tv [untitled] February 14, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
area would find a much better space for any number of things and i do not think over cycling as a recreational facility -- thank you for your time -- a very small portion of my neighborhood would actually use this. i have spoken to my community members and it does that seem to be in use. supervisor it is really important to me, and i think it would be much better served to have someone -- something else there. supervisor mirkarimi: i did not mean for you get interrupted. are you sure you do not have anything else to say? >> no, thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: the names that i called, please come on up. supervisor avalos: i would also appreciate if no one from the audience would interrupt the speakers. >> good morning. i live on the crosstree about
100 yards from the recycling center. -- i live on carle street about 100 yards from the recycling center. i took off work today to come here to voice my opposition to the removal of the recycling center from its location. it has been there for 36 years. it is a community center, more than just a recycling center. my children have done their community service there. when my eldest son got arrested at an anti-war demonstration, he was able to do his community service there. same with my daughter goes to high school. i use it myself. if you take the human element out of our community, it will lose something very important. the big issue -- i understand the concerns of the people who are opposed to it. the larger issue of homeless in the park is a completely separate issue be repaired -- completely separate issue.
before 1997 or 1998, it was not an issue in our local area, but what happened was there were two successive mayors in san francisco who ordered a sweep of the downtown area and all of the homeless people who were down the road into the park. in 1987, i was there on that particular issue, and i walked around the area. the issue of the recycling center where it is, if you take it away, it is going to kill something very strong in our community, and that is about all i have to say. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you, sir. other people i call, please come on up. >> longtime resident in the haight and longtime supporter of the recycling center. i'm here, however, this morning to speak in favor of reconverting the center to park use. it is a nonconforming use. it is not open space, and it is not recreation. i hate to disagree with calvin
about this. i'm sorry -- it is not recreation. i, like most of my neighbors, no longer use the recycling center except for going to purchase the native plants. have not used it for quite some time, and i think that is also why there is not more of my neighbors year. they simply are not using it and are not involved. i think what is critical that met the park is offering is to convert this site to a garden. the city has taken 30 years under the open space fund to acquire 100 acres of park land. 2/3 of an acre is a lot. most of the little parks we have acquired are very small like this, so 2/3 is very important. times have changed, and one of the things that change is a huge interest in urban agriculture. this site is very important to the future and to many citizens in our city. i hope you will consider that.
i think the opportunity to grow food is not only a nice recreation. it is going to be a vital part of food security in our city, and this central location and some of the materials that will be available will be very useful around the city. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. >> supervisors, good afternoon. i'm speaking initially for myself. i personally feel that this hearing is mostly a hollow toothless dog and pony show on topics where the board of supervisors has no jurisdiction. it is a waste of time and resources for all involved when the board should be focused on other important issues like our cities horrific fiscal deficit. the hearing also is another example of attempts to keep the dialogue out of focus, most recently illustrated to me when a hanc representative address myself and other pro-community garden neighbors during a public meeting in january.
she called us fascist farmers. that is a completely inappropriate, disrespectful, highly offensive and insulting slur not worthy of public dialogue where there are legitimately differing opinions. that said, i will finish by speaking as the committee chair of the buena vista neighborhood association. bvna joins all but one of the other neighborhood organizations to support rec and park's termination now of the rental for recycling, and we support the plans for a community garden and related features in the area. we support the department of environment present efforts to but recycling cash redemption where it always has belonged, with the stores that initially sell the merchandise, as described in the very thorough
and very encouraging presentation. instead of the foot dragging, scrap the low road, we wish the recycling company and some supervisors would take positive responsibility on this issue, recognize what has been publicly and widely known for years, whether or not and if everyone wants to acknowledge it, that keysar recycling has for some time been obsolete. work with the department of environment to relocate them to a commercial industrial area so that jobs and community benefits can continue there. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you very much. from the names i called, and the other speakers? i'm going to call some more names than. [reading names] please. >> i want to speak to the
weirdness of the city department spending $250,000 on a community garden project where there is currently a recycling center that puts over $1 million back into the community, not to mention the 10 jobs that are at risk of being lost. that is it. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: ok. thank you. other names that i called, please step on up. if i called your name, i suggest you get in the middle of the aisle and weight, or else, we're going to bypass you. this is your time. come on up. one after the other. i'm going to ask people when i call your name to please stand in the aisles so we keep this moving along. thank you. >> thank you, supervisors, for holding this hearing. we appreciate it.
