deposit program, which has pushed California to a 84% recycling rate.

You already know how important recycling centers are for the environment and that curbside recycling is not enough. You already know that this anti-recycling center campaign is more about property values rather than California Redemption Value.

Please help me spread the word by sending the petition link on to your friends.

And contact Safeway :

Safeway Corporate Headquarters
5918 Stoneridge Mall Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Send an aluminum can to the Chronicle.  Just flatten it,  put into an envelope with a first class stamp and address it to :

San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103



Domino Theory Proven

Domino Theory Proven by Ed Dunn




The fall of HANC Recycling has lead to a series of recycling center closures across the City.  Up until last year, San Franciscans enjoyed access to twenty recycling locations dispersed fairly evenly across town.  This was by no means accidental, because the California Bottle Bill requires that recycling centers be located near large supermarkets, which are also dispersed fairly evenly across town.


But after HANC closed, three other recycling locations were illegally shut down, and a fourth is faced with imminent eviction.  The Nexcycle operation  at the Fulton and Masonic Lucky’s; the Webster and Geary Safeway recycling center which was operated by Replanet; as well as a Nexcycle reverse vending machine at the Marina Safeway have all been closed.  Safeway has sent San Francisco Community Recyclers (SFCR), which is the operator of the recycling center at Church and Market, an eviction notice effective October 4th.


This wave of evictions comes as no surprise.  In the course of the HANC eviction campaign, sunshined City Hall documents, along with with statements by key City Hall staff, have made it clear that a sea change has occurred inside the Gold Dome with regard to recycling policy.  Rather than supporting a convenient dispersed network of recycling centers as it had for the last thirty years, our city government is now actively trying to shut it down.  In a stunning example of Orwellian Doublespeak, the elected official most closely associated with this eviction campaign, Scott Wiener, claims to be seeking the creation of a dispersed network of recycling centers, while actually working to shut them down.


I think it’s worth quoting him here at length. This is from a written statement to the press, so he is not misquoted,


Recently, Safeway served a 30 day notice to vacate on the recycling center at Market/Buchanan. Safeway previously served a notice on the recycling center at Webster/Geary, and that center closed its doors before the notice expired. Although I’m sure there will be some controversy around the closure, I’m very supportive of it and made that clear to Safeway. In fact, I’ve been asking Safeway to consider alternatives to the recycling center on Market Street since I took office. With the advent of curb-side recycling, we can offer recycling redemption that is less impactful [sic] to surrounding

To sign the petition to save recycling centers in SF at  click the below.


London Breed and Scott Weiner in person March 14th

by HANC board member Calvin Welch

HANC’s March general meeting will be divided into three parts.

First will be a question and answer session with newly elected District 5 Supervisor London Breed.  Sup. Bree is slated to open the 7pm meeting with an opening statement and then be available for questions and answers from our members and the public.

Next, will be a presentation by Ms. Jane Camblin, head of the French American International School at 150 Oak which plans to open a pre-k and kindergarten program at the old SFUSD site at 1155 Page Street.

Finally, the meeting will end with a discussion of the proposal by Sup. Wiener to amend the local version of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a vote on the HANC Board’s recommendation to oppose the legislation.

Again, a full night of conversation and discussion on subjects covered nowhere else.  Bring your friends to what will be an informative meeting: 7pm Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street.

The meeting flier is below!

Meeting Flyer

BEWARE! Or they will break your legs with a baseball bat.

Crommie Open ThreatsLook out everyone.  There is a new authority in town and they promise to break your legs with a baseball bat.  This photo was taken by a HANC board member: it is located on the garage of a home that belongs to major players in the neighborhood organization CVIA (Cole Valley Improvement Association).  Civil minded and peaceful folks are very concerned about open threats like these that promote violence instead of viable solutions.  Please be careful when dealing with these folks, they have a penchant towards hurting people they don’t like.

Shame on them.  This is a reportable offense, to make open threats of violence.  I truly hope this family sees the error of their ways and removes this sign immediately.

HANC makes a peaceful exit – SF Rec & Park Dept builds new “community” with violence and force

On January 4th at daybreak, Sheriff’s Deputies descended on 780 Frederick Street to evict HANC.  They found HANC had already been cleared out for a day.  What remained were 50 garden beds, a greenhouse, and supporters who spent the night as a statement against the controversial eviction.  Sheriffs handled things with compassion and pragmatism, giving supporters time to leave and offering many ears to listen to their woes.  It was a sad but proud moment, no arrests were made, no violence took place.

On January 7th, Rec and Park began to take control of the space.  They feebly offered twenty minutes to supporters to remove their greenhouse, then locked them out.  Afraid of the greenhouse being destroyed, some folks ventured back on scene to remove organic and native plants and protect the greenhouse from destruction.  It was not dark.  Park Rangers had the authority and ability to ticket the individuals as is customary in these situations.   Instead, SFPD was immediately called to the scene to take the people down with force and violence.  Captain Corrales of Park Police station came down himself and was the first officer to initiate violence by lunging at a man harvesting plants.  He proceeded to direct his men to break glass, tear apart the greenhouse and drag out the peaceful house sitters to be arrested.

HANC makes a peaceful end to decades long public service and Rec Park takes a violent approach in starting their community garden.

Stay tuned for more this week as we continue to document the way Rec and Park chooses to build community in Golden Gate Park.

For more coverage of the eviction see Carolyn Tyler’s story on ABC 7 by clicking the link below.  She was the only mass media outlet who showed up on the ground to cover this very important story.

deputiesnew locks

Happy New Year to all the Packrats out there-You were right!

reuse calendars


There is no telling what the future will bring but it is sure it will include a bit of the past.  Check out all the old calendars you packrats can pull out and reuse for 2013!  

Congratulations-you were right to recycle all these years!    


Things that happened in previous 2013 years:

2002: The Department of Homeland Security is formed.

1991: Rodney King is videotaped being beaten by LA cops.

1985: Two earthquakes over 8.0 on the richter scale hit Mexico City and Chile.  Japan celebrates 40 years after Hiroshima.

1974: Nixon resigns.  A rash of tornados hits the midwest.

1963: JFK is assassinated.  MLK Jr. delivers his “I Have A Dream” Speech.  ZIP codes are introduced in the USA.

1957: Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL is confiscated by US officials fro Obscenity after being printed in Britain.  The Mackinac Bridge (the longest Suspension bridge at the time) opens in Michigan.

1946: 800 Indigenous Australian Workers walk off the job to start one of Australia’s longest labor strikes.   The head of the Gestapo poisons himself before being executed along with other war criminals in Nuremberg.  The Flamingo Hotel opens on the Vegas Strip.

1935: The Dust Bowl hits hard and the New Deal creates the Works Progress Administration in the US while Hitler makes moves against the Treaty of Versailles, and the first TV program in the world is broadcast straight from Germany.

1929: Stock Market Crash – October 28

1918: Tarzan of the Apes was released.

Buyback Recycling Ends at HANC, along with an Era of Progressive Thinking


Saturday, December 29th was the last day to get your deposit back on bottles and cans at 780 Frederick Street.  Today, the center is open from 12-4 for donated recycling and community gathering.  We are working on a plan to relocate as many willing gardeners to new locations in San Francisco and donate the remaining resources to other urban agriculture projects.

The video documents some of the last ever buyback recyclers at the center including myself.  We were able to collect a wide variety of stories from people who came by, a few are in today’s video and others will turn up later in the documentary, 780 Frederick.

It seemed to be therapeutic to have the camera there.  Ed Dunn, Executive Director of HANC, dubbed it the “video shrink”.  Maybe it was helpful to talk about the loss we were all experiencing amidst the chaos of breaking down over thirty years worth of environmentally based community programs.  It felt historic and certainly it signaled the end of very definite progressive era in San Francisco.

Come say hello, come say goodbye, bring your last bits of cardboard, foil, plastic, paper, and glass.  We will be there documenting it all, sharing our stories, our sadness and our plans for the future.  See you there.


Jake Sigg of Nature News,a well renowned environmentalist, had these recent words to say about HANC’s work:

I have been emotionally divided about this issue all along.  I can’t deny that the recycle center is a non-conforming use of Golden Gate Park.  However, I feel a fierce loyalty to HANC for all its pioneering work and community service.  If there were such a thing as a city that knows how (all cities verge on dysfunction now) the City would find a way to accommodate and reward HANC for all it has done for us.  But that would require leadership.
HANC made a preemptive strike and converted the center to a community garden, and it is functioning beautifully now.  RecPark plans to rip up the asphalt, and all the raised garden beds, plants and all.  As a conservative I hate to see this:  All those beautiful, functioning garden beds, the materials (soil and wood), and last but not least–people’s (including HANC’s) emotional investment–these are all things to be respected and treasured.

Last days for HANC recycling and Kezar Gardens



Friends, Supporters and Opponents of HANC recycling center:

Tomorrow, DEC 29, 2012, will be the LAST DAY of BUYBACK RECYCLING at 780 Frederick Street

Sunday, DEC 30, 2012, will be the LAST DAY of ALL RECYCLING at 780 Frederick Street

We expect the SHERIFF sometime next week.

Thank you all who did support and participate in this generations long community effort.  It was one that hacked away the thick brush of politics and created a definable path towards more awareness, environmentalism and equality in the city of San Francisco.  It will be very missed-we know not yet how much.  Bring by your last load of recycling this weekend and take part in something on the brink of history.  We will be collecting your recycling and your stories for the next few days in the yard at 780 Frederick.  Please come by!  We hope to document all the last nomads that find their way through our space before we have to move on.

Ananda & Tolula RedBullCans

We also really hope to find homes for at least some of the community gardens and respective gardeners.  If you can host a gardener and their plants at your garden, please let us know!  Email and we will coordinate.  It would be a huge success to find at least 10 gardens and gardeners who do not have outdoor space at home a place to continue growing.

