Commission approves soccer project but pushes the city to restore habitat

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Artist rendering of the artificial turf soccer fields the city will build at the west end of Golden Gate Park.

The California Coastal Commission today upheld San Francisco’s plan to replace the Beach Chalet grass soccer fields at the west end of Golden Gate Park with artificial turf and high stadium lights after an emotional five-hour hearing, but not before voicing concerns about the loss of natural terrain and urging the city to do wildlife habitat restoration work on adjacent land.

The soccer project has been repeatedly approved by city agencies despite strong opposition from some neighbors and environmentalists, who say it conflicts with a Local Coastal Plan that calls for it to be a “naturalistic” setting. Their appeal to the commission -- which enforces the California Coastal Act of 1976 and regulates development in the coastal zone statewide -- was supported by commission staff, giving hope to opponents.  

But the dearth of playing fields in the city and bad conditions on this often soggy, gopher-ridden site drove the local approvals of the project, and advocates for soccer and youth dominated public testimony at today’s hearing, which was held in San Rafael. Supportive speakers made arguments ranging from the exodus of families from the city to the need to combat youth obesity and diabetes to concerns that the woods surrounding the field is now “a fornication playground for gay men, it’s a shooting gallery for drug users, and it’s a toilet for the homeless,” all ills they say the turf and lights will help dispel.    

“I urge you to reject the appeal and allow San Francisco to manage our park system,” Sup. Scott Wiener testified to the commission, adding, “San Francisco has a crisis in that we are losing our families and losing our children.”

Former Sup. Aaron Peskin took the opposite position, calling the commission’s staff report “well-reasoned” and telling commissioners they have an obligation to protect coastal areas on behalf of all Californians: “It is the role of the commission not to succumb to political pressure.”

After public testimony and before a lunch break when he needed to leave, Commissioner Steve Blank made a motion to adopt staff recommendations and deny the city’s project, rejecting the various arguments made by supporters as irrelevant to whether this project complied with the Coastal Act and should be built so close to the ocean.

“Our review is based on the needs of 38 million Californians. One of the reasons our coastline looks the way is does is because of this commission,” Blank said, later adding, “This project looks like an industrial sports facility which is the antithesis of a naturalistic setting.”

He acknowledged arguments that the site has been soccer fields for more than 60 years and that many San Franciscans want them there. But he analogized it to the city’s one-time embrace of the Embarcadero Freeway before decades later realizing it wasn’t an appropriate waterfront use and tearing it down.

After a lunch break, the commissioner who seconded his motion, Esther Sanchez, continued Blank’s arguments against the project. “Our purview is different than the city and county of San Francisco,” she said. The commission’s role is ensuring compliance with the Coastal Act and LCP -- which was developed by the city and approved by the commission decades ago -- and its call to “emphasize naturalistic land use qualities of the western part of the park for visitor use,” saying the city should use other parks if it wants artificial turf fields.

But Commissioner Steven Kinsey called for the commission to defer to the city process and argued that turf and lights don’t necessarily violate the vague language in the LCP. “Grass alone does not make the site naturalistic,” Kinsey said, making a motion to approve the city’s project.

Commissioner Martha McClure then strongly sided sided with Kinsey and the city, and Commissioners Robert Garcia and Wendy Mitchell followed suit, saying how they personally liked turf more than grass. “It’s great for the environment, it’s water reducing, it stays green,” Mitchell said, noting that she’s replacing the lawn at her Southern California home with turf, calling the staff report “arrogant,” and saying, “I’m disappointed that we’re hearing this item.”

Garcia said the project will improve the public’s access to the coastal zone, which is something the Coastal Act also encourages.

“Artificial turf has become a savior for us, we can keep all our fields in play,” Commissioner Carole Groom, a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, later said, making her the fifth solid vote for the city’s project.

That left four swing votes on this 11-member commission who all said this was a difficult decision. They were inclined to let the project go through, but they were bothered by converting seven acres of real grass to artificial turf and wanted to mitigate that loss of wildlife habitat.

Chair Mary Shallenberger took issue with Mitchell’s comments. “I think they is absolutely properly before us,” she said. “This is how the process is supposed to work. Staff ended their presentation by saying this is a judgment call,” commending project opponents for filing the appeal.

“This was a very hard one for me,” Commissioner Dayna Bochco said, raising doubts that “seven acres of plastic would be a natural and healtful condition.”