i ran the recycling center in the mid-1980's, and have worked there since 1982. i started the native plant nursery at the recycling center. not only does the recycling center not charge an admission fee, but it is the only golden gate park attraction that pays patrons to use the facility. hanc has always been at the forefront of green issues. hanc was founded to save mount sutro and to stop a freeway that would have destroyed the panhandle and much of golden gate park's. the rec and park commission supported the freeway. in 1974, there was no place to recycle in the haight ashbury, so hanc started a recycling operation. now, all san franciscans recycle, but there is still a desperate need for more
redemption centers in san francisco. state law requires that consumers be refunded their deposits for beverage containers. sustaining the earth's biological system cannot be accomplished without native plants. therefore, a native plant nursery was created at the recycling center. we propagate over 60 species of san francisco native plants to support native birds, insects, and other wildlife. the nursery supplies plans to numerous gardens and habitat restoration projects throughout the city, including green schoolyards, mission greenbelt, butterfly quarter, and many reckon park projects. we have planted over an acre of native plant gardens adjacent to the recycling center and keysar , and we are helping -- hoping to do more. soil is made from compost on site. monthly workshops along with
tours for school groups complement the nursery. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. >> we need more negotiations. [applause] supervisor mirkarimi: next speaker please. come on up. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am a 47-year resident of the haight ashbury along with my wife, who will speak next. i have difficulty imagining how i could compress everything i wanted to say within this time, but i discovered that through the various questions of the witnesses, that has been done for me, and i cannot see -- can now see the possibility of an outcome adverse to the recycling center given these. i thank you for your thoroughness, and turning the light not only on the issues, but also an equally serious
underlying problem, and that is the lack of transparency in the recreation and park department. thank you very much. [applause] now, what are we going to do with this? supervisor mirkarimi: you come -- you come to this microphone. this one right next to you. then just pull it down towards you please. madam clerk. one second please. >> hello. thank you, supervisors. i am a longtime resident of the upper haight area. from the time the center was opened, my family has recycled there, and i always -- until i had the stroke, i look forward to recycling there. it was a very welcoming place.
supervisor, you mentioned how these little recycling reentry machines -- they reminded me of the bottle containers that are so often out of order, and i cannot imagine these same in order very long. people pounding on them because they have lost their nickel, and they thought it would never come out, and i can see the bottle never getting in any money not coming out, but anyway, that is beside the point because i would like to see the haight ashbury recycling center stay there. my kids learned about recycling by going down there and seeing how things are recycled. i liked the fact that we can go down there and actually separate the bottles from the tin foil from the tin cans, and it made sense to the kids, and they learn through that. that would not happen if we
eliminate the hanc recycling center, so i hope that you vote not to follow the commission's recommendation. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. folks, i know people have strong feelings, but if you could try to keep the applause in either direction -- just not do it, that would be helpful. the rules of the board. please. >> good afternoon. i manage two properties, a total of nine units, and when i was a child, we would always take our cycling from those buildings to hanc, and it was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my childhood. i want to point out that the
people who sleep in my driveway and use it as a toilet are not the ones walking around with shopping carts with recycling and begging for money on the street. it is a different population, and i feel that we are blinding -- combining the homeless issue and the hanc issue, and i think those are definitely separate. it is sad that an issue is pitted in the new versus the old within the haight ashbury and i appreciate the folks who have moved in with in the last senate 20 years and their passion to save the neighborhood and their pride, but i think that they are misguided in attacking hanc and the recycling center for the ills of the neighborhood. again, i think they are completely separate issues. and the people on the street being verbally abusive leaving the output and begging for money are not the people using the recycling center. many of the people sitting there are those who have been using the recycling center, and i do not think any of us do that.