Row of Radish Shooting Peas

Local Leader plans to Cure Homeless by Killing Recycling

Homelessness is a nationwide social issue that many great minds have not yet been able to resolve.   To hold the belief that evicting a state mandated recycling center will in any way, CURE, HELP or add to the HEALTH and SAFETY of our citizens, homeless or otherwise, is extremely disturbing.  The VA estimates over 1500 Vets suffer from chronic homelessness in SF on any given night.  There is a severe crisis amongst homeless Vets in SF, across the state and the nation.  I am very sad when I hear our Recreation and Park General Manager say that his answer to this complicated and serious problem is to remove a resource that may possibly serve them by providing a return on bottles and cans as per the California Bottle Bill Law.

It’s just so disheartening to learn that he would rather  scorch the earth from which they may glean than to help them in any way.  In my many jaunts with local recyclers, homeless and not, I have learned and witnessed that even a hard day’s work on foot, and by hand, can only bring in a few (like 7-10) bucks a day.

The VA has taken surveys of homeless Vets in SF and their most expressed needs were:

detoxification treatment (10 percent)

treatment for emotional and psychiatric problems (8 percent)

treatment for dual diagnosis (10 percent)

education (17 percent)

job training (10 percent)

help with SSI/SSD processing (23 percent)

help with VA/disability pension problems (23 percent)

emergency shelter (11 percent)

half-way house or transitional housing (23 percent)

permanent housing (66 percent)

“The 10 year plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness” written by former SF Board of Supervisors President, Angela Alioto, in 2004 can be found here:

This plan, still in effect today, refers to solving chronic homeless issues by committing to an inter-departmental approach and compassionate responses that meet the needs of those that are chronically homeless.  It also does not recommend removing homeless unless they have a place to go or shelter in place.  By no means, does it recommend or refer to the closure of a recycling center in order to address the problems we face when dealing with San Francisco’s chronically homeless.  It is quite unfortunate that the Recreation and Park Department chooses to resolve homelessness in a unilateral fashion that has no basis in the overwhelming number of recommendations that have been made to address the issue.

Carolyn Tyler recently covered the recycling center eviction for ABC7 news.  She also did a story this summer about a new plan to help homeless Vets in the city.  President Barack Obama authorized funds to find 50 homeless vets homes in 100 days.  The 100 days have long been over-did they actually help 50 Vets get shelter?  Check out her story below and hear Mayor Ed Lee discuss the importance of honoring and helping our homeless Veterans.  Ask him to make the connection that removing this recycling center will directly and adversely affect homeless Veterans in San Francisco.  Ask him to honor our Vets by providing the things they need not scorching the ways they can make a little bit of money.




SF Rec-less Park Dept has a cold & elitist reputation amongst neighbors

Neighbors of the Haight Ashbury express their concerns over the way Rec and Park is slandering the recycling center, the people who use it, and basing an eviction on that slander.  Perception is reality and people don’t trust this Park leadership to to do the right thing.  It’s very disturbing they don’t care to even acknowledge the concerns of citizens regarding this issue-or discuss them in a community building way.

City agencies have promised this land, 780 Frederick Street, to a few private citizens and made a deal to deliver it despite the holes it will create in state mandated CRV recycling.  There are also serious efforts to silence anyone who brings information that demonstrates the relationship our recycling center has to the recycling needs of the area as mandated by state law.

Should our highly paid City officials really be making deals with a few people and ignoring the laws that govern the state?  Should they be assuring these people that, despite the hole it will create in recycling and the hundreds of thousands it will cost in fees for stores, they plan to give them what they want?  I think our city officials owe their time and attention to all citizens and all state laws.  Certainly, they should not be consciously ignoring the impacts and costs this closure will have.  And, certainly, they should not be distracting the narrative with false and unproven claims about homeless people.

A huge part of the homeless population in this city are Veterans.  Substitute Veteran for homeless next time you read or hear slanderous comments about our recycling center and see how that makes you feel.




Getting rid of Homeless means getting rid of Veterans


Phil Ginsburg and the antagonists of our center have openly said that part of their goal in closing the Haight Recycling center is too prevent homeless people from having access to cash through recycling.

While our recycling center serves people who have nothing and people who have everything (see Danny Glover video, for ex.), we are still shocked at the open and vulgar attacks on those who don’t have homes.  We want to remind folks out there that 1 in 4 homeless men are Veterans.

Do you want to support a Park that prioritizes the removal of services that Veterans rely on?  If you take away recycling at our place to curb homelessness in the park, you are directly affecting the well being of Veterans who may rely on this income.  Is that how our city repays our nation’s protectors?

When you discriminate against homeless, you discriminate against Veterans.  Tell those loud privileged people to practice a little humility and have a little respect for the people who sacrificed so we could live freely.

Stay tuned for our next video that documents the homeless folks that sleep at McLaren Lodge every night-that’s Phil Ginsburg’s office.  In fact, McLaren lodge is a magnet for homeless campers, maybe it should get evicted, too?

Rally to Keep Recycling in SF!


Sponsored by: Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council


ATTENTION: Small Business Owners, Community Gardeners, Urban Agriculture Activists, Chinese Community Representatives, HANC Recycling and Kezar Gardens Center Advocates and others with a vested stake in Zero Waste, Small Business, Urban Agriculture, and Environmental Legacy in San Francisco.

Bring your support to the steps of City Hall this Tuesday and demand that Mayor Lee take responsibility for the negative impacts set to occur once Haight Ashbury Recycling center is evicted.   We need people, signs, and voices to be heard to achieve the following goals.

  • Retain HANC recycling and Kezar Gardens Center within the Convenience Zone it serves
  • Issue a Hold on Eviction until a Task Force can determine best course of action for all parties
  • Prevent Small Business from Footing the Bill for NIMBY politics
  • Preserve the sustainable economic model: recycling = green jobs + native plants + community gardens in one space
  • Preserve 51 community garden beds and their 100 gardeners
  • Create a task force to find a suitable location to house this important ecology center
  • Reinstate the citizen advisory board to advise Recreation and Park on plans to build a new garden with taxpayer money.

We gather to call attention to a mounting crisis for San Francisco small businesses, consumers and gardens alike. The system for taking back bottles and cans for California Redemption Value (CRV) is broken and may be on the verge of collapse.

The California State Bottle bill requires small markets in the City to accept recycling (bottles and cans) in store if there is no supermarket or recycling center nearby. Stores of any size may opt out of this requirement by paying a $100 a day in lieu fee. While this may not be much for a large grocery store, smaller establishments will be hard pressed to pay it.

Impacts on Small Grocers [or Markets] and Beverage Stores

  • All small stores that sell beverage containers with a CRV deposit must also take those containers back
  • If there is a recycling center nearby or a larger grocery store with recycling services, the store becomes exempt.
  • When HANC recycling and Kezar Gardens closes, there will be no recycling in the area
  • Big Business (Whole Foods) will afford the fee and small business will have to pay up or accept recycling in their stores.
  • The fee is $100/day and up to $36K per year.

Need for Recycling Centers

  • The Small Business Commission is holding hearings to discuss the shortage of recycling in the city now
  • Suspending recycling services in the area will have a negative impact on recycling rates-50% of recycling in SF goes through a recycling center
  • Without a local recycling center, all small businesses will pay high fees or have to accept recycling in store

The existing recycling centers in SF are well utilized but dwindling in numbers. Numbering 30 in 1990, now there are only 21. Statewide, there is one recycling center for every 18,000 residents while there is only one for every 38,000 San Franciscans. Recycling centers in the City receive half of all CRV bottles and cans recycled.

Of the 21 recycling centers in the City, only about 12 are conveniently located at neighborhood supermarkets or nearby. The rest are hard to get to or only consist of reverse vending machines that slowly receive bottles and cans one at a time. As a result long lines are the norm at most City recycling centers.

The City’s eviction of HANC sets a terrible example for supermarkets. HANC has served the Inner Richmond, Inner Sunset and Haight-Ashbury Bottle Bill requirements since the law went into effect in 1987. Other recycling centers are rumored for shut down in the near future, following the lead of the City. The HANC eviction will have a domino effect leaving thousands of San Franciscans and hundreds of stores without a place to recycle.

The Mayor needs to address this crisis now by placing the HANC eviction on hold while a task force is appointed to develop and implement solutions.

HANC recycling has also been a longtime advocate for urban agriculture and habitat restoration.  The money that is generated from recycling pays for green jobs with health insurance as well as a decade old San Francisco Native Plant Nursery.  When HANC learned of the plan to create a community garden in the space, it immediately met the need creating Kezar Gardens, a 51-plot community garden program.  There are currently 100 gardeners who will lose their plots in the event of an eviction.  The Recreation and Park Department has no plan to retain or relocate those gardens or those gardeners.  We demand that the citizen advisory council that was created to advise Recreation and Park on the use of the space be reinstated.  This group should be tasked with the fate of the current gardeners, if they cannot be relocated elsewhere.

There is no other model in the city of San Francisco that demonstrates how recycling contributes to jobs that restore the earth and community programs that educate, celebrate and nurture organic food growth, community health, and an integrated approach to taking environmental action in one half acre of land.


Small businesses will foot the bill to the tune of $30K if NIMBY’s get their way on Haight Recycling

For all the folks out there that call City Hall and try to pass off lies, here is some hard core truth.  Danny Glover has lived in the Haight since 1957 and he supports the recycling center.  Mr. Glover recycles at HANC and he is quite surely NOT homeless.

Opponents of the recycling center are spending their days yelling at City Officials for considering any relocation of recycling services in the area.  They claim there are NO neighbors that support this recycling facility.  This is an outright lie.  We have also learned that our opponents are trying to stop all relocation efforts -they have a vendetta against any recycling service HANC provides in the area and want to prevent the nonprofit from conducting their legal and state-certified business altogether.  This is not just a park issue any more, rather a concerted effort to use public land and public funds to serve a few private citizens, leaving recycling laws and small businesses in a major lurch.

Those private citizens who want to remove the state-mandated recycling in the park do not plan to pay the tens of thousands of dollars it will cost business owners to make up for the lack of recycling they will be faced with.  As the Small Business Commission works furiously to address the major shortage of recycling in San Francisco, these private citizens are demanding that their desires be placed before city and state laws as well as the fate of important green jobs.

