Sue Hestor's 70th birthday party: "We Shall Overcome."

Everyone is singing "We shall overcome." Sue Hestor and Calvin Welch, two pillars of the development battles, are in center left. The photo was taken by Stewart Bloom, the official photographer of the Alvin Duskin anti-highrise battles.

By Bruce B. Brugmann

Plus: Tim Redmond reports on Sue Hestor and her environmental legacy on his new local  website 48  

How do you say happy birthday to a San Francisco icon like Sue Hestor?

Some 200 of her friends, allies, pro bono legal clients, political heavies, and fellow warriors against big developers and their pals in City Hall gathered Saturday at Delancey Street for a surprise party to celebrate Sue's 70th birthday.

When she arrived, she was obviously surprised to find a band playing "We shall overcome" and her friends standing, clapping, cheering, and singing  in admiration for a woman who has spent more than four decades as a citizen activist and attorney fighting for one good cause after another, usually at bad odds against the big guys, often for clients without pay. It was truly a historic moment in the history of San Francisco politics. 

I first knew Sue when she popped up as a feisty volunteer in the Alvin Duskin anti-high rise campaign of the the early 1970s. The Bay Guardian was doing an investigative book, "The Ultimate HIghrise," on the impact of highrises on the city. She pitched in on the project and was in the book's  staff photo, jauntily wearing her trademark straw hat, standing next to the hole in the ground for the Yerba Buena Center development.

 We billed a central feature of the book as "the world's first comprehensive study of the true cost of skyscrapers." Our research group demonstrated that highrises cost much more in services than they bring back in revenue,  a finding that infuriated the Chamber of Commerce because they could never effectively refute it. We also laid out in detail for the first time the power structure behind pellmell Manhattanizaton, how destructive those policies are, how they shift the tax burden from dowotown to neighborhoods and small business, who profits from them, why there are more muckmakers than muckrakers. Our talented art director Louis Dunn provided brilliant graphics that drove home the damaging points about highrises.

Our conclusion was most prophetic: "The most disturbing finding can't be quantified--but it should be shouted to the heavens.  It is this: unless the city of San Francisco reverses past practice and immediately enacts an ironclad land-use policy such as Duskin's proposed height limit, the long scoffed at 'Manhattanization' of the entire city is a surefire, 100%-guaranteed inevitability." 

I like to think this project and its results were a fitting start to Sue's career in land use litigation and terrorizing big developers, City Hall enablers, and their ever more virulent forms of Manhattanization. 

In the early l990s, I called on Sue again, this time to be the founding chair of the spanking new Sunshine Task Force. It was a new task force formed to enforce the Sunshine Ordinance, which gave citizens the right to make complaints about government secrecy and its tradition of keeping City Hall safe for PG&E, big landlords, and developers etal. The task force would, I knew, drive the bureaucrats nuts and  it thus needed a strong attorney as chair who would be smart enough and tough enough to go up against the city attorney and the crocodiles in the back bays of City Hall.

 The neat thing was that nobody could kick Sue off the task force.  She was one of two members who were "grandfathered" in by the ordinance--an attorney (Sue)  and a media rep (B3) --who were selected by the Northern Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, not the supervisors. She performed admirably and got the task force on a firm footing as the first and still the best local open government task force in the country, if not the world. 

Through the years of development battles, it was often Sue and Calvin, Calvin and Sue.  Calvin being Calvin Welch, a crafty environmental and neighborhood strategist who worked with Sue and others in developing counters and initiatives and all kinds of hellish moves to beat or slow down and mitigate development.  He said Sue's career could be summed up in two words: "cumulative impacts."  The good thing was that we all knew, when the developers brought up their heavy artillery or their sneaky back alley maneuvers, Sue and Calvin would be there to blow the whistle and take on the fight. Call Sue, call Calvin was the watchword but they usually called us first at the Bay Guardian. 

Let me call now on Tim Redmond, a Guardian reporter who covered Sue and Calvin and the highrise battles from 1982 on, to explain what Calvin meant.  Tim laid out the political points in his piece, "Sue Hestor's birthday and a lesson in SF environmental history," on his new local  website "48"  Read Tim's first paragraphs for the fun stuff on Sue and the last paragraphs for the really important contributions she has made to the city and urban planning, as explained by Calvin.