Commissioner Jana Zimmer shared the concern and seized on a comment that SF Recreation and Parks Director Phil Ginsburg made earlier expressing a desire to restore as a naturalistic setting a long-neglected four-acre site next to Beach Chalet that used to be the city’s old wastewater treatment plant, noting that $6.5 million in the city’s last parks bond was set aside for habitat restoration in Golden Gate Park.

“I’d like to find a way to link the finding here to that requirement,” Zimmer said, asking Ginsburg whether he could make that commitment.

Ginsburg said that would be the top staff recommendation for the bond money, but that a public process and environmental review would be needed and he couldn’t make the commitment.

“I do believe mitigation is required here,” Bochco said. “We’re taking away seven acres of habitat and I want it replaced with something.”

A majority of commissioners, those for and against the project, strongly urged Ginsburg to follow-through on his pledge to pursue habitat restoration on the adjacent site. But with concerns expressed about tying the two projects together -- which raised both legal and local control issues -- the motion to do so failed on a 5-6 vote.

With Ginsburg’s pledge and the writing on the wall, the commission then voted unanimously to approve the project, clearing the way for the city to break ground as early as this summer.

Comments

I listened to some of the hearing online and thought:

1. Geezus, this project would get approved in a day in most states. Only in California would you have this many hearings and debates at the local level only to have it appealed to a state agency with 11 commissioners who could overrule all that work. How much administrative and quasi-judicial review do you need.

2. I don't know much about this Phil Ginsburg guy, though I know some say he's trying to privatize too much stuff. In any event, he was a good advocate for his side.

3. That commissioner Steve Kinsey seemed like the voice of reason. The guy is from West Marin County -- where environmentalism is taken seriously -- and he didn't have a problem with some soccer fields.

Posted by The Commish on May. 09, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

It should concern u that a City policy document can be ignored and violated by those in power. The policy document I refer to is the Golden Gate Park Master Plan - this project violates the text and the spirit of that document.

Here's two examples of text from the GGPMP that shows quite clearly that this project violates the GGPMP:

(go here to read it: "sfrecpark.org/GGPMasterPlan.aspx")

example 1: (“Utilities and Infrastructure” link - pg 9-5) “Lighting is for safety purposes and is not intended to increase night use.”

Yet the whole purpose of the 60 foot high lights is to increase night use so there's one obvious violation of the GGPMP

example 2: (“Objectives and Policies” link - pg 3-11) “The principles of “sustainable landscape” should be applied to management practices, landscape design, plant selection, and irrigation methods.”

Nothing sustainable about replacing natural grass and soil with 8 acres of dead plastic turf and 600,000 lbs of toxic tire particles.

This was an example of a small group of people, starting with the late Republican billionaire Donald Fisher - the one who pushed for this in the first place, Gavin Newsom - who Fisher supported politically and financially and thus whom Newsom would do favors for as he did in pushing for this project, and Phil Ginsburg - then mayor Newsom's Chief of Staff who Newsom appointed to be the Rec & Park GM despite Ginsburg having no experience with any park or environmental organization or Rec & Park. Mark Buell should probably be in there too.

They had to trample over and ignore the text and spirit of the governing document for GGP, the GGP Master Plan, all the while lying big time by saying the project was consistent with it.

It should scare you that laws and policy documents can be ignored when those in power want to. That's what corrupt governments do. The GGPMP was a democratic document since it took 10 years to make (was finished in 1998) with lots of citizen involvement - the reason it took 10 years to finish.

That democratic document was laughed at and ignored in ramroding this transformation of GGP through. Yes that's the way totalitarian govts work - they ignore laws they don't like and do whatever the hell they like.

At the very least, this thing should have been put before the voters. But Ginsburg was frightened to do that and when asked to do that, said it wasn't necessary. He knew it would probably have been defeated. The HUGE mistake the opponents of this made was in not getting it on the ballot and instead, thinking the supes would do the right thing, when all the supes care about is the next election and kissing ass to those with the most money, and getting good with the big politicos like Newsom and Ginsburg.

