More ugly hate rhetoric from SF EXAMINER

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (coh@sfo.com)
Wed, 6 Oct 1999 16:54:31 -0800


Hey Folks-

Scott Winokur, the same SF columnist who waxed nostalgic about SF's 
MATRIX program last May, is at it again.  Here's what I had to say 
about his bullshit then:

http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives/May99/0112.html

All of the people quoted in the column below who have German-sounding 
last names (eerie, considering we're talking fascism here) have ties 
to San Francisco's Hotel Council, a major player in plans to turn the 
Tenderloin into another tourist playground.  Ed Evans is an old 
supporter of Frank Jordan (former mayor and architect of MATRIX). 
The only reason anyone listens to what he has to say is because he's 
on the North of Market Planning Coalition (NOMPC), an organization 
that operates as a front for the hotel council through the SF 
Hilton's ongoing  financial and developmental support.  Their only 
genuine tie with the Tenderloin community has been their role in 
formalizing their pre-existing snitch network with the police - 
calling it Tenderloin Community on Patrol (COP) - and having regular 
meetings where cops teach them how to be better snitches.

Ed Evans is wheelchair-bound for the simple fact that the man is too 
morbidly obese to stand on his own two feet.  Evans is fortunate that 
he has only been mugged four times - I know people who would like to 
beat him just for the joy of seeing him in pain.  Myself, I get real 
happy listening to him whine about what a victim he is.

 Last week, he and two others unsuccessfully tried to stop a family 
shelter from going up in the Tenderloin at a Supervisor's committee 
meeting, claiming the City was 'dumping' homeless families in the 
neighborhood (like families are garbage because they're homeless!) 
Fortunately, NOMPC exists primarily on paper, and community 
supporters for the shelter outnumbered the shelter's opponents by 
about 15 to 1.

NOMPC's board of directors also includes such losers as one guy who I 
PERSONALLY know to be a chronic glue-sniffer (no foolin').  I guess 
it's his right to self-medicate, and glue IS legal, but this guy is 
also a block captain for the SFPD.  Care to put your life or the 
lives of your loved ones in HIS sticky hands during an earthquake or 
other emergency?

So how do losers like these ever find themselves in Mr. Winokur's 
column?  San Francisco's Mayoral election is about a month away, and 
successful campaign hacks in SF have columnists that they can count 
on to propagandize about specific issues to embarrass the incumbents. 
The targets of this piece are obviously Willie Brown and SF District 
Attorney Terrence Hallinan, both facing re-election.

DA Hallinan is a so-called progressive, for better or worse, and he 
has refused to prosecute quality of life cases NOT because they 
violate poor people's rights, but because the police who write the 
citations can't seem to document the cases or cite the proper 
statutes.  That's how we got 39,000 of these citations summarily 
dismissed four years ago.  Now, there's a quarter-million dollar plan 
to prosecute quality of life infractions through the City Attorney's 
office.  Maybe the City Attorney can now instruct the cops how to 
make the charges they use to harass homeless people stick.

Who REALLY gets hurt?  Well, as a psychiatrically-disabled, 
formerly-homeless person, I'm NOT crazy about the labels he employs. 
For the few votes this article might spin, it also hurts every poor 
and homeless person living in my neighborhood, everyone who lives at 
the homeless shelter mentioned, and every mother I know who has had 
to turn a trick to feed her kids.

Take a good look at the rise of fascism in amerika, and organize to resist!

chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco

=========================================================================

Thugs, drugs and shrugs
SCOTT WINOKUR
Oct. 5, 1999
1999 San Francisco Examiner

URL:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/ 
10/05/EDITORIAL8412.dtl

DAVID OVERDORF'S big, beautiful old house is a four-story Edwardian by
architect C.A. Meussdorffer, who designed a number of historically
significant buildings the first quarter of this century.

Next time someone makes a movie of an Edith Wharton novel, they should
call Overdorf for a true-to-life set.

There's one major problem with the 92-year-old home. It sits on a
stretch of Hyde Street at the foot of Nob Hill. The street slopes
downward and south-southeast toward the Tenderloin.

In many other cities this would be a prime spot, close to offices,
theaters, restaurants, the Civic Center, museums and the opera. But in
San Francisco these days, civic amenities come with civic
anti-amenities, much as planets come with dark moons casting shadows.
Those are the hookers, addicts, alcoholics, deranged homeless and petty
thieves who have held San Francisco captive for nearly two decades now.

An affluent retiree, Overdorf could have lived anywhere. He and his
partner chose San Francisco because of what they thought it was, or
might be. They thought they could go anywhere without seeing excessive
filth or crazed lost souls getting in their faces.