As Tim concludes, "In 1964, Hestor, representing San Franciscans for Reasonable Growth, sued and won a stunning decision in the California Court of Appeal mandating that the city start studying the cumulative impacts of development. As Welch noted, 'there was an obligation for developers to prioritize mitigations.' That's where the affordable housing program, the transit-impact fees--and the entire concept of analyzing development on the macro, not the micro level emerged.  That was the idea behind the 1986 measure Prop. M, which included no height limits at all--but did include programs and policies designed to protect neighborhoods from the effects of unlimited growth." 

Well, the Hestor faithful may not have "overcome" the big developers and their latest monstrous Manhattanization plans.   But they have come pretty damn close. On Sunday, the day after Sue's party, the Warriors caved on its waterfront project and Matier and Ross did a Chronicle column with the head, "Warriors call for timeout on Waterfront arena plan." And on Monday, the waterfront warriors marched triumphantly into City Hall and, as the  Chronicle's John Cote reported,  "turned in more than double the number of signatures needed to qualify a measure for the June 3 ballot that would require voter approval for any development on the San Francisco waterfront to exceed existing height limits."

That could kill the massively inappropriate project.  "If passed," the Chronicle continued, "the measure would put a check on high-rise hotels and condo towers along the bay and require voter approval for height increases for three major waterfront development plans, the Golden State Warriors' proposal for an 18,000-seat arena complex, the San Francisco Giants' plan for an urban neighborhood on what is their main parking lot and the development of the industrial Pier 70 area."

Whew! That's what I call a nifty bit of Hestoring and Calvinizing.   b3

If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own. (Wes "Scoop" Nisker on KSAN radio during the dark days of the Vietnam War.) 

(The Bruce blog is written and edited by Bruce B. Brugmann, editor at large of the Bay Guardian.  He is the former editor and co-founder and co-publisher of the Bay Guardian with his wife Jean Dibble, from 1966 to 2012.)










The fact is that since Prop M, Calvin Welch has only won elections when he's had the developers on his side. His record of picking losers and throwing winnable ballot measures has been quite impressive.

There is a winning anti-developer coalition out there. It is just that the people in this room hold the other members of that coalition in contempt and the feeling is reciprocated. This is why they got their clock cleaned on Eastern Neighborhoods.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 10:53 am

"zero development" mandate. They might reject something like 8-Wash when a billionaire funds their campaign AND it's a low turnout election. But don't read too much into that.

Pro-growth Lee beat anti-growth Avalos very very easily

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

There's plenty of evidence that government has been corrupted by developers and that voters are agreeable with a project of reining that in by rooting out the corruption.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

Is it corrupt when someone white owns a condo in a latin neighborhood worth north of three quarters of a million, where the average income is 32k per year? AND then actively argue against adding any new housing?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

Nobody in this neighborhood is from Latium or speaks Latin.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

come about, so clearly most people do not object to it the way that you do.

When they get the chance to vote against Lee, Newsom, Brown or Jordan, they do not do so.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

Again, only adhominem attacks without wit, facts, or solid arguments.

Do you really want the northern waterfront Manhattanized? Do you want the Manhattanization to extend south to Potrero Hill, the Bay View, and out to Hunters Point? (Already, significantly, the developer wants to knock out the name Hunters Point from its housing project.)

It's as if there is another Oklahoma land rush poised to start at 16th street and heading south. How many neighborhoods are you ready to sacrifice? Which ones?

Let's have some specifics. b3

Posted by bruce on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

that higher densities to the south and east of the city, in the most under-utilized part of the city, would help with housing affordability and generate important tax revenues, then the answer is:

YES, YES, a thousand times, YES

Posted by Guest on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

non profit. You made big bucks off real estate speculation when you sold the SFBG's HQ to an investment group which is turning it into condos - the people deserve some of that money. Also, we know you pay less than $1000 a year in property taxes on your West Portal home thanks to Prop 13, the people deserve some of that too.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

Not agreeing with the "the people" position staked out by a progressive means that you are for the extremism of the other side.

