Tuesday, December 12, 2006

District 5 Diary's Second Anniversary

Today is the second anniversary of my first post to District 5 Diary. Let me be the first to congratulate myself. The time has gone by very quickly. So much bullshit, so little time!

On Dec. 12, 2004, I posted a long account of a Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council meeting dealing with the "widening" of MLK Boulevard into the park to provide dedicated routes to and from the new underground garage. It was all typical SF progressive hysteria and bullshit, since the original "widening" of MLK plan---which was ordered by the Superior Court---that came out of the Concourse Authority involved primarily taking away street parking on both sides of MLK to create the lanes.

But the most interesting thing about the meeting was the participation of then Supervisor-elect for District 5, Ross Mirkarimi. In a sign of things to come, the Murk was basically buying into the fringe-left opposition to the garage in the park ("Planned Highway Through the Park," screamed the head on the HANC newsletter). The construction of the garage was already well under way at that point---garage opponents had lost in court on every cause of action the previous August, except for the "dedicated" entrance issue---and the anti-widening movement was clearly just another way of trying to stop the operation of the garage.

Echoing his fringe-left D5 constituents, the Murk complained about "due process" and alleged that there were both Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinance violations in the run-up to the construction of the garage. Neither charge had any merit, as it turned out. But the Murk went further, claiming that the widening of MLK was "absolutely illegal" and would turn out to be a financial "boondoggle" for the city. Neither of those charges had any factual foundation, either. As the Murk learned when he met with the Executive Director of the Concourse Authority after he took office, the Authority was under a court order to come up with a plan to comply with the text of Proposition J, which mandated "dedicated" routes to and from the inside-the-park entrance of the garage.

Scrolling through the other posts for that first month of District 5 Diary, there are a number of other issues/themes that became familiar over the last two years:

* UC's plan to privatize the old Extension property on lower Haight St. with a large housing development to cash in after having the property tax-free from the city since 1958. (Mirkarimi has been good on this issue---so far.)

* A critique of the SF Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly.

* The We Need Housing movement, a coalition of developers, the Planning Dept., and progressives to promote building housing everywhere and anywhere, especially on "transit corridors," including the Market/Octavia Plan.

* An item on Supervisor Gonzalez allowing a phony "artist" to deface his office walls at City Hall with graffiti/tagging.

Except, perhaps, for UC's attempted land-grab at the extension property (the jury is still out on that issue), the common thread in that first month---and on the blog since then---is an ongoing critique of San Francisco progressivsm, an amorphous pseudo-ideology that consists of poorly thought through fringe-left positions on a number of issues, including housing, graffiti/tagging, the poor performance of the "progressive" media, and traffic in the city, especially the ridiculous bicycle fantasy.