Sorry, Chuck -- HANC eviction hasn't happened


The eviction of the Haight Asbury Neighborhood Council’s recycling center, which critics of the center said was scheduled to take place Dec. 5, hasn’t happened – and it’s entirely possible that the center could keep operating for several more weeks.

At the end of the day Wednesday, the doors were open, the center was continuing business as usual – and the office of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who is charged with carrying out the eviction, was telling reporters that Dec. 5 was never a firm deadline.

Kathy Gorwood, Mirkarimi’s chief of staff, told us that the law gives tenants five days from the service of an eviction notice before any law-enforcement action can take place. “But that’s not a legal mandate that we evict on the sixth day,” she said.

The notice was served Nov. 30.

Gorwood said all evictions are planned with officer safety, tenant hardships and staff scheduling in mind – and on Dec. 5, the sheriff wasn’t ready to move.

“We surveyed the property, the sheriff personally surveyed the property,” she said. “We can’t say, and we don’t say, when an eviction will take place.”

Gorwood said Mirkarimi wasn’t defying the law or refusing to carry out the eviction. But since there are likely to be protests, possibly civil disobedience, the deputies need to be prepared and the schedule set carefully.

Mirkarimi has a history of supporting HANC. As a former supervisor of District 5, which includes the Haight, he voted to urge SF Rec and Park to and find a solution to keep the center in Golden Gate Park. The vote was nonbinding. He clearly wants to avoid a nasty confrontation, and if he can find a way to work out a voluntary move-out, it’s likely he’ll take the time to negotiate it.

For the past ten years, The Department of Recreation and Parks has aggressively sought to oust HANC.  Finally, this fall, Rec-Park filed an eviction through the City Attorney’s Office
Interestingly, the “Notice to Vacate” served on the center was signed off by the City Attorney’s Office on September 14, 2012. However, the actual eviction date that SF Rec and Park requested was December 5, 2012.

Why wait three months to evict a center that Rec-Park has been trying to get rid of for a decade?

Jack Fong, a spokesperson for the City Attorney’s office, declined to say if there were any procedural or administrative reasons that an eviction notice given to the sheriff in September would take three months to go through.

We called Phil Ginsburg, director of Rec and Parks, and Sarah Ballard, its spokesperson, to ask about the time disparity. We did not hear back from them before press time.

But you don’t need to be a genius to figure it out -- just look at what was happening in November. Ginsburg was pushing Proposition B, which secured $195 million in bonds to shore up neglected playgrounds and open spaces in San Francisco’s parks. The measure needed a two-thirds vote – and Rec-Park was nervous about any bad publicity.

The measure passed by a landslide. Butousting HANC, eliminating a revenue stream for the poor, the homeless, and working class people, would have been bad publicity leading up the November election.

The Small Business Commission is scrambling to notify businesses in the area of their possible new role without the recycling center -- they could all either become mini-recycling centers, or
face a $100 a day charge from the state of California

Exactly how and when the commission will reach out to those affected will be discussed at the Small Business Commission’s December 10 meeting.

Regina Dick-Endrizzi, the executive director of the Small Business Commission, told us that one business in the SOMA, which she declined to name, faced three months worth of the $100-a-
day charge for not buying back recyclables from the state while trying to navigate applying for an exemption. Even after being granted the exemption, that’s a $9,000 charge, which for a small
liquor store or grocer is not chump change.

There’s a precedent for a San Francisco sheriff refusing to carry out an eviction notice. Sheriff Richard Hongisto, who later served on the board of supervisors for three terms, famously
refused to evict the Filipino and Chinese elderly tenants of the International Hotel in 1976. The scandal was even the subject of a documentary, “The Fall of the I-Hotel.

The International Hotel was sold to developers who were going to cast the elderly tenants out onto the street. News outlets as far flung as the New York and LA times wrote about the
mass eviction, and many consider it a black eye on San Francisco to this day.

In January 1977, Hongisto was jailed for five days for his refusal to evict the tenants. Eventually, he relented, leading a team of SWAT and other officers to clear the hotel of
protesters, and even swung an ax himself to bust open the hotel.

But this is a different situation: Mirkarimi hasn’t refused to follow the law, and in fact, Gorwood said that he has every intention of carrying out the eviction. The law, Mark Nicco, assistant counsel to the sheriff, told us, only says that an eviction has to happen in a timely manner – and there’s no definition of what that might be.

So if Ginsburg or the mayor think Mirkarimi is dragging his feet, the only recourse would be for Rec-Park to go to court and seek a judge’s order compelling the sheriff to evict the center in a stated period of time. All of which could take weeks.

So for the moment, HANC is still in business, Mirkarimi is avoiding an ugly eviction scene – and there’s still a chance for Rec-Park to come to its senses. But we’re not taking bets.

Additional reporting by Tim Redmond


Like refusing to uphold the law he swore to protect and defend. That will definitely endear him to the 75% of San Franciscans who wanted him to resign and put to rest all those worries that Mirkarimi would put political interests above those of the law...

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

Looks like our Sheriff really is concerned about public safety and is making sure this does not turn into an embarrassing pr fiasco for our City. UT

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

the Hetch Hetchy reservior and to evict the Drakes Bay Oyster farm.

