THE PRESIDIO - 2003
The Presidio of San Francisco has gone through some real trials and tribulations. Some of them were created by the Trust Board. Others by Congressperson Nancy Pelosi. The Trust Board President has created a nest for himself. He was the one principally involved in bringing Correction Officers the likes of Steve Hood and Bruce Anderson. He was directly responsible for putting in place James Meadows, a calculating crook that wasted millions of taxpayer's dollars.
Today, we have a new Trust Director by the name of Craig Middleton. He has been close to Nancy Pelosi. He has been even closer to the National Park Association, which has recently changed its name - same chameleon just sitting on a different branch on a different color tree. Craig Middleton will tow the line and sit on the fence - he really does not want to confront any issue! He can be accessible - that is about the most positive thing that can happen when one goes the extra mile to meet him.
The Presidio Trust is seriously thinking to cut down its work force. As we all know many former employees who worked for the National Park Service were laid off the last time around. Now, another 20% or so will be asked to leave! They will get some benefits, but face the trying times when a good job with benefits is at a premium.
Most of the jobs that will be eliminated belong to workers who really work very hard to feed their families and pay their mortgages. Meanwhile, the Presidio Trust will bend backwards to keep jobs that belong to Managers - those that wile away their time for hours around Chestnut Street and near the Lombard Gate.
There was a time when the Army was there and we called the Presidio home for all Presidians. Anyone from anywhere was welcomed because the Presidio of San Francisco was an open Post. If you came through the Lombard Gate, you saw the Letterman Army Medical Center and the beautiful trees, flowers, and landscape. As you toured the Presidio, the ambience was soothing and the POST well kept.
Right now there is a big hole by the Lombard Gate. They say that Lucas Digital Center will provide for over 1500 parking spaces all built underground - in an area that is very prone to earthquakes. As with the Skywalker Ranch - some folks love to inhabit the bowels of the earth -- much like the snakes whose behavior they imitate.
When the Army chose to deactivate in 1995, the National Park Service (NPS) had great plans. There was much talk, but very little action. The likes of Brian O'Neill, Mai-Liis Bartling, Susan Hurst, Leo Guillory, and some others who have since left - wasted millions of taxpayers dollars. Consultants were paid as high as $400 an hour and many consultants went laughing to the bank.
The National Park Service was initially given Building 103 as the Visitors' Center to be named after William Mott - I may not have his name right! But, the NPS chose Building 102. They wasted millions doing this and that - breaking their own architectural rules and regulation governing Historical Buildings. Today, Building 102 lies vacant - its walls bare. Its guts ripped open. The same Crooks that were there around 1996 are still there now. If they were working for some private organization, they would have been in jail for the crimes their committed fleecing the taxpayer. But they roam Scott Free!
At one time, the NPS wanted to tear down the present building that the Trust occupies on Graham Street. Today, the Trust has spent millions to rehab its main office and is definitely using their main office well. This building is one of the most sturdy buildings on the Presidio. It housed the United States Information Systems Command. I used to visit it every day to collect messages, which were handled by some who had special clearance. Unlike now, where all sorts of people wander and waste their time roaming the once silent halls where secrets of all kinds were carried to safeguard our Nation.
When the Army was there you saw diversity in this building. Lots of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders -- you get the picture. Today, mostly you will see whipped cream! Pathetic. Most Managers are White with a few token jobs given to Blacks from Washington D.C. who have no cultural ties with the Blacks from San Francisco, the Bay Area or for the matter genuine Black Culture anywhere.
The Trust has chosen to rent its historically significant buildings -- like the Buffalo Soldier building in the Fort Scott Area -- to Charter Schools. Building 682 is unique and the Whites at the Presidio of San Francisco are trying to rewrite history! They really do not want too many people to know that building 682 belonged to the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Just like they do not want too many people to know that over 600 Buffalo Soldiers are buried at the Veterans Cemetery. Such facts are taboo.
Since the Presidio Trust has planted itself on the Presidio of San Francisco in 1995 - privatization has gone full swing. By the 15th Avenue Gate, many buildings have been given to the Jewish Community Center, which is building a new building outside the Presidio Gates, on California Street. Very few people know that the Jewish Community Center has moved and is thriving on the Presidio. It is paying little rent for its site next to the old U.S. Public Health Hospital by the 15th Avenue Gate on the Presidio and it enjoys convenient Shuttle Bus Service provided gratis by the Trust.
Once the Jewish Community Center moves out - the property will come under the control of the likes of Shorenstein -- I hope I have his name wrong! He has been plotting for ages to take over this site. He is going to build some housing for rich White folks who really do not deserve to live on land that once belonged to the Muwekma Ohlone on whom too many injustices have been heaped. I say this because this site and the surrounding land with NO buildings was the only land the Muwekma Ohlone requested way back in 1991! They did this when they filed their Right of First Refusal - on being told that the Presidio of San Francisco was slated for Base Closure. To block them, Shorenstein hired Len McKenzie, an old crook with a new garb, which made him no better than he was before. Always conniving!
Crissy Field is a mess. Remember the time Barbara Jo Griffin boldly proclaimed that if a Shellmound (Sacred Burial Ground) were found at Crissy Field, the project would be shut down. She lied! They found a Shellmound and then they found more - but the villains destroyed a lot and saved a little token because they were feeling guilty when I told them they had blood on their hands. It takes courage to tell the corrupt officials that I have named in this article that they are wrong. Today, none of them are happy and none of them will be blessed.
Crissy Field has a lagoon - some call it a cesspool. It has eroded the beaches and has been a total failure. Crissy Field is now no longer for the people. It now masquerades as the hunting ground of dogs and tons of dog excreta keep the few NPS workers breaking their backs from day break to dusk - carrying 40 lbs heavy load bags deposited by dogs who come from everywhere. Some years ago, Tremec containing Agent Orange was sprayed by one over zealous employee who wanted to kill weeds and NOT employ extra NPS workers who could do the right thing - pull them out naturally.
