Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 29 / 20 July 2017

Sheehy, Ronen push for Milk Terminal at SFO

Gay San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy and his straight colleague, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, on Tuesday said they would push for Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport and the airport access road to be named after gay slain supervisor Harvey Milk.

(Two San Francisco supervisors are pushing for Terminal 1 (shown here as an artist rendering) at San Francisco International Airport be named after slain gay supervisor Harvey Milk.)

(Two San Francisco supervisors are pushing for Terminal 1 (shown here as an artist rendering) at San Francisco International Airport be named after slain gay supervisor Harvey Milk.)

Ronen was set to introduce legislation at the board’s July 25 meeting to begin the name change process. Her predecessor, gay Supervisor David Campos, had originally come up with the idea of naming the entire airport after Milk in 2013, but the project lacked support. He and Mayor Ed Lee later agreed to a compromise that would see a terminal named after the gay rights leader, but Campos was termed out of office before a committee could meet and decide which terminal should carry Milk’s name. (The panel sat dormant for years because the mayor wouldn’t name his five appointees. He did so earlier this year, and the committee had three months to vote on a recommendation.)

In a news release Tuesday, Sheehy said that naming Terminal 1 after Milk would be his top LGBT legislative priority. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a story last month, the Airport Facilities Naming Advisory Committee unanimously recommended Terminal 1 and the access road be named after Milk.

“Forty years ago this November, San Franciscans sent a historic message – voting in progressive mayor George Moscone and electing Harvey Milk as our city’s first gay supervisor,” Sheehy said in a statement. “Their legacy endures and in these dark times, Harvey’s message of hope resonates more than ever.”

Milk and Moscone were assassinated by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White in November 1978, just a year after the election.

Sheehy said that last week, he sent a letter to SFO officials asking for specifics on how the name change could be accomplished.

The airport advisory panel’s June decision was expected, since the committee members at their first two meetings had indicated they would select Terminal 1 as their preferred choice. A consensus had also quickly emerged behind the road naming idea, first broached by Jim Lazarus, the senior vice president for public policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

“We need to consider the airport access way,” said Lazarus this week, noting that the terminal naming idea is still controversial and the road naming could be an acceptable alternative.

Designating the first of the airport’s four terminals after Milk could present a unique marketing opportunity, panel members had indicated, since Terminal 1 is currently undergoing a $2.4 billion remodel that will be unveiled in stages through 2024 and draw years of media coverage. They also had noted that christening the airport’s access road as Harvey Milk Way would mean all four of the terminals, as well as the airport itself, would be attached to the former supervisor’s name.

In May, airport commission President Larry Mazzola sent the naming committee members, the supervisors, and mayor a letter expressing his opposition to its naming a terminal after Milk. Four years ago the airport’s board created its own policy for naming areas of SFO, with one criterion being the person had to have a direct connection to the airport, noted Mazzola. Unsaid but suggested by his letter was that Milk did not.

“I’m confused and frustrated that the board would spend time and resources on a duplicative policy body, overriding the hard work of our committee without ever consulting our committee, and believe the board committee’s mission to recommend a terminal be named at (SFO) flies in the face of the established Airport Naming Policy,” wrote Mazzola.

Mazzola has not changed his mind. He told the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday that the supervisors should adhere to the airport’s naming policy.

— Cynthia Laird, July 25, 2017 @ 1:52 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Two robbed in Castro incidents

One man was abducted and robbed and another was held up at an ATM in separate incidents early Sunday morning in San Francisco’s Castro district.

In the first incident, the victim was walking near 17th and Noe streets at 1:30 a.m. when the suspects’ vehicle approached him. One suspect demanded the victim’s money, but he said, “No,” according to police.

Another suspect got out of the vehicle and forced the victim to get into the backseat, police said. The suspect then drove the victim several blocks to an ATM, but the victim still refused to hand over his money.

When the suspect told the victim to empty out his pockets, he gave him his cash, cellphone, and keys. The suspects fled in their light-colored, four-door vehicle, and the victim later discovered that his truck had been stolen, according to police.

The suspects are described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 25 and 30 and a Hispanic female who appeared to be 28.

The victim, who’s 29, wasn’t injured. No arrests have been reported.

The second incident occurred at about 2:20 a.m. Police said the victim was getting money out of an ATM in the 2300 block of Market Street when another man approached him from behind, “simulated a handgun in his jacket,” and demanded the victim’s money.

The victim complied and the suspect fled in a yellow taxi that was last seen traveling eastbound on 16th Street.

The 25-year-old victim wasn’t injured. The suspect is described as a black male who’s between the ages of 35 and 40.

No arrests have been reported.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, July 24, 2017 @ 4:52 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Former B.A.R. staffer robbed in Tenderloin

Dennis Conkin (Photo: Facebook)

Dennis Conkin (Photo: Facebook)

A former Bay Area Reporter writer was robbed last Thursday night (June 29) in the Tenderloin.