Anyone who fears govt getting too powerful should be frightened at the awesome display of govt power in this case. If you're in favor of the process that was used in this case, you're a supporter of totalitarian govts as long as they're on your side.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

Enough with the conspiracy theories. You really think "Republican billionaire Donald Fisher", Newsom, Ginsburg et al. have used an "awesome display of government power" to install some soccer fields? Give me a break. There were hearings upon hearings upon hearings on this where a hell of a lot of people had a say.

Posted by The Commish on May. 10, 2013 @ 6:36 am

You rightly avoid mentioning the master plan as if it didn't exist, as if it didn't wasn't supposed to be a document to be followed. When govt officials can ignore the things they aren't supposed to ignore, yes, that's awesome govt power. That's a form of corruption.

The "hearings upon hearings" were a joke - the fix was in long before those hearings. When Michael Krasney asked Ginsburg on Forum why wouldn't he support a public vote for the project, Ginsburg said that wasn't necessary. There's a nice example of awesome govt power - the document that citizens were supposed to be able to think had some power was laughed at, and the citizens were told they would not have a say - a vote - in what happened.

Fortunately for Ginsburg and the power brokers, he has the weak ppl like yourself who are too afraid to buck govt power when they are out of line.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:10 am

Couldn't open your GGP master plan link.
I'm sure you and your colleagues raised the points you make in the various hearings, appeals, debates, meetings, etc. Those points were therefore rejected.

Saying that a "fix was in" because there wasn't a public vote on this doesn't make sense. If the public had to vote on every project or decision, no projects would ever get done and no decisions would ever be made. What would the voter guide look like -- a telephone book?

Your last paragraph is silly.

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Posted by รับทำ SEO on Nov. 06, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

"It should concern u that a City policy document can be ignored and violated by those in power."

It's their job to overrule localities that violate laws that apply to the entire state. As the one commissioner said, it's because of that power that the California coast has been preserved as to the extent that it is.

And I'm confused: the City is a government, too. Why is it less scary than the State of California?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 10, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

My comment wasn't in ref to the Cal Coastal Commission but to the City agencies like the Rec & Park, Planning, and supes. All and all, the CCC did their job much better than the three SF agencies I mentioned above. Those three City agencies look like bad corrupt jokes as they ignore the governing doc for GGP either out of ignorance or intent.

So many lawyers on all of them yet legal docs like the GGP master plan are meaningless to them - apparently they are shitty lawyers too.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 1:22 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

fitfully in their graves over this; as discomfited as many of us who possess memories of looking out over the darkened swath into the moonlit ocean from one of the many San Francisco vantages.

Now we'll have the sports complex at the beach to look at. Mickey Mouse is in charge.
www.(thistofoolSFBG'sidiotspamfilter)sfhistoryencyclopedia.com/articles/g/goldenGate-park.html

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 09, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

Gosh, lillipublican,
You sure would've hated it when Playland was located on the oceanfront. Lots of lights, noise and LOTS of people. As it is now, it's a dark, crime-ridden menace at night. But maybe there's moonlight occasionally.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

News to you - Playland was never part of GG Park so why you bringing up Playland?

This area is not a "crime-ridden menace at night" - that's a bunch of BS that the plasticization of GGP supporters have to trot out and shows how desparate they are. I live near there and the whole gay sex hangout straw man that the supporters of the plasticization of GGP like to bring up is from about 30 years ago. There's this thing called the internet that long ago made using that area as a place to hook up with other men to be obsolete. I'm quite familiar with the area and I haven't seen evidence of any of that in decades.

The only thing it was at night was a quiet park area that the animals in the area used. Now a big chunk of that area there in GGP is no longer of nature, it's now all dead plastic with over 600,000 pounds of tiny toxic tire particles that will pollute the water that rains down there and spread to other areas in the park since molecules from those tire particles dissolve in the water and goes wherever the water goes.

And San Francisco likes to think it is such a green city - what a joke THAT is.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

Please understand that this troll is like the cancerous boil on a rodents asshole and will make whatever facile comment it thinks will be most irritating without regard to any factual basis.

I especially appreciate your comment with regard to gay hookups in the area. That totally rings true.

I used to live in SOMA during the early 80s (pre-AIDS crisis) when literally hundreds of gay men would line the sidewalk of Howard Street in the vicinity of 8th and 9th and I reckon that any reputation that this area of the park holds dates from that era and has just as little validity today.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 09, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

Thanks. My guess is they probably know it's not a gay sex hangout or a "menacing area" or dangerous area in any way but they know using such language will scare people into thinking this is some solution to a problem when in reality, the "problem" is nothing more than a creation of theirs that doesn't exist in the real world.

