On the Merits of Parkmerced; More on Cruise Ships to San Francisco …

by on February 22, 2011

To the Editor:

Thank you for the first accurate portrayal of the process that will lead to the demolishing of my neighborhood and home in Park Merced. Still missing, however, is any portrayal of the people whose lives will be forcibly changed forever by the Planning Commission violating city policy and its own rules of process in favor of the political favors that are earned by the commissioners in exchange for paving the way for developers financial gain.

All the discussion of architectural aesthetics, and idea that this community, (and this is a thriving community of long term San Franciscans) somehow doesn’t belong in San Francisco is a safe gloss over the reality that San Franciscans will be put out of the homes that they have lived in for as much as the last 30 years. I’m not surprised by the corrupt actions of the Planning Commission, given the personal animosity and outright hostility that Planning Commission members demonstrated toward my neighbors when the commission was obligated to hold a meeting in our neighborhood.

The silence, sullen condescention, priveledged annoyance and verbal domination of the commission members that was directed toward community members as the commission members were obligated to sit in the same room and listen to the people whose lives the commissions’ actions would forever change signaled what the outcome of the process would inevitably be. Like it or not, San Francisco is destroying more than just buildings that “look different” or “don’t belong.” It is destroying a unique multi-racial, multi-ethnic community of working class neighbors and SFSU/CCSF students.

D. W.
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I think that we can all agree about protecting valuable rental stock, but the fact is that the most significant pressure on pricing in SF is scarcity. It’s just a simple fact that the city could absord a lot more dwelling units, and that we should use every possible possible lever to that end. Personally, I’d love to see vast swaths of the Sunset redeveloped for midrise (like 4-6 stories, say), new transit-oriented development rules, etc. The city’s horrific experience with redevelopment and the downtown office buildings have made us highly development averse, but we need to get past that.

David Morgan
San Francisco,

To the Editor:

I think everyone should run this article in all newspapers and TV news stories at least once a week, so the folks who change the ridiculous outdated laws do so with this law and get the ships going where the people would like them to go. If need be, make the law for the cruise industry only and leave out the cargo business.

Steven Berger
San Rafael, CA

To the Editor:

The fact that the Jones Act is still on the books and being enforced is mindboggling. Though you may want to also include Las Vegas as a stumbling block in getting this archaic law amended. Las Vegas has long been concerned about losing business to cruise ships along the West Coast that operate casinos on 3 and 4 day cruises. Regardless, this law needs to be removed from the books. What may have been good business in the late 1800’s (that is open to debate as it stiffled foreign investment in our lumber industry) has little relevancy today.

Jay Johnson
Garden Grove, CA

Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)

Please do not send anything to this mailing address that is not intended for Randy Shaw or Paul Hogarth. If you wish to reach other Beyond Chron writers directly, please call us.

Filed under: Archive