HANC gets a new eviction notice

The HANC center also has a native plant nursery adorned with random items discarded by patrons over the years.
Photo by Rebecca Bowe

The City and County of San Francisco voluntarily dismissed an eviction notice it had issued to the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center, but then the Recreation & Parks Department promptly sent a new one with a deadline of June 30.

The HANC recycling center and native plant nursery has continued operating in Golden Gate Park's Kezar Triangle despite an effort initiated last year under former Mayor Gavin Newsom to evict the facility. The recycling center, which also offers compost for urban gardeners and a place to drop off used veggie oil, has been in Golden Gate Park for decades and has formed partnerships with community gardening projects throughout the city.

Rec & Park started making plans to replace it with a community garden last year amid concerns about "quality of life" issues. Some neighbors were bothered by recyclers filling up shopping carts with containers plucked from their sidewalk recycling bins, to trade in for small amounts of cash. Members of HANC, meanwhile, saw the eviction as political payback from Newsom, who encountered stiff opposition from the progressive neighborhood group when he led the charge to place San Francisco's sit / lie ordinance on the ballot. 

The request for dismissal, filed May 26 in San Francisco Superior Court and signed by Attorney David Ammons in the office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera, doesn't provide a clear reason for the move. But Robert De Vries, HANC's attorney, said the tactic was likely meant to avert legal entanglement by dissolving the first, and more legally problematic, attempt at eviction and replacing it with a new one that may be harder to challenge in court. In a letter to Rec & Park commissioners dated Dec. 2, 2010, De Vries wrote that the first eviction notice was illegal under the structure of the lease that HANC had signed with the city, and asserted that HANC could legally possess the property until June 30, 2011.

Because the dismissal of the first eviction was done "without prejudice," there was nothing preventing Rec & Park from issuing a new eviction notice, which it did the same day. Rec & Park did not respond to an email seeking comment.

"Your attorney has argued in court that the notice was not effective to terminate the lease," notes a May 26 letter from Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. "While we continue to believe that we gave you more than adequate notice of the Lease termination and to disagree with the assertion that the Lease has continued on a year-to-year basis, to avoid that dispute, we are superseding the earlier notice with this one."

HANC's Jim Rhoads told the Guardian that he wasn't very surprised by Rec & Park's latest move. "We knew this would happen," he said. "We're going to meet with our lawyers, and decide on the legal front what we do next."

De Vries said he could not discuss all the possible legal angles that HANC could use to try and fight the eviction, but he hinted that the eviction could be considered retaliatory. "This ... termination was initiated under Newsom as payback for my client [for opposing] sit / lie," he said.


How much is this crap costing the city in legal fees? Will HANC repay the city's cost when it eventually losses?

Posted by Chris Pratt on Jun. 01, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

Repayment will be in the form of CRV bottles and cans.

Posted by Anymouse69 on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

About a week of your city pension?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2011 @ 9:51 am

That's a real treasure to the city of SF.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jun. 01, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) is a small group of backward-looking ideologues. It is devoted to nostalgia for the 1960s and takes its cues from Calvin Welch.

Once upon a time, HANC served a useful purpose. Likewise for the recycling center that it runs in a corner of Golden Gate Park. Likewise for Calvin Welch. Likewise for the 1960s.

But the Haight in recent years has outgrown them all - HANC, its recycling center, Calvin Welch, and the 1960s.

Curb-side recycling has turned the HANC recycling center into an ecological dinosaur. The proliferation of addictive drugs in the name of higher consciousness has made a parody of the 1960s. The increasing diversity of the Haight has reduced Calvin Welch to a parochial ward boss.

Defending these regressions in the name of progressive politics is absurd. Let's move forward to a healthier, saner, and more civilized Haight for all.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 01, 2011 @ 3:32 pm
Posted by Dick Clark on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

When I arrived in SF 1978 the east end of Golden Gate Park was a desolate, crime-drug-ridden no-man's-land. It still is. The City has never been able to grapple with the problem. It still can't. The eviction of one miserable relic of the hippie era is not gonna change that...but it's a start.