Their "solution" will be a REAL and NEW disaster for the area with lots more traffic at night (a stoplight will probably be nec at 47th & Fulton), lots more noise at night when there is none now, lots more lights in what was a dark park like real parks are at night, and possibly unforeseen problems that those that pushed for this won't have to deal with.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

Granulated rubber is functionally inert. And so is your brain.

Posted by Andrew Solow on May. 10, 2013 @ 1:48 am

(what *you* mean by that anyway)

Actually, the real facts are a bit less clear than your facile soporific platitudes, I expect you know it.

(SFBG's idiotic spam filter won't allow me to post a single link though they are all government sites. Guardian? Is your IT guy moonlighting? -- anyhow, search for ["crumb rubber" leaching] and maybe add "new jersey" to find some of these at minimum worrisome documents.)

If someone figures out how to make money turning a toxic waste product into something they can actually get paid to spread across park land, we should just be thankful and not question anything about it, right?

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 10, 2013 @ 3:21 am

Hey Lilli. The SFBG spam filter is idiot proof, which is why you are having trouble with it.

When you post a link they will ask for something called a 'captcha' on the bottom of the page. They ask you to type a specified string of letters. I'm actually quite confident that you could handle it if you really applied yourself, but if not, perhaps you could ask for help from one of the kind people around you.

Good luck!

Posted by Troll on May. 10, 2013 @ 7:27 am

clearly cannot master a simple spam-captcha mechanism nor, apparently, learn the posting guidelines of websites that he has been banned from.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 7:51 am

the spam filter.

Obviously since I've posted many links in the past I know how it is done. What I want to know is why I can't link to a state or federal government EPA document and yet at the same time this site if replete with postings such as XOROBUNGA etc.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:56 am

If you think small tire particles (and thus LOTS of surface area) is functionally inert, I recommend you fill a large glass with water and put some of those oil-based tire particles, let it sit for awhile, and drink it. Then do this repeatedly like the wildlife and plants in the area of the Beach Chalet soccer fields will be doing.

A report was submitted on March 28, 2006 by Ardea Consulting (Woodland, CA) to the Turfgrass Producers International (East Dundee, IL) that was titled, "An Assessment of Environmental Toxicity and Potential Contamination from Artificial Turf using Shredded or Crumb Rubber." This report discusses the toxicity of tire rubber and small rubber particles from tires.

It’s a 43 page report that can be read here:
www.ardeacon.com/pdf/Assessment_Environmental_Toxicity_Report.pdf

Here’s what the report says about the toxicity of tire and tire particles on aquatic organisms (page 17):

********* start of excerpt ********

Aquatic Toxicity
Laboratory research has been performed to determine whether substances toxic to aquatic organisms could be leached from tire rubber. Both whole tires were soaked in water, and tire pieces were used. Organisms were exposed to just the leachate, or were exposed to the water with the tire rubber present.

In one study, tires were cut into 5 to 10-cm pieces with a ratio of 200 g of tire material to 1 L of water. Almost all rainbow trout fry exposed in this manner died in the first 24 hours and most of the remainder died within the following 24 hours. Water was replaced and same tire scraps were extracted over a 52-day period, leading to similar mortality throughout the entire period. When the tests were repeated with the same water, but the tire scraps removed, the water was still toxic to fish indicating the toxic substance from the tire was water soluble (Goudey and Barton 1992).

In a related study, Daphnia and Ceriodaphnia, two species of freshwater invertebrates commonly used for toxicity testing, were exposed in small containers with 1 scrap of tire and 10 mL of water. A single organism was exposed within each test vessel. Ceriodaphnia were highly sensitive with 100% mortality occurring within 24 hrs. Daphnia were not as sensitive, and showed different sensitivities to different brands of tires. Two tire types had no discernable effect, two other brands caused 100% mortality and an additional two brands produced 60 to 70% mortality after 48 hours. The results were the same whether or not the tire pieces remained within the test vessels (Goudey and Barton 1992).