There are only two visions for San Francisco, the old time progressive gentrifiers vision of drawing the bridge up behind them, or the Manhattanizers.

Posted by guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

It's pretty heartening that the best the left in SF can do is trot out the extremely well worn straw man of manhattanization.
Seriously, I had to check the calendar to see if it was 1971. Even Alan Duskin thinks the anti highrise days are over and has moved on to more important and realistic movements.
But here we have the dinosaur B3 making millions selling his building to real estate developers lecturing the rest of SF about selling off the east side.

SF is the most unaffordable market in the country. SF has built the least amount of housing among 100 of the largest metros in the country. This is fact. Yet still the same old story

Posted by Guest on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

"SF has built the least amount of housing among 100 of the largest metros in the country."

Is this true? Incredible. Where did you get that statistic?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 4:12 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

Even if the original poster could find such a chart, I'm sure it's for the metro areas and surrounding suburbs. It's been pretty obvious for the past 20 years that neighboring cities like Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mtn. View, Palo Alto, Fremont, San Mateo and Burlingame have built relatively very little housing compared to outlying areas in other national metro districts.

Any SF housing construction metric needs to include the housing density per acre to give a meaningful comparison. SF is a very small land mass compared to almost every other major US city. We'd expect SF to have far less housing, even though its housing per acre might be far higher.

I'm sure the original poster is a bottom-feeder in the speculation/construction business or from one of their lobbying groups like SPUR. If we give these developers 4 stories in zoning height, they want 8. If they can legally build 8 stories, they want 12. If they can legally build 12, they want 20 or 30 stories.

Every time Mayor Lee and his Willie Brown/Gavin Newsom and BOS supporters raise the height limits, they give billions of dollars of FREE WEALTH to the developers and speculators who own the land. But greed knows no bounds. They just come right back and whine for jacking up the heights and densities even higher. Scott Wiener and SPUR now want to cram a bunch of tiny apartments into a building's envelope, which will give developers even more free wealth. The greed of the developers and speculators is truly overwhelming.

For centuries we've known that greedy land speculators, bankers, and the corruptible politicians and compliant bureaucracy who actually make these up-zonings and "urban renewals" legal, occur all over the world. Paris, London, Manhattan, Moscow, Shanghai and Singapore mainly cater to the world's wealthy elites, who either live in these cities or have 2nd or 3rd residences to accommodate their non-stop global gallantings. Places like Prague, San Francisco, Barcelona and Rio are trying hard to upscale their images by getting rid of the riff-raff and middle-income groups so these 2nd tier cities can move up in the world. Out of seven billion people, 1% is 70 million multi-multi-millionaires, all vying to enjoy a similar life-style: living and playing in the cool cities and jetting around from spot to spot to follow the sun and cool events. Politicians everywhere are always eager to accommodate this tiny group of the world's wealthiest.

SF has always been a good place for the world's elites to buy a condo, or two, and make good money from the rent stream, while protecting against foreign currency deflation. We know the South American investors who own SF real estate are thrilled they have a US asset compared to an apartment building in Buenos Aries or Santiago, where it would be valued at about 30% less after the recent currency devaluations in those countries. And SF real estate is a great place to hide money from the Chinese and other Asian governments, while also hedging their local currency exposure. A multi-millionaire Asian investor - and there are tens of thousands more of them than US multi-millionaires - need to worry that their local currencies will collapse someday too, so a few US condos is a nice currency hedge while giving them a lucrative rental stream far from the prying eyes of their local governments.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

Reading is fundamental, stupid. Read the link. It's for SF. Don't let the facts get in the way of your sentimental and overly emotional tirade against the usual suspects. How unfortunate that you can afford SF, and that you seek to bar others entry.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

that SF isn't carrying it's weight when it comes to match homes to jobs, and that is why people live further out.

It's SF that needs more homes, and not Antioch, Novato or Tracy.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:54 am

Within a mile of Highway 101 are thousands of acres of empty parking lots or under-utilized parcels, just waiting for hundreds of thousands of housing units to be built. The workers could walk, bike or take a shuttle van to work, keeping tens of thousands off cars off the roadways.

