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VOLUME 2, NUMBER 28   <>  MONDAY, JULY 16, 2001

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

Early line on mayor: 2004

Gavin Newsom is looking good. So is Jake McGoldrick. Jake has definitely made the greatest sartorial gains in the six months since he became District 1’s supervisor. Matt Gonzalez is competitive vis à vis wardrobe. However, this is San Francisco where the last mayor appeared nude in a shower with a couple of shock jocks (sans jocks).

After a week away, I turned on Channel 26 and reassessed the City Hall scene. The differences. …

Gavin Newsom has rejoined the board. He made a serious error in leaving the arena to the new reform board. Gavin is a bright guy and fast on his feet, but he sorely underestimated the likes of Matt Gonzalez. In the months Gavin sat in the wings and pouted and cheap-shotted the new board, it left him behind. Now, Newsom is back dividing his time between keeping kids of color off the docks this summer (a big success for Gavin and the Marina Bigots Association — although they ALL support the IDEA of having the little buggers crawl all over the piers … just not this summer) and …

Gavin, to his credit, got sprinklers for SROs to the board, but …

he’s also been pushing against real reform in the city’s relationship to PG&E by tossing out a Trojan Horse loophole-laden charter amendment aimed solely at keeping your cash in the pockets of PG&E forever and ever and ever, and…

Gavin wants to keep confusion king in the Department of Elections by allowing the new (mayor-anointed via city administrator) director of elections to make around 2,000 “waivered” appointments from the ranks of city employees and others with allegiances to something other than a fair outcome to the day’s contests. As one person in the audience said in a description of the kind of poll employee Gavin’s legislation would allow: “The poll inspector wet himself as he picked up the ballots.”

This board has some developing heavyweights. I once said that I’d vote for Ammiano for mayor as long as he was alive because I thought he deserved it. But, hey, I see him backing off from the good fight and I won’t support that. It began with the corporate tax give-back and ended with him fronting for the mayor last week to protect 2 million in special assistants for Willie.

Anyway, while Tom fades to fog, Matt Gonzalez, Aaron Peskin, Jake McGoldrick, and Gavin Newsom have all caught fire. None has had the cajones to sign the petition to recall Willie Brown (thanks, Jim Reid) but they have all benefited from the effort. The number of disgusting acts committed by the mayor has faded in direct relationship to the birth and growth of the petition to recall Willie Brown. Last week the real Willie raised his head and fired a nineteen-year employee of the Port Authority in order to keep a young female special assistant with less than a year on the job. Willie relayed the rationale for his choice through his “crack” staff: “She’s black!” Willie noted.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

Fly Oakland

There was good news. I lived through a flight back to see my mom. Along the way, I realized a few facts which related directly to the issue of whether to extend SFO to include lotsa bay.

As I said before, it ain’t necessary.

SFO’s flights were down 7 percent last year while both Oakland and San Jose saw their traffic increase by double-digit numbers. Here’s why.

My mom & sister bought my plane ticket back home. Round-trip SFO to St. Louis was more than $600. From Oakland, it was $302. That’s half!

I live in the Tenderloin & it took less time to get from my place to Oakland’s airport (40 minutes) than to SFO, at about 1/3 the cost. I paid $2.75 to ride from the Civic Center to the Oakland Coliseum, where I purchased a $2.00 BART ticket (only legal tender on the shuttles) and entered a waiting cute little coach which dropped me in front of my airline door. The return was the same in reverse in less time. Shuttles to SFO are around $12.

I changed planes in Denver twice. First time there since they did their expansion. My God!!! You can literally walk about two miles between gates. SFO is presently around 5,600 acres. The only larger continental airport is Denver. You don’t want that. Pretty soon SFO will be larger than San Francisco.

We’re off the racks for the next four weeks. We’ll still be at www.sfcall.com for you particularly perverted friends. As our esteemed publisher notes, we could get daily columns plus more going there. Visit us.

“how high’s the water, momma?” … sobone@juno.com

h. brown