A bioluminescent bacterium was exposed to the water from the rainbow trout or Daphnia tests because the bacteria could not be exposed directly to the tire scraps. Water from both the trout and Daphnia tests suppressed the bioluminescence of the bacteria, indicating toxicity. The suppression did not increase with the duration of exposure, suggesting the toxicity was not caused by metals since exposure to metals usually will produced increased suppression of bioluminescence over time. The different brands of tires produced similar relative toxicity for the bacteria as they did for the Daphnia (Goudey and Barton 1992).

********* end of excerpt *********

Inert substances don't kill aquatic organisms. But back up your words and start drinking water on a regular basis filled with the supposed-inert oil-based tire particles like the organisms in that area of GG Park will be doing.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:51 am

You must not go there very often, because the cruisers are still there at dusk on the paths behind the Chalet.

Posted by Richmondman on May. 13, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

hansome man you encounter -- whether it be in Golden Gate Park or any other place that people congregate -- I recommend you simply give in to your urges. There is no sin in it, because it is okay to be gay.

Quite doubtful that anything you say about this is true, since there is a far better place for people such as yourself to hook up:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/m4m/

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 13, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

Sad day for Golden Gate Park preservationists. The city, in its rush to make money, was unable to reserve that part of the park for natural turf. This area is about to be turned into a profit-center for the Park and Rec Department. Soon we will see concerts and later on the rest of the park will be commercialized and privatized.

We owe so much to Kathy Howard and the people who live in the neighborhood and love the park. In two short years most of the "children" who lobbied for the park will be grown and not remember the feel of grass underfoot.

Sad.

Posted by NIMBY on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:25 pm
Posted by Matlock on May. 09, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

The poor NIMBY folks who lost yesterday cannot seem to explain why they NEVER won a single vote before ANY public decision-making body.

Which is it?? Are they a tiny, unrepresentative minority or was democracy subverted to thwart their wishes?? Five commissions, two votes at the full Board and now a state agency rejected their views about Golden Gate Park.

On this blog we're hearing that yesterday's vote resulted from Don Fisher rising from the grave; Gavin Newsom returning after leaving town years ago; Ed Lee selling them out, etc, etc. For real?? One would imagine that they should've done a little fundraising to hire a political consultant.

But not once can the NIMBYs admit that the people heard them and disagreed with their views. Democracy is a bitch when you lose, it seems.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:18 am

NIMBYs???!!! The cry of those with nothing to support their argument as your post demonstrates perfectly.

All what this fight showed was that most members of the Planning Commission and Rec & Park Commission are able to be bullied by big $ and big players in SF to support something plainly against what the park's own master plan. It shows said members, except the one on the Planning Commission - Katherine Moore, the only one who had the integrity to recognize this thing was against the park's master plan like any third grader with reading ability would have realized - have little integrity and can be rolled very easily. And so can the supes.

You very smartly avoid mentioning the park's master plan b/c it would show you were wrong as were the weak ppl on the PC & R&PC. It's called a master plan for a reason - and those ppl on those commissions and the supes who's job it was to support that master plan FAILED - failed to have the integrity to do the right thing and show some backbone to power.

Like yourself, they were weak go-alongs who are told what to do and then do it. Like yourself, they know they must get on their knees and kiss butt to the powerful ppl, then do it, then thank those they kiss butt to. Integrity is a foreign word to ppl like yourself and to them. You and them are the stuff that weak organizations are made of.

You are, no doubt, looking for the next ass to kiss so that they can pat you on the head and tell you you did a good job and now get down on your knees and kiss it some more, you weak POS.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:03 am

Jeez, I guess that explains why you folks lost EVERY vote, usually unanimously. Is it democracy itself that is the problem?

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

You speak of democracy - what democracy?

There was no democracy you dummy, there were two commissions, one that had 7 ppl, the other a similar number - both willing and eager to ignore the governing document for the park, as did the supes.

Doesn't say much for them, nor you for taking their side.

As for democracy, learn the definition of it before using it - you come off like an ignorant buffoon.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

I love getting an education on democracy from someone sore about an unbroken string of losing votes!! As to the GPPMP, if all those votes went against you, are you sure it says what you think it says?? Apparently the NIMBYs are going to fight this in court, too. If you lose there, what will it say about the merits of your position?? Will the judges have been bought, too??

How can you NOT take solace in having delayed the project for 2 years and cost the City's taxpayers a few million dollars to pay for legal fees and environmental studies?? Isn't that victory enough??

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

Steve Jones on soccer fields he doesn't want.