Make your opinion count.  Call and write Mayor Ed Lee and demand that he not give in to NIMBY policies when desperately needed public services are the ultimate cost.  Be sure to let him know that you are a citizen and your voice matters.

Please send a copy of your letter to us for our records as well at

Stay tuned for information about upcoming press rallies to demonstrate against this eviction that will cost local businesses a ton of money.


DSC_0114 SidewalkCHalk

Sing Tao Newspaper calls HANC a “nail house”

We thought our google translator was messing with us when we read the Chinese Daily newspaper article last Tuesday discussing the eviction.  They called us a “nail house”.  Thankfully, with the help of our Chinese speaking staff, we were able to get a fuller understanding of the sophisticated term used in China to describe what has been come to be known as a revolutionary act.  A “nail house” refers to a home owner (usually) who refuses to sell their property to the government so they can build a high rise or a freeway or something like that.  The refusal of eminent domain then manifests in the project moving ahead and building itself around the home owner that refuses to sell.

The term comes from the idea that these home owners are like a stubborn nail that is very very hard to pull out.

Warner Brothers made a cartoon about it in the 1950’s with Bugs Bunny-who refused to give up his rabbit hole and forced a high rise to be built around him.


Americans will often refer to Chinese society as an oppressive culture that has tight reins over its people.  In a case like this, it seems they actually have more rights than us Americans.  If our government wants to take its land back, it does, often at the expense of the individual who owns/operates it.  In fact, sometimes the government will do the dirty work on behalf of privateers.  In the case of Donald Trump and Atlantic CIty, this was case.  Trump sought approval for his new casino, and after gaining it, he put it to the local agency for redevelopment to take back land via eminent domain.  This meant the offers to the home owners were far below market rate and gave them no legal choice in the matter.

In some ways, we can see that happening here.  The city government is taking back land for a few private citizens to have and not compensating or relocating those who will be put out by that effort.  Eventually, when the Rec and Park garden wait list is revealed, the public will learn that the few loud voices that have been calling for the closure of the ecology center will directly benefit from that action by obtaining pre-reserved garden plots.


#StopKezarEviction  #Nailhouse

At SF City Hall-one hand does not talk to the other



One arm of city government plans emergency hearings on the lack of recycling in SF, another arm evicts the oldest recycling center in the urban area.  The hypocrisy of SF is not only brimming with cruel irony but will also have a hugely negative impact on recycling mandates, small businesses, and communities who garden.

Please come out to City Hall tomorrow from 2-4pm and hear the the urgent discussion with the Small Business Commission on the lack of recycling available in SF.  Agenda item 6  covers the convenience zone areas and will deal with this issue.  On Dec 10, there will be a full board meeting on this as well.

The Recreation and Park Department refuses to work with any other city agency on this issue and are quite comfortable costing hundreds of business owners-big and small-and thousands of San Franciscan citizens-huge sums of money so they can build a tax-payer funded garden for forty people who pre-reserved their spots in this very, very fancy new space.  The Rec and Park garden has no final budget and no published time line-there has been no advancement of work on the plan that is now over two years old.

When our native plant nursery founder and a number of community gardeners expressed their concerns to Sarah Ballard, they were only met with the uncharitable and inequitable answer that Rec Park plans to tear up the the asphalt and the gardens and not to offer any spaces to people who have been growing there for a year now. 

Between the lack of recycling and the lack of gardens in this city, there is no rhetorical way to justify removing a nonprofit that provides both.  But the Rec and Park Department does not care to justify their work on behalf of the city and its citizens, they also do not care what the needs of the city are, they operate with autonomy and they like it that way.  It’s their party and they will cry and take their toys home if they want to.

As of today, the Sheriff has not come to shut us down as Rec and Park would have wanted.  We don’t know how much longer we have but its up to our leaders to speak up about this issue NOW.

Eric Mar-hear our call and make a bold statement about a place that serves the community you represent!  We need your leadership NOW.  Protect the unheard voices of Chinese people and other Asians that help sustain themselves through recycling at our center.  Speak for them!


And PEOPLE, demand Sarah Ballard, Marvin Yee and Phil Ginsburg uphold the process they agreed to when this garden plan was initiated.  There is to be an advisory council made up of the public that advises Rec and Park how to proceed with their plan.  Why is the Advisory Council not in session?  Demand they reinstate this policy advising body immediately!  The advisory council should be making recommendations on the current gardeners status and future in the space not an autonomous Rec and Park Department.







SF Mayor Held Hostage by Latte Liberals

NIMBY politics force Green Workers into unemployment, leaving Ma and Pa shops to take back their own trash


Anything that’s good for the environment is bad for Ted Loewenberg and his local neighborhood association.  In addition to levying an appeal against new bike lanes in SF and working to remove benches in Golden Gate Park, Loewenberg now aims to stop people from recycling and gardening in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood.  With the Recreation and Park Department and a handful of Latte Liberals on his side, the group is intent on dismantling California redemption at the expense of Bay Area small businesses and firing vulnerable green workers right before Christmas.

Loewenberg claims only homeless people use what is known as the oldest recycling center in the city of San Francisco.  He believes removing the recycling center will eradicate homelessness in the area.

The center paints a different picture, entirely.  They say only a small part of their customer base identifies themselves as homeless.  Most of the customers are Chinese and a good portion arrive at the center in cars.  Moreover, the center hosts a San Francisco specific native plant nursery started ten years ago and a 51 plot community garden.  Supporters of the center call it an ecological space and have sent 1000’s of postcards, letters and emails to stop the eviction from taking place.

Moreover, San Francisco is notoriously under-served by recycling centers.  This center serves two large grocery stores in the area including a Whole Foods as well as dozens of small businesses nearby.  If the center is shut down, the grocery markets are required by law to provide in store recycling, this includes every little Ma and Pa shop in the area.  Though the battle for eviction has gone on for years, there have been no provisions made for recycling once this center is shut down.

On December 10th there will be an emergency hearing to discuss the fates of hundreds of small businesses in SF who will be forced to pay fines if they don’t comply with state recycling mandates.

Once again a handful of Latte Liberals with NIMBY agendas hold effective policies and state law hostage for personal gain.  A clear majority of San Franciscans see the recycling center as an asset to the community and to “zero waste” as pointed out in the attached video.

SF Mayor Ed Lee now must decide whether to stand up for small businesses and the law or cave in to the Latte Liberals.

Keep Calm and Recycle On


We are still in the heat of battle against the eviction notice delivered to the ecology center on Thursday.  The leaders of HANC met today and people are working hard to spread the word about this terrible injustice that is in direct opposition to the mandates of the Bottle Bill, Zero Waste and this year’s newly passed Urban Agriculture Ordinance.  We have enlisted the support of our Supervisor in DIstrict 5, Christina Olague as well as Eric Mar from District 1 to help get us all back on track.

We ask that our supporters keep spreading the word via email lists, blogs and social networks.  If you can use the hashtag #StopKezarEviction, we can locate your work out there, too.  We also ask that you take a moment to call your local Supervisor and the Mayor to express your concern over these recent events.  It really seems the only civilized way to resolve great difference is through compromise and that is all we are asking for.  There are many, many users and supporters of recycling, gardening and native plant restoration that will be impacted if this center is not relocated.  Currently, the Recreation and Park Department has no plan to let the innocent gardeners keep their plots.  The Rec Park plan only has about 40 plots-so whenever they finish with all the wasteful construction-they will house far fewer gardeners than are currently there.

As we strive to right this wrong, please do the same.  Don’t throw in the towel just yet-from great need comes great invention and there may be a way to turn this into a win-win for everyone if we put our minds to it.  And, continue to recycle.  Bring in your bottles and cans and leftover cardboard as a revolutionary act!  Leave behind some used cooking oil and old shoes for the free table in the spirit of this good cause.

Keep calm and recycle on!

You can reach the Mayor at

Take a picture of yourself and your revolutionary act of recycling or gardening at Kezar Gardens Ecology Center and send it him as soon as you can!  Together we can demand that our city lives up to its promises of zero waste and more urban agriculture.

Onwards and Upwards!

And check out this great piece on the chaos by Jonathan Farrell:

SF evicts one garden to put in another making vulnerable Green Workers unemployed at X-mas


Despite talks with the Mayor and assurances that a true discussion would take place to relocate the ecology center at 780 Frederick Street in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, an eviction notice was served to a manager at the site today, November 29, 2012.  The eviction of this ecology center is obscene and will cause 10 vulnerable GREEN workers to be unemployed at X-mas in one of the worst economies we have seen in our country.  The city that supposedly knows how is demonstrating exactly what they ‘know how’ to do.  Despite the state mandate to provide recycling, despite the need for more recycling centers in SF, despite the laws passed to support Urban Agriculture in the city, despite the 1000’s of letters and postcards sent to the city in support of this vital public service; they have still served an eviction notice while giving the impression to the public, the media and the ecology center that they were working on a relocation plan.

Kezar Gardens is a nonprofit, state mandated, recycling center, native plant nursery, and 51 plot community garden used by hundreds of San Francisco residents, small business owners, and especially the Asian community.  It started as a community effort in the 70’s when there was no place to recycle in San Fran.  Today, despite their obvious benefit and contribution to the community, they are being evicted at the behest of a few loud and privileged people.  The city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to halt this green work that clearly contributes to the zero waste mandate.  This is an obscene act that clearly and openly defies the laws of the land that say a vital public service that cannot be located elsewhere can be housed in a park, that recycling must be provided within a certain distance of grocery stores and businesses selling beverage containers, and that everyone rich and poor has the right to participate in the system in a legal and safe way.

The nation needs to know that San Francisco is not living up to its reputation.  Moreover, when the time comes, embattled Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, recently victorious against an effort by the Mayor to oust him from his post, will be tasked with carrying out the orders.  Will Ross do the right thing?  Will anyone?

Along with the people and services that are set to be evicted from 780 Frederick, there are also the ravens, butterflies, beetles and bees that will also be disrupted.


