North Beach Garage Legislation; John Pollard Responds; School Funding Fiasco; Muni Fiscal Mess; Curling as an Olympic Sport …

by on February 26, 2010

To the Editor:

This article is completely inaccurate and bullshit!!! if you are going to write a slandering article about people, you should try getting your fax straight!!! This ‘proposed’ legislation effects everyone negatively! People need to seriously look at what this legislation is doing to the city and not try to make this about one person!!!

Concerned San Franciscan


To the Editor:

There is nothing illegal or immoral about a landlord offering tenants a chunk of change to move out. If a tenant refuses, the landlord can try to invoke an Ellis Act eviction and if successful, pay the tenants usually something less to move out. The problem with the author’s argument is that he wants to preserve below market rental housing by micro-managing individuals’ financial choices.

David Chiu is just the latest protagonist in this decades-long SF policy of placing the burden of housing subsidies on private owners. Instead of demanding that private owners subsidize housing, we should demand that our government do so. If we are unwilling to build substantial numbers of below market units, then our government should be sending checks to the private owners for the difference between market rate the rent control rate. The private landlord is one of the most demonized characters in an otherwise market-driven economy. Such views have a long historical pedigree — from at least feudal times when lords exploited their tenants. But the caricature is outworn here. Let’s get busy and do something real about affordable housing for all.

Dana B.
San Francisco


To the Editor:

I am not sure why you would not feel free to check with me before writing a story with so many untruths. I have been a reader and supporter of yours on a daily basis for the past 6 plus years.

This new years day myself and 3 other plumbers worked for free at 1693 Market Street for 10 plus hours to get the hot water going in a 50 room plus SRO. The second week of this year I went to bat for a elderly women who was being unlawfully evicted from her place on 24th street. I explained to the attorney and the Landlord that I would do everything in my power to fight the eviction. They responded that they had a great case but would withdraw the notice to terminate. Not to mention the 200 plus hours that we spent moving her fire damaged belongings to a storage unit as well as dealing with three different attorneys, the landlord and the contractor of the building. This is the first time I have been accused of being a landlord and of attempting to evict tenants.

To date I am not a landlord in SF or any other area of the US, nor have I been — just a contractor.

Lies and then some in your story:

1. Landlord who owns a 3 unit in North Beach. It’s a four unit, owned by my father John N Pollard.

2. Storage has a Chinese family living in it. Storage room is empty, no Chinese family living in it. Never offered any Chinese families to leave for money, I don’t even know their names.

3. Chiu proposed the legislation 1 year ago. Chiu did not propose this a year ago, came out a couple of months ago, and Chiu asked my directly would I support legislation for having to get CU permits for Ellis Act buildings in his district, which I told him and his assistant David that I would be 100% supportive that legislation. This legislation does not mention Ellis Act, say 97% of garages in Chiu district without Ellis Act evictions would need a CU permit, that is the only thing I disagree with.

4. Chiu’s office said that Bevan said to meet with John Pollard of SF GARAGE CO and three other groups. Bevan asked me if I could meet with Chiu because I understood the garage legislation and he did not, nothing to do with Plan C and whomever else. For technical input only.

5. Says owner of SF Garage owns property in North Beach. I do not own property in North Beach.

6. Says owner has intention of condo converting. My father has no intention of Condo converting, has owned the property for 5 years with the same tenants.

7. Store room in question is occupied by tenants. Zero tenants, never had tenants in 5 years.

8. Offered to Buy-out My father nor myself has never offered to buy out the tenants on Union Street.

9. Other tenants where offered buys outs in the building. One tenant approach my father about moving out because of having to live with the existing disgusting Chinese people in the building and requested monies for them moving out. This is a direct quote from their email to my father. Period.

10. Pollard hopes to vacate the building and create TIC’s. I don’t own the building and my father has no plans to keep the property as a rental only.

It’s amazing what happens when you don’t ask any questions or do due diligence.

John Pollard
SF Garage Co.

PAUL HOGARTH RESPONDS: David Ho, a community organizer from CCDC (Chinatown Community Development Center), went to 531 Union Street and met a Chinese family living in the basement unit. They told him that 2 years ago when the new owner bought the building — a grant deed from the Assessor’s Office shows that a John Pollard [evidently the father, according to the letter] became the owner in April 2007 — they were offered money to move out, but refused. A permit was filed and granted for a garage space on the property. Looking at both the Assessor’s parcel map online, as well as the Streetview photos on Google Maps, it does not appear possible to build a garage anywhere on the parcel but in the basement unit — because the back of the parcel is not adjacent to any other street or alleyway. (A similar looking adjacent building does touch Bannam Place where a garage could be built on the ground floor, but it is a separate property — not the same block/lot number where the garage permit was issued.


To the Editor:

It is insane this educational imbroglio facing the Nation. On the one hand, Obama designated 100 billion dollars for education, on the other there is no money!!! Or the money is really there but will be spent on non-unionized charter schools, books, computers, and heaven knows what else, except on good brains formed by good teachers. Montaigne said that it is not important to have a full brain, what important is to have a brain well made.

Nafiss Griffis
San Francisco


To the Editor:

Regarding the Muni fiscal mess, whatever happened to the idea of expanding and adding more districts required to have street parking permits? The annual fee could (should) be raised from the current proposed 25 cents per day to maybe as much as $1.00 per day. $365.00 per year to park in the neighborhood of your home is pretty reasonable in my opinion. It costs $1.00 to park at a meter for 30 minutes.

Ann DuFrane
San Francisco


To the Editor:

I could not agree more – not only is curling unworthy of being an Olympic sport, but curlers are not even worthy of handing towels to the hockey team when they skate to the bench. I’d like to see the US hockey team play the Canadian curling team – head to head, each playing their respective sports against each other on the ice at the same time!

Dave Chelsea-Seifert
San Francisco


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