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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

THE LAKE MERCED FIASCO AND WHO WILL CLEAN UP THE CONTAMINATION CREATED BY THE GUN CLUB?

Most of us who have been at Lake Merced - do not like what we see the Boat Club - that was falling apart that is undergoing some upgrades -now. The decaying piers that are now pulled up from the lake - giving Lake Merced a better appearance.

Most San Franciscans are not aware that we are fortunate to have a large watershed - much like a huge lake underground that the City has used before in large measure - but not now anymore.
A watershed from the Presidio of San Francisco by Lobos Creek all the way to Lake Merced.

Closer to the Cliff House some of us have seen the two Wind Mills - now restored and looking good.

These Wind Mills are about an eight of a mile from Ocean Beach - at one time they provided clean fresh water - to replenish - all the young plants and trees linked to our famous Golden Gate Park. A jewel of San Francisco visited by so many tourists and of course San Franciscans. What a joy to see this canopy from the sky.

Most San Franciscans are not fully aware of two lakes that are a manifestation of the large water shed - San Francisco is blessed with. The first one at the Presidio of San Francisco - Mountain Lake and the second of course Lake Merced.

Both Lakes at one time provided fresh water to the Ohlone the first people of San Francisco: www.muwekma.org

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission owns the land and Lake Merced. Moutain Lake is owned by the Presidio of San Francisco and the Presidio Trust.

Paradoxically; Mountain Lake has received funding to clean up the Lake that has been contaminated by run off from the Highway and dumping by some folks that do not know better.

Lake Merced has received more attention with volunteers spending thousands of hours to clean up the Lake Merced and improve the water quality.

There still is a major problem with the near by Gun Club - continuing to use their "firing range" and contaminating Lake Merced and the water shed with - lead and other dangerous contaminants.

The Gun Club recently went to court and bought two more years to do more damage. At the end of the two years - for sure the Gun Club will be evicted. However, the contamination will not be their  responsibility to clean  - the burden will be on the owner of the land formerly the Water Department and now the SF Public Utilities Commission - and its nonchalant attitude when is come of the many parcels of land it has - and in some cases the unsavory use of the land.

It helps a little that the SF Public Utilities Commission has recently hired some better and knowledgeable staff - to make a sound inventory of all its land and facility holdings - and hopefully revisited the leases and have a better, half yearly reporting to the SF Public Utilities Commissioners. I would like Chair, Art Torres to take a lead on this pertinent - issue. He could be aided by Commissioner and former Manager - who has an institution memory - Anson Moran.

San Francisco Park and Recreation was charged at one time - being a sister agency to the - then Water Department - now San Francisco Public Utilities Commission - to do the right thing - and conduct activities for the betterment of San Franciscans - its has failed - miserably.

Over the years - SF Park and Recreation has ignored pleas to rehab the Boat Club, monitor the better interests of Lake Merced, and do justice to its agency.

SF Park and Recreation has failed   - by NOT serving the people and protecting the assets that contribute Quality of Life issues. Pandering to folks that have taken control of our Soccer Fields and privatized them - in certain neighborhoods - keeping the neighborhood folks away. Trying to destroy Beach Chalet and ruin a landmass so unique - one of the best sites to view the stars on a dark night. This by proposing to flood the area with FLOOD LIGHTS and adversely impact the neighbors, the creatures, the disorientate the birds and so on. SF Park and Recreation has lost its mind.

It is years in the making that SF Park and Recreation agreed to Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Land Lord San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and SF Park and Recreation - but the negotiations and procrastination - have taken years - and this is a crying shame. In the mean time - we have reached a saturation point - and those at the SFPUC like those it charge of Communication - are a lost for words and have no viable action plan. Wasting their time roaming the corridors, with no sound action plan - worth the salt - to carry on short and long term - objectives.

Lake Merced is a jewel and it is time the Phil Ginsberg agree to do what he must do representing SF Park and Recreation - failing that SF Park and Recreation must vacate the area.

The facilities and related recreational facilities and activities at Lake Merced - boating, rowing, fishing, swimming, and a host of other water sports - can be transferred to a private entity that can easily shame the arrogant, spineless, shallow - Phil Gingsberg - who has ruined SF Park and Recreation - in recent years - during his short and sordid - reign as General Manager.

Yesterday, December 11, 2012 the SF Public Utilities Commission had an agenda item on Lake Merced.

Some prominent, decent, hard working, and very astute mostly Seniors - gave testimony. What they testified was not pretty - SF Park and Recreation and towing the line - SF Public Utilities Commission - dragging their feet.

A Work Shop is in order and with sound outreach to all the constituents of San Francisco - nearer the Boat Club and Lake Merced .

We do not want the Gun Club and other nefarious entities to stack the work shop and bully those that have volunteered and kept Lake Merced  - healthy. In the given circumstance - those that are holistically cared and help restore Lake Merced should be allowed to give testimony freely without any undue interference.

The SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) - Communication Department must first understand the history of Lake Merced, then have the ability to contact and gather the right facts - and help SFPUC overcome and lead. Right now they do not have that ability.

Unfortunately, this Communication Department has seen a deterioration of  leadership with those in charge of the Communication Department having no clue about history.

Less having the ability to discern, uneducated on issues, hiring folks who are NOT from San Francisco - and failing decent San Franciscans again and again - on major projects and issues.

We saw this yesterday with this issue linked to Lake Merced and also the outreach done with Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) - CleanPowerSF.

SFPUC  outreach linked to CCA is a disgrace - and blatant injustice done to District 10 and 11 - where the City and County of San Francisco - has with intent committed outrageous acts and fostered contamination and pollution.

SFPUC has been part of this history and the time for abatement and mitigation is - now. CCA must incorporated the adversely impacted community - how, they do that is on them. If they do not they will have to deal - with a reality check. Make no bones about that.

SFPUC has a habit of hiring Consultants who do not have the better interests of San Franciscans - shafting us -San Franciscans remote control .

Pandering to these inept and shallow consultants - new hires from outside San Francisco -  employed by SFPUC and its corrupt Human Resources Department - who do not have the best interests of San Franciscans -  what is worse are not educated on - issues.

As the Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy - I will shed light where they is abject darkness. Make no bones about it. Aho.

Some of the good folks present at the SFPUC meeting:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/franciscodacosta/sets/72157632233578938/show/