in an era when native plants are valued, i think that it is something we should value and not look at getting rid of a place like hanc. it is not about the golden gate park mission and vision. i think it is a thinly veiled political attack on hanc as well as issues with homelessness. i urge you to keep the hanc recycling center and made a plant nursery. it is an important service to the center, and it is important to the community. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. before the next speaker speaks, i want to read more names for people to file into the center aisle here. >> good morning, supervisors. i'm a third generation and have
a tent, a resident of the haight. when he finishes talking, i want to thank supervisor mirkarimi. i want to thank you for your questions and your active mind, working through all these recycling statistics. it was very informative, and i have not heard any of those things before. i want to say three things, and i have heard this because we have had other talks about this subject over the last 10 years. for people new to the neighborhood, they do not realize this is a very long going controversy. but most recently, i have heard that the termination of the lease was payback from the former mayor. although, as i say, this has been a goal for recon park for 10 years. i remember, and kevin drew will remember when sydney chan, then a rec and park commissioner,
yelled out, "find a new place now." it was very clear they were on a temporary status. the second thing is that the markets in the area will lose their compliance with the bottle bill. my take on that is -- who cares? let the big corporations deal with it. it is their responsibility. we by the sodas from the stores. we take them back to the stores. they do not have to use the reversible machine. you can always take it into the store. all through europe, they use these rivers recycling machines. they work. i do not see any problem. the third is that the native plant nursery is being evicted. this is absolutely not true. you saw in the sketch, it was 10, over in the left, the first phase. the native plant nursery will be there actually very close to where it is now. i support recycling. i have a ultimately it -- ultimate respect for the hanc
people who have over the years been pioneers, and i just hope they can find a place to relocate this. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. >> good morning. thank you so much for having this meeting, and you have been amazing, supervisor mirkarimi. i'm going early, but i apologize because i have to go to a meeting. i think we're talking about the wrong subject. subject needs to be reckoned park and they're in confidence when it comes to working with the public. i would like to see it on the ballot like you tried last year so we can vote on that. please bring that back. i live in a very large condo complex, and recycling is not done there. we are two solid blocks of hud housing, which is just as incompetent as reckon part. i have a friend who uses hanc, and i used hanc, so if you close
them, i have no cycling, and i am a big recycler. all over san francisco, they are the environment's guardian angels. if you remove hanc recycling center, i will was the possibility of recycling. this will harm the environment. over the years, i have observed the part does no recycling bottles, and you know we do not trust that they will put in a competent to cycling process. scavengers remove recyclables in order to redeem them, thus saving the environment. some at the park are so critical of this, maybe they could pay the scavengers' for sorting the recyclables and split the redemption fee with them. just a thought. community gardens, of course a good idea, but not at this site. recycling is more important for our society and birth. i'm always hearing about these budget issues, but we are going to spend $250,000 on moving a company that is already working
and giving the city money. san francisco is number one in recycling in united states, and hanc is part of the reason for this. please keep it where it is. [applause] supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. >> i also support keeping the hanc where it is. i have been a resident and using the recycling center for 30 years. we live a very short distance from the park, and it seems to be one of the many reasons that the center said this was an industrial facility, and industrial use, and it should be removed from the park. however, they are planning to put a water treatment plant on the western end of the park, and this is also an industrial use, and it just seems to be a
completely inconsistent policy. i would appreciate, if anything, could you extend to lease for another five years to see whether the coke machines at the racks we work. thank you for your time. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. >> hello. i'm a resident of district 1, and i've been going to the hanc recycling center for decades, and i would like to explain why preferred over curbside recycling in my neighborhood. i like to use things, and when i go to the hanc center, i collect shopping bags. quite often thrown away when they are in a perfectly good use. i collect them for myself. i collect them for the grocery store when i go shopping. besides collecting the paper shopping bags, i also collect magazines. my wife is a nurse who works with alzheimer's patients, and
her patients often ask for magazines, and i'm not the only one who goes to collect things. i've met people there collecting wine bottles and beer bottles, and i know that doctors from the pet hospital come there to collect newspapers. hanc is not just a recycling center. it is a reuse center. if we are going to eliminate waste or reduce waste, we have to do more than recycle. we have to reuse. curbside recycling just does not have this potential. in closing, let me say that i would like to ask the question -- why do we need a community garden at this site so badly to displace recycling center that has served san francisco for decades? to me, the recycling center is an irreplaceable resource, a public resource that is utilized by thousands of san franciscans every month. i support community gardens, but we need a recycling center. we have so few of them.
