Monday, April 28, 2014

Nevius's batting average: Worse than the Giants

Photo from SF Gate

Based on his latest column, C.W. Nevius may be weary of getting things wrong:

Let's begin by saying this is a waste of time. I know, that's not much of an incentive to read, but it is the hard truth. Proposition B is almost certainly going to pass. That's the ordinance that will mandate an election on any construction on the waterfront that exceeds the existing height limit.

I continued reading only because I wanted to see how wrong he was going to get it, and I wasn't disappointed:

So if you liked 8 Washington, you're going to love Prop B. It's on a June ballot that will see low turnout, vociferous support from a dedicated core and Agnos haranguing anyone who dares to oppose it. But since he's already mad at me for calling his group the Flat Earth Society, I'd say this: First, if this is such a good idea, why stop there? Shouldn't other neighborhoods be able to vote on height limitations? Or homeless shelters. Or Muni routes? Or whether the mayor should have soup or salad for lunch?

Except for the last bit of whimsy, that's not a bad idea, since it's increasingly obvious that the neighborhoods can't rely on City Hall to care about their interests. But Nevius's tacit assumption is that whatever comes out of City Hall has already been so thoroughly vetted that initiatives like Prop. B are only meddling with the functioning of a thoughtful and forward-looking city government.

As I've been saying for years, the opposite is the reality: under the cover of pseudo-progressive terminology---Smart Growth, transit-oriented development, dense development, etc.---City Hall and our oh-so-progressive Board of Supervisors have been giving a green light to any and all projects that create housing---market-rate housing, that is. The worst examples: Parkmerced, Treasure Island, the Market and Octavia Plan---40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness!---and the UC development on lower Haight Street.

Nevius hasn't written about any of these massive projects, except for Parkmerced, about which he was typically uninformed. He never seems to read anything; he just makes a few phone calls to Gabriel Metcalf or someone in City Hall that agrees with him. (Since both Metcalf and Supervisor Wiener supported 8 Washington and oppose Proposition B, maybe the Chronicle, the Examiner, and the rest of the media will quit calling them proponents of "good government" or "moderates." Metcalf in particular has long been a supporter of highrise development in San Francisco.)

Nevius has also been wrong on the Bicycle Plan, the anti-jihad ads on Muni buses, that there's an anti-development movement in the city, Supervisor Olague, the Americas CupMirkarimi, and Mayor Lee.

He's been good on homelessness---when he isn't wrong about that, too---and graffiti. 

And he was right to stop riding his bike in the city.

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