In fact, residents of the outlying areas that you mention would move closer to work, along with the tens of thousands of tech workers preying on SF's housing units, who drive up rents and cause tenant evictions.

San Francisco has endured the burden of the region's housing density for the past 35 years. It's time for the other communities in the Bay Area to sharply increase their housing density, or the cities need to band together and evict Apple, Google, Yahoo, HP, Oracle and other large high-tech companies from California altogether. These companies are toxic, creating housing shortages, causing evictions of current residents, and creating sprawl, congestion and pollution. If these companies won't contribute some of their billions stashed away in tax havens towards building housing for their employees, we don't need them here creating havoc for residents who lived in the area far longer before they arrived.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

everyone can work for the city, county, state and federal government.

Posted by guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

SF that is not building enough homes for it's workforce.

The suburbs already have too many homes for the jobs those areas support.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 7:30 am

We need more housing in San Francisco *and* more housing in the Peninsula cities. The affordability crises is even more acute in Peninsula cities because there is no rent control to mitigate the effects.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

True enough to be quoted in the WSJ.

Yes. I'm a paid flunky for the real estate lobby. The reporter who wrote the articles on trulia and the WSJ is also on the SF developer payroll. They get paid to make up facts about SF real estate.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

And they don't selectively cherry-pick their facts to support their agendas. Especially not at the Murdoch-owned WSJ. Not at all. They're "fair and balanced" you know.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 12:33 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 8:03 am

This is what wikipedia says about Raleigh, NC:

"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2012 estimated population was 423,179, over an area of 142.8 square miles (370 km2), making Raleigh currently the 42nd most populous city in the United States. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country."

So the author is comparing Raleigh to SF, even though Raleigh has almost 3 times the land mass but only 1/2 the housing. The author sounds quite ignorant for making such a false equivalence comparison.

As for San Jose, it too has more than three times the land mass and barely 100,000 more residents: From wikipedia:

"According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 180.0 sq mi (466 km2), of which 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2) (1.91%) is water. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the population of the city to be 945,942 in 2010."

The Trulia author sounds rather stupid, in other words, by not comparing housing units per acre in the various "tech hub" locations.

Also notable is that the author didn't include the "tech hub" area between Foster City/San Mateo and points south to Cupertino and Mountain View, where some of the largest employers are located: Oracle, HP, Apple, Google, Facebook and many others.

The author also didn't include the number of SF housing units owned by investors and speculators, which I can assure readers is a far higher percentage in SF compared to SJ, Raleigh or the other "tech hub" locations being compared. If 5-10% of the total housing stock - and perhaps as high as 25% of the new construction over the past 15 years - is being bought by either speculators or as 2nd and 3rd vacation homes, this fact obviously has a lot to do with overall housing prices and availability in San Francisco.

My point remains: SF has far higher housing density than most places in the US, and most other "tech hubs." Until neighboring communities increase their housing density per acre to a level somewhat equal to SF to accommodate the job growth in their communities, SF housing policies are not the reason why rents and housing prices are so high.

If developers and housing speculators, and their apologists like SPUR, Mayor Lee and the BOS, want to build another 1 million housing units in the Bay Area to accommodate all of the new tech jobs, there are plenty of low-density areas in 99 other Bay Area towns other than SF.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 6:16 am

not want to live.

Those big developments out in Tracy didn't work out so well, did they?

We need to build everywhere but particularly where people want to live, and that is SF.

Plus, all cities are high in the center and lower outside - it's our way.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:53 am

Is it at all realistic to expect any place in the bay area to build the density of housing units that it took sf >100 years to build? no.

the rest of your facts are outright lies to support your agenda.
The left has literally no vision for the future of San Francisco - nothing but lies and rehashes of policy from 40 years ago.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 9:23 am

when it's already the most dense city in the country? Even that won't come close to satisfying demand here. The right literally has no vision for San Francisco except build build build, which won't do anything except make developers rich and ruin the quality of life for the rest of us.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 10:54 am

Are you retarded? SF is the most dense city in the country? Have you ever been to NY? There are zip codes in NYC which have almost as much people as all of SF.
No one is proposing doubling or tripling the density of SF. 35% of SF is zoned for detached single family homes, and nothing is ever going to change that.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:27 am

are still within the city limits, which lowers the density figure. So the NYC figure isn't just Manhattan but also the other four low-rise boroughs.