“This Land Is Too Valuable To Let Poor People Park On It”

Justin Herman, Executive Director of the SF Redevelopment Agency, said this in 1977 to give credibility to the “urban renewal” project in SF that sought to buy up buildings and evict people who were poor, old, black and brown.  In the Fillmore, it was known as the “negro removal” plan and in downtown San Francisco, the International Hotel, of Manila Town, became the center of the movement against ideologies like those of Justin Herman.  The longest eviction battle to date, on the books, for the city, was one result of this movement. The commitment to low-income housing and the fire for social justice in the Asian community was another.  The story of the I-hotel is one of great significance as we enter a more modern era of gentrification in the city.

Even our honorable Mayor Edwin Lee was involved with the fight to save the I-Hotel-anyone who was any kind of an activist was.  It was an obscene and rash approach to try to evict dozens of elderly asian men and women who had called that place their home for so many decades.  Students from SFSU and UC Berkeley protested regularly on behalf of the tenants.  Jim Jones of the People’s Temple brought over 300 of his followers to help build a human blockade against the police on one occasion.  Human fences 7 to 8 people deep were formed every time the Sheriff’s office posted a notice for eviction.

The I-hotel was originally built in 1907 after the great earthquake.  It was part of a neighborhood near Chinatown housing mostly Filipino but also other Asian merchant mariner workers.  For many decades, Asians were prohibited from many normal activities due to their racial difference.  They were not allowed to intermarry with white people or even work at certain jobs.  Asian women were prevented from immigrating before 1965 to discourage breeding in the population. It was quite fine for the Asians to have a place to live together where they weren’t in the way of others.  But, when development took off, as it is always wont to do, the once deemed ghettos of Chinatown, Manila Town and The Fillmore, became hot real estate commodities.  Buildings were sold off and mass evictions were approved in order to tear down existing structures and put high rises and high income property in their place.

From 1968 to 1977, tenants, activists, regular people, politicians, cult leaders, students, teachers and many many others battled Milton Meyer and Company led by business mogul Walter Shorenstein who bought the building in ’68 and immediately began evictions in order to demolish the site and erect a parking structure in its place.  On several occasions eviction notices were posted and the immediate response was massive protest by the activist community.  This type of stand-off garnered a few stays of eviction and solidified a strong commitment to social justice among the Asian American community that still thrives today.  Shorenstein eventually sold the building in a clandestine fashion and the new owner, Four Seas Investment Company, carried on the fight to evict the I-hotel.  Sheriff Richard Hongisto was charged with carrying out the order each time an eviction was imminent.  On one occasion, he refused to and was sent to jail for 5 days.  His noble efforts were usurped by his eventual submission to evict the tenants and the horrendous way in which he eventually did it.  The eviction, caught on film by Curtis Choy, sent a brutal message to the nation about San Francisco and how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.  Choy eventually made a feature film about the struggle: The Fall of the I-Hotel (1983).

The link leads to the trailer for Curtis Choy’s film on the I-Hotel.  He describes the film as an act of witnessing.  Witness for yourself what the look and feel of the people and times were in Manila Town around the I-Hotel.

As the fight continues today to remove peoples of color and those who are economically disadvantaged from our fair city, remember the struggle of the I-Hotel.  Remember the thousands of folks who were activated into the political sphere to help those who could not help themselves.  Remember that no matter what your politics-moderate or progressive or other-it is never a sound idea to make violent and rash actions against those who are only trying to pursue a decent life, a decent amount of liberty and some happiness to go along with it.  And the next time you think the “ghetto” is a bad place to live, remember that some of the strongest community families  and bonds come from places like that.  You would never find thousands of people from across the land linking arms and fighting cops to protect a high-rise or a parking structure.  You would also never find the kind of culture, heritage and community in places like those, as you would in a place like the I-Hotel.  Let’s continue to make room for everyone making a contribution to this city big or small.

And next time you traverse Justin Herman Plaza, remember the kind guy he really was.

Counting Two by Two

When the lights go out in the city.

The recycling guys can’t weigh the goods.

Like last Wednesday down at Market Street.

They were counting cans, two by two.

It took some time and some deep zen focus

But it was still far faster than any Reverse Vending Machine could do for you!

Counting Cans Video by Charlie Lamar at Market Street recycling center.

Prohibition and Recycling have common themes and memes

When Americans tried to control society with a ban on alcohol sales and production, the results were controversial and telling.  We can look back on that effort and learn a lot about what happens when ill-guided morality gets in the way of personal choice and the ability to earn money and survive in a country where opportunity is supposed to be rampant.  People want to be able to choose for themselves whether or not they will drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or marijuana; they want the right to earn money doing things other people may consider egregious or appalling like stripping, selling beer or even recycling.

When folks are stopped from doing things that are morally ambiguous and are easily accomplished in a clandestine way, they will turn to the dark side of the law.  Since people are not often moved by laws anyway, rather by their own personal beliefs, if some mother of five wants a glass of wine at the end of a really long day, she will probably find a way to make that happen.  See the vile of booze tucked into the high heels above!  And, if a community of people understand that desire, they can form whole networks in order to meet the need-laws be damned.

Gangsters, in fact, did take up the cause when Prohibition took effect in the States.  From Al Capone to Bugsy Siegal, there were multi-milliom dollar industries built on black market alcohol production and sales.  Capone’s influence was so massive in Chicago, he had entire townships under his political control and wielded far more power than any law.  Recycling and waster management could easily turn into the same kind of affair.  There are many cities (big and small) across the planet that speak in hushed tones about their garbage collectors.  There’s  a lot of money in trash-it is a billion dollar industry no matter what-but the question is-who gets to take part in this economy?  If we take away legitimate and safe ways to recycle, like state certified recycling centers, the black market will soon ooze in.  The waste won’t go away, the people who try to earn a little income from it won’t go away, someone will try to serve them-and will try to exploit them.

Down at Civic Center, there have already been several reports of a burgeoning black market for recycling.  KTVU and other local news agencies have covered the story.  A small nonprofit had its window smashed overnight just weeks ago; they feel they were attacked for speaking up against black market recycling.  Without a handle on the market value and real incentives for keeping this a regulated, fair, and legitimate system, violence, exploitation and harm may become the norm when it comes to recycling in SF as it has in other towns.  When nonprofits like the Haight Ashbury Council and other organizations for public benefit like Green Streets take the responsibility to help the community handle their waste in a civilized way that improves the health and safety of an area, this work should be recognized so more people can do it.  At HANC, we know most of our customers.  On the black market, they don’t.  At HANC we have rules for conduct, behavior and abide by the state laws for payments on recycled materials-at the black market, they don’t.

No matter what, people will recycle.  Should we cover our eyes and let them sort it out themselves or participate in the process?  Don’t ban recycling from Golden Gate Park or any other place in SF.  The CA Bottle Bill is the single most successful piece of legislature to date that has inspired people to bring back their bottles and cans for a deposit return.  This bill was not written for the garbage companies or the gangsters or the homeowners with the blue bins, this bill was written to hold beverage makers accountable for the waste they create by selling drinks in disposable containers.  That waste is offset through recycling and that recycling happens because there is a deposit on the container.  Uphold the laws that work for all, not for some.  Encourage legal and fair recycling in San Francisco and all over the world.

SF Doc Fest opens this weekend: 780 Frederick sneak peek Saturday

The 11th annual SF Doc Fest kicks off this weekend and runs through Nov 21st.  We are happy to be a part of the fest this year.  Come by the Roxie Theater, Saturday Nov 10th at 12:30pm and take a look at our docu-noir in the making called 780 Frederick.  We will present exclusive clips and host a panel discussion with stakeholders about the process of gentrification in the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood and the battle against the eviction of the only recycling center located in Golden Gate Park.  Take part in the discussion and take part in the history of San Francisco as it happens.  We hope to see you there.


more details are available at the link below.

Mayor Lee wants to beef up recycling throughout the city






Eviction of Golden Gate Park recycling center hits snag; collides with state law

by Thomas K. Pendergast, originally published in the Richmond Review November 2012

After San Francisco ran slap-bang up against a California state law, Mayor Ed Lee and SF Supervisor Christina Olague have been talking about finding a new home for the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council’s (HANC) recycling center in Golden Gate Park.

Meanwhile, the SF Recreation and Park Department (RPD) says it is still planning for HANC’s eviction, and plan to replace it with a community garden.

As the recycling center’s landlord, RPD sent an eviction notice to HANC in June 2011, but then HANC took RPD to court.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled in favor of the RPD’s eviction and the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case in September, effectively upholding the eviction. As of presstime, the SF Sheriff’s office has not received an order to evict, so the recycling center’s immediate future appears to be in limbo.

HANC’s Executive Director Ed Dunn says he discussed alternatives with the mayor’s office and city departments, the RPD and the district’s supervisor, Christina Olague, at a recent meeting at City Hall.

It seems it is not just a simple matter to get rid of the recycling center and leave it at that. The problem is a state law known as the California Bottle Act.

The law requires stores with annual sales of $2 million or more to either buy back the recycled bottles and cans brought to them or pay a $100 fine for each day they fail to do so. The law also establishes a “convenience zone” of a half-mile radius around such stores. Within this zone, all other stores selling cans or bottles must do the same.

They are all exempted from the law if there is a recycling center in the area, like HANC. Once that recycling center is gone, the law will probably go into effect because not far to the east of them is a Whole Foods market and nearby to the west sits Andronico’s market.

Also at the meeting was the executive director of the San Francisco Office of Small Business, Regina Dick-Endrizzi.

“They’re required to provide certified recycling but they could get an exemption if there’s an entity, a certified recycling center, that is in that convenience zone area. Or, they can pay a $100 a day fine,” says Dick-Endrizzi.

Rather than go through the trouble of dealing with homeless people or senior citizens showing up with bags full of bottles and cans every day, taking the latter option might be a better option for large markets.

