Posts from the ‘Native Plants’ Category

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

pinocchio

 

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.

peoplespeakkarma

 

 

 

 

 

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

Loewenberg

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

recycleOn

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 mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

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: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/338043

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

SEEING RED IN THE GREEN CITY

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.

 

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: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

 

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.  

Sign our Petition NOW to Save Kezar Gardens!

The folks at Causes.com 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.

http://www.causes.com/causes/796168-kezar-gardens-ecology-center/actions/1690478

 

 


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.