Posted by DanC on Jun. 01, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

Thank you, Arthur. Calvin Welch is a dinosaur from the 60s that belongs in the Smithsonian; not in the Haight.

Close the damn thing now. SF no longer needs it. Frankly, the daily users who bring in their (stolen) crap can go elsewhere. The Haight owes them no time.

Times move on. Welch and his ilk do not. I have lived in the Haight since 1973 (on Ashbury) and personally I'm sick to death of professional hippies telling me how to live.

Posted by Scott on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 7:59 am

I'm looking forward to the new community garden that will replace HANC's commercial-industrial facility. Let's all say goodbye to shipping containers in the park!

Posted by Haight Resident on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 10:13 am

Finally...please remember that the recycling center was never a part of GG Park
master plan. The center has been an eyesore, a harbor for the thieves in the night who wake us up stealing our recyclables. HANC is stuck in the past, I am a third generation native SF, have lived in the Inner Sunset forever, and HANC and it's policies have not kept up with the times. I will be thrilled when the center is gone!!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 10:40 am

Those "noisy thieves" will happily tiptoe away. Problem solved. It's those damn noisy trash trucks that wake ME up on garbage morn. SAVE HANC from HATEFUL IDEOLOGUES. Hand HANC the contract to recycle ALL OF GOLDEN GATE PARK'S RECYCLABLES. HANC not only had the vision they had and have the STAYING POWER !!!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 2:26 am

Many of us who live along Arguello, Lincoln Way, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Avenue, and Frederick are exasperated with the uninvited "invaders" to the neighborhood who are rude to us, make a mess of our recycling bins, who camp out on our stairs, well this list could go on and on. I have lived near HANC for close to 20 years and want a more relevant, viable use of the space, such as a community garden.

Our voices deserve to be heard. We need to take back our neighborhood and make the public space more usable and NOT let guys who are resistant to positive change like Calvin Welsh and Jim Rhoads dictate to the neighborhood that it's their way or the highway. That is not how democracy works.

Posted by Guest Resident Who Lives One Block from HANC on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 10:49 am


Are you John Avalos?

Posted by matlock on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

In other words, people passing through the public space some distance from your apartment.

Love how you nicely dovetail your objections to the existence of people in public who do not meet your approval, with an assertion about how Democracy works.

You voice unspecified concerns regarding the relevancy and viability of the Recycling Center. Even one specific detail would go a long way in supporting your position.
Since these issues are of such importance to you, it should be easy for you to explain the relevancy and viability of your own residency, and use of public space, in this area.
Unless, of course, you are also an uninvited invader.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

=v= Closing HANC's recycling facility won't keep people out of the curbside recycling bins. It will, however, switch over from the current group to the ring of organized poachers in trucks. I'll take homeless scavengers over exhaust-spewers any day.

Posted by Jym on Jun. 12, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

I caught Calvin Welch defecating into my recycling bin late one night, and I threw hunks of garlic naan at him until he ran away.

Posted by Chromefields on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 11:36 am

close it. Once it was a good thing. Now it's just a junkie cash machine. All those homeless scummy low life's need to move to Market / Plaza. NIMBY ? darn right I am and you are too once these animals start defecating on your property. Yelling at you. Leaving needles and used condoms and vomit.

Posted by Harold G. Muheraner on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

How anyone can use the word "animals" to describe human beings and take a morally upright position in the same paragraph amuses me to no end.

Posted by M. Worrall on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

"How anyone can use the word 'animals' to describe human beings and take a morally upright position in the same paragraph amuses me to no end."

- M. Worrall

Here’s an incident that I personally witnessed on Haight Street –

Two thin, young gay men were walking down Haight Street on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, holding hands and laughing, having a great time.

They happened to pass a group of migratory addicts and alcoholics squatting on the sidewalk. Unknown to the gay couple, one of the squatters stood up and stalked them down the street.

The stalker was about 40 years old, white, big and beefy, with long brown-blond hair. He quickened his pace and got in front of the gay couple.

He spat in the face of one of them and shouted “Faggot! I hope you die of AIDS!”