But they couldn't. They couldn't even walk to their cars (which cost
$3,600 a year to park) without risk of a mugging.

"We have a a beautiful downtown architecturally, but there's so much
left to wrack and ruin," Overdorf complained to me. "The downtown is
important; we should not abandon it to street people, to tawdry
enterprises and to slumlords. We are turning our streets into veritable
junkyards.

"You pay a good sum for a house. You pay property taxes. You think
somebody should care."

On Post Street, between Jones and Leavenworth streets, Bianca and Peter
DeVries have resurrected the Cafe Bean, which caters to art students and
European tourists. They have worked hard to transform the place, but
they feel as though their work could be wasted if street people take
over Post Street.

"We hear all the time from tourists who can't believe how many homeless
there are. They're all appalled," Bianca DeVries said. "We had Swedish
tourists two months ago who were mugged by a transsexual at Hyde and
Post. The man went to the hospital for stitches. It's almost
embarrassing to have to defend The City."

The DeVries were looking forward to a meeting scheduled Sept. 18 with
Mayor Willie Brown at the Clarion Bedford Hotel across the street. It
was to be an opportunity for residents and merchants to express their
concerns. Hotel manager Paul Krause donated the use of a conference
room.

The mayor never showed up and never called to cancel, DeVries and Krause
said. According to the mayor's neighborhood services official, Bevan
Dufty, there was a "misunderstanding" somewhere along the line.

Adding injury to insult, at about the same time DeVries was stood up,
the Cafe Bean was ticketed by the city Department of Public Works for
putting tables and chairs on the sidewalk, European style, without the
necessary permit. DeVries was outraged. The mayor talks about San
Francisco as a "world-class city," she said, but then Brown's underlings
way down in the bureaucracy punish the very people who might make that
fantasy a reality.

Overdorf, too, is baffled by the mixed messages he gets from San
Francisco officialdom. Police coverage in the downtown area is split
between the Northern and Central stations with help from the Tenderloin
Task Force. But the kind of enforcement you get, Overdorf and others
say, depends on where you are, the time of day or night and the nature
of the call.

Different jurisdictions have different practices. Some cops rarely get
out of their cars; others pound the pavement. Some are tough on hookers;
others let them slide. Central and the Tenderloin Task Force get high
marks; Northern comes in for criticism.

Ed Evans, a Tenderloin resident who is on the North of Market Planning
Coalition's board of directors, said he'd like it if the community
policing approach of the Tenderloin Task Force - a hands-on,
personalized approach - also was practiced by the officers at Northern
Station.

Actually, Evans, who said he has been assaulted in his wheelchair four
times, would like to see the Task Force get ALL of the Tenderloin,
rather than sharing it with Central and Northern stations. He doesn't
think that will happen. In fact, he doesn't think the Tenderloin is
going to have anything good happen.

"In past police administrations," he said, "the attitude has been, the
Tenderloin is a zoo, that's where you put the animals."

Like Evans, Post Street resident Bob Garcia of the residents' group SOS
thinks jurisdictional boundaries in the Police Department contribute to
the problem. But Garcia refuses to rip Northern Station.

"They're overwhelmed," he said. "Capt. Walter Cullop targeted
prostitutes and drug dealers and it worked - for a month. If they drop
their guard, it'll be back."

Bank manager Chris Dittenhafer, president of the Polk District Merchants
Association, told me he intended to try to talk to Cullop soon.
Dittenhafer said he will demand foot patrols on Polk Street Thursdays
through Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 3 in the morning. Dittenhafer said
this is the only way to make a permanent impact.

"I haven't found Northern to be consistently responsive to merchants,"
Dittenhafer said.

Cullop said Polk Street now has a patrol car during the hours
Dittenhafer wants foot patrols, and he hopes to increase patrols as of
January. But he strongly defended his record at Northern, saying that
while problems remain, the area is "hugely better" than it was when he
took over more than 2 1 / 2 years ago, which no one disputes.

However, some things are beyond police control. One is the city
Department of Human Services' Multiservice Center at Polk and Geary
streets, a homeless shelter that police and merchants say is a magnet
for drug dealers. Another is the district attorney's office.

"There is zero prosecution of quality-of-life issues," Cullop said,
adding, "The front end of the criminal justice system" - that is, the
police - "is working fine."

That may or may not be the case. It's clear, however, that the people
who need to BELIEVE the system is working fine - in order to put money
and labor into it - think it's hardly working at all.

1999 San Francisco Examiner   Page A 19


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