If you add the adjacent counties to SF you get a much better basis for comparison.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:43 am

The south-east part in particular is little-used and could support high densities and high rises because it is well served by trains and freeways, and could also have ferries

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:40 am

There you have them, right there, the Four Horsemen of Gentrification: Sue Hestor, Calvin Welch, Bruce Brugman and Aaron Peskin. They are responsible for the soaring prices, the gentrification and the eviction of the working-class from San Francisco. That will be their legacy.

I will be so glad when the smug, arrogant, entitled boomers finally ride off into the sunset, so that we can start cleaning up the horrible mess they made.

Hestor is no environmentalist: forcing people to live and commute from Tracy instead of letting them live in a high rise here is the opposite of environmentalism.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

The boring, boorish and massively self-absorbed boomers are going into care, going senile and dying off.

But will we even notice?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

"I first knew Sue when she popped up as a feisty volunteer in the Alvin Duskin anti-high rise campaign"

Now you know one of the zealots responsible for the housing scarcity in San Francisco… May she rot in Hell... SOON !

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:53 am

Sue Hestor, I want to thank you from the bottom of my cold spectators heart for keeping the housing in San Francisco scare and the return on my spectating enormous !

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:58 am

If It weren't for the environmentalists fighting the good fight, San Francisco would have a nuclear power plant on Bodega Bay upwind of the city. No cable cars. A freeway through Golden Gate Park. A huge U.S. Steel building and other huge buildings on the waterfront. And no initiative victory on 8 Washington and and no impending initiative that stopped the big arena steamroller, hopefully for good. On and on.
Why keep astroturfing and shilling for PG @E and the Manhattanizers?
How much do they pay you? B3

Posted by bruce on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

Why do YOU keep refusing to talk about how developers and RE speculators are evil and destroying San Francisco but sold the BG's old HQ to RE developers (and at a tidy profit too)? Or was that somehow different?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 4:49 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

B3, you're a dinosaur who sold his building to developers. You're out of the picture. You're outmoded.
Yes, there have been some things which should have been stopped by the no nothing new anywhere ever folks, but their story has been stuck on repeat for decades at this point.
The middle class has been decimated. The black community in SF has been decimated. What solutions have come from the left besides halting each and every development and driving up the costs of doing business in SF

Now you're running on fumes, and the support of Richard and Barbara Stewart.
Where would you be without their $upport ?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 6:14 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

I love it when the SFBG resident trolls foam at the mouth with one personal insult after another. Nothing shouts defeat and ignorance louder than ad hominem attacks repeated ad nauseum.

The mostly landlord and developer trolls who post here have made millions off their sweetheart development deals and from high rents, yet they still constantly whine and complain. You'd think they'd be in a perfect place of bliss after Mayor's Brown, Newsom and Lee helped them get their collective billions of profits, but for some reason the most miserable people in the world seem to be attracted to landlording and inappropriate land development proposals.

When the world finally rids itself of private landlords, for-profit bankers and private developers, we'll know the promised land is near. We should begin by rounding up all of the bankers, private landlords and for-profit developers and send them to a deserted island where they can torment each other and leave civil society alone. Sweet justice.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

He just spends the money from his RE profits, while I spend the money from my RE profits, and you, er, well, try and find next month's rent.

And successful RE investors like Bruce and I should take advice from a loser like you because . . ?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

So it's an "ad hominem attack" when people point out Bruce's hypocrisy in publicly decrying real estate developers but then decided to sell property to them to be converted into high end condos?

If that's the case, then here's another "ad hominem attack" against another progressive hero: let's discuss that champion of tenants rights and hater of banks and landlords Chris Daly. He moved to Fairfield, bought TWO foreclosed properties, kicked out the family of one of them so his family could live there (kind of like the Ellis Act which he so hates) and became landlord of the other house.

