Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Matt Smith strikes back

Matt Smith was furious when we got the court to issue an injunction last June to stop all work on the Bicycle Plan until a hearing could be held on the merits of the suit. Why did the court give us an injunction? Because we showed Judge Warren that the city was implementing the Plan even as the litigation moved toward a hearing. 

The basic issue in the litigation is whether the city has done adequate environmental review of the Bicycle Plan. In fact, it has done no environmental review at all of the massive Bicycle Plan. The injunction froze all implementation of the Plan until the hearing, which was finally held last week. Judge Warren has retired in the interim, and Judge Peter Busch will probably issue a decision in a few weeks.

In the current SF Weekly, Smith has a completely muddled account of some Mendocino County issues I was involved in years ago. The SF Weekly's San Francisco readers must be mystified. Who cares? It's really just payback time. Smith is a confirmed bike nut, and he hated our lawsuit so much he couldn't even bring himself to use my name in his first article on the lawsuit. 

And then there's my ongoing critique on this blog of his work in the SF Weekly. Is it possible that those blog items have something to do with Smith's utterly irrelevant attack this week? (The real scandal, as I've pointed out, is the shockingly poor political journalism San Francisco gets from its two weeklies).

Instead of this week's ad hominem attack, why doesn't Smith defend the city and the Bicycle Plan in his weekly column? Instead of poring over old, irrelevant court decsions---and of course misinterpreting them---why doesn't he read the Bicycle Plan and the documents already filed in this litigation? 

Anyone can access these documents. The first volume of the Bicycle Plan is online. I'm not sure if the second volume, the Network Document, is online. The court docket for this litigation can be accessed at the Superior Court website, where you enter the case number, 505509. Few of the documents can be downloaded; you have to go down to the courthouse and pay 50 cents a page for what you want. 

In short, Smith would have been better off doing that rather than reading up on the irrelevant case he refers to in his piece.

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The full text of the Pope's speech

To read the full text of the Pope's speech that has Moslem fanatics upset, go here.

For a critical analysis of the speech, see Christopher Hitchens on Slate.

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