we're losing them all the time, and as you heard from the numbers, san franciscans do not have enough recycling centers. thank you very much. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. i'm going to call up a few more names. [reading names] if you could just file in the middle, i appreciate it. >> i also have used the hanc recycling center for many years. my children there, when they were growing up, and they are avid recyclers themselves, but i want to talk about where this started and why we are here, and that is what the gentleman before me ask. years ago, karen referred to the recycling center as hanc's cash cow, and there you have it. since then, those in neighborhood groups who do not hanc's progressive stance and
activities have searched for arguments to fit their goal to shut down the recycling center with the hope that hanc will emerge crippled and its voice diminished. this helps to explain the misstating the facts as facts are less important than achieving their goals. they finally found a champion -- our previous mayor. and he allowed a process in secret that excluded not only hanc but the public, and after two-plus hours of testimony before the rec and park commission, there was almost no discussion by the commission before the vote. this has not been a thoughtful process. until today. and i really want to thank ross for holding this hearing in bringing people together to get the facts out. i want to thank the board of supervisors for your interest in this issue and for looking into the totality of the possible ramifications. a community garden is prettier
than a recycling center, no doubt, but is it of more benefit to the community? thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you very much. next speaker please. >> thank you. i'm the president of the northern california recycling association. i live in berkeley. i have never used the hanc center because i do not live there. i think there's three reasons why people recycle. one is that they care a lot about the environment and they want to do the right thing. money is not important. second reason they do it is because it is convenient. that is the people who use curbside programs. the third group of people who recycle do so because the money is there. they get their money back, and they like that. it is really important to have that kind of system available. kids, retired people -- does not matter who they are, just people who want their nickel back. seems to me at this point, hanc is the place to do that in this
part of the city. should be a convenient service, but it is not because we lost the fight in sacramento in 1986, so i hope you will let hanc stay in business. thank you, sir. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm here as a member of the board of directors of hanc, and i will also be speaking on another item within this regarding how the voting went because of my current appointment to the sunshine or in its task force and being vice chair there. first, i would like hanc to like is contained in name and negotiate agreements to provide recycling services in golden gate park and surrounding areas. why is rec and park not offer it -- honoring the master plan, a requirement by voter initiative, and enumerated in our city law? hanc obviously is not opposed to community gardens, having taken
on gardens as a community sponsor, and i also, with regards to some of the comments around crime around the recycling center, i would like to refer you to a web site called sanfrancisco.crimespotting.or.g if you look at the area, going back december 2010, all the way back, you can see that there really is not that much activity in that area. lastly, with regards to the voting, i hold a position that wreck in part is incorrect. -- that beckon park is incorrect -- that back and parked is incorrect -- that rec and park is incorrect.
this section is the operative section, and this is the section that rec and park holds whenever they speak about this, about the voting. if you are familiar with, and i know, supervisors, you are, and other members of the public, and attorneys, if you are familiar with how law is written -- if i may continue with this? supervisor mirkarimi: quick question to you -- what are we familiar with with regard to -- >> you are familiar with how the sequence of law operates, that the operative within a paragraph its first sentence, and if we read the first sentence, it says presence of the majority of members of an appointed board, commission, or a unit of government -- supervisor mirkarimi: week at that. thank you. next speaker please.
>> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm representing assembly member tom amiano's office. our office submitted a letter in opposition to the eviction of hanc. we can talk about the 30-plus hanc years plus at the site. we can talk about usage rates. there is actually quite a few issues, the nuances of recycling here in the city and county of san francisco. the one thing that seems to be getting a little bit lost is that hanc currently employs 10 people at the site, with regards to the native nursery as well as the recycling center. from a state perspective, california is suffering with an 11% to 12% unemployment rate. we are battling sacramento to close a proposed $25 billion deficit. th