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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gavin, Golden Gate Park and the Homeless: A Theory

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 5:53 PM

OPINION -- The Eternal Sunshine of the Spackled Mind

By Joe Eskenazi

Mayor Gavin Newsom's somewhat shocked reaction to the Chronicle's revelation that roving bands of homeless people have apparently been beamed en masse into Golden Gate Park answers a question I've had for a long time.

I've always wondered why our wealthy, movie-star handsome and politically savvy young mayor would choose to slather 14 ounces of spackle onto his scalp every morning. Now we know.

It must help him to forget.

Whatever you think about the state of homelessness and the Mayor'ssignature policy, it's a bit odd that a politician who rode to success on the notion of taking money out of the hands of the impoverished should be taken aback that homeless people are sleeping in Golden Gate Park's shrubberies.

It kind of makes you wonder what else has slipped Newsom's mind:

•Does he recall San Francisco is built directly atop amajor earthquake fault?

Interestingly, the last time the ol' San Andreas fired up, it really did beam roving bands of homeless people intoGolden Gate Park overnight. Apparently, they had a needle problem, too — there weren't enough. Everyone had records, but there were only a few phonographs to go around.

•San Francisco is cold in the summer and warm in the winter. Perhaps the mayor would have known this if a City official hadn't decreed it was simply "no longer allowable" to quote the oft-repeated apocryphal Mark Twain homily about summers and winters in the City.

It is still legal, however, to evoke the Northern Californian's mantra: "Dress in layers."

•San Franciscans are surly about the performance of Muni. Granted, this is something Newsom and the Board of Supervisors have debated to the point that an "Inherit the Wind"-type play may be the result: You could call it "Inherit the Transfer."

Still, the details of the Newsom-Aaron Peskin Muni plan will likely be a distant memory before the mayor forgets the time he donned aviator shades and a ballcap and became Gavin Newsom: Fare Inspector.

•San Francisco is inhabited by many Gay and Lesbian voters and progressive supporters of their rights.

But this Newsom did not forget. For whatever the long-term legal ramifications of his bold — and cavalier — decision to recognize same-sex marriage, you can't say it hurt his poll numbers or fund-raising.

Finally, for displaced Golden Gate Park readers still seeking a bush to sleep under, we have it on good knowledge there are still parts of McLaren Park that no explorer has yetbreached. You could probably open a electro-plating business there and no one would be the wiser. Hurry up and get a good spot!

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