Feed a Parrot for Liberty

From the indominatable H. Brown

Bulldog 2007 Article 77


"You could sell your naming rights."

(Eileen Left helps out)

I've decided to try and move out of the Tenderloin this summer and Eileen was trying to help me figure out ways to finance the relocation.

"You could offer to spy on yourself and your friends."

That one could have legs. I mean, given the number of high profile activists I hang around with, the various branches of government must spend a bundle on snitches and bitches. We could take the entire Salon undercover and rat out each other.

Ahhhh, it's springtime and everyone's moving. There's a rotation of housing and apartments rampant amongst my sect. I found myself thinking, "Hey, why not me? Do I really want to stay around and get in the middle of the cops with the truncheons beating the shit out of the crazies beneath my window?".

Thanks for the respite, Doug

The windows I'm looking out now have a different view. I've spent the last 4 days on a hillside in the Presidio watching my buddy's cat, Midnight. His place is at the top of the Baker Beach Apartments and his view covers the entire entry to the Golden Gate. I've focused binoculars on everything from warships to a cruise liner as they pushed out oceanic swells positioning themselves to run right under the center of the bridge.

He has the latest computer set-up, huge TV with cable (how about those Warriors - they get past the Jazz and they're in - watched the other teams and the local lads are playing much busier basketball if you know what I mean - lotsa elbows and attitude and lord, can they sharpshoot). These sits are a real tonic to a bottom dweller like me. I have 3 more of them lined up for the summer and if you need a sitter to watch you beasts or your plants or your neighbors, I'm your guy. Still, my friends are right, it's time for me to find a different police precinct.

Peskin trying to starve parrots?

Sit down with Angela Alioto sometime and listen to her talk about her legacy as, first supervisor, then as President of the Board of Supes. Same with Tom Ammiano. Same with Matt Gonzalez. All of them made great strides (Ammiano's done the most - you're welcome, Tom) in furthering the quality of life of San Franciscans great and small.

Higher wages for the poor. Extended health care. Smoke free restaurants and bars. Equal rights for transgenders. Support for alternative energy sources and alternative transportation modes (bikes rule and Rob Anderson sucks). Freedom from torture for our piteously decaying elephants. A host of other things.

Not Peskin. Peskin's legacy is strictly one long list of giveaways to corporations and the super-rich. Home Depot. Comcast. Anything in the parks or along the shoreline that the wealthy want to privatize. That's Peskin. He told me 6 years ago that he'd pass a tax on the rich before he left office. He lied.

But, what's with the parrots? Have you been following the lengths that the Board prez has gone to over the last couple of years to get rid of 150 little red-masked parrots from near his home on Telegraph Hill? It makes no sense.

In yesterday's Chronicle, Phil Bronstein dispatched reporter Steve Rubenstein to write an entirely one-sided story urging the people of San Francisco and tourists to never feed the parrots and threatening to ticket or arrest them if they did.

The law applies only to the parrots!!

Uh huh. When District 4's Ed Jew complained that kids wouldn't be able to feed ducks in the park, Peskin aide, David Noyola made the ordinance specific to only the poor little parrots.

Really. You can feed ducks and pigeons and, shit, I guess you can feed condor vultures if you can get one to land on your head. But, not the parrots. Imagine that. Of the hundreds of species of birds that call this crazy City home, only the parrots are denied food. Why?

With crime rising along with the homeless population. With the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. With worsening air and water quality and City departments from the cops to the DPW refusing to pull their load, Peskin spends who knows how much staff time putting together a presentation before last week's Land Use Committee. He twisted arms like a pro wrestler. A couple of his witnesses sobbed as they recanted their previous position that to feed the immigrant birds in the City of St. Francis was a good thing. And, they got their ass beaten.

Yeah, watch the tape of the hearing (which is clearly something Rubenstein didn't do). It's item 7 on the agenda and after the supervisor's carefully scripted stooges each read their presentations, the friends to the feathered creatures spoke from the heart and destroyed every single argument the proponents had made.

The birds do not cause disease. There is no record of their ever having attacked anyone (which is more than I can say for the ducks). In fact, they only do one thing any reasonable person could find objectionable and there was never a reference to that because it would have led right back to the real reason Peskin has been on this petty and ridiculous crusade. They screeeeechh!

Yeah, and word is that Peskin's housemate doesn't like noise. Same reason, I'm told that Peskin put pressure on various City departments to close down the venerable Savoy Tivoli and nearly put it out of business. More and more soundproofing was required until the business was nearly bankrupted. Because Peskin's housemate hated the noise coming up from Grant Street. The same noise that's been coming up from there for 150 years. It's the noise of cash registers, Aaron!

If you haven't followed this (don't blame you, it's trivial except to the extent that it speaks to Peskin's judgment and how many favors he must owe to everyone from Rubenstein to Mohammed Nuru) . if you followed it, you'd know that Peskin re-wrote a bill to landmark certain trees in the City. The move began in Chris Daly's office when some lout cut down the only large tree in the center of a block in the Tenderloin. Peskin moved to amend the law in such a manner as to allow the new owner of the property on Telegraph Hill which contains the 5 trees (used to be 5 - now, it's 2, cause the guy used Peskin's variance to cut down 3 of them until the parrot's 'caretaker' stood between chainsaws and the last 2) . Peskin, in short, tried to destroy the birds' home first. Oh yeah, I kid you not. Before he came up with this bill to starve them, he tried to make them homeless. What a guy.

And, he's been slippery, slippery, slippery. At first, he was more out front. He sponsored the amendment to the landmark tree legislation that put the parrots' nests within reach of the loggers. I think I was the only one in the City who saw what he was doing and had figured out why.

When others figured out what was up and made a special deal to save the last two nesting trees for the birds, Peskin said he couldn't vote on that because it personally affected him cause he lived nearby. Reality is that he simply couldn't go home again if he voted with the entire rest of the Board to save the 2 trees.

But the birds were never far out of Aaron's mind and he was able to brush aside the fact that he has a personal stake in the cute little screeching noisemakers when he cooked up this latest piece of crap legislation.

The bottom line on the issue is that, as one tourist Rubenstein quoted said: "They're movie stars!". That, and they aren't increasing in number. Something is eating their eggs out of their nests and probably them. Has to be. There are 150 of them at most and some say there are only 50-85. They've been here for 25 years and that's all the reproducing they can do? I don't believe it. Angela Alioto has a huge cage with some smaller cousins of the red-masked parrots in her kitchen and she can't give away the dozens of offspring they hatch fast enough.

Kids, if you doubt me, go to sfgov.org, click on SFGTV, go to archives and click on the Land Use Committee's last meeting (May 8th or 9th). Forward to item 7 and watch the entire public testimony. Watch Peskin who was said to be "unavailable", suddenly rush into the chambers when Supervisor Jew suggested continuing it.

"I was uh. I was uh. I was uh.

I was busy but watching this hearing

out of the corner of my eye."

What a crock of shit. He was immediately on the phone to Bronstein (this, I'm just guessing) who detailed Rubenstein to write a piece totally slanted in favor of Aaron's legislation (that happened). To influence Board opinion for the Tuesday vote before the Full Board when they'll be asked to pass discriminatory legislation against one single immigrant group who happen to annoy the Board President's housemate.

You watch and see.

Be a rebel . feed a red-mask parrot.

Buy Aaron a bird feeder for his birthday.

Happy Mother's day from the biggest mutha of them all.