In a Facebook post, Dennis Conkin, 63, who uses a wheelchair, said he was leaving the Vietnamese restaurant Tu Lan, 8 Sixth Street, when a woman who’d been harassing and “lying in wait” for him grabbed at the food he had in a Trader Joe’s bag.

Conkin said he told her, “Get away from me, bitch,” and someone from the restaurant came out and asked her what she wanted.

The woman then “followed me down the street and said you can’t call me (the N word),” said Conkin, who denied using the slur.

The woman pepper sprayed him in his eye, then followed him down Stevenson Alley. Another woman grabbed his hair “and started yanking my head back,” he said, but “I grabbed for her hand and got it.”

The first woman started hitting him, so he grabbed her shirt, said Conkin. As he did that, he was pulled out of the wheelchair.

Conkin screamed, and the woman grabbed the Target bag he’d been carrying and ran away. He went back to his home, which is two blocks from the scene, and someone called police and an ambulance.

In an email to the B.A.R., Conkin said that the thieves stole a Target bag that held his art supplies, Valium, and laxatives. He’s also missing $100, which he suspects fell out of his pocket “during the melee.”

“I do hope they thought the clear, lemon-flavored liquid in the bottles was a soft drink and enjoyed it,” he said in his Facebook post. “It was a strong, always works laxative.”

Conkin said he suffered an abrasion on his head where he hit the sidewalk when he came out of his wheelchair.

“Even though I love Tu Lan’s  shrimp fried rice, I won’t be going out to get it in my wheelchair by myself after dark anymore,” he told the B.A.R. “I’m not a young queen.  I’m a geezer and disabled.  What was I thinking? It was pretty awful. Pepper spray burns and fists hurt.”

Police said the incident occurred at about 9 p.m. They described the suspects only as two black females. One appeared to be 60 and the other was in her 20s.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, July 6, 2017 @ 1:55 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Woman robbed at gunpoint in Dolores Park

Two men with a gun robbed a woman in San Francisco’s Dolores Park Saturday night (July 1).

According to police, the woman was sitting in the park with her boyfriend at about 7 p.m. when the two suspects approached them. One suspect, a Hispanic male who appeared to be 20, brandished a gun, then put the weapon in the woman’s purse and handed it to the other suspect, an 18-year-old Hispanic male.

Both men fled in different directions. The teen was taken into custody on 18th Street. His name hasn’t been released. The other man wasn’t apprehended.

The victim, 25, wasn’t injured. Her purse and wallet were taken, but the purse was recovered.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:00 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gun, knife used in Castro robbery

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 11.57.51 AM

18th and Church streets (Image: Google)

Two men used a handgun and a knife early Thursday morning (July 6) to rob a woman in San Francisco’s Castro district.

The 1:15 a.m. incident at Church at 18th streets started when the two suspects approached the woman and tried to take her purse, police said.

“A struggle ensued,” police said, but after the men “brandished their weapons” and demanded the woman give them her property, she complied. The suspects then fled north on Church.

The woman, who’s 25, and the 22-year-old man who was with her weren’t injured. Her purse, passport, cellphone, tablet, and credit cards were taken.

The suspects were described only as Hispanic males. One is 20 to 30 years old, and the other appeared to be 30.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 11:54 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Small fire breaks out in the Castro over Pride weekend

San Francisco firefighters spent Saturday afternoon (June 24) battling a fire at 495 Castro Street, according to the fire department’s twitter feed.

(A ladder truck was deployed on a fire in the Castro Saturday afternoon. Photo: Jim Provenzano)

(A ladder truck was deployed on a fire in the Castro Saturday afternoon. Photo: Jim Provenzano)

At about 4:40 p.m. the department said the blaze was contained. It was reported to be in a building that has residential above commercial. There were no reported injuries. The number of displacement was unknown, according to the department.

A ladder truck was deployed and witnesses responding on twitter said firefighters were “sneaking hoses from 2nd floor up to 3rd.”

The scene blocked off streets in the area during a crowded Pride weekend.

BARtab editor Jim Provenzano was in the area and took some photos.

The fire department said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

— Cynthia Laird, June 24, 2017 @ 4:54 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

LGBTQ protest planned for SF McDonald’s

Image: Logopedia

Image: Logopedia

A protest is planned for a McDonald’s in San Francisco’s Mission district Friday, June 23 to call attention to the company’s alleged harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ employees, especially trans workers.

Protestors will gather at 4:45 p.m. at the 24th Street BART station and then cross the street to the restaurant, located at 2801 Mission. After a rally, they’ll join the Trans March, which is set to leave Dolores Park at 6 p.m. and head to Turk and Taylor streets.

McDonald’s protestors say they’re upset that the company is sponsoring Pride celebrations in San Francisco and other cities while treating trans workers and others unfairly. San Francisco’s Pride celebration and parade is set for Saturday, June 24-Sunday, June 25. Protestors are also calling on the fast food chain to pay its workers $15 an hour and give them union rights.