These ideas are justified by strident application of law, and are completely out of synch with environmental needs and counterproductive with regard to economic outcome.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 7:19 am

When I was evicting a tenant, the sheriff's office told me that they only evict on two days each week, as the same officers have other duties to perform as well e.g. serving summons and warrants etc.

So I think you're reading too much into the Dec 5 date - it's just the earliest date the eviction will happen. HANC is toast - accept it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 8:35 am

Or did you let your burning desire to advertise the idea that you once had the power to take away shelter from people determine your response?

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 8:47 am

And did it ever occur to you that some evictions are justified?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 9:44 am

You left out this important piece of information. Regina Dick-Endrizzi used to be an aide for Mirkarimi at the Board. Now she's trying to scare local merchants into opposing the eviction while her former boss drags his feet.

This is no more a coincidence than Rec/Park holding the eviction until after the election. These folks are just continuing this pissing match on taxpayer time.

This is ridiculous. Votes were cast. Judges ruled. It's over. Not every minor debate represents a battle for the "soul of the city." It's a recycling center with a small nursery of mediocre but well-loved plants and staff. Move or be done. But stop these silly debates that just go on and on.

And BOO! on the Guardian for encouraging this kind of endless slapfest. If the progs want to relevant again, you'll have to stop digging-in every time change annoys or impacts one of your buddies. It's truly shocking that both the Guardian and Avalos have become champions of small, silly shit. Sometimes, I get the feeling Campos knows better but toes the line because he's just on layover enroute to the Assembly.

Frankly, I'm totally baffled that four days into the Housing Authority fiasco, the lefties aren't making hay at Lee's disconnect from reality. Yesterday, Tim finally did some harumping on his blog but the rest of the left seems absent. Heck, by yesterday afternoon, even CW Nevius was taking the mayor to task for his head in the sand routine.

Wake up folks! Holding the mayor accountable is what we expect you to do; want you to do. You even claimed the title of "loyal opposition" after the election. Act like it. Amos Brown's comments were utterly inappropriate and just the fact that Asha is involved and talking on record means the smart folks in the room know better.

Further, this kind of thing was really the only thing that regular folks feared about Ed Lee. He's just too much of an inside player to call balls and strikes on people he's worked with for so long. But he won't change and do better unless YOU, the lefties, hold his feet to the fire.

Finally, if you aren't standing up for the big issues - a failed Housing Authority lead by an incompetent, abusive and prejudiced leader - what do you stand for? Oh that's right, a recycling center in Golden Gate Park. Jeez...

Posted by BeckyBayside on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 10:25 am

Gosh, you know a lot about local politics, but I really couldn't make that much sense of it with all those catch phrases, and please don't hold anyone else responsible for holding anyone's "feet to the fire" who has their "head in the sand" either. If it's such small, silly shit, why do you bother yourself?

Oh, that's right, the big issues, over local offices that people get paid a lot of money to do mediocre (like the nursery's offerings!) work. I don't work in an office, but this seems like a lot of bickering over job performance. Irrelevant. Nor do I want to play in your sandbox and learn who these people are. I'll ask my friend.

This may be knee-jerk (now you've got me doing it) but why is a City that's supposed to be super-pro-recycling shutting down an existing, functioning center and putting some burden on local business? How big is this place, where I went for the first time yesterday, a half-acre? What's going to replace it? A new and improved recycling center run by the City? Paid for by Prop B? Egad.

HANC is packing up. A celebration is being planned for New Year's Day. The eviction is not "fascist". It's just stupid. The fact that the City owns the land is the only reason this is taking place. If you want to talk about big issues, let's start there.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 3:34 am

My mistake: they're going to replace it with a garden. Replace a garden with a garden. New and improved! Buy one now! Mediocre but well-loved must go, alas. Maybe you didn't read up on the Kezar garden, but it supplies indigenous and drought-resistant plantings, up to 5 free. I'm sure they can use the word 'permaculture' as well in their literature.

Upon further reading, I also find one real reason is that locals "complained about the large number of homeless campers in nearby Golden Gate Park who use it as a way to make quick cash." Ah. Yes, those Inner Sunset/Cole Valley properties are needing a little elbow room (damn, but those cliche-catch phrases are so hard to resist, aren't they?).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 4:04 am

My mistake: they're going to replace it with a garden. Replace a garden with a garden. New and improved! Buy one now! Mediocre but well-loved must go, alas. Maybe you didn't read up on Kezar garden, but they offer indigenous and drought-resistant plantings, free up to 5. Pretty sure they can use the word 'permaculture' in their literature too.

In further reading, I come across one real reason is that neighbors "complained about the large number of homeless campers in nearby Golden Gate Park who use it as a way to make quick cash." Ah. Yes, the Inner Sunset/Cole Valley properties do need a little elbow room (those catch phrase/cliche/idioms are just so hard to resist, aren't they?).

Privilege does have its privileges.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 4:15 am


Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Der maddness must be stopped, people!

Hanc only got its first eviction notice 5 years ago. This is facism.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

following the law here. his instincts may be to give HANC a pass but, given RossGate, he doesn't have the political capital and personal influence to be able to pull a stroke like that. He's been neutered.

So HANC will be going, but SFSD will pick a time of their choosing. I'd guess very early one day, before most "activists" have gotten out of their beds.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2012 @ 8:26 am
Posted by Eddie on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 9:06 pm