Bulldog 2007 Article 177
"C'mon McKinleeeey . beat Roosevelllt!"
"Hoorah McKinley, Hoorah McKinley, someone's in the stands yelling 'Hoorah McKinley!"
(if you're lucky, high school never ends)
Let's have a big San Francisco welcome to the half dozen former classmates from McKinley High School in St. Louis (class of '62) that I'm adding to my mailing list today. The rest of you treat them well. They won't have a clue of what I'm talking about when I rave about the crooked local Public Utilities Commission or even, God forbid, Mayor Gavin Newsom. Nevertheless, they're good folks and if the revolution fails, maybe we can all go and live with them. In St. Louis, global warming isn't a concern. It's naturally 110 degrees in the summer and -10 degrees in the winter and they're over a thousand miles from any ocean, so not much is gonna change. And, can they ever play music and dance! I think it's some kind of cosmic trade-off for being born, raised and buried in environmental Hell. Hi Goldbugs, I never forgot you. How did Harry Chapin put it? I know:
"through the too many miles
and the too little smiles .
I still remember you"
The San Francisco Beat
Things have been good. Last night Jens and I stumbled over to the Green Party headquarters with Luke Thomas and Elaine Santore where we tried again to show the geek squad how to have fun. It was a close call but I think we succeeded. It was their annual holiday party. While the rain pounded outside, they threw caution to the wind and used electric lights. As a carbon footprint trade-off I tried to get all the girls to take off their clothes. Sadly, none seemed to get the connection.
Why do women hate me?
It can't be my fault. That's clearly out of the question. So, what's wrong with the women in this town? Only lesbians really listen to me and those things never last long. There were lots of luminaries at the gathering (Johnny Rizzo from the College District and Mark Sanchez, President of the School Board and Amy Macdonald Chadonia) . but, I went right after Debra Walker (Chair of DBI Commission) about Director Isam Habenn's ("as you stare into the vacuum of his eyes, you know he's not buying any alibis" - he's new and he's smart and he's kind of scary) . Habenn's new plan to re-organize her department and she seemed surprised that anyone actually knew they had a meeting.
I mean, shit dude, it was on TV! They had to figure someone was sans personal life enough to tune them in. But, I'm still not certain what I saw. That happens to me lots. So, I had to grab Walker and grill her in my patented friendly fashion. Lemme sketch it out and see if you can figure out what was going on. Key facts first.
The Mayor hates DBI (Department of Building Inspections) . he hates them, which is his right. Like all major departments, someone is always on trial over there for extortion or arson or threats of physical violence but, hey, that's regular City business most places.
Did you know, for instance, that the mayor of St. Louis once had to live in a 'safe house' because the PD considered a threat made against him by the President of the Board of Supervisors to be legitimate but not raising to the level of prosecution of the Board prez?
I shit you not. In San Francisco, it's usually the Board President who gets threatened but, let's not get off track here. Don't you let me get off track here. Our time is too valuable to be wasted reading things that add nothing to neither your life nor the public domain. Huh?
So, the Mayor came into office promising to destroy Joe O'Donoghue and the RBA (Residential Builders Association). I mean, these guys are carpenters and one of them has the fastest boat in the world that costs him something like $100,000 a second when he runs it full-out to set records. That kind of conspicuous consumption, the Mayor rightfully feels, shouldn't be allowed for the Irish rabble.
No, that's for Donald Fisher who has given the Mayor more money than any contributor not named Getty and who rides from one end of the City to the other with a pack of heartless lawyers stealing title to one municipal property after another as his rightful plunder for his profits gained through employing Asian children as slave labor in his Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy sweat shops.
I'm chasing rabbits again. What I really meant to say was that Walker is a funny and charming lady who has done a good job at the DBI where I'd expect Board President Peskin to re-appoint her in the new year. Whether she'll continue as president is anyone's guess. But, the Mayor's people have other ideas.
The big argument for the meeting . let me emphasize that when I phoned Luke Thomas to tell him to tune it in that he said that it had to be a replay because no one was meeting over the holidays . I figured that such a meeting whose existence I only discovered cause I have no life and read about it online at 3am . where was I?
So, I'm always suspicious when I see meetings scheduled under the radar (legally posted?) where the Mayor will attend and present a new program that will completely alter the lines of power anywhere and about anything. When that happens, I normally pour another bourbon, roll a big fat joint and prop myself in front of the TV to see whose ox our 'Ken doll' puppet is going to gore.
"These firemen are not real building inspectors."