The two gay guys ran away, horrified.

Here’s another scene I personally witnessed:

A female street alcoholic was sitting at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets, in front of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream store, spare-changing passers-by.

Two male street addicts came up and wanted to take over her spot for spare-changing. They got into a shouting match with her. One of the men punched her in the face, and she ran away screaming.

The two male street addicts took her place, formed a large peace symbol on the sidewalk with pennies, and spare-changed passers-by.

I hope these incidents amuse you, M. Worrall.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 2:40 pm


That was not what I wrote in regard to what I found amusing --along with a bit of a (dishonest) intellectual leap on your part to assert that I find harassment amusing-- but am I to take your reply as saying it is okay to call other human beings "animals"?

I like the use of "running away screaming" in your your eyewitness report; quite a dramatic flourish. Author! Author!

Posted by M. Worrall on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

Nice emotionally charged sketches, Arthur.
Real improvement on your usual monotonous pontifications about the inevitable future that only you are privy to.
You could stand to offer some facts though, such as:
When did these events occur?

"Here’s an incident that I personally witnessed on Haight Street –
The two gay guys ran away, horrified."
When did this happen?
Last year?
Last week?
25 years ago?

"Here’s another scene I personally witnessed:...
she ran away screaming."
Same question:
Last year?
Last week?
25 years ago?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

I remember the same two stories from Evans' repertoir years ago. The neighborhoods and other details constantly shift to fit the need at the time. I think he's making the whole thing up, frankly.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

Don't get me started on the Haight-Ashbury's need for PUBLIC TOILETS !! If we had another toilet you wouldn't have people defecating into recycling bins. But I realize how you think: if we provide a toilet "they" will come or cum or shootup or conceive in there ... So ...life goes on with such activities in plain view or in parks or wherever our society's abandoned people can find a bit of peace. I think it incredibly simple-minded that some of you seem to believe that if the HANC Recreational Recycling Center were to tragically be evicted from its current location that somehow that would make invisible all the folks someone fondly referred to above as "low life." People who CHOOSE not to be enslaved in a 9 to 5 job to earn just enough money to pay down some landlord's mortgage are NOT ALL LOW LIFE. Among them are free-thinkers, artists, creative folks of all kinds. THEY are the people who actually have TIME to use our parks which many of you pretend to care so much about. While you all are want for a magic formula called "Bums Be Gone" ... I want the NIMBY NEWBIES to all go back to the burbs or back to their little heavenly havens where they apparently could get away with spewing their hate for others less fortunate than they are. UNITE TO SAVE HANC'S RECREATIONAL RECYCLING CENTER !!! It IS recreational, educational and an absolutely integral INSTITUTION in San Francisco. We have the right to choose how to dispose of our trash. CHOICE is democratic. I, and thousands of others, prefer to contribute our recyclables to HANC to keep the proceeds largely IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD GOING TO PEOPLE IN NEED. If you don't like "low life" or impoverished people you sure seem terribly eager to create more impoverished people!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 2:03 am

The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) has a high-sounding name, but in reality it's a vestigial organization.

A few years ago, I attended a community forum sponsored by HANC on medical marijuana. The public forum was part of HANC's regular business meeting, which preceded the forum. There were about 60 people in the room.

In the part of the meeting devoted to the group's business, HANC held an election for its board of directors. Voting was limited to HANC members only.

There were 14 positions or so on the board that needed to be filled. When the vote came to fill them, there were only 13 members of the large audience who were members of HANC, less than the number of board positions.

Today HANC mostly services as a megaphone for Calvin Welch, not the residents of the Haight Ashbury. Welch is entitled to have his voice heard. But nobody should be fooled as to what's going on here.

Neither HANC nor Welch represents anyone in the Haight Ashbury anymore except for a small circle of backward-looking ideologues with a nostalgic longing for the 1960s. Both the Haight and the city have outgrown them.

The SF Bay Guardian continues to support HANC in the name of progressive politics. This support is yet another example of regressiveness misappropriating the name of progress for the sake of tunnel-vision ideology.

