Sunday, May 1, 2011

The "Destroy Sharp Park and Give it to the Feds" Rally

I have not posted here in a while. Frankly, I thought the Sharp Park kerfuffle would have died down after those who would destroy the course lost on so many political and scientific fronts. In retrospect I was naive.

Why should they quit? As taxpayers we pay them to sue us. If the Center for Biological Diversity alums that founded the Wild Equity Institute use the same model as the CBD, they will also submit their legal billable hours suing San Francisco to the Department of Justice to be reimbursed under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The more billable hours they document, the more we the taxpayers will pay them. Since we as taxpayers keep paying, they'll keep suing. Sure - the $125/hour or so they are reimbursed for suing us is well below what most private lawyers make, but OTOH it is a hell of a lot more than most environmentalists make.

To paraphrase a famous movie line - "I thought I was out..." but with back to back rallies by the supporters and opponents of the course, "they pulled me back in". I attended both the Save Sharp Park rally in Pacifica on Thursday and the "Destroy Sharp Park" rally at City Hall in San Francisco on Friday. My take on the Pacifica rally is linked on my blog, but thought I would amplify a bit on Steve's excellent and succinct coverage of the SF rally here.

WEI is claiming that there were over 100 attendees at their rally. I think they must have been counting the people driving by in their cars on Polk Street during the event.

Not a bad crowd. Smaller than the "Save Sharp Park Rally", but...

...almost as big as the crowd attracted to the lunch wagons just on the other side of Civic Center Plaza.

Brent Plater led the rally as MC and featured the usual misrepresentations and half-truths. Here some clips from rally supplemented with a bit of video editorializing:

The clips are not very good quality but hopefully you can hear what Brent is saying. For anyone following this story over the last 3 years, no surprises. The same tired claims about Sharp Park that have been factually refuted by scientists, local leaders, financial analysts, and Rec & Park management. On the plus side, since there is nothing new, I reused some of the same clips I've accumulated over that time to debunk the same old nonsense.

There was one new element at the rally. Plater introduced Supervisor John Avalos, who is among the multitude running for Mayor of San Francisco.

In his short speech the city supervisor wondered aloud whether advocating the destruction of Sharp Park is good or bad for his candidacy. Gee... That's a tough one.

Let's think this through... We have 400 acres of beautiful, valuable coastal parkland that was a gift to the people of San Francisco, belongs to the people of San Francisco, is a 100 year old legacy of the people of San Francisco, is enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors every year and contributes 50,000+ green fees per year to city coffers. And Supervisor Avalos thinks the right thing to do is just give it away to the Federal Government. Yeah... I'm pretty sure that is exactly the kind of vision my fellow City residents want to see in their next mayor.

I'll be comparing our mayoral candidates positions on Sharp in a future post. In the meantime, John - try this on for size:

Cross-posted from MW Mobile Blog


Steve Sinai said...

Uh, oh, We have HOMEY opposing us.

If anyone wants a good laugh, look at HOMEY's web page describing their staff


Anonymous said...

They just need to pick up a club.

mw said...

The thing that really gripes me is the way WEI takes advantage of organizations like HOMEY. They get them to stand with them and talk smack about Sharp Park for these event by promoting a lie.

These orgs are all getting their budgets cut. The WEBLEEDU's tell them that the City is subsidizing Sharp, and that money should be used to restore budgets for their organizations. In fact, the opposite is true. If they were to succeed in closing Sharp, there would need to be deeper cuts in budgets and services in San Francisco.

It is really despicable and unconscionable behavior on the part of Plater and his organization to mislead and use these organizations in this way.

Anonymous said...

Was that a serious post? H.O.M.E.Y.S is real?
Well, then what else is new? There's always sheep ready for the shearin'. Wild Equity would know all about that.

Sir Farts-a-Lot said...

Haha. Plater must have told Avalos there would be hundreds of people at the rally. I bet Avalos was pissed looking out over the crowd of 40.

HOMIE the HIPPIE said...

The Homeys had promised to be there, but it was such a nice day, they decided to go out and tag stop signs instead.

Anonymous said...

anon@2:54 that's not very pc but I'm still laffing at the visuals.

Will the real mori's point please stand said...

Anonymous said...

He's a commie.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of stupid rednecks on this post.

Anonymous said...

"Stupid"? I don't know Anon 11:44AM, you found the article almost 1 year later. That was quick!