Tuesday, February 20, 2018

San Francisco, American Shithole


Cue the Schadenfreude. Tell me you do not feel a small stirring of joy when you learn that true blue San Francisco, one of America’s leading sanctuary cities, home to a plethora of high tech worker bees, rates among the world’s most disgusting slums. Does it show us what happens when a city gives itself over to today's progressive politics? 

Yes, indeed, inequality rules in San Francisco. On the one hand you have the wealthy super rich neighborhoods inhabited by the kings and queens of high tech. The rest of the city: forget about it.

The local NBC affiliate found that the city had become, excuse the expression, a shithole. (via Maggie’s Farm) You see, we did not have to go to any foreign climes to find shitholery. We needed but look at good old San Francisco. Not all of San Francisco, of course. Only twenty miles worth… over 153 blocks.

NBC reports:

How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city – the more than 20-mile stretch includes popular tourist spots like Union Square and major hotel chains. The area – bordered by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, Post Street and Grant Avenue – is also home to City Hall, schools, playgrounds, and a police station.

In fact, San Franciscans care about children. They care about children more than anything. I am convinced that they have many wonderful programs to care about children. And yet, when children go to school they are assaulted by fecal matter, garbage and drug needles:

As the Investigative Unit photographed nearly a dozen hypodermic needles scattered across one block, a group of preschool students happened to walk by on their way to an afternoon field trip to city hall.

“We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,” said teacher Adelita Orellana. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.”

In light of the dangerous conditions, part of Orellana’s responsibilities now include teaching young children how to avoid the contamination.

Of course, the dirty needles can expose children to every manner of disease:

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus. “If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine,” he said. The results can prove fatal, especially in children.

Riley has researched conditions across the poorest slums of the world. His book titled, “Slum Health,” examines health problems that are created by extreme poverty.

How does San Francisco rate with the slums of other world cities? You will be happy to know that it is competitive… in the bad sense of the word:

Based on the findings of the Investigative Unit survey, Riley believes parts of the city may be even dirtier than slums in some developing countries.

“The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” he said. He notes that in those countries, slum dwellings are often long-term homes for families and so there is an attempt to make the surroundings more livable. Homeless communities in San Francisco, however, are often kicked out from one part of town and forced to relocate to another. The result is extreme contamination, according to Riley.

One can only wonder how much of this slum has been produced by those who have been given sanctuary in San Francisco. 

Anyway, you will be happy to know that local civic leaders are seriously torqued about the situation. They are not doing anything, but at least they feel badly about it all:

“Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We're losing tourists. We're losing conventions in San Francisco. All of this is happening because we aren't addressing the root cause, which is we need more temporary beds for street homelessness.”

According to Ronen, the problem is homelessness. It makes some sense. San Francisco has a notoriously liberal attitude toward the homeless and the migrant population. They would never want to impinge on the civil rights of any of those who have been granted sanctuary. Especially the right to use drugs and the right to defecate on the sidewalk. 

Ronen thinks that the city should build more homeless shelters… but, where will they be built and what will happen when the newly housed homeless go out to spend a day on the city streets?

Anyway, the Director of Public Works is hard at work on the problem. Well, not that hard at work. He explains how difficult the problem is and why he can't fix it. Thus, he is far better at complaining than at cleaning up the streets:

Until the problem is fixed, Mohammed Nuru, the Director of the Public Works Department, is charged with the towering task of cleaning the streets, over and over again. “Yes, we can clean, he said, “and then go back a few hours later, and it looks as if it was never cleaned. So is that how you want to spend your money?”

The 2016-2017 budget for San Francisco Public Works includes $60.1 million for “Street Environmental Services.” The budget has nearly doubled over the past five years. Originally, that money, was intended to clean streets, not sidewalks. According to city ordinances, sidewalks are the responsibility of property owners. However, due to the severity of the contamination in San Francisco, Public Works has inherited the problem of washing sidewalks. Nuru estimates that half of his street cleaning budget – about $30 million – goes towards cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks….

A single pile of human waste, said Nuru, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. “The steamer has to come. He has to park the steamer. He's got to come out with his steamer, disinfect, steam clean, roll up and go.”

The indignity of it all. Think of how difficult it is to clean up human waste. The problem boggles the mind of Mohammed Nuru. San Francisco, surrounded by unimaginable wealth, becomes a great American shithole. What does Nancy Pelosi have to say about all of this. Does she want to bring San Francisco values to the rest of America? 

4 comments:

Redacted said...

If you're one of the unfortunates tasked with business travel to SF, help is at your fingertips. Tbe local NBC affiliate and Bay Area technologists have developed a very nice interactive Feces and Needle Map...

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Diseased-Streets-472430013.html

CA: where you can board the high-speed rail to Hell.

sestamibi said...

The disposition of dog shit in San Francisco:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNbTpZFuskw

Sam L. said...

The wife and I honeymooned in Frisco. It was nice, 40 years ago.

Macy Ian Robson said...
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