Thursday, January 05, 2006

Stephen wasn't invited

Why would those who paid for the new garage invite Willis and others who waged a long campaign of disinformation and lies against the whole garage/Concourse project? What's been done in Golden Gate Park has been a completely public process. What is there left for Hellman to explain? He and the MCCP have built a garage for the city, a project that has been ratified both by the voters of SF and the courts. Willis and garage opponents lost at the ballot box, and they lost in court. They are just bad losers. Once the construction bond for the garage is paid off, the garage will belong to the city. Since it was built entirely with private money, it will be a huge gift to the city. Willis keeps throwing around the word "private" to inflame public opinion and muddy the waters.

People need to read Proposition J and both of Judge Warren's decisions---which are available on the Municipal Court website---to have an informed opinion on this issue. Based on Willis's past communications on the issue, I find no evidence that he's read any of that material. Yet he's called me a "coward" and both Mike Ellzey---executive director of the Concourse Authority---and me "liars" when we discuss the facts of the situation on my blog. Based on past performance, the so-called green garage issue sounds like just another stick to beat garage proponents with.

To view Judge Warren's Aug. 10, 2004, Statement of Decision, and the June 16, 2005, Statement of Decision, go to and enter the case number, 427163 after clicking on "Case Number Query."

From: Stephen Willis
Subject: M.H.deYoung Museum Celebrates Their New "Green Garage"
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005

"RSVP" - Quiet Ceremony for the New deYoung Parking Garage: Private, underground affair to honor project's philanthropic sponsors (San Francisco)

Following a decade of intense public controversy surrounding the new private garage in Golden Gate Park, including two years of court battles, two of the prevailing board members of the Music Concourse Community Partnership, Warren Hellman and George Hume will finally be honored today at an invitation only event in their new garage in the Music Concourse. In stark contrast to the recent and highly successful grand opening of the proud new M. H. deYoung Memorial Museum, the private owners and operators of the deYoung garage and their supporters seem reluctant to claim their recent victories in the courts and in the media. And it's not clear why. The garage promoters promised San Francisco voters a "green" garage that would qualify under the City's Department of Environment classification as a "Green Building." However, when it came time for MCCP Executive Director Dick Young to cut project costs, in December, 2002, he value-engineered all of the "green/environmental" features completely out of their preferred Bechtel design, to save money. Joshua Hart, former program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), collaborated with the City Environment Department, to support the Concourse Authority's new green garage, until it became clear to him that the very environmental features that qualified the project for that enhanced environmental status, had actually been eliminated from the project by MCCP Director Young. Hart then demanded that the project web page be removed from the Department of the Environment's web site, which it was. Hellman and Hume are well respected patrons of the arts and humanities in the San Francisco Bay Area. It would be interesting to hear and report on what they have to say about their garage and their successful campaign to finance and construct the facility. But, it's a private affair, in a private garage. And the public was not invited.

s willis / ndmedia



At 2:58 AM, Anonymous stephen willis said...


You really seem to enjoy regurgitating your old arguments.

I challenge you to find one person whether it is Mike Ellzey, Nancy Conner, Harry Parker, or Warren Hellman himself, or any of the members of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, the City Attorney's office, the Mayor's Office of Public Finance, or the Democratic County Central Committee, JUST ONE of these public officials who supported or expedited the private 35 year leasehold on the Music Concourse, to come forward in a public hearing and explain the public benefit that has been provided, and how the City has been indemnified from any financial liability to the private bond holders if the garage fails financially.

JUST ONE. But three or four would be better, to get a cross section of project proponents who are proud enough to come out in public and explain these things.

UNTIL then, I reassert that you and Mike Ellzey are the liars enmeshed in disinformation.

And you are most certainly a coward, because you fail to address any substantive issues that I have raised, but only come back with the cheap ass rhetoric of a Don Solem PR flack, no ethical concern for the truth in reporting, while posing as an authority on the issue.

You may regurgitate more of your past lies, if it makes you more comfortable than addressing this challenge.

But the fact remains, you are a pathetic liar and a coward and you don't have the balls to carry your lies outside of this obscure blog.

You and Ken Garcia,

stephen willis / ndmedia

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Stephen I'm worried about you. I notice that your latest message was sent at 2:58 a.m. Maybe you aren't getting enough sleep. A well-rested brain would surely do better than this. I repeat my arguments for two reasons: they are sound, fact-based arguments; and you and your allies in the anti-garage jihad still haven't addressed them. So it's all about dealing with the city's potential liability if the garage doesn't make enough money? Since Judge Warren, the city's voters, and I have demolished all your other arguments, it has come down to crocodile tears about the city's potential financial liability? I note that in your latest message to PROSF, you ask Rec. and Park for a July 11, 2005 study done by one of your anti-garage allies, Howard Strassner. Why don't you just ask Strassner for a copy? If they won't give you a copy, I can make one for you, though my copy is riddled with red marks denoting all the typos and grammatical errors---commas strewn about at random---I marked in the document. When a document is so flawed on that level, it makes it harder to take its argument seriously. And Strassner's argument, such as it is, is simply that the garage may not make enough money to service the bond. Given the huge crowds that are already turning out to visit the new de Young Museum, that seems unlikely.

Which of your issues haven't I addressed? I'm still waiting for you to show me and my readers where I have lied. The word "lie," by the way, Stephen, refers to a deliberate untruth, not just something that you disagree with. Speaking of lies, last year you wrote the following paragraph, which, as I pointed out at the time, packs five untruths into two sentences: "A private corporation---the Music Concourse Community Partnership---has taken control of Golden Gate Park, abandoned their deal with the voters, and recklessly destroyed all three 108 year-old tunnels. They also added an illegal second garage entrance INSIDE the Music Concourse, and have ignored a Court order since last August to correct their illegal garage design." Wrong on all counts, Stephen. I won't repeat my refutations here; interested parties can scroll through my blog archives and read our earlier exchanges.

You denigrate my blog now, but recall that last year you complimented me on my coverage of the garage/MLK issue: "We want to give credit to Mr. Anderson for his exclusive interview with Mike Ellzey, executive director of the GG Park Concourse Authority. Rob's 'District 5 Diary' has succeeded where the San Francisco Chronicle is missing in action."


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