Posts tagged ‘city hall politics’

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.

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. mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

Please send a copy of your letter to us for our records as well at  hancrecycling@gmail.com

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

#StopKezarEviction

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

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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.

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Keep Calm and Recycle On

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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