In May, a trans McDonald’s worker in Michigan filed a lawsuit against the company charging “‘extreme sexual harassment and discrimination,’ including suffering genital groping on the job and being forced to use a broom closet as a bathroom,” according to an email from the group Fight for $15. Other LGBTQ McDonald’s workers have filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming sexual harassment and discrimination, said Urbano.

El/La Para TransLatinas and the San Francisco chapter of Democratic Socialists of America are also expected to take part in Friday’s protest.

McDonald’s spokespeople didn’t respond to a request for comment.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 22, 2017 @ 1:02 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Family’ member named SF poet laureate

Kim Shuck. (Photo: Doug Salin Photography)

Kim Shuck. (Photo: Doug Salin Photography)

San Francisco officials announced Wednesday (June 21) that Kim Shuck has been named the city’s poet laureate.

Shuck, whose poetry draws from her experiences as a lifelong San Francisco resident and her multiethnic background, which includes Cherokee and Polish heritage, declined to say in a Facebook message exactly how she identifies, but she said she’s part of the LGBT “family.”

“Kim’s stirring poetry celebrates the spirit of San Francisco and reflects the open and inclusive values of this city,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a news release. “She embodies the legacy of our city’s bold and fearless storytellers, and as a fifth-generation resident she has a unique appreciation for what makes San Francisco special.”

City Librarian Luis Herrera stated, “As San Francisco Poet Laureate [Shuck] will celebrate our strength of language and culture. … We’re excited to work with her to further our city’s literary and poetic tradition by engaging our communities and bringing us together through poetry.”

Shuck, who lives in the Castro, has published several poetry books, including “Clouds Running In,” and “Rabbit Stories,” among other works. She teaches at the California College of the Arts, and she’s volunteered for the San Francisco Unified School District for over 20 years. Her visual art has been displayed in exhibits around the world. She was also once a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBT Advisory Committee..

“This is an honor, it’s a responsibility, and it’s an invitation to continue the good work of previous laureates,” Shuck stated. “It’s also an opportunity to add some of my own touches, both political and silly. The San Francisco Public Library was a good friend when I was a kid, primarily the Mission, Noe Valley and Castro branches, and I’m looking forward to working on these new projects.”

As the poet laureate, Shuck will give an inaugural address at the public library, and she’ll participate in poetry events that serve multiethnic and multigenerational city residents, among other duties.

Lee appointed Shuck after she was nominated by a nine-member committee comprised of past poet laureates, city officials, and others. She’s succeeding Alejandro Murguía, San Francisco’s sixth poet laureate.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 21, 2017 @ 2:34 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF police offer Pride safety message

Celebrating at the 2007 Pride parade. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Celebrating at the 2007 Pride parade. Photo: Rick Gerharter

The San Francisco Police Department has issued a message urging everyone to be safe during the city’s LGBT Pride celebration and parade, set for Saturday, June 24-Sunday, June 25. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world will be in the city for events taking place in the week around the festival.

Police are “working closely with Pride organizers and our city partners to make Pride Week a safe and enjoyable event for everyone,” stated Police Chief William Scott. “San Francisco is a very welcoming city and SFPD is proud to protect and serve everyone joining us from near and far for this year’s Pride celebration.”

Police are also reminding people that no organized event is set for the Castro on Saturday night, and the streets will remain open.

“Laws prohibiting possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages and drinking in public will be strictly enforced,” police said. “San Francisco and the Castro District offer a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment venues and we encourage celebrants to patronize local businesses and to celebrate responsibly.”

The night before the main Pride festival had been known for the Pink Saturday party that drew thousands of people to the Castro’s streets, but the party ended after growing concerns about violence.

As with last year’s festival, people attending the 2017 celebration in Civic Center will have to pass through metal detectors or be checked by handheld wands.

Bags may also be searched, and people are encouraged to leave them at home. Any bags larger than 18 inches by 18 inches won’t be allowed, and lockers won’t be available.

Police also warned, “Don’t accept drinks from strangers,” and be “cautious about leaving a bar or club with a stranger. A rule of thumb is that if you feel ‘unsure’ about someone, rely on that instinct and do not go with that person.”

No outside alcohol will be allowed inside the Pride celebration gates.

Both uniformed and plainclothes officers will be on hand in “significant” numbers at Pride-related events, police said. Anyone who sees suspicious activity is encouraged to contact event staff or a police officer.

Many of the security measures were put in place after the June 12, 2016 massacre at Orlando, Florida’s gay Pulse nightclub, where Omar Mateen fatally shot 49 people and wounded 53 before he died in a shootout with police.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:23 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Man attacked, robbed near Dolores Park

Two men attacked and robbed another man early Wednesday morning (June 21) near San Francisco’s Dolores Park.

The 3:20 a.m. incident started when the suspects approached the 38-year-old victim at 19th and Church streets, “attacked him,” and took his cellphone, wallet, ID, credit cards, and keys, according to police.

The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

No descriptions were available for the suspects, who fled the scene, and no arrests have been made.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 10:18 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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