“There are places that have made the decision that they will pay $100 a day, as opposed to provide the recycling on site,” she explains. “If the supermarket is not providing recycling on site and there isn’t an off-site recycling center, then all stores that sell bottles and cans are required to do buy back.”

She says this has already been a problem with a market and surrounding convenience stores in an area south of Market Street.

“Once the convenience zone was established by this one entity and they did not provide a recycling center and nor was there a recycling center in the half-mile radius, people were coming in (to small markets) with bags, and so that was interfering; their customers purchasing their stuff were having to wait in line while they were dealing with this. It creates a certain amount of business disruption.”

Especially when the “mom and pop stores” started getting letters from the state warning them about the monetary consequences of not complying.

A spokesperson for the mayor confirms he was at the meeting.

“I think the mayor participated in the meeting because he is open to hearing about if there’s a lack of resources available to people out there in the City for recycling opportunities, and to see how HANC could maybe fill that need. He was open to hearing about that,” says Christine Falvey, the mayor’s director of communications and public affairs. “So, he asked his SF Department of Environment to work with HANC to come up with a plan, locations, what the purpose is. … How could we beef up recycling throughout the City?”

Falvey says she was not at the meeting and is not aware of any discussion involving a specific alternative site. Instead, they talked about a mobile model where a recycling service could pick up at different locations, at different times.

“As far as I understand it was a discussion about the more mobile aspects of a program moving forward.”

Falvey also says that because the eviction is essentially a landlord-tenant issue between the RPD and the recycling center, she did not think the department needed the mayor’s approval to proceed with the eviction. To do that, however, either a department head or the city attorney would have to go before a judge, who in turn could order the Sheriff’s Office to post an eviction notice.

A spokesperson for District 5 Supervisor Olague’s office says the supervisor was at the meeting to discuss location options for the recycling center.

“Our office has heard from the majority of the surrounding small businesses that their businesses will suffer significantly with the loss of the very important services HANC provides,” says Stephanie Tucker. “We have also heard from neighbors on both sides of the issue, however, the majority support them relocating and staying in the district. Keeping HANC in District 5 is the sentiment our office has heard throughout our community and is a priority.”

“Another idea that has been brought up and has been very well received, is turning HANC into a mobile recycling center/service, with a set schedule of times and locations. Our goal is to identify solutions that will allow HANC to stay open, relocate and continue to serve our community, as they have done very well since 1974. If anyone knows of any spaces available for HANC, please call HANC or our office.”

The RPD, meanwhile, plans to move a community garden into the space and has already allotted $250,000 for the first phase of the conversion.

“We are continuing our planning efforts for a community garden that will open to the public at the east end of Golden Gate Park,” says Connie Chan, deputy director of public affairs for the RPD.

Chan chose not to comment on whether or not the department would push to evict the recycling center anytime soon, nor did she comment on the involvement of the department in finding an alternative site or if the people with garden plots now located on about a third of the HANC site would get to keep their plots.

Dunn says at this point he is still trying to figure out what the next step should be.

“We haven’t done much yet,” Dunn said. “We’re still waiting to hear whether we’re supposed to be in the driver’s seat to come up with something with the mayor, if the Department of the Environment is supposed to come up with something with the mayor … if all of us together are supposed to come up with stuff; I’m just not exactly sure what the next step is.”

Vote Sexy Style-Decision 2012






It’s pretty sexy to speak your mind and tell people what you really think.  Make sure you strut your sexy side at your local voting booth tomorrow for the big decision 2012 day.  Nov 6th sees not only the conclusion of a heated presidential election, but the fate of several key initiatives in the State of California and city of San Francisco.  Below you will find the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council recommendations for local and statewide initiatives.  We are not able to support individual candidates but we have included a link to the League of Pissed Off Voters guide for Tuesday’s election and they do have opinions on people-as you can see for yourself.

Whatever your heart decides on each of these issues, make sure you memorialize it on a ballot and make sure it’s counted.  Vote sexy!

League of Pissed off Voters Guide to Decision 2012

November Election – HANC Recommends

Local Ballot

Prop. A- City College Parcel Tax                      YES

Prop. B- Park Bond                                             NO

Prop. C- Housing Trust Fund                           YES

Prop. E- Gross Receipts Tax                             YES

Prop. F- Hetch Hetchy Plan                              NO

Prop. G-Oppose Corp. Personhood                 YES

State Ballot

Prop.30 -Gov. Brown’s Tax Plan                      YES

Prop.32- Cuts Union Role in Elections           NO

Prop.33 -Insurance Company Price Plan       NO

Prop.34- Repeals Death Penalty                      YES

Prop.36- Three Stikes only for Violence         YES

Prop.37- Engineered Food Labeling               YES

Prop.38 -Tax Increase ONLY for Ed.              NO

Prop.39- Multi-state business tax                   YES

Vote NO on Prop B Nov 6-We can heal our parks without a blank check for bad leaders with private interests.

Prop B is a $195 million bond for the Recreation and Parks department in San Francisco.  The leadership at Rec and Park would like you to vote to bestow this money upon them with no accountability to how it will be spent.  So, it really comes down to a matter of trust.  Do you trust the leaders in this department to do good things with the money or do you have reservations about the direction Rec and Park is heading?
Aaron Peskin, former Board President, and co-author of the last park bond in 2008, says you should think twice before voting for this one.  At a HANC general meeting last week, Peskin spoke passionately and with great candor about the upcoming park bond and about his work to make sure it does not pass.  NO on Prop B, says Peskin.  Look at the centers that lay unused and empty due to mismanagement of funds right now, look at the dire condition of Coit Tower and the need to pass a measure to protect it from further denigration.  Look at the astro-turf policies that will convert grass to plastic at the west end of Golden Gate Park, and the $7 fee for anyone who is not San Franciscan to enjoy the botanical garden and arboretum that has already been paid for.  Look at the proposal to evict our ecology center, Kezar Gardens, built with revenue from green jobs and recycling and replace it with a different one that will cost $1.5 million dollars of the taxpayer’s money, according to most recent reports.

Take another look at the leadership in our Rec and park department and ask yourself if they are really listening to the needs of the community or just a few well-endowed voices.  Let’s clean up Rec and Park before granting them more public money that is spent on private interests.

No On B Coalition

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION B — Save Our Parks, Stop The Mismanagement of Our Money!

Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods

Committee Against Park Mismanagement

Friends of Ethics

Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance

Good Government Alliance

Haight Asbury Neighborhood Council

Potrero Hill Boosters

Potrero Hill Democratic Club

San Francisco Coalition for Children’s Outdoor Play, Education and Environment

San Francisco Taxpayers Association

San Francisco Tenants Union

San Francisco Tomorrow

Sunset Parkside Education & Action Committee (SPEAK)

Take Back Our Parks

Wild Equity Institute

Former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin (President 2005-2009)

Former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez (President 2003-2005)

Former Board of Supervisors President Quentin Kopp (President 1976-1978, 1982-1983)

The Tenderloin National Forest


Next time you are in the Tenderloin, take a walk through this amazing alley space turned community civic center.  A project over twenty years in the making and an example of what people can do for one another when they get past the fear and the stereotypes.  Congratulations to the Luggage Store on all their efforts, triumphs and obvious success in turning urban blight into urban renewal without gentrification.  We applaud you.

780 Frederick-Get A Sneak Peek at the Movie Nov 10th




Nov 10: 12:30pm at the Roxie Theater on 16th Street in the Mission

A FREE screening and community discussion on the Movie about the Madness at 780 Frederick.  Presented by SF Indie Fest at their 11th Annual Doc Fest, Filmmaker and Producer of this here blog, Soumyaa Kapil Behrens, will screen the short film, My Garbage, My Neighborhood (2010)made before the city led effort to evict the gardens as well as never before seen footage from the upcoming feature docu-noir, 780 Frederick, that documents the now two year long legal, moral and political battle for and against the eviction of one of the oldest recycling centers and gardens from Golden Gate Park.

An open discussion will be held to dialogue about the ongoing situation and all stakeholders are encouraged to attend and voice their opinion and their experience.  See the link below for more information about this special event and to learn more about the SF Indie Fest and its programs.


Dia de Los Gigantes



There’s nothing that brings a city together like baseball and its most coveted prize-the WORLD SERIES.  Today, the SF Giants take on the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the 2012 World Series Championship and what could be game over, if they managed to pull out another win.  The joy of victory is great but the awesome myriad of record breaking hits, back to back shutouts and more give us all an opportunity to take a gander back at history and realize just how rare and unusual this team’s accomplishments are.  And, as we review some of the awesomeness of this series-let’s remember that to get where we are-the Giants had to come back from major deficits in the last two rounds.  Let’s also remember the multiple suspensions and injuries that took major contributors out of the season altogether and let’s take a look back with all that in mind.



The Orioles did it last in 1966 against the LA Dodgers.


There’s been a lot of these but back in 1989-the A’s swept the Giants in a World Series that was interrupted by the big earthquake that broke the Bay Bridge.


There were no home runs in back to back games this year-games 2 and 3.  Last time this happened it was 1996.

Pablo Sandoval joins the short list of home runs in  World Series game, in the company of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujoles.  Go PANDA!

Sandoval hit 3 homers in game 1 and he is 2 hits away from tying the all time most hits in post season record-25-another short list.


To topple the astounding back-to-back shutout of Detroit in the last two games-remember that the Tigers were shutout in their regular season only two times.

Detroit’s own amazing work demonstrates the level of fantastic baseball being played this year.  Heavy hitters Cabrera and Fielder have been stayed to 3 singles total in 19 at bats.

A turning point in yesterday’s game came when Ryan Vogelsong put to rest two Tigers at the plate with the bases loaded.  One of those Tigers was the terrifying Cabrera.

CONSECUTIVE APPEARANCES  (Can’t help but think of next year…)

The 19071908 Cubs, 19211922 Giants and 19751976 Reds are the only National League teams to win back-to-back World Series.

The 1907–1909 Detroit Tigers and the 1911–1913 New York Giants are the only teams to lose three consecutive World Series.