Recently, another zealous NPS supervisor wanted to use some other type of weed killer, but this time around he had to follow the State and Local Standard Operating Procedures. They had learnt some lesson from the Tremec, which killed birds and exposed children and others who played on the Crissy Field lawns.
Some zealous know nothings want to cut down trees at the Presidio of San Francisco. They have a thing for native plants. These buffoons have not an iota of compassion for the Native Americans - be they the Muwekma Ohlone or other Native Peoples.
There are some zealots - actually fanatics - who have cut down healthy trees because they believe that sand dunes look better and accommodate a more native insect and plant habitat. I wonder where they got that notion from and if they are Native American and who gave them a right to talk about Native plants or for that matter anything indigenous.
Often times at the Presidio of San Francisco I would go to Building 1244 the Presidio Nursery. I was involved with this Nursery when Sharon Farrell was in charge - she has since left but I keep in touch with her. The first group of people did have some understanding of the vegetation all over the Presidio. They had some understanding about a good Forest Management Plan. But then came the zealots and took over control - talking of cutting large trees and creating sand dunes - as if they lived and saw what was in existence 300 years ago.
It is much easier to destroy and cut trees then to plant them. I remember the NPS cutting healthy trees in front of the 100 Series Buildings. Some wife of NPS David Broulette destroyed what was healthy and beautiful and in existence for over 80 years. Replaced it with shrub that most did not want to glance a second time.
There was a time when Lewis and Clarke visited the West Coast. They saw it and returned to the East Coast to spoke in awe of the West Coast habitat. There was a time, a little over 300 years ago, when the Spanish and Russians did the same. It is just mind boggling when the ancestors of the zealots, who now purport to know what they are doing, destroyed much that was good. Now in the name of money and greed, they want to create sand dunes to accommodate plants and critters that they know little about.
The Presidio of San Francisco has accommodated the Lucas Digital Center and this project will come to haunt them in the long run. Lucas is out only for himself and to this day has to win the respect of the people of Marin. They do not want the Skywalker Ranch and its contents anywhere near their homes. White folks at that!
Meadows, the crook, made a deal - giving away the LAMC site for pennies bluffing Congress, but this does not matter. The Trust Board thinks they can do as they please without having any dialog with the constituents of the United States to whom the Presidio belongs. The Presidio Trust feels it is fine to bluff Congress, the people, break rules and regulations to accommodate the Crooks. The Amendment to the Final General Plan is just that - accommodating the crooks. The world knows that nowhere in the first Final General Management Plan was there a place for a monster project like the Lucas Digital Center.
To date less than 3% of the Presidio of San Francisco has been Archeologically Surveyed. While the big hole was dug where once stood the Letterman Army Medical Center - on many days I did not see any monitors - that area is very sensitive to archeological finds - but the Presidio Trust looked the other way. They "talk the talk" but fail again and again to "walk the walk!"
We have crooks embedded at the Presidio of San Francisco. Once there were gala bohemian parties going well into the wee hours of the morning at Simmonds Loop - now, they are spread all over the place. The students at Wherry Housing love their pot and many of them boast to be very spacey.
The United States Park Police did a horrendous job under the now long gone Major Merkle. She partied more at home during work hours and then partied more at work - again during work hours. During her term there was a 70% turn over and no one in his or her right mind - paid much attention to this fact. Crime increased and the officers went through hell. In the Records Section, one zealous Records Clerk destroyed all the past Missing Persons Reports. If only the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew about this irreprehensible act!
The Communication Center on the Presidio has had tremendous problems. In the first place Motorola sold the Communication Center Second Hand Equipment. This is most irreprehensible as Federal Rules governing buying supplies are stringent. But, some one pocketed a lot of money. Then Lucent Technologies tried to help and resolve the Data Entry and First Response Entry Data but they were shelved in favor of Viking - which has since gone under.
The methods that go to input Incident Reports is so primitive that some stupid Supervisors and a dumb Records Clerk believe in doing things ass backwards to make a failed system work. This has been going on since 1995. A full 20% of the Incident Entries are wrong and the time of the incidents far fetched.
Officers are forced to prepare Late Reports on facts that are conjured up and a stupid Records Clerk, with the blessing of some Sergeants, intimidates over worked Officers.
Some Police Officers long for Over Time, which comes with, perks when events are held and permits given by the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust. Only a chosen few on a special selected roster are called again and again for these perks under the guise of Over Time.
Nothing much has changed at the Presidio of San Francisco. Often times I go to attend some meetings - I am in touch with Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA 1140). I'll attend a few choice Transportation Meetings. I'll attend a meeting linked to Doyle Drive representing the Muwekma Ohlone. The Tides throw some get-together events - I attend some far and between - but I do make an effort.
I visit the Recycling Site at Building 1243 which I established. Also the Presidio Nursery, which I helped and continued to support - as well as many other projects, which still have my implicit blessing. I go to the Veterans Cemetery to pay homage to the hundreds of Buffalo Soldiers who keep me fighting for their cause. I have some friends in high places but mostly I love to mingle with common folks who are honest and hard working.
There are Sacred Sites all over the Presidio of San Francisco that I visit. These are special moments. I do not divulge these sites for fear they will bring the wrath of those who honored these sites and mean little to those who have blood of their hands.
The Muwekma Ohlone treat me good and that is special. The ordinary workers at the Presidio love me and that is good for my ego. I have access to the crooks - I do this sometimes to make a point. All things considered nothing much has changed at the Presidio in recent years. Let us see what the year 2004 brings.
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