So when you set about your glorious program of shipping off all the bankers and landlords, make sure you start with Chris Daly. Also, don't forget about Bruce for selling out to those evil private real estate developers because that makes him a collaborator.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

I was thinking only the multi-millionaire landlords would be banished to the deserted island, along with their developer and banker buddies. Mom and pop landlords are a little different breed, although they're still exploiting tenants so we could add them to the mix too. Including Daly with the expelled Wall Street bankers, millionaire landlords and developers would make for some interesting conversations on the island, however. We could set up some cameras and remote webcam feeds for a much improved version of Survivor.

Bruce bought a smallish commercial building for his business that was properly zoned. As far as I know, he didn't violate any zoning regulations or pressure city hall for additional height or density changes to fatten his wallet, unlike most of the bottom-feeding developers who roam city hall's corridors.

The loons who post here criticizing a small-business owner who operated a small publishing house are as transparent as the trolls who regularly post here criticizing tenants and civil libertarians. They don't like the editorial positions of SFBG so they unleash the personal attacks, however stupid and transparent they sound. No one in the US or the entire world has animosity for small business owners since they represent all that is good about human aspiration and achievement.

I'm willing to bet Bruce would have traded his profits from selling the building in exchange for a city that maintained rents and business prices similar to when he bought the building. He was one of the few lone voices castigating city hall and its sell-out mayors who enabled the millionaire speculators and greedy landlords. The greedy landlords and multi-millionaire speculators won and Bruce and his team lost. C'est la vie. But no one cares what he does with his money. What we should care about is that he stood up to try and resist society's bottom-feeders, who prey on tenants and existing residents just to enlarge their own bank accounts. These are the people who Mayor Lee cares about, and we need to send him and the predatory landlords and speculators packing ASAP.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

When you meet hippies in person you will note that they have an interesting Ayn Rand like sense of entitlement.

Brugman and his hippie union busting is typical of this mindset.

This isn't some episode that extends back a few weeks, this is the mindset of middle class late 70's hippie/yuppies of which Brugman is the perfect example.

You confuse someone with convictions with middle class hippies who want to get over.

Posted by guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

But because you think Bruce is ideologically cuddly, you're willing to overlook his massive structural flaws/

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 7:28 am

If the environmentalists hadn't fought the good fight and won, there would be a PG@E nuclear power plant at Bodega Bay downwInd from San Francisco. No cable cars. A freeway through Golden Gate Park. A US steel wall on the waterfront. Resurrection of the waterfront freeway after the earthquake. No initiative to knock out 8 Washington and no initiative to stop the monstrous arena megaplex. Etc. How can the trolls keep shilling (anonymously of course) for Manhattanization? How much are you getting paid? B3

Posted by bruce on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

How much are Richard and Barbara Stewart paying you to maintain this charade ?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

Those are all great victories and future generations will thank you and the rest of the anti-growth left for saving San Francisco from being destroyed by freeways.

But when you teamed up with the NIMBY North Beach crowd and started blocking the construction of desperately needed housing all over The City you did a bad thing. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and it is not too late to try and undo some of the damage you have caused, but supporting market rate housing, especially some kind of housing that could be afforded by the middle class.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

≈ The term "Manhattanization" doesn't have the zing that it used to. Some decades back, Manhattan used to be synonymous with crime and yuppie gentrification, but nowadays an urbanist and environmentalist is likely to notice the many things that work well about New York.

The transit system would be at the top of the list. Muni could certainly use some Manhattanization.

New York certainly still has its own problems with gentrification, but the waves of displacement are not as all-consuming as we've seen in San Francisco. There's something we could be learning from that. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are situated in the four densest counties in the U.S., and San Francisco is fifth on that list. We need to learn what works, and do it.

This isn't an argument for skyscrapers, but rather for some updated terminology. If Manhattan is too much, we could at least learn from Brooklyn -- or Paris, or any number of the great cities of the world that have figured out how to make density liveable.

Posted by Jym on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 8:34 am

was otherwise some good points there.

Gentrification is a complex topic with both good and bad things about it. Assuming it is all bad really misses the nuances of the debate.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 8:48 am

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