WORLD SERIES DROUGHT (can’t help but be grateful…I’m originally from the north side of Chicago)

The Chicago Cubs hold the record for the longest World Series drought (still active through 2012), with their last title coming in 1908 (104 years). In fact, they also hold the longest drought without a World Series appearance, not having won the NL pennant since 1945. Even had they won the 1945 World Series, they would still hold the longest active World Series championship drought, the second longest being since 1948 by the Cleveland Indians.

Turning the Tides-A Call to Action!

A Call to Action!!

 Help Save Kezar Gardens, HANC Recycling Center and Native Plant Nursery!  At a recent meeting with Mayor Ed Lee and his staff, there was openness to discuss the relocation

of the recycling portion of our site WITHIN DISTRICT 5 and to GRANDFATHER in the nursery and garden plots that already exist at the site.

This is good news.  The news is SO good that our opponents are trying to dissuade the Mayor from this new way of thinking.  We need your help NOW more than ever.

The Mayor needs to hear from people like you who use this center and can articulate how it impacts your life in a positive way.


Please take a few moments to take action NOW.

Email or write a letter to Mayor Ed Lee in support of his openness to relocate the center within District 5 and grandfather the gardens in their current location.  Request to keep this center OPEN until this process is complete to ensure a vital public service is maintained.


You can email the Mayor here:


You can send him a letter here: Mayor Ed Lee

City Hall Room 200

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102


If you have written a letter or postcard of support previously, THANK YOU!  We ask that you reaffirm your support by contacting the Mayor again NOW to respond specifically to his action to look at the relocation potential.

We deeply appreciate the undying support of our community.  Each of you makes a unique contribution to this space and its camaraderie.  Let’s keep the dream alive.  

Around the Garden…Slug Traps + Beer

Look at these poor Brussels Sprouts, victims of the hungry slug.  Let’s make a an old fashioned slug trap!

Step 1: Recycle an old cat food tin or small container from your cupboard or medicine cabinet.

Step 2: Grab a beer.  Most people use bad or cheap stale beer but no harm in giving a slug a good buzz either.

Step 3: Bury or Embed the tin into the dirt.  Try to have the top of the container on the same level as the dirt so your slugs can scoot in with ease.

Step 4: Fill ‘er up!

Step 5: Leave it alone a wait a day or two-when you return there will be a NUMBER of slugs that stopped by for a little beer but drowned in their desire.  A few rounds of this pest control and your organic plants will be back in the business of growing.

Halloween Hootenanny Oct 20!



The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council is a sponsor of this year’s Halloween Hootenanny at Waller and Stanyan Streets.  The council is providing the Sponge Bob Jumpy House.  We hope you and your get a few moments to check out the fun this Saturday, October 20th from 11-4.

Dress up and enjoy the gorgeous Indian summer this Saturday!

Stop by Kezar Gardens on Sunday for a seedling sale and pumpkin carving from 1-4pm as well!

Here’s to gourds of fun this spooky season!


Letters to the Mayor: Chinese Style


Staff member Wei Ze Wu patiently works with this recycling patron to help get his thoughts about the benefit of HANC recycling down on paper.  We are here to help anyone with language or writing difficulties communicate their thoughts to the Mayor.  Please let us know if you need assistance in English, Chinese or any other language!

It is important that we embrace this short relocation reprieve and reinforce to the Mayor the desperate need for recycling services in this area and the unique benefit HANC provides to the recycler. the gardener, the neighborhood, the city and ultimately the world.

Remember our upcoming events!

October 21: Garden Workday with Pumpkin Carving and Special Seedling Sale from 1-4pm

October 24: Workday Wednesday with the Sapce TranSFormers 1-4pm

October 31: Halloween Haunted Garden-take a spooky tour of our delectable gardens!  FREE

November 10: SF DOC FEST at the Roxie Theater (16th Street & Valencia) Film Screening and Community Discussion.  780 Frederick: the struggle for recycling and community gardens in SF.   12:30pm FREE

Pumpkin Carving and Seedling Sale Oct 21

OCTOBER 21: 1-4pm

Community Garden Workday with Pumpkin Carving and special Seedling Sale! (pumpkins, stencils and tools provided)

We may not have the oomph to produce pumpkins with human faces like the farmer in the story above from 1938, but we can certainly get a small jack-o-lantern army together over a sunny afternoon!  This Sunday, we will have our regularly scheduled garden workday with some delightful accouterments.  You can carve a pumpkin in the yard for the upcoming Halloween Haunted Garden on Oct 31.  Filmmaker, Kristi Stephens Adams, will hold a seedling sale for her new film, From the Ground Up, that explores San Francisco’s Victory gardens and others to illuminate the culture of growing our own food in urban areas.  There is also work by the Space TranSFormers to check out- a greenhouse in the making, a rain catchment system, and new community food growing plots all planted away!

The weather looks appealing and there will be mulch, mulch fun to take part in this weekend.  Stop by Kezar Gardens and say Hi!  We are not evicted yet.

The upcoming documentary From the Ground Up provides an inspiring look at gardeners in three cities, juxtaposing these modern urban farmers with the original Victory Gardeners who during WWI and WWII grew food in backyards, on balconies, any wherever they could.  At their peak, these gardeners yielded 40% of the produce consumed in the US. Today a Sacramento teacher and her young sons “take on City Hall” to fight for their front yard vegetable garden; a team of San Francisco artists planting a modern day Civic Center Victory Garden and redefining the use of urban green space; Puerto Rican migrants in Massachusetts work to elevate their quality of life by growing vegetables in once vacant lots. By creating a documentary and other media with opportunities to participate, From the Ground Up seeks to inspire people to grow a small bit of their own food then share it, creating a tangible way to connect to their local food system, strengthening their communities and economies.

We are having a seedling sale to encourage and meet local urban farmers while raising some funds for our post-production costs.

Garden Eviction Update by Ed Dunn

Executive Director of Kezar Gardens, Ed Dunn, gives an update on the eviction crisis at the general HANC member meeting October 11, 2012.

Recycled Greenhouse starts to take shape


We never tire of making things better here at Kezar Gardens.  No matter how dire our situation may seem, we always find a way to grow and build stronger bonds with the communities we serve.  One of our recent collaborations has been with the activist group, The Space TranSFormers, who have begun garden improvement work on Wednesdays.  Last week they built a rain catchment system (just in time 😉 and this week work began on a new (recycled) greenhouse.

The community gardeners have also made changes.  Two garden plots were approved for community food growth.  Plot 11 and Plot 4 have had their soil reconditioned last week.  Plot 11 has also been planted with Swiss Chard, Carrots, Cucumbers, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Scallions.  Stop by and check on the growth in coming weeks as the seeds mature into starts!

Today’s video shows the new communal food bed and beginning work on the greenhouse to come.  Enjoy!

October 21 is our next Garden Workday from 1-4pm.  We need volunteers to help replant the vertical garden areas as well as the hanging gardens.  Bring your work gloves and dig-in next Sunday.

Stay tuned for info on our next special event on HALLOWEEN!



What an amazing weekend it was-fleet week, THE GIANTS, the A’s, the Castro Street Fair, Italian Heritage Parade and the most awesome event of them all-The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  A free, three day, multi-stage, concert that spans Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park.  The line-up included Patti Smith, Head and Heart, the Cowboy Junkies, the Chieftains and many many more delights.  It was a bring your own everything kind of deal and even the hardcore recyclers had fun grooving to the tunes as they helped in the effort yo recycle.

Though recycling was available at the festival, the numbers of bottles and cans quickly overwhelmed the receptacles.  The volunteers worked hard and they were helped out by the street collectors who gathered much of the debris.  It would be amazing if there could be recycling buyback during an event like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.  People could hand over their collections for cash and continue to help keep the park clean during a major event.

It would also be amazing for the recycling process to be demonstrated as a part of the fabric of major events in our public spaces.  When we connect environmental acts like recycling to people rather than receptacles or bins, we have a more profound impact on people who participate.  It also creates opportunity for dialogue about important issues like recycling and bluegrass to happen all in one place.

It was lovely to see these hardworking street recyclers enjoy the music while protecting their stash.  Many patrons looked to them to turn over their bottles and cans instead of the overflowing and unmanned bins put out for the event.  Go figure.

Sign our Petition NOW to Save Kezar Gardens!

The folks at contacted us recently about starting a petition for Kezar Gardens and HANC recycling center.  They helped us put together this new ask and vowed to use their tools to highlight this issue and spread the word on this very important issue.

Thanks to Jade and Sydney at Causes for helping make this happen!!

Use the link below to sign the petition NOW!  You need to have a Facebook ID or create one in order to sign.



Our goal is to reach the local community as well as bring this story to a larger national audience.  We want to accumulate 10,000 signatures by December 3rd, 2012-the two year anniversary of the eviction battle.  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stand up for Kezar Gardens these past two years-we would not be here now if not for you.

Onwards and Upwards!

Butterflies and Ravens

We are still in operation at 780 Frederick after an eviction scare this week.  Please stay tuned to the blog for further developments on the eviction status.

Robbie and Regina, the local ravens that live at the gardens,  just had some babies.  If there’s a fresh pile of compost or someone leaves out the cat food, you will see them lingering around the yard on the dirt mounds.  They would really miss all the people they see and interact with on a daily basis if this place was gone.

And, since we put in all those community gardens, the butterflies just cannot stay away.  Any given morning, you can stroll through the rows of raised beds and encounter all kinds of delicate fluttery things.  Recently, several  yellow anise swallowtails have been spotted-big and brave-gliding through the flowers.

We are happy these enchanting creatures feel at home here amongst the recyclers and the staff.  Here’s to keeping the peace and keeping the place habitable for all the creatures we find on this earth, those with their heads in the clouds and those firmly planted on earth.



Workday Wednesday: “Just a Box of Rain”


Come on down today and help out the Space TranSFormers add ecological grandeur to Kezar Gardens.  The Space TranSFormers held the fantastic Human Be-In event here a couple weeks ago and have recently committed to working as a group in the gardens every Wednesday starting around 3pm.

