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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The America's Cup demands real work and not talk - the entire 7.5 mile waterfront needs to be spruced up.

San Francisco the land of the Ohlone is so beautiful that the strangers give little credit to the original people and work around the artificiality they have created.

Truly speaking today we would have had no Bay around the 7.5 mile area that the SF Port Authority controls had it not been for five White women.

These five women, wives of judges and so all from the East Bay - took it upon themselves - to stop the development and to stop the entire Bay from being filled in.Kudos to these women - and I hope some where they are remembered in a Big Way.

Since the early 1960s the SF Port Authority has struggled - struggled badly to maintain the many structures that litter the aging Port and after fighting a loosing badly - gave up on its many Piers.

One of its piers - Pier 98 is no more - it was filled in and in now called Heron's Head Park. The fill in over time took the shape of a heron's head - in other areas you see stumps, some call them pilings - and that is all that is left.

Here and there - some one has tried in the past to make some vain attempt - but, always it is the question of money.

A jewel that was fixed using private and public money was the Ferry Building. I stood there for years on my way to work at the Presidio of San Francisco. I watched the sordid Freeway demolished - a freeway that led to a dead end. Only in San Francisco - and it took a Earthquake to make that happen!.

Even the Fire Department on the Wharf does not have a First Class facility.The only thing that is not leaking - are their boats.

With the America's Cup all that will change. The SF Port Authority is touting that its Piers will be rebuilt and when that happens - the entire 7.5 mile jurisdiction that the SF Port Authority has - will look different - enticing some say.Fabulous is what I heard one man say - and there will be lot of jobs.

In these dire economic times that is a ray of hope and more. I am for upward mobility - good, long paying jobs for all San Franciscans. Now, let us get back to work - and deal with the wheelers and the dealers.

Rarely mentioned is that the entire 7.5 mile area is Public Trust Land.

What this really means - is that the entire 7.5 mile belongs to all Californians.

And there are mandates put in place that the SF Port Authority sort of abides to but panders because of the signs of the time. It need the money. If you have no money - nothing really ticks. No money no honey - you have heard it so many times. Well, it hold good for our SF Port Authority - and our charming madame who run it - Monique Moyer.

The Public Trust Act mandate simply put is that all operations must be Maritime - meaning linked to Maritime issues that foster the progress linked to things Maritime. It is not difficult to understand that - even though the legalese makes it sound - so.

When ATT Park was built - and I know before that it was called Pacific Bell Park - Willie L. Brown Jr initiated legislation in Sacramento - to skip the exact mandates of the law - the Public Trust Law - and accommodate the Ball Park that has become a hit.

Now, we San Franciscans look at the once depleted area - and think what we see today was there forever. The architects and the builders did a fabulous job. I often go there - when I get some time - eat at Momo's and ponder, wonder, and think of the First People and imagine them crossing the choppy waters - in their Tule boats thousands of years ago. Aho.

Lots of parking raking in millions. Lots of restaurants that have with stood the dire economic times - and are now sailing along with the America's Cup.

It is not as if Don Fisher and others have not made some contribution - you will see that big bow and arrow that many tourists wonder - what the hell it is?

Well, I say a billionaire put it there - because he had the money.

But you see there pointing to the Fisher Building - I say - that is his buildings and explain what most do not know - and I happened to see in a private tour of sorts. It is all about money. Don Fisher who is no more and his wife Dora who will be there to watch the American Cup from her own window and own private window - with a fantastic view that any eye can behold.

Soon, Larry Ellison will point to a building complete with a helipad on top of his building: " that is mine he will say - I earned it".

While most folks will talk how David Chiu strong armed some and cajoled others to pass the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

How others sweet talked the nonchalant SF Planning Department - to look over major encumberances - the bet was in - and Larry Ellison placed the right one from that hat that he threw his lucky lot in.

The America's Cup is a sport for the elitists - people that have money and people that can show off - their toys. It has nothing to do with anything else - than vanity at its best.

Now, some will tell you the disadvantaged can sail, and the physically challenged can sail, and the Seniors can sail, that is all good - but none of them can afford the million dollar sail boats, catamarans some costing five million or more.

Yesterday, the ground was broken - but, actually it was not about any spade in the ground - a heavy duty Caterpiller Machine - with its heavy duty claws - embraced some metal piling and just clasped it. "Some one said rip" I think it was Mayor Ed Lee.

There was this thud and that said it all - to the many who had gathered to praise themselves, pat themselves, and say something about - nothing at all.

Missing in the action - not a word about Ross Mirkarimi. When he was the Supervisor of District 5 - he fought for the America's Cup. So I thought I would remind the many buffoons who get lost in the moment, praising their ass and leaving out those that need due - mention.

Never mind what has befallen Ross Mirkarimi today - any boat can take in water - what really matters is to set it up and sail. The man from Maine who let his boyhood memories stay strong - in his strong stance - verbosity at times - to bring the high class sailing to San Francisco and even hinting that the America's Cup should stay here - for a long, long time.

Turner and Turner has been given the contract to build a Shell - just a shell for a huge amount of money. That is at Pier 27 - then someone else will come and make a caboose; but all that in due season. I said caboose not a goose!

The Primes are all lined up and they will make money - there is no doubt about that - what is important to note and follow is how will the money trickle. Local hire is in place - but now we need the action and a little compassion.

It was interesting to see the Longshoremen gathered as a back drop - glad that the terminal was named after Herman one of two International Presidents of the Longshoremen - the current President made some remarks reading from a paper - just the usual - but willing to work and bring jobs to San Francisco he said.

The new mantra according the Chair of the Port Commission at this opening of sorts for the America's Cup was that " now the SF Port Authority moves people" - very interesting. In what direction remains to be seen.

She also mentioned that the entire SF Port Commission comprises of women with one man. "Oh, to see one single thorn among so many Roses".

The Longshoreman who represented made one small plea - to may be accommodate a lone Longshoreman on the SF Port Commission - Herman was there forever after all - the man himself after which Pier 27-29 is named.

I wonder what Harry Bridges would have said. A far cry from Bloody Thursday and I saw no SF Police Department on the scene. The Mayor was talking - he wants action - there were others among them David Chiu - he wants his District Three to shine.

The America's Cup will bring in over $1.6 billion they say - how they calculate this is anyone's guess. Monique Moyer was at her best, a dress matching her hair, and with a flair that only she possesses. "You go girl".

I was looking for Aaron Peskin - he was not to be seen.

Talk is cheap - but one thing I know about San Francisco - we are the City that knows how. We can do it - with or without the wind - this boat must sail and sail in the right direction, avoid the many necessary hurdles, and come home - alright.

We have 18 months to make it happen - the gestation period of an Elephant - we must work like an Elephant and make things happen - and leave no doubt that anything will stand - like a White Elephant.

Accept for may be that helipad a spoke of - on some tall building - with some one looking across the Bay bridge and saying: " suckers all I can sail but there in nothing money cannot buy" signed Oracle.

The America's Cup: