The history of the Presidio of San Francisco is being unwritten this very moment, to suit the needs of some devious and corrupt entities who are out to make big bucks, foster greed, at the expense of the tax payer at the Presidio of San Francisco. We all should watch the coming events carefully!
Bay Area residents and those living in San Francisco, who have been associated with the Army and the Presidio of San Francisco for a long time, are fully cognizant of many happenings at the Presidio of San Francisco. The Army was in good standing and lots of San Franciscans share fond memories of the Army benevolent actions in 1906. The World Fair. The various parades after World War II. The Army help during the Earth quake of 1989. Crissy Field in its hey day and the Fireworks held there until the mid 1990's. Numerous first class occasions at the Presidio Officers' Club, the NCO Club, the Main Parade Grounds, all over the Presidio. It was a time where the public could enjoy the Presidio in the real sense of the word. What happened to the good old days?
Congress in all its wisdom backed by some Congresspersons and Senators from the Bay Area came up with a plan called the Trust. It has been years now and no one can really figure out who the Trust is and how they operate.
There are some facts that give us a glimpse of what they stand for. The Trust hired a Public Relations Group and had them fired in a jiffy. The Public Relations Group had requested the Trust to work with the public and communities interested in the Presidio of San Francisco. The Trust answered the Public Relations Group with a pink slip!
Several high ranking officials working for the Trust have left the Trust because they were intimidated and could not work under normal conditions. Several employees have been fired without due process. One employee took on the Trust by contacting the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). The employee won his case and the Trust was forced to pay a huge amount of money.
Hundreds of Trust employees work in fear and are afraid to speak about injustice for fear of losing their jobs. Never in the history of the Presidio of San Francisco have we witnessed a working environment with so much distrust brought about by adverse actions from the Trust.
The Trust has now negotiated with LIUNA. At last the Trust employees who have joined the Union feel that they can be protected from any adverse actions. For a long time there was this cloud hanging above the heads of the Trust employees, they really had no one to go to. No one to share their genuine sorrows brought about by adverse actions.
The Trust has a lot of money to play with. Over 25 million is given them on a platter by Congress. They can borrow millions at very low interest from the Treasury and are taking full advantage of the situation. They have brokered a deal with the Army and have clean up money in millions. They have millions in seed money from commercial leases, they have entered upon on the Presidio of San Francisco. The residential leases bring the Trust millions of dollars. In all over 60 million plus to do nothing at all!
Most of us do not understand the actual operations of the Presidio of San Francisco. The few of us who do understand the operations of the Presidio of San Francisco are afraid to speak up or confront the crooks who are making hay while the sun shines.
At this critical time, we do not have a single entity who can speak to the Trust on an equal footing and bring about progressive changes. The Presidio Alliance(PA) is a farce. They should have stuck by their original name Sustainable Presidio Alliance (SPA) a more appropriate name at a more appropriate time to tackle the current issues facing the Presidio of San Francisco. Today's PA board of directors do not seem to understand the role of their original mission. They have given the Trust a free reign and the Trust has an forced the PA to agree with them on most issues. It amazes me how so called intellectuals and proponents of sustainable practices do not have the balls to confront a sleazy operation as the Trust. The PA has gone so far as to cooperate with PG&E and the Trust to initiate some Mickey mouse survey of energy needs at the Presidio.
The PA was formed to represent the tenants and initiated projects and forums in keeping with the final GMP and the EIS. Since its existence it has towed the Trust line and even now has not spoken against the so called Implementation Plan that the Trust is pushing. The one single factor that is appreciated is the Presidio Directory the efforts of one man who philosophy defers from the day to day operations and thinking of the PA. Thank God that we have independent thinkers.
Since 1994, most of those who have participated in the deliberations of the Presidio of San Francisco have read the General Management Plan (GMP) and the Environmental Impact Study (EIS). These two documents, besides millions spent on various studies like the Forest Management Plan, the Transportation Study, Housing Study, and so on permitted the public to engage in a healthy debate. The Trust Bill which most people have not read has specific language that mandates that the Trust abide by the general principles of the final GMP and the EIS.
Since 1995, the Trust has seriously decided to circumvent the final GMP and the EIS. I have mentioned this is my articles again and again. The Trust found it very difficult to deal with certain mandated State and Federal laws and coupled with the GMP and EIS felt that they were not free to mess with the Presidio of San Francisco as they intended to.
There is a small group who again and again refer to Lowery Air Force Base. This small group are of the opinion that what was attained at Lowery should and can be attained easily at the Presidio of San Francisco. Here lies the great mistake that will come to haunt the Trust and those entities who follow this crooked logic!
Historically one cannot compare Lowery to the Presidio of San Francisco. Historically too there is no place in the whole of the United States, as far as Army bases go that have so many historical buildings as does the Presidio of San Francisco. More than 500 historical buildings some going way back to the 1776. Added to this important fact, the Presidio of San Francisco is a city within a city that functioned well when the Army had jurisdiction until 1994. Today, the infrastructure maintained by the Army has been destroyed by the Trust and the entity that had jurisdiction of the Presidio of San Francisco before the Trust.
The over 1800 housing units, the Water Treatment Plant, the large playing fields, the Post Office, the Commissary, the Fire Station, the Communication Center, Police Field Office, and so on are serious elements that those trying to rewrite the history of the Presidio should analyze.
The Army has handed over millions to the Trust to do a clean up of the Presidio. The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) a concept formulated and modeled by the Army is now under the charge of the Trust. This forum is a puppet forum that sings high praises of the Trust while doing absolutely nothing about the clean up. Yes, absolutely nothing!
The Army's Point of Contact (POC) was the Corps of Engineers (COE). The COE did an excellent job. The COE manages millions of acres of Federal Land all over the United States. The Army and the COE had a plan to do a good job. The Trust and some Congressional entities thought it better to manage the money appropriated by Congress, which is tax payers money, thinking the Trust could do a better job of the cleanup. To date this plan is a failure. One cannot and should not hood wink the public.
Right now, there are numerous areas that are hazardous to the public. If the past Army contract was in place much of what is hazardous today would have been cleaned. We can start with Mountain Lake which has huge amount of dog refuse and mercury. Tests done by private entities show toxic wastes from run off water in several pertinent spots where the public gather and that includes Crissy Field Lagoon.
Battery Caufield is a major toxic spot so is Battery Wagner. To date no entity has had the guts to mention how clean these two Batteries and when will they be cleaned. There are other major areas that need clean up and we can reveal the sites on the Internet at a moments notice. It has been a year now since the public has not been given any information about any clean up. We know for sure that Battery Wagner and Battery Caufield have not been touch, we know that Mountain Lake has high levels of Mercury, we know of toxic sites around El Pollin Springs, and so on but we have yet to see reports by the Trust and the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB).
There is no body of fair minded citizens in the Bay Area who are knowledgeable and who can have access to the right places and the right documents to bring the crooks to justice. Of course some congressperson believe anything the Trust puts out, and a lot of false information is put out. For example a leaflet Save Presidio Park with an address in Oakland which does not even address the Presidio as it ought to be addressed, as the the Presidio of San Francisco. Backed by messages from the President of the Trust, who has sold the Presidio of San Francisco to some greedy real estate mongers and one Congressperson who represent the 8th Congressional District, and should for the last time, this one leaflet is an insult to the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Trust is good at arranging Public Meetings in god forsaken places like the Log Cabin. Many citizens have tried to attend these meetings and have tried in vain to find the place and returned home disgusted.
When the GMP and the EIS were deliberated the public meetings were held in places accessible to all. How for example will those who are in wheel chairs attend a meeting at the Log Cabin?
Do the mini vans that carry the public to the meetings have wheel chair access? Or for that matter can one who is aged and cannot climb the hills to this god forsaken area in the Fort Scott Area, away from the Main Post, make it to the meeting using public transportation?.
The Trust has come out with a devious plan. The Trust calls this plan an Implementation Plan. This implant will help the Trust put the final GMP and the final EIS on the back burner. Right now for example the final general GMP and the EIS will not accommodate the George Lucas Plan, for the very simple reason that the GMP never ever envisioned such a plan that in contrary to anything sustainable.
The Implementation Plan will allow the Trust to accommodate the Lucas Plan and his multi-million Digital Center. The Presidio Trust Implementation Plan (PTIP) should be termed the Presidio Trust Implant Plan. This plan will foster lack of sustainable practices in the fields of energy consumption, toxicity, air pollution, sewage, transportation to name a few important areas of concern.
The Trust boasts that it can play with appropriated money and millions more, over 60 million plus, until 2013, after that it has to be self sufficient. The present Trust players have millions to play with and with the PTIP they can do as they please. Most of the players today who manage the Trust will not be there in a few years. When it comes to accountability the money will be gone and so will those who should be held accountable. At this time on single person or single entity has called for " checks and balances " to make the present Trust - accountable.
The Environmental Clean up, Mountain Lake, the Forest Management Plan, the Lucas Digital Center, the projects planned for the U.S. Public Health Hospital, building 35, building 682, are all a slap in the face of the GMP and EIS study which had input from the public and citizens all over the Bay Area and of course San Francisco.
The PTIP will come to haunt the public if nothing is done to stop this devious plan which is meant to circumvent and destroy the uniqueness of the Presidio of San Francisco. Building 682 is a Buffalo Soldiers building which is now being readied to be given to a school and building 35 to some filthy rich brokers.
There are a number of very serious flaws that I have discussed with experts and knowledgeable persons. Any huge project will demand very high energy electric consumption. This has not been discussed at all. Right now the Bay Area and San Francisco is on the verge of cutting down drastically on energy consumption. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) are constantly under fire. So much so that they are planning to ship a transformer to be parked in the Bay to deal with energy emergency situations such as we have had again and again, recently.
Any huge project will have to address the problem of sewage disposal. No where has this important issue been discussed. Right now there are plans to pump raw sewage from the Presidio of San Francisco all the way to Hunter's Point in the Bayview District! Even the Mayor of San Francisco could not believe his ears when he heard about this. What other choice do we have? Build a sewage plant and pump treated sewage in the Bay close to the Presidio of San Francisco and the Marina District?
The Presidio of San Francisco has not address the problem of clean healthy drinking water. The pipes that carry the drinking water need replacement and are plagued with lead. The numerous historic buildings need new plumbing which are over 90 to 100 years old. Right now we buy water from the City and County of San Francisco in addition to the water treated at the Presidio Water Treatment Plant. The quality of water the public drinks at the Presidio of San Francisco is suspect.
July 28th , 2000 a Federal Judge will rule that the Muwekma Ohlone be put on the Federal Register. This ruling will affect the Presidio of San Francisco and the two main entities the National Park Service and the Trust. Till today the two entities have been playing the cat and mouse game. Once Federally recognized the Muwekma Ohlone will have a say and deliberate what to do on land that comes under their jurisdiction. The Presidio of San Francisco and other Army bases will be affected by this important decision.
The Muwekma Ohlone stand for Sustainable Practices. I as their spokesperson on Presidio Issues will legally enforce what I have been saying for years. It is a shame that the present entities are out to make a fast buck and foster greed at the expense of the tax payer. I encourage the public to contact your Senators and Congressperson and express to them clearly the misuse of Pubic Trust that has been fostered on the Presidio of San Francisco.
The current Presidio Trust Implementation Plan is a farce. I hope history proves me wrong!