For more information:

Thanks to them for helping beautify our community green spaces!  We will document their work and ideas and bring them to you in future blog posts-stay tuned!

Today’s eco project is a rain catchment system.  This is a gutter and barrel based project that collects rain in a gutter and drips it into barrels beneath.  This water can then be used to irrigate or water the gardens.  It recycles, reuses and reduces all at the same time.   It’s just a “Box of Rain”




So far, so good…no eviction notice YET

In the 2 years long legal battle to keep our recycling, garden and native plant center alive, we have bought months, weeks, and now we buy days, even moments.  Last week, our Lawyer told us to expect an eviction posting by Thursday, Sept 26, at the latest.  We watched and we waited and we galvanized the community and the notice did not come.

It is customary for a Sheriff’s eviction to post notice 5-6 days before attempting to evict.  We really don’t know why we were spared this week but we are trying to find out.  With the help of Supervisor Olague and her staff, we have made a plan to create a future everyone can live with.

Will it work out?  Time will tell many tales, for now, just hope for the best.  We are counting on you Supervisor Olague-help us all find a solution to keep this community resource viable!  Thank you and everyone in this community for your unwavering support!



Our lawyer says we should expect the Sheriff to evict us from 780 Frederick next week.  Bad news.  We are having a rally and picnic this Sunday to defend and celebrate our ecology center.  PLEASE JOIN US!

This event is FREE.  There will be gardening, FOOD, speakers and a special gardeners meeting.

Festivities begin at NOON

Special Gardeners Meeting at 2PM

Voice your support, show your self, and help keep this unique ecological center in tact.  SUNDAY SEPT 30 NOON-4pm.


District 5 Candidates Duke It Out Debate Style

The race for D5 Supervisor is getting hot.  With eight candidates in the race, the attacks and criticisms are flying.   In case you don’t know who all is running-here is the breakdown.

Incumbent Christina Olague defends her position as the current District 5 Supervisor.

Julian Davis, Hope Wilson, David Everett, Andrew Resignato, London Breed and John Rizzo each would like to take her place.

At last weeks debate in the Fillmore, the candidates presented and prodded one another in hopes to sway the crowd of over 300 people.  Tim Redmond of the SF Bay Guardian moderated and there was a gong for people who talked too long.  Today’s video presents some policy related excerpts from that event.  It includes opinions on 8 Washington, Shell oil and SF Clean Energy, CCSF, the Sunshine Task Force along with other pressing social issues of District 5.





The Endeavor Spaceship over San Francisco


To ENDEAVOR is to strive to attain a hard to reach goal.  An appropriate title for a space ship.  Today, the retired NASA vehicle graced our skies with a wondrous site-flying over the city and past the Golden Gate Bridge atop a 747 aircraft.  Did you see it?  I happened to glance up in the sky on my walk to work and there it was-gliding across the horizon.  And, everywhere, there were people, on rooftops, on hills and other high points, gathering to take in the awesome and bizarre sight.

A nice start to the weekend!  I hope it is sign of more phenomenal things to come.

We will be back next week with footage from the recent District 5 Supervisor debate.  With eight candidates in the running, the conversations were pretty hot and the ranked choice voting puts a lot of variance into play as the people decide who to choose as first, second and third.  We will also be launching a new campaign with to petition the Mayor to stop the eviction of Kezar Gardens and HANC recycling center-an ENDEAVOR of its own, for sure.  Thanks to everyone who voted for our place as their favorite in the neighborhood on  We won the initiative with over 40 votes-three times more than the wiggle!  Hopefully, the Mayor will review this feedback as well!


Onwards and Upwards!


Peaceful Protest in form of Human Be-In at Kezar Gardens

Last Friday, an activist group took over our site at 780 Frederick and transformed it into a space of peaceful protest and community gathering.  The event had music from the Classical Revolution, the Interstellar Transmissions and many other bands and performance artist.  There was yoga.  There was meditation.  There was a seed library and teach-in workshops on ecology, self reliance and the fate of urban agriculture in our city today.  Even the cops and the park rangers swung by a few times, partly to make their presence known, but also to feast their eyes on the goings-on in the garden.

At nightfall, the music died down to  un-amplified drumbeats and a makeshift screen drew everyone’s attention with videos and dialogue about community togetherness.  No tents were pitched, but many folks spent the night in the gardens,on the mulch, under the stars.  The next day, after breakfast in the Kezar Triangle, they cleaned up, gathered their things and headed across the park, nomad style.

Thanks for sticking up for us-Space TranSFormers-come back anytime.  Hopefully, we will still be here to welcome you.

Human Be-In Then and Now

Sit down with Diamond Dave and Soumyaa Kapil Behrens as they discuss the history of the Hippie Revolution and the first Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park in 1967 on Mutiny Radio.  Diamond Dave was there, at the start of the movement, and will be streaming his show on Mutiny Radio live from the event this weekend.

The Human Be-In kicked off as a “gathering of the tribes” in January of 1967.  This weekend, it will be re-created by a group called the Space TranSFormers.  They hope to raise awareness about the outrageous eviction of Kezar Gardens, the redevelopment plan for Hayes Valley Farm and the removal of the Free Farm in San Francisco. They will openly protest the leadership of the Recreation and Parks Department, namely Phil Ginsburg who has been heavily criticized for pandering to private interests regarding park land governance.

Back in 67, Allen Ginsberg was a beat-nick leader in the movement to live freely, humanely, creatively and passionately; today Phil Ginsburg reasserts that name into a symbol of corruption, power politics, and privatization.  So, if you are going to San Francisco this weekend, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair and and write your lawyer’s number in the pages of your copy of HOWL.  In this Ginsberg v Ginsburg battle of ideology, don’t expect anyone to play fair.  Will love and inclusiveness conquer all?  Or, will it finally be trampled down by hate and exclusive societies who do not care to share?

The conversation goes on all weekend.  Kick off the dialogue with the local band Classical Revolution 3pm Friday September 14th at ground zero: 780 Frederick Street.  Make some love, make some community, make some gardens, and make some history while you are at it.

For more information including schedules:

South Central Community Garden Wake-Up Call


The documentary film tells the story of the largest urban garden in the United States located in South Central LA.  Over a dozen acres of land was given to the community to grow their own food and that’s just what they did.  From 1994-2006 this parcel thrived, spreading health, joy and community bonds to everyone who encountered it.

But, a viscous land battle between the city of LA and the previous owners resulted in a back door sale of the parcel and the garden was ultimately evicted.  The film tells their story and includes the likes of Darryl Hannah, who was arrested for civil disobedience at the South Central Garden.  It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 as well.  The trailer, posted above, gives a great sense of the dramatic relationship between the common gardener and the heavy had of politics and corruption.

What you won’t see in the film is where things are at now.  After taking back the 14 acre community garden, the owners attempted to build a Forever 21 warehouse but failed.  The lot, currently, in 2012, sits vacant and empty.

The  story of South Central garden is a foreboding message to all those who have community gardens in urban settings.  The competition of the money hungry developers and land owners always eventually comes into play no matter how big, how great, how vast the community’s garden may be.  As we fight to save Kezar Gardens, the plight of South Central makes it even more urgent to solidify our place here in Golden Gate Park.  While our comrades like Hayes Valley Farm and the Free Farm are located on lands always sited for development, Kezar Gardens is on land that will never face that challenge.  There will never be condos or a Whole Foods or a Forever 21 warehouse at 780 Frederick Street.  That land is zoned for public use.  And, it is the right kind of land to have an ecology center like ours because of that fact.


We cannot count on the kindness of developers to give sanctuary to our burgeoning urban ecology centers.  City parks must be the safe havens for urban gardens, the protectors of ecology programs and the champions for people who take charge of their health and well being by participating in the environmental movement.   Through gardening, habitat restoration, recycling, composting and engaging one another in free and public spaces that reflect unity rather than segregation and disparity, we can create a small utopia in Golden Gate Park together.  Save Kezar Gardens-don’t let our future be an expensive empty lot they say they are going to do something with.  Don’t let them bulldoze this garden to erect another one more expensive and not yet paid for.  There is plenty of land in Golden Gate Park to house a dozen community gardens.  Demand that urban ecology centers be written in to the Golden Gate Park Master Plan and demand that more community gardens, not less, be open and available in Golden Gate Park and other city parks in San Francisco.

Take Action!

How can you help save Kezar Gardens, let me count the ways…

1.  Vote for our site on under the challenge “What is your favorite thing in your neighborhood?”

2.  Print out a postcard off our SAVE KEZAR GARDENS page and send it to Mayor Edwin Lee.

3.  Stop by and say hi, share your story with us, enjoy the gorgeous gardens in bloom.

4.  Tell people you know about this problem-express your concerns-spread the word

5.  Ask reporters, TV stations and other media outlets to cover this story and get the important facts out there.

CVIA wants to roll back the Summer of Love

John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas wrote this most famous song about San Francisco and it was heard for the first time at the Monterey Pop Festival back in 1967.  Scott McKenzie sang it.
“If you’re going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…
If you’re going to San Francisco,
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there.”

Bob Weir, of the Grateful Dead, describes the time of the Summer of Love like this:

“Haight Ashbury was a ghetto of bohemians who wanted to do anything—and we did but I don’t think it has happened since. Yes there was LSD. But Haight Ashbury was not about drugs. It was about exploration, finding new ways of expression, being aware of one’s existence.”


These were the reasons people, in droves and droves, flocked to our city way back then and, now, to this very day.  It makes sense why people who participate in counterculture would want to find their way to the place it all began-way back when.

What doesn’t make sense is why the people of the Cole Valley Improvement Association came here.  In studying their website and their version of the hippie movement, the summer of love and the idea of finding “new ways of expression”, don’t mean much to them.  In fact, they find that whole idea detrimental to their desires: raising home values, cleaning the streets of people who appear poor, and eliminating services that serve those who are underprivileged.

