SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION
CW Nevius came out with a new article antagonizing the efforts of the Kezar Gardens Ecology Center on Thursday. Perhaps, if one were to read only the first and last lines of the piece, it could be considered accurate, but everything in between is highly questionable in terms of its precision. We were lucky to get a tape recording of the interview between Nevius and Ed Dunn, recycling center director.
Tuesday morning, Chronicle photographer, Lea Suzuki, spent hours in the yard photographing recyclers and gardeners for the piece Nevius was writing this week. She encouraged Nevius to come by as well to see the changes and talk to the energetic chief of staff, Ed Dunn. And, to his credit, Nevius came by Tuesday afternoon and talked recycling center politics with Ed. He let us tape him and did not hold back on his vehement opposition to the center, however, he seemed to be quite misinformed and uninterested in setting the record straight.
So, we waited to see what he would come up with. What we got was an emotional article filled with inaccuracies and completely ignoring or failing to research many of the issues presented to him that day. In response, we have put together a short video detailing the difference between his report and what actually transpired. The major points we dispute in the video are:
1. The Native Plant garden was a “last ditch effort” to prevent an eviction
Greg Gaar began gardens at the site about a dozen years ago. He has planted an acre of grounds in native plants surrounding the center and continues to develop and contribute to effective restoration projects all over the city including the Green Hairstreek Butterfly project on Golden Gate Heights.
2. The salaries are too high and no one wanted to show him the books.
Simple math demonstrated in the video refutes that along with an offer to look at the accounting that Nevius does not choose partake in. The average salary with benefits for a staff member at HANC is approximately 36K and includes health care.
3. Reference to the Golden Gate Master Plan as proof of non-conforming use.
Nevius was informed about the County General Plan that does allow for a public service that is hard to locate and cannot be located elsewhere to exist on parkland- he made no reference to this in his article. Also, at this point, no other site on the west side of SF has been identified for HANC to relocate to.
4. Nobody wants us. City Hall hates HANC.
In Feb 2011, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in favor of HANC recycling center, they demanded that the City work in GOOD FAITH with the center on this issue. There are also over 100 community gardeners as well as local recyclers that patronize the space everyday. Check out our other blogs detailing the visits of D5 Supe Christina Olague and Homeless Advocate Bevan Dufty, each having an extremely positive reaction to the site.
Take a few moments to see for yourself. And take a gander at the Nevius article through the link below as well as HANC’s 990, it’s all public. It’s certainly not news that we have opponents in this struggle but we must be vigilant about reporting the facts to the best of our knowledge and holding this reporter to the same virtue.