Posts from the ‘Stop the Eviction’ Category

Domino Theory Proven

Domino Theory Proven by Ed Dunn

Domino-Theory

 

 

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 moveon.org  click the below.

SIGN THE PETITION

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.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=8946995

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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.

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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.

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:  http://www.sfgov3.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=2450

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.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=8693457

#StopKezarEviction

#HaveAHeart

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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.

#StopKezarEviction

#HaveAHeart

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Getting rid of Homeless means getting rid of Veterans

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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!

RALLY: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, NOON, CITY HALL STEPS

Sponsored by: Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council

RallyRecycling

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.

Celsius&Beyond