You don’t have to take my word for it, either.  Pasted below is an excerpt from their website denoting their values for all to see.  Often, to articulate what those values are, they abase those who are in their way and not like-minded.  My analysis of their raison d’etre concludes that antagonism of others has been a way to unite people in their group.  Would you join a group that was formed solely to antagonize people they disagreed with?  Is that in the spirit of San Francisco?

I know that’s not why I came here-I just wonder about them.

It’s significant to note that the average cost of renting a single family home in SF is now about $3500/month.  Buying one is usually a million dollar proposition.  I’m not seeing the empirical evidence that the public services and the poor people and the drugs are any competition for that.

In my opinion, the CVIA is lucky to live in a place where people like them continue to be included by people like us.  If we were forced to play by their rules, it hardly seems the same courtesy would be returned.  But, now, as always, we welcome the CVIA to our family, and we remain willing to work with them to improve and resolve the issues of this neighborhood.  Our door is open.  Will they walk through it?

So far-no dice.  They would rather exclude people than find a way to share a neighborhood with them.

I get it.  Inclusion is hard and it takes practice.  Exclusion has always been an easy tool, often practiced, and accessible to all carnations of humanity.  I think that’s why the Summer of Love happened in the first place.

Which will you choose?

The article below appears on the Cole Valley Improvement Association website.
 A Brief History of Cole Valley Improvement Association
The Cole Valley improvement Association evolved from a neighborhood SAFE block group that started on Cole Street in 1987. The SAFE group members quickly found that they had common interests beyond Cole Street as the neighborhood was experiencing increasing frequency of drug sales and camping in the Panhandle and the Stanyan Street entrance to the park (Alvord Lake). The droves of young people wanting to relive the Summer of Love brought, and continue to bring, special problems such as sidewalk obstruction, sleeping in doorways and more drug trade. At the same time, as an increasing number of old flats were being converted into social services-following the path set by the nine venues of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics-there were fewer families with vested interests in the neighborhood.
CVIA took a very public and forceful position in January of 1988 when Mayor Art Agnos, in violation of a city ordinance, permitted individuals to sleep in vehicles parked on the streets bordering the Panhandle and Kezar Stadium. The mayor’s decision resulted in an influx of car campers. With no public toilets, driveways became the solution. As we met with members of the Board of Supervisors, pushed for television coverage of the issue and organized a letter writing and telephone campaign–we succeeded in convincing the mayor that this was a bad idea and he retreated. As a result, scores of Haight families joined CVIA, expanding our membership far beyond Cole Valley.

Although we are a resident group and are active members of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (we supplied a president for two years, 1995-97), we never forget how important a healthy commercial district is. In the seventies, Haight Street was a dead zone of boarded-up buildings. Banks red-lined the neighborhood and it was difficult for home buyers to secure a loan. It was a long road back and we no longer frown on businesses that are not “neighborhood serving,” realizing that times have changed. So, although we do not want an influx of chain stores, we do want to support our merchants in keeping shoppers coming to the greater Haight. Having said that, one of our greatest dangers is that we will become an entertainment venue and those kinds of expansions in operating permits-both in restaurants and bars-we watch very closely.

Once in a Blue Moon: Tosca Cafe, CW Nevius, and US


Not an entirely scientific occurrence, blue moons refer mostly to the second full moon that occurs within the same month.  The idea took hold when a journal misunderstood the initial meaning and reported the error so widely it was assumed true.  Originally, a blue moon referred to the third moon in a four moon growing cycle created by farmers in Maine.  It is also not usually blue.  Blue colored moons can occur if there is enough particulate matter in the atmosphere, like after a volcanic eruption.  The blue moon has also been romanticized via the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, and sentimentalized as a time for lost or estranged lovers to miss one another and pine away in film, literature and art.

The colloquial phrase refers to something one does not do very often, literally, about once every 2.7 years or so.  What  kinds of things do you do every 2.7  years, or so?   Smoke a cigarette, clean out your closet, get a family portrait?  How about making peace with an enemy?

Tim Redmond of the SF Bay Guardian appears to be suggesting just that.  In his regular blurb aptly titled, “WTF, Chuck?”, he takes to task one of San Francisco’s most notorious columnists, CW Nevius, and his often inciting pieces.  This week, Redmond gives Chuck a call to action to do something once-in-a-blue-moon style, and give the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center the same benefit of history he has bestowed upon the little north beach bar, Tosca Cafe.   Famous for their hot chocolate brandy and regular patronage by the film community, the cafe was just served with a 30 day eviction notice for back rent owed.  Tosca Cafe is the third oldest saloon in the city; the Haight Ashbury Recycling Center is the second oldest of its kind, too.

Consider Chuck’s own comments on this sort of preservation when it comes to Tosca Cafe:

“People are reportedly warning Forbes not to mess with Tosca. Putting in a strip club is one thing. Evicting an institution is another. You’ll still get a nice sum in rent and you won’t incur the wrath of the city’s famously combative true believers.

That’s good advice.”  says Nevius in closing his latest article.

How about it Chuck?  Why not make peace with the recycling center and be the hero of this whole thing?  Then we can make a movie about it and toast at Tosca Cafe.   Stranger things have happened-once in a blue moon.

The link below will take you to the CW Nevius Article on the eviction of Tosca Cafe

The Remnants of Pyramid Top Recycling


Maybe you have seen some of the older trash cans around the city and certainly in the upper Haight, with triangular pyramid shaped tops that act as a basket for bottles and cans.  Do you know this trash can design was made to encourage casual street recycling?  What is now being labeled a threat, scavenging CRV recycling from innocent trash bins, was once encouraged.  In fact, our city and many others, invested in these designs in the hopes that initially separating recyclables from trash using the pyramid system would deter a leftover mess and make it easier for those who picked-to continue picking.



Another strange new urban manifestation in the world of recycling is Recology’s lost income from recycling theft.  Did you know that most recycling collected “illegally” ends up in Recology’s hands?  They operate the biggest buyback center in the city, too.  Here at our recycling center, we often sell our goods to Recology after collecting at our site.  Additionally, if you look at the energy costs of curbside service, you will find the expense approximately four times more to pick up a can than to have it brought in to their facility.  Empirically, Recology would make more money if everyone brought their recycling to buyback centers rather than had it collected through curbside-which is more of a luxurious option.




Mitch Reed is an eco friendly trash can designer.  His Moss Beach company, Eco-Pop, has been widely recognized for their ingenuity in designing recycling receptacles that are practical and reflect a pop culture aesthetic.  In 1995, his pyramid top trash can was on fire.  Berkeley invested in hundreds and so did San Francisco.  The thinking at that time was a little different.  People collectively thought that they couldn’t and did not want to invest in stopping scavengers from picking cans and bottles.  They did want to stop the messiness that could surround it when the recycling was hard to get to.  Reed’s design seemed to answer the call-initiating a sorting process from the top making it easy to pick and easy to keep recycling from contaminating the trash.  See the article from Waste and Recycling News at the end of the blog for some perspective on how this issue was viewed back then.  And next time you head over the City Hall-pay attention to all the pyramid top bins that line Van Ness Street.  To learn more about Mitch Reed’s company go to:




  • May 29, 1995
  • By Clare Goldsberry

BERKELEY, CALIF. – When it comes to recycling, the city of Berkeley is using the power of the pyramid as a means to save money and deal with scavengers. The city has doubled its order to 240 units of an easily accesible recycling container, the Pyramid-Top. The containers, costing about $300 each, plus installation, perch on top of public trash receptacles and allow scavengers to take the recyclables-a compromise solution to a standing problem.

Using the units can save the city as much as $200,000 in annual collection costs, said Jim Liljenwall, Berkeley’s former recycling program manager and now a principal of Planetera, a recycling consulting and marketing firm in Santa Fe, N.M.

He estimated the savings based on the cost of a crew and equipment servicing the city’s recycling containers during a 40-hour work week. Berkeley has about 500 containers.

Pyramid-Tops, made from post-consumer recycled aluminum, are easy to recognize, helping passersby to remember to throw in only recyclables, while discarding their trash in the main receptacle below.

Furthermore, the recyclables are easily accessible, allowing scavengers to take the items to redeem on their own. Previous attempts to prevent scavenging by locking trash containers only resulted in the containers being destroyed and trash littering the streets.

“People go through trash cans and scatter litter, and we didn’t want that,” said Nancy Skinner, a former Berkeley City Council member now serving on the Alameda County recycling board. “And we didn’t want to have to use police resources to ensure that didn’t happen.”

Mitch Reid, owner of Pyramid-Top maker Eco-Pop Designs of San Francisco, has been active in recycling for 10 years, designing trash containers that promote recycling.

San Francisco now is testing the Pyramid-Top in its Mission District, Reid said.

Plans are under way to market and sell the Pyramid-Tops to other cities, especially in states with bottle bills, Liljenwall said. “There’s more incentive to take the recyclables and redeem them in places that have a bottle bill.”


Hunka Hunka Burning Man Love

<p><a href=”″>Oh, the Places You’ll Go at Burning Man!</a> from <a href=””>Parker Howell</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>



If you are reading this blog, you are probably not at Burning Man this year.  Oh, the places you’ll go, do not include the vast Black Rock Desert village in Nevada that hosts the biggest, baddest, most imaginative gathering on planet earth.  Burning Man was not always a dry desert affair, the event actually started on San Francisco’s own Baker Beach.

As it grew in popularity and steam, it morphed and moved out to Nevada as well.  It got some rules and regulations and it got huge.  Back in the day, Burning Man was a free event, today tickets cost up to 400 bucks or more.  Speaking of stats, there were 20 crazy cats at the first Burning Man in 1986, while this year the cap was controversially set at 60,900 crazy cats.

So, if you’ve never been, you probably wonder what all goes on out there.  This year you can watch the festivities from the Burning Man live ustream cam and they made this cool video, in the calm before the storm, illuminating, among other things, oh, the places you’ll go…

Enjoy!  Safe travels and exotic adventures to each an every one of those 60,900 crazy cats out in Black Rock Desert this week.  I’ll be burning something this weekend, too, just for you.

These are the kinds of automotive vehicles you will find at BM-the rest are banned.