"I want to compliment you on the new BPR."
(Business Process Review)
As Skip Soaib used to say: "You know me and I'm not one to cause trouble, but" . part of the plan seems to be to cut the fire department out of the plan checking process in some way or another. I'm smarter than you and I couldn't really figure out what they were saying, so I completely understand your confusion. Want a drink?
Let's cut the shit and get on the same page here. The above remark was made by one of the Mayor's people at the hearing and the only people to refute it were off duty and retired SFFD personnel. This is probably (don't quote me on this) part of the larger battle about fire defenses in new buildings and whether they should have a traditional stand-pipe system or a circular alarm running around a whore house or have elevators safe for access to upper floors or just pull the firefighters up by using a pulley and a rope with a noose around their necks or . yeah, I didn't really pick it up either but, trust me, it means millions in difference in construction and that's why they're cutting the firefighters out of the deal. Keep in mind, that's why they had the meeting when they did. I'll figure it out because I was a firefighter for 5 years and it's in my blood and I care. Whatever, the safety and integrity of our City's structures was at stake in these 'reforms' that were introduced yesterday and I don't know what happened. Worry about that until I get back to you. If you want to make your own judgement, go do DBI archives and watch 12-19-07. Now, about Susan Leal and the PUC.
Real Americans watch SFPUC's 12-11-07 Meeting
Go to SFGTV.org and click on the archives of the SFPUC and bring up the 12-11 meeting. That's only if you're in a position to want to claim credibility as a consultant to anyone about how around 10 friggin' billion dollars is gonna get spent over the next decade. Cause, the crooks done changed the rules to the game and they have an incentive to make both the Hetch-Hetchy rebuild and the new SF General Hospital construction (totally and completely unnecessary) to cost you more and more and more.
Only commissioner, Dick Sklar raised a hand to say: "Whoa, this does not pass the smell test. Isn't there an incentive for this company to estimate higher and higher because they get 8.5 percent of the total estimate with no cap?". Yeah, he said that and he was right.
It's a 3 and a half hour hearing but, as I said, you need to zero in and watch items 15 and 18-20 to see the way Newsom and his boys are planning to piss away your money. Think 'Big Dig'. Think 'up your ass'. Sklar slowed them but he didn't stop them and he was all alone like that mouse in the field with the hawk bearing down.
Let me bottom-line this for you. These items are proto-types for the way 10 billion in your money is going to get spent. Item 15 is a proto-type for a 'bottomless commitment' and items 18-20 are proto-types for 'Old Boy' rewards. An accountant from PUC actually said that although no company in the United States had ever gotten a contract like the one proposed in item 15, that this was the model for how the big bucks from this and the coming SF General rebuild will be spent. Your worst enemy here is SFPUC Commission President, Ryan Brooks who was appointed by Willie Brown and acts like it. Your next worst enemy is the City Attorney's office whose representative thinks that these are good contracts.
Then, comes the SFPUC staff and that's all Leal all the time. Thus, I'm starting to think that giving her a half million bucks to tide her over til she finds a new slop trough might actually be a bargain. I mean, shit dude, if she is the enabling power behind item 15, dumping her could save at least tens of millions of dollars. You be the judge. But then, you'd have to watch item 15. Tell me if I'm not right. Leal doesn't complain at all. She and Brooks and most of the commission and all of the staff and the Deputy City Attorney all like this deal and that proves they're all dung beetles.
"Over the river and through the woods,
to Alexandra Jones' place we go."
I interviewed for a part-time job a couple of days ago. Trying to get off Skid-Row. Imagine my surprise to find that the building I want to manage was in an even worse neighborhood. In fact, the queue for the longest soup kitchen line in Northern California starts in front of the place. Anyway, it would appear that I didn't get the job and it makes me all the more grateful that I have friends like Alexandra who let me stay in their places while they're out of town. A little relief from the bedlam of the Tenderloin is always good.
I'm gonna have two official gatherings at AX's atween now and the 7th when she returns. The first will be on Christmas day for those of you who are pagan or otherwise dispossessed and the second will be on New Year's eve. If you want to attend either, let me know via email. Otherwise, I'll expect you at Salon tomorrow.
If you call a woman or man who dates someone far younger than them a 'cradle robber', what do you call someone who dates someone like me? One reader says: 'a grave robber'. Let's hope that's not too literal and you have a good week leading up to the orgasmic capitalist conclusion of our year. Lay off the delete button and take a chance now and then. Is Hope Johnson a cougar?
Bulldog holiday is every day.