'The soccer project has been repeatedly approved by city agencies despite strong opposition from some neighbors"

Steve Jones on parking issues he wants.

"Mary Eliza is the spokesperson for Eastern Neighborhoods United Front, which has whipped up critics of the parking plans with calls to “FILL THE HALL."

Notice that comrade Jones bemoans the lack of government attention to righteous citizens who valiantly oppose the city soccer field plans.

Notice that comrade Jones points out the hated bourgeoisie of the Mission district yet again try and harass their masters on the people's committee on parking.

Some would say that comrade Jones is a raging comical hypocrite, the astute progressive party member will process this data in a true mature revolutionary way.

Anti proletariat reactionaries whip up the uncorrectly educated into a frenzy so that they don't know that government knows best for them. Parking is bourgeoisie and counter intellectual , like owning a horse or wearing glasses.

While valiant proletariat members of the outer sunset are fighting a losing battle against an uncaring doctrinaire pro fascist and capitalist city soccer players and their hand picked flunkies at city hall.

The correctly educated party member sees no hypocrisy in comrade Joneses high prose, in the words of St Augustine...

"there is a persecution of unrighteousness, which the impious inflict upon the Church of Christ ; and there is a righteous persecution, which the Church of Christ inflicts upon the impious."

Posted by Matlock on May. 09, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

What the city needs is more parking, not some stupid park. The road to becoming a world class city is paved with concrete, you know.

Posted by anon on May. 10, 2013 @ 7:57 am

This is sad day for the City!

Unfortunately, the time for the item was changed at the 11th hour, and the opponents arrived too late to sign up to testify!

Outrageous!

Peskin was given someone else's spot, so he could speak. Most others had no chance to say anything.

It is a corrupt system — top to bottom!

Posted by Richard on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:28 am

crony capitalism, vulgarian centrism, underpinned by unrestrained anti intellectualism.

As well as unrestrained hyperbole, in the form of specious assertions about the mole people, gay predators roaming ocean beach and lurking in the trees, et cetera.

The members of the commission are evidently corrupted, biased, and myopic, if not criminally negligent (What, if any, criminal statutes flow from the spigot, created by the CCA 1976 (Cf. amended heretofore?).

\0.o/

ps Weiner is a dick, and he will always be a vulgarian centrist dick!

Posted by capitalismthedecay on May. 10, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

The meeting was billed to start @9:30 a.m. President of the Commission suddenly decreed at 8:30 that no more speaker cards would be accepted for speaking after 8:30 a.m. A GG Park gardener insisted he had turned in his card by 8:30 and the President implied he was lying but let him speak. During his 2 minutes she ostentatiously shuffled a bunch of speaker cards, then after he had finished she stated she had "found" his card. A disabled woman cited the Federal Disabilities rules by word and number then asked for a lawyer so was finally allowed to speak. She is the individual who donated her time to Aaron Peskin. I hope this answers the questions about democracy in action.

Posted by Guest J.W. on May. 12, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

The coastal commission appears to be in the pockets of the developers, so why not take it to the people? I think park preservation is a winner at the ballot box. Just a thought.

Posted by Greg on May. 13, 2013 @ 7:45 am

There is a reason we elect politicians.

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:15 am

Now that San Franciscans have public financing and district representation systems, we can dispense with the anti-democratic term limits which means that voters from twenty years ago determine who we are allowed to have represent us today.

Those voters didn't have the experience we have now of supervisors jumping from their elected seats to take plum appointments so that the mayor can appoint someone in their place who can then run as an incumbent; they didn't have the experience of their district supervisors voting against district interests because they were more concerned about how their votes would play among voters in some wider region they hope to later represent.

Those voters of twenty years ago bought into the reactionary "throw the bastards out" anti-democratic rhetoric... which this troll ironically seems to be against.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:40 am

there is nothng anti-democratic about them.

It is very possible that election results went your way 20 years ago simply because the demographics were different back then.

It is now very unlikely that a progressive will win a SF mayoral contest, for instance. There's a fairly solid 60% of voters who are moderate and have no truck with socialist policies.

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 11:07 am

...the power of incumbency. With the occasional Olague-type exception, the circumstance Lilli describes is what we're living with, and it's not particularly democratic.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 13, 2013 @ 11:39 am

I've heard about soccer project! masterpapers.com Thanks for details.

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