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Monday, May 24, 2002

[Watching City Hall appears in this space Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.]

Wednesday, May 29

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

Advice from an Elder

I've been reading that Gavin Newsom is searching his soul as to whether or not he should leave politics.

Gav, if you're listening old man, let me give you some advice. Follow your heart, kid. Quit politics! Join the Oakland branch of the Hell's Angels (they're near) & get that mane of hair out into the open air!! No more questions about whether you're a wimp or too fastidious. Hell, I understand everyone pisses on your levis and you have to wear them a month or something without washing them. That's almost as long as I usually wear mine. You could use your restaurants as fronts for a heavy meth and coke trade and turn your residential units into brothels. Stop asking yourself “IF” you should get out of politics. Start asking yourself, “Why didn't I think of this sooner?”

Full Moon & Carnival

Now and then it's best if I leave town for awhile until things blow over. Ya know? This last weekend, Aimee scheduled a bonfire on during the full moon, the same day as Carnival was happening in the Mission. Clearly, my only chances for survival were to have myself locked up, committed. Or go up to Daniel & Becky's in Sonoma County and play ping pong. I chose the latter.

I don't seek certain destruction as much as I did in my youth. Having failed to reach the top of Hayes Hill in the previous Sunday's Bay to Breakers, why go in harm's way again? Sometimes it seems like there is a full moon every night in San Francisco. I grabbed the Celine book Gonzalez lent me ("Journey to the End of the Night") & went for a few days of suburban "normalcy."

That's where I've been. Out of town. With normal people. See, I can act regular too. Lying by the edge of the pool. Getting a sunburn. Drinking vodka tonics & shots of tequila. Watching sports on a big screen tube.

Mayor cuts off supes' allowances

And Peskin interrupts public comment to deride Bardis

What would you think of a legislative body empowered to spend 5.2 billion dollars on behalf of its citizens but who abdicated 99.7% of that responsibility? That's our San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Uh huh. All of em but Matt Gonzalez & Chris Daly.

Now, as a reward, the mayor is making noises through his minions (Like Leland “Odd Job” Yee) that he wants to take away the board's paltry 3/10ths of 1% of the spending power. I think it's funny. It reminds me of the old line the kids used to say on the playground when you let someone fuck over you: "If you'll stand for that, you'll stoop for THIS!"

All day yesterday we started hearing indications that the board's “add backs” are going to be on the table for possible cuts. In the middle of it all, the board's public comment section of the meeting came around. Former supervisor John Bardis stood elegantly and forcefully to remind the supes that even though the budget that comes to the board the 1st of June is the mayor's budget, when it goes back for the mayor's signature on July 1st, it is THE BOARD's BUDGET!

Peskin came out of his seat like he had a rocket up his butt. He looked like one of Santa's elves jumping up and down in front of the TV camera. I busted a gut laughing & poured another bourbon. It was good to be back in town.

1,000 pages of h. brown

The Call will be offline for the month of June while we retool before hitting the streets again. Last edition of this era will be Friday (May 31st). A friend has promised to create a website for me to store my columns during June & perhaps coalesce them into novel format. If you're interested in 18 months of my columns, watch for the address on Friday.

sunny side up: sobone@juno.com


Monday, May 27

h. brown is out of town.


Friday, May 24

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

Tony Hall, Big Tony, he comes to the Transportation Committee Thursday to present this latest version of "Let's Screw Rent Control!" cooked up by the real estate brokers. This time it's called "HOPE," as in “They HOPE you're as dumb as you look.”

The realtors have concocted this cute little piece of legislation that kind of reminds you of PG&E's retarded hamster in the Public Power campaign. You know, you lean over to pat it on the head & it throws you & your clothes out into the street? Get the details from someone else, but trust me on the basics. If you make less than $120 grand a year, you ain't gonna get no condo outta this legislation. You will, however (as soon as humanly possible) be doing a kind of reverse “Okie” thing as you head ta hell outta here. Start looking for stock in U-Haul or “Storage World,” or maybe you can inoculate yourself with enough Botox to make it into an adolescent group home.

McGoldrick is the chair of the Transportation Committee, and he continued the strong run of solid performances under Willie's Big Top. To their credit, he & Ammiano (majority votes in committee) didn't get up on the table & stomp all over Hall's nicely bound, 90-page presentation. The effect, however, was the same. Hall said something to the effect of, "I'll die of old age before this gets out of this committee."

Annnnd, guys … you can save this. Matt Gonzalez has a group ready with a ballot proposal creating a San Francisco Land Trust. I'm told the numbers being kicked around are somewhere from a billion dollars, downwards to 250 million. For a billion, you can put up to 10,000 units into a “truly” affordable land trust with at least 20,000 renters becoming owners under conditions that (a) enable them to purchase their apartment even if they only make 30k a year and (b) insure that the unit will always be affordable and beyond speculation.

You get Hall and Gonzalez together & we can have renters buying their places for a hundred grand or less from the City Land Trust next year at this time. It's done all over the world. It is only the greed of realtors that opposes it now.


– Chair McGoldrick tells the excruciating truth

Boyd Yee of the DPT (Parking & Traffic) was the recipient of true grace from God as the four-hour opening skirmish of the Hope Vs. Land Trust debate ended. McGoldrick is chair now & he was also the chair when the committee was called “Land Use” and Jake didn't know which end of the gavel to hit the table with. Anyway, this Boyd Yee guy came before the committee on Thursday & basically wanted to give a bunch of neighborhood parking spots to some dot-com scum. In one of the board's earliest meetings with the inner-sanctum staff of Willie's lower intestine, Yee insulted the new board's committee and hasn't been seen much since. Now the department sends people whose knuckles don't drag on slight inclines.

Set the scene. “Last year,” Yee's gotta be thinking, “do they remember me from when I insulted them last year?” McGoldrick's got bigger fish to fry. He's gotta piss like a race horse and he asks Ammiano if they can take a five-minute break. Hall's gone … uh … pouting, so they wouldn't have a quorum. Jake crosses his legs & says, "It's another … " Yee takes the podium (he has the final two items) & McGoldrick goes like Flash Gordon for the first time in his life. The man would have signed away Alaska for two bits! Wouldn't you?

Then, all at once …

he was standing there!


So sure of himself …

his head in the air!


– Gavin Newsom humming Roy Orbison in his sleep while having nightmares of our first debate

I'm running for Supervisor in District 2, you know? You didn't? OK, it's mostly a secret except at the corner liquor store. I have to put together a short bio thing for the District 2 web page run by Daniela Kirshenbaum. She wants a “candidate” recent shot of me. I, of course, asked if nudity & obscenity were allowed (if you can't have fun, why run?)

I settled on a top ten list. Yeah, like Letterman. They always ask you that kind of thing. They say, like, "What would make you our best choice for Supervisor?" Here are my answers.

Number ten: If you call me at 3:30 am, I'll probably still be up & might just invite you over for a beer.

Number nine: I think $30,000 a year is big money.

Number eight: I've had a vasectomy.

Number seven: I've never met Gray Davis

Number six: You can borrow my car.

Number five: I can't count.

Number five: I won't take up much room on your couch.

Number three: I tested negative.

Number two: I don't like interns.

Number one: I know where you live.

Issues are for sissies: sobone@juno.com