A public park in San Francisco's SOMA district has been sitting closed behind a fence for almost all of 2017, with chain link fence segments installed in February replaced with a $145,000 black iron barrier in June.
Because, you know, if those in power didn't do things like saying they're going to use taxpayer money for improving parks, then "improve" them by closing them so you can't use them, it would create a public health risk – people seeing a well-functioning government might die of shock! Freedom is dangerous.
The San Francisco Examiner says that District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim is planning a public hearing in January, where she will no doubt have to try and appease the neighborhood bullies who want The State to police who uses a public park even if that means keeping it perpetually closed so that nobody gets to use it. Since she already caved to them by pushing for the appropriation of the stolen funds that paid for the more permanent barrier around the park, they may now believe they can get her to throw away the key.
For those with a dark sense of humor, the Examiner story's comment section provided some (beyond that inherent in the news item itself):
"I live nearby", wrote one apparently cowering local NIMBY in defense of the status quo. "It is far too dangerous to remove the fence. We agitated for months to get it installed, and the crime that came with the park largely stopped or went elsewhere."
Well, yeah, crime usually does go down in a location when there are virtually no potential victims due to the fact of it being closed! If you close the amusment park, you get fewer injuries on the roller coaster too. If you close the roads, you get fewer road accidents.<!--break-->
"Sure would like to know who those 'neighbors' are", the NIMBY continued. "They must not live around or close to the McCoppin Hub." Well probably not, if you're referring to homeless people who used to spend time in the park – it's a safe bet they can't afford to live indoors in your neighborhood, so when you neighborly types got the place where they had sought sanctuary closed, it wouldn't be surprising if they were displaced. (Or they could simply be living a few blocks away in front of the home or business of someone you might actually acknowledge as a neighbor.)
Yours truly posted the following comment:
"What insanity. If you think people should be forced to pay for a park that they aren't allowed to use, please explain how you think this is fair.
Homeless people are also forced to pay taxes, both directly and indirectly. Taxes are part of the reason homes are so expensive. Is the justification for these taxes to enable people at City Hall to collect six-figure salaries and nice benefits while parks sit closed, surrounded by $145,000 fences built with stolen tax dollars, and thousands of people live on the streets without places to call home?
How does it feel for some of you to act like little Donald Trumps in your own neighborhood, supporting a wall to keep the "bad hombres" out (while costing everybody else money and freedom at the same time)?"
The question felt appropriate, given that Donald Trump and his immigration policies are not exactly popular in SOMA, yet someone going only by the inhospitable attitudes expressed by some residents on local land use issues like this might easily guess otherwise.
I wonder how many of those residents have noticed the resemblance between their own reactions of fear and animosity toward those who are strangers to them, and the xenophobic policies espoused by Trumpian nationalists.