Short Cuts

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Parks Reviewed

The latest Controller’s Office scorecard on park maintenance revealed a mixed bag for green spaces in District 10, which as a whole was rated at the lowest end of the upkeep spectrum.  The Utah-18th Street Mini Park and Potrero Hill Recreation Center appear to be in great shape, with rankings that exceed 97 percent. But India Basin Shoreline and Esprit parks both scored under 77 percent, with Esprit Park in particular displaying significant degradation over the past year. According to the report, the largest factor in Esprit Park’s reduced score is its much-abused lawns, which are under siege from a jump in patrons using the unfenced lawn with natural turf as an unofficial dog play area. The Recreation and Parks Department is investigating installing an official dog play area separate from the lawn.  Potrero Del Sol Park was noted for its ill-maintained restrooms; Franklin Square suffers from an overabundance of graffiti.

Name Unnamed

Last month, San Francisco Board of Supervisor Aaron Peskin called for the removal of “Zuckerberg” from San Francisco General Hospital’s name.  Peskin asked the City Attorney’s office to “revisit the City’s policy on the Acceptance of Gifts in exchange for Naming Rights and, specifically, to outline the procedure for removal of the Zuckerberg name from San Francisco General Hospital.” The request may have been prompted, in part, by a New York Times report that Facebook contracted an opposition research firm to push negative stories about its critics, including billionaire philanthropist and financier George Soros. That article was published after revelations that the private data of 50 million Facebook users was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, under contract with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Among others. The Times also reported that Facebook was “tinkering with users’ emotions in a news feed experiment,” which sparked protests last year by General Hospital nurses, who pasted over Zuckerberg’s name on an exterior sign.

Housing Study

According to the City’s latest Housing Balance Report, in the past ten years San Francisco has built 6,577 affordable housing units, and lost 4,263, mostly to evictions and Tenancy in Common conversions. District 10 led the way in the number of net gains in affordable homes; 1,565 units, a 33 percent increase.

Barrish’s Mission

“Everything about me is San Francisco,” Jerry Ross Barrish, the artist and new owner of 33-35 Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd streets, told Mission Local. “I knew [the Mission] when it was Irish, I have known it when it became Latino and I know it now.” Having had a 50-year career as a bail bondsman – “Don’t perish in jail – call Barrish for bail” – Barrish reinvented himself as a plastics sculptor artist. Barrish uses discarded plastics he finds on the beach near his Pacifica home and at recycling centers; his sculptures are large human-like stick figures, reminiscent of the way children tend to draw people: thin and long-limbed, they express themselves through art and eccentric outfits.  Barrish is hoping to add a second floor to the Bartlett Street warehouse that’ll serve as his workshop. Art will be displayed on a portion of the ground floor; another section will be rented out to a commercial gallery. An estimated thousand pieces will be coming from Barrish’s Dogpatch warehouse. Three hundred will fit on the ground floor, the rest will be stored upstairs, waiting for their rotating turn. Having already hired an architect and requested the proper building permits, Barrish isn’t taking it slow: “I am almost 80. I don’t know how much time I have.”

Muni Unmoved

At the Embarcadero Station last month, a Muni train arrived, passengers streamed in, and the train stayed put.  A half-dozen Muni workers, some with walkie-talkies, milled around trying to decide what to do about an unannounced situation.  Minutes passed.  Finally, the passengers were asked to disembark; there was a small puddle of vomit on the train, which needed to be cleaned up.  The train was placed out of service.  Wouldn’t it have been quicker for one or two of the workers to just clean things up, right then and there?