In recent years, the journalistic standards of The Bay Guardian have fallen, in tandem with the declining political influence of HANC. Nobody should be surprised by the decline of either.

We are witnessing the declining power of two patriarchs of the old regime - Calvin Welch and the Ayatollah Brugmann. Let's move onward to better deals for the Haight, the city, and journalism.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

Your thoughtful and civil comments remind me of the time I once met a small time local political hack at City Hall back in the 80's.
I invited him to look through my telescope, but he refused.
This fellow reminded me of the ancient followers of Chryssipussy, the Greek Vaginal Philosopher, and I told him so.
He then proceeded to call me a homophobe and flopped down on the sidewalk!
I kid you not.
Not only was he far too doctrinaire to recognize his own fallacy, he was a member of a vestigial sect.
Also, he was in denial.
I feared he might be inclined towards violence because he was a male, and males are the source of all violence, everywhere, in every single human society.
So I suggested he move beyond the spirit of dogmatic fundamentalism and open himself to the rational investigation of life and reality.

I still see this half famous political figure from time to time, because he is now part of a nomadic group of territorial males who make their homes up and down the coast, and I never fail to engage him in a spirited issue-focused debate.

Because I am a migratory attention addict, refusing services and bent on colonizing public attention for my own use.
I routinely urinate and defecate on this community with my pseudo-intellectual babble and I will continue to do so until they carry me out of my rent controlled apartment, the victim of a corporeal explosion traceable to the instability of a head filled with weapon-grade smugness and bitterness.

Posted by Arthur Evuns on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

This stuff is absolutely hilarious! More! More!

Posted by Greg on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

Do I hear an Ayatollah Evans wannabe ??? Now THAT would be really "progressive" ... NOT. Evans sounds like what my reactionary, paranoid, bigotted 90 year grandmother sounded like just prior to her passing 23 years ago. I bet you clip newspaper articles on crime and underline them multiple times in red ink ... don't you ?? Her anti-social behavior stemmed purely from fear ... and I don't think Evans tirades are any different. A word of warning to all truly progressive hippies, dreadheads, leather freaks, tattooed toddlers, wayward youth, righteous sidewalk sitters, sleepers, dancers or even defecaters ... let's not SCARE these folks who are trying really hard to be hip by living in the Haight but really do not belong here. Let's go out of our way to accommodate them and maybe they'll pipe down and let us all TRULY progressive folks get about our business of recreationally recycling AT HANC'S Recreational Recycling Center.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 2:14 am

That guy, and all the rest of Newsom's parasite sycophants need to stop attacking poor people and get a real job for a change.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 02, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

Because none of the HANC supporters could come up with a rational argument for keeping it.

Doubt it? Take a look at their posts in this thread.

With supporters like these, HANC doesn't need any detractors.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

Newsom did this unilaterally and without public discussion, through his cronies like Phil Ginsburg.
Ginsburg should be fired for working against the interests of the public in many other situations including the Stow Lake Boathouse and trying to ram private businesses into Dolores Park.

As to the eviction of a long standing neighborhood service provider with an amazing and affordable plant nursery-
That took place without any commentary like the one here.
And only a pathetic old Alzheimers victim like Arthgur Evans can't see the difference between public policy discussions at a city government level and online forums like this one, where he has done his best to poison the discussion with negativity, false accusations and lies.

Posted by Arthur Evuns on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

The 1960's hippie counter culture is the best thing that ever happened to the Haight Ashbury, and to the United States for that matter.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

Some posters would have us believe the HANC's defeat had nothing to do with the abusive behavior of scavengers and squatters in the Haight, the changing demographics of the Haight, and HANC's declining membership.

That's like saying that the succession of day and night has nothing to do with the motions of the earth.

Medieval theologians denied the motions of the earth, while HANC supporters deny political and social changes.

Such are the patterns of sectarian denial in every age.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 03, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

Where is the $250K to replace the asphalt with a "garden" going to come from?

This City is so amazingly corrupt!

The NIMBYs are winning. Sad!

Posted by Harry on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 10:02 pm