Domestic sonic warfare against the homeless
Domestic sonic warfare against the homeless
S ource: SFGate
Having tried everything else, the managers of San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium are blasting the overnight homeless off their doorstep with the high-decibel sounds of chainsaws, motorcycles and jackhammers – topped off with an aircraft carrier alarm.
The nocturnal bombast – which runs at a steady clip between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. – is broadcast through the Civic Center building’s outside speakers.
“I thought it was the building alarm going off,” said building manager Robert Reiter.
Concert promoter Another Planet Entertainment – which has been given exclusive rights to operate the auditorium – says it has no other choice.
“I’m just at a point where I don’t know what else to do,” said company Vice President Mary Conde.
Conde and her boss, Another Planet founder Gregg Perloff, say they’ve had “an enormous amount of complaints” about the homeless from people heading to and from events at Davies Symphony Hall and the War Memorial Opera House.
Homelessness, of course, has been a fact of life around the Civic Center for years. The debate over what to do with the homeless has been going on for just as long.
Lately, anywhere from 20 to 40 people have been spending their days lounging and sleeping in Civic Center Park – much to the frustration of the police, Recreation and Park Department officials, and the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s new homelessness chief, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, tells us police and social service teams are doing their best to get the situation under control.
Another Planet simply used what it had on hand – “industrial” sounds taken off iTunes.
So far, it’s been “tremendously effective,” Conde said.
Not everyone, of course, appreciates the after-hour concerts.
“What s- behavior,” said Oscar McKinney, a homeless man chased away from the building one recent night by the sounds of sirens and revving motorcycles – a far cry from the likes of Phish and Paul McCartney, the usual Another Planet fare.
McKinney, by the way, says he has racked up 6,100 quality-of-life citations.
Full-court press: San Francisco is turning up its game to try to lure the Golden State Warriors back to the city.
Mayor Ed Lee quietly flew down to Los Angeles on Thursday for lunch with team co-ownerPeter Guber.
No word on how the talks went, but we hear Lee is keenly aware that the Warriors are also in talks with Oakland and San Jose – and he wants them here.
Mission mayhem: Mission District businessman and former supervisorial candidate RennieO’Brien was a bit taken aback when all hell broke loose Monday night outside his business on Valencia Street.
“At first I thought it was another march,” O’Brien said. “It was really surreal. Some of the marchers were telling everyone to slow down. Then I saw the black face masks. Then I saw what they were doing.”
In O’Brien’s case, they egged and splattered paint across the front of his fitness center.
“But what was really strange was that the cops seemed to just be calmly following the crowd in their squad cars, while city parking control officers blocked off intersections to accommodate the march,” O’Brien said.
And indeed, it turns out that four parking control officers had been called in to prevent the demonstrators – some of whom were armed with crowbars and hammers – from being struck by traffic.
“And for the safety of the motorists as well,” said police spokesman Sgt. Daryl Fong.
Pay play: San Francisco’s just-negotiated contract with its second-largest union – the Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21 – is expected to be the template for city labor deals this year.
If so, workers can expect two-year deals with no furlough days and no raises in the first year, and a 1.75 percent bump in year two.
They can also be expected to pay more for their personal health plans – but will see no increase in cost for their family plans.
Ex-supe’s seat: The move to install retired Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele as a six-month placeholder in the seat just vacated by Nadia Lockyer appears to have stalled.
Supervisor Keith Carson shelved the idea when it became apparent that two of his three colleagues, board President Nate Miley and Supervisor Wilma Chan, weren’t buying it – even though Steele said she wouldn’t run for re-election in November.
Plus, Tuesday’s board meeting was stacked with Hayward-area Latino leaders demanding that the seat go to one of their own.
Bottom line: Filling the seat is going to take at least a month. And with the winner having the upper hand in November, it’s going to be a very political process.